18 Wheeler Accident Lawyers Who Care About Their Clients
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Dallas, you know how serious and scary it is. When you crash into or crash a twenty-plus ton vehicle, there will be a lot of damage. If you’re the 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 crash, there is 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.
Because of the number of competing interests, these cases can get complicated quickly. 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. As you search for a truck accident attorney in Dallas, don’t hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation. We 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 big state. It is also a border state 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 lot of freight moves through Texas.
A lot of freight goes on Texas highways every day. Logically, more cargo traveling by truck leads to more trucking accidents.
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-tractor or semi-truck trailer;
- In 2019 there was 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; and
- 2017 had a total of 1464 serious injuries from truck accident
A lot of freight moves through Texas highways. With that volume, trucking causes its fair share of fatalities and serious injuries.
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 a company to skimp out on training);
- Poor maintenance of the truck by the driver, truck-owner, or logistics company, or installation of faulty equipment; and
- Strenuous working hours and conditions.
Strenuous working 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 heightens 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 because of the vehicles’ 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. A significant time of work can be missed after a serious injury because their recovery time is longer than a minor injury. Some serious injuries may also require surgery, physical rehabilitation, long-term mental healthcare, a hospital stay, or result in a permanent disability. Because of this, their cost is greater. A semi-truck accident lawyer in Dallas can help you document all of your damages to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve.
This damage and injury is not just to the people struck by the truck in or out of their vehicles but also to the goods in the truck, damage to more than one other vehicle, personal injury involved therein, damage to government property (like a freeway girder or light pole), damage to the rest of the travelers on the road in lost time or wages, and higher costs to public services.
Higher costs to public services can arise for several reasons. For example, a truck accident may require more police, more medical personnel, and more highway workers to repair any damage done to the highway, tend to the physically injured, fill out accident reports, and take witness statements than a typical car accident. 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 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 harder 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 in which you suffer an 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. 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.
How to Find the Best Truck Accident Lawyer in Dallas for Your Case
The best lawyer for your case will be one that has experience in and focuses on truck accidents. Your lawyer should know the nuances and subtleties of a truck accident claim or lawsuit. An experienced truck 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 lawyers with the experience you are looking for, use sites such 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. Contact our 18 wheeler truck accident lawyers in Dallas today!