If you have been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, then you have probably suffered severe bodily injury or property damage which are grounds for a claim against the truck driver, trucking company, truck manufacturer or the freight owner.
Without a top-notch investigative and legal team on your side, it can be difficult to determine the exact details of how the accident occurred and therefore who is ultimately responsible for your losses.
Our team of truck accident attorneys at the Gilbert Law Firm in Spokane, Washington has extensive experience filing claims based on driver intoxication, lack of vehicle maintenance, and driver fatigue.
Evidence You Need to File a Truck Accident Claim in Washington
Following an accident with a large truck, you will need to collect the following kinds of evidence to support your claim:
- Photographs of the scene of the accident
- Police accident reports
- Eyewitness reports
- Drivers’ tracking logs
Many modern trucks now are equipped with highly sophisticated tracking equipment that monitors the activities of the driver. This monitoring equipment should help determine if the driver was fatigued from driving too long at the time of the accident.
Using this equipment, an experienced legal team may be able to reconstruct the circumstances leading up to the accident and identify any violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that may provide proof of negligence.
The Key Players
As you and your attorney consider who should be held liable for your injuries, you should look closely at the following parties:
- Trucking company—the employer may be liable for many forms of negligence including bad hiring practices, poor employee training and oversight, or improper truck maintenance.
- Truck driver—if the driver was in violation of the law or acted out of bad judgment, negligence could be very likely.
- Freight shipper—improperly prepared freight signals negligence on the part of the shipper.
While the immediate circumstances of the accident have a strong bearing on the case, many other factors that could have occurred long before the accident could come into play as well.
- The trucking operator that hired the driver is responsible for adequately training the driver as well as monitoring their driving habits. If they failed to provide the right training or track their drivers properly, then they too could be held liable for your personal injuries.
- The truck itself should also be carefully examined for mechanical issues. If the trucking company failed to maintain the truck properly and that contributed to the accident, then you can file a claim against them.
- In some cases, a mechanical issue may have originated in the design of the vehicle itself, in which case, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the vehicle manufacturer.
- Finally, you should examine the cargo that was being transported. In rare instances, the freight may be potentially dangerous in itself, e.g. fuel, chemicals, or it could be improperly stored. If the cargo company that hired the transport company failed to comply with federal or state regulations regarding the shipment of materials, then you may have a claim against them as well.
Contact an Experienced Washington Truck Accident Injury Attorney Today
There are multiple parties involved in almost every major trucking enterprise, each of which has its own responsibilities, interests and potential liabilities.
It takes a skilled legal team to analyze all of the moving parts in such a complex chain of events, determine each party’s legal exposure accurately, and develop a winning strategy to bring them to the bargaining table or convince a jury of their liability.
The Gilbert Law Firm of Spokane has proven in case after case that they have the legal prowess and client dedication to go after the parties responsible so that they pay every cent that they should. 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.