The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 100 people lose their lives in motor vehicle accidents each day in the United States, and approximately 3 million people suffer non-fatal injuries. In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that in 2012, police in the U.S. received reports of about 317,000 accidents involving tractor trailers.
The CDC emphasizes the importance of companies and governments implementing driver safety programs and policies that could help prevent avoidable truck accidents. If you or a loved one has suffered severe or fatal injuries in an El Paso County truck collision due to the driver’s negligence, a tractor trailer accident lawyer serving El Paso, TX can help you pursue financial recovery. Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today at (713) 850-8600 to discuss your case.
Tractor Trailer Accidents in Texas
In 2018, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported over 37,000 large truck accidents throughout the state, including more than 1,100 in El Paso County alone. That year, 616 people lost their lives in trucking accidents in Texas, and another 1,371 suffered serious injuries.
Truck Driver Behaviors Often Lead to Tractor Trailer Accidents
A study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) found that most tractor trailer accidents involve human error, including many preventable collisions. The agency suggests that increased awareness and reasonable implementations such as collision avoidance, stability control, and other technology could help minimize the number of truck accidents in Texas and throughout the U.S.
Types of Driver Error That Cause Tractor Trailer Accidents
The TTI study found a few specific driver errors that had a significant role in tractor trailer accidents in which the truck driver was responsible for causing it. Failing to stop, which may occur when drivers do not consider the additional time and distance they need to brake, and failure to yield can occur immediately prior to semi truck collisions, as well as using the wrong lane.
In almost 1 in 5 tractor trailer accidents that occurred at intersections, speeding contributed to the collision. The TTI study estimates that truck accidents involving speeding cost 20% more than other accidents and carry a 170% higher risk of injuries or fatalities per accident.
The Role of Fatigue in Tractor Trailer Accidents
Driver fatigue ranks among the top contributing factors in tractor trailer accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) points out how federal law allows truck drivers to drive for up to 11 consecutive hours, but surveys show that some drivers work longer than the law permits.
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, we understand the impact your tractor trailer accident has had on you and can help you seek financial recovery from the liable driver. Call us today at (713) 850-8600 to learn more about taking legal action with your case.
How a Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer Serving El Paso, TX Can Help You Build Your Case
Some victims of tractor trailer accidents and their families feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the idea of filing a lawsuit on their own. The complexities of the Texas legal system can make it difficult to navigate, but a lawyer can help you through the claim process, from start to finish. Some ways an attorney can assist you may include:
- Investigating the details of your case
- Establishing the liable party
- Evaluating your damages, including those caused by the physical, emotional, and mental trauma that you experienced because of the accident
- Seeking just financial recovery to help you get back on your feet
- Negotiating a settlement with the liable party’s insurance company
- Taking your case to trial, if necessary
A lawyer and their team can also provide you with consistent updates on your case and answer any questions you may have during the litigation process.
Types of Evidence That Can Help Prove Liability
Proving the fault of the party liable for causing your tractor trailer accident requires you to demonstrate that their actions meet the criteria for legal negligence. You or your lawyer can do so by collecting evidence from the scene of the accident and from other factors that are involved with your case. Some types of evidence that can help establish liability include:
- Photos and videos from the scene, especially those of skid marks, property damage, debris, and injuries
- Police reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records and hospital bills
- Field sobriety test results
- Cell phone records
- Information from the tractor trailer’s black box
These accident data can demonstrate that the liable party had a duty of care to you or your loved one, breached their duty of care, caused your injuries or those of your loved one as a result, and you suffered damages as a result of your injuries or loss.
Statutes of Limitations on Tractor Trailer Accident Claims in Texas
Texas has a statute of limitations on tractor trailer accident claims, or a deadline during which victims and their families can file a lawsuit against the liable party in their case. Generally, victims have up to two years from the date of their accident to file a personal injury claim for damages. Certain family members of victims can file wrongful death suits, as well, but they typically must do so within two years of their loved one’s passing.
Exceptions sometimes apply to these statutes, and Texas has separate laws regarding who can file wrongful death claims. A tractor trailer accident lawyer serving El Paso, TX can help you pursue legal action and help you get started on your claim.
Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ Today
For victims of tractor trailer accidents and their family members, the impact of physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial instability may be overwhelming. However, our attorneys can help you seek the financial recovery you deserve to heal and move forward. Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today at (713) 850-8600 to discuss your case evaluation with our legal team.