Texas Truck Accident Lawyers
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Accidents involving 18-wheelers stand apart from the rest. Semi-trucks are much larger, heavier vehicles that tend to cause significant damage to smaller vehicles when involved in an accident.
TEXAS TRUCK ACCIDENT STATISTICS
In 2019, the Texas Department of Transportation reported a total of 39,193 total crashes involving commercial motor vehicles.
Out of the total 39,193 commercial motor vehicle crashes in Texas, there were:
- 543 fatal crashes
- 613 fatalities
- 1,124 suspected serious crashes
- 1,471 suspected serious injuries
- 5,639 possible injury crashes
- 8,937 possible injuries
Additionally, in 2019, the Texas Department of Transportation reported:
- 140 fatal crashes involved trucks
- 452 fatal crashes involved truck-tractors/semi-trailers
- 19 fatal crashes involved busses
WHAT CAN AN ATTORNEY DO FOR ME?
Dealing with injuries after a trucking accident is hard enough as it is, and figuring out how to file a lawsuit on top of that only makes your recovery more difficult. If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, you may want to consider contacting an attorney, who may:
Assist You in Determining Liability
An experienced lawyer may assist you in determining how much you may be entitled to for your injuries based upon each party’s percentage of fault. A lawyer may also help you determine who or what may be responsible for your injuries.
Assist You in Collecting and Organizing Evidence
An attorney may help you collect as much evidence as possible, such as names of witnesses and other parties involved in the accident, medical records and costs of treatment, and any photos of the accident scene.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement with the Insurance Adjustor
A lawyer may understand how much your case is worth and may assist you in conducting negotiations with the insurance company to help you seek a fair settlement amount.
After determining the liable parties, you must prove negligence through an insurance claim a personal injury suit. A negligence claim involves situations where a person or entity did not act how it should have, and as a result, you have suffered compensable harm. Specifically, the four elements of negligence necessary to prove your claim are:
- The other party had a duty to act as a reasonably prudent person
- The other party breached this duty of care
- The other party’s breach caused your injuries
- You have suffered injuries that may be compensated by the other party
To obtain proof of liability and negligence, your trucking accident attorney may help you compile:
- The police report relating to your accident
- Witness statements
- The driver’s background, such as driver training and driving records
- The truck’s maintenance records
- The driver’s service hours records
- Photos of the scene of the accident, including photos of the damaged vehicles and any injuries you may have sustained
- An expert’s opinion
- The driver’s cell phone records
- The truck’s data recorder, otherwise known as a “black box”
WHAT TO DO AFTER BEING IN A TRUCK ACCIDENT
Seek Medical Attention
It’s important to seek medical treatment immediately after an accident, even if you feel fine. Your adrenaline after the accident may prevent you from noticing pain from your injuries. If you do not go to the hospital after the accident, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. If you do not seek any kind of medical treatment or follow through with treatment recommendations, you may lose your ability to seek compensation for your injuries later.
Report the Accident
Any time you’re involved in a crash, you must remain at the scene. You should make sure you are safe and then remove your vehicle from the roadway. Turn on your hazard lights, use a flashlight, or use other objects to ensure that other drivers can see you. If someone has been injured or killed in the accident, call 911 immediately. Once an officer arrives at the scene, he or she may fill out an accident report and instruct you on what to do next. You should request a copy of the accident report to later use as evidence in court.
Document the Accident
Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries. If possible, you should also take photos of the positioning of the vehicles before you move them off the roadway. These pictures may be used as evidence to prove the severity of your injuries, the amount of damage to your vehicle, and who may be at fault for the accident.
Contact a Lawyer Who Specializes in Trucking Accident Cases
If you believe you are entitled to compensation for your injuries after a truck accident, you should consider hiring an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer. Truck accident attorneys are experienced in handling these claims and may help defend your rights and help you seek the compensation you may be entitled to. In the event that you have to dispute your claim in court, a Texas truck accident attorney may be a valuable asset.
Read More: Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
TYPES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS WE HANDLE
Zinda Law Group represents clients who were involved in various types of truck accidents, such as:
Head-on crashes are some of the most devastating, especially when the other vehicle is smaller than the semi-truck. These accidents often cause serious injuries or even death.
Rear-end crashes involving semi-trucks may be one of the deadliest types of crashes. These accidents occur when a truck driver fails to stop or slow down in time to prevent hitting the car ahead of them. When a semi-truck crashes into the rear of a smaller vehicle, the force is often significant and is likely to cause devastating injuries to the driver and/or passengers of the smaller vehicle.
Side crashes or T-bone accidents typically occur when a truck driver runs a red light and crashes into another vehicle that’s in the process of turning.
Jackknifing occurs when a truck folds into itself so that the cab forms a 90-degree angle with the trailer. This accident typically occurs when the driver breaks hard and fast so that the weight of the trailer brings the trailer forward against the traction of the cab.
If a truck driver loses control of the truck, it may roll over onto its side and crash into nearby motorists.
An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle crashes into the side or back of a truck or tractor-trailer and slides underneath. These are often the most fatal accidents because oftentimes the top of the car that slides underneath a truck is completely torn off.
No matter the size, all loads need to be secured and properly packed so that the weight is evenly distributed in the truck. Failure to secure this weight increases the risk of accidents. When products are not tied down properly, they may fly off the truck and into the path of other vehicles.
TRUCKING ACCIDENT CAUSES
An important part of any lawsuit is the determination of who is at fault for your injuries. To determine fault, it’s important to understand the cause of the accident. Truck accidents are often caused by:
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention away from driving on the roadway. A driver may avoid distracted driving by steering clear of texting, reading, grooming or applying makeup, and talking on the phone.
Truck drivers may be on tight schedules which may cause a truck driver to drive faster than is suitable for road conditions or faster than what is appropriate for the size of the truck. Accidents may be caused by smaller vehicles that suddenly swerve off the road to avoid a semi-truck speeding behind them.
Truck drivers should always avoid getting too close to the vehicle ahead of them, no matter how slow the other car is going. A truck that is tailgating too closely to a vehicle loses the ability to react to sudden brakes or turns.
Driving Under the Influence
Drug and alcohol use have been a common problem for many truck drivers. Any type of impaired driving creates the risk of serious accidents on the roadways.
INJURIES IN TRUCK ACCIDENTS
The speed and size of semi-trucks often make injuries from accidents more severe than the average car crash. Victims who survive these accidents may suffer devastating and debilitating injuries, including:
- Head and brain injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
WHO CAN I SUE?
When dealing with truck accidents, there are multiple parties who may be responsible for a victim’s injuries, including:
The Truck Driver
Truck drivers are usually found to be negligent when they become easily distracted or fatigued. Distracted driving increases the risk of error as the driver’s attention is focused on something other than the road.
The Trucking Company
Companies must regularly check trucks and their loads for potential problems, as well as address any repairs before a truck leaves on a trip, including all accessories and features.
The Manufacturer of the Truck
Both manufacturing and repairs of commercial trucks are government regulated to ensure quality control. If there was a defect in the truck involved in your accident, then you may have a claim against the manufacturer, supplier, or the truck’s mechanic.
The Person or Entity Responsible for Loading the Truck
Truck operators and cargo loading teams must follow industry regulations concerning the weight, size, length, height, and width limits of each truck load. If a shipment was not fully inspected, a heavy load could fall onto passing vehicles or even cause a truck to roll over.
There may be several vendors that take on outsourced work. This may include administrative work, such as recruiting drivers, conducting background checks of drivers, and conducting alcohol and drug tests. Essentially, any third-party vendor associated with the trucking company may be responsible if their negligence contributes to a truck accident.
Government Agencies and Contractors
If a roadway hazard, such as broken pavement, contributes to a truck accident, the local or state government responsible for maintaining that stretch of road may be responsible. A negligent maintenance contractor hired by the government may also be responsible if the work they performed created a hazardous road condition or if a work zone was improperly set up and contributed to a crash.
GET HELP FROM TEXAS SEMI-TRUCK INJURY LAWYERS
At Zinda Law Group, our truck accident attorneys have the experience and knowledge that has helped thousands of injured victims seek compensation after suffering an injury from an accident.
Our firm believes that an injured victim should never have to worry about their ability to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your personal injury claim. That’s our No Fee Guarantee.
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