Crashes involving tractor-trailers can cause devastating injuries. If you got hurt in one of these collisions, you will want to talk to a Tyler 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer about the kinds of monetary damages you might be able to collect from the negligent party who caused the wreck.
Here in Tyler, Texas, we help each other through challenging times. At Domingo Garcia, we are involved in the community and really care about getting results for our clients. You can reach out today to find out about your legal rights and how we could help you.
Truck Accident Settlements We Have Won for Our Clients
If you suffered devastating wounds in a tractor-trailer collision in the Tyler area, you would want a law firm with experience in winning significant settlements for their clients. Our 18-wheeler truck accident results include an $8,750,000 settlement, nearly $1.2 million for a tractor-trailer accident with multiple injuries, and $1 million (policy limits) for a fatality in a truck accident.
Also, if your family lost a loved one to a truck accident, we could help you go after compensation for your many losses.
What Our Tyler Truck Collision Clients Can Expect
At Domingo Garcia, we go the extra mile for our clients. Here are some of the services you can receive when we handle your Tyler tractor-trailer accident case:
- We investigate every personal injury or wrongful death case that we handle. This helps us ensure that we take action against all the available parties, know as much as possible about the accident and what led up to it, and can defend against allegations if the negligent party tries to blame you for the accident.
- We collect evidence to build a strong compensation case for you. This evidence can include your medical bills, health care records, employment records of your income, and other relevant information.
- We also explore whether the truck driver or transportation company violated any state or federal trucking regulations like hours of service or weight limits. We know which records to seek to help build your case.
- Additional evidence that could be useful in your case can include red-light camera footage, witness testimony, commercial or residential security camera footage, and expert witnesses in the fields of accident reconstruction or medicine.
- We keep our clients informed so that they never have to worry about what is going on in their cases. When we handle your injury claim, you get to focus on recuperating from your wounds because you know that we are handling everything else.
- You do not have to deal directly with the insurance company after we manage your case. We will negotiate with them and try to reach a fair settlement. We can provide the information they need so that you can rest and not be bothered by having to respond to their demands for information.
- We will review all documents before you sign them, like the settlement agreement and the waiver and release of claims.
- If we cannot settle your case, we can file a lawsuit and go after monetary damages in court if appropriate. If we go this route for you, we will handle the trial preparation and the trial itself.
You do not have to go through this experience alone. Domingo Garcia will be there with you every step of the way.
Types of Monetary Damages From a Big Rig Tyler Accident
There are no standard or automatic categories of compensation a person can go after for getting hurt in a semi-truck accident in Tyler or the surrounding area. Every Tyler truck accident is unique. The amount of financial damages you could seek will depend on your case’s facts.
Here are common types of compensation a person might go after for their wounds and other losses:
- Medical expenses for the treatment of their injuries. Early on, these bills might include things like the ambulance, emergency room, diagnostic testing, imaging studies like X-rays, and trauma specialists. The expenses could also include surgery, hospital, blood transfusions, prescription drugs, physical therapy, and other medical services from the truck collision in Tyler.
- If an injured person needs ongoing medical care because of the injuries they suffered, the anticipated expense of those treatments could be a part of the injury claim. These expenses could be things like ongoing dialysis due to kidney damage from the collision or skin grafts for a burn patient.
- When a person has decreased mobility from their injuries, they might need to buy equipment like a wheelchair. They could need an adapted vehicle to transport themselves and their mobility equipment. Also, their home might need to get modified with ramps and interior adaptations to accommodate their needs.
- Monetary damages for pain and suffering address the physical discomfort and emotional distress a person experiences after getting injured in a truck accident. Also, the inconvenience of disruption to their ordinary schedule can be a component of pain and suffering. This loss can include anticipated future discomfort.
- Loss of enjoyment of life. Life-changing injuries can reduce a person’s quality of life because of things they can no longer do and functions they can no longer perform. Facing that prospect for the rest of their lives can cause grief, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.
- Lost income covers the pay a person might miss when their injuries prevent them from working. This category also includes when a person tries to return to work but must do light duty or shorter hours because of residual problems from getting hurt.
- Future lost earnings can apply when lingering problems from their wounds keep them from making as much money as they did before the Tyler truck accident. The difference between what they used to make and what they can make now is the measure of this loss.
- A person might be eligible for monetary damages for disfigurement if they had extensive scars or amputation because of the injuries they suffered in the truck accident.
- Catastrophic wounds like spinal cord damage can leave a person without the ability to live on their own. They might need daily help with everyday tasks and activities and their medical care. The cost of long-term care, either in a nursing home or provided by home health care, can be astronomical. You might be able to seek compensation for this item from the at-fault party who caused the truck crash.
This list does not include every possible type of loss for which a person might seek monetary damages after a severe truck crash in Tyler, Texas. Domingo Garcia’s injury attorney will explore various types of compensation for which you might be eligible.
How Contingency Fees Work in 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents in Tyler
When you are facing a stack of medical bills and might not have money coming in because of your injuries, you should not have to pay money upfront to lawyers to hold the careless parties accountable for the harm they caused you. Here at Domingo Garcia, we understand the financial stress you might be feeling on top of everything else that is going on in your life.
We do not charge upfront legal fees to our Tyler truck accident clients. Instead, we enter into a written fee agreement with you that explains how our contingency fee arrangement works. We work on the entire case from start to finish without you having any out-of-pocket costs for legal fees until the end. Then, we receive a portion of the settlement or jury award.
We do not get paid unless and until you win. You have nothing to lose. If you do not recover financial awards, you do not owe us any money for legal fees.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations on Hours of Service
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the conduct of large trucks that carry cargo on federal highways. One of the many topics these regulations cover is limiting the hours truck drivers can work without taking adequate rest breaks.
Controlling how long the driver of an 18-wheeler can be behind the wheel without a rest break is a safety issue. Drowsy drivers are dangerous drivers. When the body and mind of a driver are exhausted, their road performance can be similar to that of a drunk driver.
- A tractor-trailer driver must pull off the road and take a break of at least 30 consecutive minutes after driving eight hours.
- A driver must have at least 10 consecutive hours of being off duty before being allowed to return to driving. In other words, at least 10 hours must pass between driving shifts.
- The driving limit per shift is 11 hours.
- Once a driving shift starts, it must end no later than 14 hours after it started, even if the driver was not on duty for the entire 14 hours. The driver must then have 10 consecutive hours off duty.
Before state and federal regulations limited hours of service, exhausted drivers caused many crashes. Hours-of-service regulations make the roads safer for everyone, both the people driving tractor-trailers and the others on the road.
A driver can face penalties under federal law if they violate hours-of-service regulations. Also, if they get involved in a collision while violating the federal laws on hours of service, failure to follow those rules can be negligence. We know how to check the records of truck drivers and their employers to look for the possibility of rule-breaking that can affect a truck accident injury case.
Impacts from a Tyler Truck Crash
Your routine can come to a screeching halt after getting in an 18-wheeler crash in Tyler. The impacts can last far beyond the moment of the collision. For example:
- The vehicle you rely on for transportation could be sidelined for weeks for repairs, or it could get totaled. Depending on your automobile insurance coverage, you could have a large deductible to pay to get your car fixed.
- Because of depreciation, the money you get for a totaled car might not put you back on the road in a new vehicle.
- If you suffered severe injuries in the crash, you might not be able to work for weeks or months while you recuperate. If you do not get paid for your time away from work, you might experience a financial crisis. Without a paycheck, you might not have enough money to put food on the table, much less keep a roof over your head. Very few Americans have enough savings to cover a situation like this.
- Many people say they are never quite the same after suffering significant wounds from a truck accident, even after completing all their medical treatment. They might experience chronic back pain, weakness, or a loss of stamina. Throwing a baseball around the backyard with your kids might be a thing of the past.
- Physical limitations from your wounds, even after healing, could affect your ability to earn an income. Jobs you could perform in the past might be out of reach for you now. You might need to go through training to get new job skills or get more education to qualify for positions that are less physically demanding.
- Experiencing a severe crash with an 18-wheeler can be terrifying. The trauma of that event could stay with you for many years.
You do not have to go through the experience of seeking justice after an accident with a large truck all by yourself. At Domingo García, a Tyler truck accident lawyer can fight for you to get the compensation you need to rebuild your life.
Filing a Wrongful Death Action After a Tyler Truck Collision Occurs
Fatal injuries are more likely in a collision involving a big rig than in a passenger car accident. If someone else caused the crash that killed your close relative, we might be able to go after additional monetary damages for the losses caused by their untimely death.
A deceased person’s estate might have a claim for medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and pain and suffering. Dependents of the deceased person could seek compensation from the at-fault party for the loss of income the decedent contributed to the household, loss of companionship and guidance, loss of services provided to the family like child-rearing and home-making tasks, and other losses.
Severe Injuries That Can Result From Tractor-Trailer Crashes in Tyler
When at least one of the vehicles in a collision is an 18-wheeler, drivers and passengers, particularly those in smaller vehicles, can suffer catastrophic injuries.
Some of the more severe injuries in these crashes include:
- Broken bones, especially those in the legs, neck, back, rib cage, and arms
- Herniated discs and other spinal injuries, including spinal cord damage, which can cause paralysis
- Burns from fires and explosions that can happen in these collisions
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions, and other head injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Rib fractures can cause punctured lungs
Because of the great force created when 18-wheelers collide with other vehicles, there is a high rate of fatalities in these crashes.
Types of Tyler Big Rig Accidents
Tractor-trailers are actually multisection vehicles, with a cab and at least one section of the trailer. Passenger vehicles like automobiles and pickup trucks, in contrast, have only one section unless they are towing something.
Eighteen-wheelers are also significantly taller and longer than passenger vehicles. These large trucks weigh much more than cars, even when they are not hauling cargo. These unique factors can create handling challenges and lead to different types of collisions that cars might not always face.
Rear-End ‘Slide Under’ Accidents
If a car trailing a semi-truck crashes into the truck’s rear, the car could slide under the tractor-trailer. When you consider the big rig’s height relative to where people sit in a passenger car, you can see that the truck could strike the car’s driver and passengers at shoulder or chest height, causing fatal injuries.
When a car T-bones a tractor-trailer, running into the side of the truck, a similar result could happen to a rear-end collision. If the car slides under the trailer, the trailer will likely make contact with the people in the car at the level of their head or chest, making survival unlikely.
Because of their height, tractor-trailers are at higher risk of rollover accidents than passenger cars, which tend to have a lower center of gravity. The truck driver could take a curve at too great a speed or hit uneven pavement, causing the truck to flip over on its side.
Other factors that could be responsible for rollover accidents in semi-trucks include poor grading or banking of the pavement or improper loading of the cargo. Also, if the driver of the big rig must take sudden action, including braking or steering maneuvers, the tractor-trailer might flip.
A jackknife accident happens when the trailer swings sharply to one side or the other, causing the angle of the cab and trailer to form the letter V. Just as sudden steering or braking could cause the tractor-trailer to flip, another possible outcome of this situation is a jackknife crash.
Situations that could lead to the driver having to react quickly include:
- The truck driver was not paying attention to the road ahead and had very little time to react.
- The tractor-trailer exceeded the speed limit or was traveling too fast for the present conditions and did not have enough time to respond to road events safely.
- The vehicle in front of the big rig braked suddenly.
- The car behind the semi-truck collided with the back of the truck.
- An animal dashed in front of the truck.
- Improperly loaded cargo shifted during transit.
Multiple factors can cause head-on collisions. Sometimes, the driver of a car or large truck is impaired by drugs or alcohol. Another cause of front-end collisions is when a driver makes an unwise decision to try to pass a vehicle on a two-lane road, but it is not safe to do so. A tractor-trailer traveling in the opposite direction could get caught up in a head-on collision.
One-Vehicle Truck Accident
It is possible for a big rig to crash with no other vehicles around. A tire blowout or another type of equipment failure could cause this outcome. Also, situations with the driver of the large truck could cause a one-vehicle crash. If the truck driver is distracted, has a medical emergency, or falls asleep at the wheel, a single-vehicle accident could occur.
Regulations Limiting the Weight of 18-Wheelers in Texas
Large trucks are much heavier than standard passenger vehicles, even when the trailer does not contain any cargo. When the tractor-trailer is loaded down with heavy cargo, it takes even longer for it to stop, and it hits with more substantial force in a collision than an empty trailer.
Think of an 18-wheeler like a sledgehammer. The heavier the sledgehammer, the harder it hits an object and the more difficult it is to stop it when it is in motion. For this reason, both federal law and Texas law limit the amount of total weight for large trucks.
Texas law in Texas Transportation Code Ann. § 621.101 sets a limit of 20,000 pounds for single-axle trucks and 34,000 pounds for trucks with tandem axles when they operate on non-interstate highways in Texas. When an overweight tractor-trailer gets into a collision, that violation of the weight limits can impose liability on the driver, transportation company, or company that loaded the cargo.
You Can Start the Process Now – Talk to Domingo Garcia About a Tyler 18-Wheeler Truck Accident
You can talk to a team member right away about how an attorney on your team can help you recover awards in a Tyler 18-wheeler truck accident. It is easy to get started with Domingo Garcia.
Call us today for a free initial consultation. There is no obligation. You will not have to pay upfront legal fees, and we do not get paid until you win. We also offer bilingual services for our clients. We look forward to learning how we can help you. It would be an honor to help you and your family get the justice you deserve after a Tyler truck accident.