Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been hurt in a commercial truck accident, this devastating event may impact your life thoroughly and indefinitely. Severe injuries can cause long-term health issues, reduce your capacity to have a career and gainful income, and impede your ability to experience life fully.
Fortunately, our Dallas truck accident lawyers at Domingo Garcia are available to investigate your claim, work to negotiate a fair settlement, and help you pursue compensation for your losses.
The attorneys at Domingo Garcia have a history of successful truck accident settlements including:
- $8,500,000 settlement after a sleepy truck driver veered onto the shoulder, striking a disabled vehicle
- $5,000,000 when an overworked truck driver caused a fatal accident
- $9,000,000 when a child suffered a traumatic brain injury after a commercial vehicle accident
Why You Should Call a Dallas Truck Accident Attorney at Domingo Garcia
After an accident, there can be a long list of issues that need to be taken care of, often quickly. Our personal injury attorneys have years of experience in guiding clients through these challenging times. Below are just some of the ways a truck accident attorney at Domingo Garcia can help you:
- Our truck accident lawyers in Dallas, TX have the knowledge and experience to handle complex truck accident cases.
- The attorneys will investigate the accident, gather evidence, and do research to help the victim’s claim.
- A truck accident lawyer can negotiate with the trucking company and their insurance provider to try to reach a settlement.
- If a settlement cannot be reached, a truck accident lawyer can represent the victim in court.
- These attorneys can help the victim understand their legal rights and options.
- It is important to act quickly after a truck accident, as there are strict time limits for filing a claim.
- An attorney can also help the victim get the medical treatment they need and arrange for payment of medical bills.
- A truck accident lawyer in Dallas, TX can protect the victim’s rights against insurance companies that often come in with offers far lower than the client deserves.
Contact Domingo Garcia today for a free consultation to learn about your rights and have any questions you may have answered.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Dallas, call (214) 941-8300
Liable Parties in a Dallas Truck Accident
Commercial truck accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, many are due to the negligence of individuals who work on or drive trucks. Unlike personal vehicles, truck drivers don’t always own or maintain the truck or oversee the cargo it carries. As such, the driver may not necessarily be at fault. Your attorney will have to investigate the accident thoroughly to determine who was negligent.
Parties who may be liable for your truck accident include:
The Truck’s Driver
The driver is in direct control of the truck before and during the accident. For that crucial reason, the driver is most often the negligent party. There are a number of ways a driver can be negligent on the road. Most careless driving behaviors are recognized as illegal traffic violations and include:
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
- Disobeying traffic signs and right of ways
- Driving while distracted by the radio, phone, etc.
- Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or other substances
- Driving drowsy when trying to meet deadlines
- Failing to signal turns or lane changes
- Braking too late or failing to stop soon enough
- Being oblivious or cutting off other motorists
- Poorly navigating cramped roadways with tight turns
- Driving an overloaded truck
Liability is based on the circumstances of your Dallas truck accident. If the truck driver was on the clock at the time of the accident, the trucking company could be held legally responsible for your injuries and other losses.
The Trucking Company
Trucking companies shoulder a lot of responsibility in their everyday operations. Indeed, a trucking company must not be negligent in their business practices to prevent accidents and liability claims.
Duties of a trucking company include:
- Vetting all new drivers to ensure they have a safe driving record
- Ensuring all drivers are adequately trained and licensed for commercial trucking
- Ensuring all trucks meet government-mandated safety standards
- Permitting government inspectors open access to their trucks
- Regularly and thoroughly maintaining their trucks—either by themselves or a third party
- Ensuring the cargo is loaded safely and evenly—either by themselves or a third party
- If the trucking company fails in one or more of these obligations, it may be liable for damages
The Cargo Loading Company
Trucking companies often load their own cargo. But they sometimes outsource this task to a third-party company. Nonetheless, improperly loaded cargo can be dangerous and cause accidents regardless of who loads it. And this danger is magnified when hauling hazardous materials like oil, gas, or chemicals.
The cargo’s weight must be evenly distributed. Too much weight on one side or the upper portion of the trailer makes it unbalanced or top-heavy. In addition, unsecured cargo may slide around and cause weight to shift to one side. Both of these poor loading practices increase the risk of rollovers.
Moreover, overloading a truck makes stopping harder in general—or impossible when going downhill, leading to runaway trucks. Accordingly, whoever loads the cargo must be mindful of its destined shipping route.
The Maintenance Company
As with cargo, trucking companies sometimes outsource the maintenance of their trucks. In these cases, the trucking company relies on the maintenance company’s expertise to know whether the trucks are safe.
For example, a negligent mechanic might overlook burned-out brake pads. This mistake could cause the truck to run a stop sign and collide with another car.
The Truck’s Manufacturer(s)
An 18-wheel big rig is a complicated machine with hundreds of components. Many of these parts are made by different manufacturers, then assembled and sold by a brand-name truck manufacturer. Therefore, if a defective part causes an accident, the manufacturer could be liable for damages.
Manufacturer quality control duties include:
- Regularly testing and certifying all components and the materials used to make them
- Issuing recalls when a product is found to be defective
- Taking customer complaints seriously
- Providing information or instruction manuals and necessary warning documents with each part
Proving that a product was defective and caused an accident can take significant time and effort. So, if you believe a defective product injured you, consider retaining a Texas product liability attorney to help you with your claim.
Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me (214) 941-8300
How a Dallas Truck Accident Attorney Proves Negligence and Liability
In a truck accident claim, you and your attorney must demonstrate that the party responsible for your accident (e.g., the truck driver) is liable for your losses. Liability in these cases is typically based on proof of negligence—a legal concept established through the following elements:
- Duty of care: The truck driver owed you a duty to drive cautiously and follow traffic laws and trucking regulations. Moreover, they were required to exercise reasonable care to avoid harming you.
- Breach of duty: The truck driver failed or “breached” their responsibility to you, as evidenced by traffic violations, acts of carelessness, or making a preventable error. Examples include speeding, failing to yield, or driving while intoxicated, distracted, or fatigued.
- Causation: The truck driver’s breach caused the accident, resulting in your injuries and losses.
- Damages: You suffered financial, physical, or personal losses that are quantifiable and warrant compensation in a settlement or lawsuit.
A Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You Pursue Compensation
As noted, commercial truck accidents can be catastrophic, and the costs of medical care and lasting disability can be extensive and result in crippling financial losses. These losses are also known as damages and can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Medical care bills, such as emergency care, surgery, hospital stays, doctor’s visits, rehab, medications, etc.
- Long-term care for disability or permanent injuries
- Lost wages due to missing work after the accident and during recovery
- Diminished earning capacity, or the inability to perform at the same level you once did. This can lead to job loss or taking a job that pays less or has fewer benefits.
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium/companionship
- Physical impairment
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life
Our Dallas truck accident lawyers can help you calculate current losses based on bills, receipts, and potential future losses for further health care.
While putting a price on non-economic damages such as emotional distress is more challenging, a lawyer can help you estimate what these might be worth in a settlement or lawsuit.
Domingo Garcia Truck Accident Settlements
Domingo Garcia’s client Abraham Guajardo was injured when struck by an 18-wheeler truck owned by United Van Lines. The driver failed to yield when approaching an intersection and turned around unsafely, which caused the truck to collide with Mr. Guajardo’s vehicle. The final settlement awarded to the client was $573,479.
Another truck settlement our firm recovered for a client was $1,000,000 for wrongful death.
Our Dallas Truck Accident Attorney Can File a Wrongful Lawsuit
If a family member was fatally injured in a semi-truck accident, your attorney could pursue wrongful death damages for you and on behalf of your loved one, including the following:
- Loss of the decedent’s benefits or inheritance
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The decedent’s outstanding medical care bills
- Lost wages for taking off work due to the decedent’s injuries or death
- The decedent’s pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium or companionship
For more than three decades, Domingo Garcia has helped families of truck accident victims pursue compensation for a loved one’s loss. We can also seek a financial award to help compensate for your and your loved one’s losses.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
How Domingo Garcia Dallas Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
Our legal professionals understand that accidents involving enormous commercial vehicles can result in catastrophic tragedy and loss. We want to support and guide you through the process of recovering the money you need to pay for your injuries or your loved one’s death. Our attorneys will do everything possible to make your circumstances better, including the following:
Handle the Ins and Outs of Your Case from Start to Finish
Our job as personal injury attorneys is to have expert knowledge of civil law and know how to navigate that law within the confines of the legal system and court procedures. We must ensure you understand your rights and identify and implement legal strategies to help prove your case.
We also must inform our clients of recent developments and provide them with options and recommendations for how to proceed. Also, when you come to us with concerns, we need to address those matters.
From the initial investigation through to the conclusion of your case, we will constantly be working to achieve the best outcome for you. This requires collecting documentation and other evidence to prove a party is liable for paying for all the losses you’ve sustained due to their negligence or irresponsible actions.
Document and Evidence Collection
To determine who you should be held legally responsible for your truck accident, we will gather the following vital documents and others on your behalf:
- Your medical records and bills
- Mechanics’ bill for vehicle repair or determination of total loss
- The accident report or other police reports and traffic citations issued at the scene
- Surveillance video from nearby homes or businesses that caught the accident on camera
- Logs maintained by the truck driver and the trucking company regarding the vehicle’s use
- Maintenance and repair records from the company responsible for ensuring the truck is in good repair and safe for operation
- Consult with experts, such as medical specialists and accident reconstruction experts, who can help support your claims
- Take statements from anyone else with knowledge of the accident as to its cause and who might be liable
- When the investigation is complete, you and your attorney should know who you will seek compensation from and how much
Settlement Negotiation and Court Representation
Once we identify the at-fault party, their insurance company will be the one approached to pay for your losses. Your attorney will provide evidence to convince them they are liable for compensation and that it’s in their best financial interest to agree on a fair settlement.
It is probable, however, that they will not agree to your initial offers. Instead, they will likely make a counteroffer less than what you are asking and are entitled to receive. Therefore, from this point on, your attorney will haggle with the insurance company and legal team to secure a fair settlement.
During negotiations, your lawyer will also refute arguments made by the insurance company or legal representatives intended to undermine your claim. For example, they may try to blame you or another party for the accident or allege your injuries are not as severe as you portray them.
Finally, if necessary, we can take your truck accident lawsuit to trial, and your attorney will present your case. Then, the court will decide if you deserve compensation and how much from the trucking company or liable party.
Why do Dallas Truck Accidents Occur?
Commercial truck accidents happen due to many of the same factors that contribute to passenger vehicle collisions. Unfortunately, negligence on behalf of a truck driver, owner, or repair company can lead to more significant property damage, injuries, and deaths. Examples include:
- The driver was going too fast for weather conditions, failed to yield, or disobeyed other traffic laws
- The driver was driving while intoxicated, distracted, or tired
- The driver was careless, reckless, or lacking in sound judgment
- The trucking company allowed a driver who was not sufficiently experienced or trained to operate a truck
- The trucking company pressured the driver to make deadlines, thereby violating trucking regulations and hours-of-service requirements
- The company responsible for the vehicle’s safe operation failed to identify or correctly repair a faulty truck part or system malfunction
If another party’s negligence caused your truck accident, we don’t want you to face the financial recovery process alone. Instead, we can help you pursue the compensation you need to cover your losses, focus on healing, and reclaim your life.
Types of Dallas Truck Accidents
Semi-trucks are wide, long, and cumbersome. Therefore, drivers must be specially trained and licensed to maneuver them safely without accident. Big rigs are also much heavier than ordinary passenger vehicles. As a result, accidents involving them wreak greater devastation and often result in personal injury claims. Types of truck accidents include the following:
This type of accident is the most common and occurs when a truck collides with the rear end of another vehicle. Typically, rear-end accidents happen when the truck fails to see the vehicle in front slow down or stop. Most rear-ending accidents cause only cosmetic damage, but they can be catastrophic when a semi-truck is involved.
Side-Impact or “T-Bone” Accidents
This kind of accident occurs when a truck hits the side of another vehicle. Unfortunately, T-bone collisions are perilous to the person sitting on the impacted side. These typically transpire when a negligent driver runs an intersection’s red light or stop sign and hits a crossing vehicle.
Head-on collisions are usually the worst. These occur when a truck and another vehicle hit head-on while going in opposite directions. Semi-trucks are both durable and massive. So, any passenger vehicle hit head-on by a big rig will sustain terrible damage, even at low speeds.
Cargo can spill out onto the road if the trailer doors come unlatched or the truck rolls over. Indeed, many people may be injured if a semi-truck dumps flammable chemicals on the road that end up exploding. However, most cargo items could endanger other motorists when they are strewn across the road.
A jackknife is when the back end of a semi-truck’s trailer swings out and around toward the front cab. These sometimes happen when a truck brakes too hard or turns too fast when the road is wet or icy. Jackknifed trailers can collide with other vehicles or even roadside pedestrians and become obstacles for other cars to hit.
Semi-truck rollovers are commonly caused by unbalanced cargo or loose cargo shifts during sharp turns. When a truck’s load is heavy enough to overturn its trailer, it can crush any vehicles caught under it. Like a jackknifed trailer, an overturned truck may be hit by other drivers.
Severe Injuries Experienced in Dallas Truck Accidents
If a Dallas truck accident left you catastrophically wounded, most of your financial losses will likely be related to these injuries, including the following:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Partial or full paralysis
- Accidental or surgical amputation
- Severe scarring and disfigurement
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal bleeding, including brain bleeding
- Organ damages
- Crushed or broken bones
- Muscle or nerve damage
- Severe burns requiring skin grafts
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Severe physical pain
- Eye damage causing low vision or blindness
Traumatic injuries like these can result in long-lasting and permanent physical impairments, deformities, and complete loss of function in one or more body parts. They can also result in cognitive challenges, emotional distress, and a lifetime of grief.
The more severe and enduring the injury, the greater the compensation you can seek and are likely to recover successfully.
Survivors of truck accidents can be traumatized and experience mental exhaustion. For example, if you were inflicted with catastrophic injuries or had to watch a loved one die, you can face long-term challenges associated with your psychological well-being. For this reason, you can pursue compensation for the following:
- Accident- or injury-related emotional trauma
- A new or aggravated mental health condition, such as depression, panic attacks, or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of independence
- Loss of consortium and companionship of others
Due to the subjective nature of many mental or emotional injuries, they may be more challenging to evaluate than visible physical injuries. However, a Dallas truck accident lawyer at Domingo Garcia can explain how these and other personal damages are calculated.
Important State and Federal Trucking Laws
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted federal regulations that interstate truck drivers must comply with, including the number of hours they can drive daily or weekly. They must also track and log these hours carefully.
Intrastate truckers must adhere to both federal and Texas state guidelines outlined by the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS). These regulations specify load and weight restrictions, driver licensing, required equipment, etc.
If you and your attorney can prove that the truck driver or other party involved in your accident violated a state or federal trucking law, this strongly supports your claim that negligence was a factor. In addition, if a police officer issues a citation or arrests the driver at the scene, this is further evidence pointing to their liability.
Protecting Yourself After a Truck Accident
In addition to seeking help from an attorney, there are other actions you can take to help your case, including the following:
- Seek immediate medical assistance even if you’re unsure you’ve sustained significant injuries. Doing so will ensure your injuries are promptly addressed and provide you with a medical record of how the accident and your injuries are connected.
- Don’t provide involved parties more information than is necessary. Any statement you make about the accident can be used against you by an insurance company or other liable party. That said, you should cooperate with law enforcement and first responders, but keep your responses brief and truthful, and don’t offer opinions or speculations.
- Don’t post anything about the event or your injuries on social media, and do not agree to have your statements recorded.
- Photograph or record video of the accident scene, if possible, or have someone else do it. This should include damages to both vehicles, your injuries, and the surrounding environment, including traffic lights, signs, and roadway hazards.
Dallas Truck Accident Statute of Limitations
You have two years from the date of your truck accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party(s) liable for your losses, per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. You also have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, starting from the date of your loved one’s death. Missing a deadline can result in the court refusing to hear your case. Therefore, we encourage you to consult with an attorney and take action promptly.
Consult with Our Law Firm Today for Help With Your Dallas Truck Accident Case
Domingo Garcia is committed to helping Dallas residents recover financial awards for their losses following a traumatic truck accident. Please contact us for a free consultation to learn about your rights and how we will work to secure compensation from liable parties.