Determining Fault in Truck Accidents in Washington State

As you start the process of filing a truck accident claim, you will need to determine which party (or parties) to hold financially responsible for the incident. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the truck driver, trucking company, or vehicle inspector may be held liable for the accident.

Vehicle collisions are often sudden and unexpected. Although the incident may only last a few seconds, the aftermath can be chaotic and significant. Moments ago, you were driving your car along the highway, and now you’re facing a long and complicated physical recovery. In addition to your injuries, you may have concerns about how this accident will affect you financially. Medical bills, physical therapy costs, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses may cause you additional stress and anxiety during this challenging time. However, it’s essential to recognize that you do not have to go through this difficult process alone. Enlisting the guidance of a trusted and compassionate personal injury lawyer can give you the clarity and confidence you need to move forward. Pursuing a truck accident claim in Washington state involves several steps, so work with a dedicated personal injury attorney to maximize your settlement offer so you can secure the compensation you need to support your recovery.

Investigating the Truck Accident to Determine Fault

The aftermath of a car or truck accident can be chaotic and confusing, especially those involving large commercial trucks traveling at high speeds. The sheer size and speed of these large vehicles can lead to catastrophic injuries that require lengthy hospital stays, surgeries, or other serious medical interventions. Your first priority should be seeking medical care as quickly as possible. Next, be sure to contact local law enforcement. The responding officer can compile a police report, which serves as an objective account of the factors contributing to the accident (i.e., road conditions, witness statements, etc.). As the victim starts the process of filing a truck accident claim, they will need to determine which party (or parties) to hold financially responsible for the incident. Below are some of the potential parties who could be held liable after a truck accident in Southwest Washington.

Truck Drivers

If a truck driver fails to observe safety protocols or engages in distracted driving behaviors, you may seek compensation from them. For example, a truck driver who operated their vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be held liable for causing the accident. Truck drivers must also adhere to industry rules and regulations, such as not exceeding a set amount of consecutive hours behind the wheel or conducting regular safety checks and routine maintenance. Failure to comply with these duties may result in a collision. Talk with your personal injury attorney to determine whether to name the truck driver as the party responsible for causing your injuries.

Trucking Companies

Companies in the trucking industry must abide by specific requirements and regulations. They must perform background checks and provide adequate training to ensure that their drivers are qualified to drive commercial vehicles. When a trucking company fails to conduct necessary safety inspections or pressures drivers to exceed the number of consecutive hours behind the wheel to save the company time and money, these reckless or negligent practices may leave the company vulnerable to a lawsuit. Your attorney can help you determine whether to seek damages from the trucking company for the injuries you sustained.

Truck Manufacturers

In some cases, a defect in the truck may lead to a collision. For instance, if the truck manufacturer cut corners or did not perform sufficient safety inspections before releasing the truck to market, it could be held financially liable for a truck accident. Defects like faulty steering columns, malformed tires, or braking system failures can increase the risk of collision. Your personal injury lawyer can assess the specifics of your case to determine whether it makes sense to seek damages from the truck manufacturer.

Vehicle Inspectors

Commercial trucks must undergo regular inspections to ensure that they comply with all safety rules and regulations. Vehicle inspectors must perform these assessments, which involve several steps and procedures. However, a vehicle inspector may fail to test a truck thoroughly or sufficiently, meaning that an unsafe truck may pass the inspection and jeopardize the safety of other vehicles on the road. If a vehicle inspector passed a truck that otherwise would have failed the inspection, you and your attorney might decide to hold this party partially responsible for the accident.

Trusted Legal Guidance When You Need It Most

Suffering a catastrophic injury due to another party’s reckless or negligent actions can be devastating. It’s natural to feel upset, anxious, and concerned during this challenging time. Consider enlisting the guidance of a trusted and empathetic personal injury lawyer who can determine the most strategic path forward. Your attorney can negotiate the best settlement offer to ensure you secure the compensation you need to support your recovery.

If you need help securing compensation after suffering a trucking accident injury in Vancouver or Portland, call Henderson Taylor Law Firm today at (360) 737-1478 to speak with a caring and experienced personal injury attorney.