Truck accidents are one of the most serious—and deadliest—types of motor vehicle collisions. Semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and carry the potential to cause tremendous damage when operated irresponsibly. And while truck drivers are “professionals,” in that driving is their job, too often, truckers fail to take the necessary steps to ensure others’ safety.
Knowledgeable Plano Truck Accident Attorneys Ready To Serve You
If you were injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation for what you’ve been through. The Plano, TX truck accident attorneys at the Hartley Law Firm want to help. We represent accident victims and their families in a variety of personal injury claims, including accidents involving large trucks and other commercial vehicles. When you bring our legal practitioner onto your team, we promise to provide you with personalized representation, taking all the time necessary to understand your situation so we can cater our representation accordingly.
Plano Truck Accidents
Texas has the highest rate of truck accidents in the nation, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. For example, in 2019, out of the 3,870 fatal truck accidents in the United States, 517 occurred in the Lone Star State.
Located in Collin County, Plano has a total population of more than 287,000 people. The city is also located within the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area and rests at the intersection of several large highways. As a result, Plano sees a significant amount of truck traffic. Not surprisingly, there is a correspondingly high number of Plano truck accidents each year. In fact, according to the most recent data from the Texas Department of Transportation, there were more than 575 truck accidents in 2019.
Reasons for Plano Truck Accidents
Semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles are the largest vehicles on the road. This fact, alone, makes large trucks a serious threat to motorists. However, certain aspects of the trucking industry add to the dangers.
For example, most trucking companies pay truck drivers by the mile. This incentivizes truck drivers to stay on the road as long as possible, often to the point of fatigue. While state and federal regulations require truck drivers to take a certain number of breaks, truck drivers have come up with ways to get around these requirements by falsifying rest logs.
In an attempt to combat the fatigue that naturally comes with long hours on the road, some truck drivers consume over-the-counter or illegal drugs that compromise their ability to drive safely. For example, a truck driver may take stimulants to keep them awake. While this may work for a while, they will typically suffer a “crash” after the effects wear off, further decreasing their ability to remain safe and vigilant.
At the Hartley Law Firm, our Plano, TX truck accident lawyers are familiar with the common causes of truck accidents and know where to look to find liability. From the moment you bring us on your side, we will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to determine what the truck driver could have done differently to prevent it.
Determining Liability in a Plano Truck Accident Case
Truck accident cases fall under the umbrella of personal injury law. At its core, a personal injury case is a type of negligence case. But what exactly does this mean?
Under Texas law, to win a negligence case, you must be able to prove the following elements:
- The other party (the defendant) had a legal duty to act in a reasonable manner;
- This defendant subsequently breached that duty;
- The plaintiff suffered actual harm or damages; and
- The defendant’s breach of duty was the cause of the plaintiff’s damages.
Thus, to prove liability in a negligence case, you must be able to prove all four of these elements.
If you’re wondering how this might apply in a truck accident, you are not alone. Personal injury cases can be very complex and confusing.
In a truck accident case, the truck driver owes a legal duty to other drivers on the road to drive safely without distractions. A driver breaches their duty by partaking in certain actions—like texting and driving or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If this driver’s breach of duty causes an accident with another driver and that other driver suffers harm as a result, the truck driver will have caused harm and be liable for the injured party’s damages.
Determining liability in a truck accident case is no easy task. Thus, make sure to contact a Plano truck accident lawyer who can fight for your rights and help you gather the information you’ll need to prove liability.
Statute of Limitations in a Texas Truck Accident Case
Under Texas law, a person in most cases must file their personal injury lawsuit no later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues. This time limit is what’s known as a statute of limitations. Failure to bring your truck accident lawsuit within the appropriate amount of time usually results in being unable to bring a legal claim at all. Thus, it’s imperative that you speak with a Plano truck accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident to better ensure that you bring your claim before time runs out.
Additionally, it’s important to note that there are certain exceptions to this general statute of limitations timeframe in personal injury cases. For example, in a personal injury case that results in death, a lawsuit must be brought within two years of the date of death of the injured person, not necessarily the date that the initial accident occurred.
Wrongful Death Cases Arising from Fatal Plano Truck Accidents
The tragedy of losing a loved one is an experience we all must go through at some point in our lives. However, losing a loved one in a truck accident is entirely preventable. While nothing can bring back a loved one after a fatal accident, grieving families can pursue a wrongful death claim against the truck driver and, potentially, the trucking company.
A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury case that is filed by the surviving family members of a deceased accident victim. Under state law, spouses, children, and parents can bring a Plano wrongful death case following the death of their loved one. If successful, family members can recover damages to compensate them for their loss, including
- Mental anguish;
- Lost earning capacity;
- Lost care, support, and guidance; and
- Lost love or companionship.
In this way, a wrongful death claim can help families deal with the financial repercussions of their loss.
Have You Been Injured in a Plano Truck Accident?
At Hartley Law Firm, we accept injury cases involving:
- Auto vehicle accidents,
- Truck accidents,
- Motorcycle accidents,
- Uber & Lyft accidents, and
- Property liability.
If you were involved in a truck accident or you tragically lost a loved one due to a truck driver’s negligence, the Plano truck accident attorneys at the Hartley Law Firm are here for you. We represent injury victims and grieving families in personal injury and wrongful death claims. Our Plano truck accident attorneys are available for our clients, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To learn more, give us a call or contact us through our online form.
Plano Truck Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who Can Be Liable in a Plano Truck Accident Case?
Any negligent party, not just the driver, in a truck accident case can be held responsible. For example, if the trucking company didn’t conduct appropriate background checks or failed to provide adequate training to its drivers, and as a result, a driver causes an accident that results in injury to another party, the trucking company itself can be liable.
How Much Money Can I Recover?
Each case is different, so there’s no precise formula for determining how much money you may be able to recover. As a general matter, however, an injured party can recover monetary damages to compensate them for things such as medical expenses, lost wages and earning capacity, and pain and suffering. To learn more about what damages you might be entitled to seek, contact a Plano truck accident lawyer to discuss the particulars of your case.
Is It Okay to Speak with the Other Party’s Insurer Before Hiring an Attorney?
No rule that says you can’t speak with another party’s insurance company without first hiring an attorney. However, doing so is not advisable. The opposing party’s insurer does not have your best interest in mind. In fact, their goal is often to avoid liability on behalf of the truck driver or trucking company and get you to settle for as little as possible. Thus, the best way to protect your rights from the outset and help maximize your potential compensation is to work with a Plano truck accident lawyer who will fight for your rights on your behalf.