Answers to Your Truck Accident FAQs From a Knowledgeable Kent Lawyer
Attorney Zach Herschensohn gets injury victims top compensation
If you’ve been injured in a collision with a semi-truck or 18-wheeler, you’re probably looking for answers. Attorney Zach Herschensohn has a thorough understanding of the law in Washington state and has worked to recover millions in settlements and verdicts for injury victims throughout the Seattle metro area. Scroll through the answers to these FAQs – and if you’ve been injured in a truck accident, make sure to let Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC protect your rights. Contact us today for your free consultation.
- What is considered a commercial truck?
- What are the most common truck accidents?
- Who is liable in a truck accident?
- How do you determine liability in a truck accident?
- What is the “No-Zone” on an 18-wheeler?
- What are common truck accident injuries?
- What is the average settlement for a truck accident?
- Can I still pursue a lawsuit if I’m partially at-fault?
- How much does a truck accident attorney cost?
- How can a truck accident lawyer help me?
A commercial truck is any truck that’s owned by a company and used for business purposes, like transporting commercial goods or hazardous materials from one place to another. Some of the most common types of commercial trucks include:
- 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers (aka big rigs)
- Tanker trucks
- Freight trucks
- Delivery trucks
Because commercial trucks are a lot bigger than cars, truckers are required to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) before they are allowed to operate a commercial truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency responsible for regulating the commercial trucking industry.
Due to their size, weight, and high center of gravity, there are a lot of different ways a semi-truck or 18-wheeler can get into an accident. Some of the most common truck accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions
- Jackknife accidents
- Blind spot accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Underride accidents
- Rollover crashes
It doesn’t matter if you were hurt in a crash with an overturned tractor-trailer or badly injured after getting rear-ended by a semi-truck, Attorney Zach Herschensohn will fight to protect your rights and pursue maximum compensation.
Liability may fall on multiple parties, including the truck driver, trucking company, shipping company, broker, truck manufacturer, or a third party involved in your accident. Unlike a crash between two cars, where there’s usually only two insurance companies to deal with, a truck accident can involve multiple insurance providers.
In order to pursue a claim for damages after a truck accident, you must prove someone else’s negligence contributed to your crash. Liability may fall on multiple parties, and an experienced truck accident attorney will be able to determine who’s legally responsible for your crash by:
- Gathering physical evidence from the crash scene
- Interviewing witnesses
- Consulting with accident reconstruction experts
- Examining police reports
- Reviewing “black box” data from the semi-truck
- Investigating the trucking company
The “No-Zone” refers to the low visibility areas surrounding an 18-wheeler where the truck driver may have a difficult time noticing a smaller car. The No-Zone includes the area directly in front of and behind the semi-truck, along with the areas to the immediate left and right side of the cab. The most dangerous place for cars to drive in the No-Zone is to the immediate right of the cab, since this is the toughest spot for a truck driver to notice you.
While blind spot accidents are often caused by other drivers, a truck driver who is driving recklessly can still be held responsible. Just because it’s called the No-Zone, it doesn’t mean you’re automatically liable for an accident if you’re driving in that area and get into a collision with an 18-wheeler.
A fully loaded 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, so even relatively minor collisions at low speeds can result in serious injury or death. Some of the most common truck accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage
- Back and neck injuries
- Fractured and broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Partial or permanent paralysis
- Damage to internal organs
- Lacerations and contusions
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
Depending on the specific details of your case and the extent of your injuries, your truck accident claim could be worth hundreds, thousands, or maybe even millions. It’s all contingent on what damages you suffered as a result of the crash and whether or not you were partially to blame. You may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage to your car
- Replacement services (childcare, housework, etc.)
- Pain and suffering
An experienced truck accident lawyer will be able to help you calculate your damages so you can have an idea how much to expect in compensation if your case is successful.
Washington is a “fault” state that follows pure comparative negligence laws when determining compensation for accident victims in personal injury cases. That means if you are found to be partially responsible for your accident, any compensation you’re awarded will be reduced by the same percentage you were found to be at-fault. For example, if you’re awarded $100,000 but found to be 25 percent at-fault, you would receive $75,000 in compensation.
If you’ve been injured in a collision with a semi-truck or 18-wheeler, you may not think you can afford a truck accident lawyer, but that’s not something you should worry about. The majority of truck accident lawyers will work for you on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay fees if the law firm successfully gets you compensation. Once you’re awarded compensation, the attorney will take a percentage for their fees. While percentages differ from law firm to law firm, you can expect to pay anywhere from 25-40 percent.
Statistics show that injury victims who hire a truck accident lawyer receive substantially more financial compensation compared to those who don’t. An experienced truck accident lawyer will listen to the details of your accident during a free consultation, answer your questions, explain your legal options, and let you know whether or not your case is worth pursuing. Hiring a truck accident attorney to handle every aspect of your claim can also level the playing field, as trucking companies often have teams of attorneys ready and waiting to protect their best interests.