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
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, as of 2019, there are approximately 29 million people living in the state of Texas. Of those millions, 17.4 million are registered drivers. With those millions and millions of drivers on the road, it is, unfortunately, no surprise that there are sometimes motor vehicle accidents.
In 2019 alone, there were 39,193 crashes involving a commercial motor vehicle. Of those crashes, there were:
- 543 fatal crashes,
- 613 total fatalities,
- 1,124 suspected serious crashes,
- 1,471 suspected serious injuries,
- 5,639 possible injury crashes; and
- 8,937 possible injuries.
Collisions with commercial vehicles are not rare. It is important for every driver on the road to be cautious and attentive. It is also important to understand what to do if you have been the victim of an accident involving a commercial vehicle. Zinda Law Group’s semi-truck accident attorneys are here to guide you through those next steps and help you get the compensation you deserve.
WHAT MAY A TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER 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 Texas 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
Your trucking accident attorney may help you collect as much evidence as possible, such as the 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 Adjuster
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, your attorney may help you prove that the at-fault party was negligent, strengthening your insurance claim or personal injury suit.
Types of Truck Accident Cases We Handle
Zinda Law Group represents clients who were involved in various types of truck accidents, including, but not limited to:
Zinda Law Group represents clients who were involved in various types of truck accidents, such as:
- Head-On Crashes
- Rear-End Crashes
- Side Crashes
- Jackknife Accidents
- Rollover Crashes
- Underride Accidents
- Load Spills
Head-on collisions happen when the driver of one vehicle drives the wrong way on a road or off-ramp and crashes head-on with a driver approaching from the other direction. When a smaller vehicle gets into a head-on collision with a semi-truck, the results are often serious injury or death. Thirty-one percent of vehicle occupants killed in 2018 in an accident involving a commercial vehicle truck were struck head-on by the truck.
Head-on collisions are indicative of a distracted driver who does not realize he or she is in the wrong lane.
An underride trucking accident occurs when a smaller car collides with the rear of a truck and actually slides underneath the rear bumper of the truck. These accidents are extremely dangerous and often lead to crushing injuries or limb amputation, as the top of the car is often torn off as it slides under the truck.
Although often associated with fault from the driver of the car (such as driving while distracted or speeding), the truck driver may also be at fault. For example, a truck may stop suddenly without giving the other vehicles advance warning.
No matter what the truck is hauling, or where it is destined to arrive, all loads on all trucks must be secured to prevent the load from falling or flying off the truck. Truck cargo loads must also fulfill federal safety requirements. For example, the federal safety requirements specify that materials like heavy machinery may require the use of specialty shipping fasteners.
If a load was improperly secured, it may show that the driver is at fault for not meeting the federal safety requirements set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN TEXAS
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:
Due to the size and power of a commercial truck, speeding could be considered reckless driving that puts the lives of all other motorists at risk.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, speeding accounted for thousands of statewide crashes in 2019:
- Failure to control speed accounted for 142,022 total crashes.
- Speeding over the limit accounted for 2,166 total crashes.
- Unsafe speed accounted for 23,416 total crashes.
Although not all of these accidents were caused by commercial trucks, it is clear that speeding in any vehicle results in unsafe driving and can cause severe personal injury or death. These injuries could be exacerbated significantly when a commercial truck is involved.
A distracted driver could cause any number of accidents, including head-on collisions, rear-end crashes, rollovers, and more. A driver could be distracted for any number of reasons, such as texting, talking on the phone, or looking at the GPS. A distracted truck driver could easily cause a serious or deadly crash.
With 17.4 million registered drivers in Texas, it is no surprise that many of those drivers were distracted while behind the wheel. Examples of statewide crashes in 2019 due to distracted drivers are:
- Any cellphone use: 3,842
- Distraction in vehicle: 12,903
- Driver inattention: 86,567
When a truck driver is faced with long stretches of driving or unusual hours he or she may be tempted to using a mobile device, read, eat, drink, or participate in any other number of distractions.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is unsafe to do in any vehicle, much less one that can weigh 20 tons or more. 2019 statewide crashes due to driving under the influence are as follows:
- Had been drinking: 8,770
- Under the influence of alcohol: 14,806
- Under the influence of drugs: 3,148
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 for a Truck Accident?
1. The Truck Driver
If a truck driver’s negligent driving led to the accident, you may be able to file a claim against them.
2. The Trucking Company
In certain situations, a truck company may actually be held liable for the actions of their employees, meaning you may have a claim against the company directly.
3. The Manufacturer of the Truck
If the accident was caused by a malfunctioning truck or truck part you may have a claim against the manufacturer.
4. The Person or Entity Responsible for Loading the Truck
Truck operators and cargo loading teams must follow strict industry regulations. If the regulations concerning the weight, size, length, height, and width limits of each truck were not followed, and this resulted in an accident, you may have a claim.
5. Government Agencies and Contractors
If the local or state government was responsible for maintaining a certain stretch of road, but failed to do so, this could contribute to an accident. Further, a contractor hired by the government may also be responsible if their negligent work contributed to a crash.
6. Other Vendors
There may be any number of other vendors that had taken on outsourced work. These third parties may be held liable if their negligence contributed to an accident.
Texas Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the time limit in which you can file a claim. This time limit varies from state to state. In Texas, the time limit to file a claim for personal injury or personal property damage is two years from the date the accident occurred. This means you would have two years after a truck accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, or else your claim could be barred.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
Knowing what to do immediately following a truck accident can help protect your health, as well as your legal rights.
1. Seek Medical Attention
The first step after an accident is to seek prompt medical attention. Trucking accidents tend to result in serious injury, and it is important you receive medical attention for these injuries, even if they don’t seem severe at the time.
2. Report the Accident
Report the accident to the appropriate authorities. This may serve as evidence in your case and strengthen your claim against the at-fault party.
3. Document the Accident
Documenting the accident means you should create a file containing all important documents related to the accident and any resulting injuries. Examples of information that should be documented include:
- The name and contact information of the truck driver and trucking company
- The license plate number and vehicle identification number of the truck
- Names and contact information of any witnesses
- Photographs of the scene, including physical injury and property damage.
4. Contact a Lawyer Who Specializes in Trucking Accident Cases
A truck accident attorney may provide you with helpful legal advice and how to move forward with your claim. Further, an attorney may also be able to negotiate a settlement agreement or fight for you in court if a settlement cannot be reached.
Read More: Do I Need a Truck Accident Lawyer?
GET HELP FROM TEXAS SEMI-TRUCK INJURY LAWYERS
At Zinda Law Group, our truck accident attorneys have helped 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 legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis – you pay nothing unless we win your personal injury claim.
We represent victims all over Texas, including:
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.