The trucking industry is considered be the backbone of the American economy, accounting for more than two thirds of the freight tonnage moved throughout the United States in any given year. Without trucking transportation, commerce would effectively come to a halt. Unfortunately, commercial trucking accidents are far too common due to a number of factors.
According to WSDOT 2014 Annual Collision Summary, 5,782 commercial trucking vehicles were involved in an accident. Of those commercial trucking accidents, 1,429 resulted in either minor or serious injuries.
Most commercial truck drivers understand the risks they face on the road and take the necessary safety measures when operating their large vehicle. However, even the best trained drivers can be put under economic pressure to violate safety regulations. There are a variety of factors that can lead to a commercial trucking accident. Among the most common causes are inadequately trained drivers, equipment malfunction, improperly loaded cargo, and hazardous road conditions.
Due to the size of commercial trucking vehicles, trucking accidents can often result in serious or sometimes fatal injuries. Taking appropriate action following a trucking accident can play an important role in your ability to recover the compensation you deserve. The very first thing you should do at the accident scene is to remain calm. While this may be easier said than done, remember that panicking will only worsen the situation. Staying calm will allow you to think clear and assess the damage at hand.
If everyone at the accident is okay, including any passengers and the other driver, the next step is to call the police so they can investigate and begin documenting the accident. If you’re able, take photos of the entire accident scene as it will be valuable in your case. Collect as much information as possible, such as the contact information of any witnesses.
Following a trucking accident, seek medical attention even if you don’t have any physical injuries. Some injuries, such as whiplash or mild head trauma, can go initially undetected and manifest into serious health issues later. Seeing a doctor is crucial to your trucking accident case because they can properly document any injuries to help prove they were caused by the accident.
When the dust settles and the accident scene has been cleared, the best thing you can do is to call an experienced Washington personal injury attorney. Having the legal counsel of an attorney helps ensures your safety and your financial health, regardless of who is found to be at fault later.
Commercial truck accident cases can involve a variety of law practice areas, such as negligence on the part of the driver, product liability with respect to the truck and related equipment, highway design negligence, highway maintenance negligence, and more. My team and I at Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel investigate every possible factor in your accident case to determine liability. We understand the complexity of both Washington state and federal trucking laws and how they apply in your situation. We will fight for your justice if you’ve been injured in a commercial trucking accident.