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Washington, DC 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer

If you were involved in an 18-wheeler accident, you may have many questions.

How will you pay for your medical bills if you are unable to work? How will you care for your family? A Washington, DC 18-wheeler accident lawyer can help.

An accident with an 18-wheeler can be serious and cause severe injuries, especially to passengers in smaller vehicles. The attorneys of Regan Zambri Long have helped victims of 18-wheeler accidents with our collective 100 years of experience. Call us at (202) 960-4596 for your free case evaluation. We can answer your questions and explain your options following a truck accident.

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Washington, DC 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer Explains Your Rights

When you are injured in a crash with a large truck, you may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost time at work, and other kinds of compensation. The person responsible for the accident may be required to pay you for your injuries and reimburse you for your expenses. That could be the driver of the truck, the trucking company, or the shipping company who loaded the truck. Sometimes more than one person is responsible.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler in the Washington, DC metro area, you may be able to file a claim for compensation under personal injury law.

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If you are ready to file a personal injury claim with the court today, or if you are trying to decide if a lawsuit is the right path for you, an experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer can discuss your options and help you make the right choice.

Even when you are entitled to compensation, it can be difficult to get the money you deserve. Truck accident claims are complex. An experienced attorney can help.

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What Are Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents?

Many 18-wheeler accidents are fatal to others in passenger vehicles. Smaller cars, and even SUVs, are no match for the size and weight of a large tractor-trailer. In fact, according to the federal highway safety administration, called the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles are four times more likely to be severely injured or killed than most drivers of commercial trucks.

Most truck accidents are preventable. The most common causes are:

  • Improper loading.

    When the cargo in an 18-wheeler truck isn’t properly balanced or secured, it can cause items to shift in the trailer of the truck. This creates a risk of a rollover, in particular when an 18-wheeler is making a turn. The same is true if the truck is overloaded, causing the truck to be too top-heavy and affecting vehicle stability. For trucks transporting liquids, the center of gravity can shift dramatically because liquids in the truck trailer move as the vehicle turns.

    If a big rig rolls over or is involved in a crash, falling cargo can injure other drivers. For trucks carrying hazardous cargo, especially hazardous liquids and gases, an accident can cause serious injuries and medical problems when people come in contact with the liquid or fumes.

  • Truck maintenance.

    If a large 18-wheeler truck is not maintained and serviced properly, it can cause an accident. Two common maintenance issues the cause motor vehicle accidents are low tire pressure and worn brakes.

  • Truck driver actions.

    The way drivers operate their 18-wheelers and the things they do or don’t do while driving can cause a serious accident. These actions are reckless or negligent. Examples include:

    • When truck drivers accelerate or brake too quickly, the truck’s cargo can shift and cause a rollover or other accidents.
    • When truck drivers drive faster than posted speed limits, especially in poor weather conditions like rain or snow, a truck can roll over or slide while turning.
    • When truck drivers text while driving, fall asleep, or drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then can cause serious accidents.
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18-Wheeler Accidents Injure Thousands of People in the U.S. Every Year

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), commercial truck drivers are involved in about 120,000-160,000 crashes each year in the U.S. These accidents cause catastrophic injuries to thousands of people, especially those in smaller passenger vehicles. Drivers and passengers in other motor vehicles are much more likely to be severely injured or killed than drivers of large commercial vehicles when a truck and another vehicle collide. Seventy-one percent of those killed in truck crashes were in other, smaller vehicles.

Because 18-wheeler trucks are so much larger and heavier than other vehicles, the injuries that happen in an accident are more severe than in a typical car accident. Sometimes they are fatal.

Property damage to smaller passenger vehicles is also serious, and sometimes totals the car. If a pedestrian or a motorcyclist are truck accident victims, the risk of fatal injury and death is very high.

Unfortunately, many people are killed in accidents with 18-wheeler trucks. In Virginia, over 9% of commercial trucks on the road were involved in a fatal crash in 2019. In Maryland, nearly 8% of large trucks caused a fatal accident.

Who Is Responsible for Compensating Victims of a Washington, DC 18-Wheeler Accident?

When an 18-wheeler truck is involved in an accident in the Washington, DC metro area, more than one person may be at-fault. The at-fault person or company, or both, may be responsible for compensating you for your injuries and property damage. Responsible parties include:

Accidents caused by improper loading

If the accident is caused by improper loading, it could be the responsibility of the trucking company or the shipper who loaded the truck. It could also be the driver’s fault because he is responsible for ensuring the cargo is secure before each time he drives the truck.

Accidents caused by driver actions

If the accident is the result of the truck driver’s recklessness, such as driving at high speeds or falling asleep, the at-fault party will be the driver himself. Large trucking companies may also be held responsible if, for example, they required their driver to work longer hours than is allowed under federal and state laws. The company can also be responsible if they did not properly train their drivers on how to safely operate the truck.

Accidents caused by improper maintenance

When improper maintenance is one of the causes of an accident, the trucking company, the maintenance company, and the driver may be at fault. The company is responsible for routine maintenance of the tractor-trailer. The driver is responsible for checking the truck before each road trip. If a separate company handles maintenance, then that company may also be at-fault.

18-wheeler accidents caused by a faulty or defective truck

Sometimes a faulty or defective 18-wheeler causes an accident. In this kind of truck accident case, the manufacturer of the truck may be responsible for the accident and required to compensate you for your injuries and property damage.

Many truck accidents have more than one cause

In most 18-wheeler accidents, there is more than one cause and more than one at-fault party. It could be that a driver is speeding and the truck is improperly loaded, while the tire pressure is too low, all of which causes the truck to roll over while taking a curve. In these circumstances, the company and the driver would both be at-fault parties that caused the accident.

18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers Can Help

When you are injured in a crash with an 18-wheeler truck, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and property damages. Even when liability is clear, it can still be hard to get the compensation you deserve. 18-wheeler accidents are complicated. As a victim of an accident, you must show that the driver or a company was at fault and you were not. You must prove that your injuries and damages to your car were caused by the crash.

Many trucking companies rely upon their insurance companies and lawyers to aggressively negotiate a settlement and deny your claims. This could mean that their insurance company will make a settlement offer too low to cover your damages, injuries, lost time at work, and the like. If a settlement payment too low to cover your medical expenses and related losses is offered, the experienced personal injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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Frequently Asked Questions about 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents in Washington, DC

Q: How long do victims have to file 18-wheeler accident lawsuits?

When you are injured in an accident, you must file a claim against the at-fault parties. You file a claim by starting a lawsuit in court. You as the injured party will be the plaintiff and the company, driver, and other at-fault parties will be defendants.
You must file your claim within a specific period of time called the statute of limitations. Under DC law and Maryland law, you must file your truck accident claim within three years of the accident. If you do not, you will not be able to pursue your claim.

In Virginia, you have even less time to file your claim: two years from the date of the 18-wheeler accident.

Q: Who do I file a claim against after an accident with an 18-wheeler?

It depends on the cause of the accident. If the accident was caused by improper loading, the at-fault parties are likely the trucking company and the shipping company. The driver may also be liable since it is his responsibility to make sure the cargo is loaded and secured properly.

If the truck driver’s recklessness or negligence in driving the truck caused the accident, you would file your claim against the driver.

Truck accidents often have more than one cause. For example, a poorly maintained truck may lead to tire blowouts that occur because the driver is speeding. In cases like this, you can file a truck accident claim against multiple people and companies.

Q:What compensation can I receive in an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit?

What damages can I collect for a truck accident?
If you pursue an 18-wheeler accident case in court against the truck driver or trucking company, personal injury law will apply. Your case will be called a personal injury claim. For those who pursue truck accident cases on behalf of family members who were killed in a trucking accident, the case will be a wrongful death lawsuit. Both provide “full and fair compensation” for losses suffered as a result of the crash. This includes compensation for medical expenses, at-home care, physical therapy, lost wages, loss of future earning potential if your loved one died, physical pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

Q: What makes Regan Zambri Long stand out from other law firms?

The personal injury lawyers of Regan Zambri Long have extensive negotiation and trial experience handling accident cases in the DC metro area. Each experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyers are able to advise clients successfully based upon over 100 years of collective experience handling lawsuits against the trucking industry.

Our legal team is made up of a dedicated group of trial lawyers. Our lawyers represent accident victims with empathy and consideration. We are passionate about helping victims and their families put their lives back together and move forward in the best way possible after an accident.

Our Washington, DC 18-wheeler accident lawyers are among the top lawyers in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Some of the awards our personal injury lawyers have earned are:

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Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

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