Truck accident cases involve issues that are not present in other types of motor vehicle accident cases. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, you need an attorney who understands both the law and the trucking industry.
At McKay Law in Sulphur Springs, we offer a free and confidential consultation to discuss your accident case. Our lawyers fervently protect the rights of people throughout East Texas who have been harmed by the negligence of truck drivers and trucking companies. Call at (903) 999-2653 to talk to one of our attorneys.
Trucking Accident FAQs
Truck accident cases are terribly violent events, and the consequences can be devastating and expensive. Major injuries are an all-too-common consequence of crashes such as these, and the property damage, loss of income and emotional trauma that go along with those injuries may ultimately decimate a family’s financial security. That’s why working with an experienced Sulphur Springs trucking accident attorney is a wise thing to do: the last thing you want is to represent yourself in court and fail to recover what you deserve.
McKay Law has been fighting on behalf of injured clients in East Texas for many years, and we often receive a few common questions, including the following.
What Should I Do If I Am in A Truck Accident?
The first thing is to seek medical help and stabilize any major injuries. If you are able, however, it is also important to document the scene in full detail, including the condition of the road, the position of the vehicles, the personal information of all drivers and passengers, and any info pertaining to eyewitness accounts. Most importantly, take photographs as described above. What you should not do is refuse medical care or provide any assurances that you are not injured to insurance adjusters, as such statements may later hinder your efforts at recovering a fair settlement.
What Kind of Settlement Or Reward Can I Expect?
This depends on the nature and severity of the crash. Minor injuries may be more difficult to collect upon than catastrophic injuries, but the legal questions are similar: who was at fault, what expenses are associated with your recovery, will you lose income as a result, and was there gross negligence or pain and suffering that deserve legal consideration as well? An attorney can answer these questions carefully and prepare aggressively for a court battle to ensure you get a substantial sum.
How Many People Are Hurt in Truck Accident Cases?
In an average year, there are approximately 4,229 fatalities in the United States involving commercial trucks or semi-trucks. There are more than 70,000 injuries from truck accident cases, many of which were life-changing, permanent injuries such as brain injury, spine injury, paralysis, and coma.
The statistics in East Texas are also eye-opening. In an average year, there are approximately 2,000 accidents involving large trucks or 18-wheelers. Of these crashes, approximately 115 deaths occurred and over 1,300 individuals were injured as a result of truck accident cases. Additionally, more than 800 large trucks were involved in tow-away crashes.
Statistics from recent years also show that truck accident cases are more likely to occur in rural areas (68%) than in urban regions (32%). 78% of all fatal truck accident cases occur on the weekends.
Truck driver fatigue has been found to be the most common cause of trucking accidents in which the truck driver is at fault. In fact, statistics show that over 30% of all truck accident cases are caused due to truckers driving not getting the required amount of sleep. Unfortunately, driver fatigue is often the result of stringent driver mile or trip requirements by large trucking companies focused on increasing driver miles and, in turn, profits at the expense of the safety and well-being of the general public.
How Long Do I Have To Pursue A Lawsuit After A Truck Accident?
It is best to discuss your options with an experienced East Texas trucking accident attorney sooner rather than later. However, in East Texas, you have two years until you hit the statute of limitations.
Should I Give Medical Information To The Trucking Company’s Insurer?
While you can, it is best not to before you consult with a lawyer. If you give them too much information, they can use it against you and will often offer a lower settlement. Avoid doing this if you haven’t already.
Should I Accept The Settlement Offer?
No, not until you talk with someone at our firm. Insurance companies often want to close a claim as fast as possible and will offer much less than you deserve. Depending on your case, you may be entitled to much more.
How Are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?
Due to the sheer size difference between a car and a truck, the injuries can be much more severe. From broken bones to spinal cord injuries, your suffering could last a lifetime. Furthermore, the driver, the company they work for and their insurance company can all be held liable.
How Is Fault Determined in A Truck Accident?
There are a number of things to look at. We will do everything we can to prove negligence. We do this by proving the driver was overtired, overworked or undertrained. Weather conditions or road conditions can also be a factor.
How Long Does A Trucking Accident Lawsuit Take?
Our goal is to get you the maximum compensation in the shortest amount of time. That being said, depending on your claim, you might have to be patient. We will always keep you up to date and strive to get things accomplished as quickly as possible.
What Are the Most Common Trucking Accident Injuries?
Common examples include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Bone fractures
How Much Does It Cost To Work With A Good Attorney?
This is the good news. When you retain the attorneys of McKay Law, you never have to pay any fee unless we obtain you money via either settlement or trial. Our firm works on a contingency basis, meaning the only payment we receive comes out of the settlement or trial judgment itself, so essentially the responsible party pays us instead of you.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Truck Accidents?
A trucking accident can occur for a variety of reasons. However, the most common causes of truck accident cases involve one or more of the following issues:
- Unqualified truck drivers
- Poorly trained truck drivers
- Driver fatigue
- Prescription drug use
- Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Brake failure or other mechanical failure
- Failure to yield to the right of way
- Inspection failure
- Repair and maintenance failure
- Overloaded trucks and trailers
- Inattention or carelessness
- Improperly loaded trailers or loads
- Tires not inspected or faulty
- Inadequate surveillance
- Illegal turns or safety violations
- Driving inattentively
- Merging improperly into traffic
- Failure to stop at a stop sign or red light
- Failure to slow down in a construction zone
- Following too closely
- Failure to slow down in inclement weather
- Changing lanes abruptly
Trucking Accident Investigations
Trucking companies often have investigators at the scene of the accident gathering information and reconstructing the truck accident cases. This is not being done for your benefit. These trucking accident investigators are working for the trucking companies’ insurance companies trying to limit their exposure. Hiring your own East Texas trucking accident attorney quickly can nullify the advantage gained by the trucking companies.
Like all motor vehicles, 18-wheeler trucks and tractor-trailer trucks are sophisticated pieces of machinery that require regular inspection and maintenance in order to function properly, safely, and in compliance with the law. Before semi-trucks even hit the road, the trucks and trailers are required to be carefully inspected to ensure proper functionality of all aspects of the vehicle and to ensure that the truck is not a safety risk to other drivers.
The Truck Driver’s Responsibility
Truck drivers have a responsibility to be cautious and diligent drivers, always obeying the rules of the road so as to prevent accidents and injury. Thus, if a driver drives recklessly, chooses not to regularly inspect his/her truck to ensure complete functionality, drives too long without taking a required rest break, speeds or violates other safety rules, then he/she and the trucking company he/she works for should be held liable for the damages he/she causes.
The Trucking Company’s Responsibility
Trucking companies can be held responsible for the dangers that their trucks bring to the road. If a trucking company fails to inspect its truck and sends that truck out on the road knowing the safety risk to other motorists, then that trucking company should be held accountable for the injuries that truck causes. East Texas recognizes a separate cause of action for negligent hiring, entrustment, and supervision against a trucking company for permitting an unqualified, inadequately trained, and/or unsafe driver on the roads.
In these cases, it is also possible to prove that the trucking company itself acted recklessly by permitting a dangerous driver to operate an 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer and cause accidents, thereby putting the general public at risk. In cases where negligent hiring claims are proven, trucking companies can also be subjected to punitive damages for willful or reckless conduct. Punitive damages are designed to punish a negligent trucking company and hopefully deter the trucking company from taking such action in the future, thereby increasing safety.
Contact Us For A Free Case Evaluation
The attorneys at McKay Law focus their practice on aggressively representing the victims of 18-wheeler and tractor-trailer truck accident cases throughout East Texas, including Sulphur Springs, East Texas, and statewide. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a trucking driver’s or trucking company’s negligence, call McKay Law trucking accident attorney at (903) 999-2653 or submit your case for a free case review.