There are few other vehicles on the highways like tractor-trailer rigs, and the typical passenger vehicle does not stand a chance when being involved in a crash with a big-rig. They are particularly dangerous in regions of the nation as the state of Washington with a large amount of unfamiliar territory. Auto accidents happen every day, and there is an inordinate number that includes commercial vehicles, often resulting in fatalities or severe injury. It is important for all individuals in the state to understand the personal injury laws in the state, as the states use different forms of negligence law when accident cases are settled. And, when truck accidents occur, many times there are multiple vehicles and insurance companies involved trying to lessen their coverage requirements. What this means for the novice truck accident victim is that having an experienced and aggressive truck accident attorney in Vancouver, WA handling their case is a necessity.
Liability and Negligence
All auto accident cases are based on a reasonable duty of care to the injured party owed by the respondent and their failure to provide that care. Truck drivers who are determined to have caused the accident have breached their responsibility, but the “at fault” auto accident tort law of Washington can ensure that settling the case is not simple. Many times following a truck accident the official accident investigation will reveal that the employer is liable as well when the plaintiff attorney can prove negligence on their part, such as being non-compliant with government regulations. Also, many accidents are the result of equipment failure that could lead to a product liability claim. Product liability cases are judged by strict liability standards, which means the claimant attorney need not prove negligence by the product manufacturer.
Damages tend to be much higher in truck accidents because truck drivers and shipping companies both always carry significant amounts of insurance protection. Small transportation companies could be forced to close shop in a serious liability case. This means the injured victims stand a much better chance of being compensated fairly, but it does not mean the cases are not strongly defended. The trucking company will attempt to control the entire investigation from the beginning of police involvement, usually focusing on the comparative negligence level of the injured drivers. Washington uses pure comparative negligence law that allows almost all injured victims to collect damages discounted by their personal negligence contribution to the accident. Punitive damages are also available in certain egregious cases of gross negligence, but these must be won by an attorney in a full trial and be awarded by the jury.