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

Bellingham Attorney Bill Coats Understands Truck Blind Spot Accidents (No Zone)

Truck accidents that involve negligence can cost commercial trucking companies millions of dollars in liability, and they know it. These kinds of accidents can be complex, and the companies have resources to put on these cases, and fight them tooth and nail. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a semi-truck trailer, call Bill Coats Law immediately. You will need a tough lawyer to go after these companies, and represent your interests every step of the way. You can start here with this contact form, and receive a free case evaluation.

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Whatcom County Lawyer Represents Victims of Semi-Trucks Crashes Resulting in Death

A vehicle accident is scary, frightening, and awful. When that wreck results in the death of your loved one, it is one of the hardest things in life to go through. If it’s because of a truck driver or company’s negligence, it’s unconscionable. While you might want to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties, the thought of that might feel insurmountably difficult. You know it will be a long, uphill battle, and will take lot of mental and emotional preparation.

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Attorney Bill Coats Understands Truck and Trailer Crashes

If you’ve spent any time traveling along Washington mountain highways, you have most likely noticed them: runaway truck ramps. These are provided for trucks that get into a very scary situation: when the trailer begins to go faster than the tractor to which it’s attached. Situations like this are extremely volatile, and all it takes is seconds for catastrophe to occur. Trailers can become detached, and will take out all that’s in front of it until it comes to rest. Imagine more than 80,000 pounds barreling at you.

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Trucks and SUVs Have a Higher Rollover Danger that Puts Bellingham Drivers at Risk

The higher the center of gravity, the higher the likelihood that a vehicle will rollover. Accidents and sudden turns can sometimes prove to be too much for trucks and SUVs to handle, which can result in one of the scarier – and deadlier – kinds of crashes. If a vehicle rolls, common results are that occupants are ejected and/or the roof is crushed. Catastrophic injuries may occur such as multiple fractures, back or spinal cord injuries, or traumatic brain injuries. And in the worst case scenarios, fatalities may result.

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Overweight Trucks Cause Accidents on Whatcom County Roads

Though semi tractor trailers are designed to carry heavy loads, they can be overloaded. When a truck carries more than it is supposed to, major, catastrophic wrecks can occur. These wrecks, as they tend to happen on interstate highways at high speeds, can happen on any Washington road.

It’s a sad fact that many trucks are overloaded typically, on any given day. Truckers and their companies are under pressure to maximize each trip, and sometimes this means trucks are loaded too heavy, or too quickly so they are not properly balanced.

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When You're the Victim in a Jackknife Truck Accident You Can Benefit From a Lawyer's Help

Most likely you’ve seen the harrowing pictures in the media, as these are usually significant, scary accidents. When a truck jackknifes, it’s a big deal. Jackknifing means that the trailer skids up and folds against the tractor at a very acute angle. You can think of it like a pocket knife partly opened. Any other vehicles nearby are vulnerable to being hit by the trailer as it swings around, and, as you can imagine, worst case scenarios can happen in the blink of an eye.

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When do you call a lawyer?

It’s one of the hardest times in life – after a debilitating accident. No one wants to be in this situation, but what if you are? You don’t have to go it alone. Because when you have to call the insurance company, to try to get your bills covered just as your policy should be designed to do, it can feel like David phoning up Goliath to try to make a deal.

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What to do after a car accident

It’s not too hard to imagine. You’re driving along on another beautiful sunny Bellingham day, and bam! Someone runs into you, or – we know it can happen – you run into someone else. Immediately the adrenaline and emotions run high, and it can be hard to know what to do next.

So what do you do if you are in an accident? Whether you are driving close to home in Bellingham, Whatcom County or beyond, these are the steps to follow.

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Robert was a long-haul truck driver for over 20 years.  He was almost home here in Bellingham when seemingly out of nowhere, part of a tire came crashing through his windshield.  The tire had come off a semi-truck that was traveling in the other direction when it exploded, flew across the median and crashed through Robert’s windshield.