In mid-April 2018, Komo News reported that paramedics and deputies in Graham, WA rushed to the scene of a head-on collision between a passenger vehicle and a semi-truck near Orville Road East and 247th Street. Two people were injured and taken to a local hospital for treatment. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Unfortunately, this is just one of many news reports about injuries and deaths resulting from semi-truck crashes in Washington and across the country.
Large truck crash statistics remind us of the lethal differences between accidents involving cars and those involving commercial trucks. A passenger vehicle weighs an average of 4,000 pounds, while an 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds! It is easy to see how trucking accidents can cause life-changing, catastrophic injuries and death in a split-second. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- 4,317 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2016, a 5.4 percent increase from 2015.
- 72 percent of people killed in large-truck crashes were occupants of the other vehicles.
- 116,000 people were injured in large truck crashes in 2015.
- Large trucks accounted for 8 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes in 2016.
- In Washington State, large trucks accounted for 6.7 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes in 2016.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
A study by the Department of Transportation found that most large truck crashes were caused by prescription drug use and speeding. Below is a breakdown of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents:
- 26% caused by prescription drug use
- 23% caused by the driver traveling too fast for conditions
- 17% caused by over-the-counter drug use
- 13% caused by fatigue
- 3% caused by illegal drug use
- 8% caused by abuse of alcohol
- Other factors contributed to 18% of trucking accidents.
Steps to Take if You Are Involved in a Semi-Truck Accident
Timing after a truck accident is very important, so If you been involved in a truck accident, there are several steps you should take to protect your best interests:
- Seek medical attention immediately.
Although you may feel fine, injuries may not manifest themselves immediately at the accident scene. For your protection, see a medical provider for an examination as soon as possible.
- Initiate an investigation.
Ask an expert to survey the accident site and collect any evidence that could be helpful if there is a case against a negligent truck driver.
- Take photos and/or videos.
As soon as possible, take detailed pictures of the accident site, your injuries, and your damaged vehicle.
- Contact a qualified car accident attorney.
Settlement Determination: What Are You Entitled To?
If you or a loved one have been in a semi-truck accident resulting in injuries or death, you may be eligible to receive a substantial truck accident settlement. Every truck accident case is different, so settlement values will also differ on a case-to-case basis. Here are 5 factors that are considered when determining the value of a settlement in a commercial truck accident case:
- Total cost of medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Vehicle damage
- Pain and suffering
- Attorney fees
Only experienced representation, like Premier Law Group, can determine if you are being offered a fair settlement. By considering the case strengths, money available, and previous settlements in similar cases, a knowledgeable attorney can gauge the damages you may be awarded in a jury trial and if the settlement offered to you is fair or not.
We dedicate ourselves to providing expert advice, guidance, and representation with compassion. We are proud to say that our work has not gone unnoticed. Premier Law Group and our attorney, Jason Epstein, were selected by Expertise as one of the top 20 Best Car Accident Attorneys in Seattle. Although we are proud of this acknowledgement, it is the heartfelt recommendations from satisfied clients that mean the most to us.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, Premier Law Group is here to answer your questions and provide information, so you can make an informed decision about moving forward (whether we represent you or not). Please call for a FREE consultation with one of our attorneys at 206.285.1743.