Sharing the road with semi-trucks is something Washington state drivers have learned to accept. They roar past us on the right or ride our bumpers, and there is next to nothing we can do about it except grip the steering wheel with white knuckles.
In some cases, being nervous around these massive vehicles is the end of the story. But in far too many cases, Silverdale-area drivers are injured or even killed when semi-truck drivers are careless on the road. In 2015 alone, commercial trucks were involved in Washington accidents more than 6,000 times.
The result? Thirty-eight people died, 85 were seriously injured, and 1,352 suffered so-called minor injuries.
This is simply unacceptable. Even a “minor” injury — which could take weeks or months to recover from and cause immense pain — caused by a careless trucker should not be the responsibility of the victim. Yet so many are left to cover their medical bills and other expenses because an 18-wheeler driver didn’t care enough to be careful.
Below, we outline the basic process for recovering compensation for a truck accident in Washington. For help with your unique case, reach out to the Silverdale semi-truck accident lawyers at Ryan, Montgomery & Armstrong, Inc., P.S.
How to Recover Compensation for a Truck Accident
To recover compensation for a truck accident in Washington, you will need to file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney can advise you of the best way forward for your unique case. Both methods will share some steps:
Seek Medical Care
Your first concern after a commercial truck accident should be to get medical care. Even if you don’t think you are injured, get checked out. This ensures your safety and creates a medical record of any injuries you suffered. This record will become important in your insurance claim or lawsuit as you seek a settlement.
Determine the Value of Your Claim
If you plan to file a claim for compensation, you will need to know how much to ask for. In Washington, you can be compensated for any way in which you have been harmed by someone else’s negligence. You calculate the value of your claim by adding up the value of each of your damages.
The following are some common damages for which you can seek compensation in a Washington truck accident claim:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses for planned surgeries, medications, and similar items
- Lost income while you recover from your injuries
- Reduced income in the future due to disability from your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional trauma
- Reduced quality of life
For the damages that do not have a clear price tag, a qualified truck accident lawyer can help you assign a maximum value that is based on sound legal reasoning.
Figure Out Who Is at Fault
After you know how much compensation you are owed, you need to know who owes it to you. Determining fault in a truck accident can be difficult because multiple parties could share part of the blame.
For example, employers are sometimes legally liable for the actions of their employees when they are on the clock. So does that apply to the trucker who hit you, too? Also consider the possibility that a part on the truck might have malfunctioned and caused your wreck. In that case, you might need to file a claim against the manufacturer of the truck or the specific part. And if bad road conditions contributed to the crash, a government road authority might bear some responsibility.
File Your Claim
Filing your claim and all the related paperwork is the culmination of all the work you and your lawyer have done so far. You will have to file on time and with the appropriate court. And then you wait for the at-fault parties’ response.
If they are willing to negotiate, your attorney can advocate for a fair settlement that covers your injuries and damages. If they are not willing to negotiate or settlement negotiations break down, the next step could be going to court. If that is the case, your lawyer will fight for every dollar you deserve.
Reach Out to a Silverdale Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer
Recovering from a semi-truck accident is one of the hardest things you can do. When you can barely work or care for yourself, how can you be expected to take on an entire lawsuit? That is too much to ask — especially if you don’t have legal expertise and have never done anything like this before.
But you do need compensation in order to get your life back. The attorneys at Ryan, Montgomery & Armstrong, Inc., P.S. understand that. It’s why we fight tirelessly for our client every single day.
To schedule a free consultation with a Silverdale semi-truck accident lawyer, give us a call at 360-307-8860 or contact us online.