Articles Posted in Trucking Accidents

The driver of a Fed-Ex semi truck died after his truck went off of Highway 18 and crashed. The accident occurred on Highway 18 on Tiger Mountain near Interstate 90.

The truck caught on fire and became totally engulfed in flames and the driver was trapped in the cab.

The Washington State Patrol is investigating the accident. Speculation is that slick pavement have an extended dry period may have been a factor in the accident. Other possible causes could be equipment failure, driver distraction, speeding or driver drowsiness.

Our condolences to the family of the truck driver.

Large Truck Accident Statistics

Every year, thousands of people are killed in semi-truck accidents. The follow are some statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

  • 3,163 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents involving semi truck and 18 wheeler accidents in 2009.
  • 14% of those killed were occupants in the semi truck, 70% were the occupants of the passenger vehicle and 14% were motorcyclist, bicyclists or pedestrians.
  • In fatal two-vehicle accidents involving a semi or large truck and a passenger auto, in 98% of the cases, the fatality is the occupant of the passenger vehicle.
  • In 9% of all motor vehicle accident fatalities, a large truck was involved.

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We were just reading a case result in which a defendant claimed a “sudden emergency defense” — that the driver was avoiding another car — when he hit a pedestrian. We thought we’d take the opportunity to look at this case and discuss what a “sudden emergency defense” is.

The Case in Question

Citation: Dacosta v. Drummond, No. 10835/10 (N.Y., Kings Co. Sup. May 10, 2012).

The estate of a trucker who died after an semi-truck trailer accident involving another tractor-trailer driver, has settled a wrongful death case with the company that employed the trucker for an undisclosed amount after a jury awarded a $7 million verdict.

The widow and estate of Roger Reagan 42 filed the wrongful death claim claiming that Morgan Quisenberry, driving a tractor-trailer for Dunaway Timber Co., was negligent and reckless and caused the accident that killed Reagan. Quisenberry crossed the centerline and hit two other vehicles before hitting Reagan’s tractor trailer head-on.

Reagan’s truck caught fire in the accident and he suffered internal injuries, a crush injury and burns in the accident and he died of cardiac arrest.

It was proven that Quisenberry had exceeded the 11-hour maximum driving limit and that he had falsified his logbook to cover this fact up.

The estate also filed suit against Dunaway Timber alleging negligent and reckless hiring, training and supervising of Quisenberry. Quisenberry was hired without Dunaway Timber doing a background check and they entrusted the semi-trailer to him even though his driver’s license had been revoked twice for driving while intoxicated.

The estate also claimed that Dunaway Timber assigned Quisenberry a trip that could not be completed without violating federal hours-of-service regulations.
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In mediation, the family of Susan Slattery, 47, has settled a wrongful death and negligence claim against a trucking firm for $40.8M in damages for the trucking accident that claimed Slattery’s life and seriously injured her two sons.(Citation: Slattery v. Estes Express Lines, Inc., No. 1116-CV-13913 (Mo., Jackson Co. Cir. June 22, 2011).)

In two separate mediation sessions, Slattery’s family was awarded $6.2 for their wrongful death claim, $1.2 million for Slattery’s son Peter’s injuries and $33.4 million for her son Matthew’s personal injury claims.

Slattery was driving with her sons Matthew, 12, and Peter, 15, when a large truck pulling triple trailers rear ended her vehicle. The force of the crash caused Slattery’s car to be pushed under the rear of another semi trailer.

Slater died at the accident scene.

Slater’s son, Matthew, suffered a traumatic brain injury in the accident. He was hospitalized for a month and is disabled, requiring 24-hour care. His future care and life care costs ranges from between $22M to $30M.He has difficulty communicating as he suffers from aphasia as a result of his head injury.

Slater’s son, Peter, has mostly recovered from injuries which included fractures to his pelvis and face. His medical expenses totaled around $220,000 and he is still unable to participate in sporting activities.

Trucker’s Negligence
The Slattery family claimed that the semi-truck driver, Douglas Bouch, driving for Estes Express Lines, fell asleep at the wheel causing the accident. They made a claim against Estes Express under the doctrine respondeat superior. They also claimed that Estes Express failed to have an adequate plan to supervise their drivers.
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If you’ve ever been in an accident and tried to collect an accident settlement from an attorney, then you know just how complicated, stressful and frustrating the process is. What should be a matter of asking and receiving the correct amount of money for your accident settlements is actually much more complicated than that and not nearly as straightforward as you may think.

The truth is, if you know what you are doing, you should be able to negotiate the right accident settlement without even hiring an attorney.

You may be wondering why that would be a good option. In fact, it often seems as though you would want a lawyer on your side during such a complicated process. There are a couple reasons hiring an attorney is not necessarily the best idea.

For one thing, you have to consider the cost. It may not be a financially sound decision to hire an attorney if your expected settlement is not that much. Remember you will always get less if you hire an attorney. Not to say they aren’t worth the money in some cases, but if you don’t get enough, you could end up spending money instead of receiving when it’s all said and done. A lawyer may be able to get you a higher accident settlement amount, but after they take their fee off the top, you end up with less than the lower amount you would have gotten on your own.

The other reason is that many personal injury cases are not as difficult as they may initially appear; in fact it’s often a straightforward process. If it’s a clear cut case of the defendant being at fault, getting an accident settlement amount that is fair should not be much of a problem.

When should you hire an attorney when dealing with accident settlements? If you aren’t absolutely sure the other party is fully to blame, and possibly if the dollar amount is large (more than several thousand dollars). In these cases, an attorney can make a difference. You can always hire an attorney if you think it’s necessary during any part of the process so if you start to feel like you’re unsure of what you’re doing, contact a lawyer.

Accident settlements don’t have to be complicated, and you have plenty of options to make sure you are compensated for your injuries.

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 due to the negligence of another.

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If you have some kind of accident, such as a car accident, workplace accident, or even if you slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may suddenly find yourself trying to learn all you can about personal injury law.

Personal injury law covers personal accidents and damages that can be awarded when claims are made.

While you can file a personal injury claim for any type of accident, there are some things you should understand about personal injury law and how you can win your case.

For starters, accidents do happen, but sometimes they are just that-accidents, meaning no one is to blame. In these cases you probably won’t get far in the way of a personal injury claim.

If you file a claim and expect to be compensated for damages, you need to be able to clearly demonstrate that the party you are filing the claim against could have prevented the accident. For example, if you are walking down the street and fall on the sidewalk in front of someone’s house because you simply weren’t paying attention to where you were going, you are probably going to have a hard time getting a settlement from the homeowner. If, however you fall because the homeowner failed to remove a branch, or ice, or something else from the sidewalk and you fall, that homeowner may be responsible for your accident and may have to pay your medical bills or any other costs associated with the accident.

While this may seem like simple logic, personal injury law is a complex, and sometimes controversial topic. Many politicians feel that the amount of damages one can receive in a personal injury claim should be capped to a certain amount. Different accidents require different things however. Maybe you not only have medical bills from an accident, but you also can’t return to work due to a hospital stay. You lose money by not working, should the responsible party not be held liable for these damages as well?

Personal injury law is hard to navigate, and for that reason, if you feel like you need to file a personal injury claim, you should immediately contact a lawyer for advice. The lawyer can tell you what they think your chances are of a settlement and what the next step should be. You should get compensated if you have an accident that is not your fault, and a lawyer can help make that happen.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured due to construction accidents, motor vehicle accidents and slip trip and fall accidents.

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The Tri-City Herald reports that Kevin Bruce Hensley, 51, of Arizona was killed in a trucking accident on Highway 125 near Walla Walla around 7:30pm last night.

According to the report, Hensley crossed the center line, overprotected and went off the highway and rolled his truck. He was not wearing a seat-belt at the time of the accident.

The Washington State Patrol says that excessive speed contributed to the accident.

This trucking accident occurred just a day after two people in a passenger vehicle were killed on Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie Summit in a collision involving several semi-trucks. In this accident, the Washington State Patrol believe that driver inattention on the part of the semi-truck driver was a factor.

It’s ironic that both of the fatal accidents involving semi-truck drivers occurred during a week in which the WSP joined the National Commercial Vehicle Safety Emphasis which targets both truckers and drivers of automobiles to increase safety trucking safety.

In emphasizing commercial vehicle safety, WSP troopers ride along in commercial vehicles and target cars and trucks that drive aggressively around semi-trucks. They also inspect commercial vehicles and contact the drivers to ensure safety practices.

What a tragedy to have three trucking-related fatalities in our state on the same day.

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 trucking and car accidents and the family of those killed.

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A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report on the benefits of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) in motor vehicles finds that it has saved saves lives by reducing rollover motor vehicle accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety president, Adrian Lund says:

“ESC is the most effective safety technology introduced in vehicles since safety belts.”

The NHTSA initially published a study in 2007 about the benefits of ESC but has now updated that study with these remarkable results:

  • ESC in passenger vehicles reduces fatalities in motor vehicle accidents by 23%
  • ESC in SUVs, pickups and vans reduces fatalities in motor vehicle accidents by 20%
  • In single-vehicle rollover accidents, fatalities are reduced 56% in cars and 74% in other vehicles.

ESC is a technology which allows drivers to avoid accidents with the use of computerized technology which detects and minimizes skids. The technology can sense when a driver has lost some steering control and it automatically applies brakes individually to the wheels. NHTSA data finds that up to one-third of fatal car accidents can be prevented with this technology.

Like many new car features, ESC was first introduced into the luxury car market. It is predicted that ESC will some day become a standard feature in all new motor vehicles.

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 car, truck and SUV accidents and the family of those killed.

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James H. Gerritt, 22, of Albany, Oregon faces numerous charges including negligent driving after he fell asleep at the wheel of his Peterbilt truck and crashed his tractor trailer rig into an unoccupied Washington Department of Transportation truck according to Tacoma’s The News Tribune.
trucking accident lawyer bellevue
The trucking accident occurred early Thursday morning on Interstate 5 near Tumwater, Washington. The accident caused a huge traffic jam which lasted for hours and caused traffic to back up for more than five miles.

Luckily, no one was injured in the accident.

This accident brings to the forefront regulations for truck drivers. In this case, it appears that Gerritt falsified his log book and did not take the prescribed rests which is probably why he fell asleep at the wheel.

Trucker Safety Rules

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed a new set of rules for Hours-of-Service (HOS) for truck drivers. Because driver fatigue is often the cause of big rig accidents, the FMCA proposes requiring longer breaks and shorter driving times. These proposed changes have come about after several major bus accidents in the past year. Current rules require:

  • Property-carrying drivers can only drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 hours of consecutive off-duty.
  • Passenger carrying drivers can only drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 hours of consecutive hours off-duty.
  • Property-carrying drivers may not drive beyond 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty after 10 hours off-duty.
  • Passenger-carrying drivers may not drive after having been on duty for 14 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty.

Click here for a the Proposed changes for Property-Carrying Drivers.

Truck drivers are required to keep a log book of both their work and on-duty hours.

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 and the family of those killed. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.

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The Washington State Patrol (WSP) has targeted commercial trucks for inspection in their “Roadcheck 2011” initiative. Troopers conducted a 72-hour emphasis patrol and inspected 1,189 in that period. It is definitely disturbing the number of violations they found especially in light of how many trucks are on our roads and highways and how many miles they log.

In conducting the safety emphasis, the truckers looked at critical safety systems and also the drivers and whether they were driving the proper number of hours by checking their logbooks and also insuring they have a commercial driver’s license and medical certificate.
seattle car-truck accident lawyerIn the 3-day period the WSP actually removed 214 out-of-service due to safety violations. They ticketed another 1,765 truckers for equipment violations.

The WSP didn’t only take trucks out-of-service, they also removed 40 drivers for violations of record-of-duty status, one driver for DUI and two drivers for driving on a suspended license. They also ticketed seven drivers for seatbelt violations.

Large trucks — including tractor trailers, single-unit trucks and large cargo vans — account for a disproportionate share of highway fatalities per mile driven. Large trucks account for a higher percentage of fatal accidents per mile than passenger vehicles even though trucks travel predominantly travel on interstate highways which are the safest roads.

When a truck and a passenger vehicle collide, the people in the passenger vehicle are usually the losers since trucks are so much larger and have a more ground clearance. In 2009, 3,163 people were killed in large truck accidents with 14% of the deaths occurring to the truck occupants, 70% were occupants of passenger cars or trucks and 14% to pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists. There was also a staggering 60,000 people injured in accidents involving large trucks and buses according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In Washington State, there were 453 fatal accidents involving large trucks and buses with 492 fatalities.
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