Bellevue Trucking Accident Attorney
Trucking Accident Lawyer for Trucking Accident Victims
Due to the necessary transportation of goods intrastate and interstate, the number of large commercial trucks on our roadways have increased over time. While operating larger trucks require a specialized driver’s license, truck versus passenger vehicle collisions is not uncommon. Due to the size of these trucks, serious injury is more common in a collision where a commercial truck is involved. While there is tremendous freedom and opportunity that comes with the privilege of driving a car, there is also tremendous responsibility. A split second can change the lives of you and your loved ones due to driver error, as the injuries from car accidents can be catastrophic, especially if the accident involves a large vehicle.
Being struck by an oversized vehicle is significantly traumatic. While there are several things that should be done quickly if you have been in a car accident, such as obtaining their insurance and driver’s license information, taking photos, and contacting your insurer, the most important thing is the health and wellbeing of all of those involved in the collision. If you are experiencing any physical or psychological symptoms following being struck by a motor vehicle, it is strongly encouraged that you present to a medical provider for evaluation and any recommended treatment.
If you have been in a trucking accident and have any legal related questions, please feel free to reach out to Charles McNeese and Adam Trotsky for a free phone, video, or in-person consultation. We look forward to answering any of your questions.
Understanding the Insurance Aspect
Washington State requires all drivers to maintain liability insurance to operate a vehicle. While there are numerous types of car insurance, Washington drivers are required to carry a minimum of $25,000/per person and $50,000/per accident of liability insurance to cover victims of their negligence while operating a vehicle. Washington State also requires that an insurer offer their insured drivers the opportunity to purchase both Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists and Personal Injury Protection coverage, and must produce written rejection of both coverages, otherwise this coverage will be provided to their insured, irrespective of if the premiums paid included these types of coverage.
Uninsured Motorists coverage stands in the shoes of the insurance for an uninsured at fault driver
Underinsured Motorists coverage is excess coverage for an injured party if their claim is valued in excess of the at-fault party’s liability insurance limits
Personal Injury Protection coverage will cover necessary, related, and reasonable medical expenses incurred due to injuries suffered in a car accident, up to the policy limit, which is a minimum of $10,000 in Washington State
Another important car insurance coverage is rental car coverage; if you don’t have rental car coverage, the at-fault parties’ coverage should provide a rental car or a rental car stipend for the time you are unable to use your vehicle. A recent case in Washington has decided that a victim of a car accident, who will be without their car due to its inability to operate or due to repairs, is entitled to either a rental car of comparable value or a stipend based on this amount.
The Two Big Questions
There are two primary questions regarding car accident claims.
Who is At-Fault?
If the claimant can show the collision was at least partially the fault of the other driver or drivers, there is a claim for damages.
What are the Damages?
If there is fault to be apportioned to another driver, the next question is what are the damages. In personal injury claims, there are two primary areas of damages:
1) Special Damages are damages that a specific number can be put on, such as lost earnings, loss of future earnings, property damage, and medical bills
2) General Damages relate more to pain and suffering, including psychological and emotional damages