Tacoma Truck Accident Lawyer

Tacoma truck accident lawyer

Tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, dump trucks, delivery trucks, construction vehicles—if you’ve spent any time on the roads of Tacoma, you know these types of large commercial vehicles are not an uncommon sight.

Did you also know that Tacoma had the third-highest number of truck crashes last year of any city in the state?

If you or a loved one was injured in a large truck collision, a Tacoma truck accident lawyer from Trucking Injury Law Group is ready to help.

The time period following a crash is unimaginably difficult. We know that you may be facing questions you hoped you would never have to ask. Moving forward can seem impossible. We want to assure you that we have the knowledge, resources, and compassion to help you seek recovery when you need it most.

To learn more, please contact Trucking Injury Law Group to schedule a free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer.

Tacoma Truck Accident Statistics

Tacoma, the second-largest city in the Puget Sound area and the third-largest city in the state of Washington sees high volumes of ground-based transport on a daily basis.

In 2022, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) crash report showed that the City of Tacoma suffered:

  • 186 accidents involving commercial trucks
  • 3 fatal truck crashes

The same year, Pierce County as a whole experienced:

  • 702 large truck accidents
  • 8 fatal truck crashes

Tacoma, WA consistently ranks among the top cities in the state with the highest number of trucking accidents, serious injuries, and fatal crashes.

As Tacoma truck accident lawyers, it’s our mission to reduce these numbers by holding each and every commercial trucking company to the highest standards of safety and accountability.

Where Do Most Tacoma Truck Crashes Happen?

In Tacoma and its surrounding suburbs, truck accidents are most likely to occur on some of these traffic-heavy routes, roads, and highways:

  • Interstate 5 (I-5)
  • State Route 509 (SR 509)
  • Interstate 705 (I-705, the Tacoma Spur)
  • State Route 7 (SR 7)
  • State Route 512 (SR 512)
  • Pacific Avenue
  • 38th Street
  • N. Frontage Road (and Marine View Drive)
  • State Route 16 (SR 16)
  • Puyallup Avenue

When Do Truck Accidents Most Often Occur?

While driving at night presents a number of dangers, semi-truck accidents actually occur with more frequency during the day than at night.

Based on the most recent truck crash data (2020) published by the National Safety Council (NSC):

  • 63.45% of truck accidents happen during daylight hours
  • October was the month with the most large truck accidents
  • April saw the fewest truck crashes
  • The summer-to-early-fall months (June–October) see more trucking crashes than any other months of the year

Common Types of Trucking Accidents

Like collisions involving passenger vehicles (cars, light trucks, and SUVs), a trucking accident may fall under one of the common categories of auto accidents:

  • Head-on crashes
  • T-bone (broadside or side-impact) collisions
  • Sideswipe accidents
  • Rear-end crashes
  • Multi-vehicle collisions

But because commercial trucks (tractor-trailers/ semi-trucks, etc.) are so much larger, heavier, and mechanically more complex than other vehicles, they are also susceptible to a number of other dangerous types of truck accidents.

  • Rollovers are when a truck loses balance and rolls onto a side or roof.
  • Jackknife accidents happen when the truck’s cab and trailer move in opposing directions, often when improper braking is applied or turns are poorly navigated.
  • Wide-turn (or “squeeze play“) accidents result when a truck moves into the left lane while making a wide right turn, crushing or “squeezing” any vehicles in the right lane.
  • Blind spot accidents are a common concern for passenger car drivers, as truck drivers are surrounded on all four sides of the truck by large blind spots.
  • Underride accidents occur when a passenger car slides beneath a truck’s trailer, often after a truck driver brakes suddenly.
  • Override accidents, similarly, occur when a truck drives over a smaller car, trapping it under the larger truck’s body.
  • Lost load crashes happen when improperly loaded or secured cargo comes loose, causing the truck to become imbalanced and topple—or obstruct the path of other vehicles.

How Truck Braking Distances Affect Crashes

Due to the size and weight of the vehicle, trucks need more time and distance to come to a complete stop—something all truck drivers need to understand and make adjustments for.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency responsible for regulating the federal commercial trucking industry, has stated that a large truck requires roughly the length of two football fields (over 300 feet) to safely come to a stop after braking. Passenger cars traveling at 65 mph usually require less than half that distance.

This makes negligent behaviors like distracted driving and tailgating especially dangerous when committed behind the wheel of a semi-truck. Checking a text message at 55 mph is equal to driving the length of one football field with closed eyes. If a truck driver doesn’t see a car braked ahead or another obstacle on the road until the last second, there is no time to stop to prevent a crash.

To avoid truck collisions caused by miscalculated braking distance, truck operators must:

  • Have a thorough understanding of the truck’s length, weight, cargo, and braking requirements
  • Take hills, turns, and grades into consideration when calculating braking needs
  • Avoid tailgating, always maintaining adequate following distances
  • Never drive distracted
  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol (which can slow reaction times)
  • Never speed, especially under adverse weather, traffic, or road conditions
  • Exercise more caution and leave more room between vehicles when roads are wet or slippery

A trucking company (and their insurance provider) isn’t likely to admit that your accident was caused by a driver’s braking mistake. But if it was, one of the truck accident attorneys from Trucking Injury Law Group will find evidence to prove liability and your right to compensation.

Truck Accident Injuries May Be Catastrophic or Fatal

Truck accident injuries are usually more severe than those sustained in car accidents.

Even those that may successfully heal over time, like broken bones, have a devastating effect on a truck accident victim’s life. Worse still are catastrophic injuries—life-altering injuries that will change the course of the survivor’s future, such as paralysis or severe traumatic brain injuries.

Some of the most common injuries in a truck collision include:

  • Broken bones
  • Internal organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Disfigurement
  • Amputation

Severe injuries like these are typically accompanied by steep and sometimes life-long medical expenses. Truck accident claims are often critical to a truck accident victim’s ability to afford quality medical care and treatment.

A Tacoma truck accident attorney from our law group will work tirelessly to make sure you are awarded a fair settlement from the insurance company. We put in whatever hard work it takes to make sure you don’t leave our office wondering how you’ll pay your medical bills. If your loved one suffered a wrongful death, we will make sure your family is not left to bear the financial consequences of another party’s negligence.

What Are the Top Causes of Tacoma Truck Accidents?

When a truck accident lawyer investigates a case, we look to see if any parties were negligent, meaning that they failed in their duty to keep others safe. But the term “trucking company negligence” can cover a wide range of behaviors committed by multiple parties.

Truck accidents differ from car accidents in this way. In most car accidents, the negligent party is a driver who was texting, speeding, driving under the influence, or otherwise acting negligently behind the wheel of their own vehicle. But a semi-truck crash is much more complicated, as multiple parties at multiple tiers of the trucking operation have been involved prior to the crash.

Truck accident lawyers have the immense task of examining whether the actions of truck drivers, trucking companies, truck manufacturers, or other involved parties contributed to the crash.

These are just a few of the more common contributing factors cited in Tacoma truck accident claims:

  • Driver inexperience
  • Poor truck maintenance and vehicle parts failure
  • Overloading or improper loading
  • Texting and driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Intoxicated driving
  • Unreasonable routes and delivery schedules
  • Hours of service violations (driving longer than is allowed by federal law)
  • Driver fatigue or drowsy driving
  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
  • Defective truck parts
  • Lack of driver training
  • Improper licensure

We don’t stop investigating until we identify every at-fault party, even when trucking companies try to hide facts and erase evidence. Your truck accident attorney will act swiftly to preserve the evidence that can prove your case.

How the Health of Drivers Impacts Highway Safety

There are also cases in which a crash happens because a truck driver is not physically fit to operate the commercial vehicle. This often points to liability on the part of the trucking company that knowingly hired an unfit driver.

All commercial motor vehicle operators are required to pass a physical examination to obtain a Medical Examiner’s Certificate (Form MCSA-5876). These exams are conducted by qualified FMCSA-approved medical examiners who assess the health and physical fitness of the driver, evaluating any medical conditions that may affect safe driving, such as:

  • Prescription medication use
  • The use of a cardio defibrillator
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hearing and vision impairments
  • Seizure disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Mental illness
  • Renal disease
  • And more

For their own safety and the safety of others, individuals who are not physically qualified to operate 40-ton machinery for 11 hours at a stretch should never be sent on a long-haul route.

Through our experience as truck accident attorneys, we know that personal injuries to both truck drivers and passenger vehicle occupants can be reduced through adherence to higher safety standards.

How To File a Tacoma Truck Accident Claim

The law sides with truck accident victims injured by negligence, recklessness, or the violation of state and federal trucking industry standards. If you suffered injuries, you may be entitled to hold the negligent parties (or party) liable for damages through a personal injury claim.

You may be eligible for financial compensation for losses that are:

  • Economic (those with a financial component, like medical costs), and
  • Non-economic (less tangible losses without accompanying bills, like pain and suffering).

Depending on the details of your truck accident case, you may be entitled to damages for:

  • Medical bills
  • Car repairs (or vehicle replacement)
  • Other property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Emotional anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • And more

The best way to learn if you have grounds to file a truck accident claim in Tacoma is to schedule a case evaluation with an experienced truck accident lawyer.

At Trucking Injury Law Group, we provide you with a confidential, no-cost opportunity to discuss your case with a member of our team. During your free initial consultation with one of our truck accident lawyers, you’ll learn more about the process of filing a claim and what kind of compensation you may be eligible to recover.

Do You Have an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer on Your Side?

Did you or your family suffer a loss in a Tacoma trucking collision? Trucking Injury Law Group handles complex personal injury and wrongful death truck cases throughout the Puget Sound region.

Our legal services are devoted exclusively to truck accident litigation. Each truck accident attorney on our Super Team is in this field because we believe we can truly make a difference in the lives of our clients and in our community.

If you don’t yet have an experienced truck crash lawyer on your side, you need someone who can:

  • Understand all federal, state, and municipal laws and regulations that apply to your case
  • Investigate all potentially liable parties
  • Work quickly to obtain evidence before it is erased or lost
  • Analyze the police report, black box data, dashcam footage, and other important evidence
  • Calculate full and fair compensation
  • Negotiate with insurance carriers
  • Obtain a fair settlement from the insurance company or take your case to court to secure a verdict in your favor
  • Offer a 100% free case evaluation
  • Only get paid if they win your case for you

Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Super Team

The Super Team at Trucking Injury Law Group has the expertise that your case deserves. We are a joint venture—a collaboration of three accomplished attorneys who were brought together by the singular goal of righting the wrongs committed by the trucking industry.

Don’t wait to begin the process of seeking justice. Schedule your free consultation with a Tacoma truck accident lawyer today.