The aftermath of a semi-truck crash can be catastrophic. If you were injured in a Seattle-area semi-truck accident that wasn’t your fault, you might feel fortunate to have simply survived. However, securing the compensation needed to move past serious and potentially life-altering injuries might seem impossible. Even if the semi-truck driver was clearly at fault, they—or their employer—could dispute the claim, telling the court that your negligence either caused or contributed to the collision.
You likely stand your best chance at reaching a fair settlement with competent legal representation. But do you know what semi-truck accident attorneys do and what makes them more qualified to handle commercial vehicle claims than other lawyers? We’ll explain.
Why Semi-Truck Lawyers Differ From Other Personal Injury Attorneys
A personal injury attorney must be admitted to the Washington state bar and licensed to practice law in the Evergreen State. Some personal injury attorneys have general practices: they might accept premises liability claims, defective product cases, and the occasional wrongful death action. Others almost exclusively represent people injured in certain types of accidents.
Semi-truck lawyers are personal injury attorneys who have litigated numerous commercial vehicle claims. They’re well-versed in the local, state, and federal laws that regulate the interstate transportation industry and are familiar with the strategies that trucking companies and their insurers employ in court and know how to counter them. A savvy truck accident attorney also has the results to prove that they know how to fight for their clients’ rights.
Understanding What Makes Truck Accident Claims Unique
Semi-truck accident lawsuits are, at least on the surface, similar to other motor vehicle claims. If a truck driver clearly caused a collision, then they could be found liable for the costs of any resulting injuries.
Otherwise, the similarities between semi-truck accident claims and other motor vehicle claims are superficial. Since the interstate trucking industry is regulated at the local, state, and federal levels, truck drivers—and their employers—are required to follow many regulations.
- Truck drivers are mandated by law to take regular drug and alcohol tests.
- Commercial vehicle operators are only allowed to operate their vehicles for a set number of hours each day and must have scheduled meals and rest.
- Tractor-trailers must be regularly inspected, maintained, and repaired.
Companies must keep records proving they comply with these laws. If a trucking company fails to maintain the right records, this could be evidence that it violated a legal duty to exercise a reasonable standard of care.
How a Semi-Truck Lawyer Can Help You Win a Personal Injury Lawsuit
An experienced Seattle-area truck accident lawyer knows how to build a compelling, evidence-based claim for recoverable damages. Your attorney could help you:
- Investigate the crash site, collecting, preserving, and analyzing any evidence to substantiate your injuries and prove the other driver’s fault.
- Compile and assess your medical bills to prove the accident resulted in serious injuries.
- Determine who should be held liable for your crash-related injuries. The potential defendants may be the truck driver, the trucking company, a cargo shipper, or even a vehicle manufacturer.
- Interview eyewitnesses and consult industry experts.
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
- Take the case to trial if the adjuster refuses to offer a fair settlement.