Because I-5 travels right through Bellingham and Whatcom County, semi tractor trailers are a constant reminder of a deadly type of car accident. Because they weigh many tons and travel at highway speeds, the results of a collision between a semi and a car are usually deadly – at least for the car’s driver. Also, logging trucks are no stranger to Whatcom County residents, and their logs can dislodge and careen into the road. Other types of cargo can fall out as well, like the glass that hit the highway in Bellingham not too long ago. Whether between the truck itself or its cargo, accidents between motor vehicles and semi trucks are serious.
If a semi truck hits your vehicle at high speed, you likely will sustain serious or life threatening injuries that may be permanent. The force of these impacts are often too deadly to survive. If you do survive, you might be looking at traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, fractures, soft tissue injuries, muscle contusions, back or spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and or lifelong disability. Obviously all of these physical injuries also carry associated emotional and mental traumas. Accident victims may be able to recover financial damages to cover their physical injuries and ailments – not just the medical bills but physical therapy, lost wages, lost earning capacity, related mental health issues, loss of earning capacity, permanent impairment, loss of consortium in the event of a wrongful death, and loss of enjoyment of life, among other things. Quite simply, that long list is there because a car accident with a semi truck can change ones life permanently, assuming it does not end it. Financial compensation for all of the above is one necessary step in a long road to recovery.
Indeed, semi truck accidents can result in death. The surviving relatives of the deceased then could open an estate. Through a personal representative that the survivors choose, the deceased’s survivors could then file a wrongful death claim for damages against the trucking company.
What can you do if you were in an accident caused by a semi-truck driver (or, as will be increasingly common, with only the truck/truck company itself?) You should find Bellingham’s top attorney to represent you as soon as possible. Ideally, before you begin any sort of negotiations with the truck company’s legal team. These folks will have every incentive to pay as little as possible, and will try very hard to make an accident look like it was not their fault. Bill Coats and his team are well versed in the tricks truck companies will try to use to get out of paying what they should, and will be on your side to make sure you get a fair claim after such a life altering – or ending – accident.
Here are some things to think about if you were injured in a car accident with a commercial truck. Legal requirements limit the type, size and weight of cargo semi trucks carry. The federal government has put these regulations in place. The regulations control many aspects of a commercial truck’s cargo, such as weight limits, load types, methods to secure the cargo to the trailer, and safety features like signage for oversized loads and warning lights and signage. As you can imagine, if a truck driver or company does not abide by these regulations, the cargo they barrel down the road with could make for incredibly unsafe circumstances for the truck’s drivers, passengers, and innocent drivers sharing the road. If a truck driver does not follow these rules, fines and other serious penalties can be applied.