Texas leads the nation in fatal commercial truck accidents. Truck accidents can cause devastating accidents that result in severe injuries, death, and significant destruction. Sadly, most truck accidents are preventable and caused by negligent driving, fatigue, distraction, or poor maintenance.
The experienced attorneys at Rochelle McCullough have successfully represented victims of truck accidents throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas, & Hot Springs, AR. We are prepared to help you pursue compensation for your losses. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact Rochelle McCullough to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal options.
Common Types of Truck Accidents in Texas
Certain types of errors made by truckers or third-party drivers can result in driver liability. Many truck accidents occur when truck drivers rear-end the backs of other vehicles. If the driver isn’t paying attention or is fatigued, they may fail to keep a safe distance between two vehicles. Due to their larger size, trucks can crush the back ends of passenger vehicles, causing serious injuries.
Large trucks are more difficult to turn than smaller vehicles. Truck drivers should be trained to maneuver trucks and turn them safely. When a driver fails to consider the proximity and speed of oncoming traffic, they can cause a collision with other vehicles and be found liable for resulting harm. The following types of traffic violations can also cause truck accidents:
- Failure to signal when changing lanes
- Violating speed limits
- Driving erratically
- Driving through stoplights
Types of Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
- Back injuries
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Facial and dental injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Amputated limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Burn injuries
- Bruises and lacerations
There Is an Increased Risk of Severe Injuries and Death in Truck Accidents
All vehicle accidents can be fatal or cause serious injuries; accidents involving large trucks are more likely to cause catastrophic injuries. The average truck weighs 20 to 30 times more than a passenger vehicle. Trucks, like buses and other large vehicles, are responsible for causing more fatalities than accidents involving two-passenger vehicles. When massive trucks collide with smaller vehicles, they’re more likely to crush them, causing catastrophic injuries.
Determining Liability After a Truck Accident
The trucking industry has many moving parts, including company managers, haulage brokers, shipping firms, loaders, truckers, and safety personnel. These entities play a role in the trucking industry, from loading the cargo to delivery. The combined actions of all parties should lead to safer trucks and drivers. When these entities make seemingly small mistakes, they can lead to devastating truck accidents. An experienced attorney can help determine which party or parties are liable for your injuries. Common examples of negligence that lead to truck accidents include the following:
- A cargo loader failed to fasten the harness securely
- A cargo loader failed to distribute the weight of the cargo evenly
- A safety officer failed to spot a safety hazard
- The trucking company failed to maintain vehicles regularly
- The truck was overloaded with cargo
- A trucking manager pressured the trucker to travel at high speeds to deliver the cargo
There may be more than one party responsible for the truck accident that resulted in your injuries.
Truck Driver Negligence Can Have Serious Consequences
There are several ways in which truckers can act in a negligent manner and cause truck accidents. Truck driver negligence can include distracted, drowsy, drunk, and aggressive driving. Truck drivers who do not perform comprehensive inspections on their vehicles to ensure all parts are correctly operating are also acting negligently.
Hours of Service Regulations
Truck drivers driving more than eight hours daily are more likely to be involved in an accident. Driver fatigue occurs when drivers become physically and mentally exhausted due to driving for long periods. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association enforces hours-of-service regulations in an attempt to reduce truck accidents by minimizing driver fatigue. Some of the hours-of-service regulations truck drivers must follow include the following:
- Truck drivers must take a 30-minute break after driving for 8 consecutive hours without interruption
- Truckers may drive for a maximum of 11 hours after resting for 10 consecutive hours
- Truckers cannot drive after spending 60 to 70 hours behind the wheel within 7 to 8 consecutive days until they’ve had a break of at least 34 hours
Many truck drivers have electronic logs that keep track of drive time and breaks. However, some truck drivers continue to use manual logs. They may change entries to indicate they’ve had enough rest when they haven’t taken adequate breaks. If you suspect truck driver fatigue contributed to the accident that caused your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation from the truck driver.
Fatigued driving can be as dangerous as intoxicated driving because it slows down a driver’s reaction time and keeps drivers from reacting safely to emergencies. Drowsy drivers are also more likely to fall asleep while driving. The truck driver’s employer might be liable if they discouraged their employees from taking sufficient breaks in order to complete jobs more quickly.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
The amount of compensation to which you may be entitled depends on multiple factors, including the severity of your injuries. Generally, the more severe your injuries, the higher your case’s value. Personal injury plaintiffs can pursue compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, property damage, and other easily quantifiable damages. Non-economic damages include damages for disability, disfigurement, and pain and suffering. An experienced attorney can help you determine your case’s value.
Discuss Your Case with a Skilled Truck Accident Attorney in Dallas, Texas
If you or your loved one has been injured in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, you’ll benefit from discussing your case with a skilled attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Rochelle McCullough will investigate your case and help you understand your legal rights and options. We understand the devastating impact truck accidents can have on victims and the need for victims to recover the full and fair amount of compensation they deserve. Contact Rochelle McCullough to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Dallas truck accident attorneys.
We extend our personal injury legal services to help clients with truck accidents, semi-truck accidents, tractor-trailer crashes, and 18-wheeler accident cases throughout Texas, including Dallas, & Fort Worth, as well as in Hot Springs, Arizona. Committed to advocating for your rights and securing the compensation you deserve.