Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer
Call (800) 863-5312 to Speak with Dallas Truck Accident Lawyers for Free
Dallas is a large city that requires semi-trucks to constantly transport goods in and out of the metropolitan area. These large, heavily loaded trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and pose a serious threat to those who drive regular passenger cars.
The drivers, although professional, can make mistakes. They can be fatigued, distracted, or, in some cases, under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They may have ignored regulations, improperly maintained their truck, or driven recklessly.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is in your best interest to contact a Dallas truck accident attorney. A trucking injury lawyer can help investigate the accident, establish who was at fault, handle the insurance companies, and litigate on your behalf while you focus on what is most important: your recovery.
Call Zinda Law Group today at 800-863-5312 for a free legal consultation and to find out if you have a case.
You May Be Entitled To Compensation
1. Seek Medical Attention
It is essential to seek medical attention after an injury. Your health is your number one priority. This is also important for your case as your lawyer will need medical records to prove your injuries when making a claim.
2. Report the Accident
Call the police immediately after the accident. The police officer will make a report of the accident, which will be an important document if you decide to file a lawsuit.
3. Document the Accident
If you are able, take photographs to document your accident. Take pictures of your injuries, the vehicles involved in the crash, and the scene of the accident. Keep any receipts or invoices for medical expenses and other expenses related to the accident. These will be used to help calculate the value of your claim.
4. Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
An attorney can provide you invaluable advice or help you avoid pitfalls in the settlement process. It is highly recommended that you contact a Dallas attorney if you are seeking compensation.
How to file a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
1. Meet with your Attorney
Deciding to take on an insurance company on your own can be a daunting task. Meeting with your attorney can help you make sense of your situation. At Zinda Law Group, our attorneys understand just how difficult it is after an accident, that’s why if you can’t make it to our Dallas office we will come to you to get started.
In the investigative stage, your lawyer will collect all of the relevant documents and evidence necessary to file a claim. These include medical bills, witness statements, official reports, employment reports, etc. At this time, you will be able to focus on your recovery while your attorney focuses on building the most persuasive case possible for you.
3. Case Settlement
There will generally be a discussion for settlement before any lawsuit is filed. Your attorney will begin negotiations with the truck driver’s insurance company to seek the maximum compensation available to you. Your lawyer will discuss each offer with you during this stage.
Most cases are settled before ever having to step foot into a courtroom. If your case settles by negotiation with your lawyer, then your lawyer will walk you through the process of receiving your settlement check.
Accidents Caused by Semi-Trucks and 18-Wheelers
Trucking accidents are responsible for some of the worst motor vehicle wrecks in Dallas. The incident may involve multiple vehicles, severe injuries, or even fatalities. If the truck driver is determined to be negligent, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your injuries.
These cases require the skill of an aggressive and knowledgeable attorney to fight for fair compensation for the damages. Zinda Law Group is prepared to fight an unyielding battle on behalf of the injured victims throughout Dallas and the state of Texas.
While claims generally arise because of driver negligence. However, this is not always the case. Some of the most common accident claims are:
- Improperly loaded truck
- Commercial truck
- Speeding truck
- Negligent hiring of truck driver
Large trucking companies often have commercial insurance firms that hire top-notch attorneys to deny or negotiate down the cost of the claim. When dealing with profit-hungry insurance companies, individual damage is not necessarily their concern. Their concern is corporate profits, and any reduction in settlement payments increases their bottom line.
When dealing with this situation, you want to ensure that you have an equally dedicated and powerful accident attorney fighting for what is fair and right. We will be relentless in pursuing fair compensation and are willing to fight in court if the need arises.
Truck drivers drive with a deadline in mind. Because of this, drivers who may feel like they are behind schedule sometimes drive faster than they should. Unfortunately, speeding increases the risk of an accident. We know that even a regular passenger vehicle driving at high speeds can cause chaos. An 18-wheeler driving at high speeds can only cause an accident many times worse. Where a driver was speeding and caused an accident, you may be able to seek compensation if you were injured.
Businesses want to save money wherever they can. However, sometimes the decision to save money can cause accidents not worth the savings. Rather than loading their trucks with an appropriate amount of cargo, some companies will load their trucks with cargo that goes above the recommended weight that their trucks can handle to reduce costs of shipping.
Unfortunately, when a truck driver drives with a heavy load, they cannot drive as well and can lose control more easily. The heavier the cargo, the more difficult it is to maneuver and steer—even at average speeds. Furthermore, when a truck with a heavy load crashes, the damage may be more severe than if a truck without a heavy load crashes because of the additional cargo.
If it can be proven that the driver was carrying a lead too heavy for their truck and caused an accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation from them.
Sleep is vital to human functioning. Though many people believe that they can function perfectly without the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep, research has shown otherwise. Unfortunately, truckers do not always adhere to the recommended hours of sleep. Because truckers are often paid by the mile, there is an incentive for them to drive more to earn more. However, when truckers sacrifice their sleep for money, they become far more prone to causing an accident on the road.
Where a driver falls asleep at the wheel and causes your accident and injuries, you may be entitled to seek compensation from them.
Though highway hypnosis may sound a bit far-fetched, it does occur. Highway hypnosis, which is also known as white line fever, occurs when an individual drives a long distance for an extended period. When it happens, the individual no longer concentrates on driving but on other thoughts. While preoccupied with other thoughts, the individual appears to be a trancelike state. Truck drivers are very susceptible to highway hypnosis as they drive for extremely long periods on the road without much variety. When they are distracted in such a way, accidents can occur and these may lead to a compensation claim against them.
Many of us fear driving right next to an 18-wheeler. We often try to speed past it as fast as possible. This is probably because we are afraid of getting crushed by it if the truck decides to move into our lane. Truckers do not always have mirrors that show all that is behind them. Also, because trucks have very loud engines, a honk from a passenger vehicle may not be heard. As a result, there is a higher risk for trucks to drive into a lane that is occupied by an adjacent vehicle than a regular passenger vehicle. Where a truck driver steers into your lane and causes an accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation from them.
On the road, there are good drivers, and there are bad drivers. Similarly, there are good truckers and bad truckers. Trucking companies are not known for having an extremely rigorous training and vetting process. There have been many instances of drivers who have been fined for reckless driving becoming truckers. A reckless driver in a truck that causes an accident may lead to a compensation claim against the company.
Who Can I Sue?
To sue a truck driver for negligence, it must be proven that their actions caused the accident. If this is proven, then you would likely bring a claim against their insurance company. Where the driver is employed by a trucking company and is driving a commercial vehicle, your claim would be brought against the commercial insurance company of the truck company. In either case, a lawyer by your side may help you negotiate your claim to ensure that you don’t leave out any important information that your lawyer may discover during their investigation.
The Trucking Company
In cases where the trucking company was negligent in their hiring and hired a driver that was under qualified or improperly trained by the company, the truck company may be held liable for negligent hiring. This can be a complication issue to work out and prove, speak with your lawyer to talk about your next steps.
The truck manufacturer may also be sued if it can be shown that the accident was caused y a defective truck part. This would likely take some further, in-depth investigation that your lawyer may be able to facilitate.
Proving Truck Driver Negligence
To have a successful negligence claim against a driver, you must show the following:
Duty of Care
You need first to show that the tractor-trailer driver owed you a duty of care. A duty of care means that the driver had a duty while on the road to ensure that his actions don’t put you in danger. This is relatively straight forward in road traffic accidents as every driver out there has a duty of care towards other drivers to ensure they follow traffic rules and don’t drive in a way that would put other drivers at risk.
Breach of Duty
A breach of duty means that the truck driver violated a duty owed to you. For instance, the driver owes you a duty to not engage in reckless driving but does not adhere to a stop sign and runs into you. This would be a breach of duty.
To claim compensation, it must also be proven that you were injured. You must suffer an injury on your person or your property to have a successful negligence claim. This will be proven with medical records and other documentation showing the damage to your property also.
To show proximate cause, you must be able to prove that the breach of duty caused your injury. So using the example given above, you would have to prove that the accident that led to your injury occurred because the driver ran a stop sign.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
The Insurance Company Is Not on Your Side
Know that the insurance company’s adjuster works for the insurance company, not for you. An adjuster will try to settle as quickly as possible and move on. This could lead to a subpar settlement for you.
Avoid Quick Settlements
A quick settlement may mean that the insurance company did not investigate your injuries or other damages adequately. This is where an attorney can make a difference for you. Your attorney will investigate your accident and injuries and uncover aspects that the insurance may have missed, such as future medical costs, loss of future earnings and other aspects that may have a lifelong effect on you.
This is why it is important not to settle quickly and to wait for your lawyer to negotiate with the insurance company after the full extent of your injuries has been established.
Do Not Let Adjuster Reduce Claim Value
Sometimes, an adjuster will try to place blame on you for your injuries to reduce the value of your claim. Resist such tactics. Do not give a statement to the other side’s insurance without speaking your lawyer first.
Accident compensation is essentially money given to compensate you for your losses, both financial and physical. These losses are referred to as damages and are broken into two main categories:
Economic damages, which include:
– medical bills
– future medical bills
– lost wages
– future lost wages
– damaged property
– loss of earning capacity
Non-economic damages include the following:
– emotional anguish
– loss of enjoyment of activities
These aspects are used to determine the value of your claim. Your attorney can help determine the value of your case as they investigate your accident. You may find that the lawyer’s estimate of your case is higher than what the insurance company may offer at first.
Dallas Legal Time Limits (Statute of Limitations)
In Texas, you have two years from the date of injury to file a claim. If you are filing a wrongful death claim, you have two years from the date of the death to file a claim.
If you are filing on behalf of a child, however, you have until he or she reaches the age of eighteen to file a claim. Once your child reaches the age of eighteen, he or she has two years to file a claim. Note that there are claims that belong specifically to the child such as pain and suffering and claims that belong specifically to the parents such as the child’s medical bills.
Get a Dallas Truck Accident Attorney on Your Side Today
Our Texas 18-wheeler accident lawyers have years of experience litigating trucking accident cases in Dallas. We know what it takes to go toe to toe against the big insurance companies and fight for what is fair.
If you are wondering if you have a case, or have any questions, call us today at 800-863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with a Dallas trucking injury attorney. We can help you determine the best course of action to take moving forward and ensure common mistakes are avoided to achieve the best outcome for your case. We look forward to helping you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
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