Vancouver Truck Accident Attorneys
Truck accidents are a lot different than car accidents, and not just because commercial trucks are so much larger. While car accidents cause their fair share of serious injuries, truck crashes are much more likely to result in serious injury or death. When a truck accident was caused by negligence, pursuing compensation can be much more complicated than it would be to go after compensation following a car accident, for a variety of reasons. Considering the severity of these accidents and how complicated it is to navigate the post-accident legal process, you should give serious thought to working with a Vancouver truck accident attorney on your case.
The attorneys at Rizk Law have years of combined experience pursuing compensation for victims of motor vehicle crashes. Richard Rizk, our founder, was a former strategist for insurance companies and knows how they think. He understands how to use the insights he gained working for the other side when representing victims of negligence. We are not intimidated by the tactics of insurance companies and other at-fault parties in truck crash cases. We know what to expect and how to push back when your case is not getting the fair consideration it deserves. Your consultation with our attorneys is free and there is absolutely no obligation for you to go forward with the process. You will also not owe us for representing you unless there is a favorable resolution of your case and you receive compensation.
Accidents That May Result from Negligence
Truck accidents can happen anywhere in the Vancouver area, from busy intersections like where Fourth Plain Blvd. intersects with State Route 500, to Interstate 205. There are many different types of accidents that often occur because of negligence, such as the negligence of the truck driver or his or her employer.
Common types of truck accidents include:
The back of the trailer on a truck is probably much higher off the ground than the hood of your vehicle, even if you are driving an SUV. This is why crashing into the back of a commercial truck is very dangerous – your car could slide under the trailer. The trailer could not only go on top of the hood, it could go into or through the windshield. This can put your life at risk.
Sometimes these crashes are the result of the truck driver braking very quickly and without warning. This could be because he or she was not paying attention because of fatigue, intoxication or distractions like his or her cellphone.
Tire Blowout Crashes
If one of the tires on a truck blows out, huge chunks of rubber could shoot out onto the road, and other cars in the area may not be able to avoid them. The other danger of a tire blowout is that the driver of the truck could lose control and crash into other vehicles, or even cause other drivers to make quick maneuvers that cause them to hit other vehicles.
These are crashes that occur when the truck tips over onto its side. These are often the result of the driver losing control of his or her vehicle. Sometimes drivers have to make an abrupt steering maneuver and this creates lateral forces that make the truck tip over. Trucks have a high center of gravity so it does not take much to make a truck roll over.
Sometimes these crashes are the result of the truck carrying too much cargo, and when the weight shifts it is enough to throw the truck over. Other times these crashes are the result of the driver going way too fast on a highway on-ramp or exit ramp.
When a truck rear ends a car, the results could be catastrophic for the occupant of the car. The force of the impact is so intense that the driver and occupants could suffer a variety of serious or life-threatening injuries.
These crashes often result from truck drivers tailgating cars or simply not paying attention when they are in heavy traffic.
Braking too fast could cause the trailer on a commercial truck to swing out and form a 90-degree angle with the cab. These are called jackknife crashes and they create a crash hazard for any drivers in the area, including those who are right next to the trailer when it starts to swing away from the cab of the truck.
Lost Load Accidents
Sometimes trucks are overloaded or the cargo is not properly secured. If this happens there is a chance cargo will fall out of the truck, particularly on highways and interstates when trucks are traveling at high-speed. The cargo could hit other cars or just land on the road and become obstacles for drivers.
Truck accidents can happen anywhere, including at intersections. If a driver runs a red light or a stop sign, he or she could crash right into a car that is heading across the truck's path. When the truck hits the side of the car, it is called a T-bone crash. While anyone on that side is at risk of serious injury, anyone in the car could get seriously hurt because of the force of impact. The sides of cars are not as well-equipped to deal with a crash impact as the front and back are.
If you were victim of these or any other type of crash and you think it could have been prevented, contact Rizk Law today to discuss your possible next steps. Our Vancouver truck accident attorneys are available for a free legal consultation to discuss your options moving forward.
Call the firm right now to get started. 503.245.5677.
Advantages of Working with a Lawyer
You are not under any obligation to work with an attorney when pursuing truck accident compensation. However, there are reasons to strongly consider working with a lawyer because of some of the advantages it may afford you.
For example, do you know how to file a lawsuit or investigate a truck accident? Rizk Law's Vancouver truck accident lawyers do. We have done it before and we know how to search for and find important evidence to help us prove liability.
Our attorneys also have years of combined experience negotiating fair compensation with insurance companies. We are prepared to go back and forth with insurance companies. We will carefully evaluate your damages by reviewing medical records, consulting experts and reviewing your account of the damages you have suffered to determine an amount of compensation that is fair. With this number in mind, we will not settle for any low-ball offers.
We understand how difficult it can be to recover from a truck accident, and we are deeply committed to fighting for the insurance compensation you deserve, up to the limits of the policy in question.
Another aspect of truck accidents we are very familiar with is that multiple parties could potentially be liable for the crash. This could include:
- Truck companies
- The company that leased the trailer
- The company that leased the truck
- Cargo companies
- Repair shop that services the truck
- Manufacturer of the truck or any components that malfunctioned
These entities could be held responsible for many reasons, from negligence in hiring a truck driver, failing to repair or maintain a truck, manufacturing a defective part, improper loading of cargo, failing to drug test a driver, to drunk or reckless driving.
Sometimes multiple parties are liable for the accident. However, no matter how many parties are responsible, proving fault is complicated. We are prepared to review pictures, video footage, maintenance records, drug testing records and employment records. We may also use accident reconstruction experts to reconstruct what happened and help us draw a link between the negligence that occurred and the accident that caused you to get hurt.
Our Vancouver truck accident attorneys will handle all of these aspects of the case while you focus on your medical treatment. This is the most important thing after an accident. It also helps to strengthen your case. If you wait to seek treatment or do not continue treatment as directed by your doctors, the other side may be able to argue you are not really hurt. This could lower the value of your claim or cause it to get thrown out.
Schedule your free legal consultation right now by calling 503.245.5677.
What Should I Do After a Crash?
Contacting an attorney can be very important after an accident. However, there are other steps you can take to help your attorney begin building a case for the compensation you deserve. There are no guarantees with truck accident cases, but the sooner you begin to gather evidence, the easier it may be to build a case.
The important thing to remember is that, with some injuries, this is not possible. That is OK because our attorneys can get to work as soon as you contact us.
However, if you are in a position where you can collect evidence at the scene, or someone else in your vehicle can, and it is safe, go ahead and collect evidence. This could include pictures of the scene, everything from the damage to the vehicles and your injuries, to property damage, damage to the roadway, the side of the trailer, eyewitnesses, and other factors you think contributed to your accident.
If possible, get the driver's name and contact information, the contact information for his or her employer, and identifying numbers on the cab or trailer. This will help our attorneys to investigate these parties, particularly if we think they have some amount of fault for the crash.
It is particularly important to talk to eyewitnesses right after the crash. They may struggle to remember everything weeks, days or even hours later, so it is best to talk to them when memories are fresh. Ask them what they saw, why they think the crash occurred, how they saw the crash and anything else you think is important. If they give permission, you could record a video on your smartphone of the conversation. You could also just jot down notes on their comments.
You should also make sure to ask for contact information. You may need clarification in the future and you may need them to provide testimony for an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Reporting the Accident
Under state law, you are not required to complete a crash report if the investigating police officer files one. If there is no law enforcement investigation, you must complete a report within four days of the crash. For your convenience, you can do so online.
When the police file a report, you can request a copy, which will provide invaluable evidence for your case. The report may note the officer's thoughts on who caused the accident and if there were any traffic citations given out.
After reporting your accident and receiving needed medical treatment, contact our Vancouver truck accident lawyers for a free consultation.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Regulations on the Trucking Industry
The trucking industry is regulated at the federal, state and local level by a series of laws. These laws govern various aspects of the industry to help ensure the safety of everyone who shares the road with these vehicles.
In many cases, the state law is the same as federal law. For example, motor carriers must follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations on controlled substances testing. If motor vehicle operations are conducted without the driver having a controlled substances test, it is a violation of federal law.
Under Washington law, vehicles that are required to be inspected and become damaged before that happens, and the damage is so severe that it is unsafe to operate the truck on public highways, may not be operated on a public highway. The only exception to this is if the owner or operator presents the vehicle for inspection within 24 hours of the return to service.
Another area that often comes up in truck accident cases is hours of service regulations. These limit the total number of hours drivers can be on the road. When these are violated, drivers are tired and may not be as aware as they need to be when behind the wheel. While sometimes drivers are at fault for these violations, employers may have fault too because they may have set unrealistic deadlines.
Vancouver Trucking Regulations
The City of Vancouver has numerous regulations on overlegal truck loads. Overlegal truck loads are loads that exceed standard height, weight, width or length limits.
No one is allowed to operate on a street or highway in the city with a vehicle that exceeds load restrictions without a permit. Anyone who operates a truck without the proper permit or fails to provide requested information when trying to obtain the permit has committed a misdemeanor.
Sometimes there must be an investigation to determine if a permit will be awarded. When this happens, the permit application and supporting documentation will be reviewed for accuracy and to determine if the activity for which the permit will be used is consistent with public health, safety and welfare.
Vehicles that have Special Motor Vehicle Permits and are required to display "Oversize Load" signs cannot operate in certain areas in Vancouver at certain times:
- Northbound from Oregon to I-205 between 3-6 p.m.
- Northbound from Oregon to I-5 between 4-7 p.m.
- Southbound from I-5 to Oregon between 6-9 a.m.
The exception to these regulations is for vehicles that are only over the limit in width and do not exceed the width limit of the table on commuter curfew hours. In other words, vehicles that do not exceed the 10-foot width limit are exempted from the restrictions above, according to the Washington State Commercial Vehicle Guide.
Our truck accident lawyers in Vancouver have detailed knowledge of these laws and how they may apply to your case. We will research the aspects of these laws that may apply to your case to determine how violations may have occurred.
Contact Rizk Law right now to learn more about your legal options.
Contact a Vancouver Truck Accident Attorney Right Away
When a truck accident occurs, victims are often in need of help to sort out what happened and determine their legal options. The Vancouver truck accident lawyers at Rizk Law may be able to provide you much-needed assistance after this type of crash. We can help you determine who is at fault for the accident, and if you can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to obtain compensation. We can also explain the next steps you can take to help build a case.
Schedule your free legal consultation today to find out more about what we may be able to do for you during this difficult time. We take truck accident cases on contingency, so there are no fees unless our clients are compensated.