Each year, millions of people in the United States suffer serious and fatal injuries as a result of motor vehicle accidents, and in 2018, approximately 1 in 10 of those accidents involved tractor-trailers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 500,000 large truck collisions occurred throughout the U.S. that year, and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports that over 37,000 took place in Texas alone.
Semi-truck drivers must take special precautions to ensure the safety of those on the road around them, and when they fail to do so, the accidents they cause can lead to injuries and fatalities.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a tractor-trailer accident in Rosenberg, TX, a lawyer can help you pursue financial awards. Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today at (713) 850-8600 to get started on your case.
The High Rate of Texas Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Texas has a substantially higher number of tractor-trailer accidents than any other state, and that number continued to increase between 2015 and 2018. The trucking and oil industries play a major role in the Texas economy, but the two can become a deadly combination.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) outlines the legal hours of service for certain types of truck drivers. Most must take a break per federal law after 11 consecutive hours on the clock.
The trucking industry as a whole employs over 185,000 drivers through 66,000 companies in Texas and brings in more than $22.5 billion per year. Trucks represent over 1 in 10 of all miles driven in Texas annually, and traffic congestion in major metropolitan areas can contribute to the danger of their presence on the road, as well.
In Fort Bend County in 2018 alone, 507 people suffered injuries in truck collisions. If you become a victim of a truck driver’s negligence, a tractor-trailer accident lawyer serving Rosenberg, TX can help you seek financial recovery for your injuries.
The Dangers of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), fatalities in tractor-trailer accidents typically involve those other than the truck driver. In 2018, car passengers accounted for 67% of all fatalities in collisions involving large trucks, and pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists made up 15% of those who suffered fatal injuries. In multiple-vehicle accidents involving tractor-trailers that year, passenger vehicle occupants comprised 96% of those who lost their lives.
The IIHS points out that the primary reasons for this increased risk involve the size and weight of large trucks. Tractor-trailers usually weigh 20 to 30 times more than other vehicles on the road, and they have a higher ground clearance, which allows vehicles to slip underneath them under certain circumstances. They also have a significantly longer braking time, which can present a danger to vehicles ahead of them on the road.
If a truck collision led to your injuries or the loss of your loved one, a tractor-trailer accident lawyer serving Rosenberg, TX can help you seek the financial awards you need to get back on the road to recovery. Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today at (713) 850-8600 to discuss your case with our legal team.
Establishing Liability in Your Tractor-Trailer Accident Case
In Texas, the person responsible for causing the tractor-trailer accident must provide coverage for the victims’ injuries. Victims and their loved ones can file claims against the at-fault party after establishing liability in their case.
Proving the Negligence of the Driver
An attorney can help you prove that the actions of the driver meet the four criteria for legal negligence:
- Duty of care: The driver had a responsibility to, within reason, maintain your safety.
- Breach of duty: By acting in a reckless manner or failing to act when appropriate, the driver breached their duty of care to you.
- Causation: The driver’s breach of duty caused your injuries or the loss of your loved one.
- Damages: Your injuries or loss incurred substantial financial damages.
Once you prove liability in your case, you can pursue legal action against the driver who caused your tractor-trailer accident.
Seeking a Fair Settlement
Victims usually receive financial awards for their injuries from the liable party’s insurance company. However, seeking an adequate settlement can prove challenging, especially on your own. Insurance adjusters often try to take advantage of victims by attempting to place all or part of the blame on them or underestimate the financial toll of your injuries or loss.
A tractor-trailer accident lawyer serving Rosenberg, TX can deal with the insurance company on your behalf and help you pursue a fair settlement amount.
Types of Financial Awards in Tractor-Trailer Accident Cases
Financial awards vary depending on the circumstances of your case, but you may have the opportunity to pursue recovery for your physical, emotional, and financial losses. Some of the types of awards you may receive include:
- Emergency medical care, medical equipment, and other injury-related medical costs
- Transportation to and from medical appointments
- Lost wages for the time you had to take off at work to recover
- Loss of earning capacity if your injuries prevented you from returning to work or you lost a loved one in the accident who provided you with financial support
- Pain and suffering, loss of consortium or mental anguish
- Funeral and burial expenses for a loved one who suffered fatal injuries in the accident
A lawyer cannot guarantee certain types and amounts of awards, but they can assess your damages and help you pursue adequate financial recovery.
D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ Can Help You with Your Case
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, our lawyers understand the devastating effects a large truck collision can have on the lives of victims and their families. Filing your claim alone may feel overwhelming, and you should not have to deal with the complexities of the legal system during this difficult time. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a tractor-trailer accident in Rosenberg, TX, contact us today at (713) 850-8600 to speak with our legal team about your case.