Understanding who's responsible for a semi-truck crash can be complicated
Whether you were rear-ended by a semi-truck on I-10 or involved in a collision with a double tractor-trailer on I-35, the consequences of a truck accident are often devastating and life-changing.
Suddenly you're in agony, unable to work, and unsure whether your injuries will ever fully heal. The road to recovery is often long and expensive, but victims have recourse through the civil justice system.
Indeed, victims are entitled to justice and compensation for their losses—but the process of recovering compensation can be tough to navigate without the help of an experienced truck accident attorney.
That's because cases involving commercial truck accidents are complex, as there are often multiple parties that can be held liable for damages.
Who's responsible for a commercial truck accident?
There are many people and entities that may be held responsible for a commercial truck accident that results in severe injury or death. Depending on the specific details of your case, the following parties could potentially be held liable for your accident:
- The trucking company.
- The trucker.
- The truck's owner.
- The owner of the cargo.
- Cargo loaders.
- Defective parts manufacturers.
- An independent contractor.
- A third party, such as the driver of another vehicle involved in the crash.
What causes truck accidents?
Every day, cities and highways in Texas and across the nation experience serious or fatal truck accidents. In 2020, for example, Harris County experienced almost 5,000 truck accidents, including 41 that were fatal; Bexar County had 2,137 truck crashes, including 15 deadly collisions; and Dallas County had 3,753 truck accidents, 31 of which were fatal.
Truck accidents are often caused by:
- Trucker error - Examples include misjudging the speed or distance of other vehicles, failure to yield the right of way, improper turns, oversteering, braking too suddenly, and driving the wrong way on the road.
- Reckless driving - A trucker who speeds, tailgates, engages in road rage, or refuses to share the road with others is being negligent. The same goes for truckers who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fatigued truckers, and truckers who drive distracted.
- Poor fleet maintenance - Some trucking companies and truck owners skip regular care and maintenance to save a few dollars. This can result in worn-out and broken parts, like a faulty brake system.
- Defective parts - A manufacturer who puts out a dangerous product that leads to things like truck tire blowouts must be held accountable.
- Environmental conditions - Failing to adjust for bad weather, unexpected debris in the road, shifting lanes, potholes, and uneven surfaces can contribute to a crash.
- Improperly-loaded or overloaded cargo - When cargo is not stacked and secured, it can shift during transportation. This movement can throw off a truck's balance and cause it to jackknife or rollover. Overloaded trailers can cause this as well.
What are common truck accident injuries?
Truck accident injuries are often devastating and life-altering. Among the most common injuries sustained by victims are:
- Back and neck injuries like herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, whiplash, muscle tears, ripped tendons, and nerve damage.
- Broken bones, especially in the arms (ulna, radius), legs (tibia, fibula), knees, ankles, wrists, collarbone (clavicle), spine (lumbar vertebrae and cervical vertebrae), as well as the skull.
- Burn injuries.
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (concussion, coma, decreased brain function and/or body control), contusions, punctures, and eye injuries.
- Internal injuries like organ damage and internal bleeding.
- Lacerations and cuts.
- Paralysis or loss of range of motion.
How much is my truck accident claim worth?
Those liable in truck accidents often know that, for the victims, recovery can be long, intense, and expensive. They also know that families of those killed in truck accidents deserve substantial compensation.
On average, truck accident claims can result in settlements of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some end in multi-million-dollar verdicts.
In fact, our law firm recently won a $2 million settlement ($800,000: attorney fees and expenses) for the surviving family members of a worker killed in a trucking accident.
Speak with a truck accident attorney today
If you were injured or a loved one died in a truck accident in the Texas Triangle - Houston (Harris County), San Antonio (Bexar County, Dallas (Dallas County) - schedule a free case evaluation with our law firm. At no cost to you, we can explain your legal rights and help you weigh your legal options.
At Tracey Fox King & Walters, we've recovered over $400 million for our clients and understand what it takes to win cases involving commercial truck accidents. To learn more about how we can help with your potential legal case, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced Texas truck accident lawyer. Our offices are located in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, and we serve clients nationwide.