Who Is at Fault for My Truck Accident in Washington?
If you have been in an accident with a large truck such as an 18-wheeler or a dump truck, you need to be able to focus on your recovery. You should always see a doctor immediately after a crash. Once your medical needs have been addressed, call our office to speak with an attorney.
Very often, the first question we hear from clients is “Who is at fault for my truck accident in Washington?”
In a truck crash, the answer usually isn’t simple. Instead, we must investigate your accident to determine who was responsible and what role each party played.
In a Washington trucking accident, more than one party may have been negligent, and it is important to name all at-fault parties in your lawsuit.
Role of the Trucker
The actual truck driver should have been fully trained and licensed in order to drive an 18-wheeler. If his or her license has expired or the trucker has a history of accidents, this could establish a pattern of negligence that will help your case.
Additionally, the driver could be to blame if he or she was engaged in any of the following activities:
- Reckless driving
- Cell phone use or driving distracted in some other way
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving fatigued or without taking the mandatory breaks
- Disobeying the rules of the road
Trucking Company Responsibility
A trucking company has the responsibility of making sure that their drivers have the necessary training and that they are behaving in a responsible manner. They are also tasked with keeping their trucks in good operating condition.
To find out if their trucks have been properly maintained, we may subpoena maintenance records. We may also conduct depositions to ask questions about how they handle staff training and compliance.
If it appears that a trucking company has not properly maintained their vehicles or did not implement necessary safety precautions, they could be at least partially at fault for your accident.
There are certain standards that must be maintained when it comes to road maintenance in Washington. If the federal, state, or local government has not met these standards, they could have contributed to your accident and therefore be negligent.
For example, the shoulder drop-off must be a certain height. If it exceeds that, the result could be an accident as a vehicle tries to move back onto the highway.
For this reason, we will review the road conditions where your accident took place to determine if a government entity should also be named in your lawsuit.
Your truck accident could also have been caused by another passenger vehicle and not the actual trucker. This is more common in a multiple-vehicle accident on the freeway. In this case, we have to investigate the role that each driver played to determine who was fully or mostly responsible for the crash.
Once we have identified all of the negligent parties responsible for your accident, we can prepare your lawsuit and name each one in it.
Next, we will value your injury claim and prepare a demand letter that can be submitted to the other party’s attorneys. If they agree to the terms of that letter and settle your case, there will be no need to go to court.
If the other side refuses to make a fair settlement offer, we will finish our trial preparations and represent you in court so that you have the best opportunity for receiving a fair financial settlement through a court-rendered verdict.