Every year, thousands of drivers are seriously injured or killed in commercial vehicle accidents. The Washington State Department of Transportation reports medium to heavy truck drivers were involved in over 300 fatal accidents from 2016 to 2020. In 2020 alone, large trucks were involved in over 5,000 wrecks in the state of Washington, with over 450 of those big truck crashes happening within Seattle city limits.
The statistics speak for themselves, and an unfortunate fact is that sharing the road with commercial drivers can be risky. Truck drivers are often overworked, and with today's supply chain issues, this problem is intensifying. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the average commercial vehicle weighs up to 80,0000 pounds. Victims of trucking accidents often suffer catastrophic injuries or death due to the sheer size and weight of commercial vehicles.
Due to the severity of harm commercial vehicles can cause in accidents, truck drivers are held to a higher standard of responsibility. Some of these added duties include but aren't limited to:
- Obtaining a special Commercial Driver's License
- Adhering to strict regulations concerning hours of required rest
- Submitting to drug and alcohol testing
- Ensuring their truck and cargo are in safe working order
Sadly, despite these added duties, truck drivers are still involved in thousands of wrecks every year.
Who's Liable After a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
Discerning liability after a commercial vehicle wreck can be difficult in some cases. If multiple drivers are involved in a trucking accident, there might be numerous liable parties. It may also be hard to determine whether the truck driver is responsible for the wreck or whether the trucking company is responsible. This issue often boils down to whether the truck driver is an employee or an independent contractor. An experienced attorney can help a claimant assess various liability issues that can sometimes come up.
Speak with an Experienced Seattle Truck Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love is the victim of a commercial vehicle accident in Seattle or Washington state, it's imperative you speak with an experienced attorney. Call my office today at (206) 464-1952, and let's discuss how I can help you.