A major pileup on I-5 resulted in one death and a major traffic backup in Tacoma last Friday. The multi-vehicle crash involved a semitruck and several cars. According to the Washington State Patrol, the semi jackknifed as it approached traffic that had slowed or stopped in the right lane on southbound I-5, just north of 84th Street.
As the driver of the semi swerved to the left to avoid hitting the car in front of him, he hit another car in the left lane, jackknifed and then hit the vehicle that had been directly in front of him anyway. The driver of the vehicle in the left lane was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported. The crash blocked all lanes, with traffic being diverted through the 72nd Street exit
Truck accidents and catastrophic injury and death
Truck accidents contribute to thousands of deaths each year as well as millions of dollars in catastrophic injury claims and property loss. In 2017, there were 5,005 lives lost in crashes involving large trucks or buses, and CMVs (Commercial Motor Vehicles) are responsible for 13% of all traffic fatalities.
According to the FMCSA, speed was a factor in 17% of truck crashes that involved at least one large truck occupant fatality. Driver distraction was a factor in 6% of these accidents, and the distraction was related to cell phone use 16% of the time.
Proving negligence in Washington
Washington follows the doctrine contributory fault in determining the recovery of damages, allowing a percentage of compensation to be awarded if the court determines that the injured party was partially responsible for causing the accident.
In order to prove that another driver was negligent, the plaintiff must show:
- that the plaintiff owed a duty of care to other drivers on the road
- that there was a breach of that duty of care
- that this breach caused the injury to the plaintiff
- that there was proximate cause in which the defendant’s actions were within the scope of known risks
- that the plaintiff suffered injury as a result of the defendant’s negligence
Catastrophic injuries that result from a devastating traffic accident can range from compound fractures and loss of limbs, to neck or spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injury. For Seattle residents who have been injured in a serious car accident, it is vitally important to have a skilled personal injury attorney who can make sure that you will be able to receive adequate funds to pay for medical costs and rehabilitation, and that the negligent party will be held accountable for their actions.