Truck wrecks (also called eighteen-wheeler wrecks) are the types of wrecks where some the greatest momentum is involved. Because they carry such tremendous amounts of weight, a truck wreck injury can involve tremendous force. Because this is the case, there is often much more at stake in an eighteen-wheeler wreck than the average car wreck. A small miscalculation in a commercial truck driver's operation can cause devastation—even fatalities. If you or your family have been involved in a crash like this, the Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Glenn Law Firm are ready and able to help. Our goal is to help you get all of the compensation to which the law and the insurance policies involved entitle you.
CAUSES OF TRUCK WRECKS
In truck wrecks, it's essential that the drivers keep proper control of their vehicles because their oversized loads are so dangerous. When this doesn't happen, the consequences can be severe. The following are a few different causes of eighteen-wheeler wrecks:
Speeding: Where it can be proved that the driver was exceeding the posted speed limits, your case will be stronger than instances where this aspect of the case is in question. It's even more important for truck drivers to obey the posted limits than your average personal vehicle because the enormous weight they carry can wreak havoc if they lose control. High speed is among the leading reasons drivers of any type lose control of their vehicles.
Carrying Heavy Payloads: One of the reasons you see weighing stations for trucks all over Texas roadways is because there are regulations about how much weight can be carried and under what conditions and scenarios. If the truck was carrying too much weight at the time of the incident—if it was overburdened—then your case may also be stronger. In instances like this, drivers may be less able to keep control of their loads, thus putting you and other motorists at risk. Sometimes shipping companies pressure drivers to take more than is safe, as well. This creates unnecessary danger for everyone.
Distracted Driving: We've all had that terrible feeling of watching a driver make a foolish move while their nose is down in their phone. But this feeling is all the more serious when you see a truck driver doing it! Eating while driving, texting while driving, and other distracted driving is all the more problematic when one is driving more and more weight behind them! Driving while drowsy and driving for too long—also known as highway hypnosis—can put other drivers (and the truck drivers, themselves) in serious danger.)
Drunk Driving: This is a more unusual circumstance with truck drivers because they're on the job and making long trips. With that said, it is certainly not unheard of. When a driver of any vehicle—including big trucks—is pulled over with a BAC of .08% or more, then that driver is driving drunk in the eyes of the law.
Mechanical Failure: Showing that a mechanical failure took place can implicate not just the truck driver, but also the trucking company, the manufacturer, and even the designer of the faulty parts as well. The company is generally responsible for maintenance, and it is often their responsibility to ensure they're not sending their drivers out in unsafe vehicles.
These categories are just a few examples of how trucking accidents can happen. Please keep in mind that just because your specific incident may not involve one of these types, that does not mean you do not have a cause of action. Wrecks and accidents can arise in all sorts of ways. Here at Glenn Law Firm, a Fort Worth truck wreck attorney is ready to help you figure out your legal options and remedies.
FORT WORTH TRUCK WRECKS
Beyond the obvious reason that eighteen wheelers are such dangerous types of vehicles—their enormous weight and size—there is another. That other reason is that the demands that shipping companies make of their drivers can be very unreasonable. Often truck drivers are required to reach deadlines and metrics that can put extreme strain on them, and they are forced to drive unreasonable hours that ultimately compromise public safety. This combination of factors leads to multiplied danger.
WHO IS TO BLAME?
In Texas, there is a doctrine of law called respondeat superior. This doctrine is also known by its more straightforward name: vicarious liability. This means that when a worker is operating in the course and scope of his business relationship, the employer is liable for the employee's torts, or the harms he causes. Because complex legal relationships like this may exist, we strongly recommend that you have a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer analyze your case and provide you with professional legal insights. Navigating these types of dynamics on your own can result in you not realizing all of the various compensations you have a right to.
In a truck accident where you are not at fault, the following are the parties who may be responsible:
Where negligent operation is the cause—especially of the types listed above—then it is likely the truck driver himself who is liable. (However, even in these cases, it is often the case that the trucking company is liable as well through vicarious liability.)
As just mentioned, vicarious liability makes an employer liable for the torts—including negligent operation of a vehicle—of employees who are operating in the course and scope of business at the time of a truck crash. But beyond this type of liability, it's often the case that the company has a duty to make sure that its equipment is properly maintained, that its employees are properly trained, and other duties that ensure the protection of not just its employees but the public at large.
Because there are so many systems involved in a vehicle as complex as an eighteen-wheeler, it is important that all those systems, devices, parts, and components are made properly and reliably. Failure at highway speeds while towing thousands and thousands of pounds can be extremely dangerous. This is why manufacturers who send faulty parts out onto the roadway can be held liable. This type of litigation gets more complex as it requires experts, reconstructionist, and complicated legal arguments. At Glenn Law Firm, we have an experienced eighteen-wheeler wreck attorney who is ready to fight for you. A Fort Worth personal injury lawyer can help you to set your case on firm ground, and they can make sure the insurance company knows you're willing to go all the way to trial if need be.
TYPES OF INJURIES RESULTING FROM TRUCKING ACCIDENTS
Injuries of all types are common in all vehicle wrecks, whether it be something as small as a moped or as large as a Hummer. But with big truck wrecks, the following are some of the most common.
Whiplash is one of the most common. If you're unfamiliar with the term, whiplash is a jerking or sudden twist of the neck that results in severe pain. This type of muscular injury can linger for days or even weeks, and it can require involved physical therapy.
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES -- TBI
Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury. When the head suffers severe trauma, this is a type of injury that can certainly result. Traumatic brain injuries are serious and can have life-changing consequences. They can effect your cognition, memory, and even your basic motor skills.
LOSS OF LIMBS – AMPUTATION
The tremendous force and weight involved in eighteen-wheeler crashes can lead to the loss of limbs—whether it be a medically required amputation or in the truck crash itself. These are some of the most devastating consequences of non-fatal wrecks.
In legal terms, a wrongful death is exactly what it sounds like: a death that was wrongful, or should not have happened. A tremendous number of roadway fatalities fall into this category. This does not only have consequences for the deceased, but for his or her children, spouse, family, and others. A Fort Worth truck accident lawyer can help you understand how to move forward if you've suffered a loss like this.
CONTACT GLENN LAW FIRM FOR A FREE CASE ANALYSIS
At Glenn Law Firm, we have fought for clients who have been where you are. We are ready to provide you a free case analysis and help you understand the options available to you. If you need a Fort Worth truck accident attorney, please call us at (817) 424-5999 or fill out the submission form on this website. We look forward to fighting for you.