If you were injured in or lost a loved one to a commercial truck accident, do not wait to speak to an experienced Washington, D.C. truck accident attorney about your accident. At Lightfoot Law, PLLC, our truck accident attorneys care about you and your family and will put your best interests first in any truck accident claim or litigation.
At Lightfoot Law, PLLC, we fight aggressively for full and fair compensation for you and your family. We have a track record of success, and you can put your trust in our firm and our truck accident attorneys to take the burden of your truck accident claim off of you so you can focus on healing from your injuries or grieving for your loved one.
The attorneys at Lightfoot Law, PLLC, represent individuals injured in all types of commercial vehicle accidents. We employ diligent negotiation techniques and tenacious courtroom strategies to pursue the best possible outcome.
Our truck accident attorneys are:
- Dedicated and experienced;
- Compassionate and understanding; and
- Knowledgeable and resourceful.
Contact Lightfoot Law, PLLC, online or call today at (831) 708-0298. We are prepared to prove your claim and fight aggressively on your behalf. Your initial consultation is confidential at no cost today.
We look forward to speaking with you and answering your truck accident questions.
How an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
Truck accidents are one of the most complex personal injury claims to navigate. It is best to do so with an experienced truck accident attorney by your side.
Lightfoot Law, PLLC, takes the time to answer all of your questions and works quickly to resolve your most immediate concerns, whether that is a property damage claim or your impending medical bills. You will work directly with a truck accident attorney who understands the difficulties you are facing while recovering from your accident.
At Lightfoot Law, PLLC, we build a strong legal case on your behalf and are trial-ready at all times. We are prepared to prove your truck accident claim and secure the compensation you need to move forward with your best possible life.
Our attorneys do this through the following:
- Handling all communications and correspondence with the insurers and trucking companies;
- Notifying medical bill collectors about your accident claim status;
- Investigating your accident to determine its cause and all liable parties;
- Interviewing witnesses and collecting their statements;
- Pursuing damages for medical bills, lost wages, disability, and pain and suffering;
- Consulting with any medical and financial experts to assess the value of your claim;
- Developing a legal strategy that will maximize your financial recovery;
- Filing your truck accident claim;
- Aggressively pursuing compensation through negotiations with the insurance company(ies); and
- If necessary, proceeding to litigation and presenting your case to a judge or jury.
Trucking companies quickly descend upon the scene of an accident to collect valuable evidence and figure out how to reduce their responsibility. When officials clear the debris, vital evidence disappears, and so may your opportunity to receive the full amount of compensation you deserve. Lightfoot Law, PLLC, immediately jumps into action to protect your interests.
During our aggressive investigation, we try to preserve crucial evidence, take witness statements, and photograph the scene to record skid marks and vehicle positioning. We understand the anguish that follows a catastrophic trucking accident, and we refuse to allow a negligent company to take advantage of the surrounding chaos to mitigate its liability.
When preparing for negotiations or trial, our attorneys consult qualified experts who understand the extraordinary impact of trucking accidents. In court, these professionals — such as trauma doctors, chiropractors, accident reconstruction analysts, and mechanics — can offer compelling testimony about your accident and resulting injuries.
We employ assertive strategies to obtain damages for past and future medical bills, lost income, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. If you have endured the devastating loss of a family member in a trucking accident, we can file a wrongful death suit on your behalf.
No matter what kind of injury you’ve suffered, Lightfoot Law, PLLC, stands strong in the face of tough opposition, using all available means to present a strong case on your behalf. Call us in Washington, D.C., today to discuss the truck claims process or address any concerns you may have about your truck accident case.
Federal Rules and Regulations for Commercial Trucks
Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to abide by various laws and regulations designed for public protection. These laws and regulations are enforced by state agencies or by the federal government, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). When truck drivers and trucking companies ignore these rules, innocent people are put at risk, and truck accidents occur.
Examples of trucking rules and regulations include:
- Hours-of-Service rules which govern the amount of time truckers are allowed to be on duty and behind the wheel;
- Driver qualifications that require commercial drivers to hold a valid commercial driver’s license, pass drug and alcohol screenings, and receiving medical certifications showing they are fit to drive commercial trucks;
- Vehicle maintenance guides regulating the maintenance of trucking fleets and attention to known hazards like unsafe or worn brakes, old tires, and broken headlights or signals; and
- Cargo regulations that require properly securing cargo, cargo weight limits, and safe transportation of hazardous materials.
Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
Regardless of public safety rules, commercial truck accidents happen. According to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the majority of truck accidents cite driver negligence as their cause.
Driver negligence may include any of the following:
- Distracted driving;
- Aggressive driving;
- Drowsy driving;
- Bad merges; and
- Drug or alcohol use.
The same FMCSA study cites four types of truck accidents as making up more than half of all truck accidents.
- Rollovers occur when a truck driver falls onto its side or rolls more than once;
- A jackknife happens when a truck’s trailer skids around to meet its cab causing the driver to lose control of the truck;
- Under-ride. In an under-ride, a smaller vehicle collides with the backend of a truck and slides underneath the truck’s rear end; and
- Rear-End. A rear-end collision occurs when either the truck or the passenger car collides with the back of the other. This is the most common type of truck accident.
Liability for Commercial Truck Accidents in Washington, D.C.
Truck accidents differ from car accidents in several ways. The most obvious being the size and weight of commercial trucks. A fully loaded commercial truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, while a passenger vehicle weighs approximately 3,000 pounds.
Many trucks carry hazardous materials that can ignite, causing fires or other dangerous conditions during an accident. This makes truck accidents and truck accident injuries severe and often deadly.
A final key difference between truck accidents and car accidents is that one or more parties may share responsibility for a truck accident, including:
- The truck driver;
- Another driver on the road;
- The trucking company that employed the driver;
- Someone who maintained or repaired the truck;
- The manufacturer of the truck’s parts;
- The manufacturer of the truck; and
- The facility that loaded the truck.
Truck Accident Injuries
Regardless of liability for a truck accident, truck accidents result in catastrophic, or even fatal, injuries for both drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles. These injuries can require weeks, months, or even years of recovery and therapy to manage.
There are several types of injuries attributable to truck accidents, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Spinal cord damage including paralysis, paraplegia, or quadriplegia;
- Head trauma such as traumatic brain injury, coma, loss of cognitive abilities, and depression;
- Soft tissue injury to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments;
- Internal injuries like bleeding of the liver, kidney, pancreas, and spleen;
- Broken bones and fractures;
- Back and neck pain;
- Burns, disfigurement, and scarring;
- Whiplash; and
- Bruises and lacerations.
Washington, D.C. Truck Accident Compensation
Truck accidents may cause lifelong injuries that prevent victims from returning to work or everyday activities. Due to the nature and the severity of injuries incurred by victims of truck accidents and the higher insurance policy limits carried by trucking companies, compensation may be significantly more than in other types of vehicle accidents.
Compensation in truck accidents generally includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Medical bills;
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation;
- Nursing care;
- Home and vehicle modifications;
- Property damage;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of income;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Wrongful death.
Contact an Experienced Washington, D.C. Truck Accident Attorney Today
Truck accidents are traumatizing, and it is hard to know exactly what to do after one occurs. Following these steps can help protect your legal rights, the potential for recovery, and physical health following a truck accident.
- Remain at the scene of the crash;
- Remove yourself and your vehicle from the road if possible;
- Call for medical assistance and the police;
- Get medical attention whether you feel hurt or not, as many injuries are not immediately apparent to accident suffers;
- Ask for a copy of the police report for your records;
- Identify other parties involved in the accident and exchange information if possible. Be sure to document the truck driver’s name, company’s name, insurance information, and license number;
- Check for witnesses and take down their statements and contact information;
- Document the accident if possible by taking photos of the accident with a phone or a camera. Take pictures of injuries;
- Call an experienced truck accident attorney;
- Do not provide a written or recorded statement to the insurance adjuster without speaking with a truck accident attorney;
- Refrain from making any comments about your accident on social media.
Because trucks are so much bigger and heavier than cars, accidents involving these large commercial carriers are more likely to cause debilitating injuries and death to motorists. At Lightfoot Law, PLLC, we represent truck accident victims in the Washington area and throughout the District of Columbia. Though no amount of money can erase the heartache resulting from your injuries, our skilled attorneys can advocate for your right to receive just compensation from the parties responsible.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, or if your loved one was killed in one, we offer the diligent representation you need, fighting for the compensation you deserve. Call Lightfoot Law, PLLC at (831) 708-0298 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. One of our truck accident attorneys will answer any questions you have about your potential for recovery and how negligent parties are held responsible for the damages they cause innocent victims.