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Washington, DC Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer

Were You Injured in a Tractor Trailer Accident in Washington, DC? We Can Help.

Being involved in any type of accident, whether it is a fender bender or a major tractor trailer collision, can be physically and emotionally traumatizing. The size and weight of commercial trucks and tractor trailers make truck accidents with regular passenger vehicles extremely dangerous and even deadly. Victims of tractor trailer accidents can sustain traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and even death. In 2017 the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that trucks and tractor trailers were involved in over 500 accidents in Washington, DC alone. 

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Washington, DC Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers

If you or your loved one were involved in a truck accident in Washington, DC, you have rights to compensation. The truck accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long have a history of recovering the maximum amount of damages for their clients involved in trucking accidents. Your truck accident lawyer will work tirelessly to ensure you recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and lost future wages if your injuries are ongoing or permanent. Regan Zambri Long offer a free consultation to prospective clients. Call today for a no-obligation consultation to discuss your truck accident claim with the best truck accident attorneys in Washington, DC.

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$14M Car Accident Settlement

$14M Personal Injury Settlement

$11M Medical Malpractice Settlement

Recovering from a devastating tractor trailer accident is a long and difficult road. The Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyers can walk alongside you and carry the weight of the claims process so you can focus on the most important thing – getting yourself better.

What Rules Do Tractor Trailer Drivers Have to Follow in Washington, DC?

Washington, DC and surrounding areas, like Virginia and Maryland, are heavy trucking routes. I-95 is the busiest trucking route in the United States and runs through all three jurisdictions. Because of the heavy tractor trailer traffic, DC enforces strict regulations on truck drivers in order to keep DC roads as safe as possible.

Some laws include when and where a tractor trailer can drive in the District. According to the Washington DC Department of Transportation, commercial trucks are forbidden on I-66 east of I-495, and on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Commercial vehicles require special permits to travel on the George Washington Parkway, Clara Barton Parkway, and Spout Run.

The size of commercial vehicles allowed to travel in and around DC is also regulated. This helps prevent tractor trailers from damaging street-parked vehicles when traveling on DC roads. The size of the semi  trucks allowed in DC cannot be more than 8 feet wide, 13.6 feet tall, or 55 feet long.

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What Are the National Laws for Tractor Trailer Drivers?

In addition to Washington, DC’s regulations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also has specific laws for large commercial vehicles that differ from the laws for passenger vehicles. The FMCSA laws include:

  • Hours of Service: This law limits the truck driver to 14 consecutive hours they can drive without a break. Hours of service also mandates rest and sleep hours the truck driver must take per day.
  • Electronic Logging Devices: These devices, known as ELD’s, must be in all commercial trucks at all times. These are used to make sure trucking companies comply with the hours of service regulations.
  • Medical exams and background checks: Truck drivers must undergo drug, alcohol, and medical tests in order to be hired. Trucking companies must also do a background check for criminal records and traffic violations for all drivers.
  • Cargo Securement Rules: The Cargo Securement Rules regulate how cargo is loaded into the tractor trailer before a trip. These rules are to prevent cargo from falling off the trailer and hitting a vehicle or shifting in the trailer, causing the truck to roll over onto a vehicle. This rule increases the number of tiedowns and other securement devices the trucking company needs to use for the traveling cargo.
  • Entry Level Training: All entry-level truck drivers must obtain a Class A or B commercial driver’s license. Proper training, including how to brake and handle the weight of the tractor trailer must also be done before the driver can make a solo trip.
  • Inspection and Maintenance: All motor carriers must inspect, repair, and maintain their tractor trailers regularly. Parts and accessories to the truck must be in good condition and safe for traveling at all times. Pushout windows, emergency doors, and emergency door lights need to be inspected every 90 days.

Although there are several laws in place in DC and across the United States, trucking companies often pressure their drivers to ignore them in order to speed up delivery times and increase profits. A Regan Zambri Long truck accident attorney will investigate which DC or FMCSA laws, if any, were broken at the time of your truck accident. They will hold the parties responsible for the truck accident and work to make sure your medical bills and property damages are covered.

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What Are Different Types of Trucks a Passenger Vehicle can Collide with?

There are many types of trucks that travel through Washington, DC and the surrounding areas every single day. Passenger vehicles often share the road with garbage trucks, dump trucks, and tractor trailers. The different types of trucks a passenger car can collide with on the road are:

Tractor Trailers:

A tractor trailer is a vehicle that is made up of a semi-tractor and an attached trailer. An empty tractor trailer, carrying no cargo, can weigh up to 35,000 pounds. Most tractor trailers carry food, liquids, retail supplies, and construction materials across the country. The size and the weight of the vehicle makes a tractor trailer accident very different from an accident involving a regular car. While any accident with a truck can cause damage, a tractor trailer’s weight, especially carrying cargo, will most likely cause serious injuries to the driver of the car.

18-Wheelers:

18-Wheelers are semi-trailer trucks that have 18 wheels total. These trucks can carry large pieces of equipment, other vehicles, and even hazardous material, like explosives. Including the cargo, 18-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. These semi truck accidents can be catastrophic for the car driver and passengers. It is essential to have a Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyer by your side if you or your loved one suffered injuries from an 18-wheeler truck accident.

Garbage Trucks:

Garbage trucks are a necessity in a city like Washington, DC, keeping households and streets clean. However, if a garbage truck causes an accident with a passenger vehicle, it can cause serious damage to the car. Many truck accidents involving garbage trucks occur when the truck is on its normal route and hits parked cars. These truck accident claims can be tricky because the garbage truck is government property. A Regan Zambri Long truck accident attorney knows DC laws and various insurance policies and can help guide you through the claims process.

Other type of trucks passenger vehicles can get into accidents with are:

What Are the Common Types of Tractor Trailer Accidents?

There are several types of accidents the trucks listed above can get into with regular cars. Because of the weight and size of the trucks, these accidents often cause very serious accident injuries to the occupants in the car. Common types of tractor trailer accidents are:

Jackknife Accidents

A jackknife accident is when the tractor swings so that it is perpendicular to the trailer. When this happens, it looks like a jackknife that is being opened. These accidents happen when the truck driver tries to stop too suddenly, or brakes improperly. Tractor trailers, especially ones carrying heavy cargo, need a lot of time to slow down to a full stop. If the truck driver tries to slow down too quickly, it can cause the truck to jackknife, endangering the lives of multiple drivers on the road.

Hit and Run Truck Accidents

Hit and run accidents occur when the tractor trailer driver takes off from the scene of the accident rather than remain and face the consequences. Because the victim in the car is most likely dealing with immediate injuries, it is very difficult to remember the details of the truck or the driver. When these accidents happen, a Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyer can help you file a claim based on an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Washington, DC requires all vehicle owners to carry uninsured or underinsured coverage. Speak to a Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyer today if you have been involved in a hit and run truck accident.

Night Time Truck Accidents

Night time driving is more dangerous for any driver due to poor visibility, glaring lights, and fatigue. A night time tractor trailer accident occur mostly when the truck driver does not follow the FMCSA regulations and drives more than the 14 consecutive hours allowed. Driver fatigue slows reaction time and increases the likelihood of a night time truck accident.

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Tractor Trailer Accident Injuries

Typical-sized car drivers run a bigger risk of sustaining major accident injuries when they are involved in a truck accident. Even though cars have crumple zones that help absorb the impact of a collision, the size and weight difference between the car and tractor trailer often outweighs safety measures put in the car.

Personal Injury Attorney Salvatore Zambri speaks with a clientMotor vehicle crashes account for 25% of the traumatic brain injuries that occur in the United States. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is a severe injury to the head that affects how the brain works. The results of such an injury are often permanently debilitating. Symptoms of a TBI range from minor cognitive delays to seizures and coma. It can take the victim up to ten years to fully recover if a full recovery is possible at all. Medical expenses, loss of income, and loss of enjoyment of life plague the victim and their families. The truck accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long have worked with several tractor trailer accident victims who sustained a debilitating TBI. The trailer accident attorneys have a deep understanding of what their clients and their families are going through. They work diligently to recover the maximum amount of compensation to alleviate the sudden financial stress their clients are under. If you or your loved one sustained a traumatic brain injury in a truck accident, call Regan Zambri Long today for a free consultation about your truck accident case.

Unfortunately, there are several other injuries tractor trailer accident victims can incur. They include:

Who is to Blame for My Tractor Trailer Accident?

Proving liability in a truck accident case can be difficult and requires extensive knowledge of trucking laws and regulations. Since the injuries sustained from a tractor trailer accident are often severe, it is very important to explore every party potentially responsible for the truck accident in order to receive fair compensation that will cover medical bills. The potential defendants in truck accident cases are:

Driver: Distracted driving, speeding, driving while impaired, or other reckless behavior would make the driver responsible for the accident. Your Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyer will do a thorough investigation of the driver and their driving record.

Truck Driver’s Employer: If the trucker was recklessly driving, or the truck was not maintained properly and caused an accident, you could seek compensation from the trucker’s employer and insurance company. It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure their drivers are focused on the road at all times, and their vehicles are completely safe before sending them out.

Truck Manufacturer: If the truck is properly maintained by the company and driver, but has a design flaw or manufacturing defect that causes an accident, the defendant in your case may be the truck manufacturer.

Cargo Loader: If the truck accident occurred because cargo fell off the trailer, or because the truck rolled over due to a cargo shift, then the cargo loader could be liable for the accident.

Washington, DC: If the driver swerved to avoid a pothole or other hazard in the road and hit you, then the defendant in the case may be the municipality or city.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tractor Trailer Accidents in Washington, DC

Q: What is the tractor trailer’s black box and what does it do?

A: A truck’s black box is an electronic logging device inside the truck that records data such as hours driven, speed, brakes, etc. Your Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyer will use the data from the ELD to prove the at fault party in your case.

Q: What are the common causes of a truck accident?

A: There are several factors that can play into a truck accident, including bad weather, drug and alcohol usage, and distraction. Other causes include:

Drowsy driving which is considered the single most common cause of any truck accident in Washington, DC. Drowsy driving lowers reaction times and can even cause the driver to fall asleep at the wheel. Commercial truck drivers are more likely to drive drowsy than any other driver on the road because of the deadlines they must hit for deliveries. According to the CDC, driving while fatigued is just as dangerous as driving while drunk. When you’re operating a commercial vehicle, driving drowsy can be deadly for all other travelers sharing the road.

Mechanical defects, such as faulty brakes or tires, are another common cause of a truck accident. Although defective equipment can be because of poor manufacturing or design of the truck, most flawed equipment happens because of the lack of maintenance on the vehicle. Broken lights and even engine failure can cause major problems for the truck while traveling at high speed on the highway. This is why it is so important for the truck company to enforce the FMCSA’s rules regarding regular maintenance check ups before the truck is allowed on the road.

Speeding is a major problem for all drivers, but when operating a heavy vehicle, speeding can be even more deadly. Speeding always increases the risk of an accident. However, a tractor trailer carrying cargo will make it even more difficult for the driver to slow down quickly. If the driver does try to brake too quickly, it can lead to a jackknife accident that involving multiple cars.

Inexperienced drivers are a leading cause of trucking accidents. Without the proper training, an entry-level driver may not know how to properly handle the size and weight of the truck. If this is the case, they may brake improperly or turn improperly, causing cargo to shift. It is essential that a trucking company properly train each entry-level employee before sending them on solo trips.

Q: What is contributory negligence? Will it affect my case?

A: Contributory negligence is practiced in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland. It means that if you are found to have any fault in the accident, even one percent, then you cannot seek compensation.

Q: What damages can I collect from a tractor trailer accident lawsuit?

A: You can collect damages for physical injuries, such as TBI, broken bones, back and neck injuries, chest injuries, lacerations, spinal cord injuries, and seat belt injuries. A Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyer will also help you collect compensation for lost wages while you’re receiving treatment and loss of future income if your injuries keep you from work. Your attorney will also work to ensure you are compensated for emotional injuries, like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

Q: Why should I hire a Regan Zambri Long tractor trailer accident lawyer?

A: It is important to work with an experienced DC truck accident lawyer if you or your loved one were involved in an accident. Besides dealing with severe injuries, truck accident cases are complex and often involve more than one liable party. It takes a legal expert who understands DC and national trucking laws to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries. The Regan Zambri Long truck accident lawyers understand the stress their clients are under following a truck accident. No one can predict something like that will happen and it leaves victims and their families in turmoil. The Regan Zambri Long truck accident attorneys will work diligently to secure financial compensation so you can get back to normal as soon as possible.

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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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