Truck Accident Lawyer in Midland
There are more than 66,000 trucking companies in Texas, with most of the companies being smaller limited liability companies (LLCs) employing only a handful of drivers. Big trucks translate to big business for many companies in Texas, but they also cause big accidents, and anybody who suffers injuries in a large truck crash will want to find themselves a Midland truck accident lawyer.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported in its most recent statistics that there were 4,805 large fatal crashes involving trucks, and 60,744 large trucks were involved in injury crashes. FMCSA also reported that 91 percent of fatal large truck crashes only involved one fatality, but 82 percent of those fatalities were not the occupants of the large trucks.
Truck Accident Liability
Determining the liable party for a truck accident can be extraordinarily complicated because there are a number of different parties involved in the maintenance and ownership of large trucks. One primary reason for you to hire an attorney for your truck accident claim is simply for help figuring out exactly who was responsible.
Some of the different parties that could be held accountable may include:
- Truck drivers — The truth remains that many large truck accidents stem from some kind of truck driver negligence, so this is why so many drivers will be immediate suspects when it comes to pinpointing liable parties. While drivers certainly can be financially liable to victims in many cases, they rarely have enough personal wealth to pay large judgments. The good news is that most truck drivers will have some kind of insurance that should cover most of their losses. Common kinds of truck driver negligence may include a truck driver operating while they were under the influence of alcohol or either illegal or prescription drugs, operating in violation of federal hours or service standards, or other possible violations of state or federal law.
- Truck owners — Instead of the drivers, it is usually a truck owner who is responsible for caring for the truck, which means that large truck accidents stemming from some kind of truck failures such as a blown tire or brake failure could mean the truck owner becomes liable. Remember that there are many federal regulations governing the inspection and maintenance of trucks.
- Companies responsible for hiring truck drivers — Responsibility for hiring qualified truck drivers inevitably falls on trucking companies themselves, but there can be third parties in some cases that could be liable if they are responsible for the hiring of drivers who lack proper commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), had a history of FMCSA violations, or had a record of prior drunk or drugged driving offenses.
- Loading companies responsible for cargo on trucks — FMCSA has very strict cargo securement rules, and violations of such rules could lead to liability for the cargo loading company when they do not adhere to federal standards. Cargo loading issues can cause all kinds of problems for trucks, ranging from loads shifting and causing a loss of control to cargo falling off trucks and into the paths of other motor vehicles.
- Truck or truck part manufacturers — Any kind of defective part on a large truck that is responsible for a crash can lead to a product liability claim against the manufacturer of that part. Some parts may fail when they were part of the original installation in a new truck, or they could be replacement parts that were part of routine service.
- Maintenance companies or mechanics — Seemingly independent mechanics could be liable when they fail to perform necessary repairs or do not properly address certain critical issues when caring for large trucks. Maintenance issues can range from serious problems such as brake failure and suspension issues to seemingly minor problems such as faulty wipers or burnt-out lights that can still play major roles in large truck crashes.
- State or local governmental entities — In some cases, it is possible that an agency with the state or local government bears responsibility for caring for a road and could be found liable for failure to correct a hazardous condition or at least warn people about dangers.
Midland, TX -Types of Truck Accidents
There is a wide assortment of possible large truck accidents that people could find themselves involved in. Two common kinds of crashes associated with large trucks are override and underride accidents.
An override crash occurs when a large truck essentially runs over a smaller passenger vehicle in front of it. An underride collision, on the other hand, happens when a passenger vehicle slides underneath a trailer.
Two other common kinds of large truck accidents are rollover accidents and jackknife accidents. A rollover crash occurs when a large truck turns onto its side, and a jackknife accident involves a trailer swinging out and folding into the cab like a jackknife.
Kinds of Large Truck Accidents
Other common kinds of large truck accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Wide Turn Accidents
- Blind Spot Accidents
- Tire Blowout Accidents
- Lost Cargo Accidents
- Brake Failure Accidents
- Rear-End Collisions
- Head-On Collisions
- Side Impact or T-Bone Collisions
- Sideswipe Accidents
- Left or Right Turn Accidents
- Lane Change or Merging Accidents
- Intersection Accidents
- Trailer Accidents
- Hazardous Material Spills
- Work Zone or Highway Construction Crashes
- Multiple-Vehicle Accidents
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Midland
People often have their own suspicion about what the cause of a large truck crash was, but there are several different complications in these cases that can make determining the actual cause rather difficult. One common cause, for example, can be truck driver fatigue or drowsy driving.
People are not always aware that a driver was dozing off or asleep while behind the wheel, but an attorney could be able to prove that hours-of-service violations were at play and may have been a factor. Just as dangerous as fatigue can be driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses, as some truck drivers get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or various types of drugs, some of which may be illegal or possibly prescription medications.
People need to be aware that commercial truck drivers have a far lower breath or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit than drivers of traditional passenger vehicles. Whereas most people can be arrested for DWI when they have a BAC of 0.08 or higher, the legal limit is only half that for truck drivers, 0.04.
Other Causes of Truck Collision
Other common causes may include, but are not limited to:
- Improper training
- Lack of proper safety equipment
- Reckless or Aggressive Driving
- Running Stop Signs or Stop Lights
- Improper Lane Changes or Turns
- Failure to Yield Right of Way
- Tire Blowouts
- Distracted Driving
- FMCSA Hours-of-Service (HOS) violations
- Truck Defects
- Inclement Weather Conditions
- Potholes or Other Dangerous Road Conditions
Truck Accident Injuries
A large truck accident usually has the potential to cause debilitating injuries simply because of the size of the vehicles involved in the wreck. Anybody involved in a truck accident should make sure they receive proper medical treatment immediately following an accident because it is always possible that injuries could involve delayed symptoms.
If you do not see a doctor until days or weeks after your accident, it will only be harder for you to recover financial compensation. By getting prompt medical care, you immediately create a medical record that can easily be connected to your crash.
Some of the most frequent kinds of injuries can include fractures or broken bones, which may involve long-term disabilities. Other fractures could require reconstructive surgery and the insertion of pins, plates, and screws, as well as longer hospital stays, rehabilitation, and possibly additional surgeries.
Concussions happen when a victim’s brain violently shakes against the inside of their skull. Recovery from concussions could require several days of bed rest, fluids, and certain over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers such as acetaminophen, although follow-up care may also be necessary to ensure there are no complications such as memory loss, cognitive impairment, or personality issues.
Kinds of Injuries in Truck Accidents in the Midland Area
Other common kinds of injuries in truck accidents can include, but are not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Closed head injuries
- Skull fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Herniated discs
- Joint damage
- Permanent nerve injuries
- Back injuries
- Knee injuries
- Leg injuries
- Neck injuries
- Arm injuries
- Internal injuries
- Burn injuries
Death is certainly another possible injury stemming from a large truck accident. Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004, wrongful death claims can only be for the benefit of surviving spouses, children, and parents of a deceased person, but executors or administrators of estates can also bring actions if none of the aforementioned people bring such actions within three months of a death and do not raise any objections executors or administrators bringing claims.
Damages in Midland Truck Accident Cases
The most common kinds of damages in truck accident cases are economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are actual financial losses, and noneconomic damages are non-financial losses.
Economic damages in truck accident claims often include property damage claims because most victims will suffer severe damage to their own vehicle in any collision with a large truck. Other kinds of economic damages could include:
- Lost Wages
- Medical Bills
- Costs of Long-Term Care
- Rehabilitation Expenses
- Physical Therapy Costs
Noneconomic damages are much more subjective concerns, such as loss of enjoyment of life which can be true for people who are dealing with major injuries that have significantly impacted and affected their lives. Some of the other possible noneconomic damage awards might include:
- Mental Anguish
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Physical Limitations
Another much less common form of damage is punitive damages. The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code refers to punitive damages as exemplary damages, stating that these kinds of awards are strictly limited to cases in which they will be a penalty or punishment because they are not supposed to be for compensatory purposes. These apply when a driver or company acts in a highly egregious and unacceptable manner.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Midland Truck Accident Lawyer
Did you or your loved one sustain catastrophic injuries in a truck accident in the greater Midland area? Cesar Ornelas Injury Law can be your voice in the courtroom and will know how to fight to win your case, so you are able to recover every last dollar of compensation that is available in your case.
Our firm knows what it takes to properly investigate these cases, so we will be capable of really exploring all of the possible liable parties and knowing how to hold them accountable. You can call (888) 237-2794 or (210) 405-6503 or contact us online for a free consultation so we can take the time to really go over all the details of your case with you and then discuss what steps we can take to make sure you are able to get some measure of justice.