Every year, millions of people in the United States experience motor vehicle accidents, and thousands of them lead to severe injuries and fatalities. When those accidents involve tractor trailers, occupants of passenger vehicles have an even greater risk of suffering injuries. These injuries often have devastating effects on victims’ lives, causing lasting physical pain, emotional distress, and financial instability.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious or fatal injury in a collision with a semi truck in Bexar County, a tractor trailer accident lawyer in San Antonio, TX, can help you pursue financial recovery. Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, today at (713) 850-8600 to speak with our legal team about your case.
Texas Tractor Trailer Accidents
More truck accidents occur in Texas than in any other state. In 2018, the state reported more than 37,000 tractor trailer collisions. 1 in 20 took place in Bexar County. The San Antonio metropolitan area saw more truck accidents that year than every county in the state except for Harris County (Houston) and Dallas County.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 4,136 people lost their lives in accidents involving tractor trailers across the U.S. in 2018. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports that 616, or nearly 15% of all fatal truck accidents in the country, occurred in Texas.
Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents
Researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) conducted a study of more than 2,800 truck accidents in 20 counties in Texas to determine their causes. In many instances, they found that human error played a significant role in preventable accidents that simple measures like attentiveness and technology could help truck drivers avoid. Some of the most prevalent driver-related causes discovered included:
- Failing to stop
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Using the wrong lane
- Improper lane usage
One of the most common factors, driver fatigue, accounts for many at-fault tractor trailer accidents. The study notes that driver training and company policies may help decrease these instances, which result in a 270% increase in the risk of injuries and fatalities in multi-vehicle accidents involving trucks.
If a truck driver’s negligent or reckless acts caused the collision that led to your injuries or the loss of your loved one, a tractor trailer accident lawyer in San Antonio, TX, can help you hold them accountable for your damages. Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, today at (713) 850-8600, and a member of our legal team will contact you to discuss your case.
Dangers of Tractor Trailer Accidents
In most tractor trailer accidents, the truck driver does not suffer serious injuries. The IIHS states that passenger vehicle occupants accounted for 96% of those who suffered fatal injuries in accidents involving semi trucks in 2018.
Overall, passenger vehicle fatalities resulting from multiple-vehicle collisions with tractor trailers accounted for 1 in 5 of all traffic fatalities that year.
Tractor trailers have inherently dangerous features because of their size and weight, especially for other vehicles on the road. When loaded, they can weigh up to 30 times more than passenger vehicles, and they require substantially longer to stop. This increases their risk of hitting a vehicle in front of them, while their higher ground clearance increases the risk of cars slipping underneath the trailer, causing a collision.
A Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer Serving San Antonio, TX, Can Help You Prove Liability in Your Case
Holding the truck driver accountable for your injuries requires establishing their liability for your accident. An attorney can help you do this by proving that the truck driver’s actions meet the legal requirements for negligence. Essentially, they can demonstrate that the driver had an obligation to maintain your safety on the road and breached that duty, causing the injuries or loss that led to your damages.
Types of Evidence That May Help Your Case
A tractor trailer accident lawyer in San Antonio, TX, may collect many types of evidence to help establish liability and build your case against the at-fault party. Documents and other information they may gather include:
- Photos and videos from the scene of the accident
- Photos of your injuries
- Medical records and statements
- Police reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Cell phone records
- The truck’s black box information
In some cases, your testimony may help an attorney prove fault, as well.
A Lawyer Can Handle an Insurance Company for You
When you file a claim for damages in a tractor trailer accident, the at-fault party’s insurance company typically holds responsibility for covering your damages. However, insurance companies often care more about cutting into their profits than providing you with sufficient financial recovery. They may try to find a way to blame you for the accident or undermine your injuries, making settling on your own difficult.
A lawyer can help you by handling all communication and negotiations on the insurance company on your behalf to pursue a fair settlement amount for you.
Texas Statutes of Limitations on Tractor Trailer Accident Claims
Texas has its statutes of limitations, or time frames, during which victims and their families may file tractor trailer accident claims. In most cases, victims who file personal injury claims to pursue financial recovery for their injuries have two years from the accident date to do so, according to Texas law.
Similarly, loved ones usually have up to two years from the date of the victims passing to file a wrongful death claim for the damages incurred by their loss. However, Texas limits who can file a wrongful death claim to certain family members.
Regardless of how much time you have to file your claim, filing as soon as possible can help you avoid potential delays and prevent you from missing out on your opportunity to pursue legal action in your tractor trailer accident case. A lawyer can help you determine if you can file a claim and get started on the process right away.
Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, Today
D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, understands the struggles you and your family face due to your tractor trailer accident. We can help you seek accountability and financial compensation in your case. Call our legal team today at (713) 850-8600 to speak with us about your case evaluation.
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