Helping Victims of 18-Wheeler Accidents in the DFW Area
Big truck accidents can cause severe injuries and fatalities. If a truck driver or someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you might be entitled to financial compensation. The Benton Law Firm has been helping accident victims and their families recover from devastating experiences like this, and we are ready to fight for you. Contact our Dallas truck accident attorneys today to schedule a free consultation. However, here are some tips to help you avoid accidents with trucks.
Table Of Contents
- Why Hire The Benton Law Firm?
- What You Should Do After A Truck Accident
- How The Benton Law Firm Will Handle the Accident Investigation
- Compensation Available After A Truck Accident
- Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
- Most Common Types of Truck Accidents
- Common Injuries Sustained In A Truck Accident
- How Much Are Legal Fees for A Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer?
- Texas Laws You Must Follow
- Pursuing An Insurance Claim After A Truck Accident
- Truck Accident Frequently Asked Questions
- Contact The Benton Law Firm
Why Hire The Benton Law Firm?
We have recovered millions of dollars for accident victims since opening our firm. Our goal is to win your case, so you don’t have to pay for any expenses yourself. You should not have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s actions. We will fight hard to seek justice and hold the parties that caused your injuries liable for the suffering you were forced to endure.
Legal cases can cause a tremendous amount of stress and frustration. The last thing you want to think about while you’re trying to heal is the responsibility of handling an insurance claim or lawsuit. You can count on your Dallas truck accident lawyer to complete each step of the process on your behalf. You can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing we’re looking out for your best interests and working hard to reach a favorable outcome in your case.
What You Should Do After A Truck Accident
The decisions you make after an accident could impact your case and determine whether you can pursue compensation from the at-fault party. The shock of what just happened might cloud your judgment and jeopardize your case. It is imperative that you follow the steps below to protect your rights if you sustain injuries in a collision with a commercial truck:
Step 1 – Report the accident to law enforcement. It is illegal to flee the scene if there’s an injury or fatality. Wait for an officer to arrive and investigate the crash. They will complete a crash report and inform you when it’s okay to leave.
Step 2 – Ask the truck driver for their name, contact information, employer information, and insurance.
Step 3 – Take photos of the scene and collect as much evidence as possible.
Step 4 – Look around for people who saw the crash. Write down their names and phone numbers. They could provide witness statements and confirm what happened.
Step 5 – Seek immediate medical treatment. Don’t wait to go to a hospital or doctor, especially if your injury is severe. If your doctor recommends a treatment plan, you should follow it. It’s critical that you don’t allow too much time to pass in between appointments or make a habit of skipping appointments. Insurance companies look at something like that as evidence that you weren’t injured or it’s not serious enough to require medical attention.
Step 6 – Maintain records of everything. Every time your doctor prescribes medication, you receive a medical bill, or the insurance company sends you a letter, keep a copy of it. Every document associated with your case is proof of what happened to you.
Step 7 – If you need to get your car repaired, bring it to a repair shop for an estimate of the damage.
Step 8 – Hire a Dallas truck accident attorney to represent you in your case.
How The Benton Law Firm Will Handle the Accident Investigation
Investigating a truck accident can be tricky. There are many factors at play, and various parties could be held liable. We know how to thoroughly investigate these kinds of cases to prove someone else was responsible for the crash, and you should receive adequate compensation for your losses.
Evidence is of the utmost importance. If law enforcement showed up at the accident scene, they have a legal obligation to complete a crash report and submit it to the Texas Department of Transportation. We will obtain a copy and review it to determine their findings and who they believe was at fault.
Other crucial information we can find on the report includes:
- Date, approximate time, and exact location of the collision
- Name, contact information, and auto insurance for all drivers involved
- Vehicle details, such as make and model, VIN, and damage
- Names and phone numbers of witnesses
- Description and diagram of the accident
- Determination of fault
- Issued traffic citations
Even if the crash report says someone else caused the accident, that is the investigating officer’s opinion based on what they saw at the scene. It does not necessarily mean the insurance company will agree with their findings. We will need to gather other evidence to support your claim, including:
- Statements from witnesses
- Accident scene photos
- Security video footage of the crash
- Your medical records
- The truck driver’s qualifications, driving history, and employment history
- The trucking company’s hiring practices
- Estimates of vehicle damage
- Lost wage reports
Compensation Available After An 18-Wheeler Accident
When a negligent truck driver causes an accident, they have failed in their duty. It is their responsibility to drive with care. By causing an accident, they have created a chain reaction of events that can leave you severely injured and struggling to recover.
Large truck accidents are devastating. Chances are if you’ve been seriously hurt, you aren’t just facing medical bills today; you could be staring them down months and even years into the future. Medical bills, recovery costs, rehabilitation, property damage, time away from work, they all add up and add up fast.
Depending on the situation, you may be entitled to recover financial compensation. Examples of the compensation you may be entitled to include:
- Medical expenses – You could be reimbursed for the cost of your past and current medical expenses such as the ambulance ride, emergency room visit, hospital bills, doctors’ bills, and medications.
- Future medical expenses – If your accident has left you suffering from injuries that require long-term care or therapy, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your recovery treatment. That could include physical therapy, rehabilitation therapy, and even assistive devices, for example, like a wheelchair.
- Loss of income – For many people involved in serious accidents, they need to take time away from work to recover. You may be able to be reimbursed for those lost wages.
- Loss of future earning capacity – If you have suffered injuries from the accident that make it impossible to continue working to your full capacity, you may also be entitled to compensation for a loss of future income.
- Pain and suffering – An experienced attorney can also help you recover compensation for your pain and suffering following a serious accident.
- Mental anguish – Mental and emotional trauma experienced from the crash, such as anxiety, fear, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and distress.
- Physical impairment or disfigurement – Permanent scarring, disfigurement, or loss of use of a body part.
- Loss of consortium – Intangible injuries suffered by the victim’s spouse from being deprived of comfort, affection, companionship, assistance, society, or sexual relations.
- Wrongful Death – If, unfortunately, you have lost a loved one due to a truck accident, you may be able to recover compensation for their final expenses, medical costs, and loss of your support. It is heartbreaking to lose a loved one, and we can’t make that pain go away, but we can help make sure that you are left with some financial stability.
While all truck accidents have their own unique set of circumstances, there is one universal truth, insurers and trucking companies don’t want you to take their money. They are for-profit businesses, and, to them, it’s their bottom line that matters, not your health and wellbeing.
Their offer will typically be low and not nearly enough to cover all the expenses that may arise following your accident. A knowledgeable lawyer knows how they play their game and can make sure that you aren’t being taken advantage of. Let a skilled Dallas truck accident attorney help your case and hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions.
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Various factors can come into play when it comes to why and how truckers cause serious accidents. However, the trucking company could be to blame if they negligently hire an unlicensed, unqualified, or inexperienced driver. Third parties, such as a parts manufacturer, could also be liable for designing or manufacturing a defective part that malfunctioned.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents The Benton Law Firm sees include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Fatigued driver
- Distracted driving
- Inadequate truck maintenance and repairs
- Unsafe passing
- Mechanical malfunctions or failures
- Poor weather conditions
- Road defects
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Failure to check blind spots
- Inexperienced or unlicensed driver
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration explicitly lays out how truckers and the companies they work for are supposed to account for the safety and security of themselves and everyone on the road. That’s because one mistake behind the wheel of a large vehicle can lead to disastrous consequences. If they violate federal regulations, they could become financially responsible for any injured driver’s or passenger’s expenses.
Most Common Types of Truck Accidents
There are several different types of accidents that a truck driver can cause. Each one is unique and carries its own set of circumstances. The one factor that remains consistent through all types of truck accidents is the devastation left in their wakes. Any type of collision with a large truck can cause serious injuries and massive property damage.
At The Benton Law Firm, we have experience working with all different types of serious truck accident cases. The most common types of truck accidents are:
- Jackknife – A truck jackknifes when the trailer and front cab slide towards each other to form an angle. This usually occurs when the truck driver loses control of their vehicle from overloaded cargo, braking too quickly, or maneuvering incorrectly.
- Rollover – Commercial trucks are top-heavy and can easily tip onto their sides in certain situations. A driver who isn’t paying attention to where they’re going could end up swerving to avoid a crash but roll the vehicle in the process.
- No-Zone Accidents – Also called blind spot accidents. Large trucks have blind spots in front, in back, and on both sides. Drivers must carefully check for cars around them before changing lanes, turning, or speeding up to prevent an accident.
- Head-On Collisions – Head-on accidents can be deadly. An 80,000-pound truck that collides with a passenger vehicle can have devastating consequences.
- Tire Blowouts – Trucking companies must comply with weight and size limits when loading cargo onto the back of a truck. If they overload the vehicle, it puts more pressure on the tires, which may cause them to explode.
- Rear-End Crashes – Tailgating is one of the most common reasons rear-end truck accidents happen. Commercial trucks require more distance to come to a complete stop, and if the driver is following another vehicle too closely, they likely won’t be able to prevent a crash.
- T-Bone crashes – Side impact collisions are the result of one vehicle crashing into the side of another. They typically occur at intersections when a trucker runs a red light or stop sign.
- Lost Load or Improperly Secured Cargo Accidents – Trucking companies should implement procedures and follow federal regulations when loading and securing cargo onto the trucks. They should utilize the correct number of tie-downs as well as securement systems that don’t contain defects.
- Under/Override Accidents – Underride accidents occur when a small car crashes into the back or side of a large truck and ends up underneath. Override accidents result from a truck driver who can’t stop in time and runs over the vehicle ahead.
While this list is extensive, several other types of accidents could occur with an 18-wheeler. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, reach out to the team at The Benton Law Firm for a free initial consultation. We want to listen to your case and give you the legal advice you need, no matter the circumstances.
Other Types of Big Vehicle Cases We Can Handle
There are several types of big vehicles on the road that can cause serious damage if involved in an accident. The Benton Law Firm can handle any of the following large vehicle cases:
Common Injuries Sustained In A Truck Accident
Injuries tend to be serious when a commercial truck and small car collide. The larger size and weight added to the accident can end up causing traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and permanent mental and physical disabilities to the people involved in the collision.
The most common injuries caused by truck accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Loss of limb
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
Some injuries don’t heal. You might have to live with ongoing pain or attend physical therapy appointments long after the accident occurs. The Benton Law Firm understands the suffering you were forced to endure due to the truck driver’s negligent actions. Our Dallas truck accident attorneys will aggressively pursue the compensation you need to cover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.
How Much Are Legal Fees for A Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer?
At The Benton Law Firm, we want our clients to receive quality legal representation that they can afford. Unlike other law firms, we won’t charge upfront fees or costs when you hire us. Our legal fees will come out of the compensation we win from your insurance claim or lawsuit. If we lose your case, you won’t have to pay.
Texas Laws You Must Follow
Filing a lawsuit comes with various laws, deadlines, and other requirements. When you file a lawsuit in Texas, you must follow the statute of limitations. You have two years from the accident date to sue; otherwise, you could lose your right to compensation. If two years pass before you file your case, the court will most likely dismiss your case because you missed the deadline.
There are two major exceptions where you can toll, or extend, the statute of limitations and have additional time to file your lawsuit:
- You were a minor at the time of the crash. The two-year statute would not begin until you turn 18 years old.
- The defendant left the state before you filed. The statute would start once they return, and their absence would not count towards the two-year deadline.
Pursuing An Insurance Claim After A Truck Accident
Texas follows a fault system when it comes to motor vehicle crashes. That means the person who causes it becomes financially responsible for the victim’s injuries, medical bills, and associated losses. Truck drivers carry liability insurance to compensate for an injured party’s damages.
After your truck accident, we will need to determine which insurance carrier they use and request a copy of the policy to determine how much coverage is available. We will file the claim and submit all the evidence we find during our investigation of the crash.
Once the insurance adjuster reviews everything, we will enter into negotiations to come up with a settlement that covers your damages. If the insurance adjuster denies your claim or provides an inadequate settlement offer, we will likely have to file a lawsuit against them and the truck driver.
Truck Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You might have some questions about how to handle your case or the compensation you’re entitled to after an 18-wheeler accident. We have answered some of the most common questions accident victims ask us to help you prepare for the process ahead.
There are times when multiple drivers or parties share blame for a crash. Maybe the truck driver was speeding, but you were also on your cell phone. When you contribute to an accident, it could affect how much compensation you’re entitled to receive.
Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. That means your damages will diminish by the percentage of fault you share. If a jury determines you were 20% liable for the truck accident and your total damages are $100,000, you would only be allowed to pursue $80,000 in compensation.
You might think the truck driver would be to blame for a collision since they’re the one driving the vehicle. However, many other parties could be at fault if their negligence leads to an accident. The trucking company could be responsible for your injuries if they hired an inexperienced or unqualified driver. The manufacturer of a truck part could be to blame for providing consumers with a faulty part. We will review your case to determine who should be liable for your losses.
No. You could unwittingly say something that they can use against you to diminish your compensation. Tell them you hired an attorney, and we will speak with them on your behalf.
Contact The Benton Law Firm
You’ve been struggling ever since the truck accident and want to find a way to move forward with your life. We know how frustrating and overwhelming the legal process can be. When you hire us, we will take over the case and handle each step. During this devastating situation, your only job should be to focus on attending doctor’s appointments so you can recover.
If you sustained injuries in a truck accident, let the legal team at The Benton Law Firm help you get the compensation you deserve. Call our Dallas office at (214) 777-7777 for a free initial consultation.