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Severe truck accidents occur more often in Texas than in any other state in America. In fact, Texas truck-related fatality rates are about twice as high as the second-highest state, California.
If you are injured in a truck accident in Texas, the results will likely be devastating. Even when fatalities don’t occur, truck accidents usually lead to substantial losses in medical bills, property damage to your vehicle, lost wages from missed work, and more.
It’s essential to consult with a Fort Worth truck accident lawyer if you experience these types of losses after a truck accident because you might have legal recourse. If someone else’s negligence caused your crash, that party could be held legally responsible for the financial losses resulting from the accident.
It can be a real challenge to pursue compensation for a truck accident on your own. That’s why you should consider consulting with a local truck accident law firm to discuss your situation in more detail.
Learn more about Texas trucking accidents and how our truck crash attorneys here at DFW Injury Lawyers can help below.
- If you are injured in a truck accident in Fort Worth, you may have suffered substantial losses.
- Truck accidents can lead to serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, amputation, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, whiplash, etc.
- A truck accident lawyer can help you get compensated for medical bills and other losses.
Severe truck accidents occur more often in Texas than in any other state in America. Texas truck-related fatality rates are about twice as high as the second-highest state, California.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Several different types of truck accidents can happen on the road. Here is an overview of some of the most reported types of truck accidents in Texas:
- Tire Blowouts
- Rear-End Crashes
- Blindspot Accidents
- Underride Accidents
- Jackknife Accidents
These types of crashes can be very serious due to the size and weight of most trucks. The average semi-truck weighs a massive 10,000 to 25,000 pounds. When fully loaded, the average trailer weighs anywhere from 10,000 to 35,000 pounds.
When a semi-truck also has a loaded trailer, it can reach anywhere from 35,000 to 80,000 pounds. Below, we’ll go over in more detail about how these common trucking accidents often happen.
A truck rollover accident happens when a semi’s trailer tips over to its side. As the trailer loses balance and rolls over, it usually carries the semi’s front end with it. If cargo is in the trailer, these rollover accidents can cause random spillage on the roadway. These hazards can quickly cause a multi-car pileup and block the road entirely.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that about 78% of rollovers happen due to an error on the truck driver’s part. While trucker negligence isn’t always the cause, it’s best to have a Fort Worth semi truck accident lawyer investigate it if you get involved in a rollover.
Tire blowouts occur when a tire suddenly buckles under the pressure of driving down the road and explodes. When that happens, a truck can quickly swerve out of control and crash.
Tire blowouts are often the result of negligence. This negligence could be on the part of the trucking company responsible for maintaining their fleet of trucks. It might also be on the part of the maintenance company tasked with a recent truck inspection if they failed to notice the wear and tear on the tire was enough to warrant a replacement.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that about 78% of rollovers happen due to truck driver error.
A rear-end collision is exactly what it sounds like – it happens when the front bumper of a truck slams into the back of the car in front of them.
Rear-end crashes are almost always the fault of the following driver because every driver has a legal obligation to provide enough space between vehicles to stop in time to avoid a crash. When the following driver is a trucker, rear-end collisions can be severe.
As an experienced driver, you should know that your mirrors can only help you see so far. Even with your rear and side mirrors, you still won’t be able to see all the traffic around you. This is especially true with traffic that’s in a parallel lane and approaching you from behind.
Blindspot accidents happen when collisions arise as a result of a blind spot. These typically happen when drivers turn, change lanes, or merge onto a highway. Unfortunately, blind spots are difficult to avoid because the driver genuinely can’t see the other car.
Underride accidents are extremely severe. Since commercial trucks sit higher than traditional cars, smaller cars sometimes fit underneath the truck.
Regardless of where the collision occurs though, it’s usually serious because trucks are bigger, heavier, and more fortified. Underride guards on semi-trucks can help prevent this from happening.
A jackknife accident happens when a semi-truck’s front end and rear trailer are not aligning together, which causes the truck to swerve and eventually crash.
Almost all jackknife accidents happen as a result of the trucker needing to slam on their breaks suddenly. When the breaks get hit, it leads to the misalignment and eventual loss of control.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents in Fort Worth, TX
As you can gather from the descriptions of the accidents above, many things could cause a trucking accident. Almost all of them, however, result from someone’s failure to uphold their duty of care.
Every driver on the road has a legal duty to provide for the care of everyone else on the road. Trucking companies also have a legal duty to ensure they hire safe drivers and train them effectively. Truck drivers have a legal obligation to follow the laws that regulate their driving behaviors. They must take breaks when required and should always follow the rules of the road.
If you think someone else’s behavior caused or contributed to your accident, then it’s time to consult with a Fort Worth truck accident lawyer to learn more about your legal options. Below, we’ll go over some of the most common causes of trucking accidents in Texas.
Negligence by the Driver
The number one cause of trucking accidents is driver negligence. Here are just a few examples of negligence on the part of a driver:
- Distracted Driving (texting and driving, eating, music, not paying attention to the road)
- Driving Under the Influence (includes alcohol and drugs)
- Fatigue (truckers must follow regulations to avoid fatigue)
- Reckless Driving (speeding, unsafe driving, aggressive maneuvers)
Negligence also conveys legal liability. The party who is found to be negligent may also need to pay for the financial losses associated with the crash. If you believe that the truck driver or another driver was negligent and caused your accident, your next step should be talking to a truck accident lawyer in Fort Worth, TX.
Negligence by an Outside Party
In some accidents, the only involved parties are both drivers. Trucking accidents are often much more complicated, though, so there could be other parties that might also be found negligent.
For instance, the trucking company who hired the driver could be held responsible if they were negligent in hiring, training, or overseeing the trucker’s driving. If the trucker often broke regulations, the trucking company might be held responsible if they did not penalize or fire the driver.
Negligence from an outside party might also come into play when an accident is caused (or made worse) by:
- Poor management by the trucking company
- Negligent hiring
- Vehicle maintenance issues
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Not reporting the accident or injuries
If you think an outside party might be held liable in your trucking accident, then consult with an attorney to learn more about your options.
Who Can be Held Responsible for Texas Truck Crashes
Here are a few of the outside parties that could be held liable after a trucking accident:
- The truck manufacturer
- The trucking company
- The trucker’s loading company
- The truck driver
Sometimes, multiple parties contribute to an accident. For instance, a poorly maintained truck combined with a trucking driver error could cause an accident. In this case, two parties share liability. Texas courtrooms operate on a modified comparative negligence standard, which means each party will be held financially responsible for the accident based on their percentage of fault for the crash.
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What to Do After a Fort Worth Truck Crash
If you are injured in a crash with a tractor-trailer, you should know the steps to take after an accident. Otherwise, you could put your right to compensation at risk. Even worse, you could put your safety at risk if you don’t know how to handle the initial aftermath of your accident.
Here are a few things you need to do as soon as possible:
- Get to safety and pull to the side of the road if you are able to
- Call 911. Seek emergency medical help if you require it.
- Check on the other vehicle(s)
- Exchange insurance and contact information
- Take photographs
- Call a Fort Worth trucking accident lawyer
- Get medical care
- Follow your attorney’s advice. (Don’t post about the accident on social media, don’t talk about your accident, and don’t admit fault.)
By taking these steps, you should be in a good position to file a truck accident lawsuit later if needed.
What Not to Do After a Fort Worth Truck Accident
There are also several things you shouldn’t do because it could put your injury claim at risk. Here are a few things to avoid after an accident:
- Accepting fault
- Saying you are not injured
- Signing any documents
- Provide a recorded statement to anyone
Audio recording laws in Texas explain that citizens shouldn’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy while out in public. With that in mind, be wary of what you say at the accident scene.
Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Truck Accident
If you get into a crash, then your first thought may be to contact your insurance company. After all, you pay for insurance for these exact situations.
Unfortunately, you need to remember that an insurance adjuster is often incentivized to minimize your compensation or even deny your truck injury claim entirely.
They may try to convince you to accept blame so they don’t have to pay you. To avoid any miscommunication or missteps, consider consulting with an attorney before reporting the accident to your insurance company.
Common Injuries from a Truck Accident
Truck accidents often lead to serious injuries. As if the injuries themselves weren’t enough to deal with, they usually lead to other losses, too. From medical bills to lost wages, you could start to find yourself with loss after loss. What’s more, you might find your emotional and mental state suffering, too.
If you find yourself in this type of situation, consider talking to a truck accident attorney injury attorney about what happened. Here are some of the most common types of injuries that result from a truck accident:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Internal bleeding
- Crush injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Death (if fatalities occur, a wrongful death lawsuit may ensue)
In any situation where your injuries require medical care and lead to other losses, it’s wise to consult with a personal injury attorney to learn more about your options.
Getting Compensation from a Truck Accident
There are two main types of compensation awarded in personal injury claims: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are easier to value, like the costs of repairing your vehicle. Non-economic damages are often difficult to quantify, like the emotional trauma you endure after a permanent scarring injury.
Here are some of the most common types of compensation:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Reduced earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Punitive damages (when the other driver is particularly reckless)
To ensure you get a fair deal, it’s best to work with a quality Fort Worth truck accident with experience and positive past reviews. It’s also best to work with a firm with proven results.
Visit a Healthcare Provider
One of the first things you need to do after an accident is seek out medical care. You should take this step and get a physical even if you feel somewhat well. That’s because adrenaline and other life-saving chemicals can initially mask pain from injuries. You want to make sure they check you for signs of delayed injury.
What if I Didn’t Go to the Doctor After my Truck Accident?
Change that now and visit a doctor as soon as possible. A local expert can connect you with the right services. Not receiving medical care can severely limit your ability to recover compensation.
If you don’t know what to do after a crash, you might lose your opportunity to file a successful truck injury lawsuit. To ensure that doesn’t happen, you’ll need to be sure to call the police right at the scene.
You’ll also want to collect evidence to help you prove your claim. At the accident scene, if possible, collect photos and information from nearby witnesses who can provide a statement. After the accident, consider collecting the police accident report and video recordings from nearby businesses or areas with cameras on the street. Your truck injury lawyer can help with this.
A Fort Worth Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help. It’s Time to Bring in the Muscle!
A trucking accident can be traumatic for everyone involved, especially when the crash leads to serious injuries. The injury itself will be a challenge to cope with, but it will be even harder to deal with once you start experiencing additional losses due to your truck being damaged, not being able to return to work, and more.
Depending on the circumstances of your specific crash, you could be able to recover some of those costs. To determine if that’s an option for you, consider consulting with a lawyer. Here at DFW Injury Lawyers, our team has extensive experience helping clients injured in trucking accidents. Schedule a free case review with our attorneys now to learn more about your legal options moving forward.