During this difficult time, Boohoff Law will remain committed to the people of Florida & Washington. We are still available 7 days a week to injured victims who need our help, and we offer FREE PHONE CONSULTATIONS and Electronic Sign-Ups.

How Long Should You Be Sore After a Car Accident

How Long Should You Be Sore After a Car AccidentFor those who have experienced a car accident, the event may just be one of the most stressful and terrifying moments of their lives. The seconds that seem to last forever while bracing for impact are as surreal as they are unforgettable. The physical, emotional, and financial stress following an accident can also have a long-lasting impact on injured victims.

Experienced car accident attorneys regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Even minor accidents can cause serious injuries with lasting pain. The time required for an injured accident victim to fully recover will depend. How the accident happened and the severity of the injuries suffered will undoubtedly affect an individual’s recovery process.

The Physics of a Car Accident

The laws of physics apply to anyone traveling in a motor vehicle. At a basic level, the applicable laws of physics include:

  • An object at rest (or in motion) will remain at rest (or remain in motion)until an unbalanced force acts upon it.
  • Force equals mass times acceleration.
  • For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

In a car accident, all of these factors come into play. The human body is not designed to withstand the sheer amount of force caused by a collision between vehicles traveling at high speeds. When traveling at excessive speeds in a motor vehicle, passengers are subject to the same laws of physics that keep the vehicle driving forward.

In a collision, a vehicle hits another vehicle, roadside object, or person. The speed and mass of the vehicle at the time of the collision will determine the force of the impact. During a collision, the forces of the impact will be exerted onto the passengers inside the vehicle.

As mentioned above, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, the action associated with the impact of a collision will produce an equal and opposite reaction. Passengers in a car accident will experience reactive forces with equal and opposite force of the initial impact of the collision.

To protect the human body during impact, cars are equipped with safety devices such as selt belts and airbags. Safety equipment is intended to absorb the force of the impact, protecting passengers from suffering extensive injuries. However, in the most severe accidents, safety equipment may fail to protect passengers from the external and reactive forces of a collision. The forces at play in a head-on collision, rollover, or high-speed crash may be unavoidable, leaving individuals extremely vulnerable. Serious accidents typically cause severe injuries, which may include cuts, bruising, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries.

What Happens to the Body

In the event of a car accident, in most cases, the body will tense up to respond to the impending impact. The body’s muscles contract as a result of a natural reflex caused by the body’s increased production of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Signaled by adrenaline, the body tenses up to increase the strength of the muscles in preparation for a physical force. Increased adrenaline also diminishes the sensations of pain and reduces fine motor skills. Blood pressure increases, cortisol is pumped into your brain by your endocrine system, and your body is basically on lockdown, bracing for the impact.

Self-preservation, created through hundreds and thousands of years of evolution, refers to the development of bodily functions designed to ensure human survival. Self-preservation includes our body’s flight or fight response that dangerous situations trigger. However, despite the activation of the body’s flight response in a car accident, the body can’t fully protect itself against the impacts of a high-speed collision.

While the body does receive some protection from the activation of its flight response system, the increased production of hormones can also produce adverse consequences. High cortisol levels in the brain can cause stress and anxiety. Increased adrenaline can result in sore muscles—the hormone causes the muscles to instantly contract, exerting excessive physical strain on the body. While the adrenaline remains in the body, we do not feel the pain associated with the injuries and physical strain our body endured. However, as the hormone levels begin to normalize, we become acutely aware of the pain caused by an accident.

Severity of an Accident

As mentioned, even minor accidents can cause severe injuries. For example, even a fender bender may trigger our body’s self-preservation function exerting major physical strain on the body. In some car accident cases, individual’s self-preservation reactions are so forceful they can snap their brake pedals. The muscles tighten to protect themselves from the impending impact—increasing individual strength. The skeletal system also reacts to prepare for the force, for example, your jaw may become clinched and your neck rigid. The muscular and skeletal systems work together to withstand the impending impact, even if that impact is only a minor fender bender.

In more serious accidents resulting in broken bones, lacerations, contusions, or brain injury, the body undergoes a significant number of changes. Brain bruising, pressure from sheared blood vessels or arterial bleeding, and organ and tissue damage will eventually result in pain. Pain is our body signaling that we should remove ourselves from danger. Additionally, pain indicates the body requires healing and recovery. The duration of the healing process will vary depending on the individual and their specific injuries.

Your Nervous System

Nerve damage may have an impact on an individual’s level of pain. In spinal injuries, nerves may be severed resulting in a loss of the body’s ability to feel pain. In other cases, nerve damage may increase an individual’s ability to sense pain, enhancing it. When your body feels soreness, that feeling comes from your nerves. Your nervous system allows your brain to interpret external information and translate it into an appropriate way to respond.

When you are in a minor accident and experience a lot of soreness, it is your nervous system still working with the brain to heal those damaged areas. Once the damaged areas are healed, the nerves stop signaling the brain to feel pain. Nerves are highly specialized cells, and when they become damaged, the recovery process can be extensive. And in some cases, nerve damage may be permanent, causing injured victims pain for the rest of their lives.

Other Factors

An individual’s physical condition and health before an accident play a significant role in their ability to recover from pain and soreness. Physically fit individuals can typically respond to injury and heal more quickly than individuals who are not in shape. Recovery times may be shorter as a result. Simply having a higher pain tolerance might improve the chances of recovery from soreness after an accident. Health conditions such as diabetes or autoimmune diseases might extend the length of soreness after an accident.

Of course, the severity of the accident will impact an individual’s recovery process. In addition, the area of the body that is impacted may be more difficult to heal than other areas.

Talk to a Professional

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Seattle Car Accident Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

If you continue to feel sore for an extended period of time following an accident, talk to your doctor. Treatment for long-term soreness may include pain management medication, stretching, or physical therapy. However, lasting soreness might indicate a more serious health condition. From a fender bender to a head-on collision, almost every accident can cause those involved to experience varying levels of soreness. Soreness typically goes away after a few weeks, but the severity of your injury can extend that much further, if not make it a permanent condition.

If you have been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact us to see what an attorney can do for you.

How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?

A Timeline of a Car Accident Settlement

A car accident can leave lasting consequences, especially when victims suffer injuries with widespread impacts. In a matter of moments, a life can change forever. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, contact an experienced Tampa car accident attorney from Boohoff law.

Traveling and transporting products and materials by motor vehicles has become an integral aspect of American life. Increased use of trucks and cars necessarily increases traffic congestion and accidents. However, gridlock isn’t just found on the freeway. Our court systems are often overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of cases specifically related to car accidents.

So the short answer to how long does a car accident settlement take? It all depends on the accident.

The Process

Car Accident Settlement Boohoff LawThe court process and the settlement process run parallel to one another. Claims begin with negotiations, but if an agreeable settlement cannot be reached, the parties may choose to proceed to trial. Status hearings are scheduled to keep the courts updated as to the progress of the settlement process. During the court process, phases may include discovery, negotiation and mediation, and ultimately a trial date which all have individual timelines.

In addition, several factors, unique to each case, may influence the duration of the settlement process. An experienced attorney can use evidence from police reports, medical expenses, and repair costs to determine the best options for moving the case towards resolution.

The settlement process itself will involve negotiations among the attorneys representing both sides with settlement offers and counteroffers being exchanged throughout. The process requires skilled negotiation and an experienced attorney will know, given the circumstances, whether an individual offer is reasonable. An attorney may advise their clients of their choices as well as potential outcomes for each option.

A seemingly simple settlement may require months of negotiation, and in some cases, unsuccessful negotiation may require proceeding to court.

What Is a Settlement?

A settlement is when two parties involved in an accident reach an agreement as to financial compensation for accident related damages. A settlement agreement may include recovery for medical bills and/or pain and suffering. Settlements typically occur between the parties, outside of court. Once a case is “settled” the claim is dismissed and the parties agree to abide by the terms of the negotiated settlement agreement.

A typical car accident settlement requires the responsible parties to compensate the injured victim for the amount of damages agreed upon. An adequate amount is meant to make the injured party whole again, in other words, as they were before the accident. Accident settlement offers usually require the injured victim to agree to waive their right to seek additional compensation for losses resulting from the accident.

During negotiations, be prepared to make a decision and ask yourself, is this amount going to be enough to cover the full extent of accident-related damages? A settlement is a permanent decision, but you can accept or deny any settlement offer that the at-fault party presents you.

Factors Influencing the Settlement Timeline

To begin, the statute of limitations provides that a car accident claim must be filed within four years of the date of the accident. At the expiration of the statute of limitations, injured parties will be barred from bringing a claim.

However, after filing, the time required to settle a car accident claim depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Complexity of the accident: If there are no injuries and the only items open for discussion are damages and loss, the process is fairly simple. However, the majority of car accidents are not straightforward and any complications can increase the time required to reach a settlement. The following questions may help determine whether the claims process will be simple or complex.
    • Are there serious damages, injuries, and possibly fatalities involved?
    • Was there a crime committed, such as drunk driving?
    • Was it a hit-and-run accident?
    • Was the accident caused by a government vehicle, such as a city bus, maintenance truck, or the city’s failure to warn about road construction?
    • Is someone disputing who was at fault for the accident?
  • Damages: Repair or replacement of property is a big part of any settlement. How much is your vehicle, home, or property worth? How much is it worth to you? Some losses may be difficult to assign a value to. An adequate settlement should be as close to covering all the losses as possible.
  • Repairs: From a banged up fender, paint job, or a complete rebuild of your vehicle, repairs are expensive and you may be entitled to seek compensation for those expenses.
  • Injuries: Injuries can be much more expensive than repairing or replacing a vehicle. Beyond the costs of medical treatment, injured victims may miss time from work, require extensive rehabilitation services, or endure significant pain and suffering. Injury related costs should be compensated by parties responsible for causing the injury.
  • Number of parties involved: Settlements get more complicated as the number of parties involved increases. Passengers, bystanders, and pedestrians may be a part of the claim. In addition, multiple parties may potentially share liability for accident-related injuries. As the number of people involved grows, the length of the settlement process also increases.
  • The amount you are willing to settle for: Accidents that cause severe injuries can have devastating consequences, not only for injured victims but also for their families. When another’s negligence causes injuries, victims are entitled to compensation for the injuries and damage to their property. Don’t settle for less than your claim is worth. You should not bear the financial burden of injuries and losses you are not responsible for. However, you should expect a lengthier settlement process if you are not willing to settle for less.
  • The court process itself: The timelines for status hearings and other procedures of the claims process are established according to state statutes. Each of these steps provides the parties with additional information that may provide more leverage during settlement negotiations. Progressing through the timeline set by the court also drives the timeline of the settlement process.
      1. Discovery: During the discovery phase, information is shared between the insurance company attorneys and injured victims or their attorneys. Exchanged information may include police reports, medical reports, and bills for damages. An attorney can work with injured victims to gather the information required for discovery. Discovery is comprehensive and if you are currently undergoing treatment for recovery, this may cause delays in the process. In a car accident case, discovery adheres to deadlines, just as the rest of the process.
      2. Negotiation and mediation: Most settlements can be worked out in negotiation and mediation, saving time and reducing court costs and legal fees. Negotiations and mediations are confidential meetings between the parties to facilitate an agreement and resolution outside of court. Under these circumstances, the parties have more control over the outcome of the case than court proceedings, which allow a judge or jury to resolve the claim. Negotiations typically occur within the first several weeks of the claims process. Remember, however, the timeline for each case will vary depending on the unique facts of the case and the availability of a mediator.
      3. Hearings and trials: In a hearing or jury trial, a judge or a jury weighs the evidence presented to determine an appropriate outcome. Determinations made by judges and juries can be unpredictable. Injured victims may consult with an attorney to decide whether proceeding to trial is in their best interests. In many cases, backlogged court dockets may delay court proceedings for several months.

Hiring an Attorney

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Car Accident Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

The claims process may feel as if it is taking forever because time can seemingly stand still when you are recovering from an injury, missing time from work, and bills are adding up. Hiring an attorney to handle the legal aspects of the case can relieve significant stress. Experienced car accident attorneys can develop strategies for maximizing injured victims’ recovery while moving the case through the claims process as efficiently as possible.

Skilled attorneys can guide injured victims’ approaches to resolving their claim and position them to successfully fight the claim in court if settlement negotiations prove to be unsuccessful. Contact an experienced car accident attorney for a free consultation to discuss the options for moving forward.

What to Do After an Accident Injury

If you are injured in an accident, whether another car crashes into yours or you slip and fall in a store, what should you do? The answer is sometimes far from obvious. Should you talk to the other driver or store owner first? Go to a hospital or doctor’s office to tend to your injuries? Call the police, in the case of a crash? Call an attorney?

Following an accident, your next steps will largely depend on two things. First, you should always prioritize your safety and health. Second, you should collect evidence of the accident should you decide to pursue legal action later—or better yet, hire a personal injury lawyer to do that and many other tasks for you. Depending on the type of injury and what caused it, the specific actions you should take may vary. Let’s discuss the required steps.

Ensure Your Safety

The first step to take after you’ve been injured is to ensure your safety. You need to make sure, to the best of your ability, that you don’t encounter additional harm.

If you have been in a traffic accident, take steps to move out of traffic and safely to the side of the road. Do not leave the scene of the accident unless you are severely injured and require emergency medical attention. As soon as you are able, you should call law enforcement to file a collision report.

Of course, if you are severely injured, call 911 for an ambulance or have someone can call for you.

If you are injured at work, stop what you were doing immediately and seek medical attention. In Washington, your initial care can be from a doctor of your choice. Your employer has a duty to ensure that you can receive an initial medical examination and treatment.

If you were injured in a store, hotel, or other public place, take steps to remove yourself from the hazardous situation that caused your injuries.

If you are injured by a malfunctioning or defective product, stop using the product.

If you or a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, the steps to take to ensure the victim’s safety will vary. If the abuse is being caused by a specific care provider, you may want to request that they are no longer assigned to attend to you. Such a request is only appropriate if it is safe to do so.

If the situation is caused by lack of care or an understaffed facility, it may be appropriate to discuss your concerns with staff supervisors or administrators. If a loved one is being psychologically abused or physically assaulted, you should consider removing them from the facility to ensure their safety.

If you think you have suffered an injury as a result of medical malpractice, you should seek an evaluation of the resulting damage from another medical professional.

Seek Medical Attention as Soon as Possible

Ensuring your safety after an injury and prioritizing your health and wellbeing can be achieved simultaneously in many instances. In general, two things are true. First, if you are in an accident that causes apparent and severe injuries, either you or people nearby should call an ambulance right away. How do you know if an injury is severe?

Signs of severe injuries may include a loss of consciousness, inability to move, or excessive bleeding. If you have any questions about the severity of your injuries, you should seek a medical evaluation immediately. Severe and even life threatening injuries may not display immediate symptoms, so it is always best to seek medical care.

Second, although, there are circumstances in which injured people should remain at the scene, if you are seriously injured you should leave the scene to seek emergency treatment. Traffic accidents are one example. Drivers should leave the scene only if they are significantly injured, requiring emergency transportation to the hospital. Otherwise, drivers should stay on the scene to talk to law enforcement and exchange contact and insurance information with other drivers or affected people (such as bicyclists or pedestrians).

Slip and fall accidents in public places are another. Communicate with management. You should inform them of your accident as well as the dangerous conditions that caused your injuries. Why? Should you later decide to pursue legal action, you must report your accident.

Note that, in both these cases, serious injury trumps any obligation to stay. If you need to call an ambulance or head to an urgent care center, your health should always be your first priority.

In other cases, such as a work-related accident, nursing home abuse, or product liability, there is no obligation to stay. You should remove yourself from danger and seek immediate medical attention.

If the circumstances and extent of your injuries deem it appropriate that you remain at the scene of the accident, see a doctor as soon as you can afterward. As mentioned, people can be unaware that they have suffered serious injuries. In fact, serious injuries such as concussions, a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), often don’t manifest immediate symptoms. A physician will perform diagnostic testing to ensure that your injuries are not serious.

Get Evidence

What to Do After an Accident Injury Boohoff LawAfter your personal safety and health are protected, it’s time to think about collecting evidence to show how the accident happened. Washington state, for example, keeps collision reports, which have data on collisions. The reports include the location of the accident, the parties involved and the officer’s view of how a collision happened and what caused it.

If you are injured, you will pay medical bills. You may miss time off work. You may suffer emotionally and physically. Collect sufficient evidence to support your claim for recovery.

We understand that compensation cannot fix the impacts of a traumatic car accident. However, compensation for your injuries can help ease the financial burden associated with significant medical expenses. Experienced personal injury lawyers regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Individuals whose negligence or recklessness caused your injuries should be held accountable.

If another party was responsible, you need evidence of how the accident happened. The first step is identifying the at-fault parties.

You also need evidence of the harm the injury caused you. Your injuries themselves are one form of evidence. Your medical treatment records are another form of evidence. In addition, evidence of time missed from work to treat the injury and other impacts the injury has had on your quality of life will also show the harm the injury has caused you.

Evidence About the Accident

When you are in an accident, take pictures of the scene if possible. This is true if you’ve been in any type of traffic accident, or accident in a public place or at work. If you carry a smartphone, take advantage of its photo- and video-capturing capabilities.

Take pictures of the scene from every angle. In addition to documenting the damage to the vehicles involved, you should take other pictures that may demonstrate how the accident happened. For instance, you should document:

  • Skid marks or struck barriers (in a traffic accident),
  • Spilled or disorderly goods on the floor (in a store),
  • Poorly maintained sidewalks that caused you to trip (for a residential rental or store), or
  • Defective equipment (for injuries caused by defective products or work-related accidents).

Take pictures of anything that might indicate the conditions in which an accident happened, from all angles. If you don’t have a camera, take notes about what happened as soon as you can.

Talk to eyewitnesses of the accident, if there are any. Gather the names and contact information of the witnesses, and, if possible, ask the witness to make a statement of how the accident occurred.

If the accident was a collision between vehicles and law enforcement responds to the scene, they will file a collision report. This is an excellent source of evidence, as it contains information about the time of day, the weather, what occurred, and who the drivers were. If law enforcement for some reason doesn’t file a collision report, the drivers are required by law to file a report within four days of the crash.

Drivers are entitled to request a copy of the collision report from Washington State Patrol.

If the injuries are caused by a vehicle accident, you should note the names and contact information of the other drivers or affected people. In addition to their contact information, you should gather the other party’s insurance information.

For other types of accidents, if you talked to persons in authority about the accident or the injuries, take notes or request records of the conversation. Nursing homes, for example, may have records of your conversation with administrators or staff if you brought up a concern about potential abuse.

Evidence of Your Injuries

Another crucial part of obtaining compensation for your injuries, should you decide to do so, is compiling evidence about the nature and extent of your injuries. Some of this evidence may also be used to establish how an accident happened, as injuries can be revealing of what occurred.

Get records from your doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic about your symptoms and diagnosis. Keep records from all other healthcare providers, such as radiologists (X-rays and MRIs), pharmacies, and physical therapists. Keep records or notes about the advice on treatment and how long the treatment is expected to last.

Keep all records and all bills. You want a record of how much medical care resulting from the accident is has cost you. Medical expenses comprise all medical care, including buying devices such as a cane or inhaler.

A smartphone is also a very useful tool here, too. It’s important to take pictures of your injuries at the same time you see the doctor. You need evidence of your injuries before they begin to heal, even partially. Take pictures of your injuries and any affected parts of your body, from all angles.

If you don’t have a smartphone or camera, take notes on what your injuries are. In your notes include information on how the injury has impacted your quality of life, such as limiting your mobility or ability to care for yourself.

If there are eyewitnesses to your injuries other than medical personnel, talk to them about what they saw. Obtain their contact information.

If your injuries have caused you to miss time from work, or made it unlikely that you can work at a former occupation, save any documentation. For instance, collect pay stubs, doctor’s records of injuries and treatment, or notification from your employer regarding your time taken off or work restrictions imposed.

Obtain Damage Compensation

First ensure your health and safety are protected. Second, take steps to obtain evidence about how the accident happened and its impacts on your life. Lastly, you must consider how you will proceed to seek financial compensation for those injuries from responsible parties.

To obtain damage compensation, another party must be at fault. They must have been negligent, or, in other words, failed to exercise the duty of care that a reasonably prudent person would have. Negligent parties can be liable, or responsible financially, for injuries.

Here are some examples of negligence. A driver who is legally intoxicated and thus fails to stop in time as a child crosses the street can be deemed negligent. As drivers have a duty to drive safely and prudently, and obey traffic laws. A store owner who doesn’t keep premises safe for customers, or warn them away from temporarily unsafe conditions, may be negligent. A company that manufactures defective or even dangerous products can be negligent. A nursing home that cannot adequately provide for the safety or health of its patients can be negligent. A doctor whose actions cause harm and deviate from generally accepted treatment standards can be negligent.

In addition, the accident must have caused the injuries you sustained, not some other event.

In general, if these two conditions are met, injured parties may seek compensation for the following:

  • Medical bills, both current and future
  • Wages lost from work, both current and future
  • Pain and suffering, both current and future

Two primary methods can obtain compensation. The first is filing an insurance claim with the negligent party’s insurer. Injured parties file a third-party claim. In Washington state, for example, the at-fault party in a vehicle accident is responsible for the resulting injuries. The second method is to bring a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. You will want to consult a personal injury lawyer before you begin the claims process.

Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Seattle Car Accident Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

It can be a good idea to talk to a personal injury attorney about the methods of obtaining compensation available to you. While an insurance claim may sound straightforward, insurance companies often pay less than a case is worth. A lawyer may negotiate a fair settlement that will adequately cover your expenses.

In addition, you may not know which insurer covers many types of accidents. Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

If you need more information, contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury today.


Boohoff Law
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
(877) 999-9999

What Happens When a Tanker Truck Causes an Accident?

Every day, tanker trucks haul a variety of cargo across the United States. Commonly tanker trucks transport large quantities of liquid or gas, including oil, water, gasoline, septic tank contents, and chemicals. Light-duty tanker trucks can carry as much as 3,000 gallons of liquid. On the other hand, heavy tanker trucks can carry even higher volumes. There is no doubt that these trucks provide a vital service for many businesses. However, they can also pose unique hazards on the roadways.

Five Unique Hazards Posed by Tanker Trucks

Tanker trucks are unique commercial cargo trucks that are specially constructed to transport liquids or gases. Tanker trucks vary in design. Some tanker trucks have a separate truck cab that is attached to a separate trailer or tank. This design allows the tank to haul a wide variety of liquids and gases. Some tanks have a compartmentalized design that allows them to carry multiple substances simultaneously. Other tanks are undivided and can only carry a single substance at a time.

The design of the tanker truck itself has the potential to cause dangers on the roadways.

  1. Underfilled tanks can increase the risk of rollover accidents. Tanker trucks traveling at less than full capacity may have heavy liquids moving around freely inside them. When the liquid has room to move, it can create an imbalance of weight. As a result, they may have a greater likelihood of rolling over if they slip off the road and begin to tip. Specialty airbags can help reduce the risk of rollover accidents by filling the empty space and keeping the liquid where it belongs. However, they may not entirely prevent a rollover if the truck begins to slip off the road.
  2. Tanker trucks may carry hazardous cargo. While some tanker trucks carry relatively harmless substances, others may carry hazardous chemicals that can cause chemical burns on contact. Chemical burns can cause serious injuries. Like thermal burns, chemical burns often cause substantial pain and suffering for their victims. In addition, chemical burns may create a high risk of infection. Chemical burns frequently leave behind severe disfiguring scars. Obviously, chemical burns pose a substantial risk for victims directly involved in the accident. However, dangerous chemicals can also pose substantial risks for first responders as they attempt to provide aid to accident victims.
  3. Tanker trucks may have a high risk of fire. Many tanker trucks carry highly flammable liquids and gases, including gasoline and oil. When a tank gets punctured in an accident, it can significantly increase the risk of fire at the accident scene. A single spark can ignite hazardous cargo, increasing the risk of burn injuries as well as the likelihood of an explosion.
  4. Tanker trucks, like other large trucks, exert a substantial amount of force in an accident.Tanker trucks, like other large commercial trucks, weigh substantially more than the passenger vehicles they share the roadways with. The sheer size and weight of a tanker truck will often cause substantial damage to both the vehicles involved in the accident and the occupants. Tanker truck collisions can cause severe injuries, including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, and amputation. Victims of even minor accidents may suffer serious broken bones.
  5. When tanker trucks consist of both truck and trailer, rather than a single unit, they have a risk of jackknife accidents. In a jackknife accident, the tank swings sideways, independently of the truck cab pulling it. In many cases, once the trailer begins to shift, the truck driver cannot regain control of the vehicle. Since the tank often weighs more than the truck cab, it can pull the cab along with it, leading to accidents with severe injuries.

What Happens When a Tanker Truck Causes an Accident Boohoff LawWho Bears Liability for a Tanker Truck Accident?

Many victims assume, following a serious tanker truck accident, that the tanker truck driver bears full liability for the accident. Oftentimes, the truck driver does bear primary responsibility for what happens when they are behind the wheel.

Truck drivers have a duty to safely navigate the road, adhere to all traffic laws, and avoid driving if any danger is suspected. However, in some circumstances, factors contributing to an accident may be out of the driver’s control.

In those cases, other entities may share liability for damages resulting from tanker truck accidents.

The Trucking Company

The company that employs the driver has responsibilities both to the truck driver and other drivers on the road. If the trucking company violates those responsibilities, it may bear liability for accidents that occur as a result of that violation.

  • The trucking company must ensure that its trucks receive appropriate maintenance. Aiming to increase profits, so trucking companies will delay routine maintenance of the trucks in their fleet. For example, companies may try to cut costs by delaying tire replacement or other known vehicle issues. If that lack of maintenance causes a serious accident, the trucking company will likely share liability for the resulting damages. A tire blow out caused by a lack of maintenance may cause a tanker truck accident. In that case, the trucking company may also be responsible for any property damage or injuries caused in the accident.
  • The trucking company requires its drivers to exceed legally-mandated time on the road.Truck drivers can only spend eleven hours driving without a break. A shift can consist of no more than fourteen consecutive hours. Some trucking companies, however, may attempt to force their drivers to exceed those mandates. Exhausted drivers can more easily become distracted and drowsy behind the wheel. Both of which can significantly increase the risk of a catastrophic accident. When companies pressure their drivers to exceed the limits prescribed by law, and, as a result, an accident occurs, they may also be liable for the resulting damages.
  • The trucking company forces its drivers to drive in unsafe conditions. Tanker trucks often carry cargo that requires a short delivery window. Sometimes, however, inclement weather prevents drivers from safely delivering that cargo within the allotted time frame. For example, mechanical issues, driver illness or inebriation, or unsafe weather or road conditions may make it dangerous for even the most experienced drivers to meet delivery deadlines. If the driver notifies the company of those challenges, and, nonetheless, the company requires the driver to continue driving, they may share liability for an accident.

Manufacturers

Both truck manufacturers and manufacturers of any truck parts, including tires, signal lights, and windshield wipers, have a duty to provide safe products. They must ensure that the quality of their products will not pose a risk to truck drivers or other drivers they share the road with. Sometimes, however, mechanical failures may contribute to a tanker truck accident that has severe consequences. If the manufacturer produces a part with a known defect, the manufacturer may share liability for any accident caused by those defective parts.

Mechanics

Most commercial trucking companies conduct regular maintenance on their vehicles, including tanker truck companies. Some fleets have in-house mechanics responsible for vehicle repairs and routine maintenance, while others may outsource those tasks.

If a mechanical failure causes an accident after a tanker truck has received maintenance, the mechanic may share liability if:

  • The mechanic certified a truck as road-worthy, but did not complete the repair.Dishonest mechanics may, for example, claim they performed maintenance on the vehicle that, in reality, they never performed. Other mechanics may fail to properly complete the repairs, leaving dangerous hazards behind. When this lack of repair causes an accident, the mechanic may share liability.
  • The mechanic failed to note a problem with the vehicle that he should have noticed.A mechanic may conduct a routine examination or repair on the vehicle and fail to notice an apparent problem. If an issue that should have been apparent to the mechanic causes an accident, the mechanic may share liability if the issue causes an accident. The mechanic may also share liability if he damaged the vehicle in some way while conducting repairs. If the mechanic failed to repair the damage or notify the owner of the vehicle, they may also share liability for any resulting accidents.

An experienced truck accident attorney regularly fights for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. You should consider consulting with an attorney to get a better idea of who may be responsible for damages resulting from a tanker truck accident.

Six Steps to Take After a Tanker Truck Accident?

At the scene of a tanker truck accident, you should exercise extreme caution. If the truck carries hazardous cargo, you may need to distance yourself from the scene of the accident as quickly as possible.

1. Listen to the Truck Driver.

The truck driver knows what he or she is hauling and the dangers associated with the substance. If there is any indication from the driver that the scene is unsafe, you should safely remove yourself from the scene. The driver himself may be injured and unable to communicate. In that case, look for any indication of the contents of the tank on the truck itself. If the truck indicates that the contents are hazardous, react accordingly.

2. Prioritize Seeking Medical Care.

When you sustain serious injuries, you should immediately proceed to the emergency room or an urgent care center. Always prioritize your health and medical care following an accident. Even if you believe you suffered no injuries in the accident, you may have been exposed to hazardous chemicals. You should always seek an evaluation from a medical professional as soon as possible. Merely inhaling some dangerous chemicals can pose a serious risk to your health. Carefully follow any instructions given by your doctor, including monitoring for signs of chemical exposure.

3. Take Photos of the Accident Scene, if You Can.

Take pictures of the truck and any signs indicating the contents of its tank, especially if it carries hazardous cargo. You may also want to photograph damage to the vehicles as well as the placement of the vehicles at the scene. If you take photos of the driver’s insurance information and driver’s license, you will have ready access to that information later. It is always important to exchange insurance information because it will make it easier for you to file a claim later. You may also want to collect contact information from any witnesses at the scene of the accident.

4. Contact Your Insurance Company.

Most insurance providers require their customers to notify them of any accident. Your insurance company may help you handle repairs to your vehicle as well as provide you with valuable advice about how you should proceed. You may also need to remove a totaled vehicle from your insurance policy or register a new vehicle after your accident.

5. Get in Touch With an Attorney as Soon as Possible.

Following a tanker truck accident, you may want to contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney can offer advantages as you seek compensation after your tanker truck accident. An attorney may help evaluate who caused or contributed to an accident. They may also realistically anticipate the amount of compensation injured victims can expect to receive. Attorneys have experience collecting evidence that may be critical to a personal injury claim. For example, driver logs, information about the cargo, and traffic camera evidence may help establish liability in the accident.

6. Prepare to Negotiate.

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Tatiana Boohoff, Truck Accident Lawyer

Following your tanker truck accident, the truck driver’s insurance company may get in touch with you and provide a settlement offer. Often, this settlement may fail to reflect the full extent of recovery that you deserve. Compensation for your injuries may include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Discuss the insurance company’s offer with an attorney before signing any agreements.

Many attorneys offer a free consultation that will help give you a better idea of what you should expect throughout the claims process. Oftentimes, the claims process involves several rounds of negotiation before an injured victim receives compensation. Some claims may require mediation or even go to court to reach a settlement. Prepare ahead of time to negotiate.

Tanker trucks can cause severe injuries that can leave victims with lifelong complications. By consulting a truck accident attorney, injured victims can get a better idea of exactly what compensation they deserve.


Boohoff Law
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
(877) 999-9999

Seeking Compensation for Medical Errors

One of the most frightening ways in which a person can be injured or harmed is through medical errors. We rely on medical personnel, from doctors to nurses and from radiologists to physical therapists, to rescue us from injuries and harm, not to inflict it. While we expect medical professionals to provide a certain standard of care, what do we do if they fail to do so?

Medical professionals have very likely chosen a career in the medical field because they desire to help people maintain their health and wellbeing. Medical professionals rarely inflict intentional harm.

But the fact is, medical providers are only human and errors do occur. Patients can be given the wrong diagnosis for their symptoms. As a result, the recommended treatment plan will fail to heal their ailments or make them worse. Surgical mistakes can involve operating on the wrong limb or part of the body. Surgical equipment can be left behind inside of a patient. Healthcare providers of all kinds can fail to perform certain necessary tasks and precautions. They may misread a chart or fail to note a patient’s drug allergies. Lapses in communication in an organization or between two healthcare providers may lead to serious and even fatal mistakes.

That’s where a medical malpractice lawyer can help.

Types of Medical Errors

There are many different types of medical errors. Medical errors can include actions taken by medical professionals or errors of omission.

One major type of medical error occurs when a medical professional recommends a patient’s treatment plan. Diagnoses may be wrong. Lapses in judgment can occur. Concentration or skill levels may be affected by individual tiredness, overwork, or systemic problems. Practitioners may fail to order necessary tests, forget a crucial step, or fail to follow up properly.

Another major type of medical error is a mistake in providing health care. Medication or procedures intended for one patient may be given to another. Test results or diagnostic procedures, such as X-rays, may be misread.

Medical error can also occur if staff fails to appropriately collect or deliver information. Providers can fail to collect a complete health history from a patient, to convey important information to the healthcare team or another provider, or to enter health information into digital systems accurately.

Improper treatment is another type of medical malpractice. A physician, for example, could select a treatment that is not part of standard practice within the field. Improper treatment can also occur if a part of a standard practice is chosen, but not administered correctly or completely.

Finally, another type of medical error is termed “failure to warn.” Some treatments, unfortunately, come with risks. Medications may have side effects, or a course of treatment may cause adverse effects. Courses of treatment may not have a high success rate or result in limitations for the patient.

Medical providers have a duty to warn patients of known risks. The patients must provide informed consent when agreeing to any medical treatment plan. The failure to warn patients of known risks may be malpractice if a patient would not have undergone the treatment had they been fully informed of the risks.

Do you have any recourse if you or a loved one has suffered from a medical error that has caused you injury or harm? Yes, Washington law provides a remedy for victims who suffer harm due to the negligence of medical professionals. Injured victims may file a medical malpractice claim against a specific healthcare provider, organization, or institution.

As you may expect, medical malpractice cases can be very complicated. It’s important to know how the legal process works and what recourse can be sought. Below we discuss the rights of injured parties to seek compensation for the injuries resulting from a medical professional’s negligence.

What Do I Need to Bring a Case Against a Party Who Made a Medical Error?

Seeking Compensation for Medical Errors Boohoff LawHire a medical malpractice lawyer who knows how to litigate cases like yours. Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury law. Three things are common to personal injury claims. First, to bring a claim against either a provider or an organization, there needs to be proof that they were negligent in their duties.

Negligence is a legal concept that means a person or other entity failed to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have or should have exercised in similar circumstances.

For medical providers and para-medical providers (physical therapists and technicians, for example), the standard of care is codified into law. The standard of care refers to the duties of healthcare providers specifically. The Washington statutes define the standard of care as follows:

“[T]hat degree of care, skill, and learning expected of a reasonably prudent health care provider at that time in the profession or class to which he or she belongs, in the state of Washington, acting in the same or similar circumstances.”

In other words, the standard of care provided in cases of medical error is subject to comparison against the care, skill, and learning in the same profession and class in similar circumstances. A doctor’s care is compared to the care a similar doctor in the state would have given, generally. The treatment provided by a cardiologist would be compared against generally accepted practices in cardiology. A neurologist’s treatment practice against generally accepted practices in the field of neurology. A pharmacist’s care would be compared with pharmacist’s practices across the state, and so on for all types of healthcare providers.

Second, you must have been injured or harmed by the medical error. If you were not injured or harmed, the law does not provide recourse, even if an error was committed.

Third, the injury or harm you suffered must have been directly caused by the medical error, and not some other cause. Establishing causation can be complicated in medical malpractice cases. Of course, patients who seek treatment are suffering from medical conditions. Any symptoms involved in a medical malpractice suit must result from the medical error involved, not an underlying illness or condition.

Proving negligence and injury in Washington state requires establishing specific elements. In a medical malpractice claim, the injured patient must present evidence that establishes the standard of care in the patient’s case. Next, the injured party must show how the provider failed to provide the standard of care. Lastly, victims must prove that their injury resulted from the treatment provider’s failure to provide that standard of care.

The Statute of Limitations

Like most legal cases, medical malpractice cases are subject to a statute of limitations. The law provides that medical malpractice cases must be filed within a certain time period following the injury. When the time period expires, the injured party will lose their legal right to bring their claim.

In Washington, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is within three years of the date on which the medical error occurred. In the alternative, a patient may be unaware that a medical error occurred for some time following the incident. In that case, the statute of limitations provides injured victims one year from the date of discovery of the error to bring their claim.

In some cases, the statute of limitations is also one year from the date of actual knowledge of the injury. For example, the patient may not know that a foreign object was left inside him or her, or the doctor or facility may have intentionally concealed the error.

Washington also has a statute of repose that applies to medical malpractice cases. A statute of repose requires that all cases be filed within a specific time frame. In Washington, the statute of repose for medical malpractice must be filed within eight (8) years of when the medical error occurred. This is true regardless of whether you discovered it or obtained information about it later. Beyond eight years of the date of injury, a court will in all likelihood refuse to hear a claim.

What Recourse Do Patients Injured by Medical Errors Have?

In all personal injury cases, injured people can sue for compensation for any resulting damages. Cases asserting medical malpractice are no exception.

In Washington, patients can sue for economic damages (sometimes called special damages) and non-economic damages (sometimes called general damages). Depending on the impacts of the injuries, injured parties may be compensated for both types of damages.

Economic damages are designed to compensate an injured patient for out-of-pocket costs they have incurred as a result of a medical error. They may also compensate an injured patient for future costs they can expect to incur as a result of the injury.

Economic damages may include:

  • Unreimbursed medical bills, including those for doctor’s care, surgery, hospitalization, prescription medication, and diagnostic procedures
  • Medical bills expected for future-related care that won’t be reimbursed
  • Chronic or long-term care
  • Physical therapy
  • Assistive equipment and home modifications
  • Lost wages from time needed off work to recuperate
  • Lost earning capacity, if the injury limits the ability to work at a former occupation

In some cases, a Washington court may allow a party to make periodic payments of economic damages, rather than a lump sum payment.

Non-economic damages are more subjective, because there are not specific quantifiable monetary costs that the injured party has paid for medical care. Non-economic damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Impairment of or damage to personal relationships
  • Negative effects on the patient’s quality of life
  • Difficulties coping with disabilities and limitations

In Washington, the amount of non-economic damages an injured party may seek is capped by law. Non-economic damages may not exceed an amount over 43 percent of the average yearly wage in the state, multiplied by the plaintiff’s life expectancy, which must be at least 15 years.

Medical Error Cases: The Procedure

Nearly all states have specific legal procedures that injured victims must comply with when bringing a claim against a party that alleges a medical error. Why? In many cases, it is intended to protect medical professionals from frivolous lawsuits (those without merit). However, in practice it has made medical malpractice suits complicated and subject to additional procedures that other personal injury claims are not subject to.

Consult an attorney who is familiar with the procedures associated with filing a medical malpractice claim. Procedural errors can hurt an injured party’s ability to obtain compensation for their injuries.

The procedures require that the deviation from standards of care and the merits of the medical malpractice case be established before a case can be pursued.

Certificate of Merit

First, the injured patient or their lawyer must include a certificate of merit as part of their medical malpractice claim. The certificate of merit must be signed by a qualified expert. The certificate needs to explicitly state that the defendant (the party who committed the medical error) likely didn’t provide the standard of care, given the available information.

Medical malpractice attorneys work with medical and healthcare experts whose experience and credentials can validate a certificate of merit.

Mediation Is Mandatory

Washington law also requires mandatory mediation for claims based on medical error. Mediation is a form of dispute resolution offered as an alternative to the court system. A mediator will attempt to facilitate an agreement that both parties will find acceptable. A mediation agreement is nonbinding (ie, neither party has to agree to the terms), but the process itself is required.

If mediation is handled by experienced people, the process frequently results in a favorable settlement for the injured victim. But a mediator is not a judge or jury in the court system. Because of this, the agreement does not hold the same legal weight as a court order. In addition, a mediator may not award additional damages.

Attorney Certification of Reasonable Inquiry

To file a medical malpractice case, attorneys need to certify that they have conducted a reasonable inquiry and certify that they have reason to believe the claims are not frivolous.

An initial inquiry is a typical aspect of any legal case. An attorney needs to be reasonably sure that the defendant has been negligent, for example, and that they have evidence to support their claim. Without this kind of investigation and inquiry, a legal case cannot possibly be successful. But it is especially important in Washington state, because it is part of the medical malpractice procedure.

How a Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help

Tatiana Boohoff Lawyer
Seattle Medical Malpractice Attorney, Tatiana Boohoff

Cases based on medical error, as you can see, can be complicated. They are unusually dependent upon people with medical expertise in a wide variety of fields. In addition, medical malpractice cases require the parties to attend mediation.

An experienced medical malpractice lawyer regularly fights for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to.

If you need more information, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney today.


Boohoff Law
2200 6th Avenue, Suite 768
Seattle, WA 98121
(877) 999-9999