Texas had the highest number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes.
Truck accidents in Texas are common and often serious. Many truck drivers are overworked and underpaid, which may result in poor decision-making behind the wheel. Other times, truck accidents are simply a matter of bad luck: A large truck may hit another vehicle at full speed without any way for the driver to avoid the collision.
If you were injured in a truck accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. A truck accident attorney can help you understand your rights.
DFW Injury Lawyers are the muscle you want on your side to increase your chances of getting the best possible compensation for your injuries. With our experience and expertise, we work hard to protect you and recover the compensation you may deserve.
What is Considered a Truck?
Texas generally defines trucks as a type of motor vehicle used for transporting goods or materials. The specific characteristics of the truck, such as the weight of the truck or the items being transported, can determine whether a particular law applies.
Here are some of the most common types of trucks:
- Delivery trucks
- Oil and gas trucks
- Big rigs
- Box trucks
- Dump trucks
- Tow trucks
- Refrigerated trucks
Texas Truck Accident Statistics
In 2021, over 4,498 people died on Texas roads, and a significant portion of those deaths involved large trucks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Texas had the highest number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes at 622. Additionally, Texas had the largest number of total vehicles (5,460 vehicles) involved in fatal crashes, with 116 people dying.
If you or someone you know was injured in a truck accident in Texas, you should seek legal assistance. At DFW Injury Lawyers, we are committed to helping injured truck wreck victims recover the compensation they need and deserve.
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Accidents involving trucks often cause devastating injuries or even death. Understanding the main causes of truck accidents is crucial for both truck drivers and other motorists on the road.
Frequent causes of truck accidents include:
- Driving while fatigued: Long hours on the road may cause driver fatigue, impairing the ability to react quickly and make safe decisions.
- Driving while distracted: Truck drivers, like all motorists, get distracted by their phones, radios, GPS devices, or even eating while driving. This distraction diverts their attention from the road and increases the risk of a car accident.
- Hazardous road conditions: Poor weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or ice, make roads slippery and more difficult to navigate for trucks. Uneven or poorly maintained roads may also cause accidents.
- Driving under the influence: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense that impairs a driver’s judgment and reaction time on the road. Truck drivers who engage in such behavior put themselves and others on the road at risk.
- Equipment failure: Truck accidents may also result from mechanical failures due to lack of maintenance and upkeep. Malfunctioning brakes, tires, or other critical components may cause accidents that could be prevented with proper maintenance.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accidents can result in serious injuries, and victims may face long-term physical, emotional, and financial challenges.
Some of the most common truck accident injuries include:
- Fatalities: Sadly, large truck accidents often result in fatalities. If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Wrongful death cases can restore a sense of justice and help people through this difficult time.
- Traumatic brain injuries: TBIs are among the most common injuries in truck accidents. A sudden impact may cause the brain to jolt within the skull, potentially causing severe brain damage. Symptoms of TBIs include memory loss, headaches, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating.
- Brain, neck, and spinal injuries: Semi-truck and tractor-trailer accidents commonly cause serious damage to the brain, neck, and spine. Injuries may range from mild to severe, including whiplash, herniated disks, and paralysis.
- Paralysis: Spinal cord injuries sustained in collisions with trucks could result in partial or complete paralysis. Victims may experience a loss of sensation and motor function in certain areas of their body, requiring lifelong medical attention and assistance.
- Broken bones and lost limbs: The impact of a large truck accident can cause multiple fractures and even result in amputations. These injuries may require surgery and lengthy rehabilitation.
- Lacerations and other soft tissue injuries: This type of injury may result from broken glass, debris, or other objects in a truck accident.
- Burns: In truck accidents, fuel or hazardous materials may spill, sometimes resulting in fires and explosions. Burns may cause severe pain, scarring, and permanent disfigurement.
- Internal injuries: The sheer force of a truck collision often causes internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding. Internal injuries may be hard to detect at first but can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Texas Truck Accident: Who is Responsible?
If you are involved in a Texas truck accident, you could receive compensation for your injuries if someone else is at fault for the accident.
The following parties may be at fault for the accident:
- Truck driver: The truck driver may be at fault if their negligence caused the accident. Negligence could include actions like distracted driving, speeding, or driving under the influence.
- Trucking company: The trucking company may hold fault if they violated a federal or state law or if they are guilty of negligent hiring. A company might be deemed negligent if they failed to properly screen and train drivers or if they pushed their drivers to exceed federal hours of service limitations.
- Cargo company: The cargo company may be at fault if the accident was caused by overloaded or improperly loaded cargo. If the cargo shifted during transport and caused the truck to lose control, the cargo company may hold responsibility.
- Manufacturer: The manufacturer may be at fault if the accident resulted from a defective vehicle or component, including faulty brakes, tires, or other mechanical issues.
Note that Texas is a modified comparative fault state. That means that if an individual is found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, they will not have much luck recovering compensation.
Do I Need a Police Report For a Texas Truck Accident?
In the aftermath of a Texas truck accident, many people wonder whether they need a police report. The answer in most cases, is yes. Under Texas law, you must report a car accident to the police if it resulted in serious injuries, death, or property damage that exceeds $1,000 in value.
However, it is generally always best practice to call the police after any type of crash. This could include times when the crash resulted in only injuries and nothing more than a few dents to the vehicle.
If the police did not visit the scene of the crash and file their own report, you may have to report the accident to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). You have until 10 days after the crash to file this report with TxDOT.
Reporting a Texas truck accident to the police and obtaining a police report can be crucial in building a strong case for your personal injury claim. It provides documentation of the accident and identifies the responsible parties. Come time, it may support your claim for compensation.
Note that police reports can be amended. If you believe there is incorrect or missing information in the report, contact the responding police department to request amendments.
The legal muscle you need to win
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
If you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident in Texas, hiring a truck accident lawyer can greatly benefit your case. Truck accident lawyers have ample experience with these types of cases and can provide you with expertise and guidance to navigate the complex legal process.
Ways a truck accident lawyer can help you include:
- Protecting your rights: Accident lawyers look out for your interests — not the insurance companies or the other party involved in the accident. They help ensure your legal rights are protected at all times.
- Establishing liability: Truck accidents can be complex, and liability is not always clear. A lawyer gathers relevant and admissible evidence, such as photos, witness testimony, and records of medical treatments to help establish liability.
- Dealing with insurance companies: A truck accident attorney handles negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf and fights for fair compensation for your injuries.
- Securing fair compensation: Truck accidents in Texas often result in significant injuries and financial losses. An experienced truck accident lawyer helps you secure fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident. DFW Injury Lawyers have helped countless Texas truck accident victims pursue millions of dollars in compensation for their injuries.
- Representing you in court: If necessary, a lawyer can take your case to court. Truck accident trial lawyers present your case to a judge and jury and argue on your behalf.
Texas Truck Accident Lawyer: FAQs
1. What is a catastrophic injury?
A catastrophic injury is a severe injury that results in long-term or permanent disabilities, disfigurement, or impairment. The effects of catastrophic accidents can significantly impact the victim’s quality of life: These injuries often require extensive medical care and ongoing treatment.
Examples of catastrophic injuries include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, severe burns, and paralysis.
2. What is a common carrier?
A common carrier is a person or commercial enterprise that transports passengers or goods for a fee. Common carriers are regulated by law and must establish that their service is open to the general public. Examples of common carriers include a shipowner, railroad, airline, and taxi service.
3. What are the federal hours of service limitations for commercial truck drivers?
Federal hours of service limitations are regulations put in place to ensure the safety of commercial truck drivers and other motorists on the road.
One of the key limitations is the 14-hour daily driving limit. That means that truck drivers can only drive for a maximum of 14 hours in a 24-hour period. Additionally, truckers must take a 30-minute rest break during the first eight hours of their driving shift.
The weekly maximum driving limits vary depending on whether the trucking company operates vehicles every day of the week. If the company operates every day, the maximum driving time is 70 hours in a 7-day period. If the company does not operate every day, the maximum driving time is 60 hours in a 7-day period.
Truckers who have reached their maximum drive time also have the option of a 34-hour restart. This means that once they have reached their weekly limit, they must take a minimum of 34 consecutive hours off-duty before they can start driving again.
These limitations are in place to prevent fatigue-related accidents and ensure the safety of everyone on the road.
4. Can I file a wrongful death claim for my loved one who was killed in a truck accident?
Yes, if your loved one was killed in a truck crash, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims allow surviving family members the ability to seek compensation for the losses suffered due to the death of a loved one.
Typically, you can seek damages for loss of support, as well as loss of companionship, society, and affection. However, wrongful death claims do not cover pain and suffering. Consulting with a Texas truck accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and navigate the legal process in this overwhelming time.
5. Can I hold an employer liable for a truck accident injury?
Yes, you can hold an employer liable for a truck accident injury under the vicarious liability principle. When an employee is acting within the scope of their employment, both the employer and employee would be jointly and separately liable to compensate the injured victim.
If the driver was on the clock or using a company vehicle, their employer may be held responsible for any damages caused by the accident. A Texas truck accident lawyer can help determine if you have a case against the driver’s employer.
6. What is the statute of limitations to file a truck accident injury lawsuit in Texas?
In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a truck accident injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. If you are injured in a truck wreck, you have two years from the accident to file a lawsuit.
After the two-year period has passed, you may lose your right to file a lawsuit and recover compensation for your injuries. Contact a Texas truck accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure you meet the deadline for filing your lawsuit.
7. How much will a Texas truck accident lawsuit cost me?
Many people are hesitant to hire a truck accident lawyer because of concerns over costs. However, most injury attorneys, including those at DFW Injury Lawyers, work on a contingency fee model, meaning the attorney only gets paid if they win your case and get you compensation.
The fee is typically a percentage of the total settlement or verdict and is agreed upon in advance. Because of the contingency fee, you can pursue justice for your truck accident injuries without worrying about upfront costs.
8. What compensation can I recover in a truck accident lawsuit?
If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident in Texas, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses.
A skilled lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve, including:
- Medical expenses: Injured victims can pursue the cost of emergency medical care, hospital stays, surgeries, doctor visits, rehabilitation, and any other medical treatment related to their injuries.
- Lost wages: If your injuries caused you to miss work or prevents you from working in the future, you may recover compensation for the income you lost or will lose.
- Pain and suffering: Damages for pain and suffering include the physical and emotional distress you experienced resulting from the accident and your injuries.
- Wrongful death damages: If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you can pursue compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and other damages related to the wrongful death.
- Punitive damages: In cases where the truck driver or company acted particularly recklessly or intentionally, the court may award punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter future misconduct.
Our Legal Muscle Delivers: Contact Our Texas Truck Accident Lawyers Today
After a truck crash in Texas, you should seek legal representation from experienced and dedicated truck accident lawyers. At DFW Injury Lawyers, our team has the knowledge and expertise to fight for your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Let our Texas truck accident lawyers deliver justice for you today. Contact us for a free legal consultation.