Dallas Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorneys
When a small car collides with a tractor-trailer, it often causes significant vehicle damage and debilitating injuries. Not only do you have to worry about the initial impact, but loose cargo from the truck may also become a significant hazard. Drivers and passengers end up suffering and often require expensive and ongoing medical treatment.
The Benton Law Firm can assist you in your insurance claim or lawsuit if you got hurt in a tractor-trailer accident in Dallas. Truck drivers and trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure the safety of motorists on the roadways. When an accident occurs, victims end up suffering financial, emotional, and physical harm. It’s devastating and can lead to lifelong medical problems or even a fatality.
The Benton Law Firm and our Dallas tractor-trailer accident attorneys have the resources and experience needed to secure the financial compensation you deserve. Our case results and testimonials speak to lengths we go to for our clients. To find out more about our legal services or to schedule a free consultation, call (214) 777-7777 today.
Tractor-Trailer Accidents Come in Many Forms
A tractor-trailer, also called an 18-wheeler or semi-truck, includes a front cab with a trailer attached to the back. There’s a variety of crashes that could occur because of the size and weight of the vehicle, as well as how employees or freight companies load the cargo. If there’s damage to any part of the truck that the company failed to fix or if the driver didn’t perform safety checks before taking the vehicle on the road, it could lead to an accident.
Tractor-trailer crashes could also be the result of driver error, such as:
- Impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Drowsy or fatigued
- Texting or another distraction
- Inexperienced or unqualified
- Failure to follow traffic laws
The most common tractor-trailer accidents include:
- Underride/override: This occurs when the truck ends up on top of a car. Either the car gets stuck under the trailer, or the truck driver drives on top of a vehicle in front of them.
- Tire blowout: If the tire contains a defect, damage, or natural wear and tear, it could explode, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
- Lost load: If workers responsible for loading cargo onto the tractor-trailer don’t secure the items properly, they could shift during transport and fall off the truck.
- Rollover: This typically happens when the truck driver takes a turn too quickly, causing the trailer to roll onto its side.
- Jackknife: If the driver brakes suddenly or loses control of the vehicle, the front cab and trailer could fold into each other, which is known as jackknifing.
- Head-on: Drivers who don’t pay attention to the road in front of them could drift into oncoming traffic and hit another vehicle head-on. This type of crash is most deadly for those in a small car.
- T-bone: This type of accident often occurs at an intersection. When a truck driver fails to yield the right of way or blows through a stop sign or red light, they could crash into the side of a car.
We Know How to Investigate Tractor-Trailer Accidents
When you’re the victim of a tractor-trailer crash, you’re going to need sufficient evidence that shows the truck driver or their employer was to blame. If you can’t prove fault, you won’t be able to collect compensation from their liability insurance company. Unfortunately, accident victims don’t usually know how to locate certain evidence.
When you hire The Benton Law Firm, we’ll take care of the investigation for you. We have the resources to obtain comprehensive evidence, such as:
- Police reports
- Crash site photos
- Witness statements
- Video footage of the accident
- Truck driver’s driving logs, driving history, cell phone records, maintenance logs, and additional information
- Your medical records, medical bills, vehicle damage estimates, and fair market value of your car
- Copies of all auto insurance policies
- Trucking company’s hiring procedures, such as background checks, drug testing, training programs, and educational programs
- Trucking company’s maintenance and repair schedules
Economic and Non-economic Damages Available After a Tractor-Trailer Accident
After you file an insurance claim, you might hear the term damages. Damages refer to the losses suffered after an accident. If you got hurt because of negligence by the truck driver or trucking company, you could pursue compensation for your total damages.
The economic and non-economic damages available include:
- Loss of income, past and future
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional or psychological trauma
- Physical disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Loss of companionship, affection, or consortium
After you file your claim, the insurance company will review various factors to determine how much compensation you deserve to cover your damages. They’ll take into consideration the following information:
- Availability of supporting evidence
- Type and severity of injuries
- Length of required medical treatment
- If recovery is possible or there’s a permanent medical issue
- Amount of workdays missed because of the injury
- Total expenses incurred
- Coverage available on the insurance policy
- How much blame the victim shares for the crash occurring
How Auto Insurance Works in Texas
Texas is a fault state when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. That means the victim of a tractor-trailer accident can file an insurance claim against the liable truck driver for their damages. The insurance company will review the details of the crash, and if they find the other driver was at fault, they will provide a settlement offer based on the coverage available on the policy.
All drivers are supposed to hold liability auto insurance. Commercial truck drivers usually carry liability insurance that includes high coverage for bodily injury and property damage. That’s because tractor-trailers often result in more expensive bills than a crash between two small cars. Depending on the severity of your injuries and how much medical care you need, you could seek the maximum compensation.
If the truck driver doesn’t hold liability insurance, you can file a claim with your insurance carrier. UM and PIP is optional coverage available to all drivers in Texas. It’s not a legal requirement to carry them, but insurers are supposed to make them available as additional coverage.
If you chose to purchase UM, you could file a claim to compensate for your medical costs, lost wages, and property damage. UM stands for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and is typically used by victims when the at-fault driver doesn’t carry insurance, or their coverage isn’t high enough for all the incurred expenses.
PIP stands for personal injury protection and is another optional insurance coverage. If you choose to file a PIP claim, you could pay for your medical treatment upfront. PIP works like medical insurance in that your medical providers can submit your bills directly to the insurance company for payment. You can also use this type of coverage to pay for damage to your car or compensate you for your lost wages.
What Is Modified Comparative Fault?
Besides being a fault state, Texas also follows a modified comparative fault rule when it comes to motor vehicle crashes. If you got hurt in a tractor-trailer accident and the insurance adjuster determines the truck driver was 80% to blame, you could pursue financial compensation in a claim.
However, if the adjuster also says you’re 20% at fault, the total settlement you’re entitled to gets reduced by 20%. So, if your total damages are $100,000 and you are 20% responsible for the accident, you can only receive a maximum of $80,000 in compensation.
Another rule called the 51% rule also determines your eligibility for compensation after a tractor-trailer crash. If you sustain an injury and the insurance company says you’re 51% at fault or more, you’re not allowed to collect a settlement from the at-fault party.
Dallas Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorneys Who Care
We understand you’re struggling. Getting hurt in a tractor-trailer accident causes physical pain, emotional distress, and financial strain. While you’re undergoing medical treatment, you might not be able to perform your job’s regular duties. If you don’t get paid, you can’t support yourself and your family. That creates a great deal of stress. The thought of the additional financial burden of hiring a lawyer is probably overwhelming.
The Benton Law Firm doesn’t want to cause any more stress than you already have. That’s why we take cases on contingency. We don’t charge upfront fees or costs, so you don’t have to worry about paying us while we’re pursuing compensation for you. We don’t take our legal fees unless we’re able to come to a settlement agreement or secure a favorable jury verdict.
We also provide free consultations. You can schedule an appointment with one of our Dallas tractor-trailer accident attorneys at no risk to discuss your case. We’ll review the information you provide and determine if you deserve a financial award for your damages.
Choose The Benton Law Firm
Our team of legal professionals dedicates their time and attention to each case we take. When you hire us, we will provide you with the one-on-one attention you can’t get at larger law firms. We know how important it is for you to reach us when you need us, which is why we offer 24/7 customer service. You can contact a legal professional any time of day to get the status of your case or schedule an appointment with your attorney.
Our Dallas truck accident attorneys fight hard for our clients and will help you seek justice for the suffering you had to endure. If you were the victim of a tractor-trailer accident in Dallas and need help recovering the compensation you deserve, call The Benton Law Firm today at (214) 777-7777.