Articles Posted in Trucking Accidents

Alea Price, 24, of Seattle, was killed this morning when her disabled car was struck by a semi-truck on Interstate 405 in Bellevue.

Price had contacted 911 several times and reported that she may have struck a deer and her car was stranded in a left-center lane. A Washington State Patrol trooper and her boyfriend were both on the way when her vehicle was struck by a semi truck, killing her.

The WSP is investigating the accident but they do not believe that alcohol or drugs were involved. The accident occurred around 4:30am and, at this point, it is not know whether Price had her flashers on or why the semi truck driver did not see her vehicle.

Nearly 1.5 million vehicles collide with deer every year resulting in injury and death. However, one does not expect deer to be crossing the I-405 in Bellevue.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who are killed.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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A FedEx truck driver was in a rollover accident on Interstate 5 near Mount Vernon after he apparently fell asleep at the wheel. The truck accident occurred around 3am at milepost 216 according to King 5 news.

Luckily, the semi-truck driver suffered only minor injuries in the big rig accident. There were no other vehicles involved in the accident.

Truck driver fatigue or drowsy driving is one of the major causes of trucking accidents in the United States. In fact, one of four truck drivers surveyed admitted falling asleep while driving in the previous month.

While we don’t know why this driver fell asleep at the wheel, it is noteworthy that truck drivers, on average, drive on less than five hours of sleep although it is recommended that all adults need seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

Studies have shown that the lack of sleep affects one’s driving and cognitive facilities much in the same way that alcohol does. A person’s performance is impaired if they have less than 5 hours of sleep for two or more consecutive nights.

Hours of Service Rules

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration has hours of service rules for commercial truck drivers:

  • drivers shall drive no more than 11 hours consecutively.
  • Drivers should have no more than 14 hours of consecutive on-duty which includes loading or unloading the truck, maintenance and paperwork
  • Drivers should have no more than 60 hours on duty for the previous seven days or no more than 70 hours on-duty for the 8 previous days.

These rules were enacted to reduce fatigue-related accidents and improve driver health. Drivers must keep a log book which shows their off duty, sleeper berth, driving and on duty times.

In accidents involving motor vehicles and big rigs, the driver’s log books can be used to establish a case of driver negligence if the driver was not following the rules.
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If you were involved in a rear-end motor vehicle accident involving a semi truck, you may be seeking answers to your legal questions.

Rear-end accidents involving semi trucks are more common that you one might think. You may have been hit by a semi truck either when you were stopped or slowing, or you may have hit a semi truck that had stopped or had slowed. In either scenario, the fault may lie with the semi truck driver or the trucking company.

In the case where your car was rear-ended by a semi truck, driver fatigue, driver distraction such as using a cell phone, driving without proper sleep or speeding may have been factors. There may have been mechanical problems with the semi truck due to poor maintenance including worn or imbalanced tires or worn brakes which lead to the accident.

In cases where you hit a semi truck, there may have been factors that caused the accident including the rig not being parked off of the road or parked illegally, or the semi truck may have had faulty brake lights.

Finding the trucking company or driver negligent

In any motor vehicle accident case negligence must be proved. A driver or business is negligent if they failed to exercise reasonable care to avoid an accident. If the truck driver was committing a traffic infraction at the time of the accident or if they broke rules about driving time or the maintenance of their vehicle, the trucking company and the driver may be liable for injuries sustained in an accident or for wrongful death.

Defendants in a trucking accident case

In order to obtain compensation for personal injuries or wrongful death in a motor vehicle accident involving a semi truck, your attorney will identify potential defendants including the truck driver and the trucking company as well as other possible defendants including contractors, mechanics, contractors and insurance companies who may be legally responsible for injuries. There may be multiple insurers and insurance policies to deal with.

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Today, a bicyclist in his 30’s was hit by a motorist at Yale Avenue North and Fairview Ave N. in Seattle who then left the accident scene, according to the Seattle Bike Blog. Thankfully, the bicyclist was not too seriously injured but this type of hit-and-run accident has become a far too common occurrence in Seattle, Bellevue and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

For many years, fatal car accidents have been decreasing and, in 2011, fatal motor vehicle accident deaths were at their lowest level since 1949. Despite this positive trend, bicycle, motorcycle and trucking-related fatal accidents have been increasing.

In 2011, the number of fatal bicycle accidents increased by 8.7% and the number of occupants killed in trucking-related accidents increased by 20% in 2011.

Fatal Bicycle Accidents

More people are commuting on bicycles to work and for pleasure and so the increase in fatal bicycle accidents should be of no surprise, especially as many cities have done little to address the traffic infrastructure to provide bicyclists safe lanes to ride in.

Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

In 2011, fatal motorcycle accidents increased by 2.1 percent, marking the 13th time in the last 14 years that motorcycle rider deaths have risen.
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Seattle police are investigating a pedestrian accident in which an 88-year-old man was struck by a dump truck. The man died a short time after the pedestrian accident at Harborview Medical Center.

According to a report by KOMO News, the man was crossing 2nd Avenue West and Mercer street when he was struck.

The police checked the 38-year-old dump truck driver for signs of impairment but did not find any signs of alcohol or drug use.

The investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Pedestrian Accidents and the Elderly

seattle pedestrian accident attorneyFor the elderly, walking is an important and valuable form of transportation, not only offering health benefits but contributing to a higher quality of life. Many older adults are less likely to drive and are more likely to get hit by a car or truck while walking.

Unfortunately, the Department of Transportation has seen an increase in pedestrian accidents by 5% between 2009 and 20010 and the elderly are especially vulnerable.. Pedestrians age 65 and older accounted for 19% of all pedestrian fatalities and 11% of all injured pedestrians in 2010. In 2009 the pedestrian accident fatality rate for the 80-84 age group was 17.66 per 100,000 population, which was higher than any other age group according to the National Highway Transportation Traffic Safety Administration.

Pedestrian accident statistics show that the elderly are less likely to be hit at a non-intersection that other pedestrians and also have lower blood alcohol content (BAC) than other pedestrians.
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One women was killed and six others were seriously injured when the pickup truck they were riding in went off the road, rolled several times and crashed through a fence and hitting trees in the 20300 block of 22nd Avenue East in Spanaway early this morning.

The injured and killed were between the ages of 19 to 22.

Pierce County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the accident that happened around 5:45am. According to a report in The News Tribune, there were three people riding in the cab of the pickup truck and four people riding in the pickup truck when the pickup truck driver lost control at a curve and went off the road.

Investigators found beer cans in the pickup truck and believe that alcohol and speeding were factors in the motor vehicle accident.

While it is not illegal to ride in the back of a pickup truck in Washington state, obviously it is a very dangerous practice because passengers are so vulnerable and can be thrown from the back of the pickup truck risking serious, if not fatal injuries. When a passenger is thrown from a vehicle, they also risk a vehicle rolling over them.

The driver of the pickup truck faces criminal charges including vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. A person can be charged under statutes RCW 46.61.520 VEHICULAR HOMICIDE and RCW 46.61.522 VEHICULAR ASSAULT if a person is killed or seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident and the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving recklessly.

The injured would be well-advised to seek the advice or an attorney who specializes in injury and accident law. With the large number of victims and possible claimants, the driver’s car insurance policy could reach its limits and victims should be compensated for their damages.
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The estate of a man struck critically injured in a garbage truck accident settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $1.15M. (Citation: Koza v. Pope, No. 09-246465 (09) (Fla., Broward Co. Cir. Feb. 14, 2012). )

backup car accident attorney93-year-old Wladslaw Koza was hit as he approached a garbage truck from behind to offer the driver a tip for picking up some cardboard boxes. The truck driver backed over him and dragged him almost 30 feet before the driver’s helper alerted the driver to stop.

Koza survived the accident but his injuries, which included a subdural hematoma and a degloving injury to his arm, were so severed that he succumbed to them about 10 days after the accident.

Before the accident, Koza was an active retiree who was renovating his home. He was survived by his three adult children and six grandchildren.

Koza’s son filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of his father’s estate against All Service Refuse Co., the temporary service that hired the truck driver, the truck driver and other related companies. The wrongful deathsuit claimed that the driver was negligent when he violated the refuse company’s policy which forbids backing up except when absolutely necessary and not without a lookout.

The defendants admitted liability before trial and the suit was settled for $1.15 million, with $1M to be paid by All Service and $150,000 from the temporary hiring agency.

Backup Accidents

Backup accidents are not that all uncommon and that is why many trucking companies develop policies to protect pedestrians, bicyclists and small vehicles. Many trucking companies also install safety equipment such as backup sensors, mirrors and camera systems on their trucks to prevent accidents from occurring.
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Gordon Burin, 51, was awarded a $12.29M injury accident settlement for an accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury and neck and back injuries. Burin’s medical expenses after the accident were $235,100.

Burin was driving on an interstate highway when a truck lost a wheel from its axle. Burin struck the wheel and the jolt caused him to hit his car’s ceiling. Burin underwent surgery for his back and neck injuries but the traumatic brain injury let him with diminished memory and cognitive abilities and caused a change in his personality. His brain injury left him unable to work as a commercial airline mechanic.

Vicarious Liability

Burin and his wife filed suit against the truck driver for negligence and also the owner of the truck alleging vicarious liability. Vicarious liability — respondeat superior — is a legal doctrine that holds a person or a company liable for the action of an employee in the course of their employment.

Lost Wheel Accidents

When a vehicle traveling at high speed loses a wheel, the results are often catastrophic. Sometimes a lost wheel will crash through a vehicle windshield. When the a lost wheel accident involves a commercial vehicle, authorities look at the trucking company’s safety and maintenance records to insure the vehicle passed appropriate inspections as wheels do not normally come off of vehicles.

In this case, the jury must have felt that the truck driver and truck driver were negligent in maintaining the truck in finding the defendants jointly and severally liable.
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When a passenger vehicle and a semi truck collide, more than likely the driver of the passenger car will be the one who suffers serious injury or death. Case in point is the trucking accident that result in the wrongful death case of Doe V. Roe Trucking Co.

Doe, 54, was stopped in traffic when a semi truck driver, who had fallen asleep at the wheel, smashed into the rear of her car, killing her. Imagine her terror as she saw a 10,000 pound trucking bearing down on her. At the time of her death, Doe was working as a vocational counselor, a job that paid her $120,000 annually.
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Doe’s sister, on behalf of Does’s estate filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck driver and the trucking company he worked for claiming negligence was responsible for Doe’s death. Doe and Roe settled for the wrongful death case for $4.8 million which was to be paid by the Roe’s insurance company.

In this case, the plaintiff’s attorney, representing Doe’s estate did an investigation into the truck driver. The U.S. judicial system allows that prior to a trial, each party in a lawsuit can obtain evidence by means of discovery. Discovery can include asking for documentation of the truck driver’s previous driving history, his medical records, his trucking log, his cell phone records and also asking him to answer question to interrogatories. In a lawsuit, the court can compel the defendant to assist in discovery.

In the case of Does v. Roe, it was revealed in discovery that, prior to the trucking accident, Roe was tested for and was diagnosed with a “moderately severe” case of sleep apnea, a condition in which a person stops breathing many times during night time sleep which causes daytime fatigue, slower reaction time and other problems.

It was also revealed in discovery that Roe had a history of motor vehicle accidents and had been involved in six accidents before the accident involving Roe.

The plaintiffs claimed in the wrongful death suit that Roe Trucking Co. was negligent in employment. An employer can be held liable for the actions of an employee if the employer was negligent in entrusting an employee with a dangerous instrument.

Wrongful death statutes

Many states have a wrongful death statute. The Washington State wrongful death statute allows the family of a person who was killed by another person’s negligent act to recover compensation in a civil action. Wrongful death cases often arise from motor vehicle accidents but they can also arise from on-the-job-accident, criminal attacks, school sporting activities and dangerous products.

In filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the estate should retain an attorney who is knowledgeable and skilled to successfully navigate the legalities involved.

Let us help you

The Farber Law Group, a personal injury law firm located in Western Washington, has more than 30 years experience handling wrongful death cases and has obtained millions of dollars in compensation for families.

Citation: Doe v. Roe Trucking Co., Confidential Dkt. No. (Pa., Confidential Ct. Sept. 2011).
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If you’ve been hurt in an accident and you feel another party is to blame, you may want to file a personal injury claim. There is some information you should know however before doing so.

First of all, it’s important that you let the responsible for the accident know you believe they are responsible before you file your claim. You don’t necessarily have to know for sure who is responsible, but you have to have an idea. In the first part of your personal injury claim you don’t have to give anyone including insurance companies any information about your accident. Just simply state what happened and where, that you were hurt in this particular accident, and that you intend to file a personal injury claim.

If you aren’t exactly sure who is responsible or who you should notify about your personal injury claim, then notify everyone who may be responsible. Depending on what kind of accident you were in is going to depend on whether you know who exactly is to blame. In a car accident, for example, you probably know for sure that the other driver is to blame; if you are hurt in a company with a lot of employees, you may not know.

The correct way to let all parties know you intend to file a personal injury claim is to write letters informing them of your accident. Be sure to let them know you were injured. In some cases, it may be necessary to write and send more than one letter. For example, if you were hurt in a place of business, you would send a letter to the owner of the business as well as the owner of the property where the business resides.

You do not want to take your time in getting those letters out. There is no time limit, however in order to have the best possible chance to win your personal injury claim, you need to let all parties know as quickly as possible after your accident. Always send your letter through registered or certified mail so you know for certain they received it.

As long as you notify all parties involved prior to the claim, no one will be able to say they were surprises when the time comes for the claim.

Notifying all parties involved in your accident is the first step in filing a personal injury claim.

This information is provided by The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents due to the negligence of another. For more answers to your questions, click here.
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