Truck Accident Lawyer in Odessa
Odessa is a major provider of trucking services for Texas, with hundreds of trucking companies having headquarters in Odessa. When you or your loved one suffer injuries in a truck accident in Odessa, you are going to want to be sure that you are working with an experienced Odessa truck accident lawyer.
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that its most recent statistics show 4,965 fatalities in large-truck crashes, with the majority of deaths being occupants of other vehicles (71 percent), followed by truck occupants (17 percent), and then nonoccupants such as pedestrians and bicyclists (12 percent).
Another estimate from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) finds that 4,014 large truck deaths involved 2,713 passenger vehicle occupants, 608 large truck occupants, and 640 motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
Truck accidents can happen at any time, and you or a loved one might be a victim. Always seek the legal help you need from our trusted team as soon as possible following a truck crash and injuries.
Types of Truck Accident Liability
When you are trying to determine a liable party for your truck accident, the truck driver themselves is often a common suspect. This is a logical assumption because most truck accidents seem to stem from some kind of truck driver negligence.
Truck drivers can indeed be negligent for many different reasons, including aggressive driving, use of prescription or illegal drugs, and possibly being distracted while driving if they were using a cell phone or other electronic device. The main problem with pursuing claims against truck drivers is that most drivers do not have much in terms of wealth, so you are going to have difficulty obtaining the kinds of financial compensation you will probably be seeking if you limit yourself to a truck driver.
Truck Accident Parties
Fortunately, there can be many different parties that can also be accountable for a truck accident. Examples may include:
- Truck or truck part manufacturers — When a part on a large truck is defective and is responsible for a crash, you could have a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the part. Some parts may fail while being parts of new trucks, but other parts could be replacement parts installed as part of regular maintenance.
- Truck owners — The truck owners are usually the parties who are responsible for maintaining trucks, meaning that accidents resulting from certain truck failures like blown tires or brake failure could make a truck owner liable. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also imposes federal regulations for the inspection and maintenance of trucks.
- Loading companies responsible for cargo on trucks — FMCSA also imposes strict cargo securement rules, and violations of these rules may create liability for cargo loading companies if they fail to follow the federal standards. Cargo loading issues may cause many problems for large trucks, such as load shifting, loss of control, or cargo falling off trucks and into the paths of other vehicles.
- Companies responsible for hiring truck drivers — Many trucking companies hire drivers themselves, but other third parties could be involved in the process. Such companies could become liable if they hire drivers who did not have proper commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), become misclassified as independent contractors, or ignore other issues in a driver’s work history.
- Maintenance companies or mechanics — A company caring for a large truck can become liable when they fail to perform repairs that should have been completed or simply fail to address other major issues with large truck safety. Types of issues relating to maintenance companies and mechanics can range from the more major issues such as brake care to seemingly lesser concerns such as wipers or lights that have the potential to play important roles in certain accidents.
- State or local governmental entities — It is often some state or local government agency that has a responsibility to care for a road. When these agencies do not take steps to correct hazardous conditions or warn users about possible dangers, they could be liable for accidents caused by those dangerous conditions.
Types of Truck Accidents
Large trucks can be involved in a wide variety of possible kinds of crashes. Every single accident is going to have its own unique elements.
One of the most frequent kinds of truck accidents is the wide turn accident, in which a truck driver needs to go into another lane to perform a turn. When a driver is not patient, they may strike other vehicles.
Blind spot accidents are another common kind of truck accident that usually occurs when another vehicle is traveling in one of the four major blind spots of a commercial truck. Truck drivers are dealing with blind spots to the front, rear, and sides of their trucks, but they also must exercise caution when performing lane changes or turns because of these concerns.
Tire blowout accidents are also common with large trucks because when a tire happens to blow on an 18-wheeler, it can instantly create a loss of control. Lost cargo accidents are another frequent kind of truck accident that involves goods on a truck coming loose and possibly causing a loss of control or even falling into the paths of other vehicles.
Odessa Large Truck Accidents
Some of the other kinds of large truck accidents may include, but are not limited to:
- Trailer Accidents
- Override Accidents
- Underride Accidents
- Rollover Accidents
- Jackknife 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
- Hazardous Material Spills
- Work Zone or Highway Construction Crashes
- Multiple-Vehicle Accidents
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
After any large truck accident, you will want to know what the specific cause of your wreck was. An Odessa truck accident lawyer will be able to help you get answers.
Some truck accidents are simply the result of truck drivers speeding to get deliveries to their destinations. Large trucks often have lower speed limits than passenger vehicles, so truck drivers who are exceeding their posted limits are increasing the chances of serious wrecks.
FMCSA Hours-of-Service (HOS) violations can be another common cause of truck crashes because drivers who are not abiding by federal limits on their driving hours are placing other motorists at risk by working longer hours than are normally allowed. These violations can be difficult to prove when trucking companies manipulate records.
Some truck accidents are simply the result of truck drivers not operating safely while operating in inclement weather (negligence). Truck drivers should know to reduce their speed when they are dealing with pouring rain or other adverse weather, but the times of deliveries again cause some drivers to take risks.
Causes of Truck Accidents in Odessa, TX
Some other causes of truck accidents:
- Driver fatigue or drowsy driving
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- 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
- Truck Defects
- Potholes or Other Dangerous Road Conditions
Truck Accident Injuries
Large truck crashes often have the potential to cause injuries that are catastrophic in nature because of the simple size of the vehicles involved. Commercial trucks are several times larger than most passenger vehicles, so they often crush the cars they come into contact with.
Common kinds of injuries can include back, knee, leg, neck, or arm injuries. All of these parts of the body can be seriously affected and suffer injuries that will require many months of rehabilitation.
More severe cases could involve spinal cord injuries, which may be complete or incomplete. Complete spinal cord injuries can cause permanent damage to areas of spinal cords and may result in paraplegia or tetraplegia, while incomplete spinal cord injuries involve partial damage to the spinal cord, and the ability to move and the amount of feeling will depend on the area of a spine where an injury occurs and the severity of that injury.
Injuries Resulting From Truck Accidents
Other injuries resulting from truck accidents may include, but are not limited to:
- Fractures or broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Closed head injuries
- Skull fractures
- Sprains and strains
- Herniated discs
- Joint damage
- Permanent nerve injuries
- Internal injuries
- Burn injuries
It is certainly possible that some people will die because of their injuries in a truck accident. You should know that Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.004 states that wrongful death claims are for the exclusive benefit of surviving spouses, children, and parents of a deceased person.
Executors or administrators of estates may bring actions when surviving spouses, children, and parents do not file a case within three months of a death. The surviving spouses, children, and parents must also not raise any objections to executors or administrators bringing claims.
Damages in Truck Accident Cases
Financial awards in truck accident cases are known as compensatory damages, and they are generally economic and noneconomic in nature. Economic damages refer to calculable financial losses, while noneconomic damages are intangible losses.
Economic damages usually include medical bills because most victims will be facing immense medical expenses relating to their recovery. Every medical bill should be covered in a truck accident injury claim.
Some of the other economic damages might include:
- Property Damage
- Lost Wages
- Costs of Long-Term Care
- Rehabilitation Expenses
- Physical Therapy Costs
One of the most common kinds of noneconomic damage is basic pain and suffering. It goes without saying that many truck accident victims are dealing with all kinds of pain and suffering, and juries may be sympathetic in seeing that victims receive compensation for this consideration.
Other kinds of noneconomic damage could include:
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Mental Anguish
- Emotional Distress
- Physical Limitations
Punitive damages are another form of damage, although they are much less common. Punitive damages are sometimes known as exemplary damages, and Texas law says such awards are limited to only the cases in which they can be a penalty or punishment meant to deter others from behaving similarly.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with an Odessa Truck Accident Lawyer
If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a truck accident in the greater Odessa area, you cannot afford to wait in seeking legal representation. Make sure that you reach out to Cesar Ornelas Injury Law for complete assistance with every single aspect of the personal injury claim process, as we will be happy to talk you through the entire process and fight to help you recover as much as possible.
Our firm knows how to vigorously investigate these cases and prove the kinds of negligence that will result in healthy awards. Call (888) 237-2794 or (210) 405-6503 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation that will let us take a much better look at your case and discuss everything with you so you can be fully informed about what options you have.