How A Waco Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You With Your Claim
The Waco truck accident lawyers at The Patel Firm have extended their professional services to numerous individuals who were injured in truck accidents due to others’ lapses in caution. They tirelessly work to ensure these victims receive the appropriate compensation for their injuries.
Have you been injured in a truck accident in Waco?
Reach out to our Waco truck accident lawyers at The Patel Firm today at 254-312-2386. We are here to listen to your story. We don’t charge any money upfront, and our initial consultation is free. If we think we can help you and decide to handle your case, we’ll immediately start working to secure the compensation you are entitled to.Need Help? Let’s Chat.
Table of Contents
- Texas Truck Accident Statistics: Commercial Truck Accident Cases
- Causes of Big Rig Accidents
- Who is Liable for Your Accident?
- When Should You Call a Waco Truck Accident Attorney?
- Available Damages and Accident Injuries After a Texas Truck Accident
- Contact a Waco Truck Accident Lawyer at The Patel Firm Today for Free Consultation or to File a Lawsuit
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), there were 527 total crashes involving commercial motor vehicles in McLennan County, meaning the area sees more than one of these types of accidents every single day. The total included three fatal crashes killing three people, 22 suspected serious injury crashes causing 23 suspected serious injuries, and three unknown severity crashes causing 74 unknown injuries.
Most people are well aware that large trucks are far heavier than most traditional motor vehicles, and the size difference can play an enormous role in the damage caused. In addition to motor vehicles themselves often being irreparably damaged, people within such vehicles can often suffer catastrophic injuries.
If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a truck accident in the greater Waco area, do not delay in seeking legal representation for help with your case. The Patel Firm has handled multiple truck accident cases and will know how to help you prove liability in your case.
People will want to work with attorneys for truck accident claims because while many people initially assume a truck driver was at fault for an accident, there can often be many other liable parties. Trucking companies, truck owners, or manufacturers of truck parts could all possibly be liable in certain cases, and people can be entitled to far more compensation than they originally realized.
You may not have stopped to consider how many truck and semi-truck accidents occur in this state, and the damage they cause. A review of the statistics can be both startling and frightening. According to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):
- There were a total of 2,734 fatal crashes involving trucks and buses in 2019
- According to preliminary reports, 3,087 people died in those crashes
- Another 60,818 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks and buses
- A total of 122,331 vehicles were damaged or wrecked due to large truck and bus crashes
- In 2019, Texas was the deadliest state for large truck and bus accidents
- 462 people died, and another 7,399 were injured in 408 crashes last year
- A large truck or bus was involved in 12,523 Texas crashes in that same year
- The annual rate for fleet vehicle crashes is 20 percent; one out of every five wrecks in the U. S. involves a fleet vehicle.
Even though you drive safely and obey the rules of the road, there’s no guarantee that big rig drivers will do the same. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it. However, suppose you are involved in an accident or a collision with a semi-truck and the accident resulted in severe injuries. In that case, don’t hesitate to contact a truck accident attorney as soon as possible to pursue your legal options since you may be entitled to compensation.
Most truck accidents are preventable as they are the result of driver negligence. Common causes of these often-catastrophic accidents include:
There’s no denying that truck driving is a high-pressure and high-stress occupation. Drivers are required to make deliveries within a short window of time, causing them to drive long distances with very little rest and not much break time. Drivers don’t get the quality of sleep or as many hours of sleep as they should, causing their coordination and concentration to decrease. They can fall asleep while driving and are slower to react to road situations.
The FMCSA mandates that truck drivers can only drive a specific number of hours before having rest or break times. They aren’t legally allowed behind the wheel until they have off time. However, many truck drivers and truck carriers don’t comply with these rules. The result is fatigued and drowsy drivers on the road who are at a higher risk of causing an injury or fatal accident.
Distracted driving is a problem anywhere you go and for many drivers. Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the task of driving is a dangerous distraction. Of course, driving for long distances for hours on end can be tedious. Because of their boredom, truck drivers might turn to texting, talking on the phone, looking for music or a podcast, eating, or doing some other activity to keep themselves occupied. These actions cause the driver to concentrate on something other than the road and their big rig.
When a truck driver takes their eyes off the road, even for a split second, the possibility of disaster increases. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that ten percent of fatal crashes and 15 percent of injury crashes in 2015 were due to distracted driving.
Drugs and Alcohol
Unfortunately, some truck drivers turn to drugs and alcohol due to the stress or boredom from their jobs. The trucking industry has a high rate of alcohol and drug abuse. Many truckers turn to amphetamines and cocaine to keep themselves to stay awake while driving.
A Reuters study revealed that 30 percent of truck drivers admitted to taking amphetamines while working. A reported 20 percent used marijuana, and 3 percent used cocaine. While these drugs keep the drivers awake, albeit unnaturally, they also cause them to take more risks like driving faster, making unsafe lane changes, and making risky moves in poor weather. After the stimulants begin to wear off, drivers are more likely to fall asleep while driving.
Speeding and Overtaking
It’s not uncommon for truckers to drive faster than they should based on their vehicle size or road or weather conditions. They feel pressure if they can’t deliver their goods on time and their job is at risk, causing them to speed.
Passenger vehicle drivers have had to take many risks to get out of the way of semis barreling down the road after them. They sometimes need to swerve off the road or into other lanes of traffic, increasing the chances of an accident.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
You might not have thought about this, but safety regulations address the specific size, weight, length, height, and width of loads that trucks can handle. If they are carrying hazardous materials, additional restrictions apply. Suppose a truck’s cargo is improperly loaded. In that case, it can be too heavy and more likely to tip over due to a higher center of gravity. A truck tipping over could cause a devastating accident. Hazardous loads could cause fires or cause other dangerous situations.
Lack of Proper Training
Federal and sometimes local laws dictate how much and what kind of training truck drivers need before they can get behind the wheel themselves. However, some drivers and employers are too anxious to get on the road, and they don’t get the proper training they need or are mandated to have. Truck drivers need experience in all kinds of situations, such as rain and snow, to be prepared to drive independently. Without this training and experience, truckers and other motorists, and passengers are at risk.
Lack of Proper Truck Maintenance
Truck drivers are responsible for inspecting their rigs, and trucking carriers need to maintain their fleet. Due to time and expenses pressures, inspections and maintenance often don’t happen when they should. Skipping these crucial steps in the trucking industry can result in serious accidents. For example, semi-trucks can have a tire blow out or worn down brakes resulting in a tragic accident.
Who is Liable for Your Accident?
Unlike most other vehicle accidents, determining liability and the causes of these accidents can be tricky. It’s usually best to hire a Waco trucking accident lawyer as soon as possible to investigate how the accident happened and who should be held accountable. Potential liable parties include:
- The truck driver
- Other drivers on the road
- The truck driver’s employer
- The manufacturer of the truck or one of its parts
- A government entity
Sometimes, multiple parties can be at fault for the same accident. In these cases, the concept of comparative fault applies. Each at-fault party agrees or is assigned by the court to a specific degree of liability. Each party pays the accident victim compensation for their damages proportionate to their degree of fault.
For example, suppose the truck driver was assigned 40 percent fault and the trucking company 60 percent fault. In that case, the truck driver would be liable for 40 percent of the damages, and the trucking company would be liable for 60 percent.
No matter the extent of your accident or injuries, calling an experienced Waco truck accident lawyer can help after the accident. Please don’t wait, as it can be detrimental to your legal rights and potential for monetary recovery.
Contacting a Waco truck accident attorney sooner rather than later helps ensure that:
- Your case is filed with the two-year statute of limitations provided by Texas laws
- Evidence can be collected in your case while it is still fresh
- You don’t have to deal with the insurance company and risk saying anything that could harm your claim
- Waco personal injury attorneys take appropriate steps towards filing your claim, allowing you to heal and recover from your injuries
Damages are the financial representation of your losses, pain, and inconveniences after an accident. After any personal injury, the injury victims are entitled to receive compensation for their damages directly related to the cause of their injury. The compensation should be in line with the size and magnitude of the accident since one can incur thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Damages can be economic or special and non-economic or general.
Economic damages are the ones that involve financial liability or losses and include:
- Lost wages or income
- Current and future medical and healthcare expenses
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses. They can be hard to value and even harder to prove because they don’t come with an inherent value. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
Contact a Waco Truck Accident Lawyer at The Patel Firm Today for Free Consultation or to File a Lawsuit
Suppose you or a family member were injured in a commercial truck accident, and you want to pursue legal action to obtain the compensation you deserve. In that case, you must establish negligence on the part of the truck driver and any other parties that could be liable. At The Patel Firm, not only are our Waco truck accident attorneys familiar with the various tactics used by insurance companies to reduce the compensation you receive, but we also have a network of expert witnesses and investigators to explore every aspect of your accident.
Proving negligence can be a monumental task, especially while you are trying to recover from your injuries. Most truck accident victims turn to a skilled Waco truck accident attorney to represent their legal interests. If you want a fierce advocate on your side, reach out to a Waco truck accident attorney at The Patel Firm. To schedule a case review and learn more about our services, call 254-312-2386 or contact us online today.
The Patel Firm Injury Accident Lawyers
“This is my first time ever using a lawyer in Waco to help me process an accident claim. Joanne walked me through every step of the way. No matter when I reached out to ask my lawyer a question I got a very quick response. This was done during the COVID-19 shut down which made it extra difficult but the lawyer and his staff kept me informed. I am grateful that he kept his word in every way to me. I would recommend them highly to anyone I know.”
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