Large Truck Accidents in Texas
Although rarer than standard car accidents, truck accidents tend to be much more devastating. Every year, collisions with semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, big rigs, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial vehicles lead to thousands of catastrophic injuries and deaths throughout the United States. Sadly, many of these accidents could have been avoided had the parties involved followed the law and upheld the duty of care they owed to others.
If you were injured or if someone you love died in a large truck accident in Dallas or the surrounding areas, turn to the team at Kelley Law Firm for the legal help you need. Since 2003, our firm has fought on behalf of everyday Texans who have suffered traumatic injuries and losses due to the negligent and wrongful conduct of others. We are proud to serve as a voice for the voiceless, helping people from all walks of life stand up for their rights against the interests of powerful corporations and insurance companies. With decades of combined experience, our attorneys have successfully recovered more than half a billion dollars in compensation; learn how we can fight for you and your recovery today.
Contact us online or call (972) 853-5398 to request a complimentary consultation with a member of our legal team today.
Like most motor vehicle accidents, large truck accidents typically occur when one or more parties act negligently, recklessly, or wrongfully. Sometimes, these accidents result from the negligence of a truck driver; other times, they occur due to outside factors, such as defective road conditions. In any case, if someone else was at fault, even partially, you could be entitled to financial compensation.
Some of the most common causes of large truck accidents include:
- Truck Driver Negligence: Truck driver error is one of the leading causes of large truck accidents. Although they are highly skilled and experienced drivers, truckers can still make mistakes or act negligently behind the wheel. Examples include texting or using a cellphone while driving, looking at a GPS device, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, violating traffic laws, failing to yield the right of way, running red lights, and more.
- Hours-of-Service Violations: Truck drivers are subject to hours-of-service laws, which regulate the number of hours they can drive, as well as the number of breaks they must take and how long those breaks must be. When truckers violate these regulations, whether due to company pressure or other factors, they are at risk of driving while fatigued, which many studies have found can be as dangerous as driving drunk.
- Trucking Company Negligence: Sometimes, the trucking company that employs the truck driver is the one responsible for a crash. Trucking company negligence takes many forms; some common examples include failing to conduct background checks on newly hired drivers, failing to discipline drivers who violate company policies or traffic laws, improper or insufficient training or supervision of truck drivers, and setting unrealistic quotas or deadlines.
- Improper Truck Maintenance or Repairs: Truck drivers are typically responsible for conducting routine truck maintenance and reporting any discovered issues with their vehicles right away. Sometimes, third parties must also conduct more exhaustive investigations. In any case, if truck drivers or other third parties fail to conduct proper truck maintenance, inspections, or repairs, it could lead to serious or even deadly accidents.
- Cargo Loading Issues: Many large trucks carry literal tons of cargo. If that cargo is not properly loaded—or if cargo exceeds the maximum weight limits set by state or federal law—the truck driver can easily lose control of the vehicle. Overloaded and improperly loaded trucks can lead to shifting cargo, which may result in jackknifing and other serious accidents. When other vehicles are involved, the consequences can be deadly.
- Defects: A variety of different types of defects, including truck and roadway defects, can contribute to or cause a crash. Some common examples of truck defects include defective truck tires, faulty steering or braking systems, missing reflective strips, broken headlights or taillights, and defective engine components. Roadway defects include things like unsafe speed limits, blind curves, and potholes resulting from poor or lack of roadway maintenance.
At Kelley Law Firm, our experienced Dallas truck accident attorneys work with accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, economists, and other specialists who provide expert testimony regarding how the crash occurred, how our clients’ injuries have affected their lives, and who is liable for their damages. We know how to build powerful cases and pursue maximum compensation, all while allowing our clients to focus on healing and getting back on their feet.
It may be possible to bring a lawsuit against a trucking company after an accident with one of its drivers. However, there are several things you must prove in order to have a case. First, you must establish that the trucking company is liable for your injuries and damages. This might be the case even if the truck driver clearly caused the accident, as most employers are responsible for their employees’ conduct during working hours. However, if the truck driver was classified as an independent contractor, or if they violated company policies, the trucking company may not be liable.
You will also need to prove that you were injured due to the actions or omissions of the trucking company’s employee (e.g., the truck driver) or the trucking company itself. Additionally, you will have to show that you suffered measurable damages, or losses, for which you can be compensated. Common examples of damages resulting from truck accidents include medical bills, lost income, lost earning ability, and physical and mental pain and suffering.
If you were partly at fault for the accident, you must prove that you were no more than 50% to blame in order to file a claim for damages. Under Texas’s rule of modified comparative negligence, you may not file a personal injury claim if you were more than 50% at fault for the incident that led to your injuries. Additionally, if you are found partly at fault, you cannot recover the full amount you are seeking in damages. Rather, your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Additionally, the trucking company may not be the only liable party. In fact, the trucking company may not be liable at all—but that doesn’t mean you are automatically not able to file a claim. You could have a claim against a manufacturer, another driver, or some other third party. We strongly recommend that you reach out to our Dallas truck accident attorneys to learn more during a free, no-obligation consultation.
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Truck accidents are not like other types of auto accidents. They are far more complex and challenging due to the severity of the victim’s injuries (which are often catastrophic), the complications involved in proving liability, and many other factors. Because of this, it is very important that you work with an attorney who has experience handling large truck and commercial vehicle accident claims.
At Kelley Law Firm, our team has decades of experience and a proven record of success handling some of the area’s largest and most complex truck accident cases. We are prepared to go up against powerful trucking companies and insurance providers in our pursuit of justice on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys represent injured accident victims, as well as the families of those wrongfully killed due to the negligent and wrongful conduct of others.
Don’t wait until it’s too late! Reach out to our firm right away to learn more about filing a claim. In Texas, you only have two years from the date of injury or death to file your lawsuit. If you wait too long, you could lose your right to compensation.
Injured in an accident with a semi-truck or similar commercial vehicle? Call (972) 853-5398 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our team today.