Drive down any highway or road in or near Silverdale, and you won’t have to wait long before you see a commercial vehicle. Semi-trucks roar down highways, delivery vans glide into loading zones, buses groan and hiss as their doors open, and taxis and rideshare vehicles zip in and out of driveways.
These are a familiar site and major part of our economy. But there is a dark side. These vehicles are involved in serious accidents that leave countless people injured every year. In fact, more than 2,000 people were injured or killed in commercial vehicle accidents in 2015 alone.
These accidents leave devastating injuries in their wake. But Washington state law provides a way for victims to seek justice. Victims of commercial vehicle wrecks can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party to seek compensation. Doing so comes with many challenges, but an experienced Silverdale commercial vehicle wreck lawyer can make the process feel easy and maximize your compensation.
Types of Commercial Vehicle Accidents
The term “commercial vehicle” is broad. It can include many types of vehicles. And the type of commercial vehicle accident you are involved in can provide clues as to what caused your accident and how you were hurt. This information becomes critically important if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit for the crash.
The following are some common types of commercial vehicle wrecks in Washington state and the types of injuries they often cause:
- Semi-trucks and 18 wheelers. These massive vehicles can easily crush a passenger car, leaving the driver and occupants with severe spinal injuries like paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, and broken bones.
- Delivery vans. Delivery vans are often found on congested city streets trying to navigate traffic on a deadline. They might speed or try to beat a light and rear-end or T-bone a passenger vehicle. Whiplash, broken arms and legs, and concussions are common injuries in delivery van accidents.
- Buses. Sudden stops, sharp turns that flip the vehicle, and side impacts are common in bus accidents. Because passengers are often without seatbelts and sometimes with cargo stored overhead, head injuries are common. Also common are face injuries, broken bones, and neck injuries.
- Taxis. Taxi drivers are known for weaving in and out of traffic and driving aggressively. These behaviors can lead to sideswipe and frontal collisions. For passengers in the backseat, this can mean face injuries, whiplash, broken ribs, and more.
- Rideshare vehicles. Uber and Lyft drivers are just like regular drivers, except they might be working long or late hours. Drowsy driving can cause running off the road and careless mistakes that lead to frontal collisions. Passengers can be left with a wide range of injuries, from broken ribs to neck injuries.
Who Is Responsible for a Commercial Vehicle Wreck in Washington?
The most important part of filing a lawsuit for a commercial vehicle wreck in Washington is knowing whose fault the accident was. These accidents could implicate several at-fault parties. We examine some of those parties below.
Drivers of trucks, vans, taxis, buses, and rideshare vehicles can be considered at fault for a commercial vehicle accident for various reasons. Any form of negligence while operating the vehicle could come into play. For example, driving drowsy, drunk, or distracted could be negligent. Speeding, road rage, and failure to yield are also common accident causes that could implicate the commercial vehicle driver.
The Driver’s Employer
Sometimes, the company employing the driver of a commercial vehicle that is involved in an accident could bear some or all of the liability for your injuries. This can occur for various reasons, but some common reasons are violating hours of service laws, failing to provide a functioning vehicle, and providing inadequate driver training.
Other At-Fault Parties
While the driver and driver’s employer are the most common at-fault parties in Washington commercial vehicle lawsuits, some other parties could be to blame. For example, if the accident occurred because of a road hazard, a government road authority could bear responsibility. Also, if another driver caused the commercial vehicle to swerve or stop suddenly, causing your accident, the other driver could be to blame.
How Can I Recover Compensation?
To recover compensation, you have to assign a monetary value to every way the accident has harmed you and prove you deserve that compensation. The following are some common damages in commercial vehicle accidents for which you can recover compensation:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future income due to disability
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Emotional trauma
Reach Out to an Experienced Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney
Recovering fair compensation for a commercial vehicle accident means you have to gather evidence, file legal paperwork, argue your case, and negotiate a fair settlement — all while you are injured. We know that sounds impossible. And that’s why we work hard to help victims like you.
The Silverdale attorneys at Ryan, Montgomery & Armstrong, Inc., P.S. are prepared to help you pursue compensation for your commercial vehicle accident. To schedule a free consultation, call 360-307-8860 or reach out online today.