Dallas Truck Accident Attorneys
Injured in a Crash with an 18-Wheeler or Big Rig in Texas?
Truck crashes can be some of the most catastrophic accidents that occur on the road. 18-wheelers can weigh as much as 40 tons, easily more than 20 times the weight of an average passenger car. No matter what safety features our vehicles have installed, there’s only so much they can do when facing an out of control big rig.
Far too often, these crashes are caused by the negligent, reckless, or wrongful actions taken by the truck driver or the trucking company that employs them. If you were seriously injured in a collision with a big rig or 18-wheeler, contact a Dallas truck accident attorney from our today to discuss your case and begin planning your first steps to compensation.
Contact Aldous \ Walker today at (214) 307-6307
Turn to a Team That's Recovered Billions of Dollars
At Aldous \ Walker LLP, our Dallas truck accident attorneys have fought for hundreds of clients since we first opened our doors. While many law firms are content to accept a settlement, we pride ourselves on being ready and willing to take your case in front of a jury in order to maximize your compensation. Through our tireless efforts, we have secured more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements.
If you were seriously injured in a truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t be responsible for your medical bills. Contact our legal team today to discuss your options and how we can help.
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The Devastating Impact of Truck Accidents in the U.S.
According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), and the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), about 22% of all truck crashes result in injuries, and approximately 130,000 people are injured in truck accidents every year.
This problem is only becoming more severe. A nationwide study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that there was a 62% increase in injuries caused by trucking collisions from 2009 to 2015, and from 2015 to 2016, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased to 4,213. In more than half of the cases studied by the organization, the truck driver was found responsible for the incident.
Responsibilities of Truck Drivers & Trucking Companies
Because of the size and weight of their vehicles, drivers and trucking companies have a major responsibility to act with care in operating these commercial trucks. The trucking industry is require to follow a variety of rules and regulations intended to keep both their drivers and other motorists safe.
Some of the regulations put in place by the FMCSA include:
- Zero alcohol/drug use policy
- Maintenance requirements for trucks
- Avoiding prescription medications that may cause drowsiness
- Limitations on hours/miles driven before stopping for rest breaks
Any time a truck driver is involved in a collision, the trucking company will launch an investigation into the accident to determine who was at fault, and whether or not the driver could have done anything to prevent the crash.
The Dallas truck accident lawyers at Aldous \ Walker understand these rules and regulations just as well, if not better than anyone, and understand the steps to take when investigating the cause of a truck accident.
Preventable Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
During our trial preparations, our Dallas truck accident attorneys will look into the events leading up to your truck accident. Some of the things we look out for include whether or not the truck driver kept their vehicle well-maintained, whether they were keeping up with their federally regulated rest schedule, and more.
Hours of Service Violations
State and federal agencies set strict regulations for how long truck drivers can remain on duty in order to ensure that they aren’t overworked and can still operate their vehicles safely. These hours of service regulation limit how long a driver can drive their vehicles without stopping to rest, but unfortunately, don’t stop all transgressions from occurring.
- Drivers can only stay on duty for 60/70 hours when working over a 7/8 day period and must stay off duty for 34 straight hours to reset the 7/8 day cycle.
- After working for eight straight hours, drivers must take a 30-minute break before resuming duty.
- Drivers can only drive for 11 hours at a time following a 10-hour break.
- Drivers can only remain on duty for 14 hours following a 10-hour break.
Sometimes, it’s the trucking company that pressures their workers to work beyond their legal and physical limits, and other times it’s a reckless driver who chooses to push themselves too far in order to meet a deadline. No matter what, a driver working past their limits can place the lives of everyone else on the road in danger.
Whether it’s alcohol, drugs, or any other substance that impairs your ability to drive, driving under the influence is a very fast way to end up hurt. It’s an irresponsibly dangerous decision no matter what vehicle you operate, but that danger is only increased when that vehicle weighs up to 80,000 pounds.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a report that indicated that a “safety-critical event” – which include crashes, near-crashes, unintentional lane deviations and more – is six times more likely to occur when they take their eyes off the road to look at their phones. According to their data, every time a truck driver looks down at their phone, they take their eyes off the road for an average of 3.8 seconds. While driving along highway speed, that much time is enough to cover about 300 feet, or the length of a football field.
FMCSA regulations prohibit commercial truck drivers from texting and the use of hand-held mobile or smartphones while operating a commercial motor vehicle, but not all truck drivers follow such regulations. Distracted driving collisions continue to happen with dangerous consequences.
- Brake Problems: Any machine will break down if it is not properly maintained, but some failures have greater consequences than others. Brake failure can cause a fully-loaded truck to barrel into unsuspecting motorists at highway speeds, obliterating numerous vehicles in its path. Brakes aren’t the only part that can fail; even non-mechanical parts can break off and cause injuries if not properly maintained.
- Under-inflated tires: Just like the truck itself, tires need to be checked and maintained to ensure their safety. Under-inflated tires increase the rate at which they wear down, and can eventually destroy their casings and burst. Flying chunks of rubber, as well as loss of vehicle control, increase the risk of an accident.
Truck Driver Negligence
- Reckless driving: Whether the truck driver is speeding, constantly and recklessly switching lanes, or not paying attention to traffic, reckless driving can easily result in a terrible accident. Drivers may fail to check their blind spot before changing lanes, take a turn at high speeds, or ignore a change in the speed of traffic.
- Improperly loaded cargo: It’s up to the truck driver and the people in charge of loading the trailer to make sure the cargo is loaded in a safe manner. If the cargo isn’t properly secured or balanced, it could easily shift during transport, make the driver to lose control of their truck, and cause the trailer of the truck to tip over.
If you were seriously injured by a truck driver’s reckless or wrongful actions, you may be able to file a lawsuit to fight for the compensation you require to cover any medical expenses or damages like pain and suffering, loss of future earnings, loss of consortium, etc. Our Dallas truck accident lawyers at Aldous \ Walker LLP have spent decades representing clients in court and at the negotiation table, and have the experience and knowledge you need to put together the strongest case possible.
Contact us today to explain your situation to one of our attorneys and begin planning out your next steps.