It only takes a moment for a crash in Arlington, Texas, to turn your life upside down. If your accident involved a truck, an Arlington truck accident lawyer from Domingo Garcia could handle your case, leaving you free to rest and recuperate.
You do not have to go through this process alone. A lawyer could help you hold the negligent party accountable if you were hurt or your family member died because of the collision.
Texas Laws on Weight Limits for Trucks
In addition to federal laws that govern the weight of semi-trucks on interstate highways, Texas has regulations for trucks that operate on non-interstate highways in Texas. For example, single-axle trucks can weigh up to 20,000 pounds. Trucks with tandem axles can weigh up to 34,000 pounds.
Weight restrictions are a safety issue because heavy trucks take longer to stop and deliver a more forceful blow on impact.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Arlington, call (214) 941-8300
CDC Suggestions to Prevent Company Vehicle Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that employers can help reduce the number of company vehicle crashes, like tractor-trailer collisions, by arranging work schedules to reduce fatigue. Trucking companies can also make the roads safer by having strict policies about speeding and distracted driving.
It can help when the employer purchases company vehicles with safety features like lane departure warning devices, collision prevention systems, and other advanced electronic safe driving features.
Arlington Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me (214) 941-8300
Our Results in Truck Accident Cases
When you have catastrophic injuries, or your family member lost their life in an accident, you need a law firm that can get you results.
Our experience in handling injury claims from truck accidents speaks for itself. Here are just a few examples of the settlements we have won for our clients:
- 18-Wheeler Truck Accident settlement $8,750,000
- Tractor-Trailer Accident – multiple injuries $1,191,560.52
- Fatal Truck Accident $1,000,000
Click to contact our Arlington Personal Injury Lawyers today
How Trucking Accidents in Arlington Affect Victims
Getting injured in an accident with a large commercial truck can be devastating, particularly if you did nothing wrong. For example, you were going about your business, driving carefully, and out of nowhere, you found yourself in a crash. Things can happen quickly from that point, for example:
- Your vehicle could have thousands of dollars of damage or get totaled. After a significant collision, the value of your vehicle goes down substantially, even though it might look brand new after getting repaired. Therefore, you will not get as much money when you go to trade in your car one day. Also, you might be out of pocket hundreds of dollars for the deductible.
- You could get sidelined from work and lose a lot of money. Lost wages are nothing to minimize. Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck. If your pay goes away without warning after an accident because you cannot work while you are healing from your injuries, you might find it extraordinarily difficult to cover basic living expenses. Paying your rent for mortgage, utilities, and groceries might be an insurmountable challenge.
- Even if you get well enough to work again, you might not have a job to return to. Your boss might have needed to fill the position quickly. So, you might not have another paycheck coming in for a while on top of the paychecks already missed.
- You could suffer severe physical wounds that might never heal completely. As a result, you might not be able to perform the same functions you could before the accident. As a result, you may well have to live with chronic pain for the rest of your life.
- You could have significant psychological harm from the trauma of the accident, your physical injuries, and how the experience has changed your life.
Domingo García cannot magically restore your life to how it was before the crash, but we can fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your trauma.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Federal Hours of Service Regulations for Commercial Trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) explains the Hours of Service Regulations for drivers carrying cargo. Here are some of the rules that apply to drivers of commercial trucks:
- A driver is not allowed to drive more than 11 hours, and that must follow ten consecutive hours off duty.
- After a driver has ten consecutive hours off duty, they are not allowed to drive later than 14 hours after returning to duty, even if they had some off-duty time during the 14 hours.
- The driver must take a 30-minute rest break when they reach the point of driving a total of eight hours without a 30-minute break. The rest break must be at least 30 consecutive minutes long.
These regulations are for the safety of the truckers and everyone else on the road.
Proving Liability in Truck Accidents is Complex
People tend to assume that the truck driver is at fault in an accident. But, in reality, there might be multiple parties at fault. Therefore, we look for carelessness that could have contributed to the crash. When we find additional potential defendants, we might be able to make a claim for compensation from them for your losses.
The person driving the truck is not automatically responsible for the accident. The trucker must have done something wrong that meets the standards of negligence. For example:
- The truck driver had a legal duty to obey traffic laws and drive carefully.
- The truck driver’s conduct did not measure up to that legal standard because they were filming a live stream of their life on the road. Failing to devote one’s full attention to the act of operating a motor vehicle violates the duty of care and is negligence.
- The collision must be the result of careless behavior. The truck operator did not notice that traffic had slowed down for road construction because they were distracted by performing and filming their live stream. As a result, the truck crashed into a car that had slowed down in front of them.
- The people in the car suffered severe injuries in the collision.
This hypothetical scenario meets all the legal requirements to find the truck driver liable for the losses of the individuals in the car.
The truck driver’s employer could have legal responsibility if they encouraged or pressured their drivers to exceed the maximum number of hours of driving allowed under the law. The purpose of requiring drivers to pull off the road and get some rest at specified intervals is to prevent wrecks caused by fatigue or drowsiness.
Another way that the company could be liable is if they were negligent in the drivers’ hiring, training, supervision, or discipline.
- The company could be guilty of negligent hiring practices if it failed to perform background checks, including driving records of potential employees. However, if an appropriate background check had revealed a problem that should have prevented the company from hiring the driver, the company could be responsible also.
- Negligent training of truck drivers can cause collisions when a driver lacks the skills or knowledge necessary to handle a big rig safely.
- A trucking company has a duty to supervise its drivers. The company puts people behind the wheel of massive machines capable of causing devastating injury or death. Engaging in the transportation of cargo requires trucking companies to perform regular checks to make sure their drivers have not had their licenses suspended or revoked, been convicted of a DWI, or caused any accidents.
- Finally, trucking companies have a duty to take action when they discover that one of their drivers is a danger to the public. Failure to discipline a driver in response to a moving violation, crash, DWI, or another event that is inconsistent with safe driving can expose the trucking company to liability.
There are multiple scenarios in which the truck driver and trucking company can legally be responsible for an accident.
Cargo Loading Company
Cargo loading on tractor trailers requires careful precision. The weight of the load must get balanced and distributed correctly. Also, the cargo must get secured, so it does not shift or slide during transit.
A failure of either principle of cargo loading could cause a rollover accident, a fishtailing event in which the trailer moves side to side out of control, or a jackknife accident in which the tractor and the trailer are still connected. Still, they form an acute V angle rather than a straight line. In addition, the company that loaded the cargo could be liable for an accident caused by their negligence.
Mechanics who work on trucks have a heightened duty of care because these vehicles can cause much more harm than a standard passenger car. If a mechanic makes a mistake when performing work, like repairing the brakes or installing a new tire, and that error causes or contributes to a crash, the mechanic could be responsible.
Manufacturer of Truck or Parts
Faulty truck parts or defectively designed trucks can cause accidents. For example, a defective tire can have a blowout. Substandard brakes could fail. A defect in the design of the truck’s steering mechanism could make the 18-wheeler difficult or impossible to control.
Sometimes people in cars or pick-up trucks engage in risky driving maneuvers around tractor-trailers. For example, let us say that you were in the traffic lane to the left of a semi when a speeding car in the far-right lane recklessly cut in front of the truck.
The truck driver instinctively turned the wheel to the left to avoid clipping the car that pulled in front of it. Unfortunately, the large truck sideswiped your vehicle as a result. In this scenario, the driver of the speeding car caused the collision.
Types of Intangible Losses After an Accident with a Large Truck
Some losses a person can experience after a trucking collision in Arlington do not necessarily come with paperwork like receipts that make them easy to measure in terms of dollars. Still, we can include these items in our claim for monetary damages. Some of these intangible losses are:
- Disfigurement. A person can have disfigurement if they have large, visible scars from their wounds.
- Pain and suffering. This type of monetary damage is for physical discomfort and the inconvenience and emotional distress of the accident and one’s injuries.
- Chronic pain. After completing their medical treatment and healing to the fullest extent possible, some people will go on to experience chronic pain for years.
- Disability. A person who suffers devastating injuries might not be able to live independently or care for themselves financially or physically. After enjoying years of good health, it can be a significant blow for a person to become disabled.
- PTSD. Experiencing a traumatic event like a horrific truck accident with catastrophic injuries or fatalities can cause a person to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This psychological condition can make it challenging for the individual to maintain long-term employment or have social relationships.
- Loss of enjoyment of life. When a person can no longer perform certain activities because of permanent impairment from their wounds, the individual might not enjoy their life as much as they used to.
You might have additional intangible losses that could get included in your truck accident injury claim.
Types of Accidents That Can Occur with Commercial Trucks
Because of their large size and configuration, commercial trucks can experience different types of accidents than standard passenger car accidents.
- Cargo can shift during the drive due to improper loading.
- The vehicle in front of the truck could suddenly slam on its brakes.
- An animal could dart in front of the truck.
- A car behind the truck might crash into the rear, propelling the truck out of its path, particularly if the vehicle strikes the back of the truck at an angle.
- A speeding truck might not have enough time to safely maneuver around road hazards or changes in traffic speed. In this situation, the truck driver might steer sharply, then over-correct, leading to losing control of the truck or its trailer.
- A distracted trucker might not notice an obstacle until just before impact, also causing a sudden steering change, which could make the trailer fishtail.
A car can run into the back of the truck. The vehicle might slide under the rear, decapitating the driver and passengers in the vehicle.
Uneven pavement taken at too high a speed can cause the truck to flip.
Debris on the Road
An item dumped on the street or that fell off of another vehicle could create a collision as cars try to avoid the object.
One-Vehicle Truck Crash
A single-vehicle crash could result from the driver having a medical emergency, falling asleep at the wheel, being distracted, or equipment failure like a tire blowout.
This type of accident is another way a car can slide under the truck, this time from a side impact. There is a high rate of fatalities when a vehicle hits the side of a truck and rolls under.
Head-on collisions are more dangerous than side or rear-impact collisions because the speed of each vehicle heading straight at each other creates a much greater force on impact than other types of crashes.
Two-lane roads on the outskirts of Arlington can be the location of unsafe attempts to pass other cars. When a vehicle driver makes the wrong judgment on whether they can complete a passing maneuver, this situation can result in hitting a semi-truck traveling in the opposite direction head-on when the passing vehicle does not have enough time or distance to overtake the car in front of them completely.
Types of Physical Injuries Victims of Truck Accidents Suffer
Crashes involving large trucks have a high number of severe injuries, including:
- Head injuries like concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal injuries like herniated disks
- Fractured legs, ribs, arms, and back
- Punctured lung
- Internal organ damage
Often, these catastrophic injuries are fatal.
Recoverable Damages After a Semi-Truck Crash in Arlington
The actual categories and amount of money damages you can pursue after a collision with an 18-wheeler in Arlington will depend on the facts of your situation. However, here are some examples of the types of compensation a person might recover from the party whose negligence caused the accident:
- Past lost income. If you did not get paid for the time you could not work while recuperating from your injuries; you have a claim for lost wages.
- Past medical expenses. Typically, you can include the reasonable cost of the healthcare intervention needed to treat your wounds from the truck accident.
- Past pain and suffering. Your past pain and suffering damages can start at the moment of the collision and go forward until your claim gets resolved. This category of loss honors the physical discomfort, emotional distress, and inconvenience of getting hurt because of someone else’s negligence.
- Future diminished earning capacity. You might not be able to earn as much money in the future because of limitations from your truck accident injuries.
- Future medical expenses. Some individuals may need ongoing medical care after their case gets resolved. For example, if your kidneys were damaged due to abdominal injuries from the accident, your doctor might reasonably contemplate that you will need dialysis treatments.
- Future pain and suffering. Facing a lifetime of pain can be disheartening. Chronic, ongoing pain can justify an award of damages. Also, your mental distress from your wounds can constitute suffering.
- Scars and disfigurement. If the injuries you received left large or visible scars or other types of disfigurement, you might have a claim for monetary damages.
- Long-term care. People who suffer life-changing wounds, like severe head trauma or spinal cord damage, might not be able to live in a typical home environment. If they need daily assistance with medical treatments or personal care, they might need to move into a nursing home or have home health care and assistance.
- Disability. Sometimes, truck accident injuries leave a person incapable of supporting themselves through gainful employment.
- Loss of independence. You might have had the luxury of being able to get up and engage in activities that interested you, like social outings, travel, or simply going for a walk unassisted. Unfortunately, severe injuries could limit or prevent these activities for the foreseeable future.
- Diminished quality of life. If you have impairment from your injuries, you might not be able to engage in things that brought you joy, like being able to stand up on your own or pick up your child. Whatever it is you can no longer do, being unable to do that activity again in the future could bring sadness to your life.
- Home modifications. A person with devastating injuries might need modifications to their home, like a wheelchair access ramp.
- Mobility equipment. If your wounds from the truck accident affected your mobility, you might need to purchase a wheelchair, an adaptive vehicle, and other mobility equipment.
At Domingo Garcia, we will investigate your truck accident case and look for the various types of monetary damages for which you might make a claim.
What to Do if You Lost a Family Member in the Accident
Truck crashes can cause fatalities. If your loved one lost their life because of a truck accident, you might have a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. Texas law allows legal beneficiaries to pursue a wrongful death claim for compensation.
Services Our Law Firm Provides to Victims of Arlington Truck Accidents
Perhaps this is your first experience working with a law firm on an accident claim. Here is a summary of what you can expect from a truck accident attorney from our firm if we handle your claim. Our attorney will:
- Investigate your claim
- Build your case and gather evidence
- Keep you informed
- Work directly with the insurance company
- Negotiate for a settlement
- Review settlement documents
- File a lawsuit, if necessary
- Perform discovery
- Get ready for trial
- Handle the trial
We will be there for you at every stage of the legal process.
Contact an Arlington Truck Accident Attorney to Get Started Today
If you were injured in a truck accident, our team is ready to talk to you. It is easy to start the process. Contact us to get a free initial consultation. We are proud to offer bilingual services for our clients.
Our Arlington truck accident lawyers do not charge upfront legal fees at Domingo Garcia. We work on a contingency-fee bases and do not get paid until we secure a settlement for you.
Call or text (214) 941-8300 or complete
a Free Case Evaluation form