Washington State Patrol claims the number of roadway accidents involving semi-trucks has been steadily on the climb: from 1,191 in 2010 to 1,294 in 2012. Most recently, a number of accidents in the Seattle area involving trucks have occurred with such alarming frequency that it has commanded attention. On June 4, Washington State Troopers cited a semi-truck driver for negligent driving after causing an accident that blocked all southbound lanes of Interstate 405 during the morning commute. Troopers say the driver became distracted and swiped the passenger side of an SUV, then bounced off the Jersey barrier before flipping. In the May 23, Skagit Bridge collapse, a truck driver is also being blamed. His oversize load hit the bridge, and along with another passing semi, triggered the collapse. In a Seattle trucking accident, there are often multiple parties who are potentially liable. Other parties besides the driver can be sued if a big rig side swipes your vehicle. Because a commercial trucking business usually involves the driver, the company that employs the driver, the company that was hired to haul the goods, and the owner of the truck, there are a number of different parties that could bear some of the responsibility. In the past, trucking companies argued that liability for accidents caused by drivers stopped with the driver if they owned their own trucks as independent owner-operators. The federal government banned this kind of defense by establishing liability of permitted truck companies for all aspects of their trucking operation, even if their drivers are independent. Federal and state laws require that any commercial truck involved in an accident be inspected by a certified truck inspector before it is removed from the scene. Many commercial trucks are outfitted with dashboard computers that can record important information such as, vehicle speed at any point, rest stops taken by the driver and the number of times the driver hit the brakes. Last year, of all crashes involving semi-trucks, more than half were caused by truckers- 667, compared to 627 caused by cars. However, when fatalities were involved in collisions with semis, cars were more often to blame. Federal and state safety standards strictly regulate every aspect of commercial trucking, from driver licensing to vehicle inspections, but only common sense and attentiveness can reduce human error. Drivers of both car and trucks must work together to safely share the road.
Seattle Truck Accident Injury Lawyers that Fight for You
At Phillips Law Firm, our Seattle truck accident injury attorneys know that truck accidents are often devastating. If you or someone you love is injured in an accident in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Tacoma, or throughout the State of Washington, our experienced Seattle injury lawyers can help. Call us at the Phillips Law Firm today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at 1-800-708-6000 today.