Washington Truck Accident Lawyer
Nearly 6,000 trucking accidents shook the roads and highways of Washington state last year. Most of those crashes could have been prevented.
When we see the lives of our friends, neighbors, and community members threatened by negligent trucking companies, we take action. We defend the rights of injured victims, and we help you win fair compensation for your medical bills and other expenses after a preventable truck crash.
Contact us—Trucking Injury Law Group—for a free case evaluation. A Washington truck accident lawyer will evaluate your legal options at no cost to you.
We handle complex truck collision cases involving tractor-trailers and other commercial trucks in:
There is no team of legal advocates better equipped to successfully litigate Washington truck accidents than Trucking Injury Law Group.
As a joint venture combining the passions of three of the Northwest’s premier trucking accident lawyers, our law group is motivated by one goal alone—to help truck accident victims get the justice they deserve.
How Often Do Truck Accidents Occur in Washington State?
Washington has around 81,000 miles of public roads that crisscross the 42nd state from the Pacific Ocean to our borders with Oregon to the south, Idaho to the east, and Canada to the north. In 2021, those roadways saw 158,347 vehicle miles traveled (VMT) every day—a more than 8% increase over the previous year.
With a coastal locale, the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, and major interstate highways like I-5, I-90, and I-82 serving as high-volume trucking routes, Washington is a hub of international commercial transport.
But with the economic benefit this distinction brings our state comes risk. When truck drivers and trucking companies don’t do their part to ensure their business operations are safe for those sharing the highways, serious crashes and injuries happen.
Washington Truck Accident Statistics
A truck accident in Washington is defined as one involving at least one vehicle with two axles and six tires (or larger), such as a dump truck, semi-truck, or other large commercial vehicle.
The following truck accident statistics were obtained from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for the year 2022:
- 5,902 total truck-involved crashes
- 81 truck accident fatalities
- 154 suspected serious injuries
The majority of truck accidents occurred in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area and along interstates I-90, I-82, and I-182.
How To File a Washington Truck Accident Claim
If you were injured in a commercial vehicle crash caused by a negligent truck driver or company, Washington state law gives you the opportunity to recover compensation for your losses. Depending on the details of your case, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.
These types of legal cases are extremely complex. It is never advised that a plaintiff proceeds on their own without representation from a Washington truck accident attorney.
Partner With a Team That Understands the Trucking Industry Inside and Out
Trucking Injury Law Group is a team of attorneys hailing from three of the most prestigious law firms on the West Coast.
What brought us together? Our commitment to making our roadways safer for all of us.
Our Super Team partners with industry experts, investigators, and accident reconstructionists to pool our resources and talents. We’ll bring deep knowledge and experience at every level of your case, from securing and analyzing evidence, to investigating crash scenes and interpreting the state and federal regulations trucking agencies are required to follow.
Our Super Team is ready to help. A free consultation to discuss your case is available for you now.
What Causes Trucking Accidents?
A truck collision can be caused by negligent actions on the part of a truck driver, trucking company, freight handler, maintenance personnel, or another party—like another motorist sharing the road.
In short, there are many parties that could cause a truck crash. Truck accidents differ from car accidents in that determining liability can be much more involved.
Commercial trucking operations are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). There is a vast network of FMCSA regulations that all involved parties must follow. Truck operators must also obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and the proper endorsements for the type of truck and cargo (particularly for those hauling hazardous materials). If any laws at the state, federal, or municipal level are broken, a trucking accident can result.
It’s a common mistake to think that all commercial trucking accidents are caused by the driver. There are a lot of hands involved in any long-haul trucking operation. Part of our job as truck accident lawyers is sorting out liability. This means examining the actions of all involved parties to figure out what went wrong and who is responsible.
Here are some of the top causes of Washington truck accidents:
- Driver inexperience
- Driver fatigue or drowsy driving
- Drug or alcohol use
- Mishandling turns, curves, hills, and inclines
- Failure to check blind spots
- Maintenance issues and mechanical failures
- Truck overloading
- Failure to navigate adverse weather appropriately
- Lack of driver training, certification, or background checks
- Driver distraction
The Danger of Driver Distractions
Truck drivers, just like all vehicle drivers, are vulnerable to distractions that can take their mind, eyes, and hands off the task of safe driving. But when a truck operator is distracted, the results are usually much more catastrophic.
Tractor-trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. That’s 20–30 times the weight of a typical passenger vehicle. And while the average stopping distance for a car is a little over 300 feet at 65 mph, a truck needs about 525 feet to come to a stop at the same speed.
These elements make for a fatal recipe when combined with distracted driving.
A 2009 study found that 71% of truck crashes happened when the driver was doing something that took their focus off driving. The FMCSA recognizes the dangers of distractions and provides safety guidelines to help drivers avoid distractions like:
- Cell phones, including texting and dialing a handheld phone
- External distractions like billboards, buildings, scenery, and people
- Dispatch devices
- Navigations systems or maps
- Eating and drinking
Why the Pre-Trip Inspection Is Important for Preventing Crashes
Mechanical failures like tire blowouts, brake failure, or lost loads are a leading cause of trucking accidents. But this type of truck crash can be avoided, in part, by following the regulations for pre-trip inspections.
According to FMCSA regulations for pre-trip inspections:
“Before operating the vehicle, the driver must inspect the vehicle and be satisfied that it is in safe operating condition. If the last vehicle inspection report notes any deficiencies, the driver must review and sign to acknowledge and certify that the required repairs were made.”
The checklist for a truck inspection is highly comprehensive and includes (but is not limited to) these parts of the truck:
- Air compressor
- Oil pressure
- Kingpin and coupling chains
- Fuel tanks
- Lights, mirrors, and reflectors
- On-board safety equipment (fire extinguisher, flags, flares, etc.)
- And more
What Trucking Companies Don’t Want You To Know About the Driver Shortage
Driving a truck is a tough job. Loneliness, isolation, fatigue, stress, exhaustion, health complications, and depression are not uncommon side effects of a job that puts workers alone in a driver’s seat for days or weeks at a time, often driving 11 hours in a single stretch.
It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it, right? Sadly, truck companies have too long operated under the assumption that new drivers will always be available, no matter how grueling the conditions. But this is no longer the case.
With 72% of the nation’s freight being moved by the trucking industry, a driver shortage could spell disaster. And that’s exactly what we’ve been seeing for the past few years.
A 2022 New York Times article cited a deficit of 80,000 drivers the previous year. There are numerous factors causing the current driver shortage, but there’s one issue that is becoming more and more obvious. The trucking industry is in need of serious reform.
Truck companies don’t want you to know that the driver shortage might not be such a problem if workers were treated better. And they certainly don’t want you to know what a shortage means to those sharing the road with the underqualified, undertrained, and overworked drivers that are left to carry the burden.
As your Washington truck accident attorney, we want you to know the truth. And we won’t stop until we know what caused your accident and how it could have been prevented. With each case we take, we aim to right your injustices—and make Washington state that much safer for us all.
Most Common Truck Accident Injuries
There is no doubt that trucking accidents cause serious injuries. As truck accident lawyers, we know that the medical expenses to treat truck crash injuries can reach into the millions over the lifetime of the injury.
Common truck accident injuries include:
- Facial disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Abrasions and lacerations
- Traumatic head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord trauma
- Dental injuries
- Vital organ damage
- Permanent disability
- Permanent scarring
Types of Accidents Involving Semi-Trucks
Because of the size, weight, and configuration of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), truck accidents often look different from a crash involving a passenger vehicle. Here are some common types of trucking accidents.
A jackknife happens when the tractor and trailer move in opposite directions, creating the shape of a “V” or “L.”
Tire blowouts are a common cause of rollovers. Rollovers rank among the deadliest types of truck crashes, especially when a tanker is carrying flammable or explosive materials.
When a smaller car slides under the back of a trailer, it is known as an underride. An override occurs when the cab of a truck drives over a car in front of it. Both are highly dangerous to passenger car occupants.
Other Types of Trucking Accidents
A truck crash may also be classified as a type that is familiar to car accidents as well as trucking accidents, such as a:
- Broadside collision (T-bone accident)
- Head-on collision
- Sideswipe accident
- Left or right turn crash
- Multi-vehicle pile-up
- Blind spot accident
- Hit and run accident
No matter what type of truck crash injured you or a loved one, your Washington truck accident attorney from Trucking Injury Law Group is fully prepared to help guide you to recovery.
An Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Is Ready To Listen
After a truck accident in Washington, you may be eligible to recover compensation for medical expenses, vehicle property damage, pain and suffering, and more through a personal injury lawsuit.
As your legal representatives, we negotiate with the trucking company and their insurance provider so you can focus on recovery. Truck accident personal injury claims can change victims’ lives for the better, but only when handled by a competent legal team.
Let one of the Washington truck accident attorneys from our Super Team defend you. Your free consultation is ready when you are.