Truck crashes in Dallas often cause serious, life-threatening injuries that cause intense physical pain and leave victims with expensive medical bills and a variety of other damages.
At Anderson Cummings, our Dallas truck accident lawyers understand how difficult the aftermath of a truck crash can be. That is why we are prepared to pursue the driver and any other at-fault parties to try to hold them accountable and obtain fair compensation for all of the damages you are dealing with.
We have many years of combined experience taking on trucking accident cases and pursuing fair compensation. We understand the complexities of these accidents and how to build strong cases. When you contact us, you can schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation where we can determine if you may be entitled to compensation. If we take your case, we will provide our services on contingency so there will be no charge unless you receive compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Statute of Limitations for Dallas Truck Accident Cases
Like other personal injury claims in Texas, truck accident cases are governed by a two-year statute of limitations. This means that our attorneys have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If we do not file a case by that deadline, we will be prohibited from doing so.
This is why you should always contact a truck accident attorney in Dallas as soon as possible after a crash. It takes time to investigate and build a case that gives you a chance of obtaining compensation.
You might be thinking that this does not matter because you will probably pursue compensation through an insurance claim. However, insurance claims are not always successful, so you should always give us enough time to file a lawsuit if necessary.
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How We Can Help
There are many reasons why you should strongly consider working with an experienced Dallas truck accident lawyer on your case.
For example, trucking companies usually employ teams of lawyers and investigators after truck accidents. Their only goal is to find ways to deny you compensation or pay out as little as possible. You deserve a team of your own that is committed to building a strong case and doing what is in your best interest.
Without an attorney, these lawyers and investigators may try to bully you into accepting unfair compensation. They may also not respond to your inquiries in hopes that you will give up and accept what they are offering.
Some of the other reasons you should have a Dallas truck accident attorney include:
Truck Crashes are Complicated
If we take your case, there are many questions that we will need to answer, such as:
- Was the driver properly licensed?
- Did the driver or trucking company have adequate insurance?
- Was the driver fatigued behind the wheel?
- Was the driver distracted or on the phone?
Answering these and other questions will help us determine if the driver, his employer and others responsible for the truck or its cargo were following federal and state trucking regulations.
Another element of these cases that makes them more complicated is that numerous parties could be held liable, not just the driver, such as the:
- Driver's employer, also called the motor carrier
- Company that leased the truck
- Owner of the truck
- Truck manufacturer
- Repair shop that maintains the truck
- Cargo company that was responsible for loading cargo onto the truck
The truck accident lawyers in Dallas at our firm have detailed knowledge of these and the other factors involved in a truck accident case. We have dealt with these cases many times and know how to navigate these issues to build a strong case.
These Cases Require an In-Depth Investigation
It takes a strong case to prove someone else is liable for your injuries and you are entitled to compensation. The only way to build a strong case is to do a detailed investigation to collect evidence about the accident and your injuries.
Our Dallas truck accident attorneys understand what to look for and how to look for it when investigating these cases. We will take various steps to collect the evidence we need. This includes:
- Reviewing the police report
- Photographing the scene, damage to both vehicles, skid marks and any other relevant damage
- Collecting maintenance records to find out if the truck had any problems that contributed to the crash
- Reviewing cargo records to determine if the truck was overweight
- Finding and talking to witnesses to determine what they saw
- Reviewing video footage of the crash, if there is any
- Reviewing the driver's credentials to determine if he or she had the proper license
- Reviewing drug testing records to determine if the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash
- Reviewing time logs to see if the driver was in violation of hours of service limits
Schedule a free legal consultation today to find out how we can help with your case.
What Types of Compensation are Available?
Truck accidents can hurt you physically, financially and emotionally long after the crash has occurred. That is why there are numerous forms of compensation the law allows us to pursue. They are divided into three categories:
These are all the forms of compensation that have a monetary value assigned to them. Economic compensation includes:
If our truck accident lawyers in Dallas can prove that the driver or someone else is liable for your injuries, we may be able to recover compensation for all past, current and future medical bills from the treatment of your injury. This could include the cost of:
- Staying at the hospital
- Copays for appointments with medical professionals
- Transportation to the hospital in an ambulance
- Equipment you need for mobility, such as canes or wheelchairs
- Driving to appointments with doctors
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications to treat symptoms
- CT scans
- Blood tests
You will need to save all documentation (bills, receipts) of the medical costs from treating your injury to have a chance of obtaining compensation.
A severe injury can create physical limitations that make it difficult to do some of the things you used to do, like work. In some situations, your doctor will prohibit you from working because it might make your injury worse.
Fortunately, our truck accident attorneys in Dallas may be able to pursue compensation for wages you lost when you missed work because of your injury. This may include wages lost when you missed time at work because you were at a medical appointment related to your injury.
We will help you collect the proper documentation to try to ensure you receive all the compensation you deserve. This includes a letter from your employer noting the days and times you missed work because of your injury and your rate of pay. You may also need a note from your doctor showing that he or she told you not to work or that your physical limitations prevent you from working.
Lost Earning Capacity
No matter how well your recovery goes, you might never get back to the physical state you were in prior to the accident. This could mean that you will need to find a job in a different field or do a different job in your current field. These changes could have a severely negative effect on your future earning capacity, making it much more difficult to pay your bills and support your family.
A truck accident lawyer in Dallas can carefully review your situation to determine the difference between your current earning capacity and what it was prior to the accident. We will also account for your experience, skills and previous rate of pay to determine what your future earning capacity would have been.
These are all forms of compensation that do not have a monetary value attached. These are meant to compensate victims for the physical and emotional effects of their injuries.
Physical Pain and Suffering
You could be entitled to compensation for the current and future physical pain caused by your injuries. We will try to document the value of these damages by collecting medical records where doctors note your level of physical pain. We may also recommend that you keep a daily journal noting the level of pain you are experiencing.
Truck accidents are terrifying events that can cause posttraumatic stress and other emotional effects. Victims also experience mental anguish because of their physical pain, including:
- Trouble sleeping
We may have you evaluated by a psychologist or have this person testify to explain precisely how the accident has affected you emotionally.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The physical damage from the accident could make you unable to take part in sports or other recreational activities you used to enjoy. A Dallas truck accident lawyer can explain how to document these damages, including writing down a personal account of how you used to enjoy these activities and what you feel like now that you cannot.
Loss of Consortium
Truck accident injuries can also affect your relationship with your loved ones, including your spouse, children or a parent. If they lose love, affection, care and companionship because of your injuries, they could be entitled to compensation.
Obtaining compensation for this may require you or your loved testifying about specific details of your relationship.
These are different from the other two categories because they are not associated with any economic or non-economic loss you suffered.
According to Section 41.001(5) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, these are awarded as a penalty for an injury that is a result of fraud, malice or gross negligence. The goal of punitive damages is to punish the at-fault parties and attempt to prevent others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
Unlike economic and non-economic forms of compensation, there is a cap on punitive damages in Texas (Section 41.008(b)). Punitive damages cannot exceed one of the following two amounts, whichever is greater:
- Twice the amount of economic damages plus the amount of non-economic damages, up to a maximum of $750,000
Our trusted Dallas truck accident lawyers can review your situation to determine the forms of compensation you are entitled to and an accurate valuation of those forms of compensation.
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Types of Cases We Handle
The Dallas truck accident attorneys at our firm take cases involving many types of large trucks and commercial vehicles. This includes:
- Flatbed trucks
- Sanitation trucks, such as those that collect garbage and recycling
- Tow trucks
- Emergency response vehicles, like ambulances
- 18 wheelers
- Delivery trucks (UPS, FEDEX and U.S. Postal Service)
- Dump trucks
- Cement mixers
- Fire engines
These vehicles can be involved in many different types of crashes, such as:
- Jackknife crashes – These occur when the trailer on the truck swings away from the cab to form a 90-degree angle. These accidents usually occur when the brakes lock up.
- Tire blowouts – When a tire on a commercial truck blows out, it can cause the vehicle to lose control. This can also leave huge chunks of the tire in the road that other cars might not be able to avoid, particularly if they are on a major highway or interstate.
- Tailgating accidents –These crashes occur when a truck is following too closely behind another vehicle, which causes it to ram into the back of the first vehicle if it stops. Because trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles, the impact from these crashes is more likely to cause severe injuries.
- Cargo spills – These happen when cargo in the trailer or tank the truck is hauling spills out onto the road. Drivers could crash into the cargo or swerve to avoid it and collide with another car. Spills involving tanker trucks can be even more dangerous if these vehicle is carrying toxic or flammable substances. Other drivers could suffer burns or health problems from inhaling dangerous fumes.
- Rollovers – This is a crash that occurs when the truck rolls over on its side. This often happens because the trailer is overloaded or the driver attempted to make a turn too fast.
- Underride accidents – If you crash into the back of a truck, your vehicle could slide under it, putting you at increased risk of severe injury or death. This happens because the back of commercial trucks are much higher than passenger vehicles.
- Blind-spot collisions – These are crashes that occur when a truck hits a vehicle that is in one of the truck's blind spots. This is why you should always avoid traveling in a truck’s blind spots and attempt to get out of them as soon as possible.
If you were injured in a truck accident, schedule a free legal consultation with a truck accident attorney in Dallas to determine if you have a case.
Call (817) 920-9000 right now.
What Causes Truck Crashes?
In your free consultation, we will review the accident to determine the cause and if you have grounds for pursuing compensation.
While every accident is unique, there are several common causes of truck crashes, such as:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including stimulants to stay awake
- Lack of maintenance of the truck
- Failing to check blind spots
- Carrying more cargo than the trailer can safely handle
- Failing to properly tie down or secure cargo
- Fatigued or drowsy driving, including falling asleep while driving
- Employing a driver who has insufficient training or lacks the proper license
- Unrealistic delivery deadlines that cause drivers to operate their vehicles recklessly
- Distractions, including changing radio stations, texting and driving, or looking away from the road for some other reason
- Malfunctioning safety equipment designed to keep the truck stable and prevent crashes
- Disobeying traffic signs and rules of the road
Contact a Dallas truck accident attorney right now at (817) 920-9000.
Regulations That May Apply to Your Claim
When we are trying to determine the cause of your accident we will look for any evidence of a violation of federal or state regulations on the trucking industry.
Many accidents are caused by violations of the following regulations:
Hours of Service Rules
Truck drivers face tight deadlines that often result in them driving when they are tired or fighting off sleep. When this happens, one of the first things we will do is check to see if the driver was violating any hours of service regulations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces numerous regulations on the number of hours truck drivers can spend behind the wheel, including:
- 11-hour rule - Drivers can drive for a maximum of 11 hours after being off duty for 10 straight hours
- Rest breaks - Drivers are not allowed to drive if more than eight hours have passed since the last off-duty period of at least a half hour
- 14-hour rule - Drivers cannot drive beyond the 14th hour after coming on duty
- 60-hour rule - Motor carriers cannot allow drivers to operate their vehicles after they have been on duty for a total of 60 hours for a period of seven straight days
- 70-hour rule - Drivers cannot drive after they have been on duty for 70 hours over a period of eight consecutive days
Maintenance and Inspections
Under part 396 of FMCSA regulations, motor carriers are required to systematically inspect, repair and maintain the vehicles under their control. The purpose of this is to help ensure commercial trucks are not out on the road with mechanical problems or other issues that could result in a crash.
These regulations also require that the motor carrier maintain accurate records of maintenance of each vehicle, including the date and time when maintenance was performed and details on what was done.
Our experienced Dallas truck accident lawyers know how to examine these records to determine if proper maintenance was not performed or problems with the vehicle were ignored.
Accidents are often caused by trucks that are carrying too much cargo and violating weight limits. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles sets the following weight restrictions on commercial trucks:
- One axle can carry a maximum of 25,000 pounds
- Two axles can carry a maximum of 46,000 pounds
- Three axles can carry a maximum of 60,000 pounds
- Four axles can carry a maximum of 70,000 pounds
- Five axles can carry a maximum of 81,400 pounds
The weight of the vehicle can also not exceed the manufacturer's rated tire-carrying capacity.
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Contact a Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer Now
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you need an experienced Dallas truck accident lawyer who will stand up for rights. You need an attorney who will know what to look for in an investigation and how to use that information to build a strong case in favor of a victim seeking justice.
Our team of attorneys has experience handling complex truck crash cases and is skilled at negotiating settlements our clients are entitled to.
We offer a free, no obligation legal consultation where you can discuss what happened and we can determine if you may be entitled to compensation. If we take your case, you will not be charged for our services unless you receive compensation.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our Dallas truck accident attorneys today.