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 one 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 serving Carrollton, TX can help you seek a financial recovery. Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today to discuss your case with our legal team.
Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Texas
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more tractor-trailer accidents occur in Texas than in 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.
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 from our team 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 serving Carrollton, TX can help you pursue financial recovery. Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ 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 Serving 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 victim’s 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.
You Could Be Entitled to Damages from Multiple Parties
Driver error and negligence could be the cause of your tractor-trailer accident. If this is the case, we will help you hold the driver responsible for the results of his action. Other parties might also bear full or partial responsibility. If so, our law firm will help you prove their involvement and seek damages from them.
Additional at-fault parties can include:
The Company That Employs the Truck Driver
If the trucking company failed to properly train or supervise its driver or allowed an unlicensed driver to operate, we can hold them liable as well. The same applies if they encouraged their driver to exceed their allowable hours-of-service limitations. They might also be responsible if they failed to properly maintain the tractor-trailer in question.
The Company That Manufactured the Truck or Its Parts
If the accident was caused by a manufacturing defect or design flaw, the truck’s manufacturer may bear some responsibility for your accident. The same applies if the truck’s tires, brakes, windshield wipers, or other parts were flawed or faulty.
Whichever entity’s negligence caused your accident, we will handle their insurance company for you. Our investigation will include obtaining relevant records from the trucking company or manufacturer. We also consult witnesses from the trucking industry and other relevant witnesses who can attest to the cause of the collision and your right to recover damages.
We Never Stop Fighting for Injured Clients
When clients we represented in the past tell others about our legal service and client support, they say the following:
- Janine Lacayo: “D. Miller & Associates are amazing. Very friendly and helpful, everyone I spoke with made the experience very simple and pleasant. Highly recommend them for your legal needs.”
- Norma G: “Highly satisfied with my experience. Natalie and staff are professional and do everything in their hands to accommodate everyone’s needs. They genuinely care about their clients. I certainly don’t hesitate to recommend her to anyone I know. Thank you for all you do!”
Our law firm works hard to earn reviews like these by supporting our clients throughout their recovery and by negotiating their best possible outcome.
Tractor-Trailer Damages You Can Recover
Once identified, the at-fault party in your truck accident is responsible for a range of financial expenses and losses. When our law firm represents you, we help you prove their financial responsibility.
We collect bills, estimates, and receipts that establish the following damages:
- Past and future lost wages
- Ongoing pain and suffering
- Past and future medical care
- Mental and emotional distress
- Impairments and disfigurement
- Property damage or destruction
Occupants of smaller vehicles are more vulnerable to serious and fatal injuries than the occupants of much larger trucks. If a member of your family was fatally injured in, or as a result of, a tractor-trailer collision, we will help you pursue wrongful death damages. These include funeral and burial expenses and a range of losses, including loss of consortium and loss of financial and familial support.
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 losses 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 for free to discuss your case with our legal team.