A negligent truck driver can cause an accident in which you suffer an injury. If you get hurt during a truck crash in Yakima, WA, you may be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver, their employer, or both. To do so, it pays to hire an experienced injury lawyer.
The truck accident lawyers at Brumback & Ottem are bulldog-tough. We understand the challenges that come with trucking crash claims and can help you navigate the legal process. To get started, please reach out to us.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Yakima
Large trucks represent 5% of all registered vehicles in the United States, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). You cannot always stop a trucking accident from happening. However, there are several things that you can do to respond to a crash and limit its impact moving forward, such as:
- Check for injuries – The first thing you should do is assess your physical condition and that of any passengers or other people involved in the accident. If anyone is injured, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately to request medical assistance.
- Move to safety – If it’s possible and safe to do so, move yourself and your vehicle (if applicable) to the side of the road to avoid any further accidents. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of your presence.
- Call the police – Even if the accident is minor, it’s important to call the police and report the incident. In some jurisdictions, it’s mandatory to do so. The police will create an accident report, which can be crucial for insurance claims and legal matters.
- Exchange information – While waiting for the police to arrive, exchange information with the other parties involved in the accident. This should include names, contact details, driver’s license numbers, insurance information, and license plate numbers. Be polite and cooperative, but avoid admitting fault or discussing the details of the accident.
- Document the scene – Take photos of the accident scene, including damage to all vehicles or property involved, road conditions, traffic signs, and any visible injuries. This documentation can be helpful when filing an insurance claim or in any potential legal disputes.
- Gather witness information – If there are any witnesses to the accident, try to collect their contact information. Their statements can be valuable in establishing the facts of the incident.
- Notify your insurance company – Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident and initiate the claims process. Provide them with the information and documentation you’ve gathered and follow their instructions closely.
- Seek medical attention – There is no need to “tough it out” after a trucking crash. Even if you feel fine, it’s important to get a medical evaluation after an accident, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Keep records of all medical visits, treatments, and expenses related to the accident.
- Follow up – Stay in touch with your insurance company, medical providers, and attorney (if applicable) to ensure that all necessary paperwork and communications are completed. Keep track of any expenses related to the accident, as well as any changes in your physical or mental health.
Contact a Yakima Truck Accident Lawyer
Look for truck accident attorneys who can answer frequently asked questions and many others about personal injury claims. Your attorney can review your crash and help you determine who is at fault. They can go over the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit and help you submit your claim.
At Brumback & Ottem, we give your truck crash case the attention it deserves. As soon as our trucking accident lawyers sink their teeth into your case, we will do everything we can to help you get the maximum amount of compensation. For more information, please get in touch with us.
Why Trucking Crashes Happen in Yakima
In its most recent annual data, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported 107,000 large trucks were involved in injury crashes in a given year. Truck crash victims can suffer mild and severe injuries. Common reasons why trucking crashes take place include:
A trucker may take designated breaks and follow the rules of the road. Regardless, it only takes a second for a trucking driver to get distracted. If a trucker causes a distracted driving crash, they can be held financially responsible for it.
The dangers of driving while intoxicated are significant for a trucker and other motorists and pedestrians. If a truck driver chooses to get behind the wheel while drunk, they can cause an accident. In this situation, the driver can receive civil and criminal penalties.
It is a trucker’s responsibility to get off the road if they cannot drive safely. Yet, truckers often face tight deadlines, and they may be tempted to drive for long periods of time. If a fatigued driver gets into an accident, they can get sued as part of a personal injury lawsuit.
Lack of Training
An individual must earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL) before they can legally drive a large truck in Washington State. If a trucker does not have this license or lacks sufficient training or experience, they can pose a threat to other motorists and pedestrians. In the worst-case scenario, this trucker can crash into another motorist or pedestrian and cause injuries or fatalities.
Poor Road or Weather Conditions
Roads in Yakima can be bumpy, and inclement weather in the city can make travel difficult. Even if the roads or weather impact the travel conditions, a trucker must plan accordingly. Otherwise, the driver can be held accountable for any accident that they cause.
Truck Performance Issues
A trucking company must manage and maintain its fleet. If a trucker drives a large truck that has defects, it is unsafe for this individual to travel. This truck’s defects may prevent a trucker from completely stopping their vehicle before it comes into contact with a motorist or pedestrian.
Your trucking accident lawyer takes as much time as needed to learn about the root cause of your crash. If someone else’s negligence led to your collision, your trucking accident attorney can make sure that the at-fault party is held responsible. At this point, they can work with you to file a trucking crash lawsuit in alignment with Washington’s statute of limitations.
How Much Time You Have to Submit a Big-Rig Accident Lawsuit
Trucking accident attorneys will encourage their clients to file personal injury claims as quickly as possible. This is due to the fact that Washington State has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. If you do not submit your claim within three years of your trucking crash, you cannot do so at a later time.
A big-rig accident lawyer makes it easy to submit a personal injury claim. They understand your case and all that it entails. Your attorney can immediately file your claim and help you build a compelling argument.
Big-rig accident lawyers can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a family member who died in a trucking crash, too. Generally speaking, the statute of limitations of three years applies to both personal injury and wrongful death claims in Washington State. Your attorney will ensure that your claim is filed properly — and they will help you seek the right amount of compensation.
How Much Money You Can Get in a Big-Rig Accident Lawsuit
You can pursue economic and non-economic damages. A judge or jury can award economic damages for quantifiable losses and non-economic compensation for subjective losses.
Your big-rig accident attorney will assess your losses. Big-rig accident attorneys will urge their clients to request both economic and non-economic compensation. They will encourage their clients to ask for compensation relating to many different types of losses, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Your semi-truck accident lawyer can help you calculate your losses and submit a request for a reasonable amount of economic and non-economic damages. Over the course of your claim, your attorney will help you craft an argument that resonates with a claims adjuster, judge or jury. If your attorney succeeds, they will have no qualms about awarding you the full damages that you request.
How Contributory Fault Applies to Truck Crash Cases
Washington has a contributory fault statute in which you can be awarded a portion of the compensation that you request. Per this statute, the amount of damages that you are awarded can be reduced by your percentage of fault. This means there is a risk that a claims adjuster, judge or jury can find you partly responsible for a trucking crash and award you less than you originally requested.
For example, you can seek $10,000 in compensation in a truck accident lawsuit. They may find you to be 20% responsible for your crash. In this scenario, you will be awarded $8,000 in compensation.
Semi-truck accident lawyers want their clients to get 100% of the damages that they request. To secure a large settlement, a semi-truck accident attorney builds an argument designed to show that an at-fault party was negligent. This lawyer considers evidence and witness testimony that explains how the defendant in your case was negligent — and why you deserve compensation from this party.
What to Do If You Get a Semi-Truck Crash Settlement Offer
In the days just after your semi-truck accident, you may get a settlement proposal from the at-fault party. Accepting the proposal can be tempting since doing so gives you money that you can use right away. On the other hand, accepting this proposal means you will have to give up your right to seek damages through a personal injury claim.
Rather than risk accepting a lowball settlement offer, it pays to consult with semi-truck accident attorneys. This gives you the opportunity to share any concerns or questions you have about the proposal with a lawyer. Then, the lawyer can give you insights into whether you should accept, reject, or counter the proposal. Brumback and Ottem offer’s free consultations to help you make a decision for what is right for you.
An 18-wheeler accident lawyer does not decide on a settlement proposal for you. Conversely, they can explain the ramifications of any decision you make about an offer. If you ultimately decide that a settlement offer is less than what you want, you can decline the proposal without incurring any penalties.
How an 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney Handles Your Case
When you look for 18-wheeler accident lawyers, consider an attorney’s experience. When you do, you can hire a lawyer who understands what it takes to get compensation for their clients. This attorney is committed to your case, and they will make sure that you are fully supported at each stage of your claim.
Your tractor-trailer accident lawyer can provide you with legal resources. They can explain what happens during a personal injury claim process and help you prepare for your claim. Along with these things, your attorney will keep you in the loop about any settlement proposals that come your way.
Expect a large truck accident claim to last months or years. No matter how long it takes to resolve your case, your tractor-trailer accident attorney wants you to succeed. They work diligently to ensure that you are put in the best position to secure damages.
How a Large Truck Crash Claim Works
In a trucking accident trial, 18-wheeler attorneys go back and forth with one another. Your lawyer will present your argument and evidence and witness testimony to support it. The defendant’s attorney will dispute your lawyer’s claims and attempt to discredit your argument.
A claims adjustor, judge or jury weighs all of the evidence and witness testimony that both you and the defendant provide. They analyzes all aspects of your case. Finally, a decision is made, and you will find out if you will be awarded damages.
Tractor-trailer accident lawyers cannot guarantee the results for their clients. They help their clients prepare for any challenges that come up. By doing so, tractor-trailer accident attorneys enable their clients to feel confident as the claim process moves forward.
When to Hire a Yakima Truck Accident Attorney
Do not wait too long to hire a truck accident lawyer in Yakima. By reaching out to a law firm that has a wealth of truck crash case experience, you are in a great position.
If you hire a trucking crash lawyer, you have a legal representative who is happy to serve you in any way possible. Your lawyer advocates for you and makes sure that your legal rights are protected. On top of that, they will prepare an argument to help you get compensation that you can use for your medical bills and other crash-related losses.
The team at Brumback & Ottem has more than 30 years of experience with personal injury cases. We can help you get compensation to cover the costs of your trucking crash injury. To learn more or request a free case consultation, please contact us today. \