Every motor vehicle has “blind spots” where the driver cannot easily see obstacles, pedestrians, and even entire vehicles without turning in their seat and looking outside of the range of their mirrors. While commercial trucks typically have larger side mirrors than the average commuter car, the length of the cab and trailer means they also have larger than average blind spots.

Truck drivers should be trained to regularly check their blind spots before turning or switching lanes, and any trucker who causes a wreck by negligently failing to do so could bear fault for any ensuing damages. Seeking assistance from a knowledgeable commercial vehicle collision attorney, such as Chong Ye of The Ye Law Firm, after a blind spot truck accident in Bellevue can be crucial to effectively pursuing a positive outcome for this type of claim.

Understanding a Blind Spot Tractor-Trailer Crash

While in motion, truck drivers have significantly reduced visibility in the following areas:

  • Approximately 20 feet beyond the front bumper of the cab
  • Up to 30 feet beyond the back bumper of the trailer
  • The right side of the truck from the front of the cab to near the rear of the trailer
  • The upper left side of the truck

Even with functioning mirrors and modern collision detection systems, commercial vehicle operators still struggle to see cars, motorcyclists, and pedestrians in these areas.

Truck Driver’s Duty of Care to Check Blind Spots

Despite their disadvantage, truck drivers still have an implicit legal responsibility, called a “duty of care,” that requires them to pay attention to their surroundings and ensure they have room to maneuver safely. A trucker who acts recklessly by not checking their blind spots effectively violates this duty, and if that violation leads directly to a wreck, they could be considered legally negligent, and therefore, financially liable for accident-related losses.

Comparative Fault

People driving around commercial trucks are expected to be aware of these vehicles’ blind spots and avoid driving closely in front of, behind, or next to tractor-trailers for an unreasonable amount of time. If a blind spot 18-wheeler crash in Bellevue results partially or primarily from the actions or inaction of someone other than the truck driver, the pure comparative fault system outlined in Revised Code of Washington §4.22.005 may leave that individual unable to recover for the full value of their damages. Chong Ye, a skilled lawyer, has years of experience navigating the local comparative fault laws and can explain how a jury may rule given the facts of a particular blind spot trucking accident case.

Recoverable Losses following a Blind Spot Truck Wreck

Through successful civil litigation, The Ye Law Firm can assist anyone injured in a Bellevue accident caused by a truck driver’s failure to check their blind spots in recovering compensation for harms such as:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Lost wages and/or earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Lost consortium
  • Car repair/replacement costs
  • Lost enjoyment of life

Statute of Limitations

Importantly, though, prospective plaintiffs must file suit no later than three years after sustaining injuries in a blind spot truck collision, per R.C.W. §4.16.080. Failing to abide by this filing deadline will generally lead to a court dismissing the case. The team at Ye Law Firm can ensure the paperwork is in order and submitted on time.

Seek Help from a Bellevue Attorney after a Blind Spot Truck Accident

Given their size and weight, any collision between a commercial truck and a commuter car will almost certainly have catastrophic consequences for the occupants of the smaller vehicle. This is especially true when truck drivers cause wrecks by not checking for other motorists in their blind spots, as they may swerve or slam into other drivers without slowing down or trying to veer away at all.

Blind spot truck accidents in Bellevue can serve as valid grounds for comprehensive civil recovery. Get in touch with Chong Ye, a qualified local attorney, today to learn more.

Read our e-book for more insights into trucking accidents.

book cover showing a truck hitting a car. Book title is The Washington State Trucking Accident Guide