Accidents involving 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers are often devastating for the passengers in the smaller vehicles because of the differences between the truck’s size and weight and the size and weight of cars, motorcycles, and bikes.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
The specific injury suffered in a truck crash depends on many factors including the type of collision that occurred. Some of the serious injuries that may occur include:
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Burn injuries
- Head injuries, including concussions and skull fractures
- Internal injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Full or partial paralysis
If you have been hurt or a loved one has been killed in a truck wreck, then you need to know how to handle your legal claim. Truck crashes are far more complex than regular car accidents. In order to bring a successful claim, it is important to work with an attorney who has experience not only with personal injury law but also with trucking regulations and industry standards. Our lawyers work hard to protect the rights of our clients and to hold the responsible parties accountable for the harm they have caused.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Commercial motor vehicles, including tractor trailers, were involved in 34,108 crashes in Texas during 2016, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. There are many different causes of these accidents, including:
- Driver inexperience
- Overloaded trucks
- Poor truck maintenance
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving too fast
- Poor weather or road conditions
- Aggressive driving
In order to determine the cause of your truck wreck, it is important to have an investigation completed as soon as possible.
What Happens During a Truck Accident Investigation
Your attorney will make sure that all evidence is secured and will evaluate the accident scene, the condition of the rig, compliance with federal regulations, and police findings. Additionally, our lawyers will look at:
- Driver logbooks
- Any computer data (such as black box)
- Documents related to the truck’s load and prior deliveries
- The driver’s training and experience
This information could be helpful with your recovery.
Federal Trucking Regulations May Be Important to Your Claim
Federal regulations require that certain actions be taken by the trucking company and the trucker. For example:
- Truckers should inspect their equipment daily. The truck operator must inspect the rig’s air lines, compressor, brakes, fuel system, lights, steering, safety equipment, axles, wheels and tires, and various other things. If any dangerous or defective conditions are found, they must be noted and reported to the trucking company.
- Truckers should make sure all loads are secure before they begin driving.
- Trucking companies should ensure that their drivers comply with hours of service regulations. These regulations require certain rest breaks, limit the number of hours that can be driven after a rest break, and limit the number of hours that can be driven in a seven or eight day period. The purpose of these regulations is to prevent tired truckers from being on the road.
These and other regulations are supposed to help prevent truck accidents. Unfortunately, trucking companies often place a higher priority on speed of delivery than the safety of their drivers and the motorists who share the road with them.
Now Is the Time for Help If You Have Been Hurt
If you were injured or a loved one was killed in an accident with an 18-wheeler, the truck company and their insurance company will try their best to deny liability for the accident. It is important that you do not talk to the trucking company’s attorneys or insurance adjuster and that you do not sign any documents before talking to an experienced truck accident lawyer.
The truck driver, the owner of the rig, the company that the driver works for, and even the manufacturer of the truck or its parts may be liable for an accident. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and let us complete a thorough investigation and identify the proper defendants for your truck accident case.