Every year approximately one million loads of logs are hauled by log trucks on Washington state's roadways. Logging, or timber harvesting, is one of the largest industries in Washington. Log trucks travel over private, county, state and federal road systems on dirt, gravel, and pavement.
On average there are about 125 log truck accidents each year in Washington. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, logging trucks were involved in 116 accidents in Washington in 2007, and the cumulative annual distance of travel is approximately 140 million miles often under adverse road and weather conditions.
Making things worse, accidents involving heavy trucks in Washington state increased 15 percent between 2006 and 2008, and between 2002 and 2007 there were a total of 772 accidents with an average of 129 accidents per year were found.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a log truck incident, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today. You can call (206) 727-4000, use the chat feature below or fill out the form on this page.
Who is Responsible for Your Injuries?
Logging truck accidents are similar to other semi-truck crashes in the sense that they are complicated and difficult to navigate. There may also be problems identifying all the negligent parties.
To determine what caused your logging truck accident and who is responsible for the damages (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc), the attorneys at Davis Law Group will work hard to obtain evidence, such as driver logs, road debris, the vehicles involved and more.
We will also work to build you the best case possible using a team of expert witnesses, including reconstructionists, economists, vocational experts, and more.
Attorney Chris Davis has developed a reputation for bringing log truck accident cases to trial and fighting for fair compensation for our clients. We understand the challenges that logging truck accident cases present and work tirelessly to protect our clients' right to fair compensation.
Wherever you were injured in a logging truck accident in Washington state, contact Davis Law Group today. (206) 727-4000.
Common Injuries in Logging Truck Accidents
If you or a loved one has been involved in a logging truck accident, please seek immediate medical attention. Many injuries – such as internal injuries or neck injuries – can take days for symptoms to fully present themselves after an accident.
Below are some of the most common injuries suffered in Washington state logging truck accidents:
- Brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur when blunt force impacts the head.
- Spinal cord injuries. Damage to the spinal cord can result in life-changing injuries, including potential paralysis.
- Broken bones. Due to the size, weight and forces involved in a log truck collision, broken bones are quite common.
- Burn injuries. People involved in log truck crashes may suffer burn injuries.
- Amputations. Severe log truck accidents may result in the loss of a digit (finger or toe) or a limb (arm, leg).
- Respiratory illness. Punctured lung, collapsed lung, chemical burns, smoke damage, etc., may occur in a bad log truck accident.
- Wrongful Death. Unfortunately the worst logging truck crashes may result in the death of a loved one.
Causes of Log Truck Accidents
The two most critical factors of log transport safety are balancing load weights and properly securing loads. Log truck accidents can be caused by improperly loaded log trucks that are unbalanced and cause the truck to tip over when turning. An overweight log truck can lose its logging load causing serious harm and injuries.
Logs that are not properly secured can fall onto the road or other vehicles. Logging trucks that exceed height requirements can cause over-height accidents with low-clearance overpasses or bridges.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a part of the United States Department of Transportation, and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) have specific rules and regulations that define the standards for securing loads on logging trucks and the transportation of logs. But improperly trained and/or poorly supervised truck drivers or logging personnel often make mistakes that result in serious safety issues.
Attorney Chris Davis' experience has revealed that many log truck accidents in Washington state can be avoided if the drivers of these commercial vehicles were more careful and attentive of the road and other drivers.
Another serious issue and common cause of log truck accidents is poorly maintained logging vehicles. Log transport vehicles that have not had frequent safety and maintenance checks have a higher rate of brake deterioration/failure or lost loads due to safety equipment that is simply worn out or outdated.
Safety Requirements Specific to Log Hauling Trucks
There are a variety of specific rules and regulations that apply to logging trucks in Washington state.
The logs themselves cannot exceed specific size, weight and length requirements. Logs must be transported on a vehicle that has been specifically designed and built for the transportation of logs. These commercial logging trucks must cradle the logs and prevent them from rolling.
The load must also be secured in such a way as to prevent the unintentional separation from the vehicle during transport. And tie-downs and load stabilization bunks, stakes, and bolsters must be used to secure the load.
Assisting Logging Truck Accident Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a logging truck, you may be entitled to recovering financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Washington state law permits injured victims of negligence to pursue a personal injury claim against the party responsible for their injuries, but there are strict time limits and victims should act quickly to preserve important evidence and protect their legal rights.
Call Davis Law Group in Seattle at (206) 727-4000 or use the confidential contact form on this page to have your case personally reviewed by our award-winning legal team. If we believe we can add value to your case or increase the chances of a favorable outcome, our attorneys will meet with you for a free legal consultation to discuss your case in more detail.