Bellingham Lawyers for Trucking Accidents
As the county seat of Whatcom County in Washington, Bellingham is a city that sees a great deal of traffic involving commercial trucks. With a total of 268-miles of arterial streets, the city has 105 lane miles of principal arterial roads and 103 lane miles of secondary arterial roads. It also has 60 lane miles of collector arterial miles. Major highways and roads that serve Bellingham and Whatcom County include I-495, Washington State Route 11, Washington State Route 20, and Washington State Route 539. Truck accidents may involve jackknifing, roll-overs, squeeze play, sideswiping, or head-on collisions. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck collision, you should give the experienced Bellingham trucking accident attorneys of Walton Law a call. Our principal Chris Walton is rated AV-Preeminent.
Due to the weight and size of the vehicles, commercial trucking accidents are often complex and result in catastrophic injuries, not only to one accident victim but several. Accordingly, when you make a claim against a truck driver, you may be competing to recover damages from a truck driver’s insurance policy that could be quickly exhausted. This is why it is crucial to retain an experienced lawyer who understands the importance of investigating contributing causes and bringing all applicable parties into a lawsuit.
Commercial truck drivers face tremendous pressure to deliver cargo on time. Although there are strict regulations in place, some do drive when they are sleepy or under the influence of drugs. Some are not trained. Some trucking companies suggest or even encourage drivers to violate rules enacted for public safety. To show a commercial truck driver’s negligence, our trucking accident lawyers based in Bellingham will need to prove: (1) you were owed a duty to use reasonable care, (2) breach of the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. Truck drivers may breach the duty to use reasonable care by speeding, weaving, driving aggressively or recklessly, driving while fatigued, failing to take proper wide turns, failing to react appropriately to jackknifing or other crises, and failing to obey traffic signs and signals. Others may also bear responsibility for a crash.
Certain trucking companies may not only cut corners when it comes to truck maintenance and responsibilities under the regulations but actively engage truck drivers who break rules, which can lead to catastrophic consequences. Trucking companies may be held vicariously (indirectly) liable for accidents. However, they may also be directly liable under theories of negligent hiring, training, or supervision. For example, if a trucking company failed to conduct a background check that would have revealed a truck driver applicant had multiple DUIs in the past but hired him anyway, and you were injured while he was driving under the influence, you may have a claim for negligent hiring and supervision against the trucking company. Examining trucking company liability is crucial in these cases partly because there are policy limits on a driver’s insurance policy, and in most cases, trucking companies have more coverage in case of a collision than their driver.
Other potential sources of trucking accidents are equipment failure, manufacturing defects, or maintenance failures. A mechanic, for instance, may be liable if he negligently repairs a vehicle such that it crashes. Similarly, a brakes manufacturer may be liable if there is a defect in the brakes that causes an accident.
Damages Our Bellingham Trucking Accidents May Be Able to Recover
If you suffered losses as the result of injuries in a trucking accident, you may be worn out and worried about how you and your family will survive financially and emotionally. Damages cannot fully make up for life-altering disabilities, of the sort that are often sustained in collisions with much larger and heavier vehicles, but they are intended to put you back in the position you would have been in had there been no catastrophic injuries or death. If we can establish liability in your case, these damages may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. When a defendant’s behavior is particularly egregious, punitive damages may be available.
Consult a Seasoned Truck Accident Lawyer in Washington
You need an experienced lawyer who represents truck accident victims in Bellingham if you were injured or a loved one died because of a trucking accident. Chris Walton has received the highest possible rating, AV Preeminent, from Martindale-Hubbell. At Walton Law, our compassionate law firm tailors our legal representation to ensure thoughtful, personalized service to each and every client. We understand you might not be able to meet with us during normal business hours, so we offer both evening and weekend appointments. Call our seasoned Washington personal injury lawyers at (866) 338-7079 or online to schedule a free consultation.