18-wheelers are among the most oversized vehicles on Metroplex roads. Accidents involving these heavy haulers are life-changing and can leave severe injuries in their wake. If a negligent trucker hurt you in an 18-wheeler accident, let The Benton Law Firm fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call (214) 777-7777 today for a consultation with one of our 18-wheeler accident lawyers in Dallas.
Types of 18-Wheeler Accidents
18-wheeler accidents can occur under many different circumstances. They all, however, share a common factor: a large, heavy vehicle that requires absolute control. Some types of 18-wheeler accidents our firm works with include:
- Rollovers – If a driver swerves or loses control of their truck, it may roll onto its side, injuring others nearby.
- Jackknifes – In these accidents, the trailer skids and “folds into” the truck like a Swiss army knife. It may hit vehicles along its path, and if it stops in the way of traffic, other drivers may crash into it. Trucks are vulnerable to jackknifing if their drivers do not safely steer, brake, or reverse.
- Sideswipes – 18-wheelers have significant blind spots on both sides of the trailer. If a truck driver fails to check them before changing lanes, they may ram into an adjacent vehicle. Mechanical failures and hazardous road conditions can also lead to sideswiping accidents.
- Underrides – An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle rear-ends an 18-wheeler and goes underneath the trailer.
- T-bone crashes – A T-bone crash occurs when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another.
- Rear-end crashes – An 18-wheeler needs extra time and distance to stop. If truckers follow too closely, they risk rear-ending the vehicles in front of them.
- Head-on crashes – Head-on crashes occur when the front of an 18-wheeler collides with the front of another vehicle.
What Compensation Might Be Available After a Truck Accident With An 18-Wheeler?
The compensation we pursue for 18-wheeler accident survivors falls into two general categories: “economic” and “non-economic.” When put together, they are meant to support all aspects of your recovery.
Economic damages cover losses of a fixed dollar amount. For example, they include the cost of:
- Lost wages
- Hospital stays
- Prescription drugs
- Medical equipment
- Physical therapy
- Mental health counseling
- Repairing/replacing your vehicle or other property
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, cover quality-of-life losses with no objective “price.” These include:
- Physical pain
- Emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Lost earning potential
- Lost ability to enjoy hobbies or pastimes
- Lost ability to enjoy spousal companionship
Causes of Large Truck Accidents
Our team has deep knowledge of the trucking industry. When investigating cases, we seek to form a complete picture of the accident to learn why it happened and who is responsible. Some potential causes of an 18-wheeler accident include:
- Driver error – Truckers must pay close attention to changing road conditions, from wet highways to stop-and-go traffic. If they make errors or violate traffic laws, they could cause an accident.
- Distracted driving – In Texas, it is illegal for any driver to send text messages while their vehicle is moving. However, even if a trucker wasn’t using their phone, they may have been distracted in another way. Eating, “rubbernecking,” or even changing a radio station will take their attention off the road.
- Driving while intoxicated – An intoxicated trucker can face severe criminal penalties. They may also be liable to compensate people they injure in an accident.
- Defective parts – A truck with defective parts can endanger the drivers and pedestrians around it. If a trucking company did not promptly replace a recalled part, they might hold some liability for the accident. Similarly, manufacturers may also have responsibility if they didn’t act quickly to recall parts they knew were defective.
- Improperly-loaded cargo – Truckers, freight companies, and their clients must ensure that cargo is loaded and secured correctly. Injuries can result if improperly-loaded cargo throws a truck off balance or spills off the trailer.
- Regulatory violations – Truckers must follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations while on the job. We will determine if a trucker went over their maximum hours of service or if their vehicle does not meet federal safety standards.
- Poor trucking company practices – Trucking companies must run thorough background checks on drivers and enforce regulatory violations. They must also keep their vehicles and equipment well-maintained.
Many truck accidents involve a combination of factors or multiple responsible parties. Our investigation can include the driver, the trucking company, the truck’s manufacturer and mechanics, truck part manufacturers, and the shipper. By considering every possibility, we can maximize your potential compensation.
How an Attorney Can Help
The Benton Law Firm is a “full-service” personal injury firm that represents clients at all stages of the process, including:
- Investigating the accident – We will collaborate with medical professionals, accident reconstruction teams, and other subject matter experts to build your case.
- Obtaining black box data – Most 18-wheelers must be equipped with “black boxes” to record detailed information about what happened in an accident, including the driver’s behavior and the status of the truck’s systems. We will request black box data to determine why the accident happened and, if possible, use it as “hard evidence” in your case.
- Determining fair compensation – We’ll assess the total cost of your economic and non-economic losses and determine a fair amount of compensation to pursue on your behalf.
- Preparing demand letters – Once we conclude our investigation, your The Benton Law Firm attorney will write a demand letter to the responsible party’s insurer. It will detail the circumstances of the accident and outline the compensation you seek for each loss.
- Participating in negotiations – After an insurer receives a demand letter, they may open settlement negotiations with your legal team. We anticipate insurance defense lawyers’ tactics and will ensure you are treated fairly.
- Filing the lawsuit – While many 18-wheeler accident cases settle out of court, not every negotiation is successful. We will protect your rights at trial if necessary.
Our lawyers specialize in truck accident cases, including 18-wheeler accidents. For an expert opinion, contact us for a free consultation about your case.
Time Limit to File an 18-Wheeler Accident Lawsuit in Texas
You have two years from your 18-wheeler accident in Texas to file a lawsuit. If you file after this deadline, the court may dismiss your case.
There are specific steps your legal team must complete before filing. The sooner you secure legal representation, the better your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer from The Benton Law Firm
If a negligent trucker hurt you in an 18-wheeler accident, contact a truck accident lawyer from The Benton Law Firm. We serve clients from Dallas, Fort Worth, and Brownsville areas.
Founder Jeff Benton has won multi-million dollar verdicts in truck accident cases. Even if another lawyer turns down your case, we’ll review your case to see if we can help. We could use our experience and skill to conduct a thorough investigation and pursue the best possible resolution for you. Call our office at (214) 777-7777 for a free, no-obligation case review.