Commercial vehicles are a mainstay on our Texas roadways. These trucks carry goods to and from our borders, providing a valuable service that drives our local economy. Unfortunately, these vehicles can also be dangerous. If you sustained injury or lost a loved one in a collision involving a semi-truck, it’s essential to understand your legal options – and when to contact a Fort Worth semi truck accident attorney.
Texas recorded 35,635 accidents involving commercial motor vehicles in 2017. In Tarrant County, commercial trucks caused 18 fatalities and 64 serious injuries. A semi-truck accident could cost a victim thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages, as well as debilitating injuries. Victims may be eligible for financial compensation through legal action.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Fort Worth truck accident, contact us to discuss your legal rights. The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. may be able to help you obtain recovery for your damages. Taking legal action after a semi accident may be the right choice if a negligent truck driver or trucking company contributed to the crash.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
With hundreds of semi-truck collisions occurring every day, victims should know they are not alone. Learning the most common causes of truck accidents in Fort Worth could help victims understand what happened to them. Although each case is unique, the same risks and hazards tend to cause most truck accidents. Identifying the cause of the crash is often necessary to determine the defendant, or the at-fault party.
- Road conditions. A dangerous road could cause a semi accident by forcing a truck off the road, popping tires, or causing drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Dangerous road conditions may stem from negligent road maintenance or an unsafe construction zone. The city of Fort Worth could be responsible for road-related truck accidents if it reasonably should have noticed and repaired the problem prior to the crash.
- Blind spots and inadequate surveillance. Large trucks have enormous blind spots, or No Zones, in which drivers cannot see surrounding vehicles. The No Zones extend 30 feet behind the truck, 20 feet in front, one lane to the left, and two lanes to the right. It is a truck driver’s responsibility to carefully check blind spots and pay attention to the road to help prevent collisions. Distracted or negligent driving could cause an accident.
- Brake problems. Commercial trucks need more braking power to stop, as they can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Brakes must stay in perfect condition to operate efficiently. Trucking companies and fleet owners must inspect their trucks daily to ensure brake and component safety. Brake problems from poor maintenance or a product defect could be an issue that causes an accident. The trucking company or manufacturer could be liable in these situations.
Truck accidents can happen because of the negligence or carelessness of others. When trucking companies, truck drivers, property owners, or product manufacturers fall short of accepted standards of care, others can get hurt. If you believe a preventable hazard such as a road defect or bad brakes caused your recent truck accident in Fort Worth, consult with an lawyer immediately. You may have the right to bring a claim against the at-fault party for your damages.
Types of Injuries Truck Accidents Can Cause
A semi-truck can weigh about 20 times as much as the average passenger vehicle. In a collision between the two, the weight of the semi will turn into energy the smaller vehicle will absorb. The impact from these collisions can be catastrophic for motor vehicle drivers and their passengers. A truck accident can cause a range of serious and life-threatening injuries, from internal organ damage to traumatic brain injuries. A few injuries are more common than others.
- Bone fractures. A bone will fracture if something places too much external pressure on it. Broken bones are painful injuries that can cause weeks to months of disability.
- Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries can cause permanent paralysis, or loss of feeling and function. Spine injuries can occur in truck accidents when the spinal cord suffers a fracture or severs.
- Head and brain injuries. Blunt force trauma to the head can cause skull fractures and brain injuries. Brain injuries can cause lifelong physical and cognitive disabilities.
- Burn injuries can happen in auto accidents if a vehicle catches on fire. Severe burns can be permanently disfiguring or disabling.
- Internal injuries. The impact of a truck accident can cause the organs to collide with one another. Trauma to the abdomen or chest can cause damage to the liver, spleen, kidneys, heart, and other organs.
Truck accident injuries are often fatal. A victim may not be able to survive the severity of his or her injuries. If you a lose a loved one to wrongful death in a truck accident, you may still have the right to file a civil claim. The at-fault party could be liable for damages if he or she negligently or intentionally caused the collision.
Who Is Responsible for Damages?
Responsibility for damages, or a victim’s losses, will come down to the party accountable for the proximate cause of injuries. Proximate means the main cause of injury. The responsible party in a truck accident could be the truck driver, for an act of negligence that caused the wreck. This could be true if the truck driver breached an hours-of-service regulation, drove drunk or drowsy, was texting and driving, or otherwise broke the rules and caused a crash. If a truck driver caused the wreck, the trucking company will most likely be vicariously responsible.
Federal law holds a trucking company liable for truck accidents, even if the crash involved a leased truck and an independent contractor. The trucking company’s insurer may have to cover damages if fault lies with a truck driver, the company, or another company employee. Another responsible party could be a product manufacturer, especially if a defective seatbelt or airbag contributed to the victim’s injuries. Truck owners, leasing companies, cargo companies, and property owners are other potential liable parties depending on the situation. Many cases involve the shared responsibility of multiple parties.
Texas is an at-fault insurance state. That means victims in auto accidents must identify the at-fault party before they begin the claims process. The claim will then go to the insurance company of the at-fault party. Trucking company insurers often try to convince victims to settle for as little as possible, or for nothing at all. As a victim, protect your rights by hiring an attorney. An attorney can strengthen your negotiations with trucking company insurers and fight for just compensation.
Why Choose Our Firm?
The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., has the experience you need for a strong Fort Worth truck accident claim. Attorney Aaron A. Herbert has more than a decade of experience, and has taken over 50 cases to trial throughout Texas. He is one of less than 2% of lawyers in the state who is Texas Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law. His substantial trial experience in personal injury law gives him the power to take serious cases where they need to go.
Aaron and his associates have extensive knowledge of evidence, legal processes, and trials. He commands attention in the courtroom, and knows how to get a strong message across to a judge and jury. He can paint a picture of the victim’s damages, relying on expert witnesses, crash re-enactment, and other proven methods to demonstrate the severity of damages. If Aaron cannot obtain a financial award for his clients, he will charge them $0 in attorney’s fees. Learn more about your truck accident case during a free consultation with our firm. Contact us today.