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Are you frantically Googling phrases like ‘what to do after a truck accident’ after you were involved in a collision here in Texas? If so, we’re here to help you understand what happened, what to do next, and how to navigate your situation moving forward.
Depending on the details of your crash, you might be eligible to file a lawsuit to recover financial compensation. This is why you want to ensure that you fully understand all of your legal options and rights, as well as recommended steps to take immediately following an accident.
At DFW Injury Lawyers, our Texas truck accident attorneys have the background, knowledge, and expertise to handle your Texas truck accident lawsuit. We go the extra mile to help our truck accident clients secure compensation for their injuries and losses. Contact DFW Injury Lawyers today to learn more about how we can help.
- Truck accidents are unfortunately very common in Texas.
- Injuries sustained from Texas truck accidents can be severe and life-altering, ranging from traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries to burns, back and neck injuries, and even death.
- If you are wondering what to do after a truck accident, we have suggestions that might help.
Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are often extremely serious, causing serious and sometimes even fatal injuries to the people involved in the truck crash. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 71% of people who were fatally injured in large truck crashes in 2020 were occupants of other vehicles.
In Texas, many types of truck accidents happen regularly, such as:
- Rollover Truck Accident: Rollover truck accidents happen when a truck gets tipped over onto one side, causing it to hit other vehicles, crush cars, block traffic, and cause additional collisions when incoming traffic doesn’t have the time to stop, swerve, or avoid the rolled-over truck. Rollovers often happen when the driver turns too fast or when cargo inside the truck has been improperly loaded.
- Jackknife Truck Accident: Another common truck collision is a jackknife accident. This usually happens when a driver slams on their brakes and loses control of the trailer part of the semi. The trailer end of a semi swings out and causes a crash.
- Head-On or Rear-End Truck Accident: Head-on collisions happen when the front of a truck hits the front end of another vehicle, and rear-end collisions happen when a truck hits the back of a vehicle in front of it. In both situations, the much heavier truck can cause serious damage to the smaller vehicles.
- Sideswipe Truck Accident: Trucks might also hit the side of a vehicle traveling parallel to it, which is called a sideswipe accident. These accidents can be very dangerous because the vehicle might get sideswiped due to being in the trucker’s blind spot.
- T-bone Truck Accident: This happens when a trucker hits a vehicle that is perpendicular to it. It usually causes devastating injuries when the brunt of the truck’s force strikes the drivers and passengers of the vehicle.
How Common Are Truck Accidents in Texas?
According to the statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Texas had the most fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2021 out of all states, with a total of 4,068 deadly crashes. Data from the Texas Department of Transportation shows that at least one person was fatally injured in a Texas collision about every two hours in 2022.
These statistics throw a light on the frequency of truck accidents in Texas. If you or someone you know was involved in a Texas truck accident, it is important you get help soon.
It is likely that Texas truck accidents happen several times weekly somewhere in Texas.
Common Truck Accident Injuries in Texas
Considering the massive weight and size of trucks as well as the relative weight and size of other vehicles, truck accidents often cause serious injuries to the involved parties. Some of the common truck accident injuries in Texas are:
- Wrongful death: Wrongful death occurs when someone’s death is caused by another person’s wrongful conduct. When that happens, the surviving loved ones of the deceased truck accident victim can reach out to a truck crash lawyer to discuss filing a wrongful death claim. This type of lawsuit can help cover losses in the form of funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional distress.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): A TBI happens when a violent collision causes the brain to hit the skull or when an object pierces into the brain. TBIs lead to long-term losses and may cause a host of cognitive and behavioral symptoms in the injured patient.
- Spinal cord injury: This happens when a truck crash causes damage to the nerves and nerve fibers that communicate with the brain to help you function. A spinal cord injury leads to serious losses, especially due to paralysis or chronic pain, often making it difficult for the truck accident victim to return to their normal quality of life.
- Back and/or Neck injury: Back and neck injuries, like whiplash, are extremely common after truck accidents due to the violent force of being jolted to a stop. Depending on the severity of the injury, the survivor might suffer from long-term losses like lost wages and an inability to return to work.
- Burns: After a truck accident, sometimes fires break out, survivors get thrown onto the roadway, or certain vehicular parts get extremely hot. These may cause burns that are painful and take a long time to heal.
- Other common types of truck crash injuries: Trucking accidents can also lead to a host of other injuries like crush injuries, blunt trauma, bone fractures, internal injuries, soft tissue injuries, as well as mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.
I Experienced a Truck Accident in Texas: What Should I Do Now?
It is not always easy to understand what to do after a truck accident. You might be in a state of physical and emotional distress due to the trauma from the truck accident that may make it difficult to figure out what to do next. If you are ever injured in a truck accident in Texas, here are some of the steps you may take:
Call 911 or the Local Police
After a collision, you must stop the vehicle immediately. It is mandatory under the law that a person stop their vehicle if there is likelihood of personal injury or death.
Call 911 if you believe your situation is an emergency. For instance, if your accident left someone unconscious or seriously injured, then you must call 911 immediately. If you are trapped on a very fast-moving highway, that might also warrant a call to 911. A team of first responders such as firefighters and emergency medical service employees can help examine and alleviate immediate dangers, and prevent further damage to you and others.
If your situation is not dire, you should still call the local police who can document everything from the truck accident scene to prepare their police report. Whether or not you believe you were at fault, it is imperative you seek help for a truck crash as soon as possible.
Check Yourself and Others for Injuries
As you evaluate your situation and start to call the police, check yourself and everyone around you for injuries. You might think that a truck accident injury would be obvious, but that isn’t always the case.
In the initial moments after the crash, you are likely to experience adrenaline that can mask pain. You have to ensure everyone is conscious and out of danger. Pull over your vehicle so you are out of the way of traffic. Turn on your hazard lights and put up any kind of warning signs to signal others about the accident. If you are stranded inside a vehicle and cannot come out, then ask for help.
Analyze the Scene and Document it With Photographs and Videos
If you are able to and it is safe to do so, then the next thing you might want to do is analyze the truck crash scene. Photographs and videos of the accident site can help drive any future investigation into what happened.
Get the Contact Info of the other Driver and Witnesses
It’s crucial that you secure the other driver’s contact details and insurance information. You should also look around for any nearby witnesses. If they saw what happened, you should ask if they would be willing to stay at the scene and inform the police about what they saw. Typically, eyewitness statements made immediately after an accident are considered relevant evidence, which can help you in a potential truck accident lawsuit.
Go to the Hospital For a Complete Assessment
It is always a good idea to visit the nearest hospital directly from the accident scene. Even if your injuries are not serious enough to warrant an ambulance, you should still go the hospital for a complete assessment as soon as possible. For one thing, you don’t want to delay medical care because it could make your condition worse. For another, you could impact your ability to file a truck accident lawsuit later if you don’t get checked out promptly. Save copies of your medical bills and any diagnosis that you receive.
Appraise Your Vehicle for Damages
Next, analyze the extent of your property loss. To do so, you should appraise your vehicle damage by taking it to a repair shop. Save copies of the repair estimates and costs.
Analyze Your Losses
Your medical bills and property damage should give you a basic idea of what you’ve lost financially as a result of your crash, but remember, this does not cover everything. You might have also experienced other economic losses, like pay cuts due to leave of absence from work. A successful truck accident lawsuit can help you recover compensation for future financial losses as well, something an experienced truck accident lawyer can help with.
Consult With a Truck Accident Attorney in Your Area
If your losses are stacking up and you think someone else caused your accident, then it is time to consult with a truck accident attorney in your area. A Texas truck accident lawyer can help you unpack who might be responsible and the degree of their liability. Since they will be aware of the applicable law in Texas, they should be able to identify all the legal issues and the kind of relief you may seek from the negligent party.
What NOT to Do After a Texas Truck Accident
Here are some of the things you should avoid doing after a truck accident in Texas:
- Before speaking to a lawyer, do not make any statements to anybody about your injuries, your level of fault, or the total losses suffered. This includes the other driver, your insurance agent, insurance adjusters, the media, your neighbor, your employer, or anyone else, whether or not you believe they have your best interests at heart.
- Do not post any pictures of your injuries or the accident site on social media or send to anyone without first consulting your truck injury lawyer. Remember, you may not have the full knowledge of how Texas truck accident cases work—important info such as accident scene photos might fall into the wrong hands and hurt your chances of a successful lawsuit.
- Do not delay seeking medical help. Some injuries may be internal or not obvious, but can cause serious harm in the near future.
- Do not delete any information related to the truck accident. While you may want to protect yourself or someone else after a truck accident, deleting information such as the other driver’s contact details or accident site videos may not be a wise decision.
- Do not assume that if you do not file a truck accident lawsuit against another party partially at fault, they will not do so either.
- Do not delay speaking to a Texas truck accident lawyer. All personal injury lawsuits must be filed within a limited time frame (usually two years), so you want to make sure all paperwork is completed on time.
When Should I Call a Texas Truck Accident Attorney?
You should call a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. The sooner you contact an attorney, the quicker they can get started on your case, investigate what happened, collect evidence, and build your case. The right lawyer should be able to help you financially recover from the losses you have suffered, including economic damages like your medical bills and lost wages, as well as non-economic damages in the form of pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other losses.
Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Lawsuits in Texas
In general, you have two years from the date of your truck accident to file a truck accident lawsuit in Texas. Get in touch with a truck accident lawyer if you have more questions.
Truck Accident Attorney Near Me
DFW Injury Lawyers is located at 1341 W. Mockingbird Lane, Ste. 580 W in Dallas. We are right down the road from the DFW Gun Range and Academy and nearby Grauwyler Park. Bus 57 should take you directly to our office during business hours.
If you are in Fort Worth, you can find us at La Gran Plaza, 4200 South Fwy, Ste. 2335. Our office is just down Mockingbird from Love Field and is near the DFW Gun Range and Academy and the Mexican Consulate Office.
Our Arlington office is located at 1600 E. Pioneer Pkwy., Ste. 530. We are situated on the border of East Arlington, not far from one of Arlington’s largest parks, the 103-acre Vandergriff Park.
The legal muscle you need to win
We Bring the Muscle: Call DFW Injury Lawyers for a Free Legal Consultation
DFW Injury Lawyers Kevin Edwards and Pedro “Peter” de la Cerda are experienced trial attorneys with decades of experience handling personal injury lawsuits in Northern Texas. Our team fights tooth and nail to ensure all our clients receive the top-quality legal representation they deserve. We will work with you to help recover losses for your Texas truck accident injury, and see to it that you are well-compensated for your losses.
If you are ready to get started, schedule a consultation with our team now.
Traffic Safety Facts: 2020 Datahttp://tinyurl.com/mr32mr9h
Fatality Facts 2021 State by statehttps://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state
Texas Motorvehicle Traffic Crash Facts Calendar Year 2022https://ftp.txdot.gov/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2022/01.pdf
Transportation Code Chapter 550https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/TN/htm/TN.550.htm