Fault for a commercial truck accident is determined by identifying the negligent party. If someone’s negligence (unreasonable behavior) contributed to the collision, that party is at fault for the accident. Negligent parties can include truck drivers, trucking companies, vehicle manufacturers, and municipalities.
A Tacoma truck accident lawyer from our team will establish fault for your truck accident, gather evidence of fault, and fight for your financial recovery.
Who Can Be at Fault for a Commercial Truck Accident?
Anyone who contributes to a tractor-trailer accident can be at fault for the collision. Sometimes, multiple parties share fault for the truck accident. Those parties may include:
- A trucking company: Trucking companies have a wide range of duties, including hiring qualified drivers, monitoring and disciplining drivers, abiding by industry regulations, and maintaining safe trucks. If a trucking company’s failure contributed to your collision, it may be responsible for your damages.
- A commercial truck driver: Truck operators are often an apparent negligent party in truck collisions. A trucking company is also generally liable when its employee causes a truck accident. This legal principle is called vicarious liability. Common risky behaviors some truck drivers engage in include speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, and tailgating.
- A truck (or component) manufacturer: If a defect in an 18-wheeler causes an accident, the truck or component manufacturer may be at fault for the collision. For instance, a tire manufacturer may be liable when a blowout leads to an accident.
- Cargo manufacturers or loaders: Cargo manufacturers or loaders can be liable for collisions resulting from unsafe freight. Freight may cause a collision when cargo falls from the truck and shifts, causing the truck to tip over or contributing to an accident or any other way.
- A municipality: When a city, county, or state allows dangerous road conditions, it increases the likelihood of auto accidents. Cracked roads, potholes, downed signs, defective traffic lights, and confusing intersections are hazards that a municipality may be liable for.
- A pedestrian: If a pedestrian enters the road and causes vehicles to stop or swerve, the pedestrian may be at fault for resulting collisions.
Each truck accident happens under unique circumstances. Your truck accident lawyer from our team will identify the cause of your collision and who is responsible for that cause. The liable party or parties should compensate you fairly for your accident-related damages.
For a free legal consultation, call 206-558-5555
How We Determine and Prove Fault in a Truck Accident
We will aim to prove, beyond a doubt, who is at fault for your commercial truck accident. We may prove fault using various types of evidence, including:
- Eyewitness testimony: Those who saw your accident can provide unbiased, detailed accounts of how the collision occurred. These witness statements may not tell us why the accident happened but can be useful in proving fault.
- Expert witness testimony: Expert witnesses use their expertise to establish fault. For instance, an expert in trucking industry regulations may testify that driver fatigue may have been a factor in a collision (and that the driver was on the road for longer than they should have been).
- Video footage and accident reconstructions: Whether during settlement negotiations or at trial, it can be helpful to see exactly how a truck accident happened. If our lawyer does not have video footage of the collision, we may hire an expert to create a digital reconstruction.
- Photographs of the scene: Photographs of the accident scene (or simply vehicles involved in the accident) can tell a story. For example, a photograph of a truck that has crushed the rear of another vehicle may help prove fault for a rear-end collision.
- Data from the truck: Many commercial trucks have complex computers installed, referred to casually as a “black box.” This black box data may tell us much about an accident, and our firm will obtain all truck-related data that is relevant to your accident.
Our attorneys aim to prove fault in every case we handle. We will immediately begin investigating your truck accident and gathering evidence to establish fault for your accident-related damages.
What Damages Result from Commercial Truck Accidents?
We refer to harm from your truck accident as recoverable damages because we intend to recover compensation for them. We can determine how much your truck accident case is worth after we learn more about the crash. Your recoverable economic and non-economic damages may include:
Medical Bills (and Other Health-Related Expenses)
Truck accidents can lead to a host of medical services, including:
- Emergency transportation
- Emergency care
- Hospital stays
In addition to bills for medical services, you may face the cost of:
- Physical rehabilitation
- Occupational rehabilitation
- Medical equipment
- Disability-related alterations to your home
- A disability-accessible vehicle
We will insist that the liable parties cover all your accident-related medical bills.
The cost of a commercial truck accident can include:
- Lost income
- Diminished earning power
- Lost bonuses
- Lost promotion opportunities
- Lost benefits
We will also calculate the loss of any fulfillment you receive from working.
Pain and Suffering
Recoverable pain and suffering damages include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Physical pain
- Lost quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
Our firm works with mental health professionals who can diagnose your pain and suffering and find the treatment you need.
Property-related expenses from a truck accident can include:
- Replacing a totaled vehicle
- Repairing a vehicle
- Replacing or repairing clothing, electronics, and any other property damaged during the truck accident
- Temporary transportation expenses
We will account for every type of harm your accident has caused. Our attorneys explore all options for obtaining maximum compensation, including insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits.
Jackman Law Firm will handle every step in your case involving truck accident negligence, including:
- Obtaining evidence
- Establishing liability
- Documenting your damages
- Calculating a fair settlement value
- Negotiating a settlement
- Completing a trial if we need to
Hiring our commercial truck accident attorney can help you manage the legal process while you focus on your health and physical recovery. Our truck accident lawyer will fight for your financial recovery.
Call Jackman Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation About a Truck Accident
RCW § 4.16.080 generally requires us to file a commercial trucking accident case within three years of the collision. This deadline can approach more rapidly than you realize, so don’t wait to speak with our firm. We want to begin building your case as soon as possible.
It takes time for accident victims to recover from commercial truck crashes. Reckless driving can cause devastating injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and other issues. If you or a loved one is recovering from such a crash, you don’t have to handle this complex process alone. Call Jackman Law Firm today about hiring a personal injury lawyer who is dedicated to your personal and financial recovery. We will hold the responsible parties accountable for your losses.