Getting into an accident with a commercial truck can lead to devastating results. With large medical bills to worry about, the last thing you need to worry about is having your claim challenged by the trucking company's insurance company. After a truck crash, your first step after receiving medical treatment is to reach out to a Washington DC truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
As soon as you hire Regan Zambri Long, our lawyers will quickly secure the scene of the truck crash site to gather the evidence needed to prove fault. It’s very important that this be done right away because the trucking companies can lose or purposely destroy evidence that will be crucial to proving liability in the truck accident.
Trucking accident cases must be thoroughly investigated since there are usually more parties involved in the accident than in a regular car accident claim. Remember, as soon as the accident occurs, the trucking company will dispatch investigators immediately to the scene to gather evidence against you to protect its bottom line. You need a lawyer on our side who can act just as quickly to protect your rights.
Our DC truck accident lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of a legal claim following a truck crash. We have decades of experience in personal injury law in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. In a recent case, we helped the family of a victim of a dump truck accident. The victim was killed and we recovered a settlement of $15.2 million for the families wrongful death claim.
Trucking companies hire large insurance companies to negotiate settlements on their behalf and keep costs low. Victims will be offered unsatisfactory settlements that won’t even pay the property damage involved in the accident. That is why you should hire a lawyer who understands the truck accident law and has worked with trucking companies and insurance carriers, and knows how to make sure that you get the justice you and your loved one deserve.
Truck accident cases are much more complex than car accidents. Unlike dealing with your insurance and/or the other driver’s insurance, you will be dealing with multiple parties such as the truck driver, the trucking company, their insurance, and possibly third-party brokers.
It’s imperative that those who are liable for your accident are discovered quickly because the trucking company will try to protect itself from any truck accident lawsuits. To determine liability, many factors will be taken into account such as what caused the accident; was the truck driver acting negligently; and whether the driver is an employer or an independent contractor.
To figure out liability, an experienced DC truck accident attorney is needed to help you with your claim.
Truck accidents are those that involve commercial trucks, such as semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, garbage trucks, tow trucks, cement trucks, tractor trailer, big rigs, tanker trucks and more. They are handled differently than car accidents in many ways. When an accident occurs with a commercial truck due to a decision error, traffic violation, or something else, there are more parties that can be held liable for damages: the truck driver, the trucking company, the trucking company’s insurance provider, and more.
When truck accidents result in devastating consequences due to the fault of the truck driver, a trucking company’s insurance company will attempt to offer you a settlement to keep the case outside of court.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported, in 2019 that there were 22 fatal crashes that resulted in 23 deaths in Washington DC.
In the most recent report from the Washington DC Department of Transportation in 2017, there were 6,626 injury collisions, 33 fatalities, and 325 that resulted in disabling injuries. Large trucks and tractor trailers accounted for 506 truck accidents with 84 injury collisions and one truck accident that resulted in the wrongful death of a passenger.
While these may seem like big numbers, Washington, DC’s deaths per population is the lowest of all, at only 4.4 auto accident deaths per 100,000 people. Some states are more than quadruple that. And while we do have the lowest, the rest of Virginia averages 9.6 deaths per 100,000.
The reason for DC’s low deaths per population scores could be attributed to the ease of access, public transportation, and the walkability of the district. But keep in mind pedestrian deaths still happen and in 2018, 11 pedestrians were killed in Washington DC and 118 were killed in Virginia.
A leading Washington DC truck accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long is ready to help you claim the compensation you deserve for your losses. You may be going through a difficult time, but upon meeting with a winning truck accident attorney at our firm, you will feel confident about the path forward.
After a free consultation, we will investigate and discover relevant facts and information, helping you build the strongest case possible with rock-solid evidence to prove the fault of the truck driver and/or trucking company. We will help you gather evidence and answer any questions you have along the way.
We have helped numerous victims of truck accidents secure the money they need to pay for all injury or death-related experiences, in addition to compensation for the physical and emotional suffering. We know the ins and outs of the laws surrounding commercial trucks and can successfully prove the negligence or wrongful act that caused your damages.
Because commercial trucks are so large and weigh so much they are more likely to cause serious injuries and damages in an accident. Regan Zambri Long has extensive experience handling many types of truck accidents, including:
Truck accidents can cause all kinds of injuries, from minor ones to catastrophic injuries that could affect you for the rest of your life and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. These injuries include:
When you’re looking into what to ask a truck accident lawyer, inquire about the potential damages you’re looking at depending on what kind of injury you have. If you get a seat belt injury such as whiplash, then you probably won’t have to take off work or pay for expensive medical treatment. You’ll be able to get back to normal pretty soon after your accident and may be wondering if you should sue for minor injuries following a truck accident.
On the other hand, paralysis can completely upend your life. Along with paying high medical bills, you might not be able to work anymore or participate in activities you’ve always enjoyed.
Additionally, there may be other costs you’re not even thinking about, such as:
It can be hard to pinpoint just how much some damages are worth, but your lawyer will be able to give you an idea.
You’ll want to figure out exactly who is responsible for your accident. You may think it’s the truck driver, but it’s not always so easy. When you meet your new truck accident lawyer, ask who the defendant might be in your case.
Your lawyer may say there are a few possibilities. The truck driver would be responsible if they were engaging in dangerous and reckless behavior like speeding, using their phone while driving, switching lanes too fast, driving while tired, not signaling, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Going after their employer and their insurance provider could be the best course of action to ensure you get the highest settlement possible.
If the accident occurred because the truck was poorly maintained – and it was the company’s job to maintain it – then they would likely be held responsible and named as the defendant.
If the accident happened because cargo fell off the truck, then the defendant may be the cargo loader who failed at their job.
If the truck driver was swerving to avoid a large pothole when they hit you, then you may be able to name the city or municipality that left the pothole in the road as the defendant.
Until you call a truck accident lawyer, you really won’t know the answer to this question. That’s why it’s best to get in touch with them as soon as possible after your accident occurs.
For your truck accident case to be successful, you’ll need to provide certain evidence to your lawyer. They’ll need the police report or to know which police station you filed your report with so they can collect it.
The same applies when it comes to your medical records. You can either gather your records or tell your lawyer the name of the hospital you went to and they’ll retrieve the records for you.
You should also share evidence you collected at the scene. This includes photos, witness statements, and their contact info, and the driver/the driver’s company.
Your lawyer will take all the evidence you give them and contact the defendant to work out a settlement. Since going to trial is costly and time-consuming – and can result in the defendant having to pay a lot more in damages – they will likely offer you settlement instead.
All you have to do is stay in touch with your lawyer and get the proper medical treatment you need until you feel better. If you have an ongoing injury that won’t heal or could take a long time to heal, then your lawyer will consult with you about going after compensation for future medical bills as well.
The Federal Motor Safety Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains rules and standards to promote safety in the trucking industry. Some of the most important FMCSA regulations include:
Semi trucks are a common sight on highways and city streets. There’s no avoiding them despite the dangers that come with driving near one. These vehicles can weigh around 15,000 pounds, making them unable to stop short or turn on a dime to avoid your car.
Federal data shows that accidents involving large trucks are on the rise and have been since 2009. Semi truck crashes may involve illegal company behavior, authority oversight and laws unfamiliar to regular drivers. That’s why you must work with an experienced DC semi truck accident lawyer who will fight for you and the compensation you deserve.
Semi Trucks Have Special Regulations That Can Be Confusing
Semi truck drivers not only require specialized licenses, they also have to follow additional regulations such as federal limits on how long semi truck drivers can drive each 24-hour period. Drivers also must track their driving and break time, as well as subject their vehicles to routine maintenance and weight checks.
In addition to these federal regulations, many localities like DC have additional rules that semi truck drivers must follow. For example, DC limits what streets semi trucks and other commercial vehicles can use, though trucks are completely barred from only a few streets. It’s the driver’s responsibility to know about and adhere to such regulations, so drivers new to the area may unknowingly violate local laws.
Rules and Regulation Violations For Semi Drivers Are Different
Rules like those that limit semi truck drive time were created because of the unsightly work conditions suffered by semi trucks drivers. Despite these federal regulations, it still is common for semi truck drivers to be pressured into driving longer than allowed and falsifying break or driving records.
If there are issues with these federal regulations, the driver and their employer may be subject to legal action regardless of whether the regulations were knowingly violated. If these issues directly caused the accident in question, you may be entitled to additional compensation. A Washington DC truck accident lawyer will understand the additional factors that affect semi truck accidents and will be able to investigate any issues to ensure you have the strongest case possible.
Semi Truck Accidents Have Numerous Additional Risks
Semi truck accidents are extremely dangerous and can affect dozens of cars in seconds.
In 2015, a semi truck driver plowed through 453 feet of still traffic before coming to a stop; Six people were killed and others were injured. That driver was found to have been on drugs.
In 2018, 6% of semi truck drivers involved in fatal accidents tested positive for at least one drug. Though that number may be skewed as 60% of those drivers weren’t tested. It’s unclear why the drivers weren’t tested for illegal substances despite impairment being one of the main factors in fatal semi truck accidents.
Such police oversight could affect your claim. That’s why you must work with an experienced semi truck accident lawyer who will know how to handle such complex cases.
Trucks May Contain Hazardous or Dangerous Cargo
Federal authorities say hazardous cargo was involved in over 1,400 of the 4,862 fatal semi truck accidents in 2018. And of those semi truck accidents involving hazardous cargo, more than half were carrying flammable liquids such as gasoline or fuel oil.
That hazardous material may have subjected you to additional risks and injuries, which could affect your case and compensation claim.
Semi Truck Accidents Don’t Just Involve Drivers
Semi truck drivers don’t haul cargo across the country as private citizens; they work for someone. That means semi truck accidents involve the driver’s company, that company’s insurance provider and truck or part manufacturers.
If the semi truck’s cargo was found to have contributed to the accident, the manufacturer and packing company also may be at fault.
Additionally, semi truck accidents often involve several vehicles, which can complicate fault declarations and claims.
There are so many potential parties involved in semi truck accidents, and each party likely will call on their insurance provider for help, leading to double the initial party count. You must work with a Washington DC truck accident lawyer who can navigate such complex cases so you get the compensation you need.
After a truck accident, you may not be ready to file a lawsuit right away. You may be waiting to hear from the trucking company’s insurance adjuster, or you may be involved in settlement negotiations. Whatever your situation, you need to file a lawsuit within a specific period of time that is set by Washington, DC’s statute of limitations.
In Washington DC, the statute of limitations for personal injury and property damage claims is up to three years from the date of the accident. For wrongful death claims, the decedent’s family has up to two years from the date of death to file a claim.