Semi-Truck Accidents Can Be Fatal or Cause Serious Injuries
18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks such as big rigs and semis can be extremely dangerous. That is because these large trucks weigh much more than a regular passenger vehicle.
As a commercial truck collides with your passenger vehicle, there is a considerable amount of force involved.
Compared to an accident involving just passenger vehicles, this type of accident can potentially cause far more serious problems.
Unfortunately, these accidents can cause severe injuries or fatalities.
In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that in 2019, of approximately 510,000 large truck crashes, 114,000 resulted in injuries and 4,479 resulted in fatalities. These fatal crashes usually take place on highways and in rural locations.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, attorneys experienced in commercial vehicle accidents can help you.
At Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP, our Dallas truck accident lawyers will listen to your story and guide you on what to do after your truck accident.
Common Causes of an 18-Wheeler or Truck Accident
There are several typical causes of an 18-wheeler or truck accident. Some of these are:
- Driving while intoxicated;
- Driver fatigue;
- Reckless driving or speeding;
- Distracted driving including cell phone use;
- Equipment failures, and
- Poorly trained truck drivers.
While these are not the only reasons for a truck crash to occur, these factors could be weighed in determining the liability of all parties involved.
Speaking with a Dallas truck accident attorney can help you sort through your options.
Driving While Intoxicated
Driving under the influence of alcohol is one possible factor that can affect the liability of the parties.
In Texas, commercial truck drivers are subject to stricter standards than drivers of regular passenger vehicles.
Texas law requires commercial drivers to have a 0.04% maximum blood alcohol concentration (BAC). By contrast, the BAC limit for drivers of non-commercial vehicles 21 years or older is 0.08%.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recommends that drivers do not drive at all when tired.
For example, drivers should try not to be on the road between midnight and 6 AM. Both trucking companies and truck drivers are subject to federal regulations regarding how safely they should drive.
If you are able to show that a truck driver or company violated these regulations, it could be beneficial for your negligence claim against those parties.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office reported that in 2021, speeding caused over 163,000 traffic crashes in Texas.
It is also a leading cause of truck accidents. TxDOT emphasizes to not only follow the posted speed limits, but to also adjust your speed according to weather conditions and work zones.
In the same study by FMCSA, in 2017, 6% of the truck accidents were caused by driver distraction on the part of the truck driver. 16% of those driver distractions were connected to cell phone usage.
Brake problems and other equipment failures in large trucks are also major causes of truck accidents.
According to a causation study done by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, brake problems are one of the biggest factors in large truck accidents.
Poorly Trained Truck Drivers
If the truck driver was poorly trained, the trucking company could be found to have been negligent.
This means that you could potentially have a claim against the trucking company for your injuries.
If a commercial truck driver was driving aggressively, it is also possible that they could be found to have been negligent.
Aggressive driving is defined by the TxDOT as any behavior causing danger to people or property.
According to federal statutes, a “longer combination vehicle,” such as a truck cannot weigh over 80,000 pounds.
If the truck that hit your vehicle was overloaded, it is possible that the person or company that was responsible for loading it could be liable.
The first two potentially liable parties are obvious: the truck driver and the passenger vehicle driver. But there are other potentially liable parties, such as:
- The trucking company;
- The truck manufacturer;
- A company responsible for maintaining the truck;
- A company responsible for loading the cargo, or
- A government entity responsible for maintaining the road.
If the truck driver caused the accident, the trucking company who hired them could also be held jointly liable for the accident under the doctrine of “respondeat superior.”
Essentially, this means that the employer would be responsible for their employee’s actions. The driver has to have been acting in the course and scope of their employment for this to apply.
They also must be classified as an employee rather than an independent contractor.
Determining the liability of the parties depends on the particular facts of your case. You should let your attorney know as much information as possible.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in Dallas Today
If you need a Dallas truck accident lawyer, the attorneys at Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP can help.
We see each client as a person deserving of the best results possible. In the past, we have achieved several multi-million dollar settlements for our clients.
Our practice areas include not only trucking accidents but also back injuries, burn injuries, brain injuries, product defects, and many more.
Reach out to us today at 832-402-6637 or request a case evaluation online for more information.
Nhtsa.dot.gov Large Truck Traffic Safety Facts
Fmcsa.dot.gov Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts from 2019
Statutes.capitol.texas.gov Public Intoxication and Blood Alcohol Limits in Texas
Txdot.gov Highway Driving
Fortbendcountytx.gov Cracking down on Speeding
Uscode.house.gov Federal Statutes regarding vehicle weight limits