If you have been injured in a truck accident in Dallas, you know how serious and scary it can be.
When you collide with a twenty-plus-ton vehicle, you can expect plenty of damage.
If you’re the truck driver, you also have to worry about the product you are delivering, your reputation, and the reputation of the trucking company you represent.
Unlike a typical car crash, in a truck accident, there are typically one or more third parties on top of the individuals involved in the collision itself (and their insurance companies) that have a significant stake in how the settlement process shakes out.
Unless the truck is independently owned and operated by the driver, third parties may include the company that employs the driver, the owner(s) of the freight in transportation, and those who maintain the truck.
You may have five or six different parties with competing claims in the settlement process.
18 Wheeler Accident Lawyers in Dallas Who Care About Their Clients
If you’re involved in a truck accident in the Dallas area, it is a fool’s errand to try to negotiate any settlement by yourself.
The competing interests alone mean you need to find and hire an experienced truck accident attorney in the Dallas area.
With a history of experience in the area of truck accidents, The Zimmerman Law Firm’s Dallas truck accident attorneys have the knowledge and expertise necessary to take on even the most complicated truck accident cases.
Our Dallas personal injury lawyers would be happy to answer any questions you have about this complex, potentially life-altering process.
Texas Trucking Statistics
A lot of freight goes through Texas every day, and a lot of it goes on our highways.
Here, we break down some key statistics about the freight-truck industry in Texas.
Texas is a large state. It is also a border state, and as a result, Texas has many highways.
Highway freight is the primary mode of freight transport in the U.S. In 2019, over 72% of freight moved in the U.S. was put on a truck.
In June 2018, freight worth $36 billion moved on trucks between the U.S. and Mexico ($6 billion more than between the U.S. and Canada), while Laredo and El Paso were both among the top three busiest truck border ports in the country.
With Texas’s size, location, and amount of highways, it’s logical that a significant amount of freight moves through Texas.
Because so much freight travels on Texas highways every day, logically, this leads to more trucking accidents.
Texas Truck Accident Statistics
Statistics on trucking accidents and congestion can give you an idea of the risk factors you face when driving on Texas roads:
- There were over 23,000 truck-involved crashes in Texas in 2016;
- In 2019 there were 452 fatal crashes with a truck-tractors or semi-truck trailers;
- In 2019 there were a total of 1,435 crashes involving freight-carrying semi-trucks (with 167 in Dallas County);
- One 2018 study showed Texas was home to 11 of the 50 most dangerous stretches of highway in the country;
- 2017 was a record year for semi-truck-related fatalities in Texas, with 559 fatalities; and
- 2017 had a total of 1464 serious injuries from truck accidents.
Commercial vehicles, often going cross-country, travel by highway.
Coincidentally, eleven of the 50 most dangerous highways in the country happen to be in Texas. In order, from most to least dangerous, they include:
- US-82, and
In particular, three of the listed highways—I-20, I-35, and US-175—run through Dallas.
Considering the high volume of freight moving about the state, and the dangerous roads these commercial vehicles travel on, trucking accidents are all too common.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics for 2019, there were a total of 4,145 crashes involving commercial motor vehicles in Dallas alone.
Considering the commercial vehicle crash data for every other county in the state of Texas, this number is considerably higher than in most areas.
Of these over 4,000 accidents, 25 were fatal crashes, 28 resulted in fatalities, 75 were serious crashes, and 103 involved serious injuries.
As all of the data shows, trucking accidents are extremely common, and often result in serious injuries. The most unfortunate cases end in death.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a collision with a semi-truck, do not hesitate to contact a qualified 18-wheeler accident lawyer in Dallas.
Leading Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can have many causes.
Many of these involve the same factors that lead to regular car accidents, while others are unique to truck accidents:
- Driving while too tired to do so;
- Distracted driving (like using a cell phone, changing the radio, or eating while driving);
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Reckless driving (like speeding or overtaking other vehicles unsafely);
- Lack of proper training of drivers (since the industry is continuously growing, there may be a short-term incentive for companies to skimp out on training);
- Poor truck maintenance by the driver, truck-owner, or logistics company, or installation of faulty equipment; and
- Strenuous working hours and conditions.
Work hours and conditions play a role in many truck accidents, particularly with long-haul trucking. The goal for a trucker is to get their freight to its destination by or before its deadline.
When traffic congestion and unpredictability interfere with that goal, you can see how a dangerous situation can arise.
A driver may lose time sitting in traffic or sleeping, which they will have to make up for somehow to meet their deadline.
They could make up for the time by driving even though they are too tired to do so safely, using drugs to keep themselves awake (leaving them more tired when they come down), or driving recklessly and speeding.
Each option is dangerous and increases the chances of an accident.
Why Are Trucking Accident Damages More Serious?
Damages from trucking accidents tend to be more severe than other car accident damages due to a truck’s massive size.
Their size results in a greater force of impact, a larger area of impact, and more significant damage.
Some common serious damages and injuries that arise from truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury,
- Mental anguish (including post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD)),
- Loss of a limb,
- Nerve damage, and
- Internal injuries.
Compared to whiplash or cuts and bruises that are often suffered in car accidents, these injuries are more likely to cause long-term pain and suffering.
More serious injury can lead to a significant amount of time off of work because recovery times are longer.
Some serious injuries may also require surgery, physical rehabilitation, long-term mental healthcare, a hospital stays, or result in a permanent disability. Because of this, their cost is greater.
An 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Dallas can help you document all of your damages to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve.
People who are traveling in the car that got hit by the truck are not the only entities that can suffer damage from the crash.
Injuries and damage can happen to the goods in the truck, to more than one other vehicle, to persons within other vehicles, and to government property (like a freeway girder or light pole).
A truck crash with or without damage to governmental property can also result in higher costs to public services.
Higher costs to public services can arise for several reasons.
For example, a truck accident may require more police, medical personnel, and highway workers to repair any damage done to the highway, tend to the physically injured, fill out accident reports, and take witness statements.
Put together, these costs add up quickly.
A truck accident can even close down entire sections of freeways. Early in the morning in Seattle, Washington, in October 2019, a semi-truck was driving recklessly, hit a concrete pole, and burst into flames.
Luckily, no one was seriously injured, but the accident closed down Southbound Interstate 5 for nearly a quarter of the day.
The closure was at one of the broadest segments of a freeway in the entire United States with thirteen lanes.
Crews had to put out the fire, clear the vehicle and debris from the road, and inspect the concrete pole that was hit.
While no one was hurt, this accident shows us how truck driving conditions and expectations can lend themselves to dangerous situations and cause substantial damage.
When Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After a Dallas Truck Accident?
In general, you should file a claim or lawsuit as soon as possible after an accident in which you suffer injury.
The longer you wait, the harder it can be to collect evidence, making it more difficult to prove you were not at fault.
However, in Texas, as with other personal injury claims, you legally have two years from the date of an accident to file a claim or lawsuit.
The sooner you file your claim or lawsuit, however, the sooner you can recover damages.
Why Is It Important to Hire a Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer in Dallas to Manage My Claim?
It is always a good idea to hire a lawyer when involved in an accident resulting in injury.
You deserve compensation for your damages, and the best way to recover those damages is to have someone on your side who knows the rules and has experience in this area of law.
In the case of an accident involving a freight truck, this becomes even more important.
Injuries are Often Severe with Multiple Parties Involved
Unlike a “typical” car accident, an accident with a freight truck can lead to much more severe injuries and damages of all kinds.
On top of the higher amount of damages, a truck accident case may involve more parties than a typical car accident.
Truck accidents often involve multiple vehicles. In trying to avoid the truck, a driver other than the trucker may have hit you or you may have hit another driver.
On top of those individuals, there may be the trucking company owner to deal with, along with the owner of the truck’s freight.
Each of these parties will have an insurance company with its own team of lawyers out to prove that they were not at fault so they can avoid paying out compensation or even receive compensation themselves. You deserve to be on equal footing with all the other parties.
Further, if you shared any fault for the accident, it is important to have a lawyer to help you navigate Texas’s comparative fault law.
This law reduces your damage award by your percentage of fault and prevents you from recovering damages if you are more than 50% at fault for an accident.
It is, therefore, crucial to gather the right evidence and follow the proper procedures to ensure you are not assigned an unfair share of the blame.
Doing so yourself and making even a small mistake could mean the difference between full compensation and no compensation.
An experienced Dallas truck accident lawyer will know the ins and outs of the claims process, help make sure you are not taken advantage of, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
The Government Highly Regulates the Trucking Industry
State and federal laws highly regulate semi-trucks and the trucking industry in general. The government imposes many rules and regulations on truck drivers and trucking companies.
People in the industry must follow these rules strictly to avoid legal hassles that can lead to the destruction of their business enterprise.
Drivers must register with both the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration before the law allows them to drive semi-trucks.
Additionally, trucks must undergo various inspections to comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Because the law highly regulates trucks, truck accident cases can be extremely challenging.
A Dallas truck accident attorney will know how to navigate your case from start to finish.
Semi-Trucks Have More Significant Insurance Policies
Due to a semi-truck’s size and capability to cause damage and injury, insurance policies must cover large dollar amounts.
Therefore, insurance policies that cover trucks typically provide a great deal more coverage than your average car insurance policy. There may also be multiple insurance policies involved.
For example, the truck cab, the cargo, the trucking company, and the truck driver may all have separate insurance policies.
Therefore, you can expect insurance companies to fight back when hit with a truck accident claim.
With so much money at stake, they do everything in their power to limit liability and avoid paying large settlements.
A Dallas truck accident lawyer will know how to communicate with insurance companies. They know how to fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Truck Accident Investigations Are Extensive
Truck accidents are often caused by more than one factor. Therefore, they require an extensive investigation process.
For example, an accident might be caused by a single issue, like faulty brakes. But there may be multiple parties at fault, including the mechanic, the brakes manufacturer, and the trucking company.
A thorough investigation is needed to pinpoint exactly who is responsible for the accident.
Having a knowledgeable Dallas 18 wheeler accident attorney is one way to ensure that an exhaustive investigation takes place. This is critical in determining the root cause of your accident.
How to Find the Best Truck Accident Lawyer in Dallas for Your Case
The best Dallas truck accident lawyer for your case will be one that has experience in and focuses on truck accidents. Your attorney should know the nuances and subtleties of a commercial truck accident claim or lawsuit.
An experienced 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Dallas may also know the opposing lawyers and have an idea of how they work, which can make it easier to settle.
To find the best truck accident lawyer, select attorneys with the experience you are looking for, use sites such as avvo.com to check their reviews, and set up an interview so you can get to know them.
If they don’t offer a free consultation, they are not worth your time. Most importantly, you should feel comfortable with your lawyer.
Contact Our Dallas Truck Accident Lawyers Today
The Zimmerman Law Firm brings over 60 years of Texas experience to the table to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Truck accidents are one of our focus areas, so you can be sure that we know the ins and outs of the claims process.
Most importantly, The Zimmerman Law Firm is here for you. Our goal is to provide the best and most personalized client experience possible.
When you first meet with The Zimmerman Law Firm, you will meet with the attorney who will work with you through your entire case—not a paralegal.
Furthermore, we take all personal injury cases on contingency—if you don’t get a settlement, we don’t get paid.
With this approach, you can be sure that there will not be hidden costs and that we will work as hard as possible to get you the compensation you deserve.