Articles Posted in Trucking Accidents

Yesterday was the first day of Fall and it seems like the weather changed on a dime. Our Indian summer has ended and the rain has returned. King 5 TV of Seattle reported on a number of car accidents and spinouts that occurred this morning as driver’s got used to the new reality of driving in the rain. King 5 reminded motorists “Remember to keep your following distance in the rain.” Local highways became clogged because of the number of accidents.

Rain was measured at Sea-Tac Airport at 1.13 inches in a 24 hour period ending Wednesday morning.

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Because of the inclement weather, The Farber Law Group provides the following safe driving tips.

Safety Tips for Driving in the Rain

Good drivers adjust their driving for the driving conditions. If it’s raining, practice defensive driving and slow down and leave more room for stopping. Because oil has accumulated on roadways over the summer, pavement can be especially slick on the first few days of inclement weather making it easy for drivers to lose control.

While skidding is a scary experience, hydroplaning can be terrifying. Hydroplaning can occur when water builds up between the wheels of your vehicle and the roadway service causing you to lose traction. When this happens, you can lose control of your car or truck. By driving defensively, one can avoid getting into a skid or hydroplane situation.

  • Make sure you keep your tires properly inflated and that you have adequate tire tread.
  • Keep both hands on the steering wheel.
  • Turn on your headlights.
  • Maintain a 5 car-length distance between you and the car ahead of you.
  • Drive at or below the speed limit.
  • Avoid driving through areas where the road is under water or flooded
  • Turn on your windshield defogger before your windows fog.
  • Steer and brake softly. If you have anti-lock brakes, avoid using your brakes or do not brake too hard.
  • If you are skidding, ease off the gas pedal and steer in the direction you want to go. If you have anti-lock brakes, brake firmly. If you do not have ABS, try to avoid braking or brake softly.
  • If are hydroplaning, do not make any sudden braking or turning actions. Ease off of the gas. If you have ABS, brake normally and if you do not have ABS, brake lightly.
  • Avoid driving through areas where the road is under water or flooded

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A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that drivers, age 70 and older, are less likely to be involved in car accidents than in prior years and the rates for serious injury and fatal accidents has fallen significantly in the past 15 years.

The IIHS study reports that the fatal car crashes of persons 70-years-of age and older has fallen 42% between 1997 and 2012. This is good news especially given that the older population of Americans has been growing as the nation ages.

IIHS senior vice president, Anne McCartt, says there may be several factors involved in the reduction of serious and fatal accidents among the elderly including:

  • Motor vehicles are safer with crashworthiness built into all new cars and trucks.
  • Safety features such as crash avoidance and mitigation help prevent accidents and lessen their severity.
  • Older drivers may be healthier than previous generations in both physical health but in cognitive processing.

Safer cars and trucks benefit everyone

There is no doubt about it that car safety technologies save lives. Shoulder belts, headrest designs and air bags protect the occupants in a crash and these are technologies that we take for granted today. Car manufacturers are now making cars that protect the occupants and in rear, front and side impact crashes. Vehicle roofs have been made stronger to protect occupants in rollover accidents.

Electronic stability control is a technology that has reduced by half the risk of a fatal single-car accidence. ESC has been required on all model years since 2012.

Crash avoidance technologies such forward collision warning, automatic braking, lane departure prevention, blind spot detection and adaptive headlights are features that most certainly save lives in the future as automobile manufacturers embrace these technologies and build them into every model.

If you are considering buying a car whether new or used, we recommend you check the IIHS.org website to see the safety ratings. So many models these days are being awarded TOP SAFETY PICK designation and these are vehicles that should be worthy of consideration for you and your family.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by the negligence of another.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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An unidentified woman was struck and killed by a commercial truck on Monday in Bellevue
According to Carla laFrate of the Bellevue Police Department, the pedestrian accident occurred in the around 12:00pm on Monday in the 12400 block of Northeast 12th street as the woman was crossing the street.

The Bellevue Police Department is investigating the pedestrian accident and they do not know at this time whether the woman was in a crosswalk. It appears that she was struck as the truck turned west on Bel-Red Road from 124th Avenue Northeast.

According to a report in the Bellevue Reporter, it does not believed that alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident.

Pedestrian Accidents

In 2011, approximately 69,000 pedestrian were injured in motor vehicle accidents and of those, 4,432 are killed. However, more pedestrians are injured than are accounted for in that figure since pedestrians injured in parking lots and other areas besides roads are not figured in the statistics.

Since 1975, the number of pedestrians killed by motor vehicles has decreased and one factor is that people may be walking less.

Pedestrians are often responsible for accidents when they misjudge traffic but in cases where a vehicle is turning, as in this Bellevue pedestrian accident, it is often the fault of the driver. Often, truck driver visibility and the design of the truck cab may lead to poor visibility.

Other causes of pedestrian accidents may be driver distraction. Whatever the cause, the loss of life is devastating.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in pedestrian accidents and the family of those who have been killed. We provide free and confidential case consultations for those who have been injured or those who have lost a loved one.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Our Bellevue office is here to assist you.
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The first big winter storm of the season is on its way and traveling over the Cascades either via Interstate 90 or U.S. 2 could be treacherous. The National Weather Service predicts five to 8 inches of rain and a cold front which could reduce visibility and create some “ponding” on the highway.

Water on the highway can create a situation called “hydroplaning” in which a vehicle loses traction. In a hydroplane situation a vehicle slides uncontrollably on a road covered in water. It is important that if you feel your car start to hydroplane that you do not panic. Resist the urge to brake or accelerate. Braking can cause the rear tires to loock and your car to spin out of control. Sudden acceleration could also cause your vehicle to leave the roadway.

Do not use your cruise control in situations where there is heavy rain. During heavy rain, the cruise control may suddenly accelerate as the water slows the vehicle down.

seattle car accident lawyerThe first big winter storm of the season is on its way and traveling over the Cascades either via Interstate 90 or U.S. Highway 2 could be treacherous. The National Weather Service predicts five to eight inches of rain and a cold front which could reduce visibility and create some “ponding” on the highway.

Water on the highway can create a situation called “hydroplaning” in which a vehicle loses traction. In a hydroplane situation a vehicle slides uncontrollably on a road covered in water. It is important that if you feel your car start to hydroplane that you do not panic. Resist the urge to brake or accelerate. Braking can cause the rear tires to loock and your car to spin out of control. Sudden acceleration could also cause your vehicle to leave the roadway.

Do not use your cruise control in situations where there is heavy rain. During heavy rain, the cruise control may suddenly accelerate as the water slows the vehicle down.

wrong%20way%20driver.jpgThe Columbian reports that Kenneth Eugene Burgess, 49, of Medical Lake faces serious charges of driving under the influence, criminal mischief and reckless driving after driving his semi truck the wrong way on a Oregon highway and crashing into a car driven by Katherine Emerson, 24, of Vancouver, Washington.

Emerson is lucky to have survived the crash with the semi without serious injuries because her car is totaled and, when looking at pictures of her vehicle after the accident, it is mangled.

Head on collisions are some of the worst accidents because they often occur on highways at higher speeds. Every year, it is estimated that approximately 350 Americans are killed in head on accidents. Often, the survivors of head on accidents suffer serious injuries including multiple fractures, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.

In the past few years, we have seen far too many head on accidents on northwest highways:

  • In 2012, a Seattle boy was killed and members of his family were injured as the family traveled to Yellowstone for vacation when a drunken wrong way driver struck their vehicle.
  • In 2011, a wrong way driver was killed and two other motorists were injured on Interstate 5 in Marysville.
  • In 2011, Benjamin Cabral drove his car more than three miles on State Route 512, injuring Miguel Salinas.
  • In 2010, an elderly woman drove her small sedan the wrong way on State Route 3, injuring two.
  • In 2010, Orlando Rivera, 35, was killed in Pasco when Lori Christensen struck him after driving southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 397.
  • In 2008, Randall G. Trivett was seriously injured when a wrong way driver hit him on Highway 2 near Leavenworth.

These are but a few of the cases we were able to pull from our files.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about half of all wrong way accidents are caused by drivers attempting to make a U turn. The other major cause is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A less common cause is an elderly driver who either suffers from confusion or poor eye sight becoming confused.
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If you have been in a car accident involving a semi truck, you may be seeking help in filing a claim against the driver that caused your accident and possibly a third party such as the trucking company for whom the driver was working for.

You may wonder, “How dangerous are semi trucks?” According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) who keeps track of trucking accident data, in 2009, 74,000 large truck drivers were injured and 3,000 people were killed in accidents involving semi trucks. When compared with other types of motor vehicle accidents, mile-for mile, three times as many people are injured or killed in accidents involving semi trucks per 100 million vehicle miles.

When a passenger car is involved in an accident with a semi truck, the occupants of the passenger vehicle are likely the losers with the passengers suffering serious injuries. Victims may be eligible to seek compensation for loss of income, hospital bills and for pain and suffering.

Frequent Causes of Truck Accidents

When we represent trucking accident cases we find that most accidents are caused by one of the following:

  1. Driver error — including driver fatigue, driver distraction, driving too fast for road conditions, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving without adequate rest or making an unsafe lane change.
  2. Trucking company negligence — including overloading or failing to maintain trucks, lax hiring and screen policies including driving record and background checks.
  3. Mechanical failure — including brake or tire failure, defective seatbelts or gas tanks.

In filing a claim after an accident involving a semi truck, your claim may be against not only the truck driver but also their employer based upon the evidence. Sometimes, a product liability claim against a manufacturer can also be made if faulty parts contributed to the accident.

Wrongful Death Claims after a Fatal Truck Accident

If a loved one has been killed in an auto accident involving a large truck, Washington state’s wrongful death statute allows the family or estate of the victim to seek compensation on behalf of their deceased loved one. Wrongful death suit can seek compensation for medical expenses, funeral bills and lost wages on behalf of a deceased loved one but it can also seek compensation for loss of consortium.
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The Washington State Patrol (WSP) will be conducting emphasis patrols this week, keeping an eye out on highways and interstates for drivers of cars, SUVs and pickup trucks who are tailgating, failing to yield the right of way, speeding, cutting off truck drivers and driving aggressively.

The WSP campaign is called Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) and the officers will conduct the patrols on I-5 from Seattle to Federal Way , I-90 from Seattle to North Bend, I-405 from Bellevue to Tukwila, SR-167 from SR-18 to I-405, and SR-18 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the times most car-truck accidents occur.

Too many drivers are not careful enough semi trucks and with a 8,000 pound difference between the two vehicles, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are more likely to suffer a serious injury or disability.

Semi Truck vs Passenger Vehicle Accident Claims

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident involving a semi truck, 18-wheeler-or big rig, that was not your fault, you may be seeking help with your accident claim. Accidents involving big rigs are usually more complicated than other types of auto accident claims because often the driver of big rig is an independent contract who either leases their truck or drivers for a company. There may be multiple parties involved.

Washington Injury Accident Attorney Represents Trucking Accident Victims

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or permanently disabled in a Washington semi truck accident, the Farber Law Group is here to help. Call us TOLL FREE at 1-800-244-9087 or through our Contact Form. We will provide you with a Free, Confidential, No Pressure consultation and begin to answer your questions.
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The Seattle Times reports that a semi truck driver was killed this morning when the semi truck he was driving hit a freeway sound wall and caught fire after he attempted to avoid a two-car accident that occurred in front of him.

The semi truck accident occurred early this morning around 2:30am on southbound I-5 at south 320th street near Federal Way.

The unidentified 68-year-old driver was driving a double tanker reportedly filled with gasoline.

We always review motor vehicle accident cases with serious injuries that have recently settled. One such case is Sawyer v. Crete Carrier Corporation represented by fellow AAJ members Kenneth J. Fulginiti and Thomas J. Duffy Jr. In this case, a security guard was awarded $3.75M after receiving disabling injuries in a pedestrian accident. This case is an excellent illustration of “vicarious liability”. Let’s describe the case and then look at what the legal doctrine of “vicarious liability” means. Citation: Sawyer v. Crete Carrier Corp., No. 3493 (Pa., Phila. Co. Com. Pleas June 12, 2012).

The Case

Susan Sawyer worked as security guard at a marine terminal insuring that trucks that entered and left the facility had the proper records. Her job required her to leave the guard shack. On one occasion, Sawyer left the guard shack to inspect a trailer and a truck driven by Sean O’Neal went through a stop sign and ran her over, crushing her ankle. At the time, the O’Neal was likely distracted because he was talking on his cell phone and was holding a dog in his lap while he drove.

The entire truck accident was caught on a surveillance tape.

Sawyer suffered serious injuries to her foot and ankle. Her injuries included crush injuries, damage to the bones, degloving injuries to her leg, ankle and foot and was left disabled with post-traumatic arthritis, neuritis and complex regional pain syndrome.

Sawyer filed suit against O’Neal claiming that he negligently operated his truck by failing to keep a proper lookout, moving his truck while Sawyer was next to it and for running a stop sign. She also filed suit against Crete Carrier, O’Neal’s employer under the doctrine of vicarious liability.

Sawyer also filed suit against the port alleging that the closure of the exit gate over the weekend and the traffic layout increased the danger to her.

All the parties to the suit settled the lawsuit for $3.75 million prior to trial. Crete Carrier agreed to pay $3 million.

The settlement amount took into account that Sawyer was permanently disabled and included amounts for future lost earnings, medical expenses and life-care costs.

Vicarious Liability/Respondeat Superior

Sawyer was able to bring suit against not only against O’Neal but also his employer, Crete Carrier, under the legal doctrine “Respondeat Superior” or vicarious liability which is Latin for “let the master answer.” This legal doctrine is recognized in civil law and it states that in some circumstances that employers can be held responsible for the actions or omissions by their employee performed during course of their employment.

In many vicarious liability cases we have see that the employer failed to screen employees for previous driving records and to provide proper training and support.

One famous case illustrating vicarious liability dates back to the 1990s and Domino’s pizza. Domino’s pizza used to offer a pledge that you would receive your pizza within 30 minutes of your order or the pizza would be free. After a Domino’s driver was ran a red light and collided with a car driven by an Indiana woman, the woman’ family sued claiming the guarantee led to reckless driving. The woman’s family received a substantial settlement in the case.
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