Texas has the highest number of crashes involving large trucks of any state, and a significant share occur in the Dallas metroplex. Because of the size and weight of tractor-trailers and semis compared to automobiles, when truck accidents occur, they often cause serious injuries or fatal injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicles. As a truck accident victim, you may be out of work for months or unable to return to work. You need a strong lawyer to help you get the compensation to put your life back together.
Truck driver errors and trucking companies’ disregard for safety cause many accidents. A truck driver and trucking company may be held financially responsible for the injuries caused by negligence. But trucking companies will try to avoid liability. You will need the help of a determined and experienced truck accident lawyer to hold a trucking company accountable for your injuries and losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a large truck, contact an experienced Dallas truck injury lawyer at Kraft & Associates. Based in Dallas, Kraft & Associates is an established, professional law firm. Our attorneys have been recognized by the Super Lawyers publication, in addition to being voted Top Attorneys in D Magazine, a local Dallas publication. We have the resources to stand up to trucking companies and insurance companies and demand a full and fair settlement that recognizes the seriousness of your injuries.
Call (214) 999-9999 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your legal options and to learn how our attorneys can help you pursue just compensation after a serious truck accident.
What are the Most Common Types of Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents happen in a variety of road and weather conditions. The types of truck accidents include:
- Jackknife accident — A jackknife accident refers to a truck accident in which the cab and the trailer of an 18-wheeler skid out of control and pivot toward each other. Truck jackknife accidents typically are triggered by sudden decreases in speed or the loss of traction by either the cab or the trailer. Cars or other vehicles in adjacent lanes may be struck by a big rig that has lost control and is jackknifing.
- Rear-end accident— Many truck drivers follow other vehicles too closely, given the distance required for a loaded truck to come to a stop. If traffic ahead of a truck slows or stops unexpectedly, a truck driver may be unable to avoid slamming into the vehicles in front. Rear-end accidents account for nearly a fourth of accidents involving large trucks.
- Underride collision— Large trucks sit higher off the road than automobiles. That creates the risk of accidents in which a car can slide under a truck trailer, causing devastating injuries to the people in the car. Federal laws require that most tractor trailers have underride guards on the back of the trailer. However, a serious issue with underride guards is that many of them are not sturdy enough to withstand the impact of a collision.
- Blind spot accident—Tractor trailers and other large trucks have large blind spots on all sides in which other vehicles cannot be seen. The blind spots around a truck are much larger than those around an automobile. If a truck driver loses track of vehicles beside it, the driver may try to change lanes and sideswipe the vehicle occupying the lane. It’s the duty of drivers to avoid accidents. Drivers have a legal responsibility to pay attention to the road and surrounding traffic to avoid an accident. After a blind spot accident, a commercial truck driver may be liable for making an improper lane change.
- Head-on collision—A drowsy truck driver may nod off and cross the center line of a road or highway, causing a head-on collision. Head-on collisions also occur in work zones when drivers get confused and fail to follow a sudden lane shift. Head-on collisions are rare, but when they occur they often cause devastating or fatal injuries.
- T-bone accident— T-bone collisions occur when one vehicle collides head-on with the side of another. They are also known as right angle or side impact collisions. T-bone truck accidents typically happen when a truck driver is unable to stop in time and runs through a red light or traffic signal. T-bone accidents involving large trucks pose the risk of a car sliding under the side of a truck trailer, which can cause catastrophic injuries.
- Brake failure accident—Large commercial trucks rely on air brakes, which require adjustment. A trucking company or a vendor contracted to service the company’s fleet of trucks may be financially liable for an accident caused by improperly adjusted air brakes or brake failure resulting from lack of proper maintenance. If the truck brakes fail due to a manufacturing defect, the manufacturer may be liable for the accident. Cases involving defective equipment require a detailed investigation directed by a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer working with qualified truck mechanics.
- Tire blowouts—A tire blowout can cause a driver to lose control of a big rig and cause a collision. Trucking companies and the maintenance companies that service their vehicles are responsible for making sure truck tires have adequate tread and that worn tires are replaced. Some tire blowouts are caused by tires with a manufacturing defect. A surprising number of tires are recalled because of defects. But many recalled tires are still in service on the road.
Commercial truck accidents are more complicated to settle than typical car accidents. A truck tractor and trailer may have different owners, and both may be partly liable. The truck driver may have separate liability insurance from the trucking company. Truck accidents require a careful investigation of the cause and identifying all those that may be held financially responsible.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
- Driver fatigue—Commercial truck drivers spend many hours on the road and are particularly susceptible to drowsy driving accidents. Many truckers don’t get enough sleep as they push to make tight delivery deadlines. Federal law requires truck drivers to take regular rest breaks to remain alert and avoid becoming dangerously fatigued. But some drivers disregard the hours-of-service limits and cause drowsy driving crashes. A drowsy driver is a dangerous driver.
- Distracted driving—Distraction is a serious issue for commercial truck drivers who may be distracted by navigation systems, on-board computers or simply communicating with their office. Federal law restricts commercial drivers from using handheld cell phones to make calls or pressing more than one button on a phone to dial a number.
- Speeding—Many truck drivers exceed the posted speed limit or drive too fast for the existing traffic conditions. Speeding reduces the time a driver has to recognize an accident and react to avoid it. The faster a big rig is moving, the more distance it requires to stop. Many truck accidents are caused by speeding.
- Tailgating—Truck drivers who follow other vehicles too closely may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision. Tailgating truck drivers often cause rear-end accidents and should be held accountable.
- Improper cargo loading— Cargo that is not properly secured may shift in transit or fall off a truck and create a highway hazard. A trucking company or company that loaded the cargo onto a trailer may be at fault for a truck accident involving improperly loaded cargo.
You will need to work with an experienced truck accident attorney who can conduct a thorough investigation to determine the accident cause and gather evidence to support your injury claim. Trucking companies may dispose of certain records such as vehicle maintenance records after a period of time, so you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
The Dallas truck accident trial lawyers at Kraft & Associates have been helping people injured in truck accidents since 1971. We are ready to help you, too.
Injured in a Truck Accident in Dallas? Contact Our Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you should not try to deal with the trucker’s insurance company on your own. Trucking companies will try to take advantage of your lack of familiarity with the claim process to avoid paying a fair settlement. We urge you to seek legal guidance as soon as possible to understand your legal options. Kraft & Associates handles cases on a contingency fee basis, so you will not owe any legal fee unless we win your case.
You need an experienced Dallas truck accident lawyer to stand up to the trucker’s insurance company and demand a fair settlement for you. We will gather your medical bills and other accident-related expenses and calculate the full impact of the truck accident on your life. We will submit a demand letter to the insurance company seeking a settlement that reflects the full extent of your injuries and their impact on your life and ability to work. We will negotiate aggressively and be prepared to file a lawsuit and go to court if necessary.
Keep in mind that you only have a limited amount of time to file a truck accident lawsuit in Texas. It’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to investigate the accident and gather evidence to support your claim. Call us at (214) 999-9999 or reach us online.