HOW A DALLAS TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR CLAIM
At The Patel Firm, our Dallas truck accident lawyers have successfully aided truck accident victims with their personal injury cases caused by the irresponsibility of others. These committed lawyers work relentlessly to secure the fair compensation these victims merit for their injuries.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports that there were 4,125 total crashes involving commercial motor vehicles and semi-truck tractor-trailers in Dallas County, and this total included 38 fatal crashes killing 40 people, 105 suspected serious injury crashes causing 126 suspected serious injuries, and 32 unknown severity crashes causing 707 unknown injuries. The bottom line remains that large trucks on Texas roads continue to be a major cause of motor vehicle accidents, and the simple size of commercial vehicles often means that injuries can be catastrophic.
An accident, especially an 18-wheeler accident can be catastrophic to the point of making you unable to work again. When you suffer serious injuries or your loved one is killed in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or other large trucks, you will want to engage a Dallas 18 wheeler accident lawyer to be sure you retain legal counsel without delay. The Patel Firm understands how complicated these types of cases can be, but our law firm can help, through our experienced personal injury attorneys, can conduct our own independent investigation into your crash to help preserve important evidence and prove another party’s liability.
Were you injured in a truck accident in Dallas?
Contact our Dallas truck accident lawyers at The Patel Firm today at 361-287-7242. We’re ready to hear your story. We don’t demand any fees upfront, and our first discussion with you is always free. If we think we can assist you and choose to pursue your case, we’ll promptly begin working to secure the compensation you are entitled to.Need Assistance? Let’s Chat.
Table of Contents
- What Types of Truck Accidents Do We Handle?
- Causes of Truck Accidents in Dallas
- Common Injuries in Truck Accidents
- How Long Does a Truck Accident Case Take?
- What Are Trucking Regulations?
- Who Is Liable in Truck Accident Cases?
- How to Prove a Truck Accident Case in Texas?
- What Damages Can You Recover in a Truck Accident Case?
- Why You Need a Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer at The Patel Firm
Commercial trucks can be involved in many different kinds of accidents. Some of the most common kinds of cases our firm is familiar with include, but are not limited to:
- Rear-end accidents — Crashes in which the front end of a truck strikes the rear of another vehicle.
- Underride accidents — Accidents in which cars slide underneath trailers.
- Rollover accidents — Crashes in which trucks turn onto their sides or flip over completely.
- Jackknife accidents — A crash in which the cab and trailer of a truck fold in on one another like a jackknife.
- Head-on collisions — These crashes involve the front ends of large trucks striking the front ends of other vehicles.
- Blind-spot accidents — Accidents in which commercial truck drivers cause collisions because of a failure to check blind spots.
- Tire blowout accidents — When a tire blows out on a commercial truck, the driver often loses control of their vehicle and causes an accident.
- Wide-turn accidents — Commercial trucks often require more space to complete even basic right-turns, and certain wide turns can impact other vehicles.
- T-bone accidents — Crashes involving a commercial truck striking the side of another vehicle.
Any of these types of truck accidents can cause serious and life-threatening injuries. These types of accidents are responsible for thousands of injuries and fatalities each year. Speak with our Dallas truck accident lawyers to discuss your legal options in your unique case.
Texas has a reputation as America’s worst state for truck accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT), 581 people died in truck accidents across Texas in 2020 alone, while 1,245 others suffered serious injuries. Dallas county had the second-highest number of truck accidents in the state, accounting for over 3,700 crashes involving large trucks.
Causes of truck accidents vary from one case to another. There is a multitude of factors that contribute to trucking crashes, many of which are based on driver error. Contrary to popular belief, a truck driver is not always at fault for the accident, as other drivers may also share fault.
Common causes of motor vehicle accidents involving trucks in Dallas and other parts of Texas include:
- Running red lights
- Failure to check blind spots
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Overloaded trucks
- Lack of experience
- Fatigued driving
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Poor road conditions
- Adverse weather conditions
- Trucking federal regulation violations
- Defective vehicles and their parts
When you are involved in a truck accident, it may not be immediately clear what caused the crash. For this reason, you need to contact a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer in Dallas to help you investigate your particular crash and gather evidence to prove the other party’s fault.
Truck accidents are likely to cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities due to the sheer size and weight of the trucks. Some of the most common injuries sustained by victims of trucking accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Loss of a limb
- Permanent scarring
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Lacerations and bruises
- Broken bones and fractures
The severity of your injury in a truck accident will affect the value of your personal injury claim. If a truck crash resulted in your loved one’s death, you might be able to file a wrongful death claim against the liable parties.
In order to understand how long your truck accident case will take, you need to know the steps of the claims process. Most truck accident cases are comprised of three elements:
Let’s discuss each element in detail to understand how they affect the timeline of your case.
- Investigation – Once you report your truck accident to the insurance company, the insurer will assign an investigator and claims adjuster to your case. The insurance company’s representatives will conduct an investigation to gather evidence and find grounds to undervalue or deny your claims. For this reason, you should also contact a skilled truck accident lawyer to launch an independent investigation and preserve all available evidence to protect your rights and ensure that you are fairly compensated for your damages. Do not discuss your truck accident case with the claims adjuster or anyone else other than your injury attorney and doctor. Your lawyer will handle all communications related to your legal claim.
- Negotiations – This one is usually the most complicated and time-consuming process when handling a truck accident claim in Texas. Insurance companies are for-profit organizations that care about generating their revenue. Unfortunately, insurers generate revenue by underpaying and denying valid claims. That is why you need a skilled negotiator on your side to make sure that the insurance company offers you a fair settlement offer. Your lawyer will help you understand how much your case is worth to make sure that your demand letter includes a fair settlement amount.
- Lawsuit – While the vast majority of injury cases stemming from truck accidents settle out of court, some end up in court. Filing a lawsuit may be a necessary step when an insurance company refuses to settle your claim for a fair amount. However, litigation is usually costly and time-consuming, which is why it is in your best interests to settle your claim outside of court. If it is necessary to take your case to court, you need an experienced litigator who can maximize the value of your claim.
Schedule a case review with our truck accident lawyers at The Patel Firm to discuss your particular situation and determine how long it will take to settle your truck accident case.
Because of the weight and size of trucks, federal law imposes trucking regulations on trucking companies and truck drivers in the United States. These trucking regulations are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA regulations address many safety concerns to prevent truck accidents.
Some of the trucking regulations governed by the FMCSA include:
- Hours of service – These rules limit the number of hours truck drivers can operate a truck without rest. The regulations require a 30-minute break after 8 cumulative hours of driving time. The purpose of hours of service rules is to prevent fatigued and drowsy driving, which are common contributing factors to truck accidents. However, many drivers have no choice but to violate HoS rules because their employer sets unrealistic deadlines to require them to deliver loads faster to maximize company profits.
- Vehicle inspection and maintenance – Trucking companies are generally responsible for inspecting and maintaining their trucks to ensure that they are reasonably safe for operation on public roadways. If a company fails to maintain the vehicle in a safe condition, and inadequate vehicle maintenance leads to a truck accident, the company may be held responsible for the resulting crash.
- Driver qualifications – Drivers need a commercial driver’s license to operate large trucks in the United States. Additionally, trucking companies are required to conduct background checks to make sure that the trucker is qualified enough to drive.
- Training – Truck drivers require specialized training, especially when operating vehicles carrying hazardous materials and dangerous cargo.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, you need a lawyer with a deep understanding of the trucking regulations to identify violations on the part of the truck driver or their employer (the trucking company).
Determining liability is a critical part of any investigation of a truck accident case. It is vital to seek the legal counsel of an experienced injury attorney to identify the parties responsible for your injuries.
At The Patel Firm, our attorneys thoroughly investigate each truck accident case to understand what caused the crash and who can be held liable for the injured parties’ damages and losses. Below is the list of parties that can be held at fault for your truck accident in Texas:
- The truck driver – Truckers cause or contribute to a large percentage of truck accidents in Texas and all across the United States. When a truck driver violates the federal trucking regulations or traffic laws, they put themselves and other people on the road at risk of injury and death. However, just because the truck driver can be held at fault for a collision does not mean that other parties involved in the accident are not partially responsible.
- Other drivers – Often, truck accidents are caused by negligence on the part of other motorists. Just because a vehicle is smaller than a truck does not mean that the driver of that vehicle is not to blame for the accident. It is vital to analyze all the facts of your truck accident case to determine how the crash occurred and who can be held responsible for causing it.
- The trucking company – While trucking companies are partially responsible for many accidents involving trucks, in some cases, these companies can be held fully at fault for the accident. Some examples of a trucking company’s liability are encouraging or requiring truck drivers to violate hours of service rules or other trucking regulations, failing to provide adequate training, failing to conduct background checks before hiring drivers, and others. Violations of trucking regulations may not be immediately apparent without a comprehensive investigation. That is why you need a skilled lawyer to investigate your truck accident and determine liability in your specific case.
- Maintenance workers – When inadequate inspection or maintenance of the truck caused or contributed to a truck accident, employees of the trucking company or independent contractors hired to inspect and maintain the vehicle might be held liable for the accident. If the truck driver is an independent contractor who owns the vehicle, they are responsible for keeping the vehicle in good condition.
- Shipping company – Trucking companies work with shipping companies and workers whose job is to load and unload cargo from the truck. Shipping companies are responsible for securing items in the vehicle and ensuring that the truck is not overloaded to avoid cargo shifting or items falling off from the vehicle while in motion. Improperly secured cargo in the vehicle may lead to rollover and jackknife accidents. A knowledgeable injury attorney will thoroughly investigate your truck crash to determine whether or not unsecured or improperly balanced cargo contributed to the accident.
- Government entities – If poor road conditions, inadequate road maintenance, or improper road design contributed to your trucking accident, your attorney might be able to pursue a claim against the government agency responsible for designing, building, or maintaining the road on which your crash occurred. For example, if you were involved in a truck accident as a result of running over a large pothole that drivers have complained about for months, you might be able to hold a responsible government entity liable for your resulting injuries.
- Vehicle and parts manufacturers – Often, truck accidents occur as a result of vehicle defects or equipment failure. When vehicles or their parts are defective, injured parties can file a product liability case against the vehicle or parts manufacturer who failed to protect the public from unreasonable risks of harm. A motorist may lose control of the truck or another vehicle when operating a defective vehicle. Because the motorist could not have reasonably avoided the collision due to manufacturing or design defects, they cannot be liable for the accident. Because Texas law follows the doctrine of strict liability, negligence does not matter in product liability cases. It means that the defendant (the manufacturer or another responsible party) is liable for injuries if a product is defective and the defect leads to harm (Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Chapter 82).
Do not hesitate to speak with a Dallas truck accident lawyer to discuss your particular situation and determine liability in your trucking crash. In many cases, there may be multiple liable parties in a truck accident (such as the truck driver and the trucking company or the truck driver and the other driver involved in the accident).
If your truck accident is the result of someone else’s negligence, you will need to establish the following four elements of a negligence-based personal injury claim:
- A duty of care (the liable party owed you a duty of care)
- Breach of duty (the duty was breached because of negligent conduct)
- Causation (the breach caused your accident and injuries)
- Harm (you suffered damages as a result of that party’s breach)
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Dallas or other parts of Texas, you need to take the following steps to prove your claim and improve your chances of a favorable outcome:
- Take photos at the scene of the accident
- Record videos if applicable
- Obtain access to video surveillance footage showing how the accident occurred
- Talk to witnesses and write down their contact information
- Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to help you investigate your case and gather all available evidence to prove your claim
You need to speak with an attorney who is skilled and results-driven to help you pursue full and fair compensation you deserve. Our lawyers at The Patel Firm have the necessary expertise and resources to handle your claim and protect your rights.
Here at The Patel Firm, we understand the devastating impact a truck accident can have on victims. A truck accident can be a life-altering experience that results in unexpected and lifelong expenses and medical bills.
Fortunately, Texas law allows you to get compensated for your losses and damages if you were injured due to other people’s negligence. Before seeking compensation after a truck accident, you need to understand the full extent of your injuries and losses. Under Texas law, you can recover the following types of damages after a truck accident or any other motor vehicle accident:
- Medical expenses – Since a truck accident can result in permanent and disabling injuries, medical treatment associated with the injuries can be very expensive. The more severe the injury, the more you are expected to pay to treat your injury and get back on your feet. In many cases, a victim of a truck accident may never fully recover.
- Permanent disability and disfigurement – It is not uncommon for truck accidents to result in permanent disabilities, scarring, and disfigurement. A victim may not be able to work at full capacity or return to their normal life if they suffer a permanent disability or disfigurement.
- Loss of income – If your injuries stemming from a truck accident caused you to miss days, weeks, or months at work because of your disability or diminished earning capacity, you deserve compensation for your lost wages. Your attorney will review your pay stubs and other types of evidence to determine what compensation would be fair.
- Loss of enjoyment of life – If a truck accident causes a temporary or permanent disability, a victim may not be able to fully enjoy their life and daily activities. This category of damages is non-economic and not easily quantifiable, which is why you need an attorney to help you analyze the loss of enjoyment of life and other intangible losses in your case.
- Property damages – Often, smaller vehicles involved in truck accidents are a total loss due to the sheer size and weight of trucks and big rigs. However, you can get compensated for the cost of repairing or replacing your damaged or destroyed vehicle following a truck crash.
That is not the complete list of expenses and damages that can be recovered when pursuing a personal injury claim following a truck accident in Texas. Schedule a free case review with our Dallas truck accident lawyers at The Patel Firm to determine the full extent of your injuries and identify the recoverable damages in your particular case.
At The Patel Firm, our lawyers are committed to helping clients pursue the compensation to which they are entitled by negotiating fair settlements and litigating complex truck accident cases. We are not afraid to take on multi-billion-dollar firms and insurance companies to make sure that victims are fairly compensated for their losses.
We have been handling truck accident cases for decades. Our lawyers understand the tactics employed by trucking companies and insurance companies to undervalue and deny legitimate claims. Unfortunately, these companies take advantage of injured individuals who are not represented by lawyers, which is why it is essential to hire a skilled attorney to protect your rights.
Our Dallas truck accident lawyers are prepared to aggressively litigate your case if necessary. We are committed to securing the compensation you need. When you hire our attorneys, you can be certain that your case is in the right hands.
We will handle the legal aspects of the claims process while you focus on your recovery. We are passionate about the results, and we know how to get the most out of every settlement or judgment.
Above all, we understand the struggles that you and your family are facing in the aftermath of a truck accident, which is why our goal is to help you pursue the compensation you need to get back on your feet as soon as possible.
Let’s discuss your best strategy for pursuing maximum compensation in your case. Contact us today for a free consultation with our attorneys at The Patel Firm by calling 361-400-2036.