Texas Truck Accident Attorneys
You go to great lengths to keep your family safe, including driving a car with necessary safety features to protect your precious cargo. You buckle your kids in the right car seats and follow traffic laws to avoid deadly collisions. However, when an oil tanker comes up fast behind you on I-20, there is not much you can do to prevent a tragic accident. At that point, it is up to the truck driver to behave responsibly and avoid a crash. Unfortunately, far too many of these drivers are fatigued, impaired, distracted, or just plain incompetent, making a collision that much more likely. If you live in Texas, you have probably shared the road with plenty of commercial trucks, especially oil field vehicles such as tankers, winch trucks, swab rigs, and vacuum trucks. If you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of one of these driver’s mistakes, you will need an experienced Texas truck crash attorney. You will need the Button Law Firm.
We Work for Safer Texas Communities
At the Button Law Firm, we represent injured victims of truck crashes when a trucking company resists paying a settlement, but we also fight to compel that trucker or trucking company to make changes to ensure that another person is not harmed. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), when a truck crash occurs, it is often caused by one of the following contributing factors:
- Driver fatigue. Drivers are required by federal law to limit the number of hours they drive in one stretch. However, many drivers ignore these rules and enter false information in the required hours-of-service logs. When a fatigued driver is behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler, he is putting many lives at risk. In many cases, the driver’s employer has forced him to exceed hours-of-service limits and therefore shares the blame for a resulting accident.
- Driver distraction. Long-distance truckers face many challenges, including boredom, loneliness, navigation problems, and logging requirements. Unfortunately, they often cope with these challenges by multi-tasking behind the wheel. Using a smartphone to have a video chat with a friend may help pass the time, but it also takes the driver’s attention off the road. Setting and following a navigation system is also distracting and can lead to an accident, as can logging hours and miles in a paper or electronic logbook. When a driver is in control of a 40-ton semi-truck, he should be fully focused on the task of driving.
- Impaired drivers. While illegal drugs and alcohol account for some of the truck accidents that occur each year, more drivers are impaired by prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines. When a trucker is pressured to deliver a load despite being sick, he may take medicines that cause drowsiness and inattention. Other drivers may abuse over-the-counter drugs in an attempt to stay awake. Mandatory drug testing following an accident can determine the cause of impairment, and an experienced attorney will make sure those tests are conducted.
- Unqualified drivers. We are facing a major shortage of truck drivers across the U.S. right now. This can lead to trucking companies hiring drivers with poor driving records, a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or who are in poor health. While this is against federal law, it still happens, especially when companies are desperate to move freight. If the driver who caused your accident was not qualified to drive a truck, his employer might be partially to blame.
- Poorly maintained trucks. Bad brakes and poor tires are the leading causes of vehicle failure accidents. When a driver fails to conduct mandatory inspections of his rig or trucking companies don’t follow up with routine maintenance, they send dangerous vehicles out on the roads. In these accidents, both the driver and the trucking company could be to blame.
No matter what caused the accident that left you injured or a loved one dies, we will investigate to determine who caused it and hold them responsible.
Types of Damages Available for Texas Truck Accident Victims
In Texas, truck crash victims with an experienced attorney can often negotiate for both economic and non-economic damages, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Economic damages are often easily quantified, but non-economic damages are much harder to put a price tag on and to win in negotiations.
- Past and future medical expenses. Collisions with semi-trucks can result in catastrophic injuries that require long-term care and rehabilitation. Your attorney should fight for maximum damages for medical expenses if you were seriously injured in a truck crash.
- Lost income and future earning capacity. Damages may also be awarded for any time you were unable to work and were not paid. If you have suffered a permanent disability that limits your ability to work, you can also be awarded the money you would have earned in the future if you had not been injured in the truck wreck.
- Loss of household services. When a spouse or parent who normally performs routine household duties is injured and becomes unable to perform those duties, these damages may be awarded to support the family while the victim is incapacitated.
- Pain and suffering. While difficult to quantify, many victims of terrifying truck crashes can win damages for pain and suffering. The intent of these damages is to compensate for the pain you have experienced, both physical and emotional, because of the accident.
- Mental anguish. Similar to pain and suffering damages, these damages may be awarded following a particularly gruesome accident, which is not uncommon when a semi-truck is involved.
- Physical impairment. These damages are intended to compensate a victim whose physical impairment following an accident will prevent them from fully enjoying life as he or she did before the accident. It can be seen as a non-economic partner to the loss of future earnings damages.
- Disfigurement. Amputations and permanent scars are not uncommon following a truck crash. These victims may be awarded special damages to compensate for the changes in their physical appearance which may affect their ability to live a normal life.
In some cases, juries may also award exemplary damages. Also known as punitive damages, these are only awarded for crashes caused by wanton or intentional disregard for safety. If it can be proven that a truck driver or trucking company knew of a substantial risk, but drove anyway, they may be ordered to pay exemplary damages. This award can be significant as the intention is to punish the individual or company who caused you harm.
Contact an Experienced Texas Truck Accident Attorney Today
When you call the Button Law Firm immediately after your truck accident in Texas, we will preserve the evidence necessary to investigate the cause of the crash and pursue compensation from the negligent party or parties. Truck black boxes, hours-of-service logs, and the driver’s cell phone can all be examined for evidence of negligence on the part of the driver or trucking company. We will hold those responsible for the crash accountable for their actions.
If you've been injured in an auto accident you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. We know how difficult getting through this can be. That’s why our experienced team wants to help guide you – as we have helped guide many of our clients within Midland, Houston, Dallas, and the surrounding areas. You can give us a call at (214) 699-4409 or email us at [email protected] You can contact us online to schedule a free consultation or by filling out the form below or by chatting with a member of our team.