Plano Truck Accident Lawyers
Serving all of Collin County & Denton County
Modest Enough to Care. Clever Enough to Win.
Although collisions with commercial drivers may seem cut-and-dry, the reality is that trucking accidents require special investigation. You need to engage experienced truck accident lawyers right away. Our office has the track record, the tools, and the resources to undertake the kind of thorough investigation necessary to effectively pursue a trucking accident claim to find out exactly what compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been in a trucking accident in Plano, our lawyers can get you the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with your injury.
Understanding Trucking Accident Claims in Texas
Did you know that the average weight of an eighteen-wheeler is 80,000 pounds, whereas the average weight of a passenger vehicle is only 4,000 to 5,000 pounds? If you’re hit by a 40-ton semi, even a “fender bender” can result in catastrophic injuries. In addition to the physical differences between car accidents and trucking accidents, there are legal differences too because truckers have to follow additional “rules of the road” that don’t apply to car drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a truck driver’s negligence, there are some basic things you should know if you’re thinking about making a personal injury claim. Also, we encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation with our knowledgeable injury lawyers.
There are State and Federal Laws Governing Truck Accidents
Because crashes involving trucks with passenger cars often involve more serious injuries than auto accidents and because large trucks are difficult to drive, there are several federal and state laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry. These laws establish certain standards that trucking companies, owners, and drivers must meet, and these regulations can help determine who is responsible for a trucking accident. Some examples include:
- Limits on driving time
- Enhanced driver’s qualifications, including additional training and physical abilities to drive
- Mandatory rest periods
- Required inspections and vehicle maintenance
- Strict documentation rules
- Minimum equipment requirements for operation on public roads
All of these regulations are in place to ensure the safety of everyone on the roads and highways, and when trucking companies or truck drivers violate any of these laws, it can result in serious crashes, injuries, or even fatalities. Everyone in the trucking industry should be well aware of the safety requirements under the law, and they should be liable for any harm they cause due to violations or other negligence.
Types of Truck Accidents
Each truck accident is a unique incident with its own cause, type of vehicles involved, and type of collision between the vehicles. All of these factors can determine the nature and severity of injuries involved, the extent of losses incurred, and other aspects of the claim.
First, many different types of commercial trucks can crash, including:
- Tanker trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Delivery trucks
- Box truck
- Moving trucks
- Transporter trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Construction vehicles
Different types of trucks have different risks that can make accidents more serious. For example, tanker trucks might be carrying hazardous materials (HazMat), which can spill if the trailer is compromised. Such materials can cause fires, explosions, toxic exposure, and other problems.
Flatbed trucks also carry heavy cargo that might not be secured well enough to keep it on the trailer in a crash, and this cargo can fall off the trailer and cause additional damage to vehicles in the vicinity. This might include lumber, vehicles, and other cargo that might crush other vehicles or motorists.
Delivery and garbage trucks have unique risks, as they regularly travel through our residential neighborhoods. This increases the chances for collisions when these trucks are making turns, backing up, and more. These trucks can also be involved in pedestrian or bicycle accidents more often.
In addition to different types of vehicles, the actual collisions can happen in different ways, such as:
- Head-on collisions - These terrifying collisions happen when the front of a truck crashes into the front of another vehicle.
- Rear-end crashes - These occur when a truck hits the back of another car or vice versa - and this can result in underride accidents (when a car gets stuck under a trailer) or override accidents (when a truck overtakes the back of a small car).
- Rollovers - Trucks are prone to rollovers due to their height and narrow wheelbase, and they can cause chain reaction crashes when they roll over.
- Jackknifes - Tractors and trailers are connected by a coupling device, and when that device fails to hold the trailer behind the truck, the trailer can swing out sideways into neighboring lanes of traffic, folding like a jackknife.
- Runaway trucks - Sometimes, truck drivers lose control of a truck and cannot stop it or slow it down, which is often called a runaway truck accident.
No matter what type of crash caused your injuries, you want to seek help from an experienced truck accident lawyer who can help you identify your rights and options.
Truck Accident Injuries are Often More Serious
When a passenger car or motorcycle is involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer, the outcome is almost always devastating.
Because commercial trucks, including 18-wheelers, are long, tall, and heavier than cars, the size and weight of these trucks put them at a higher risk for causing accidents that create severe injuries and disability to other road users such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Severe head and neck injuries
- Bone fractures
- Permanent damage to the bones, muscles, or nerves in the spinal cord
All of these injuries require emergency trauma care to stabilize the victim. Then, a victim might face lengthy hospitalization or an ICU stay, surgical procedures, rehabilitative therapy, home health support, and more. Many catastrophic injuries require ongoing medical care for years, and these injuries can result in impairments that completely change the life of a victim and their loved ones.
Because of the severity of many truck accident injuries and the related losses, anyone injured should seek legal help in seeking compensation. This process can be complicated, and it begins by determining the cause of the crash and potentially liable parties.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Because there are countless state and federal laws that apply in truck accident cases, it is vital to choose a truck accident attorney who is familiar with all the potential violations that may have contributed to your injuries. Some common negligence-related causes of truck collisions include:
- Truck drivers engaging in distracting activities
- Truck driver fatigue from working more hours than allowed
- Truck drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Speeding or other reckless/careless driving
- Poorly loaded vehicles or vehicles with unsecured loads
- Improper maintenance of the truck’s brakes, tires, or other parts
- Insufficiently trained truck drivers or loaders
- Negligent hiring of truck drivers
- Allowing unlicensed or unqualified drivers to operate commercial vehicles
- Negligent supervision or discipline of drivers
It takes a thorough investigation to uncover all the factors that played into a truck accident. We work with accident reconstructionist professionals, law enforcement personnel, vocational rehabilitation therapists, and other experts to gather all the evidence, assign liability, and make sure the full extent of your injuries is taken into account by the insurance company.
Truck Accident Claims Often Involve Multiple Parties
Most truck drivers do not own their trucks. Under Texas law, not only can you make a claim against the driver, but the truck’s owner can be liable for your injuries too. Also, the truck owner of the truck may be different from the corporation he or she was hired to do work for, so you may have a legal claim against that corporation. In other words, you may have multiple claims against multiple persons or businesses as follows:
- The truck’s driver
- The truck’s owner
- The owner of the trailer that the trucker was hauling
- The person or company that leased the truck or trailer from the owner
- The manufacturers of the truck, the truck’s tires, and other equipment that may have been faulty and contributed to the accident
- The shipper or the loader of the truck’s cargo if they improperly loaded the truck
Because suing multiple companies is complex, it is important to hire a trucking accident lawyer immediately after your accident.
Your Right to Compensation Includes Many Things
Your legal right to be compensated for your injuries includes many things such as:
- Past and future medical costs
- Loss of earnings
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial support and benefits
- Loss of companionship or consortium
Some of these losses are easier to prove than others. For example, you can calculate your past medical expenses by adding up the totals on all of your bills. However, how do you prove what your future medical expenses will be? Our law firm utilizes medical experts and other resources to estimate the costs of the treatment your medical providers believe you will need in the future.
If you can no longer work due to your injury or have to take a lower-paying job, economic and occupational experts can help determine the future earnings you lost because of the accident. Too many people undervalue their claims and end up with out-of-pocket costs and losses in the future. Our truck accident lawyers make sure we seek the full amount you deserve.
Insurance Companies Aren’t Always Fair
In our experience, insurance companies and their adjusters oftentimes try to low-ball how much they will pay for your medical expenses, your lost wages, and other damages. In other words, many insurance companies are more focused on protecting their own bottom lines by undervaluing your claim instead of paying you what you deserve.
Some Personal Injury Cases Take More Time Than Others
We know that when you are facing medical expenses, you can’t work, and you are feeling financially pressured, you may be tempted to take the first offer that an insurance company makes. Before you accept a quick settlement offer, it is in your best interest to discuss your situation with a personal injury attorney. Our lawyers know the pressures you are under, and we work without delay to fight for the financial security you’ll need now and in the future.
You Need to Act Quickly to Protect Your Legal Rights
If you’ve been harmed in an auto accident, it is very important to speak with an injury lawyer as soon as possible for two main reasons:
Your Time is Limited – First, the time to start a legal action for compensation is limited by Texas law to two years from the date of your injury. If you are in an accident involving a vehicle driven by a state or local government worker, the time to bring a claim for your injuries can be a short as 90 days from the date of the incident.
Evidence Needs to Be Preserved – Second, it is important for your lawyer to collect as much evidence as you can to support your claim before the evidence disappears and the witnesses forget what happened during the accident.
Our Truck Accident Lawyers Work on a Contingent-Fee Basis
We know that most people can’t afford a lawyer who charges them by the hour. That’s why our injury law firm works on a contingent-fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless we collect money for you.
If you were hurt in a trucking accident, please contact our truck accident lawyers online or call us at 972-380-4444 for your free consultation.
Plano Truck Accident FAQs
As a truck accident victim, it is natural to have many questions. Below are some questions our legal team frequently hears, and do not hesitate to contact our office directly to discuss your specific concerns and situation.
What Should I Do Following a Truck Accident?
After the initial shock of the crash wears off and your injuries are stable, you should continue to take steps to protect your rights. This includes staying on track with your medical treatment program. If you fail to keep up with treatments, the insurance company might take it as a sign that your injuries are not that serious.
You should also stay off social media as much as possible. Insurance companies can try to view your accounts while investigating your claim, and they can twist photos, posts, comments, or other information to challenge liability or the severity of your injuries.
Is it Too Soon to Call a Truck Accident Attorney?
Immediately after a crash, you should focus on your physical health. Once you are able, however, you should consult with a lawyer right away. The sooner we begin working on your case, the more evidence might be available to prove your claim.
Is it Too Late to Call a Truck Accident Lawyer?
Some people try to handle their truck accident claims on their own and realize they aren’t sure of how to proceed. You might receive a low settlement offer or a complete claim denial. In these situations, it is never too late to get an attorney involved. Never accept a settlement offer without consulting with a lawyer, even if you started the process yourself.