Commercial Truck Accidents – Major Cause of Injury and Death on Whatcom County Roads

We see news stories of serious or fatal commercial truck accidents. The crash scenes are often dramatic, and make for good news headlines. But anyone who has been in a crash with a commercial truck knows how terrifying and damaging such a collision can be.

Attorney Bill Coats has worked with many truck accident victims throughout his 20 years of legal experience in Bellingham. He understands how commercial truck insurance policies are structured, he understands the difficulty in dealing with out-of-state companies, and he understands how to negotiate a full settlement with a powerful commercial trucking insurance company.

Get your questions about your accident with a commercial truck answered – call Bill at 360-392-2833 or complete this confidential contact form.

Why do trucking accidents typically result in higher settlement amounts to victims?

Research shows that approximately 500,000 trucking accidents occur each year in the United States, and of these, approximately 5,000 result in fatalities. Truck accidents typically have higher damages, and therefore trucking companies are required by federal and state law to hold larger insurance policies. These insurance requirements are in place to protect the victims of truck accidents from truckers and companies who may not be able to pay full compensation to truck accident victims.

How much insurance coverage do trucking companies carry?

  • A truck carrying non-hazardous goods is required to have a minimum of $750,000 in insurance coverage.
  • Any truck that transports HAZMAT goods needs to have a minimum insurance cover of $1,000,000.
  • A commercial truck carrying HAZMAT goods and/or explosives has to have a minimum insurance of $5,000,000.
  • Trucks that have a gross weight of less than 10,000 pounds have to carry $300,000 in insurance for general goods, and $5,000,000 for HAZMAT goods.


Truck Accident Attorney Bill Coats understands how to handle complicated accident claims

Bill Coats is experienced in managing truck accident cases, which can be complicated by dealing with out-of-state or out-of-country defendants and insurance companies that vigorously fight settlement payouts.

Don’t attempt to manage a truck accident claim alone!

It’s important to understand that truckers and trucking companies have skilled insurance agents who will do everything in their power to make you settle for the least amount possible. Do not risk getting a full settlement by dealing with the insurance adjuster alone.

DUI truck drivers are a common cause of trucking accidents

There are many common causes of a truck accident, including truck driver fatigue, driver error, mechanical failures, other drivers’ negligence, and road conditions. But one troubling cause is DUI drivers behind the wheel. Recent statistics show that in 2010, 3% of truck drivers involved in fatal accidents in the United States were legally drunk, and the percentage is higher for truck drivers involved in injury or fatal accidents.

Bill Coats has a track record of obtaining full settlements for commercial vehicle victims

For example, in a recent case involving a near-fatal crash between a passenger car and a commercial farming vehicle, Bill obtained a $825,000 settlement for his client. In another accident involving a commerical vehicle, he found $260,000 for his bicyclist client who was hit when a truck tried to make a sudden left turn. These claims are challenging and they require a skilled, experienced attorney who is able to take on the powerful insurance companies to achieve a full settlement.

Contact Bill Coats today so you can get your life back on track

If you have been injured in a truck accident and are dealing with painful injuries, medical bills, lost income, and calls from insurance adjusters pressuring you to settle the claim quickly, contact Bill Coats immediately to get answers to your questions and begin to get your life back on track. Call him at 360-392-2833 or complete this convenient contact form.

If you have been in a different type of collision and want specific information about it, please click on the corresponding link below:

Bike accident

Pedestrian accident

Wrongful Death

Car Accident

Drunk Driving

Distracted Driving

Motorcycle Accident

Personal Injury

The Most Common Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents


According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 415,000 reported crashes involved commercial vehicles in the United States in 2015. Those accidents resulted in a total of 3,852 fatalities, a 22 percent increase from similar crashes in 2009.

Surprisingly, 60 percent of crashes involving commercial vehicles occurred on rural roads, while only 25 percent of them occurred on rural or urban interstate highways. In addition, 35 percent of all fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles occurred during the 12-hour period from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m.

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Drive Defensively Around Semi-Trucks

I was driving on I-5 near the Iowa exit in Bellingham, Washington the other day when the back of a semi-truck in front of me began to sway.  I immediately applied my brakes, hoping that the truck was not about to jack knife across the freeway.  It didn’t but the car in front of it was hit, pushing it to the middle concrete divider.  Bellingham Personal Injury Attorney Bill Coats warns drivers to be defensive when operating around semi-trucks.  Don’t just pull in front of one without leaving enough room to prevent what happened here.  Also, don’t tailgate a truck because if it does jack knif

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Common truck accident questions in Bellingham, WA

Accidents that involve a commercial truck, semi-trick or any other type of truck in Bellingham can result in serious personal injuries and even death. Navigating a truck accident can be tricky and extremely time consuming, which is why it is best to hire an attorney to work on the case. Truck drivers and manufacturers are actually held to a higher standard than regular drivers so it is possible you could be entitled to reimbursement for any injuries you had.

Here are some commonly asked questions about truck accidents and personal injury.

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Bellingham Attorney Holds Truckers Responsible for Crashes

Semi-tractor trailers are to cars, trucks, and SUVs like those smaller vehicles are to pedestrians. In an accident of a semi vs. almost any other type of vehicle, the semi will do much more damage than it, and its passengers, would receive. Therefore, when truck drivers drive recklessly, negligently, distractedly, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the effects can be devastating. These trucks take longer to correct if they’re on a disastrous path, as well. Their drivers have to be extremely careful and focused at all times behind their wheels.

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Truckers Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol in Whatcom County

18,000 pounds of metal speeding down the highway with a drunk driver is an unconscionably dangerous scenario, and  yet it is not unheard of on Whatcom or Skagit County roads. If a drunk commercial truck driver hit you on any road in Washington, you need skilled representation fast. It is highly likely you’re facing the aftermath of a deadly, catastrophic wreck and you should not do so alone. Contact Bill Coats Law today and set up a free consultation.

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Truckers Asleep at the Wheel – Violating Safety Regulations in Bellingham and Whatcom County

Commercial truck drivers have increasing pressures on them to maintain a strict schedule. With the increase in shipping needs of consumers, trucks have felt the demand to make shipments in good time. Sometimes this pressure means marathon driving sessions. If you’ve been behind the wheel on interstate roads for long periods without break, you might be able to relate. Fatigued driving means the driver feels worn out and unfocused, and may even fall asleep behind the wheel.

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Bellingham Attorney Bill Coats Understands Truck Blind Spot Accidents (No Zone)

Truck accidents that involve negligence can cost commercial trucking companies millions of dollars in liability, and they know it. These kinds of accidents can be complex, and the companies have resources to put on these cases, and fight them tooth and nail. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a semi-truck trailer, call Bill Coats Law immediately. You will need a tough lawyer to go after these companies, and represent your interests every step of the way. You can start here with this contact form, and receive a free case evaluation.

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Whatcom County Lawyer Represents Victims of Semi-Trucks Crashes Resulting in Death

A vehicle accident is scary, frightening, and awful. When that wreck results in the death of your loved one, it is one of the hardest things in life to go through. If it’s because of a truck driver or company’s negligence, it’s unconscionable. While you might want to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties, the thought of that might feel insurmountably difficult. You know it will be a long, uphill battle, and will take lot of mental and emotional preparation.

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Attorney Bill Coats Understands Truck and Trailer Crashes

If you’ve spent any time traveling along Washington mountain highways, you have most likely noticed them: runaway truck ramps. These are provided for trucks that get into a very scary situation: when the trailer begins to go faster than the tractor to which it’s attached. Situations like this are extremely volatile, and all it takes is seconds for catastrophe to occur. Trailers can become detached, and will take out all that’s in front of it until it comes to rest. Imagine more than 80,000 pounds barreling at you.

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Trucks and SUVs Have a Higher Rollover Danger that Puts Bellingham Drivers at Risk

The higher the center of gravity, the higher the likelihood that a vehicle will rollover. Accidents and sudden turns can sometimes prove to be too much for trucks and SUVs to handle, which can result in one of the scarier – and deadlier – kinds of crashes. If a vehicle rolls, common results are that occupants are ejected and/or the roof is crushed. Catastrophic injuries may occur such as multiple fractures, back or spinal cord injuries, or traumatic brain injuries. And in the worst case scenarios, fatalities may result.

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