You Deserve Justice, and a Seattle Drug and Alcohol Truck Accident Attorney has the Experience and Knowledge You Need!
You’re driving on the highway, when you notice a big rig truck driving erratically behind you. Bam! The truck has rear-ended you and forced you into the path of other drivers. Your car’s air bags deploy, while you are bumped around on all sides. Eventually, you are freed from your own car, which has been totaled. You know you need to get the truck driver’s insurance and driver’s license. The trucker won’t look at you, and does not accept responsibility for the accident. He’s agitated and jumpy. He just wants to get back on the road. Clearly the driver is on drugs. And you realize that you’ve just experienced a drug and alcohol truck accident. While you work with the police and other victims, truck company investigators show up. They refuse to talk with you, too.
Sadly, drug and alcohol related truck accidents are on the rise. The injuries and damages caused by these accidents are devastating. That’s why truck companies have teams of people who collect evidence at the scene of the accident. Their job is to blame the victims for the accident!
Have you or a loved one been injured in a drug and alcohol truck accident? Let Premier Law Group help! You don’t have to fight this battle alone. Our experienced drug and alcohol truck accident attorneys know how truck company investigators work. Let us collect the evidence on your behalf, and deal with truck company claims adjustors. We negotiate for you, while you focus on getting well.
What is a “Seattle Truck Accident Attorney”?
Does it seem there are lots more commercial trucks on the roadways today? In fact, there are over 11 million trucks trekking across the country. More than 50% of all vehicles sharing the roads are commercial trucks.
- 500,000 commercial truck accidents happen every year on roadways.
- An 18-wheeler is 20 to 30 times heavier than an ordinary passenger car.
- Commercial truck accidents cause devastating bodily harm and costly property damage
The injuries, medical costs, loss of work, property damages all mount up quickly. Trucking companies and their insurance carriers aggressively fight “liability” in causing accidents.
There may be several drivers at fault for causing the accident. It takes expert accident knowledge and skill to collect the scene of crime evidence, from police reports, eyewitness reports, medical reports, property damage assessments, all of which slow down the fair recovery from your injuries and damages.
Drug and Alcohol Truck Accidents and Washington State Law
Washington State has the same regulations as the federal government, when it comes to drug and alcohol use by truckers. For example, there are Hours of Service (HOS) limiting the consecutive hours a driver can be on the road at one time.
And there are strong regulations about blood alcohol content (BAC). The limit for truck drivers is 0.04%. This limit was set to prevent drunk truck driving accidents and ensure that drivers are able to safely operate their vehicles.
As for drugs – Washington State’s commercial driving license (CDL) requires drivers to submit to random, unscheduled testing throughout the year. In addition to these random tests, police officers can order a test if a truck driver is involved in a serious injury or fatality accident.
Any driver who tests positive for drugs or alcohol faces stiff fines and penalties including loss of the CDL license. Any trucking company that allows a driver who tested positive for substance abuse to operate a vehicle also faces fines and penalties.
Even with this, trucking companies continue to skirt the regulations. And drivers are desperate to stay awake, make on time deliveries, and be paid bonuses. Statistical data shows this is a vicious cycle with many consequences.
Statistics of Drug and Alcohol Truck Accidents
Recent truck driver drug and alcohol use studies have been compiled by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). The goal was to identify how prevalent the problems are and figure out ways to prevent it.
The federal government uses urine samples to test truck drivers for drug use. Their test results showed that:
- 7% of truckers tested positive for drug use in random tests
- 8% of truckers tested positive for drug use prior to being hired
- 8% of truckers tested positive for drug use following an accident
- One in every 50 truck accidents is due to drug/alcohol abuse
But drug and alcohol use can be tested in two ways: 1) urine samples; and 2) hair samples. Hair sample tests provide far more reliable data about a driver’s substance use. So an industry watchdog group, the Trucking Alliance, ran comparison tests, using urine and hair samples. The findings were astounding!
- Urine samples only showed a 1% positive rate.
- Hair tests showed an 8.6% drug use positive rate
Clearly, lots more truck drivers are driving while under the influence. The Trucking Alliance says: “Our testing results clearly show thousands of habitual drug users are skirting a system designed to prohibit truck drivers’ drug use. The federal testing errors are literally a “public health and safety threat.”
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), 2020 Biennial Transportation Report list the following data, that explains why commercial trucks accidents are on the rise:
- Increased big truck transportation vehicles – city, county, state, federal
- Increased road transportation delays on all major highways and roadways
- Rising number of commercial truck crashes with injuries and fatalities
- 1 million total personal and commercial vehicles registered in Washington State – an increase of 100,000 vehicles over 2019’s number
The Danger of Drug and Alcohol Truck Accidents
Drug and alcohol truck accidents are clear and present dangers to the driving public.
Ignoring the regulations regarding alcohol and drug use puts everyone in danger.
The full issues are:
- Rampant Drug and Alcohol Use: Is far more prevalent in truckers than random urine tests reveal
- Truck Drivers Are Driving “Impaired”: The risks of life-changing devastating accidents go up with every pill that’s popped, and every bottle of beer that’s consumed.
- Drugged Drivers: Represent a major public health and safety threat on the nation’s roads
Truck companies have to be held accountable. They are prioritizing profits over the health and safety of their drivers and the driving public.
What Are Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The most common causes of truck accidents are:
- Driving while under the influence – alcohol and/or drug use
- Distracted driving – cell phone use, eating while driving
- Speeding – driving recklessly, in a hurry to make delivery schedules
- Fatigue — truck drivers drive longer than the “Hours of Service rules
- Blind spots – commercial truck drivers cannot see other drivers
- Unsafe lane changes – frequently due to truck “blind spots”
- Unsecured loads — Driving at riskiest hours of the day – 9p to 12 p, and 3p to 6pm
- Trucking companies incentivize/ threaten drivers – to meet/exceed delivery schedules
- Poor truck maintenance – causing trucks to malfunction
Not All Trucking Accidents Are The Same
So many factors come into play in a commercial truck accident.
Was your truck accident due to:
- Truck rollover or jackknife
- Unsecured load collision
- Head-on collision
- Improper turn collision
- Hazardous cargo spills causing collision
- T-bone collision
- Speeding, reckless driving
- Truck backing up without warning
All these commercial truck accident causes requires the skills of an expert accident attorney, who knows how to collect evidence as soon as possible after the accident. The goal is to help YOU get the settlement you deserve.
What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Fault?
All evidence collected from your truck accident will form the basis for a claim, or for a legal trial case, if required. A truck driver, a trucking company, or a truck manufacturer has to be found liable for negligence, recklessness, and responsible for causing the accident that impacted you and your life.
The kinds of evidence required include:
- Crash photos
- Police reports
- Witness testimonials
- Medical records documenting injuries
- Loss of work records if you are unable to work
- Trucking company records including driver’s training, accident reports, maintenance and repair records, job logs, and driver medical records
Trucking companies do not want to found liable in crashes. Truck driver collision liability impacts the company’s traffic safety rating. Claims monies paid out in settlements drive up the company’s insurance premium costs. Drivers do not want collisions on their driving records.
What You Can Recover In A Truck Accident Case
Truck crashes are often the cause of devastating injuries, disabilities, and sometimes the deaths of loved ones. Depending on the particulars of your case, your recovery should include financial compensation for:
- All medical expenses
- Lost wages, diminished earning capacity
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering, mental trauma, loss of enjoyment of life
- Funeral costs for loss of life
What Constitutes Wrongful Death in a Truck Accident?
A “wrongful death” is a personal injury lawsuit filed on behalf of the person who died as the result of the “wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.”
Wrongful death claims allow surviving family members’ to receive compensation for their losses on behalf of the deceased person. This is true even if a separate case is actively in trial in criminal court. Liability in a wrongful death claim is expressed solely in “monetary damages,” while the penalties in a criminal case can include prison time and other penalties.
Experience Counts in Truck Accidents. Premier Law Group has the Experience You Need.
Do you or someone you love have injuries caused by an impaired truck driver? If yes, you undoubtedly have medical bills, lost wages, and need someone who can fight on your behalf.
Speak With an Experienced Seattle Drug and Alcohol Truck Accident Attorney!
Trucking companies aggressively defend against all injury and wrongful death claims. They will do whatever it takes to avoid paying for these claims, to protect their traffic safety records and maintain insurance premium costs. Don’t sign off on an insurance claim until you talk with us.
Premier Law Group Can Help! We will fight to protect the legal rights of individuals and families who have suffered a personal injury. Our firm stands on the principle that the needs of our clients always come first. We will handle all the legal issues of your case so you can focus on healing. You don’t pay a penny unless we win your case!
Call: 206.285.1743 for a FREE Consultation with a Truck Accident Attorney!