Experienced Truck Wreck Attorney in Dallas
You don’t need to be a highway safety expert to understand the risks large trucks pose on Dallas and Texas roadways.
Anyone who has shared the road with one knows the size, weight, and typical speed of these vehicles means they need more time and distance to stop or avoid road hazards, have large blind spots, and cause enormous damage to other, smaller vehicles in a collision.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration link to stats are here: notes that a shocking 4,317 people died — 556 of those being Texans — and 30,000 people were injured in large truck crashes. Of course, almost all of the victims were the occupants of other vehicles.
The 80,000 gross vehicle weight rated tractor-trailer almost always wins the battle with the smaller car or pickup truck.
What Should You Know About Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents inflict catastrophic injuries and damage, as anyone who has watched an evening news report about one probably knows. Still, seeing images of the aftermath on television and experiencing the violence of a large truck accident firsthand do not compare.
Survivors of these accidents feel lucky to escape them with their lives because many victims do not. Even those who avoid death in a truck accident often contend with devastating and disabling injuries that can cause a lifetime of pain and distress.
Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can be devastating and require the assistance of an experienced attorney. Tanker truck accidents, 18-wheeler accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, and other types of commercial vehicle crashes can cause catastrophic injuries or worse. Even when the driver is not at fault, they may be held liable for the damages due to their employer’s negligence. In some cases, a third party may also be held responsible.
Tanker Truck Accidents
Often seen carrying flammable substances like fuel or oil, tanker trucks have the potential for serious consequences if an accident occurs. An explosion can leave a path of destruction in its wake, so it’s important to know your legal options if you’ve been affected by one of these incidents.
18 Wheeler Accidents
The sheer size and weight of an 18-wheeler require special handling and care from its driver. When an inexperienced or careless driver operates a semi-truck, the results can be disastrous. People may suffer major injuries due to deep lacerations, broken bones, and more. It’s essential to contact an attorney who specializes in trucking accidents as soon as possible after being involved in this type of incident.
Tractor Trailer Accidents
Far more powerful than a typical automobile, a tractor-trailer proves even more dangerous in case of an accident. If a truck driver fails to take proper precautions while operating the vehicle, motorists and pedestrians are often left with severe injuries or fatalities. It is essential to know who is responsible in order to receive full and fair compensation after such an event.
Truck Driver Negligence
Even the most compact 4-wheelers cause considerable damage when operated by someone not paying attention. But when it comes to truck drivers who don’t follow safety protocols, people around them are likely to sustain significant harm. Drivers must understand their responsibilities and adhere to the basic laws of the road for everyone’s sake.
Fatal Truck Accident
No matter the circumstances, losing someone close in a fatal truck accident can have a lasting emotional impact on survivors. While there may not be financial compensation for the loss of a loved one, holding the responsible party accountable may offer some justice in the moment. An experienced lawyer can help ensure that any potentially liable parties are identified and taken to court as necessary.
Third-Party Liability Claims
A third party such as an equipment manufacturer could be held liable if it fails to provide safe and reliable products. As part of a civil lawsuit, victims may try to hold these companies accountable in order to receive compensation for medical bills and other expenses related to the accident. The right attorney can help build a strong case against all potentially responsible parties.
If you or someone you love has suffered due to a truck accident, getting started on your legal journey is essential. Contacting a knowledgeable attorney may open up vital pathways toward obtaining full and fair compensation for any losses incurred. This includes ensuring that all liable entities are properly identified and held accountable for their negligence.
What Are Some Common Truck Accident Injuries?
Truck wrecks result in frequent fatalities. Even when no one dies, a truck accident can inflict a wide range of catastrophic injuries. People who are particularly vulnerable in truck accidents are occupants of smaller vehicles.
The vast difference in size and weight between a car and a fully-loaded truck can destroy a passenger vehicle while leaving a truck relatively intact.
Some of the most common, and devastating, injuries victims of truck accidents sustain include:
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis;
- Crushed or traumatically amputated limbs;
- Burns and disfiguring scarring;
- Broken bones and orthopedic injuries; and
- Severe internal and soft tissue damage.
Some of the injuries above heal in time, but many do not. In seeking damages for injuries sustained in a truck accident.
A skilled Texas truck accident attorney determines the likely medical needs of the truck accident victim in the future, to ensure that the victim receives adequate compensation from negligent parties.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
As you drive by the devastating wreckage caused by a truck accident, have you ever wondered what causes these terrible collisions? The FMSCA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wanted to know why these agencies teamed together to complete the Large Truck Crash Causation Study.
Like any form of motor vehicle accident, truck accidents have a variety of root causes. Most truck wrecks can be tied back to someone’s poor decisions or lack of care.
Researchers, along with state truck inspectors, went to each accident site included in the study to collect details regarding the crashes. Their data included interviews with drivers, passengers, and accident witnesses. The inspectors reviewed the drivers’ logbooks and other documents in addition to conducting examinations of the trucks.
Based on the information that was gathered and analyzed, the researchers were able to put together a list of the top ten causes of truck wrecks, which are as follows:
- Brake problems
- Traffic interruption
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Road unfamiliarity
- Roadway problems
- Required traffic stop
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance
Here are some common human-related causes of truck accidents on Dallas and Texas roadways:
Truck driver fatigue
Truck drivers work long hours and irregular shifts. According to IIHS, truck driver fatigue is a known crash risk. Although federal and state regulations dictate the number of hours a trucker can spend behind the wheel, and require careful reporting and record-keeping to prove compliance, trucking is still an exhausting profession. Even when they comply with hours of service requirements (which isn’t always the case), truck drivers have to contend with the monotony of seemingly endless roads and the sleep-disruptive effects of driving at night and catching shut-eye at odd hours. Fatigue can have the same effect on a trucker’s driving abilities as being over the legal drunk-driving limit or can result in drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
We have all been on the road with a truck that seems to be driving way too fast for the road conditions. It’s scary. What’s worse, trucks have a substantially longer stopping distance than smaller vehicles. A truck traveling at an inappropriately high speed will need an even greater distance to slow down or avoid road hazards.
Large trucks frequently haul heavy loads. The distribution of a load can affect how a truck handles it. If the weight distribution of the load shifts while the truck is moving, truck drivers can—and often do—lose control. Even if the load is secure, it can affect the truck’s center of gravity. Unbalanced loads can cause truck rollovers, particularly on highway ramps or other sharp curves.
Tractor trailers have large blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle. Vehicles riding in those blind spots increase the risk of a collision substantially.
Operating under the influence
Despite strict laws, some truck drivers still drive under the influence. Unfortunately, some truck drivers have been known to rely on illegal drugs to keep them alert, which only increases their crash risk. Truck drivers with health problems (not uncommon because of their sedentary lifestyle) also run risks when they take the wheel under the influence of prescription medications. These are just a few of the more common ways truck accidents can happen. There are many more. Because every truck accident has its own unique facts and circumstances, it is important for anyone injured in an accident to retain the services of an experienced truck accident attorney familiar with the particular challenges of investigating a truck accident injury.
Legal Liability for Truck Accidents
Figuring out what caused a truck accident is only the beginning of the job of what an experienced Dallas truck accident attorney does for injured clients.
Equally important is figuring out who may have a legal liability to the accident victims. The cause of an accident can give clues to who may have liability for it, but it’s not the only piece to the puzzle.
Below are some of the most common parties with liability for truck accident injuries:
- Truck (or other) Drivers. Obviously, all drivers on the road may have legal liability if their actions or decisions led to a crash. Truck drivers may especially face liability if they drive fatigued or under the influence.
- Trucking Companies. Trucking companies that employ truck drivers may have liability for driver decisions if they knew or should have known drivers operated unsafely. These companies may also have liability for failing to maintain safe trucking equipment.
- Shippers and Warehouses. If a shift or imbalance in truck cargo leads to a crash, the party who loaded the truck could face legal liability. Often, this party is a company that ships or stores goods.
- Truck Equipment Manufacturers. A manufacturer that produces a product that is unreasonably dangerous may have liability to anyone harmed by that product.
Every truck accident is different, including the parties that may have legal liability to victims of a truck accident. The best way to determine who has liability for injuries you or a loved one sustained in an accident in Dallas or Texas is to retain the services of an experienced truck accident attorney.
If you sustained injuries or lost a loved one in a Dallas truck accident, you may have the right to substantial compensation. Contact us to speak with an experienced, dedicated truck accident lawyer today to learn more.
Truck Accident Lawyer FAQ
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
At the Genthe Law Firm, we charge our truck accident clients on a contingency basis. We will not collect a fee unless we win the case for you. You don’t have to pay us anything up-front or out of your pocket until the case settles or a jury verdict is reached.
What to do if the trucking company contacts me before I hire a truck accident law firm?
If you have been involved in a truck accident and have not hired a truck accident law firm yet, do not give a recorded statement to the trucking company or their insurance company. Remember not to sign any forms sent to you by them until they are checked by a professional truck accident lawyer, who can guide you on what to do. Get in touch with the Genthe Law Firm for a free consultation, and we will look into the paperwork received by you from the trucking company and insurance companies.
What should I do to protect my rights after being involved in a truck accident?
As a truck accident victim, you can legally seek compensation for your injuries and losses. However, in the case of truck accidents, there are several responsible parties, and obtaining your due compensation can be difficult. If you do not have a lawyer representing you, there is a high chance you may be bullied by the trucking companies and their legal representatives to settle for a smaller amount. Trucking companies have unlimited resources and have a team of lawyers ready to fight any lawsuit filed against them. Therefore, it is important that you hire a truck accident lawyer who can represent you and take on the big companies and their legal team to get the best compensation possible for you.
What Are the Steps I Should Take After a Truck Accident?
After a truck accident, you must first seek the required medical treatment and get yourself checked for any injuries. Then, it is important you get in touch with the best truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Hiring specialized truck accident lawyers like the Genthe Law Firm is important, as our team can immediately inspect the accident scene and help preserve vital evidence. Our team will secure the scene crash and click photographs of the scene. We will interrogate the witnesses and take down their statements. This is important as trucking companies can misplace or purposely destroy evidence. Preserving this evidence and collecting statements will help later prove who is liable for the accident.
How do I file a claim for a truck accident?
Personal Injury victims normally have two years to file a claim for damages after a truck accident. However, depending on the accident’s circumstances and the situation, the statute of limitations could be longer or shorter. Therefore, injury victims should hire an experienced truck accident law firm, like the Genthe Law Firm, immediately after the accident. An experienced lawyer knows all the rules and regulations of the trucking industry and all the statutes related to filing a valid claim. Truck accident lawyers also have experience in dealing with insurance companies and know how to get payment against the victim’s damage claims. The lawyers can help determine the liable parties for the accident and who can be held responsible. This helps in naming every potential defendant having a role in causing the accident in the lawsuit.
What Are the Most Common Types of Truck Accident Cases?
Some of the most common types of truck accident cases in Texas are:
- Head-on collision accident
- Loss of control of the vehicle by the driver
- Rear end collisions accident
- Hand-side accident, when a truck is trying to take a wide right turn
- Hit-and-run accident
- Accident due to a sudden lane change
How many trucking accidents happen a year?
Around 500,000 trucking accidents happen every in the United States. Out of these accidents, 5,000 trucking accidents end up in fatalities. There were 27,982 truck accidents in Texas in 2021, resulting in 9,694 injuries and 359 deaths.
How long does it take to settle a semi-truck accident?
A number of factors are involved while working out a settlement for a semi-truck accident. Some of the evaluative aspects which need to be considered for reaching a settlement are:
- Was the semi-truck driver responsible and liable for the accident?
- Was more than one driver involved in the crash?
- What was the cause of the accident?
Many other factors also determine how long it will take to settle a semi-truck accident case. To get an idea of how long it will take to settle your semi-truck accident case, contact an experienced truck- accident lawyer for more information. It can take months to settle a semi-truck accident case.
Can you lose your CDL in an accident?
If there has been a truck accident or truck crash, and you have been the truck driver, the police and insurance companies will first try to determine who was at fault and which parties can be held liable for the accident. If you, as the truck driver, are found to be guilty, partially or completely, you will be issued a ticket by the police for the accident. One must understand that the penalties and license points are much stricter for CDL (commercial driving license) holders than for people who drive vehicles for personal use. Most trucking companies have policies laid out to deal with accidents and crashes. Whether the driver is found responsible for the accident or not, they send the driver for immediate drug and alcohol testing. If the test shows that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or unauthorized drugs while at the time of accident, it can result in immediate termination. Leaving the scene of an accident can also cost you your CDL.
Dallas Truck Accident Resources
- Experienced Truck Wreck Attorney in Dallas
- What Should You Know About Truck Accidents?
- Types of Truck Accidents
- What Are Some Common Truck Accident Injuries?
- Common Causes of Truck Accidents
- Legal Liability for Truck Accidents
- Truck Accident Lawyer FAQ
- How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
- What to do if the trucking company contacts me before I hire a truck accident law firm?
- What should I do to protect my rights after being involved in a truck accident?
- What Are the Steps I Should Take After a Truck Accident?
- How do I file a claim for a truck accident?
- What Are the Most Common Types of Truck Accident Cases?
- How many trucking accidents happen a year?
- How long does it take to settle a semi-truck accident?
- Can you lose your CDL in an accident?
- Dallas Truck Accident Resources