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If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident in Dallas, then you are all too aware of the physical, emotional, and financial toll such an incident can have on your life. With its bustling highways and busy city streets, Dallas is no stranger to vehicle accidents, particularly those involving large commercial trucks. Unfortunately, Dallas truck accidents can result in serious injuries and even fatalities, leaving accident victims and their families devastated. In the aftermath of such a traumatic event, you need an experienced and skilled legal advocate on your side who will fight for your right to get paid.
At DFW Injury Lawyers, our truck accident lawyers understand the complexity of truck accident cases and have a proven track record in successfully helping our personal injury clients get the compensation they deserve.
- Certain roads in Dallas have become infamous for their high number of fatal accidents, including those involving trucks.
- If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident in Dallas, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages.
- A qualified Dallas truck accident lawyer can help you protect your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Truck Accidents in Dallas: Statistics
According to Forbes, Texas had the highest number of truck accidents in 2020, with a staggering 568 fatal truck accidents. This statistic highlights the seriousness of the issue in the state, and particularly in cities like Dallas.
One contributing factor to the high number of truck accidents is the sheer number of truck drivers in the area. As of May 2022, Dallas had over 61,000 heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, as well as thousands of light truck drivers, bus mechanics, and diesel engine specialists.
Truck accidents are particularly devastating due to the size and weight of these large commercial vehicles. An average 18-wheeler weighs around 80,000 pounds, which is 20 to 30 times more than the weight of a passenger car. This stark difference in size and weight means that truck collisions can lead to catastrophic injuries or fatalities.
To put the severity of the issue into perspective, Dallas has experienced a total of 33,980 crashes in 2022 alone. When considering Dallas County as a whole, the number climbs even higher, with a total of 54,919 vehicular collisions. These statistics serve as a reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive solutions to prevent truck accidents and protect the lives of the people in Dallas.
Most Dangerous Roads in Dallas
Certain roads in Dallas have become infamous for the high number of fatal accidents, particularly those involving trucks. Based on statistics from 2017 to 2019, some of the most hazardous roads in the city include:
- Stemmons Freeway (I-35E) between the I-30 Interchange and Exit 434: There were 20 fatal accidents during the three-year period, highlighting the high risk faced by drivers in this area.
- Marvin D Love Freeway between Camp Wilson Road and Illinois Avenue: With 15 fatalities reported, this part of the freeway is known for its dangerous conditions and increased likelihood of truck accidents.
- The Texas 12 Loop between South Lancaster Road and Longacre Lane: This particular section witnessed 12 fatalities, underscoring the significant dangers faced by drivers navigating this area.
- The entire Texas 12 Loop had the highest number of fatal crashes in Dallas, with a shocking total of 42 fatalities recorded from 2017 to 2019.
These crash statistics demonstrate the urgent need for increased safety measures and stricter regulations on Dallas’ dangerous roads. Motorists and vehicular drivers alike must exercise extra caution when commuting along these routes to mitigate accident risks.
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Dallas
Understanding the most common causes of truck accidents is crucial in preventing future incidents and holding negligent parties accountable. According to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver error is responsible for 88% of truck crashes. This includes negligent actions such as:
Distracted driving is a significant factor when it comes to truck accidents in Dallas. It encompasses various activities, including talking, eating, and cell phone use. When truck drivers dial a phone number, their eyes divert from the road for an average of 3.8 seconds. At 55 mph, this means they traverse 306 feet without watching the road. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that commercial truck drivers who use cell phones are six times more likely to be involved in a truck accident.
Recognizing the danger of distracted driving, federal rules mandate the use of hands-free devices for heavy truck drivers. However, truck drivers do not always comply with these rules, leading to accidents.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious problem in the trucking industry, with devastating consequences for both truck drivers and other people on the road. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 20,742 truck drivers were involved in DUI-related crashes across the country in 2020.
Driving under the influence impairs a driver’s judgment, reaction time, and overall ability to safely operate a vehicle. Truck drivers who choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated put themselves and others at great risk. The sheer size and weight of commercial trucks make them more difficult to maneuver and stop, further increasing the danger of DUI-related truck accidents.
Fatigued driving is a significant factor contributing to Dallas truck accidents. Federal rules dictate that drivers of large trucks should not work for more than 11 hours consecutively, but violations are unfortunately common.
Fatigue is responsible for 30 to 40 percent of heavy truck accidents, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The exhaustion and lack of concentration that come with fatigue can impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time, increasing the risk of accidents.
Poor-Quality Truck Maintenance or Truck Parts
Both poor-quality truck maintenance and faulty truck parts play a role in truck accidents in Dallas. It is important to maintain truck brakes, tires, and lights so the chances of mechanical failures and loss of control are diminished. Similarly, using subpar or defective truck parts increases the risk of truck accidents due to equipment failure. When trucking companies prioritize profit over safety and neglect maintenance, they put the lives of their truck drivers and other people at risk.
A Time Magazine report raised major concerns regarding the quality and length of training programs for truck drivers. The article highlights that some programs may only last a few weeks or even a few days, which is woefully inadequate, given the complexities of operating trucks. This limited training can result in drivers lacking the necessary skills and knowledge to handle challenging situations on the road.
Insufficient training can have devastating consequences. For example, inadequately trained truck drivers may not know how to properly secure cargo, leading to accidents caused by shifting loads. They may also lack knowledge of defensive driving techniques or fail to understand the importance of regular vehicular maintenance. These gaps in training can put the people of Dallas in danger from potential truck accidents.
Speeding is a prevalent problem in Dallas, making it a leading cause of truck accidents. According to the state data, speeding was responsible for 13,850 total crashes, including 137 fatal crashes resulting in a total of 155 fatalities in Dallas County. When truck drivers exceed the recommended speed limit, the size and weight of commercial trucks make them more difficult to maneuver and stop, thereby increasing the likelihood of road accidents. Speeding also reduces the driver’s ability to react to unexpected situations on the road, further exacerbating the dangers.
When cargo is not properly secured, it can shift or fall off the truck, causing accidents and endangering the lives of people. Unsecured loads may also contribute to the imbalance of the truck, leading to loss of control and rollovers. Trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure that their drivers properly secure their loads and follow safety regulations.
Crashes involving trucks in Dallas are significantly influenced by weather conditions. According to 2022 data from the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT), there were 3,737 accidents statewide on icy road conditions, 395 on snowy roads, 55,477 on wet roads, 292 on slushy roads, and 1,017 on sandy, muddy, or dirt roads.
Adverse weather conditions like snow, sleet, hail, fog, and standing water can increase the likelihood of truck accidents.
What To Do After a Truck Accident in Dallas, Texas
After a road accident, you may be overwhelmed and confused about what to do. If you find yourself involved in a truck accident in Dallas, knowing the proper steps to take after a truck accident can help you mitigate your losses:
- Make Sure Everyone is Safe: First things first, make sure that you and everyone involved are safe and secure. Check yourself and others for visible injuries and concussions. Call 911 for immediate medical attention if needed.
- Get to a Safer Area, if Possible: If it is safe to do so, move your vehicle out of traffic and to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights and use flares or warning triangles to signal other drivers about the accident. Stay in a safe area and do not leave the scene until the first responders arrive.
- Call Dallas Law Enforcement: As required by Texas Transportation Code §550.062, you should contact the local police station to report the accident. Officers must submit a collision report for accidents that result in death or damage over $1,000.
- Exchange Contact and Insurance Information: While interacting with the other parties involved in the accident, you should be cautious about what you say. Avoid admitting fault or apologizing to anyone. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) and gather any relevant details such as license plate numbers, vehicle descriptions, and names of eyewitnesses.
- Reach Out to a Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer: Consulting with an experienced Dallas truck accident lawyer is crucial after an accident. A qualified Dallas accident attorney can provide legal guidance and support, while helping you protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. An experienced lawyer will understand the complexities of truck accident cases and will fight for your best interests.
Determining Fault After a Dallas Truck Crash: What To Know
Determining fault after a Dallas truck crash can be a complex process. Sometimes, various parties are liable for an accident, including the truck driver, trucking companies, truck part manufacturers and maintenance companies, or even cargo loaders.
A Dallas personal injury lawyer with experience in handling truck accident cases will understand how to determine the degree of fault of each of the involved parties. More importantly, they will know how to prove fault using the relevant evidence collected in front of a judge or jury. They do this by thoroughly investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident, gathering evidence such as witness statements, police reports, and surveillance footage, and working with experts, including medical experts and accident experts, to reconstruct the scene of the accident and establish liability.
Texas Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule when determining fault in truck accident claims. Under this rule, a plaintiff can still recover damages even if they were partially at fault for the accident, as long as their percentage of fault does not exceed 50%. However, the plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if the plaintiff is found to be 20% at fault for the accident, their damages will be reduced by 20%.
Evidence in Dallas, TX Truck Wrecks
Evidence plays a critical role in demonstrating negligence and establishing liability of the negligent party. In Dallas, TX truck wrecks, the following types of evidence are commonly used to support truck accident injury claims:
- Firsthand Statements: Statements from witnesses, driver logs, and records from the trucking company can provide valuable insight into the events leading up to the accident. These accounts can help establish potential negligence of the party that caused the truck accident.
- Blackbox Recorders / Event Data Recorders (EDRs): Many commercial trucks have EDRs, commonly referred to as black boxes. These devices can provide critical data about the truck’s speed, braking patterns, and other info. EDRs can be a powerful tool in reconstructing the truck accident scene.
- Footage: Surveillance cameras, dash cams, and security footage from houses and businesses may capture the accident or the moments leading up to it. These can provide invaluable visual evidence, potentially revealing negligent actions like dangerous driving.
- Official Reports: Drug and alcohol test results, police officer reports, and accident reconstruction reports often showcase relevant information such as impaired driving, violation of traffic laws, and mechanical issues with a vehicle.
Needless to say, the type of evidence used will depend on the specifics of your case. This is why it is important to consult a Dallas truck accident lawyer with a background in dealing with truck accident lawsuits.
Compensation After a Dallas Truck Accident
How Much Can You Get in a Texas Commercial Truck Accident?
The potential compensation in a Texas commercial truck accident case varies based on different factors, such as the severity of injuries, the extent of property damage, the impact on your life, and the steps you have taken to mitigate losses incurred due to the accident.
Working with a top truck accident lawyer in Dallas can greatly increase your chances of receiving the maximum compensation possible. While no one can promise case results, an experienced Dallas truck accident lawyer knows the ins and outs of the justice system and how to present your case in the best light possible.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages in Truck Accident Claims
When seeking compensation for a truck accident in Dallas, it’s important to understand the types of damages that may be available. Compensatory damages, which aim to compensate the injured party for their losses, can be categorized into economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to the tangible financial losses incurred as a result of the accident. These damages are meant to reimburse the injured party for their out-of-pocket expenses and financial hardships, and include:
- Current and Future Medical Expenses: This includes the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation, therapy, medications, and any future medical expenses related to the accident.
- Current and Future Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for the wages you have lost. This includes both current and future lost wages due to long-term or permanent disability.
- Future Reduced Earning Capacity: If you are unable to return to your previous job or earn the same level of income due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of future earning capacity.
- Property Damage: This covers the expenses involved in repairing or replacing any property damaged in the accident, such as the victim’s vehicle.
- Care Assistance: In some cases, victims may require additional assistance with daily activities, like childcare, housekeeping, or transportation, and may seek compensation to cover these costs.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more subjective and do not have a specific monetary value. These damages aim to compensate the injured party for intangible losses and the impact the accident has had on their quality of life.
- Pain and Suffering: Damages for pain and suffering refer to the physical and emotional distress experienced as a result of the accident. It includes the pain, discomfort, mental anguish, and emotional suffering endured by the victim.
- Loss of Consortium: If the accident impacted your ability to have a normal relationship with your spouse, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship, affection, and support.
- Punitive Damages: In rare cases where the actions of the defendant are deemed particularly reckless, wanton, malicious, or egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future.
- Wrongful Death: If a truck wreck results in the loss of a loved one, the surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for funeral and burial costs, loss of household income and inheritance, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.
FAQs: Truck Accident Lawyers in Dallas, TX
1. What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do?
Dallas accident lawyers play a crucial role in helping accident victims navigate the complex legal process after a motor vehicle accident. A qualified accident lawyer will provide valuable advice on your legal rights, file all necessary paperwork, and investigate the accident to gather evidence. Additionally, they can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and, if necessary, take your case to trial.
2. How Long Do You Have to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Texas?
Under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.003, any claim for injury resulting from a truck accident must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. This deadline also applies to wrongful death lawsuits, but the statute of limitations starts running from the date of the deceased person’s death, not the date of the accident itself.
Certain circumstances may pause or “toll” the statute of limitations. For example, if the injured person was under a legal disability at the time of the accident or afterward, such as being under the age of 18 or of unsound mind, the deadline may be extended.
If you have any questions or need assistance with reporting a car accident, a Dallas accident attorney can help.
3. How much does a Dallas truck accident attorney cost?
After a truck accident, the last thing you want to worry about is attorney’s fees. At DFW Injury Lawyers, our truck accident attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay if they successfully obtain compensation for you. Your lawyer will typically take a percentage of the final settlement or court award as their fee, so you can pursue your case without worrying about paying any upfront legal fees.
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A Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer Is Here To Help
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident in Dallas, you don’t have to face the aftermath alone. Turn to our Dallas truck accident lawyers who will fight for your legal right to get paid for your losses caused by someone else’s negligence. Contact us today for free and confidential legal consultation.