Semi Truck Accident Lawyers in Kennewick, WA
Semi truck accident attorneys or tractor trailer accident lawyers at Parke Gordon Law Firm in Kennewick believe every client deserves fair representation. Our semi truck accident lawyers are experienced in representing clients involved in accidents caused by semi trucks, big rigs, tractor trailers, or other commercial vehicles. Truck accidents can cause serious injuries and sometimes result in wrongful death claims. Special considerations are owed in handling a semi truck accident due to the safety of special federal and state laws that regulate trucking companies and their drivers. Let the expert truck accident attorneys at Parke Gordon Law Firm in Tri-Cities, Washington handle your case. Our experienced semi truck accident attorneys can get you results!
Immediately Hire a Tri-Cities Semi Truck Accident Attorney
Semi truck companies are required by federal law to keep documents about their trucks and their drivers but after a period of time, they may destroy those documents. You need to hire a semi truck attorney immediately after a truck accident. If the driver of the commercial truck was negligent, evidence needs to be preserved that can be used to demonstrate that the trucking company and its driver are responsible. A truck accident attorney can protect your rights by sending a special letter called a spoliation letter to the trucking company. After receipt of the letter, the trucking company will be forced to preserve the documents. If the documents show a pattern of willful and reckless behavior, you may be entitled to recover punitive damages.
Do not hurt your chances of obtaining a full recovery by waiting to hire a semi truck accident attorney from Parke Gordon Law Firm. After the trucking company has destroyed valuable evidence that you could have used to prove your case, you may not receive as great of a settlement.
5 Tips to Drive Safely Near Semi Trucks to Avoid a Serious Accident
Tip 1: Make Sure the Semi Truck Driver Can See You
A semi truck has four blind spots:
- Directly in front of the cab
- On the right of the cab
- On the driver’s side from the cab door to 1/3 down the trailer
- Directly behind the trailer
A good rule of thumb to remember is if you can’t see the driver in their rear view mirrors, they can’t see you. It is also a good idea to no linger near a semi truck. Lingering leaves you to possibly be in a truck driver’s blind spot.
Tip 2: Leave Plenty of Space
It is hard enough to maneuver a large vehicle such as a semi truck. Give the semi truck driver a break by leaving them some space. Some issues with following a semi truck too closely include:
- The truck driver cannot see directly behind them. If a car is following too closely, it is most likely they will hit the back of the trailer.
- Semi trucks often have tires that blow out. To avoid large chunks of debris flying at you, stay back.
A good amount of space to leave is five seconds.
Tip 3: Never Cut Off a Semi Truck
Trucks need twice as much space to stop compared with a car. If you cut off a semi while braking, it is likely the semi is going to crash into you. Semi trucks weigh 80,000 pounds. Stopping a fully loaded truck takes some time and space.
Tip 4: Use Your Turn Signals and Have Patience
A semi truck has to drive slower than a car because of its size. It is easy to become impatient with a semi truck but remember to have patience. It could save a life. Semi truck drivers may have to cut you off to pass another vehicle. It is not usually their intention to inconvenience you. They do it to keep momentum. Honking, tailgating or flashing your lights will not speed things up. Just be patient and courteous.
Tip 5: Avoid passing or driving in the lane to the Right of a Semi Truck
A few key reasons to avoid passing a semi truck on the right are:
- A semi truck has a large blind spot on their right. Passing on the right endangers your ability to be seen by the semi truck driver.
- When turning, a semi truck needs extra space. Avoid being sandwiched between a large semi and a pole or other objects on the side of the road.
It is important to drive safely near semi trucks to avoid an accident. Semi trucks travel about 140 billion miles a year in the United States. Understandably, semi trucks are critical and necessary to be on the road to deliver goods to stores. How can a small vehicle be safe while driving near a semi truck or other large vehicle?
Tips for Passing a Semi Truck on a Two-Lane Road Safely
Many fatal semi truck accident occurs on a two-lane road. Impatience and even road rage are often common when driving. Getting behind a slow-moving vehicle such as a semi truck on a two-lane road can be very irritating. Waiting to pass and following the Washington Rules of the Road is critical to the safety of the driver and anyone else on the road. Here are a few tips on how to pass on a two-lane road to ensure your safety and follow the law.
- Be aware of traffic and lane markings. A solid line indicates that a driver must stay in the lane. When the line turns to a single dotted yellow line, it is safe to pass so long as traffic permits.
- Check other conditions around you before attempting to pass. For example, tunnels, bridges, sharp turns, driveways, animals, bad weather conditions or anything else that could possibly create a hazard for you to pass.
- Ensure there is enough space for you to pass around other traffic. Look ahead into the other lane and make note of any oncoming vehicles. If you have any hesitation, DO NOT PASS.
- Know what the speed limit is and if you have enough time to pass without going over the speed limit. If the slow-moving vehicle in front of you is moving no slower than 15 mph under the speed limit, it may be best to wait.
- If you come to the conclusion it is safe to pass, do so in a manner that is safe for everyone. For example, accelerate slowly, use your turn signal, smoothly pass, use your turn signal to re-enter the lane.
How to Avoid a Head-on Semi Truck Accident
A head-on semi truck accident is one of the most dangerous types of accidents to be involved in. Due to the large size of a semi truck, a head-on collision with one is often fatal. A semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That amount of weight against a small car will obviously have a large impact. Know how to avoid a head-on semi truck accident to save the life of you or your loved ones.
Always Wear a Seat Belt
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports airbags and seat belt use has reduced the fatality rate of head-on collisions by 61 percent.
Pass with Great Caution
When driving on a rural road, only pass when it is safe to do so. This can be tricky for many drivers as it is hard to see oncoming traffic until you start to attempt to pass. If in doubt, don’t. Instead, wait for a passing lane.
Never drive tired or distracted. Make sure to always have your eyes and mind on the road when you are driving to avoid an accident. All too often a driver accidentally swerves into oncoming traffic because they are distracted or falling asleep at the wheel.
Observe Lane Markings
It is only lawful to pass on a one-lane road when the line is dashed or a passing lane is present. Passing over a double yellow line or in a
How to Avoid Overcorrection While Driving
Sometimes you may find yourself driving on the shoulder of the road by accident as you are passing a semi truck. If this happens, be sure not to overcorrect. To overcorrect means to oversteer due to reacting to an event such as driving off the road. Here are some tips to prevent overcorrecting while driving.
- Ease your way back onto the road. Your knee-jerk reaction will most likely be to quickly pull but onto the road. Don’t do it! A quick jerk of the steering wheel will likely cause you to spin out or drive into oncoming traffic.
- Get a firm grip on the steering wheel and drive straight while easing off the accelerator.
- While slowing, straddle the pavement edge.
- When traffic is clear, turn the steering wheel back toward the pavement and return driving as normal. Be careful not to steer too far so you don’t end up driving in the opposite lane.
What Does It Mean for a Truck to Jack Knife?
When a large 18-wheel semi truck and its trailer skid causing the trailer to swing out and stop to form a 90-degree angle, it is known as a jackknife. The term jack knife refers to when the blade of a jackknife forms an angle with its protective handle. When a semi truck jackknifes it can create a very dangerous situation for any other vehicles on the road. To make matters worse, when a semi jackknifes it is likely it will also roll over.
What Causes a Semi Truck to Jack Knife?
Typically, when a semi truck jackknifes, the drive wheels are locked when they reach a slippery spot while the front wheels, as well as the trailer, keep rolling forward. Slick roads often cause jackknifing. Another cause for jackknifing is when the driver takes a curve too fast or swerves to avoid colliding with another vehicle or object.
What are Some Common Reasons for Semi Truck Accidents?
Statistics found by a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported the following:
- 27 percent of semi trucks had brake problems.
- 5 percent of semi truck drivers were driving aggressively.
- 19 percent of drivers were unfamiliar with the route.
- 7 percent were driving tired.
- 10 percent of truck drivers felt under pressure to meet a deadline.
- 3 percent of semi trucks experienced a tire problem.
- 1 percent of semi truck drivers were ill.
- 4 percent of drivers were under the influence of illegal substances.
- 3 percent had been drinking alcohol.
Other common reasons for semi truck accidents including the following:
- Malfunctioning equipment, including poorly maintained, design defects, lack of adherence to guidelines and manufacturing errors.
- Bad weather conditions in which the driver did not slow down for wet or icy roads.
- Mistakes made by the truck driver including driving distracted, drunk, speeding or other similar reasons.
- Insecure loading such as distributing weight evenly on the semi causing it to slip off or tip over and crash.
- Trucking company fails to follow industry requirements.
Maximize Your Settlement With a Semi Truck Accident Lawyer
A person injured in a semi truck accident is entitled to recover a number of different types of damages, categorized as either economic or non-economical, or special or general. Truck accident victims usually do not know what types of damages are available to them after a truck accident. By not hiring a lawyer, many people settle for much less than they could recover from the trucking company or its insurance company. Our experienced semi truck lawyers can build your case by employing experts to investigate liability, produce life care plans, economic analysis, and make a vocational rehabilitation assessment to maximize the value of the damages you are entitled to recover.
Contact a Semi Truck Accident Attorney in Tri-Cities, WA
Don’t wait to call our semi truck accident attorneys or tractor trailer accident lawyers at Parke Gordon Law Firm in Tri-Cities, Washington. Call Parke Gordon Law Firm now at (509) 582-7274 for a free consultation to speak with an experienced semi truck accident attorney about your case. We can help take the stress out of your claim and make sure you get every penny owed. The semi-truck accident lawyers at Parke Gordon Law Firm in Tri-Cities are aggressive, trusted, and experienced. Call our Kennewick law office now to get started on your semi truck accident case. Call (509) 582-7274 for a free case review.
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Tri-Cities, Washington Law Office
Our Tri-Cities, Washington law office provides legal services to injury clients in and surrounding Tri-Cities, including clients injured in accidents in Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, Washington. Visit or call our Tri-Cities office now.8905 W Gage Blvd, #200 Kennewick, WA 99336 Phone:(509) 582-7274