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Seattle Commercial Truck and 18-Wheeler Accidents Lawyer

  1. Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Seattle Can Champion Your Rights
  2. Causes of Washington State Commercial Truck Accidents
  3. Our Team Serving Seattle Can Prove Negligence for Your Truck Accident
  4. Can I Afford an Attorney in My Seattle Crash Case?
  5. All Truck Accident Lawsuits in Seattle Must Follow the State’s Deadline
  6. Talk Our Seattle Attorneys Today About Your Commercial Truck or 18-Wheeler Accident

Many victims of commercial truck and 18-wheeler accidents suffer serious injuries. They may have hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and more. Washington state law allows them to hold the at-fault trucker and their employer legally responsible and pursue fair compensation.

If you’ve suffered injuries in a crash with an 18-wheeler, a Seattle truck accident lawyer from Herschensohn Law may be able to help you file an insurance claim or sue the at-fault parties. We provide free consultations with our team so you can learn more. Contact us online or call (206) 588-4344 to get started.

Types of Truck Accidents

The Seattle injury attorney at Herschensohn Law can help you with a variety of truck accident cases, including:

If you were injured in a truck accident, we have the knowledge and resources to help you hold the responsible parties accountable.

Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Seattle Can Champion Your Rights

Truck accidents vary widely in severity and the lasting effect they can have on victims. Some people miraculously walk away with only minor injuries, including abrasions and contusions. Others have devastating injuries they must live with for the rest of their lives. Many fall between these two extremes, with injuries serious enough to require treatment and make them miss work. Some injuries our team has encountered in their work with truck accident victims include:
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Concussions and other head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Traumatic amputations
  • Burns, scarring, and disfigurement
  • Fractures
  • Internal injuries
  • Joint injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Serious lacerations
  • Other injuries that require medical assessment and care
Ambulance transportation, assessment, hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation may be necessary. Medical care is expensive these days and these costs add up quickly. Those with catastrophic injuries could accrue $1 million worth of medical bills in the acute phase alone. In addition, ongoing care and support may be necessary for some victims. At the same time, these families often must worry about how to pay for vehicle repair or replacement, as well as other required expenses. The victim likely missed earning their usual income while undergoing treatment, and some cannot return to their previous job. Our team believes crash victims shouldn’t have to pay for these expenses and losses. They didn’t act negligently and didn’t cause the collision. This is why we work to hold the at-fault trucker and their employer legally responsible, pursuing justice, and compensation for our client.

Recoverable Damages Based on Your Accident and Injuries

Recoverable damages in a Seattle truck accident include all the expenses and losses the victim incurred because of the collision. We document these during our investigation into the case and demand the insurance company or liable parties provide a just payout that includes them. Examples include:
  • Medical bills and related costs
  • Future or ongoing care expenses
  • Lost income
  • Reduced earning capacity because of lasting injuries
  • Property damages
  • Other related expenses
  • Pain and suffering damages
The evidence used to support our pursuit of fair compensation includes receipts, medical bills, estimates for car repairs, and more. If you suffered truck accident injuries, save your paperwork from the first day on. Keep a file folder with all related receipts, no matter how small. This should include everything from building a ramp at your home to paying to park at the hospital. We also work with experts and use our own experience to determine the value of some of your recoverable damages. For example, a doctor may be able to help us understand your prognosis and the need for ongoing therapy and medical evaluation if you have a traumatic brain injury.

Wrongful Death in a Seattle, Washington, Truck Accident Case

Not all truck accident victims survive their injuries. Because of the enormous size and weight of a tractor-trailer truck, the occupants of smaller passenger cars can suffer devastating injuries. After a fatal crash, RCW 4.20.010 (Washington’s wrongful death law) allows the deceased’s personal representative to pursue damages. These damages benefit:
  • The surviving spouse
  • A state-registered domestic partner
  • Their children and stepchildren
  • Their parents (if the deceased had no spouse or children)
  • Siblings (if there are no other relatives)
In a wrongful death case, we still need to show that the truck driver and their employer are liable. We can build a case and present evidence to the insurance company, legal team, or judge and jury. We can document what happened and seek compensation for damages that include:
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Expenses related to the accident and their death
  • Final medical bills (if they succumbed to accident injuries later)
  • Lost income
  • Loss of services
  • Non-economic losses suffered by surviving family members
Our team takes these cases very seriously and works diligently to learn what a fair settlement might look like based on the family’s unique damages. We want to help our clients pursue justice and hold the at-fault parties accountable. Lastly, we want to ensure they do not have to face financial stress in addition to the tragic loss they’ve already endured.

Causes of Washington State Commercial Truck Accidents

There are more than 20 freeways and major highways in and around Seattle. This web of roads makes it possible to move cargo from the Port of Seattle to the east coast. However, the high level of commercial traffic also means there are a lot of collisions involving these oversized vehicles. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), there were 6,214 collisions involving heavy trucks statewide in 2021. These accidents caused:
  • 70 fatal injuries
  • 160 potentially serious injuries
  • 441 minor injuries
  • 750 possible injuries
Many of these crashes occurred because of negligent commercial drivers or other issues related to the 18-wheeler and its cargo. Some possible causes for truck collisions include:
  • Speeding and other reckless driving behaviors
  • Ignoring traffic laws
  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy or fatigued driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Drugged driving
  • Failing to adjust to weather conditions
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there are also several ways trucking companies contribute to and cause collisions, including:
  • Failing to enforce federal law related to breaks and appropriate hours
  • Failing to maintain the truck and/or trailer
  • Failing to properly train drivers
  • Negligent hiring or retention of a driver
When our team investigates a collision, we can determine what caused the crash and who is legally responsible. This is key to recovering the compensation our client needs and deserves based on the facts of their case.
People we’ve helped

Our Team Serving Seattle Can Prove Negligence for Your Truck Accident

motorcycle accident settlement
Nearly all traffic accidents occur because of negligence. This is usually the negligence of one of the parties behind the wheel, although others may be at fault when there is a defective part or poor maintenance. Negligence occurs when:
  • One party owes the other a duty of care
  • That party breaches the duty of care
  • This causes an accident
  • The victim suffers harm as a result
In the event of a collision, the driver’s duty of care comes from traffic laws and other applicable regulations. For example, a truck driver owes others sharing the road a duty of care to stop at every red light. When they breach this duty, an intersection accident can occur. These side-impact collisions often leave victims with devastating injuries. Commercial truck drivers have a higher duty of care than other drivers because they must follow not only traffic laws but federal laws that regulate their industry as well.

Who Is Liable When a Truck Driver Causes a Collision?

In many car accidents, the at-fault driver is also the liable party. They acted negligently and caused the crash, and victims can pursue a case against them. This driver’s auto liability insurance will likely pay for the injuries and other damages suffered. The same applies in truck accident cases. However, determining liability is more complex in a commercial vehicle accident case. Under RCW 4.22.070, Washington State recognizes a vicarious liability for employers. This means the truck driver’s employer is also liable for any injuries that occur. This could be a:
  • Trucking company
  • Large corporation with its own fleet
  • Delivery company
  • Distributor
Our team understands how vicarious liability affects these cases and how to determine the insurance policies and liable parties in play. We can assess each client’s case and identify all potentially liable parties, building a case against them. Most commonly, we can file insurance claims based on the employer’s coverage.

An 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer Can Take Action to Recover Compensation

Once we have the necessary evidence and know who is liable for a client’s collision, injuries, and other losses, we can formulate a plan to seek compensation on their behalf. There are two ways this can happen:
  • Negotiating a settlement with the insurer or liable party
  • Pursuing a verdict and award in civil court
Many cases settle without a lawsuit and even fewer go to trial. However, sometimes we must sue or take the case before a judge and jury to seek justice for our clients. We can represent you throughout this process, fighting for fair compensation, justice, and accountability.
motorcycle accident settlement

Can I Afford an Attorney in My Seattle Crash Case?

Attorney Zach Herschensohn and our team can help those injured in commercial vehicle accidents in Seattle get justice. We have helped our clients recover millions of dollars in damages over the years. Our attorney and team understand what it takes to build a strong case, navigate the claims process, and pursue the money damages our clients deserve. Our team represents clients based on contingency. This means that you won’t pay a retainer or any other upfront fees. If we win and you obtain compensation, we can simply take our fees out of a percentage of your total settlement package. Our attorneys only get paid if you do. We can answer your questions and explain this fee schedule in more detail during your free initial case consultation. Contact us today.

All Truck Accident Lawsuits in Seattle Must Follow the State’s Deadline

The sooner we know about your crash, the sooner we can go to work gathering evidence. Because of federal and state regulations, truck accidents create a lot of potential evidence. From truck driver rest logs to onboard computer “black box” data to dashcam video, the trucking company may have all the information we need to build your case.

However, the trucking company is also likely a liable party. We need to ensure that company leadership has a legal obligation to protect and preserve the evidence in their possession.

There are also strict time limits for filing a lawsuit against a truck driver or trucking company. We must meet the deadline set by RCW 4.16.080 to pursue compensation. This statute generally gives us up to three years from the accident date to file our initial complaint in court. Missing this deadline could:

  • Bar our client from suing
  • Prevent us from taking the case to trial
  • Make it more difficult to negotiate a fair out-of-court settlement

Victims of commercial truck or 18-wheeler accidents can connect with our team for a free case consultation as soon as their injuries are stable. We can start gathering the evidence, investigating what happened, and building their case today.

“Zach will always take time and give you quality advice that you can trust. Highly recommended!”

- P.R., Katy, WA

Talk Our Seattle Attorneys Today About Your Commercial Truck or 18-Wheeler Accident

At Herschensohn Law, you can discuss your rights and options with a team member for free. We provide complimentary initial consultations where we answer your questions, explain the process, and help you understand our services. Let us help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

Call (206) 588-4344 or use our contact form to get started.

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Hurt? Let our law firm handle the details

When you request your free consultation, Kent personal injury attorney Zach Herschensohn will listen to you, answer your questions, lay out your legal options, and give you down-to-earth legal advice.

When you work with our law office, there are no obligations, hidden fees, or fine print. It’s that simple.

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We’re proud to fight—and win—for injured people in Kent, Washington. View our case results to learn more.