In 2018, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 36,560 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents across the United States, and approximately 1 in 10 involved tractor-trailers. Large truck accidents have the potential to cause serious harm to those involved, particularly occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
Tractor-trailer drivers must undergo rigorous training and certification processes to earn their Texas commercial driver’s license (CDL), which allows them to legally operate a large truck. When they fail to exercise caution to protect the safety of themselves and others, serious injuries and fatalities often occur. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a truck collision, a tractor-trailer accident lawyer in Carrollton, TX can help you seek financial recovery. Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today at (713) 850-8600 to discuss your case with our legal team.
Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Texas
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more tractor-trailer accidents occur in Texas than any other state by a landslide. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) notes that over 66,000 trucking companies operate in Texas with industry wages topping $22.5 billion dollars. Trucks represent 12% of vehicle miles traveled in Texas each year.
In Texas, large truck fatalities increased every year between 2014 and 2018. In 2018, approximately 15% of all truck accidents in Texas occurred in Dallas County, Collin County, and Denton County. Between the prevalence of the trucking industry, dangerous oilfield roads, and heavy traffic congestion in major metropolitan areas, tractor-trailer accidents occur far too often in Texas. If you became a victim of a semi-truck accident in Carrollton, TX, an attorney could help you hold the at-fault driver accountable for your damages.
Dangers of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Most accidents involving tractor-trailers pose a greater risk not to the truck driver or its occupants, but to others involved, such as passenger vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The size of trucks alone makes them a hazard on the road, and when drivers fail to operate them in a safe manner, serious collisions, often involving multiple vehicles, can occur.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2018, passenger vehicle occupants accounted for 67% of all fatalities in collisions involving a truck and another vehicle. Tractor-trailers weigh significantly more than other vehicles, and their higher ground clearance makes it possible for cars to slide underneath them in the event of an accident. They also require much more time and distance to come to a complete stop, which can make sudden braking difficult.
Truck drivers have a responsibility to take into consideration the inherent dangers of their tractor-trailers when taking them out on the road. If you or someone you love suffered serious or fatal injuries as the result of a truck collision, a tractor-trailer accident lawyer in Carrollton, TX can help you pursue financial recovery. Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ at (713) 850-8600 for more information about your case.
Reasons for Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Tractor-trailer accidents occur for many reasons, sometimes simultaneously. Researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) examined almost 2,800 accidents across 20 Texas counties to determine predominant factors that play a role in truck collisions. The study revealed that driver error accounted for many accidents, and noted that feasible measurements such as increased training and technology could help prevent them.
Some of the most common truck driver behaviors that lead to accidents include:
- Driving while fatigued
- Failing to stop
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Using the wrong lane
In multiple-vehicle accidents involving tractor-trailers, driver fatigue alone can contribute to a 270% increased risk in injuries or fatalities. If you suffered injuries as a result of a truck driver’s negligence, an attorney can help you pursue legal action.
A Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer in Carrollton, TX Can Deal With Insurance Companies for You
In order to file a claim against the driver responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, a lawyer can help you establish liability in your case. Texas requires that the driver who caused the collision covers the victims’ damages, so this may allow you the opportunity to seek financial awards for your injuries or the loss of your loved one.
Typically, the insurance company of the at-fault party provides the financial recovery to the victims in tractor-trailer accident claims. However, insurance companies work for a profit, and even though liability policies exist to protect the injured, adjusters will often do whatever they can to avoid paying a sufficient settlement amount. They may attempt to blame the victim or even undervalue their injuries, which can feel overwhelming or intimidating to the victim during their difficult time.
A lawyer can help you by dealing with the insurance companies on your behalf, including all communication and negotiations, to help you achieve a fair settlement. If the insurance company refuses to provide an adequate amount, your lawyer can take them to trial.
Statutes of Limitations on Tractor-Trailer Accident Claims in Texas
Texas allows tractor-trailer accident victims and their loved ones a certain amount of time, called a statute of limitations, to seek financial awards. As a rule, victims have up to two years from the date of their accident to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, and certain family members have up to two years from the date of their loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death claim.
However, exceptions apply in some cases, and the state also determines who qualifies to file a wrongful death lawsuit. An attorney can determine how much time you have left to file your claim and get started right away to help you avoid preventable delays.
Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ Today to Get Started on Your Case
Tractor-trailer accidents do not just cause physical injuries; they can also lead to long-term emotional and financial distress. You do not deserve the injuries or loss you suffered as a result of your accident, but you do deserve financial recovery to help you get back on your feet, and the lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can help. Contact us today at (713) 850-8600 to discuss your case with our legal team.