Commercial Truck Accidents – Major Cause of Injury and Death on Whatcom County Roads

We see news stories of serious or fatal commercial truck accidents. The crash scenes are often dramatic, and make for good news headlines. But anyone who has been in a crash with a commercial truck knows how terrifying and damaging such a collision can be.

Attorney Bill Coats has worked with many truck accident victims throughout his 20 years of legal experience in Bellingham. He understands how commercial truck insurance policies are structured, he understands the difficulty in dealing with out-of-state companies, and he understands how to negotiate a full settlement with a powerful commercial trucking insurance company.

Get your questions about your accident with a commercial truck answered – call Bill at 360-392-2833 or complete this confidential contact form.

Why do trucking accidents typically result in higher settlement amounts to victims?

Research shows that approximately 500,000 trucking accidents occur each year in the United States, and of these, approximately 5,000 result in fatalities. Truck accidents typically have higher damages, and therefore trucking companies are required by federal and state law to hold larger insurance policies. These insurance requirements are in place to protect the victims of truck accidents from truckers and companies who may not be able to pay full compensation to truck accident victims.

How much insurance coverage do trucking companies carry?

  • A truck carrying non-hazardous goods is required to have a minimum of $750,000 in insurance coverage.
  • Any truck that transports HAZMAT goods needs to have a minimum insurance cover of $1,000,000.
  • A commercial truck carrying HAZMAT goods and/or explosives has to have a minimum insurance of $5,000,000.
  • Trucks that have a gross weight of less than 10,000 pounds have to carry $300,000 in insurance for general goods, and $5,000,000 for HAZMAT goods.


Truck Accident Attorney Bill Coats understands how to handle complicated accident claims

Bill Coats is experienced in managing truck accident cases, which can be complicated by dealing with out-of-state or out-of-country defendants and insurance companies that vigorously fight settlement payouts.

Don’t attempt to manage a truck accident claim alone!

It’s important to understand that truckers and trucking companies have skilled insurance agents who will do everything in their power to make you settle for the least amount possible. Do not risk getting a full settlement by dealing with the insurance adjuster alone.

DUI truck drivers are a common cause of trucking accidents

There are many common causes of a truck accident, including truck driver fatigue, driver error, mechanical failures, other drivers’ negligence, and road conditions. But one troubling cause is DUI drivers behind the wheel. Recent statistics show that in 2010, 3% of truck drivers involved in fatal accidents in the United States were legally drunk, and the percentage is higher for truck drivers involved in injury or fatal accidents.

Bill Coats has a track record of obtaining full settlements for commercial vehicle victims

For example, in a recent case involving a near-fatal crash between a passenger car and a commercial farming vehicle, Bill obtained a $825,000 settlement for his client. In another accident involving a commerical vehicle, he found $260,000 for his bicyclist client who was hit when a truck tried to make a sudden left turn. These claims are challenging and they require a skilled, experienced attorney who is able to take on the powerful insurance companies to achieve a full settlement.

Contact Bill Coats today so you can get your life back on track

If you have been injured in a truck accident and are dealing with painful injuries, medical bills, lost income, and calls from insurance adjusters pressuring you to settle the claim quickly, contact Bill Coats immediately to get answers to your questions and begin to get your life back on track. Call him at 360-392-2833 or complete this convenient contact form.

If you have been in a different type of collision and want specific information about it, please click on the corresponding link below:

Bike accident

Pedestrian accident

Wrongful Death

Car Accident

Drunk Driving

Distracted Driving

Motorcycle Accident

Personal Injury

Negligent commercial truck drivers can wreak havoc on Bellingham car accident victims' lives

By now you’re familiar with the kinds of dangers Bellingham drivers face when they share the road with semi trucks. Just the nature of the trucks themselves – their size, weight, and cargo – can itself be dangerous. But what if the driver is negligent?


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Why are semi trucks such a danger to Bellingham and Whatcom County cars?

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A drunk driver hits a big rig in Whatcom County

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Like driving the length of a football field at 55 mph with eyes closed - in a semi truck

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The Most Common Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents


According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 415,000 reported crashes involved commercial vehicles in the United States in 2015. Those accidents resulted in a total of 3,852 fatalities, a 22 percent increase from similar crashes in 2009.

Surprisingly, 60 percent of crashes involving commercial vehicles occurred on rural roads, while only 25 percent of them occurred on rural or urban interstate highways. In addition, 35 percent of all fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles occurred during the 12-hour period from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m.

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Drive Defensively Around Semi-Trucks

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Common truck accident questions in Bellingham, WA

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Here are some commonly asked questions about truck accidents and personal injury.

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Truckers Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol in Whatcom County

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Commercial truck drivers have increasing pressures on them to maintain a strict schedule. With the increase in shipping needs of consumers, trucks have felt the demand to make shipments in good time. Sometimes this pressure means marathon driving sessions. If you’ve been behind the wheel on interstate roads for long periods without break, you might be able to relate. Fatigued driving means the driver feels worn out and unfocused, and may even fall asleep behind the wheel.

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