Driving a semi-truck requires special skills, certification, and licensure, and drivers must take extra precautions to avoid accidents. When drivers fail to take these safety concerns seriously, accidents that result in injuries and fatalities can occur. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the state saw more than 500 severe injuries and more than 600 fatalities that resulted from commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes in 2018.
If you suffered injuries resulting from of a truck accident in Midland, our attorneys can help you file a claim against the at-fault driver. Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today to speak to us about your case.
Truck Accident Attorneys Who Serve Your Needs
Our truck collision team becomes part of your life while we work on your case. You need to know that you can depend on us. To build that trust, we are upfront about the ways we can help your case:
- Consultation that includes a free case evaluation
- Access to our team through 24/7 call availability and Facebook live streams
- Help finding doctors and scheduling appointments, regardless of insurance
- Flexible meeting locations, whether in your home, office or the hospital
- Investigation into the cause of your accident and the negligence behind it
- Identification of any possible liable parties who can be held accountable
- Pursuit of financial recovery that can help you heal
Above all, we offer empathy. This shouldn’t have happened to you, and we want to help make it right.
Determining the Driver-Related Cause of Your Truck Accident
You may not have any clue what happened to you. We can start by determining the cause of your collision and what contributed to it.
A study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) examined the causes of large truck accidents over a few years and grouped them under four main categories. While the researchers noted that truck accidents rarely occur as the result of a single factor, these elements likely increase the risk of an accident.
This category accounted for the majority of large truck accidents at 38%. It includes any choice the driver made that led to the collision, including speeding and tailgating other drivers. Given that large trucks require more distance to come to a complete stop, a poor decision like tailgating can be considered negligent if it caused your accident.
The second most common cause of accidents in this study, recognition, accounted for 28% of large truck collisions. This category includes driver distraction and inattention to surroundings. Texting while driving, using a GPS, or changing the radio could all be negligent actions and the basis for a truck accident claim or lawsuit.
Researchers attributed 12% of the accidents to non-performance factors, includling fatigue and impairment. They also include circumstances the driver cannot control, such as medical emergencies. While medical emergencies are not the fault of the driver, fatigue and other forms of impairment can be.
At 9%, performance factors played a role in the smallest percentage of truck accidents in the study. They include components such as driver panic and overcompensation. In some of these cases, the driver can be found at fault for not behaving reasonably and failing to avoid causing harm. We can investigate the details for you.
While the findings of this research cannot account for all the potential causes of truck accidents, they provide a closer look at the many elements that can contribute to their occurrence. If you experienced an accident with a truck as a result of these or other factors for which the driver holds responsibility, a truck accident lawyer serving Midland can help you pursue your case.
Other Causes of Truck Accidents and How They Impact Your Case
Because they control such tall, heavy machinery, truck drivers carry an obligation to be especially cautious on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), large trucks weigh more than 10,000 pounds, with the majority of fatalities from crashes involving occupants of the other vehicle. Thus, several natural characteristics of large trucks contribute to their dangerous role in CMV accidents.
We identify whether these characteristics played a role in your accident and how they point to the driver’s failure to uphold their duty of care.
Size and Weight
The substantially large and heavy nature of 18-wheelers makes it difficult for cars, pickups, and other SUVs to stand a chance in a collision. Additionally, opponents of allowing larger trucks on American roadways argue that large trucks contribute to the rapid deterioration of roads and make them more hazardous for all drivers.
Because of their size and weight, large trucks require a longer time to come to a complete stop. This makes stopping quickly more dangerous and difficult, which can lead to accidents. A truck accident lawyer serving Midland can help you determine if braking time played a role in your accident and assist you in seeking financial awards for the injuries you suffered.
Some truck drivers experience fatigue at the time of their accidents. Semi truck operators often drive for many consecutive hours, and without adequate sleep, fatigue can make driving safely difficult.
In fact, to prevent drowsiness, the FMCSA limits how many hours a driver can operate. These guidelines include property-carrying drivers not driving over 11 hours, with 10 hours being the limit for passenger-carrying drivers. A driver who fails to adhere to these rules can be liable for any resulting injuries.
Identifying Liability in a Truck Accident Case
In Texas, the at-fault driver’s insurance must pay accident victims for their losses; however, proving liability often presents a challenge, as many factors can lead to collisions. Moreover, accidents involving trucks can have more complicated liability, depending on who owned the truck, if the driver was employed or an independent contractor, and whether a third party may have contributed to the collision.
Plus, insurance companies often attempt to devalue victims’ injuries in an effort to pay as little as possible, and victims may struggle with financial instability as a result. Adjusters may employ tactics like attempting to trap you in an official statement, pressuring you to accept a settlement, or dragging out your case.
The lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can help you establish liability in your truck accident case and pursue financial awards through legal action. Call us today to discuss your case.
A truck driver may be employed by a company that assumes the risk for the driver. If a driver like this injured you, their company insurance can provide for your expenses and losses. Some trucking companies try to find a way out of being held liable for their driver’s mistakes. We can evaluate who bears responsibility in your case.
If the truck driver is not covered by their company insurance and holds responsibility for the accident, their own insurance must cover the losses for your injuries and property. However, they often try to settle with you right away before you have a chance to determine the value of your losses. A truck accident lawyer serving Midland can help you pursue a fair recovery.
If defective equipment on a truck causes an accident and an investigation determines that the issue resulted from poor manufacturing, you can file a products liability claim against the manufacturer. Poor product design can also be grounds for a claim or suit against the designer.
Types of Financial Awards You Can Pursue
Injuries that result from truck accidents often have lasting effects that make caring for yourself and your family difficult. When you file a claim against the responsible driver or company, you can seek awards to help you recover your financial stability. They may include payment for:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages and loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Given that truck accidents can result in serious injuries, you may need extensive medical care and, consequently, reimbursement for your expenses. Healthcare.gov estimates that a three-day hospital stay can cost around $30,000; for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), the cost will likely be even higher, as TBIs tend to require two more days in the hospital than other injuries, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Severe injuries can also cause more serious mental health effects. The experience of being injured and undergoing an arduous recovery can negatively impact your peace of mind. That warrants financial damages.
Yet we work with our clients to acknowledge all kinds of pain in a truck accident case, from physical injury to loss of enjoyment of life to post-traumatic stress disorder. Even if you didn’t suffer severe physical harm, you still suffered.
If you suffered the loss of a loved one in the accident, you may also pursue financial recovery for the cost of the funeral and burial, as well as:
- Remaining medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of emotional support
Let our team know how we can help honor your lost loved one by holding the at-fault party legally accountable.
How Our Attorneys Can Help You
The attorneys at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ know that no financial sum can take away the pain of your injuries or your loss; however, financial recovery may help you regain control of your finances and improve your quality of life. If a truck accident left you suffering with physical pain or mental anguish, we can fight to seek justice and pursue financial awards on your behalf.
Contact us today to get started on your case.
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