After you or a loved one are injured in a collision with a big rig, you need an experienced Dallas truck accident lawyer. Julie Wolf of Wolf Law PLLC will work to help you build a strong case against the driver, trucking company, and any other at fault parties. Her goal is to secure the maximum compensation available so you can heal from your injuries with peace of mind.
Commercial trucks are a normal part of traveling the highways around Dallas, as they deliver freight 24 hours a day, every day of the week. Their large size, heavy weight, and large blind spots mean they are at risk of causing severe injuries to anyone who is involved in an accident with one. For example, when a truck swerves to avoid debris on the road, many other vehicles can be impacted in all lanes of travel.
Dallas Texas Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) lists several causes of commercial truck accidents. Factors such as distracted or impaired driving, poor vehicle maintenance, speeding, and reckless behavior create risks for the truck driver and others on the road. Another common cause of Texas trucking crashes is defectively manufactured automotive component parts, such as tires that are not able to withstand the stress of long-haul driving.
Trucking accidents could injure other drivers and passengers quickly and often result in complicated lawsuits because multiple parties can be held legally responsible. In addition, if a truck rolls over and spills hazardous cargo such as chlorine gas, entire communities may be affected and at risk of injury. Understanding exactly who is at fault can be complicated and requires the help of a skilled truck accident attorney.
The most common types of truck accidents include but are not limited to:
- Truck Rollovers: When a truck rolls over and ends up on its side or roof, people can get hurt or killed. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to traveling too quickly along a curved stretch of road, truck driver inattention, and the condition of the big rig.
- Head-On Collisions: Head-on accidents with trucks are caused by distracted driving, being unfamiliar with the roads or route, bad weather that limits visibility, driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and more.
- Jackknife Accidents: When a large truck folds in half at a 90-degree angle into a V-shape, that is a jackknife accident. Common causes include brake failure and other mechanical failures that can be caused by inadequate truck inspections and maintenance.
- Wide Turn Accidents: Semi-trucks made wide turns because they are too large to turn in the same small radius as a passenger vehicle. Wide turn truck accidents occur because trucks have to turn from one lane over from the turn lane in order to make a turn. Accidents can occur if a truck driver fails to use a turn signal, swings the back of their truck too far outside of the lanes from which it is turning, enters a turn lane too quickly, and more.
- Rear-End Collisions: These accidents are more dangerous when they involve a truck because of the truck’s weight, how long it takes a truck to brake and stop, and the propensity to cause multi-vehicle collisions. Rear-end truck accidents often occur because of faulty brakes, impaired driving, speeding, and defective truck lights, among other causes.
- T-Bone Crashes: A T-bone collision is also known as a broadside impact, which occurs when the front of one vehicle crashes directly into the side of another vehicle, putting the two vehicles into the shape of a “T.” T-bone truck collisions rarely occur without serious truck driver error or a trucking defect.
- Sideswipes: Also called blind spot accidents, these truck accidents happen when the side of a truck swipes or hits the side of another vehicle on the road. In addition to blind spots, these accidents can also be caused by driver inattention, failing to stay in a lane, not signaling for lane changes, improperly adjusted mirrors, and more.
- Tire Blowouts: Tire blowout truck accidents are largely preventable. If a truck driver and trucking company properly handle tire maintenance and take recommended repairs seriously, many blowouts can be avoided. A defective tire can be forced to “blow out” due to a pothole, heat, cargo overload, excessive braking, and more.
- Underride Accidents: An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle crashes into a big rig and slides underneath it. There are both side underride and rear underride collisions. When a car goes under a truck, its roof can be crushed or ripped off and catastrophic injuries and death can easily occur.
- Lost Cargo Load Accidents: If someone is driving near a truck and it tips over, spilling its cargo across the road or highway, a lost load accident can occur. A lost cargo load accident can be caused by overloading a truck, improperly securing the cargo load, and/or an imbalanced load.
Truck Accident Claims
Once you have hired your lawyer, they will begin helping you gather evidence to determine and prove who is at fault. Evidence of what contributed to the truck accident is critical for negotiating with insurance companies or convincing a judge or jury of your claims. A qualified Dallas truck accident lawyer will be able to access documentation such as:
- Accident reports from police
- Truck maintenance records
- Training records for the driver
- Photos and video of the weather, road, and traffic conditions
- Photos of damage and injuries at the scene
- Manufacturer records for production of any parts that failed
It is not always the truck driver who is responsible for a collision involving their tractor trailer. As you uncover more about what happened, you may find that you can sue the trucking company, vendors for the cargo, and/or parts manufacturers. For example, consider these factors:
The Truck Itself
A commercial truck has thousands of component parts that could break and/or be poorly maintained. A careful truck driver cannot always control whether a tire blows out or a brake line malfunctions. If they are a contractor who does not own the truck, the fleet owner is likely responsible for the vehicle maintenance.
When trucks pick up freight, it is up to the vendor or distributor to load it properly. If a driver is hauling live cargo, such as cattle, the maneuverability of the truck can be heavily affected by their movement during transport.
In heavy rain or snow storms, truck drivers have limited visibility and even less time to react than other motorists. If debris or potholes cause a car in front of them to swerve, the truck driver can easily lose control while trying to compensate for this danger. The swerving driver or whoever left the debris may be held liable in some cases.
Truck Accident Compensation
Being hurt in a collision with a truck usually causes truck accident injuries ranging from serious to catastrophic, or even death. Many victims are disabled permanently and will require lifelong medical care. Settlements for truck accidents can be thousands to millions of dollars, although every case is unique and must be decided on its own merits.
Your lawyer can assist you in developing a full list of your losses, usually in the form of economic damages (those with a tangible cost) and non-economic damages (those that are more subjective). The compensation you seek in a truck accident case will cover damages such as:
- Loss of income
- Loss of inheritance
- Hospital bills, such as for surgery, ICU, or ER
- Travel for medical care
- Home nursing care
- Rehabilitation costs and physical therapy
- Prescription medications
- Medical devices
- Repair or replacement costs for your car
- Coverage for household services (e.g., cleaning, cooking, and home maintenance)
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Your truck accident attorney will negotiate with insurance companies for the trucking company and/or other defendants to achieve a fair settlement for your losses. If they are unable to come to an agreement, Wolf Law PLLC will move forward with an aggressive lawsuit and trial strategy. In recent years, truck accident claims have yielded extremely high awards in jury trials across Texas and through the country.
Contact Dallas Truck Accident Attorney Julie Wolf
If you have been the victim of a truck accident, you may be overwhelmed at the thought of trying to negotiate compensation while you heal from severe injuries. You need help navigating the complex legal system from someone dedicated to seeing you receive the justice you deserve.
Julie Wolf is a skilled Dallas truck accident lawyer ready to negotiate with insurance representatives and opposing counsel who are trying to limit what you are owed for your losses. She will fight to ensure you have the financial security you need to recover fully and continue your life. She is a compassionate, experienced lawyer who is here for you and your family.
Call the offices of Wolf Law PLLC at (972) 338-4477 today to schedule a free consultation.