According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,134 fatal truck crashes occurred in 2020. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that our state leads the nation in large truck crashes with 580 fatalities that same year. Most truck accidents are caused by negligence and could have been prevented.
If you were injured in a truck accident in Plano, you deserve accountability and justice. The Law Office of Edward W. Sampson wants to help you during this difficult time. Our truck accident attorneys have over 25 years of experience helping accident victims in Plano, Dallas, and North Texas recover the compensation they deserve. This includes extensive experience handling complex truck accidents. Contact us or call today at (214) 617-3223 for a free case review.
What Makes Truck Accidents Different?
If you were involved in a truck accident, it is important that you work with a law firm that has experience dealing with these specific types of accidents. Truck accidents are often much more complex than other types of motor vehicle accident claims because they involve:
Multiple parties may share in responsibility for the accident. This can lead to a blame-game in which each party tries to pin responsibility on another party. It can also make the process of negotiations more complicated because your attorney may be trying to negotiate against multiple parties at the same time.
Commercial trucks weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds and may carry hazardous materials. For these reasons, various state and federal regulations are in place to try to protect other motorists on the road. If a truck company or driver violated these regulations and that contributed to the accident, they may be responsible for the damages they caused.
These regulations apply to various areas, including:
- How drivers are qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle
- Licensing requirements
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Pre-trip inspections of trucks
- Securing processes so the load does not shift or fall during transit
- Hours of service rules that dictate when drivers must take mandatory rest breaks
- How miles and other information must be logged
- Record-keeping requirements
Because commercial trucks are usually much larger than passenger vehicles, the damages that occupants in passenger vehicles suffer are often considerable. This means that trucking companies and insurers have a lot more to lose, so they will likely fight aggressively to try to deny or minimize your claim.
A personal injury lawyer who is experienced with handling these types of claims will know how to best prepare and present your case to maximize your potential for recovery.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
Truck accidents can be caused by many reasons. Some of the most common reasons for truck accidents include:
- Fatigued driving
- Drug or alcohol impairment
- Mechanical or auto part defects
- Inexperienced drivers
- Not obeying traffic rules
- Unsecured cargo
An experienced truck accident lawyer can conduct an investigation into the accident and determine what caused it and who is responsible for it.
Who Is Responsible for a Trucking Accident?
Some of the parties who may be partially or completely liable for a trucking accident include:
Truck drivers do not always drive in a safe manner. They are incentivized to deliver loads quickly, which may cause them to take safety shortcuts, such as:
- Attempting to multitask on the road
- Lying about their hours of sleep or miles driven
- Not conducting pre-trip inspections of the truck
- Not carefully securing loads
Many truck drivers work as independent contractors and may be directly responsible for the harm they cause.
Trucking companies owe many duties to other motorists who share the roadways with their drivers. If their failure to uphold these duties causes an accident, they may be financially liable for the consequences. Some of these duties include:
- Hiring qualified drivers
- Supervising drivers
- Drug and alcohol testing drivers
- Maintaining trucks in a safe manner
- Following federal and state regulations that apply to them
- Responding to safety concerns
In some situations, truck drivers use a truck that they lease from a person other than their employer. Depending on the circumstances, the truck’s owner may be responsible for maintaining it. If they fail to maintain it and a mechanical defect causes the accident, the owner may be responsible for the damages that result.
Many trucking companies delegate maintenance of their fleet to a third party. This third party is responsible for checking trucks regularly, identifying potential problems, and making necessary repairs. If negligent maintenance was conducted and an accident occurred as a result, the maintenance company may be responsible for the accident.
Cargo Loading Company
The company that loads the cargo onto the truck may also be outsourced to a third party. If this is the case, that company is responsible for ensuring the load is tied down securely and will not shift during transit. Cargo spills or crashes caused by weight imbalance may be the cargo-loading company’s negligence.
Possible Compensation You Can Recover in a Truck Accident Claim
Texas law gives accident victims the right to recover compensation for the full extent of the damages they suffered, which may include:
- Medical expenses for past, current, and future medical treatment for injuries caused in the accident
- Lost wages for time missed from work
- Lost or reduced earning capacity, if the accident left you permanently disabled or required you to take a lower-paying job
- Costs to repair or replace your vehicle and other damaged personal property
- Pain, suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by the accident
An experienced truck accident lawyer can evaluate your claim and explain what it might be worth.
Contact Our Experienced Plano Truck Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a truck accident in Plano, reach out to The Law Office of Edward W. Sampson for help. We are board-certified in Personal Injury Trial Law, a distinction bestowed upon less than 5% of Texas lawyers. We focus exclusively on personal injury law and obtaining maximum compensation for accident victims and their families. Contact us or call us today at (214) 617-3223 for a free case review.