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Rear-Ended by a Commercial Vehicle? Contact a Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer

Driving on any road, whether the bustling freeway or a quiet rural road, comes with risks. Often, drivers experience rear-end collisions where a commercial truck or bus hits the back of their vehicle. When this happens, it’s essential to understand the steps you as a driver must take to protect yourself legally with an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer.

We’ll answer many questions as we walk you through the process. If this unfortunate situation ever happens to you or has already happened, you’ll know how to navigate the steps. With our help, you’ll know your rights and how to obtain the documentation and compensation for yourself and anyone in the vehicle during the accident.

The Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

Commercial truck accidents can have various causes, but a common one is driver fatigue. Since truck drivers often work long shifts with minimal sleep or breaks, they may experience fatigue. This condition impairs a driver’s ability to react correctly. It can even lead to an individual falling asleep behind the wheel.

Besides fatigue, other common causes of rear-end truck accidents include:

  • Distracted driving: Talking, texting, eating, drinking, and listening to loud music can cause distraction while behind the wheel.
  • Impaired driving: Some truck drivers may use alcohol or drugs, which affects their safety when driving. 
  • Unfavorable driving conditions: Situations making it difficult for truckers to navigate their vehicles include bad weather, roads lacking proper lighting, excessive potholes, and missing road signage.
  • Vehicular issues: A truck that has issues with brakes, rearview mirrors, or other vital equipment can cause risky driving. 
  • Traffic: One of the most common causes of rear-end accidents is traffic congestion. Traffic makes people stop often and sometimes so suddenly that the vehicle behind doesn’t have time to stop.

For law enforcement and insurance purposes, it’s essential to understand the common causes to identify the probable cause of a rear-end collision. 

8 Things to Do After a Rear-End Collision

In any collision where a car is struck from behind by a commercial vehicle, there are eight steps to ensure physical and legal protection.

1. Check for Injury

You must immediately assess your physical condition and that of anyone else in the vehicle to see who’s injured and to what degree. If the crash was violent and caused injuries, apply first aid.

If injuries are severe enough, you may need to call 911 and ask for immediate medical assistance. Health and safety should always be the priority in a car accident. Proceed to other steps only when you’re physically able.

2. Move to a Safe Place

Since most accidents occur on the road, you and anyone else in the vehicle should move out of the roadway as quickly as possible. If the car is still functioning, pull it onto the shoulder or side of the road so other vehicles can safely pass while you deal with the accident.

If moving the car out of the way isn’t an option, provide markers or lights to alert oncoming vehicles of the accident. Then, get yourself out of the way of traffic where you can safely wait for help.

3. Call Local Law Enforcement

In minor collisions, you and the commercial driver may desire to forgo this step. Still, it’s often the best thing to do to protect yourself legally. When police arrive at a collision site, they can file a report and determine who’s at fault. 

Police presence can also ensure a safe exchange between you and the driver of the vehicle who rear-ended you to prevent aggressive interactions.

4. Avoid Admitting Fault 

It doesn’t matter if you feel responsible or not; it’s always safer to avoid admitting fault. Not admitting fault protects you legally in case the other driver or witnesses try to blame you for the accident. It’s best to speak with a truck accident attorney before making statements about the accident.

5. Get Evidence

After any collision, do the following: 

  1. Take pictures or video of both vehicles. 
  2. Take pictures of property damage from the crash, skid marks on the road, or anyone’s visible injuries.
  3. Ask witnesses and the other driver to send photos or video to you immediately if available. 

Collecting pictures and videos will ensure enough evidence for your insurance company and prove the accident characteristics in case the other driver tries to blame you.

6. Exchange Information

It’s critical to get the other driver’s information. Ensure you both exchange:

  • Names and cell phone numbers
  • Insurance policy numbers
  • Drivers license information
  • License plate numbers 
  • Vehicle information (color, type, model)

With a commercial vehicle, ensure you get their company information, especially their contact information and headquarters location.

7. Complete an Accident Report

If the police don’t come to the accident and fill out a report, call the police department or go in person and fill out a form with the accident information. It’s best to do this as soon as possible. Let them know when, where, and how the accident occurred. The more specific the details, the better protected you’ll be in any legal proceedings.

8. Talk to Your Insurance Company

Call your insurance agent soon after the accident, preferably the same day, and inform them of the incident. Share pictures and videos you took of the accident with them.

Determining Liability

Determining who’s liable in a truck accident can be challenging. Depending on the details surrounding the case, multiple parties can potentially be held liable, including:

  • The truck driver and their insurance company
  • The trucking, cargo, or transportation company
  • The government (if the accident occurred due to poor road conditions)
  • The manufacturer of the truck or its parts

Even if it seems clear that the other party is at fault, you may find yourself pitted against an entity, like a company, that possesses a robust legal force. Working with a trucking accident attorney from Angel Reyes – Reyes Browne Law can improve the odds of winning your case and receiving the compensation you deserve. 

How to Obtain a Police Report After the Accident

Following a truck rear-end accident, gathering evidence to build your case is essential. Your rear-end truck accident attorney can use this evidence to prove the other party’s liability. One crucial piece of evidence is a police report. 

As mentioned above, a police report is a document that sums up the pertinent information related to the accident, including:

  • The date and place where the incident took place
  • Contact information of all parties involved and their insurance carriers

A police report may also include the officer’s opinion as to how the accident occurred and who’s at fault. A police officer may provide a copy of the police report on the scene, or you may need to call the local department to request a copy. While getting a copy may require a small fee, this document is critical for the case and worth the small expense.

Potential Injuries and Their Impact

Rear-end collisions often injure the people in the forwardmost part of the vehicle. Such injuries are usually the case with a commercial vehicle because a large truck can cause more damage than an ordinary car would. 

Some injuries, like minor scratches or bruises, may not be serious; others are far more severe and include the following:

  • Whiplash
  • Concussion
  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Seat Belt-related injuries
  • Facial trauma 
  • Back injuries
  • Neck injuries

These injuries can drastically affect daily life and comfort. Injuries could make you unable to work or care for your family like you usually do. This disability is why it’s crucial to get the financial compensation you deserve after a rear-end collision. Money will pay for the vehicle repairs and cover injury-related income loss.

How to Avoid Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are dangerous, especially when the vehicle behind you is a semi-truck or bus. Here are eight ways to protect yourself and reduce the risk of a rear-end collision.

1. Be Aware

Your best protection against rear-end collisions is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. While driving, constantly look in the rearview mirrors and to each side to know the proximity of other vehicles. Situational awareness is crucial for avoiding a rear-end collision.

2. Avoid Distractions

Distracted driving is always dangerous. Distractions include eating, looking at a phone, and listening to loud music. When distracted, you may not see the signs of traffic slowing down or drivers getting too close.

3. Brake Gently

Many rear-end collisions occur because the car in front slams its brakes and doesn’t give the following car sufficient time to stop. When driving, ensure to brake gently and leave yourself time and room to slow down safely. 

4. Use Turn Signals

Always use turn signals so other drivers can see exactly when you plan on turning or merging. You’re less likely to get rear-ended if the cars behind you can anticipate your actions.

5. Have an Escape Route

When driving, especially in heavy traffic, frequently look around and consider where you could go in an emergency. Having a plan could protect you if an aggressive driver follows too closely.

6. Keep a Steady Speed

When driving, travel at a steady speed instead of frequently speeding up or slowing down. Steady drivers are less likely to have a rear-end collision.

7. Avoid Dangerous Parking

When trying to get into a tricky parking spot or parallel parking, you risk an accident because you’re partially blocking traffic while maneuvering the car. Instead, find a better spot or drive around the block again until the area is free of vehicles that might accidentally hit you.

8. Don’t Merge at the Last Second

Impulsive merging doesn’t give the vehicle following you sufficient time to slow down, stop, or make room for you. Cutting someone off could easily lead to a rear-end collision.

FAQs

Explore some of the most frequently asked questions about truck rear-end accidents.

If a Truck Strikes Me from Behind, Is It Always Their Fault?

No. In most rear-end collisions, the driver behind is at fault because it was their responsibility to maintain distance between their vehicle and the one in front of them. However, if the driver in the front was driving irresponsibly or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they could be found responsible for the accident.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After My Accident?

In Texas, the statute of limitation laws allow up to two years from the accident date to file a claim against the other driver. However, it’s usually best to start the process quickly, so contact a semi-truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after the incident.

What Should I Do If the Other Driver Won’t Share Information?

In some incidents, the commercial driver who rear-ended your vehicle may become belligerent or aggressive. They may refuse to share insurance or personal information, and you may feel uncomfortable in their presence. If this happens, call the local authorities and allow them to mediate the situation.

If law enforcement takes time to get there, take pictures of the other vehicle’s license plate and the company logo so you can give the information to law enforcement or the other driver’s management.

What Do I Do If I Couldn’t Get the Necessary Information?

If you were taken from the scene in an ambulance before obtaining the information needed about the accident and the other driver, you must get the police report. Police officers will file an official report at the scene of an accident, especially when it results in severe injury and damage. Contact the local police headquarters after your hospital release to obtain a full report.

How Often Do Rear-End Collisions with a Truck Occur?

The frequency of truck rear-end accidents depends on various factors, including the weather, location, and road conditions. Like any major city, Dallas, TX, is susceptible to motor vehicle collisions since many drivers are on the road at any given time. According to a 2020 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Texas alone accounts for 12.8% of all fatal truck accidents within the US. 

More Dallas rear-end truck accidents occur on rural roads than on major highways and city streets. Still, a truck accident can happen anywhere, and it’s essential to have a truck accident law firm on your side.

How to Find a Good Lawyer in Dallas

No matter how straightforward the rear-end collision incident seems, it’s always essential to find an experienced semi-truck accident lawyer to help you. They’ll ensure the other driver doesn’t take advantage of the situation and try to blame you. A good lawyer will also ensure you get the financial compensation to cover medical expenses and vehicle repairs. 

Whenever you experience a rear-end collision, the team at Angel Reyes – Reyes Browne Law is perfectly equipped to help you in your case. With over 30 years of experience and more than 40,000 case wins, rest assured your case is in the hands of some of the best lawyers in Texas.

Case Studies

While the team at Angel Reyes – Reyes Browne Law has aided thousands of people and completed successful cases, there are a few results that stand out:

Costs

Every case is different and will earn a different amount of money in a settlement, which includes expenses and attorneys fees. However, many of our clients receive over a million dollars from the company responsible for the accident. The key to getting this much? It’s a lawyer who knows what they’re doing and can expertly navigate the legal proceedings. 

The best part about choosing Angel Reyes – Reyes Browne Law is that you won’t have to pay your legal team any fees unless you win. This arrangement proves how dedicated your lawyer will be to ensuring you get the money you deserve.

Case Calculator 

Still trying to determine a path forward? Take a few minutes and try our case calculator to start the journey toward financial compensation for your accident. With basic information, our consultants can contact you with case details and estimates to start the judicial process.

Contact Angel Reyes – Reyes Browne Law for Any Collision Needs

Unfortunately, rear-end collisions are relatively common. When they happen, you need a legal team at your side that will help you navigate complicated situations. Angel Reyes – Reyes Browne Law is the best choice when seeking an experienced lawyer, available 24/7 and ready to help you through every step. 


After any vehicle collision, reach out to Angel Reyes – Reyes Browne Law and see how our team can protect you and get the compensation and care you deserve.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you need an experienced car accident lawyer specialist to protect your rights against insurance companies dedicated to minimizing your claim and compensation!

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