Call Selander O’Brien Today To Speak To Seattle’s Best Truck Accident Lawyer
Suffering from a Fatality or Devastating Injury Due to a Big Truck Accident? Get the Help You Need Now
The numbers are staggering: nearly 110,000 people are killed or injured each year on our highways in crashes with big trucks. A hard look behind the numbers reveals that most of these accidents were preventable.
Did You Know?
- 40% of accidents involving large trucks are due to truck driver fatigue;
- Truckers who drive for more than 8 hours are twice as likely to be in an accident;
- 30% of all commercial trucks on the roadway exceed allowable weight limits;
- 15% of fatal truck accidents involve overweight trucks;
- 25% of inspected trucks were found to be mechanically deficient, and therefore illegally operated and declared out of service;
- Federal officials have uncovered commercial truck licensing fraud in 24 states – thousands of unskilled, untrained drivers may be on our highways?
Large trucks present special problems on the roadway: their size makes them more difficult to maneuver, their weight takes them longer to stop, and their length creates large blind spots. It’s no surprise that large trucks are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal accident than passenger vehicles. Trucking companies immediately dispatch their own team of investigators to an accident scene to protect their rights and to limit your claim. You need an attorney to protect your rights.
What You Need to Know
After a truck accident, you should follow these important guidelines, and avoid some crucial mistakes:
- DO seek medical treatment for your injuries;
- DO document everything said and done by the trucker at the scene and get witness contact information.
- DO take photographs, if possible, of the vehicles, roadway or road conditions that caused your accident;
- DO take photographs of any bruises, cuts, scars or any other visible injuries you received;
- DO contact our offices for further instruction on the handling of your claim;
- DON’T agree to give a recorded statement to the at-fault trucker’s insurance company;
- DON’T sign paperwork allowing the trucker’s insurance company to get your medical or employment records without first consulting with us;
- DON’T post photos or information about your accident or injuries on social media;
- DON’T allow the trucker’s insurance company to visit your home or to meet with you
How We Can Help You
- We immediately work to preserve critical evidence of the accident and its cause;
- We investigate the trucker’s driving history, log book for hours driven and training to operate an 18-wheeler;
- We investigate the trucking company and whether its conduct contributed to your accident;
- We determine all persons and trucking companies who may be responsible for your injuries;
- We advise you of all of the damages you can recover;
- We determine the value of your claim, assess the fairness of any settlement offers, and advise you whether to file a lawsuit;
- We are available if you have any questions
Our Experience and Commitment
Ken Selander, Jr. has handled numerous trucking cases and successfully represented automobile drivers and passengers, motorcyclists and bikers in trucking accidents. These cases presented special challenges and required knowledge of the trucking industry and its operations. Ken is a member of APITLA, the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers for America, an organization dedicated to making trucking safer on our roadways. Rest assured, your case will be handled on an individual basis, and your questions and concerns will be responded to promptly. Please contact us for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.
How do I pay for your services?
Our firm handles truck accident cases on what is called a contingency fee basis: earning our attorney’s fee is contingent upon obtaining a favorable settlement or verdict. The fees charged are a percentage of the settlement or verdict that is obtained. In most trucking accident cases our fee is 33% of the recovery, but in complex trucking cases (roadway design, products liability) our fee is usually 40%. This fee agreement is different from a traditional hourly fee charged by attorneys who keep track of their time and charge you at their hourly rate. With an hourly fee attorney you must also pay for the attorney’s time as the case proceeds. We are paid at the conclusion of the case and do not charge you along the way. We also advance the costs of pursuing the case (paying for experts, depositions or other case related expenses for which you are responsible) and are repaid when we collect from the negligent party. The costs we advance are separate from the attorney’s fees we charge. To see a copy of our fee agreement or to have any of your questions answered, please contact us.
Are my medical bills paid by the trucker’s insurance company?
Not initially. As your bills are incurred, they will need to be paid by your own insurance. If you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or medical pay insurance coverage, that coverage is used to pay your bills. If you don’t have PIP insurance coverage, your health insurance is then used to pay your bills. The trucking company will usually only pay your medical bills (or reimburse your insurance company for paying your bills) at the time of settlement or if the bills are proven at trial.
How do I know if I need an attorney?
Most personal injury cases are better resolved with the help of an attorney. If you are involved in a case where a small amount of money is being pursued, you may be better off representing yourself in settlement negotiations or in small claims court. With serious and catastrophic injuries, an attorney is recommended to capture all of your losses and to create greater value for your claim. At the very least, you should have an attorney consultation to assess your claim, to understand your options, and to explain the claims process. We offer free consultations, so please don't hesitate to contact us.
How much money will I recover?
Every case is unique, and we will give you an honest evaluation of your claim once we have reviewed all the necessary information to fully assess your case. The assessment process requires collecting all of your medical records and other pertinent information, as well as meeting with you personally to understand your pain and suffering or “general damages”. Personal injury claims entitle you to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, lost income earning potential, pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, as well other potential compensations.
How long will the claim process take?
We will move as quickly as possible to resolve your claim and bring an end to this process. The time periods to settle claims do vary and there is no set answer as to how long your claim process will take since your settlement may depend upon your injuries and recovery, or the court in which we have filed a lawsuit. In King County, for example, cases are set for trial roughly 18 months after a lawsuit is filed with the court. Most cases settle without a trial or hearing, bringing closure sooner than the trial date.