Trucks are much larger and heavier than regular motor vehicles, especially if they are fully loaded with cargo. As a result, they can easily do tremendous damage when they are involved in an accident.
If you suffered catastrophic injuries in a truck accident, you have the right to seek compensation and file a lawsuit. An Odessa truck accident lawyer from our office can help with all aspects of your case, from dealing with insurance companies to negotiating a proper settlement.
Our Truck Accident Lawyers Are Here for You
A personal injury attorney from Domingo Garcia wants to support you as you recuperate from your injuries and seek financial reimbursement. We help clients by:
- Building a case: We can talk to relevant parties and collect documentary evidence. We then combine these forms of evidence to build a case that shows you are not responsible for the truck accident and that you deserve compensation.
- Identifying the liable party: You can only get compensation for your truck accident if you know who is responsible. This could be the truck driver, the trucking company, or someone else.
- Identifying damages: The truck accident affected you psychologically, physically, socially, professionally, and financially. You have the right to list your damages and seek compensation for all of the ways in which your life has changed.
- Managing written and oral communications: We can get and stay in touch with the truck driver, their employer, their lawyers, their insurance companies, the court, and all other involved parties.
- Negotiating with the insurance company: The driver and the trucking company can carry insurance to pay for any damages they cause. We may be able to negotiate a fair settlement from this insurance company.
- Going to court: If your case does end up in court, we can confront all liable parties at trial, no matter who they are. Not even a large, national trucking company should get away with reckless behavior that hurts others.
By performing these legal tasks on your behalf, you would have more time to focus on being with your family, following doctor’s orders, and recuperating as much as possible—all without worrying about handling your case alone.
At Domingo Garcia, our Odessa truck accident lawyers recognize that good legal service must go beyond representing our clients in front of others. We must also proactively make our clients’ lives easier. We strive to do this by:
- Offering free case reviews: It can cost you only a few minutes of your time to find out if you have a case and, if so, how we can help you with it.
- Offering bilingual assistance: We can assist you in either English or Spanish. A language barrier should not stop you from getting the legal representation and monetary compensation you deserve.
- Deferring attorney’s fees: Our clients never pay attorney’s fees until they get damages. We know how expensive truck accidents can be and do not want to add to your burden.
- Connecting with you: We stay in touch with our clients throughout their lawsuits, updating them on new developments and advising them on handling their truck accident cases.
- Helping with medical bills: Truck accidents can cause severe injuries. If you need help covering medical expenses, we can have our insurance company pay for your treatment until your case is resolved.
We want our clients to reach out if there is anything you need from us, whether it be professional advice or additional support. We make ourselves available to address client concerns at any time.
What Do Truck Accident Lawsuits Cost?
While we never charge attorney’s fees upfront, the ultimate cost of your truck accident case is challenging to predict. Expenses may go up or down depending on:
- How many documents we have to request and from whom
- How many experts we recruit to testify about your accident
- Whether we have to go to court or can get a pretrial settlement
- Which court handles your case and how far it is from our offices
- How long does your case last
- How many liable parties there are to deal with
It may reassure you that pretrial settlements are very common in truck accident cases. An Odessa truck accident lawyer from Domingo Garcia could negotiate the terms of the payment and get you your money without ever having to set foot inside a courtroom. This would save you the expense of a lengthy court case.
We encourage clients to ask us as many questions as they need to feel comfortable with the legal process. This includes questions pertaining to legal costs.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving Odessa, call (432) 339-3333
What Is a Truck Accident Settlement?
A truck accident settlement is money received from the liable party’s insurance company to help an accident victim or their surviving relatives in the following ways:
- Paying for medical bills and other accident-related expenses
- Enabling them to support themselves and their families if they cannot work
- Compensating them for emotional and physical suffering
- Providing the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have held a negligent party responsible for their actions
How Much Is a Truck Accident Settlement?
Every person’s case is different, so that every plaintiff can ask for (and receive) an additional amount of money. The value of your truck accident injuries may vary depending on:
- Any limits on the liable party’s insurance policy
- How many injuries you sustained in the accident and how serious they are
- How much money have you lost or expected to lose
- Whether the insurance company is open to good-faith negotiations
- How much the jury decides you deserve
- How much evidence can we find to support your case
In one case, we recovered $1 million after a fatal truck accident. You could recover the same, less, or more, depending on the factors described above. No matter what, you can rely on Domingo Garcia to figure out how much you are entitled to and pursue that amount however we can.
Examples of Truck Accident Damages
A truck accident in Odessa, Texas, could leave you with any or all of the following damages. You can sit down with a lawyer from our firm to discuss how the crash changed your life and how much you may be able to receive in each of these categories:
- Pain and suffering: Any physical or emotional distress you would not have experienced if the truck accident did not happen goes toward calculating your pain and suffering damages.
- Reduced quality of life: The severe injuries that truck accidents so often inflict could impair your ability to work, spend time with your children, enjoy hobbies, or live independently.
- Disability: This refers to almost all types of disabilities, whether they are temporary, permanent, partial, total, physical, or intellectual.
- Scar tissue: Not all injuries heal. If you were left with painful or unsightly scar tissue from damage or a necessary treatment (e.g., surgery), you could be compensated for it.
- Medical expenses: Catastrophic injuries can be costly to treat. You could be reimbursed for diagnostic tests, surgery, hospital stays, assistive devices, remodeling to make your home more accessible, and much more. You could also be paid for certain medical-related travel expenses.
- Loss of wages: The time you spend recuperating at home or in the hospital is money out of your pocket. You could seek compensation for the salaries, and other job benefits your truck accident cost you.
- Loss of earning capacity: The most severe injuries could keep you from returning to work. Even if you can work, you might have to reduce hours or spend time and money training for a more accessible career.
- Property damage: The truck was likely much more extensive and heavier than the vehicle you were in. Any damage they did to your car or valuables within it could warrant compensation.
If your life changed in a way that any of these examples cannot describe, you might still be able to receive compensation for it. Our team can provide you with more complete and personalized information about your eligibility.
Odessa Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me (432) 339-3333
Trucks Can Be Very Dangerous
Trucks are potentially dangerous vehicles, which is why they are so heavily regulated on both a federal and state level. Some of these rules include:
All truck drivers must be properly licensed to operate a truck of the size and weight they are using. FMCSA also requires that drivers be adequately rested before getting behind the wheel. They must:
- Drive for no more than a certain number of hours consecutively (the number of hours depends on if they are carrying passengers or not)
- Have a certain number of consecutive hours off before driving again
- Take 30-minute breaks as required
These rules are designed to help keep truck drivers from fatiguing, making poor decisions, or turning to dangerous substances to keep themselves awake.
Trucking Company Behavior
The company that owns the trucks is responsible for caring for the trucks and their drivers. Drivers must be given proper training, and a good work/rest balance must be enforced. The trucks themselves must be inspected for safety regularly.
Vehicle inspection criteria depend on what type of vehicle you drive, per the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). For trucks that are 80 or more inches wide, twenty-four different truck parts must be inspected regularly. These include:
- Windshield wipers
- Brake systems
- Various lights, lamps, and reflectors
Trucks can be used to haul just about anything, including:
- Liquids, like water or oil
- Packages for delivery
- Food products
- Building materials
- Toxic chemicals or materials
While any object can be hazardous if it spills out onto the roadway, some types of cargo pose more dangers than others. This is why trucks must comply with the regulations governing the type of cargo they are carrying. For example:
- Weight limits are imposed by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), which can dictate how much a truck can carry at one time
- The FMCSA requires that all cargo be “immobilized or secured” so it does not move around while in transit or fall from the truck
- Also, per the FMCSA, a certain number of tie-downs must be used to secure cargo, based on the cargo’s length and weight
Truck Violations Can Lead to Accidents
Compliance + Safety + Accountability (CSA) is the program within the FMCSA that enforces the agency’s rules. According to one of their reports, common FMCSA violations in 2021 included driver and truck safety violations. Vehicle violations had problems with the trucks’:
- Inspection history (no proof of inspection was in the vehicle)
- Tires (they leaked or were not appropriately filled)
- Windshield wipers
Driver violations included:
- Not having a proper doctor’s certificate or driver’s license
- Failure to meet age or physical fitness requirements
- Carrying cargo they are not qualified to carry
- Failure to follow the rules of the road
The FMCSA works hard to ensure that all motor vehicles on Texas roadways are safe and in compliance with all regulations. However, they cannot be everywhere at once. Any violations that slip through or that they have not yet identified can increase the risk of injury to anyone sharing the roadway with the violator.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Types of Truck Accidents
If any of the regulations discussed above are violated, or if any other important law (such as the speed limit) is ignored, the result could be a devastating truck accident. Below are a few examples of the types of accidents that could result from any form of negligent behavior:
This occurs when the truck’s cab (where the driver sits) goes in a different direction from the trailer (where the cargo is). Jackknifing can cause the truck to hit another vehicle, lose control, and skid off the road.
Trucks are often so big that, if they lose control, they can take multiple other vehicles with them, either by sideswiping them or blocking oncoming traffic.
This occurs when one vehicle hits the side of another head-on. They are common at intersections when one or both vehicles ignore a red light or a stop sign and proceed when they should have stopped.
Whoever sits on the impact side could sustain more severe injuries than someone on the opposite side, especially if a truck hits a much smaller vehicle.
This term describes an accident where the vehicles traveled in opposite directions and hit each other from front to front. This could happen if one vehicle was traveling in the wrong direction.
When one vehicle follows another too closely and collides with its back fender, this is a rear-end collision. In addition to following too closely, excessive speed could cause rear-end crashes if the trailing vehicle cannot stop in time to avoid an accident.
Causes of Odessa Truck Accidents
These and other types of truck accidents often occur due to driver error. The truck driver accidentally or deliberately failed to behave responsibly by:
- Drinking and driving
- Not getting the legally mandated amount of sleep
- Getting distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle
- Not following the speed limit
- Not taking the weather conditions into consideration
- Not signaling before changing lanes or making a turn
Even in cases where the truck driver is at fault, you may be able to pursue compensation from the trucking company as well. They are ultimately responsible for driver behavior, so they could share liability for any careless or reckless actions their drivers commit.
We can also investigate the trucking company to see if they have committed any violations of their own, such as:
- Encouraging drivers to break the rules to get more work done
- Not having their vehicles inspected regularly
- Not having their vehicles maintained regularly
- Failing to make sure their drivers are properly trained, licensed, and certified
Other Possible Liable Parties
In some cases, you may be able to pursue compensation from someone other than the driver or their employer. This could happen when:
- The agency responsible for inspecting vehicles either fails to conduct inspections or does not conduct a thorough enough review to meet legal standards
- The maintenance team responsible for maintaining the trucks fails to notice a problem with one of the vehicles
- The team responsible for loading the truck did not load or secure it according to applicable laws
- The government agency responsible for maintaining the roadway leaves potholes unfilled, traffic lights broken, or another hazard unattended for an unreasonable period
- The manufacturer who built any component of the truck used subpar materials, failed to test or label the part properly, or did not recall the piece when they knew it was dangerous
In addition, if something went wrong with your own vehicle that exacerbated your injuries, you could sue the party responsible for that malfunction. For example, if your airbag malfunctioned, you could sue the airbag manufacturer or your mechanic, depending on the malfunction’s source.
Some Truck Accidents Are Fatal
A truck’s size and weight make it more likely than other types of vehicles to do significant damage during a crash. If your loved one passed away due to truck accident injuries, we are sorry for your loss. We want you to know that you have options for seeking justice and holding the at-fault party accountable.
A wrongful death lawsuit gives you the chance to secure financial compensation for both your losses and your loved one’s losses. This includes damages like:
- Personal injury damages: Unless your loved one has already received compensation for their physical, emotional, and financial losses, you can seek those damages on their behalf.
- Loss of financial support: The person killed in the truck accident was your primary means of support. Without them, you can struggle to pay bills or provide for your children.
- Funeral or burial costs: It is unfortunately very expensive to lay someone to rest, regardless of whether they choose burial or cremation. The liable party’s insurance company could cover these expenses.
- Grief or bereavement: The pain you have experienced since the fatal truck accident is devastating and should never have happened.
- Loss of companionship: The guidance and affection that the deceased provided to their loved ones can never be replaced.
To seek these damages, we would follow much the same process as we would in a personal injury case. This includes collecting evidence, calculating how much to ask for damages, and contacting and negotiating with the liable party.
Truck Accidents and Catastrophic Injuries in Odessa
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports that Ector County, which includes Odessa, saw 370 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) accidents in 2021. Page 3 of this report shows that:
- Ten of these accidents were fatal and resulted in 13 deaths
- Thirteen of the accidents caused 19 serious injuries
- 258 of 370 accidents resulted in no apparent injury to any party
The numbers do not show which party sustained the reported injuries. However, given the truck’s larger size and the more excellent protection it offers drivers, it is reasonable to expect the truck driver to remain safe. In contrast, others can sustain the worst injuries, including car drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Severe or catastrophic truck accident injuries could include but are not limited to:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Bone fractures
- Deep cuts or lacerations
- Amputated digits or limbs
- Organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Severe burns
These types of injuries change your life and demand your entire focus. Domingo Garcia can pursue a legal case on your behalf, so you would not have to divide your attention between recovering from your injuries and recovering compensation.
We Help Truck Accident Survivors Like You
Domingo Garcia wants to help Odessa truck accident survivors—or the surviving relatives of wrongful death victims—recover fair compensation for their injuries. Call us at any time for a free, no-risk case evaluation. One of our lawyers can fight for your rights, and our firm can even pay your medical bills until the case is settled.