Carrollton Truck Accident Lawyers Provide Aggressive Representation to Accident Victims
The mere thought of driving alongside a semi-truck is enough to make some drivers uncomfortable—and for good reason. Commercial trucks are among the largest and most dangerous vehicles on the road. While, on some level, we trust truck drivers to exercise sound judgment and follow the rules of the road, in the back of our minds, we know that not all of them do.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent truck driver and, possibly, their employer. At the Hartley Law Firm, our Carrollton truck accident lawyers work closely with accident victims to help them through the process, aggressively advocating on their behalf at every stage of the lawsuit. We understand that you may not be ready to file a claim tomorrow, and that’s understandable, but if you have questions and want to learn about your options, please give us a call.
Texas Ranks #1 for Deadly Truck Accidents
Texas is an enormous state, with highways of all sizes stretching in every direction. With three cities containing more than a million people, large trucks are commonplace on Texas roads. In fact, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Texas sees more fatal truck accidents than any other state. For example, in 2019, out of 3,870 fatal truck accidents in the United States, 517 were in Texas. Thus, while less than 10% of all people in the U.S. live in Texas, the state is responsible for 13% of all fatal truck accidents.
Carrollton, in particular, gets a significant amount of trucking traffic. As a community located squarely between Dallas and Fort Worth, we have several major highways traveling through the city, and a handful of others are just a stone’s throw away. As large trucks navigate these large highways and the smaller suburban streets of Carrollton, truck accidents are an unfortunate reality.
Causes of Carrollton Truck Accidents
If truck drivers always paid attention to the road and followed the traffic laws, the vast majority of accidents could be avoided. However, history tells us that while most truck drivers take their responsibilities seriously, some do not. The following are the most common causes of truck accidents.
Truck drivers are under enormous pressure from their employers to get to their destination as quickly as possible. In fact, trucking companies pay drivers per mile to incentivize them to cover as much ground as possible per day. Thus, it is common for truck drivers to drive past the point of fatigue, putting everyone on the road at risk.
Anyone who has been on a long road trip knows that spending hours upon hours on the road can get boring. To combat this boredom, truck drivers may engage in certain dangerous activities, including talking or texting on the phone, watching in-cab televisions, or fiddling with their CB radio. While these may pass the time, they also remove the driver’s attention from the road.
Drunk and Drugged Driving
While driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal, many truck drivers rely on a variety of substances to help keep them alert or to pass the time. However, these substances reduce a truck driver’s awareness and decrease their reaction time. Additionally, as their bodies metabolize the drugs or alcohol, it is common for truck drivers to experience extreme fatigue, further compromising their ability to safely operate a truck.
Truck drivers are responsible for checking their rigs each time they head out on the road. This includes checking the tires, brake system, lighting systems, and mirrors, as well as inspecting their load to ensure it remains secure. When this isn’t done, it increases the chances of an equipment failure, which can cause the trucker to lose control of the vehicle. To be fair, some Carrollton truck accidents are not the truck driver’s fault. In some cases, a defective part may be responsible for an accident, in which case the manufacturer may be liable.
At the Hartley Law Firm, our Carrollton, TX truck accident lawyers are skilled at investigating an accident to determine its cause. We know where to look to see if a truck driver was on the road too long or was using their phone in the moments before an accident. With our help, you can rest assured that your case is in capable hands.
Truck Accident Injuries
No two truck accidents are the same. Therefore, injuries can vary greatly. However, because semi-trucks have the capacity to cause extensive harm, resulting injuries can be quite serious. Common kinds of injuries include:
- Fractured or broken bones,
- Head and neck injuries,
- Back injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis, and
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
The more severe the injuries, the more time you’ll need to recover and the higher the medical expenses. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to discuss your case with a Carrollton truck accident attorney.
Financial Compensation for Truck Accidents
After a truck accident, you can likely expect mounting expenses and lost wages. Fortunately, you may be able to collect damages after your accident. Damages help cover various financial losses related to your truck accident. Damages can be economic or non-economic in nature, and can include:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Lost earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering,
- Mental and emotional anguish,
- Physical impairment, and
Damages can be challenging to calculate, and you may not know the full extent of what you are owed. Your Carrollton truck accident attorney will collect evidence and documentation to help calculate the right amount of damages to help you recover financially.
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident
In truck accidents, there are a number of parties that may be liable for the crash. Generally, the responsible party depends on the specific factors of the accident. For example, if the accident is the result of operational error, like the driver being distracted, liability may fall on the driver and, possibly, their employer. However, if the crash happened due to equipment failure, the manufacturer, owner, or inspector of the truck may be responsible. Since liability depends on the unique circumstances of the crash, it’s important to retain a Carrollton truck accident attorney. They can review all the facts of the case and identify the party responsible for your injuries.
What Makes Truck Accident Cases Unique?
While some might assume truck accident cases are similar to auto collisions, there are many significant differences between the two. These characteristics can make your case slightly more difficult to navigate and require the skill and expertise of a Carrollton truck accident attorney.
Semi-Trucks Cause More Damage Than Vehicles
First and foremost, trucks are clearly larger and heavier than a regular car. Due to this massive size and weight, trucks can cause much more property damage and injuries. Major damage and severe injuries can add a layer of complication and often lead to more expenses for victims. Truck accident attorneys work that much harder to recover for their clients after experiencing a truck accident.
Trucks are Highly Regulated
Semi-trucks must follow many federal regulations and safety standards. These laws and regulations can be hard to understand and make truck accident cases much more difficult. Truck accident lawyers are well-versed in this area, giving them the knowledge needed to handle your case.
Semi-Trucks Require Larger Insurance Policies
You may be familiar with auto insurance policies, but trucks are required to have much more insurance coverage due to their size, weight, and capacity to cause significant damage. Insurance companies are difficult to deal with, but much more so when so much money is on the line. A Carrollton, TX truck accident lawyer will know how to handle insurance companies and communicate in an efficient manner.
Truck Accident FAQs
If you’ve been in a truck accident, you probably have many questions about the process. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get from potential clients.
Should I Seek Medical Attention Even If My Injury Seems Minor?
Absolutely. There are several injuries that may present as mild pain at first but then evolve into something more serious. In addition, if you don’t seek medical help after the accident, the trucking company and their insurance company may use that fact to deny your claim. Even if the injury seems minor, get medical treatment just in case.
What Claims Should I File After a Truck Accident?
There are several claims you may need to establish after your truck accident. Here are just a few of the claims you should consider to help get you started:
- Liability claims against both the driver and their employer,
- Personal injury protection (PIP) claim through your insurance policy, and
- Medical payments (Med-Pay) claim, either through your policy or the other party’s policy.
If you have any difficulties identifying the claims you need to file, our experienced Carrollton truck accident lawyers can help.
Who Is Responsible If the Truck Driver Was an Independent Contractor?
Typically, when an employee causes injury while acting in the scope of their employment, their employer can be held vicariously liable for their actions. But a company generally cannot be held liable for the negligent actions of an independent contractor. However, there are exceptions, and an experienced Carrollton, TX truck accident attorney can help you determine whether they apply in your case.
Can I Recover Compensation If I’m Partially at Fault?
Your recovery depends on the amount of fault assigned to you by the court or jury. Texas follows a modified comparative negligence doctrine for personal injury cases. This means that, under Section 33.001 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, a claimant may only recover compensation if their share of fault is 50% or less. In addition, the court usually reduces the total award by the claimant’s percentage of fault. For example, if you make a claim for $100,000 and the court finds you 25% at fault, you would receive a final award of $75,000.
Should I Settle My Case or Go to Trial?
It depends. Each case needs to be evaluated on an individual basis to determine the best possible outcome. There are many instances where litigation may not be necessary. However, this depends on a number of factors, including:
- The severity of your injuries;
- The amount of time litigation may take; and
- Case expenses for gathering evidence, hiring expert witnesses, etc.
This is why it’s important to consult a Carrollton truck accident lawyer that has experience in settling claims and taking cases to trial.
Contact the Carrollton Truck Accident Attorneys at the Hartley Law Firm Today
If you’ve recently been seriously injured in a truck accident, our Carrollton truck accident lawyers can help you understand your rights and pursue a claim against the truck driver responsible for your injuries. In some cases, you may be able to bring a claim against the trucking company, which can increase your chances of collecting the full amount of damages you are owed. At the Hartley Law Firm, our Carrollton truck accident attorneys put people first. We understand that being involved in an accident is very stressful, and you are not looking to add to your already significant burdens. That is why when you bring us on to handle your claim, we will take care of everything, so you can keep your focus on your recovery and getting your life back to normal.
- Auto vehicle accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Wrongful death claim
- Sexual violence
To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with our Carrollton, TX truck accident attorneys, give us a call at 469-289-6063 or connect with us through our online form.