Dallas Truck Accident Lawyers
A collision with a large truck can spell disaster, and even death, for anyone traveling in a car, SUV, or motorcycle on interstates and highways. Statistics show that most fatalities in large truck crashes happen to vulnerable occupants in passenger vehicles. Large trucks can weigh 20-30 times more than passenger cars, and big rigs have greater ground clearance, meaning cars and SUVs can slide under the carriage of a large truck upon impact. The fatality breakdown in large truck accidents is as follows:
- 16% of deaths are occupants in large trucks.
- 67% of deaths are occupants in cars and other passenger vehicles.
- 15% of deaths are pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.
Collisions often result in mangled steel, fires, shattered glass, and crumpled seats, leading to severe and even catastrophic injuries among crash victims. If you’ve been injured in a Dallas truck accident, your world has probably been turned upside down. You may be in the hospital, off work, or worse. Some crash victims recover after months of rehabilitation, but others experience permanent disfigurement and disability. If you’ve been injured in a crash, a Dallas truck accident lawyer can fight to help you get the financial compensation you deserve.
There is, arguably, no other motor vehicle that is as massive as a tractor-trailer. Any vehicle colliding with a big rig is sure to be demolished. Texas has 303,176 miles of public roads, more than any other state in the U.S. This means there’s plenty of opportunity for large truck collisions. Texas also has roughly 60 miles of toll roads, 100 roadside safety rest stops, and a large network of farm-to-market roads that connect rural areas of the state with urban centers.
Culpability in Tractor-Trailer Wrecks
OUR DALLAS TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYERs EXPLAIN WHO COULD BE AT FAULT IN TRUCK CRASHES.
The safety, maintenance, and operation of an 18-wheeler takes effort and consistency on the part of trucking companies and drivers. Trucks must be repaired, maintained, inspected, and driven in a way that ensures safety. Some people within the trucking industry are conscientious while others are careless and negligent, cutting corners wherever they can. There are many individuals throughout the trucking enterprise that can share culpability when accidents happen. Some of these are:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Truck manufacturer
- Safety inspectors
- Cargo loaders
- Maintenance technicians.
BEHAVIORS THAT CAN LEAD TO TRUCK ACCIDENTS
In addition to sloppy maintenance or insufficient inspections, truck drivers themselves can engage in behaviors that result in reckless driving and serious accidents, for example:
- Distracted driving (texting, talking on the phone, etc.)
- Impairment due to drugs and alcohol
- Driver fatigue
- Careless lane changes and turns
- Failure to stop, yield, and obey road signs
- Driving more hours than allowed under federal regulations
- Carelessness during traffic congestion.
Weather conditions, road construction, and debris on an interstate can also result in sub-optimal driving conditions and cause wrecks. Rain, sleet, wind, snow, potholes, broken guardrails, and items that have fallen off truck beds pose serious road hazards, too. Tire blowouts on trucks can also be quite dangerous and cause crashes.
Large trucks also take much greater distance to come to a stop. Loaded tractor-trailers take up to 40% farther than cars to stop, and the discrepancy is greater on slippery, wet roads or with poorly maintained brakes.
Truck Accident FAQs
OUR TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN DALLAS ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS.
We see a lot of clients who are frightened and confused after a truck accident, and they have many questions. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions that may be helpful to you and your loved ones.
How much does a semi-truck weigh?
A: A fully loaded semi-tractor trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This is an enormous amount a weight. When you compare it to an average passenger vehicle (weighing 4,000 pounds) or a motorcycle (weighing roughly 700 pounds), you can see why the overwhelming number of crash injuries and deaths are inflicted on passengers in the smaller vehicles or on motorcycles, rather than in the large trucks. Our attorneys represent victims in car accidents and motorcycle accidents, too.
What happens if the truck that hit me is from another state?
A: If the accident itself occurred within the state of Texas, then the Texas court system has jurisdiction. It doesn’t matter if the truck and/or truck driver are licensed in another state. Your claim will be filed in the appropriate court in Dallas or another Texas location, and all hearings and proceeding will occur there. This is true no matter where the trucking company is located throughout the United States.
What if someone was killed in a truck accident?
A: If your loved one was killed in a collision with a large truck, you can file what is known as a wrongful death claim. Compensation in these successful cases includes not only medical costs, lost earnings, property damage, and pain and suffering, but also funeral and burial costs.
What are the most dangerous roads in Texas?
A: Texas has thousands of miles of interstate and other roadways, and hundreds of fatal truck accidents happen every year. The most dangerous roads in Texas include:
- Interstate 45
- Interstate 35
- Interstate 10
- U.S. Route 290
- Interstate 37.
Can I sue if an Amazon or FedEx delivery truck hits me?
A: Yes, in addition to large semi-truck accidents, there are thousands of delivery truck crashes every year, often resulting in severe injury or death. These box trucks are in neighborhoods and on city streets while delivering packages to homes and businesses. You can sue a delivery truck company if their truck crashes into your vehicle or hits a pedestrian.
What’s the size of the U.S. trucking industry?
A: The U.S. transportation system moves about 50 million tons of freight per day, valued at more than $53 billion. Most of this is moved by truck. Warehouses, trucking companies, and other private sector entities employ an estimated 8.9 million people in jobs related to trucking.
How long is a big rig truck driver allowed to drive at one time?
A: Drivers of large trucks are allowed by federal hours-of-service regulations to drive up to 11 hours at a stretch, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Surveys show that many drivers violate the regulations by working longer than permitted.
How many truck drivers are there in the U.S.?
A: There are approximately 3.5 million truck drivers in America, and most are owner-operators. Trucks deliver about 70% of freight goods nationwide, totaling $671 billion in retail and manufactured products annually.
Truck Crashes in Texas and the U.S.
Texas can be a dangerous place to drive. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 513 fatal commercial vehicle crashes in which 581 people were killed in Texas in 2020. In addition, an estimated 4,440 commercial vehicle injury crashes in 2020 resulted in 6,781 people being hurt. There were also 23,422 non-injury crashes. Some of the deadliest counties in Texas when it comes to truck accidents are Harris, Dallas, Bexar, Tarrant, El Paso, and Denton.
Across the nation, a total of 5,005 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2019, according to data from the National Safety Council (NSC). Large truck fatal accidents have increased 43% in the U.S. since 2010, according to NSC. Large trucks account for 10% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes in the U.S. In 2019, 118,000 large trucks were involved in crashes causing injuries, and 48% of big rig crash deaths happened between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. When it comes to the location where most fatal truck accidents happen, data shows the following:
- 51% of deaths occur on major roads (other than interstates and freeways)
- 34% of deaths occur on freeways and interstates
- 15% of deaths occur on minor roads.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with an 18-wheeler, you may be entitled to financial compensation. This is especially true if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. To find out what your case may be worth, call a Dallas truck accident lawyer at Crain Brogdon, LLP at 214-522-9404. The initial consultation is free.
Common Injuries in Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for trucks to cause severe injuries to those who collide with them. Because 18-wheelers are so large and heavy, the passenger vehicles and motorcycles they crash into almost always suffer the brunt of the damage and injuries. Common injuries in truck accidents include:
- spinal injuries and paralysis
- traumatic brain injuries
- broken bones
- third-degree burns
- cuts, puncture wounds, and lacerations
- internal bleeding
- organ damage
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- wrongful death.
Sometimes, survivors will be stuck dealing with their injuries for a few weeks or months, but sometimes they must spend years trying to recuperate and figure out how they’ll live their lives with permanently disabling conditions.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a collision with a tractor-trailer and you have no idea who to bring a claim against or how to do it, reach out to a skilled Dallas truck accident lawyer who can handle all of the legal details while you focus on recovering.
Damages You May Be Entitled To
It’s difficult to say how much you can expect to recover in your truck crash case, because it depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries and how these impact your life and work. Your losses will be categorized as either economic, meaning they’ve influenced you financially, or non-economic, meaning they have impacted your emotional state and/or lifestyle.
Commonly sought economic damages might include:
- Hospital bills
- Medical equipment
- Lost wages
- Ambulance fees
- Lost earning potential
- Property damage.
Your non-economic damages might consist of:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of household services
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Effects of scarring and/or disfigurement.
What’s more, in some cases a judge finds that the actions of the defendant were so willfully harmful or atrocious that he will award punitive damages. Also referred to as exemplary damages, these are imposed on defendants to punish them and send a warning to other future potential wrongdoers.
Modified Comparative Negligence in Texas
We know that in some crashes, one driver is fully at fault. But in other cases, both drivers may share some responsibility for the collision. When this happens, the court will look at who is most at fault. This is called “modified comparative negligence,” also known as proportionate responsibility. This legal concept comes into play when the injured victim was partially responsible for causing the accident that injured them.
If you are partially at fault for a crash with a truck, then your financial award will be reduced by the percentage of the fault that you bear. For example, if you were found by the judge to be 20% at fault for the accident and the jury award was $100,000, then the compensation you take home would be $80,000 (the total reduced by 20%). However, it’s important to note the threshold for proportionate responsibility in Texas — if you are more than 50% responsible for the cause of the accident, you will not be entitled to compensation for your losses.
Statute of Limitations on Filing a Claim
The statute of limitations for personal injury in Texas is two years from the date of the accident. This means you must file your claim sooner rather than later. This is important because if you fail to file before the statute of limitations expires, a judge will likely dismiss your case. You will no longer be able to seek the compensation you’re entitled to, and your case will be barred by the courts.
How to Choose the Best Truck Accident Lawyers in Dallas
The skilled and experienced Dallas truck accident lawyers at Crain Brogdon, LLP are among the best and the brightest. We are tough on defendants and compassionate with our clients. We know that if you’ve been in a collision with an 18-wheeler, you’re dealing with a lot of trauma and medical challenges. Our staff is caring and exceptionally knowledgeable, and we’ll walk beside you every step of the way. To find out more about our legal team, you can read our attorney bios.
We bring decades of legal experience to each client we serve, and our goal is to achieve the best results possible in every case. We will not rest until we get the compensation you deserve.
Crain Brogdon, LLP Has a Record of Success
OUR DALLAS TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYERS HAVE WON LARGE SETTLEMENTS
Our law firm has achieved outstanding case results in large truck accident lawsuits. When you hire us, you’ll be in good hands. Some of our more noteworthy cases include:
- $4,490,768 (net settlement) – Falsification of DOT Logbooks
A truck driver rear-ended a car in a construction zone, causing head injuries. Investigation revealed that the driver was driving when his log books indicated he was sleeping. Multiple violations of Department of Transportation rules were revealed.
- $3,835,481 (net settlement) – Commercial Truck Accident
A tow truck operator was killed when an 18-wheeler drifted onto the shoulder where the operator was working. The defendant claimed the tow truck operator was at fault and offered only $50,000 before trial. The firm persuaded a federal jury to award more than $6,000,000. The defendant appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals but settled shortly after Crain Brogdon, LLP filed its appellate brief defending the verdict.
- $3,217,982 (net settlement) – Fatal Truck Accident
A delivery truck improperly veered into an adjacent lane, causing an 18-wheeler to cross the highway median into an oncoming 18-wheeler. Both semis caught fire, killing both drivers. The delivery truck did not stop. Crain Brogdon, LLP was able to track down the delivery truck driver, who was found to be on drugs at the time of the accident.
- $1,746,239 (net settlement) – 18-Wheeler Accident
A truck driver legally parked on the side of the highway was killed when an 18-wheeler drifted onto the shoulder and hit him. Intensive investigation led not only to eyewitness testimony but also video of the accident aftermath, which led to the case’s resolution.
Contact Our Truck Accident Attorneys in Dallas Today
When you’re ready to pursue the compensation you deserve but are unsure of how to go about filing your claim, work with an experienced Dallas truck accident lawyer at Crain Brogdon, LLP. We’ll thoroughly investigate the cause of the wreck to determine who should be named as the defendant(s) in your case, and we’ll calculate the value of your losses so that you can achieve compensation for all you’ve been through. With a Dallas truck accident lawyer from our firm by your side, you’ll be able to regain the control of your life. We are passionate about helping truck accident victims move forward with their lives. You can schedule your free claim assessment today by calling our office at 214-522-9404.