What To Do If You’ve Been In An 18 Wheeler Truck Accident
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are roughly 500,000 trucking accidents every year. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 4,415 fatal truck accidents nationwide in 2018. This is a significant problem and a threat to drivers in all locations– rural and urban.
Understand the Legal Definition Of “Trucking Accident”
It is crucial to understand the definition of a trucking accident and recognize the seriousness of one. It is not usually an accident between two trucks (though this does happen). It is most often when large trucks such as commercial box trucks and tractor-trailer combinations, known as 18-wheelers (vehicles weighing more than ten thousand pounds), collide with other vehicles of much smaller proportions or pedestrians.
There are too many fatalities, as well as a catastrophic number of injuries. And that is why anyone living in the Dallas metro area needs to hire a Dallas truck accident lawyer if they are involved in an accident.
The #1 Reason to Hire A Truck Accident Attorney in Dallas
It’s essential to understand the strength of trucking companies. Because it is such a profitable enterprise (valued at more than $600 billion), any pedestrian or car driver needs qualified legal representation– if they are to win any case against a trucking firm. Again, an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer is the key to your success.
A Look at Some Texas 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Numbers
It is estimated that 18-wheeler accidents cause as much as 5% of all accident-related injuries and 14% of deaths. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics has released some concerning statistics about large truck accidents:
- In 2018, there were 109,067 large truck accidents nationwide
- In 2019, that figure increased to 110,531 crashes involving a large truck
The Texas Department of Transportation took a more local perspective and examined truck accidents in Texas in 2019. It found that there were 452 fatal crashes involving large trucks, 844 suspected serious injury accidents involving large trucks, 2,267 non-incapacitating injury crashes involving large trucks, and 3,530 possible injury accidents involving large trucks. In 2019, 26,150 large truck accidents occurred in Texas.
Under certain circumstances, huge commercial trucks are dangerous vehicles and can become unstoppable. When it hits a passenger vehicle or pedestrian, the chances of serious injury and fatality are very high.
A Dallas 18-wheeler accident lawyer is going to be the best way to ensure you, as a victim, get the kind of compensation you deserve. Angel Reyes and Associates can help you with a large variety of truck-related accidents, including:
- Fatal Truck Accidents
- Garbage Truck Accidents
- Overloaded or Unsecured Cargo
- Truck Driver fatigue
- Tanker Truck Accidents
- Rear-end Truck Accidents
The Major Cause Of 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
First, consider that their employers often pressure their drivers of 18-wheelers to drive non-stop without sleep for 24 hours. This is frequently outside of the legal requirements for drivers.
This can result in severe fatigue, reckless driving, or driving at excessive speeds. Additionally, drivers of 18-wheelers have difficulty stopping their vehicles while going downhill, and brake failure or mechanical failure is not uncommon. Though there are strict legal requirements for the ongoing service of 18-wheelers, many employers will poorly maintain their vehicles to save money—which can lead to serious potential hazards for their drivers and occupants of passenger vehicles or pedestrians.
Your Next Step: Hire A Trucking Accident Lawyer ASAP
Regardless of how minor or severe the accident, your first step is to get in touch with a truck accident lawyer immediately. They will know precisely what to do to protect your interests.
At Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm, our experienced team of accident attorneys knows what insurance companies are required to provide and what victims of 18-wheeler accidents and their families legally deserve for damages. These can include their medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and sometimes, even death. We have over 30 years of experience and have established a 98 percent client success rate.
We fought for Frederick, an 18 wheeler trucking accident victim from Dallas, and here’s what he had to say:
Frequent Truck Accident Questions
- Do I sue the Truck driver or the truck company after an accident?
- How is fault determined in my accident?
- What if the driver has a history of drug or alcohol violations?
- What is the first thing to do after my wreck?
Below is a list of trucking companies for your reference
If you have been in an 18-wheeler accident, it is helpful to know which company the rig belonged to and to give this information to your new attorney immediately:
- Ace Transportation
- Aggregate Haulers
- Clarksville Refrigerated Lines
- Coastal Transport
- Contract Freighters
- Covenant Transport
- Dart Transportation
- Fleetwood Transportation Services
- GP Burroughs Trucking Company
- HEB Grocery Company
- IESI TX Corp
- B. Hunt Transport
- Lattimore Metals
- Milk Transport Services
- Nabors Well Services
- Redi Mix Inc.
- Saia Motor Freight
- Schneider National Carriers
- Southwestern Motor Transport
- Statewide Transport
- Swift Transportation
- Transit Mix Concrete & Materials
- TXI TransportationPool Company
- United Parcel Service
- USA Truck
- Werner Enterprises
Injuries Commonly Caused by Truck Accidents
The destruction caused by a large truck accident is far more severe than car accidents. Again, some victims may walk away with only mild injuries, some may be more serious and life-changing, and some are fatal. Here are some common injuries that are typically associated with large truck accidents here in Dallas:
- Lacerations and cuts
- Broken or fractured bones
- Neck or head injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Back and spine injuries
- Internal injuries
- Damage to internal organs
- Amputations or disfigurement
- Partial or even total paralysis
How Much is My Truck Crash Claim Worth?
The legal system does attempt to mete out justice for the victims with financial compensation. Truck accident lawsuits may yield millions of dollars for the victim via settlement or jury verdict, but it could also be much less than that. Key factors that help determine the value of your case include the following:
- How clear it is that the defendant is liable for the crash: If the driver of the truck was found to be legally intoxicated, or you have video footage of the truck running a red light, then the truck driver will not have much of a chance to dispute their liability for the crash. If that is the case, a fair settlement offer is more likely to be presented to you earlier in the process. On the other hand, many of these accidents involve situations where it is unclear which driver was at fault– neither side has concrete proof of what happened. In those cases, the other party has less incentive to present a fair settlement offer to you early in the process.
- Whether or not you were partially at fault: In Texas, we have the 51 Percent Bar Rule, which states that you can still recover financially for your injuries as long as you were not more than 50 percent responsible for the crash. While you can still receive damages even if you were 50 percent– or less– responsible for the accident, the amount you are awarded will be reduced proportionately to your share of responsibility. For example, if you suffered $1 million in damages, but you were 20 percent responsible for the crash, then you would end up with $800,000.
- How strong your case is: In general, the more evidence you have pointing to the defendant as the driver responsible for the accident, the more valuable your case will be. Maybe your experienced tractor-trailer accident lawyer has tracked down surveillance footage that shows the other driver causing the accident. Perhaps your lawyer has interviewed several credible witnesses to the crash—and they all shared the same view that the defendant caused the accident. The stronger your case is, the more likely the defendant will be to present a fair settlement offer to you long before the case ever gets to trial.
- How opposed the defendant is to go to trial: There are several reasons why some defendants– whether they are individuals or companies—want to avoid going to trial. Maybe the prospect of the legal fees associated with a long, drawn-out case is overwhelming; perhaps a company fears taking a serious public relation hit if your case becomes public record or receives publicity. Or it could be that the defendant is concerned about being required to divulge some valuable proprietary information when testifying under oath. The more averse they are to going to trial, the more likely you will receive a fair settlement offer in advance of trial.
18-Wheeler Accident & Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer Free Consultation
If you or someone you care about has been in an 18-wheeler accident, please contact a Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm Dallas truck accident lawyer at (469) 751-4840 or submit the Free Case Review Contact Form on this page to find out what your case may be worth.