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Truck Accidents

Do I Need a Lawyer If I Get into a Wreck with a Commercial Truck in Washington?

By June 5, 2024June 10th, 2024No Comments

Tractor-trailers and commercial trucks are crucial to the economy of America at large, and Washington is no exception. Communities all over the United States depend on commercial trucking for the goods they need every day. 

But large trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road due to their size and weight. It’s important for all drivers to use caution when driving near large trucks and to know what they should do if they experience a truck accident.

A dedicated accident attorney can help you obtain fair compensation following an accident. A good commercial truck accident attorney will have years of experience litigating personal injury claims against commercial trucking companies, negotiating with large insurance companies, and investigating commercial trucking operations. 

Our team of trucking accident attorneys at the Gilbert Law Firm of Spokane, Washington is here to help you pursue a claim against a commercial trucking enterprise.

A Strong Advocate in a Washington Trucking Accident Case

Without an attorney, you are likely to be approached by the other side’s insurers who will try to buy you off with a ridiculously low initial offer. 

They may try to convince you that this is the best offer you will get and provide you with a very limited amount of time to accept it. In exchange for this paltry buyoff, you will need to sign away your right to sue the commercial trucking company.

A competent and experienced trucking accident attorney will understand these strongarm tactics and respond appropriately so as to obtain the maximum settlement or pursue legal action. 

Once the opposing party and their insurers realize that you have legal counsel, they may adopt a more sober and respectful tone. In theory, they will stop trying to hoodwink you and begin to negotiate with you in more good faith.

The Importance of Prompt Action in a Washington Truck Accident Case

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) strictly regulates how much a commercial truck driver can drive in any 24-hour or 7-day period. In order to prevent violations, commercial trucks must have a “black box” that records all travel. 

Under federal law, the trucking company must retain these travel records for 6 months, after which they can discard them legally. Unless you have a knowledgeable attorney who requests those records within that 6-month period, you could lose valuable evidence that you need to prove your case.

Not only could those travel records show that the commercial truck driver had exceeded the allotted number of driving hours and was fatigued at the time of the accident, but they could also show that the driver was speeding in order to meet a drop-off deadline.

Veteran Investigators

In addition to pulling black box data, your Washington truck accident attorney should also investigate if the employer had adequately vetted and trained the driver. In order to drive a commercial truck, the driver must possess a commercial driver’s license which must be up to date. 

Employers must also thoroughly investigate their driving record and disqualify candidates with instances of drug or alcohol abuse, as well as serious driving violations like fatal collisions.

Furthermore, the truck company must monitor their drivers to ensure that they comply with all of the pertinent federal and state regulations. This includes preventing drivers from operating a commercial truck for more than 10 hours in a row or more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period. 

A competent personal injury attorney should immediately research these records to ensure that the employer wasn’t negligent in its hiring practices, training, or employee monitoring. Vehicle maintenance records should also be examined to determine if mechanical problems like worn tires or faulty brake systems were overlooked.

Contact the Gilbert Law Firm Today

Our legal team at the Gilbert Law Firm understands how terrifying and devastating a Washington commercial truck accident can be. That is why we will work closely with you to fight for the compensation you need to pay off your medical bills and mounting household expenses. Contact the Gilbert Law Firm today for a consultation.

Disclaimer: The blog published by the Gilbert Law Firm marketing team for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice or a substitute for legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. Readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.

Lawyers who listen.

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