Trucks are part of the landscape of the Tri-State area. Being in the middle of the country, Amarillo is on the route of many trucking lines. Additionally, trucks are shipping more and more goods every day. With this increase of trucks on the road, there is a greater chance of a truck accident. Unfortunately, with the size and weight of trucks, anyone involved in an accident with them is at serious risk for severe injuries or death. If you have been involved in an accident involving a semi-truck, the trial lawyers of Lovell, Lovell, Isern & Farabough, LLP can review your situation and help you with your case every step of the way.
When thinking of a trucking accident, it usually is assumed an 18-wheeler is involved. However, semi accidents can involve commercial vehicles like garbage trucks, concrete mixer trucks, dump trucks, and tractor trailers, to name a few. A number of factors can cause and/or contribute to the severity of a semi accident. How the truck driver is operating the vehicle is one of the most important factors. If the trucker is speeding, driving distracted, or driving while intoxicated, any of these could cause a collision. Additionally, there are many rules about how long a trucker can drive, but often trucking companies encourage drivers to ignore these rules in order to make more money, resulting in fatigued drivers who have trouble handling their vehicle. Beyond the driver’s behavior, if a truck has a heavy load it can take longer to stop and if it is improperly loaded it can leave a semi off-balance, both of which can cause an accident. Any mechanical issues or improperly designed vehicles or component parts can cause problems as well.
What To Do After a Semi Accident
If an accident does occur, you should of course seek medical help for any injuries immediately. Even if you do not think you are seriously injured, you should go to the emergency room or to a doctor to make sure there aren’t any problems. If you do not call 911 for an ambulance, they should be called to alert the police. Police officers can help contain and assess the situation after semi truck accidents. They can take statements from witnesses, drivers, and passengers. The police report will be crucial in determining the cause of the accident. If possible, you should take pictures of the accident and surrounding areas. You should also obtain insurance and contact information from the other party involved.
Generally with a car accident, the only insurance companies involved are those of the car owners. In a semi accident, however, many parties are involved and could be deemed negligent; each one has its own insurance. For example, a truck company who employs the at-fault driver could be to blame. Also the company who hired the trucks to freight its goods might also be at fault. The company who manufactured the truck and/or its component parts, or those who serviced the semi could also be found negligent.
As soon as you can after a semi truck accident, you should call an attorney to discuss whether there is a personal injury case to be made. In Texas, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the accident. At Lovell, Lovell, Isern & Farabough, LLP, we will talk to you to gather the evidence in your case, work to determine who caused the accident, and start the process of negotiating with the companies involved and their insurers. We will fight to resolve your case and will go to trial if needed to get you the maximum payout you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents
In Texas, there are a substantial number of large truck accident fatalities, and the state has one of the highest rates of truck-related accidents. Truck accidents can happen for many reasons, such as driver fatigue, improper loading, and mechanical failure, among others. It is important to understand everything you can about trucking accidents.
What Kinds of Truck Accidents Can Take Place?
The most typical types of truck accidents include the following:
- Rollover accidents
- Jackknife accidents
- Blind-spot accidents
- Wide-turn or “squeeze-play” accidents
- Underride accidents
- Tire blowouts
Rear-end collisions are also a common cause of truck accidents, which can be caused by a truck driver speeding, engaging in distracted driving, engaging in impaired driving, and/or other forms of reckless behavior behind the wheel.
What Are the Most Common Reasons A Truck Accident Occurs?
Various factors can cause truck accidents. The most common causes of truck accidents include the following driver-related factors:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Interruption of the traffic flow
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Inadequate surveillance
- Driving too fast for the conditions
Other causes of truck accidents include speeding, aggressive driving, hours of service violations (fatigued truck driving), severe weather conditions, improper loading or cargo shifting, defective parts or equipment, and inadequate training or experience.
What Are the Most Common Truck Accident Injuries?
The amount and severity of injuries that can result from trucking accidents are significant. Below are some of the most serious truck accident injuries:
- Head and brain injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and concussions
- Internal damage
- Crush injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Wrist fractures
- Broken bones
For those injured in a truck accident, knowing what damages can be recovered is important.
What Should I Do After Being in A Truck Accident?
After a truck accident in Texas, the first step is to get to safety and call 911. Collecting evidence at the scene, such as photos of the crash site and contact information from any witnesses, is important. It is also important to obtain a copy of the accident report.
It is important to seek medical treatment for injuries sustained in the trucking accident. It is also important to preserve evidence related to the collision, such as photos, videos, and witness statements. Making a claim with the insurance company or filing a lawsuit against the responsible party is vital. A skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer can help guide you through this process and ensure that your rights are protected.
What Damages Can Be Recovered for Truck Accidents in Texas?
Victims of truck accidents in Texas may be entitled to recover economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Below is more information about all three of these recoverable damages.
Victims of truck accidents in Texas may be entitled to recover economic damages, which are financial losses such as out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages. Economic damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
In Texas, victims of truck accidents may be entitled to recover non-economic damages such as physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of consortium, disfigurement, physical disability, loss of companionship and society, loss of enjoyment of life, and injury to reputation. These are distinct from economic damages representing the documented dollar amount a person has lost from an accident.
Punitive damages may be awarded in Texas truck accident cases when the driver – or another responsible party involved – who caused the crash and the resulting injuries was extremely negligent and should have known ahead of time that their behavior could cause a great deal of harm to someone else. Punitive damages are distinct from compensatory damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress damages.
The average settlement for a truck accident in Texas will depend on the case’s specific circumstances. The settlement amount can depend on how severe the injuries suffered are, the number of medical bills incurred, and any lost wages due to missed work, among other factors.
What Can I Do If a Loved One Dies in A Texas Truck Accident?
If someone dies in a truck accident in Texas, their family may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver. According to the Texas statute of limitations, the family generally has two years to file a wrongful death claim after their loved one passes away due to a fatal roadway crash.
The deceased person’s estate can also file a survival action claim for damages such as medical expenses and lost wages. A wrongful death claim can help the family recover financial compensation for their losses. It is important to contact an attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases and wrongful death claims to ensure that all of your legal rights are protected.
How Does the Statute of Limitations Apply to Texas Truck Accidents?
In Texas, the statute of limitations for truck accidents is two years from the date of the accident. This means that a person must file their lawsuit no later than two years after the day the crash (or resulting death) occurred.
If a person fails to adhere to this time limit, they may be unable to file a trucking accident lawsuit. Additionally, it is important to note that there is usually a shorter time limit (usually six months) when providing notice of a claim to a state or municipality and giving them a chance to respond.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?
A truck accident lawyer can help identify the liable party or parties, collect evidence, interview eyewitnesses, negotiate with the insurance company, and take the case to trial if necessary. They can also investigate the accident, take care of the paperwork, ensure you get the necessary care, and investigate trucking companies and other potentially legally responsible parties.
Additionally, they can provide appropriate legal strategy and carefully analyze all evidence to determine the true cause of your truck crash. Finally, a lawyer can help victims understand and progress through the processes, rules, and theories of their case.
Truck accident lawyers can help victims of truck crashes find justice and compensation. They review the circumstances, including injuries, damages, and prognosis. Working with a trucking accident lawyer can help alleviate at least some of the stress associated with being in a crash. Contact us today so we can help.
Texas Panhandle Semi Truck Accident Lawyers
Our attorneys will take into the account the severity of your injuries, the cost of treating them, the cost of ongoing treatment, lost wages or income, your ability to take care of others, your ability to work again, and your ongoing pain and suffering. Based on all these things, we will figure the appropriate amount to request to compensate you for your injuries. We always try to get the maximum amount for our clients. Insurance companies and companies involved in the trucking industry do not want to pay out for these events and will contest everything to save money and avoid blame. You need an attorney who will fight back just as hard with the experience to hold the negligent party accountable.
Lovell, Lovell, Isern & Farabough, LLP has helped hundreds of clients involved in semi accidents recover substantial amounts. Our team cares about getting you the funds you need to recover. We take time to learn about our clients and their lives. Overall, we aim to take the legal burden off you so you can worry more about getting better. If you have been injured in a trucking accident, contact us today at 806-373-1515 to discuss your case.