A semi truck can cause a lot of property damage. Commercial vehicles are larger and heavier than standard cars and trucks, which can also make accidents they cause bigger and more expensive.
Commercial vehicles can also cause damage without getting into a collision. Poor maintenance or negligence can cause parts, tires, and hauls to come loose from the vehicle and damage other vehicles, buildings, and people.
You have the right to seek reimbursement for losses you suffered, whether you or a family member were driving or walking. A commercial vehicle accident lawyer serving Tyler, TX, can help you start the legal process of seeking payment for losses. Contact the team at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ by calling (713) 850-8600.
Damages And Losses From Commercial Vehicles
Any vehicle collision can cause physical and material losses. Big 18-wheeler trucks can magnify the usual accident damages. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the state had more than 37,600 accidents involving a commercial vehicle in 2018—26 in Tyler County alone. Types of accidents from a commercial vehicle can include the following.
Big trucks take longer and more distance to stop. If you have to stop suddenly, a commercial vehicle following too closely can hit you from behind. A rear-end accident can result in:
- Damage to your trunk, vehicle frame, and exhaust system.
- Destruction to the front of your vehicle from being pushed into another car.
- Personal injuries, such as whiplash, bruising, and broken bones.
- Personal losses, like possessions in your trunk or vehicle.
Your injury and property damage could be even worse if you were on a motorcycle. Being hit from behind on a motorcycle can cause permanent damage and disabilities. Even with a helmet and the proper riding gear, you can experience serious injuries. The force can also shove you forward and into other traffic.
When a commercial vehicle “jackknifes,” the tractor-trailer folds and the trailer becomes out of control. A semi truck can jackknife when the driver suddenly hits the brakes, and the trailer keeps moving forward.
An uncontrolled trailer can cause a huge amount of damage to a number of vehicles in an instant. A trailer sliding across multiple lanes can hit several cars. Jackknifed commercial trucks can also rollovers.
Blind Spot and Underride
You may have seen the signs on the back of trucks, “If you cannot see my mirrors, I cannot see you.” Due to the commercial vehicles’ size, truckers have huge blind spots that prevent them from seeing vehicles driving on each side. Motorcyclists, specifically, are much harder for drivers to see.
Some causes for blind spot accidents include:
- Illegal lane change.
- Distracted driving, such as being on a mobile phone.
- Being tired or fatigued.
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Being sideswiped by an 18-wheeler truck can cause severe injuries when your vehicle goes under the tractor-trailer. Commercial trucks without the proper and legal guards can crush a vehicle’s protective roof. Wrongful death can occur when cars become trapped under large vehicles.
Usually, a blown tire only affects the vehicle and its driver. A faulty tire on a commercial vehicle, however, can harm others. Commercial vehicles are also more likely to experience tire failure since they make long commutes in short periods.
If a tire comes loose, the trucker could lose control of the vehicle and collide with a car, person, or building. The tire could:
- Hit another vehicle.
- Smash into a windshield.
- Roll into a pedestrian.
You may even suffer an injury or accident from the shredded remains of a commercial tire. These rubber pieces are thicker, bigger, and stronger than passenger tires. They can damage the undercarriage of your vehicle just by driving over them.
Commercial Vehicle Lawsuits
Texas law states that you have two years to file a lawsuit for personal injury. A commercial vehicle accident lawyer in Tyler, TX, from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can help you get started with the legal process.
A legal team can also investigate and help gather evidence to support your claim. Like many vehicle accidents, you must deal with the insurance company rather than the driver. The driver’s employer is typically the policyholder.
If the commercial vehicle is a truck, the manufacturer of the truck or its parts might have some degree of full or partial liability in your accident. This may be the case if a manufacturing or design flaw or faulty component caused or contributed to the accident.
Our investigation will uncover the at-fault party or parties. We can also handle all contact and communication with the relevant insurance companies. This includes navigating the settlement negotiations process on your behalf.
Evidence We Compile to Support Your Right to Recovery
Pursuit of damages in your commercial vehicle accident case will help steer the negotiation process. Its strength can even result in a settlement versus a lengthy trial. Because the car is part of a commercial fleet, you might also find it difficult to access the information you need on your own.
Our familiarity with state and local personal injury and insurance law means we know what steps to take on your behalf. Our commercial vehicle accident team can collect:
- The commercial driver’s logbook
- Vehicle or fleet maintenance records
- The driver’s driving record and history
We also obtain a copy of your truck accident report. It will contain details of the collision presented in an objective manner. We use these details to substantiate your case.
The Value of Your Police Report
Investigating a commercial vehicle accident and proving its cause often starts with many of the details captured in your police report. It will tell our investigators how to contact:
- The commercial vehicle driver
- The company that employs him
- The company’s insurance provider
- Anyone who witnessed the accident
In addition to contact details, your police report will tell us any factors that contributed to the accident. These can include whether the driver was distracted, intoxicated, or disregarded Texas’ rules of the road.
It will also indicate points of contact, vehicle damage, and contain notes and diagrams from the investigating officer. We will obtain a copy of this report and explain its value in building your case.
Read about Our Law Firm’s Client-Focused Legal Support
When we take on new clients, our goal is to provide responsive, communicative legal service and support throughout your experience. Our previous clients say:
- Amber Lutz: “I’m so glad I hired D. Miller and Associates to represent me on my case! After being involved in a car accident I was unsure of what to do or what to expect!! D. Miller and Associates help through everything! Thank you, Andy, and your team!!”
- Monica Cardenas: “Dennise had helped me through my case. She was knowledgeable, and helpful every step of the way. Especially when it came to the medical treatment. She kept in touch with all details during the duration of the case. I would most def recommend to friends and family.”
Financial recovery for every injured client is our goal. We are passionate about holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions and helping our clients throughout their physical and financial recovery. Read more reviews that talk about working with our personal injury team on our client testimonials page.
Who to Sue in a Commercial Vehicle Accident
In most cases, the driver’s employer is responsible for the consequences of an accident, even if the driver caused the collision. This is particularly true when the cause of the accident lies with the company, such as not maintaining vehicles by doing routine repairs and checks.
However, the business’s insurance provider is who will pay your financial recovery. Representatives from insurance companies are not looking to help you. These businesses are for-profit and will try to pay you little to no reimbursement.
A commercial vehicle accident lawyer in Tyler, TX, can negotiate for you to reach an amount that can help you pay your:
- Medical bills.
- Vehicle repairs and replacement.
- Mental anguish.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Recovery for wrongful death.
While the team at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can fight for your financial recovery, the ultimate decision to accept the settlement is up to you. Should you decide to turn down the amount, your legal team can take your case to court.
You can strengthen your case by providing evidence to the defendant’s representatives. You can show medical bills and records if the amount you seek pertains to health care expenses. Likewise, testimony from medical professionals can explain how bad your injuries are.
We have helped people like you seek financial recovery. Healing after a serious accident requires time and energy, and so does pursuing a lawsuit. Call us at (713) 850-8600 to get help for your commercial truck accident case.