A Fort Worth Truck Accident Lawyer With a Track Record of Success
Truck collisions are complicated. You require knowledge. You desire outcomes. Attorneys at 1-800-TruckWreck have the skills and experience necessary to prevail.
Imagine being at a stoplight when your car receives an unexpected crushing hit. You and your vehicle are launched into oncoming traffic by the impact.
It makes you feel powerless. Unfortunately, this is the fate of a great number of people who are simply going about their normal lives when they suddenly find their lives interrupted.
There is an incredibly high danger of fatalities and significant property damage in truck accidents. The accident, medical expenses, missed wages, numerous probable at-fault parties, and a customarily reluctant insurance company make them complicated.
To enhance carrier and driver safety practices, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) develops and enforces stringent requirements for commercial truck driver education and regulation.
Nevertheless, thousands of people experience fatal truck accidents as a result of negligence, such as subpar truck upkeep, drowsy driving, or overweight trailers.
If precautions are not taken to limit the damage, commercial truck accidents can have long-lasting effects.
Because life goes on, it’s essential to work with a truck wreck professional accident attorney, such as one from 1-800-TruckWreck.
What actions should you take if a truck accident occurs?
As soon as possible after the collision, call emergency services for assistance and medical care.
Call 1-800-TruckWreck if you can to schedule a free consultation (call from the scene if necessary).
Take a photo of the truck/license trailer’s plate and DOT number if you can.
Receive medical care. Even if you feel fine, the adrenaline rush can occasionally conceal damage.
Hire a 1-800-TruckWreck attorney if you are hurt and someone else is to blame. Put knowledge on your side.
Truck Accident Lawyer with a Track Record Of Success in Fort Worth
A truck accident injured you? In Fort Worth, our truck accident attorneys are available to assist and prepared to fight for you.
Do not risk trying to handle the claim on your own if you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a truck accident in Fort Worth.
The Francis Firm’s truck accident attorney in Fort Worth can assist. For a free case evaluation, contact us right away: (817) 663-2065
Michael Francis represented many of the biggest trucking businesses in the nation for almost ten years.
He has used his knowledge and experience over the past 20 years to advocate for truck accident victims across the State of Texas, including Fort Worth.
You won’t pay any legal fees or costs to the Francis Firm for handling your truck accident claim until we obtain compensation for you.
Allow Michael Francis and the skilled personal injury lawyers at The Francis Firm to assist you in understanding your rights and obtaining the treatment you require as well as the compensation you are due.
Is there an average Fort Worth truck accident lawsuit?
Unfortunately, we are unable to share with you the typical Fort Worth semi accident lawsuit settlement. Since every situation is unique, there is no such thing.
What you want is for claims to be assessed individually based on their own merits. You want to win your argument on the merits, not on some generic standard.
Why should I call a truck accident attorney in Fort Worth right away?
Trucking businesses and truck drivers must keep records like logs and vehicle inspection reports for a certain amount of time in accordance with DOT laws and regulations.
These trucking companies and drivers frequently destroy crucial evidence as soon as the law permits unless an attorney intervenes to stop them.
Most trucks include electronic data storage that can be downloaded onto computers. This information frequently shows the driver’s routes and driving time in the moments before the crash, his or her history of reckless driving, as well as the truck’s speed and braking data just before and at the moment of impact.
We frequently work with Texas trucking specialists who can access and preserve this data, but only if you get in touch with us right away following a crash.
If you are harmed in a Fort Worth truck accident, it’s likely that your PCP won’t treat motor vehicle cases or doesn’t have the resources necessary to thoroughly and effectively assess and treat all of your injuries.
A lawyer can assist you in locating and receiving care from licensed medical professionals who are capable of assessing and treating any injuries brought on by a truck accident, even those that necessitate sophisticated surgeries.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident in Fort Worth?
1. If Possible, Move Your Vehicle to a Safe Area
Turn on your emergency flashers and wait for the police and emergency services to come if you are unable to do so safely.
2. Call 911
You have the right to request that the police attend the scene of your accident and conduct an investigation whether you were the driver, a passenger, a motorcyclist, a cyclist, or a pedestrian.
When no one reports being hurt or requesting emergency medical attention, 911 operators and police departments may occasionally try to avoid looking into collisions. However, you have the right to insist that your collision be looked into and a police report written.
3. Verify that everyone is fine
If your physical condition permits, check on the wellbeing and status of all the other involved drivers and passengers after everyone is in a secure location and you’ve dialed 911.
However, if you are unsure of the extent of your wounds, sit in your car until help arrives so they can evaluate your condition.
4. Take Photographs
Always, if at all possible, take pictures of the scene, all the vehicles (including the truck’s insignia on the cab door), the truck driver’s license, and the insurance card.
Allow emergency medical personnel to check you and send you to the hospital for treatment if you have any fears that you may have been injured.
The presence of pain or injury, especially potentially fatal disorders like head injuries, spine fractures, or internal bleeding, is frequently concealed by adrenaline.
5. Consult a lawyer before speaking with the insurance provider.
Never communicate with a trucking business representative or an insurance claims adjuster following an 18-wheeler accident without first seeking legal counsel.
Even if they come across as kind or sympathetic, these people are claims experts whose sole objective is to defend and reduce your claim. Consult a lawyer.
Truck Accident Injuries
Even if you did not first think you were hurt following a truck accident, it is typical to have greater discomfort and physical limits that evening, the following day, or even several days later.
Many people discover for the first time if they are injured that their PCP will:
- not treat injuries sustained in automobiles, or
- do an evaluation but refrain from offering actual treatment.
This is done because medical professionals don’t want to take any chances with legal disputes.
Finding medical specialists who are willing to accurately assess and treat all of your injuries is crucial for this reason.
You can get the care you require from licensed medical professionals who are capable of assessing and treating any injuries brought on by a trucking accident with the assistance of an expert truck accident attorney.
The Texas personal injury statute of limitations states that you must submit a claim within 2 years after the accident date, so don’t wait.
Truck Collisions in Fort Worth
To the Texas economy, commercial trucks are essential. Unfortunately, huge truck injury crashes and fatalities have increased in recent years.
Serious or even fatal injuries are frequently sustained in these collisions involving motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicycles, and passenger vehicles.
For instance, there were roughly 1,000 deadly truck and bus accidents in Texas in 2016 and 4,440 fatal accidents overall in the United States. In the same year, there were about 119,000 collisions with injuries involving trucks.
The deadly effects of trucking incidents are predictable given that commercial vehicles often weigh 80,000 pounds or more.
What Are the Most Frequent Factors that Contribute to Truck Accidents in Fort Worth?
There may be numerous contributing elements in a collision involving an 18-wheeler, semi, bus, or other large transport. In Fort Worth, some of the most typical reasons for truck accidents include:
While it is required by state and federal law that commercial vehicle drivers have a certain amount of rest each day and each week, dishonest trucking businesses can put pressure on their employees to drive even when they are tired or exhausted.
Truck accidents in Fort Worth are frequently caused by tired drivers who make poor decisions and react slowly.
Commercial drivers frequently have to travel at a slower speed than drivers of passenger cars. Furthermore, turning or stopping a truck takes significantly longer than it does an automobile.
Significant and even fatal crashes happen when truck drivers disregard posted speed restrictions or travel at excessive speeds for the terrain.
Failure of the equipment or careless maintenance
All commercial vehicles must be inspected and maintained in accordance with state and federal laws in order to protect the safety of other motorists using our public roads.
Unfortunately, in order to save money, trucking companies and drivers frequently make compromises, operating vehicles with faulty brakes, tires, and other parts.
As a result, equipment malfunctions frequently play a significant role in semi-crash causes. We will look into if DOT safety guidelines were disregarded in your accident and punish reckless trucking firms and drivers accountable.
Commercial trucking firms are required by state and federal rules to follow specific load size requirements.
Too much weight on a truck can significantly impair braking distance and vehicle handling, which can cause incidents that result in severe damage or death.
Use of drugs or alcohol
Federal law imposes tight guidelines and procedures regarding alcohol and drug testing on commercial drivers and their employers.
However, drug and alcohol addiction among truck drivers continues to be a severe issue and frequently plays a role in serious truck accidents in Texas.
You require a trucking attorney who is familiar with these regulations as well as the specifications and methods for testing.
Anyone who has driven on the roadways around Fort Worth has seen reckless driving. The consequences of a commercial truck driver’s aggressive or irresponsible driving can be disastrous.
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Truck Accident Questions and Answers
Q: What Can I Do to Protect My Rights After a Truck Accident?
A: As a truck accident victim, you are entitled to financial recompense for your injuries. Receiving that compensation, however, can be a headache due to the fact that insurance companies and several culpable parties are frequently involved in trucking accidents.
Without a lawyer, you run the risk of being intimidated out of a just settlement. Regardless of how badly hurt you are, trucking companies often have endless resources, including teams of attorneys, to defend against any lawsuit you may file as a consequence of an accident.
After a truck accident, the best approach to safeguard your rights is to wait to communicate with the insurance company until you’ve first spoken with a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer, who will fight for your rights and make sure you get fairly compensated.
Q: What Should I Do At the Scene of a Truck Accident?
- A: If it’s safe to do so, stay cool and stay in your car while you’re at the scene of the collision.
Your hazard lights should be on.
- Even if your injuries seem minor, dial 911.
- Get yourself and your passengers medical help.
- Never leave an accident site.
- Get the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of all the participants and any witnesses.
- Any police officers present should have their identities and badge numbers noted.
- Take pictures of the truck, your car, and any injuries.
- Denial of fault
You are not compelled to provide a statement to the other driver’s insurance company; thus, do not discuss the collision with anybody outside the police and your own insurance agent.
Q: What Should I Do If Someone From the Trucking Company Calls Me?
A: Refuse to consent to giving the trucking firm or their insurance provider a recorded statement. Any documents the shipping firm and its insurance provider send you should not be signed.
For a free consultation, contact a truck accident lawyer, and we’ll review any documents they send you.
Q: What Should I Do In the Days Following a Truck Accident?
- A few days following a vehicle collision,
- Obtain a copy of the accident’s police report.
- Request a property damage estimate from your insurance provider.
- Keep a record of all medical appointments and treatments you receive, as well as any symptoms or pain you encounter. Obtain duplicates of all test results, medications, treatments, and any pertinent medical data.
- Keep a thorough record of any out-of-pocket costs you incur.
- Keep track of any days lost at work or for other commitments.
- Never accept a settlement from an insurance company before speaking with a truck collision attorney.
Q: Who Can be Sued In a Truck Accident Case?
A truck driver, a shipping business, or the truck’s owner may be held accountable in a truck accident lawsuit.
In other situations, the facility in charge of loading the truck or even the organization in charge of the trailer’s contents can be held accountable.
The easiest method to establish who is at fault in each circumstance is to speak with a lawyer. We provide complimentary consultations to prospective clients as a result.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Wreck?
A: The statute of limitations is typically two years from the accident date. However, it is best to speak with a lawyer as quickly as possible after an accident.
It is easy to lose or destroy crucial documents pertaining to driver logs and vehicle safety regulations. It would be excellent if we could start working right away.
Q: How Can I Avoid Getting Into a Serious Truck Accident?
A: You must exercise caution when driving because truck traffic is growing as more consumers use online shopping to have their purchases delivered.
There are a few things you can do to prevent a truck accident, like:
- Whenever you are close to a tractor trailer, pay attention. They can swerve unexpectedly because they didn’t notice your car.
- Don’t spend too much time following the truck in your car. Try to go behind them or pass them.
- Avoid making a quick halt or attempting to change lanes in front of a commercial truck. Compared to a car, the truck takes longer to stop.
- Avoid the trucker’s blind zones at all costs.
- If you are driving in front of or behind a truck, maintain a constant speed.
- Keep your distance and notify the police right once if a truck is operating carelessly on the road.
Q: How Long Does It Take to Settle a Truck Accident Claim?
A: Without understanding the specifics of your truck accident, it’s difficult to provide a precise timeline.
Every accident case is unique; in some, the claim can be resolved within a few months, while in others, it may take a few years to do so.
However long it takes for your claim to be resolved, rest assured that our truck accident attorney will stay in touch with you at every stage of the procedure. We are available to assist you if you have any questions.
What Are the Common Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents?
What is the main factor in truck accidents?
Tractor-trailer accidents have a variety of causes. But when a big commercial truck hits a car, a truck, a motorcycle, or a person on foot, it almost invariably causes major harm or even death. Large trucks are lethal weapons when they are out of control due to their size and weight.
Unfortunately, fatal incidents involving huge vehicles, including lowboy trucks, frequently occur as a result of the driver’s carelessness or recklessness. Driving a business vehicle requires a special license.
Commercial truck operations are governed by both federal and state laws. Investigations into accidents, however, reveal that guidelines and training are frequently disregarded.
You may be entitled to compensation for your medical costs and other losses if a tractor-trailer accident caused you or a loved one harm.
The action of a good legal team can help victims of tractor-trailer accidents in obtaining fair compensation.
Reasons Why Tractor Trailers Cause Wrecks
Large vehicles can crash for a variety of causes. The cause is frequently the result of carelessness or negligence on the part of the truck driver or the trucking firm, such as:
- reckless driving
- driving while distracted (i.e. cell phone use)
- drunk driving (i.e., alcohol and drug abuse)
- failing to check the brakes and tires
- a bad weather situation
- overloaded or unsecure trucks
Large trucks, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, are those with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds.
According to the most recent data, 333,000 heavy truck accidents happened in the United States in a single year. 3,921 individuals were killed in these accidents, while 104,000 more were hurt.
Driver Fatigue and How It Contributes to Semi Truck Accidents
The FMCSA states that drivers must adhere to a set of rules known as the Hours of Service (HOS).
These laws specify the maximum amount of time a truck driver may be on duty while driving. Additionally, the number and duration of rest times are specified.
However, drivers frequently exaggerate how long they remain on the road. The trucking company frequently requires truck drivers to drive as long as possible in order to meet a deadline. Driver weariness may come from not getting enough sleep as a result of this.
Everyone on the road is at risk when a driver is fatigued. According to a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, trucker weariness may have contributed to 10 to 20 percent of the 4,000 truck-related fatalities that occur annually.
The truck accident lawyers can assist you if you think that driver sleepiness may have contributed to your accident.
How is Compensation Determined Following a Truck Accident?
Accidents involving tractor trailers can result in a number of grave injuries or fatalities. Injury victims must endure a protracted, uncomfortable, and costly recovery. Some monetary losses a victim could endure include:
- lost wages
- decreased ability to earn
- large medical bills and therapy costs
- Potential funeral expenses
These, along with other considerations, are taken into consideration while determining remuneration. Then, you may receive both economic and non-economic damages as compensation.
Any financial expenses incurred as a result of the accident will be covered by economic damages. This covers, but is not limited to: present and future medical costs; lost pay; diminished ability to make an income; and burial expenses.
Non-economic damages, such as any pain or suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium, are supposed to make up for you and your family’s suffering following the accident.
Punitive damages may occasionally be granted if the defendant acted dishonestly, carelessly, or maliciously. These kinds of damages are intended to hold the offender accountable and deter future misconduct.
A tractor-trailer accident’s losses and expenses are rarely fully covered by insurance. Companies involved in hauling, leasing, and trucking frequently try to reduce payouts by contesting the insurance claims of victims.
Trucking companies and insurance providers frequently employ strategies that might increase the stress and cost of being involved in a CMV accident.
The right course of action is to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death case if talks fail to result in sufficient compensation for victims.
Identifying Parties Responsible in Truck Accidents
You and your attorney should consider a range of parties and individuals while selecting who to hold accountable for your vehicle accident.
Truck Driver: This one should go without saying, as your truck driver may have been directly responsible for the truck accident on the highway.
Trucking Firm: A trucking company that employs the driver of the vehicle may be held accountable. They are in charge of keeping track of drivers’ data, including background checks, regulating rest period scheduling, and more.
Third-party brokers: To connect them with drivers and vehicles to deliver their cargo, many commercial transportation companies work with a third-party broker.
This implies that if you have been in a truck accident with a vehicle hired by one of these brokers, your lawyer will want to know if they exercised due diligence in hiring, as well as looking into the extent to which they had influence over the driver’s schedule and other factors.
Truck Manufacturers: The truck manufacturer may also be held liable if a technical malfunction or other problem with a truck component led to the crash.
Additionally, if the employer or independent truck driver failed to have the truck regularly examined and fixed, they can also be held accountable for a defective item.
You’ll want to discover if one or more of the aforementioned parties can be held accountable because large truck accidents can be tricky.
Everybody who works with trucks, including the employers and brokers, has their own insurance coverage.
This implies that you might be due payment from various sources. The best approach to make sure you receive the most money possible for your injuries sustained in a truck accident is to hire a knowledgeable truck accident attorney.
Truck Crashes Due to Unlawful Hiring Practices
Many laws governing vehicle maintenance, truck driver hiring, and other issues have been put in place by the federal and state governments to prevent truck accidents.
A road accident may occur if a broker or transportation firm tries to save money by without doing their homework.
To determine if your truck accident was caused by careless hiring practices or maintenance procedures, you need employ a lawyer who has access to the appropriate specialists and asks the appropriate questions.
They’ll be on the lookout for stuff like:
- Uneven or flawed tire tread
- damaged axles, brakes, and more
- incomplete service records
- Training and employment background of the at-fault truck driver
- Criminal background/history of the truck driver
Nationwide Truck Crash Statistics
Large truck accidents can be disastrous if you’re driving in a passenger car. Large trucks can weigh up to 30 times as much as a typical automobile, which limits their capacity to control their truck’s speed and other safety features.
In accordance with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, these figures pertain to 2020.
People in passenger cars were more likely to sustain fatal injuries in a truck accident.
Only 15% of the 4,014 fatalities caused by heavy trucks in 2020 were truck occupants; the remaining 68 percent of fatalities occurred in passenger cars. Motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians make up the remaining 16% of traffic.
In two-vehicle accidents involving a heavy truck and a passenger car, passengers in the passenger car made up 97 percent of the fatalities.
In 2020, fatalities from motor vehicle crashes involving heavy trucks accounted for 10% of total fatalities.
Where do truck accidents happen? 47 percent on main thoroughfares, 36 percent on highways and freeways, and 15 percent on other thoroughfares.
In 27 percent of fatal work zone collisions, a huge truck was involved (FMCSA)
How is Negligence Established Following a Truck Accident?
You will need proof that the truck driver and any liable parties caused the accident in order to establish negligence in a truck accident case.
This information will be used by our truck accident attorney to demonstrate how the negligence of the truck driver and other parties caused the collision and the injuries it resulted in.
Typical instances of violating the duty of care include:
- improper upkeep of the logbook that records the number of hours travelled
- not recording the number of hours worked and breaks taken
- improper loading of trucks, such as overloading trailers
- driving when impaired by drink or drugs
- driving for more than ten hours straight without stopping
If you don’t have the correct counsel on your side, this could be challenging. When evaluating liability in a trucking accident, only a knowledgeable truck accident attorney knows what to look for.
What is the truck’s black box and what does it track?
The “black box” includes a wealth of data about the vehicle at the moment of the collision, including the truck’s speed, tire pressure, and brake usage.
Your case will be greatly aided by this kind of information regarding the actions of the driver and the state of the truck at the time of the collision.
All trucks are unique, and while not all lawyers are aware of how to acquire this information for every vehicle, the trucking accident attorneys at Munley Law are.
All commercial trucks must record and disclose specific information, per the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA).
The phrase “black box” refers to a broad category of devices, including Electronic Control Modules (ECM), Event Data Recorders (EDR), and Electronic Logging Devices (ELD).
These gadgets keep track of a truck’s mechanical data as well as information on its occupants’ behavior.
Black boxes can be a valuable resource when a trucking accident results in property damage, personal harm, or death for a victim. They can reveal important details about how and why the fatal collision happened.
Modules for electronic controls
ECMs, which track, manage, and monitor the fundamental activities that enable a vehicle to safely deliver cargo, are present in all contemporary semi trucks.
ECMs keep track of data on engine performance, airbag systems, fuel economy, and mechanical issues. Additionally, EMCs do diagnostic checks and alert truck drivers of any problems by turning on numerous dashboard warning lights.
Devices for Electronic Logging
Commercial truck drivers may simply track their Hours of Service (HOS) with ELDs to make sure they are adhering to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) operating regulations, reducing the risks associated with fatigued driving.
The daily number of driving hours logged by a trucker must be displayed on every ELD. By automatically synchronizing with the vehicle’s engine, they must also keep track of and distinguish between the times when a truck is parked, running, or moving.
Last but not least, ELDs mandate that truckers declare their status as “on-duty,” “on-duty not driving,” or “off-duty” before starting a driving segment.
Recorders of Event Data
EDRs also have the ability to capture specific data in the event that the truck is involved in a collision or other accident.
An abrupt and unnatural shift in a truck’s velocity, such as when a tractor-trailer driver brakes quickly or collides with something and the truck’s airbag deploys, activates an EDR’s recording function.
In the milliseconds leading up to, during, and following the collision, EDRs record details about the truck and its driver. In essence, they record the following:
- The speed of the truck both before and after impact
- The precise GPS location of the vehicle
- whether or not the truck’s driver was buckling up
- The directional angle
- Whether the trucker applied the brakes, when, and how strongly.
- RPM of the truck’s engine
- How often did the truck go faster than the speed limit?
- No matter if the airbag went off
- Whether the cruise control setting was being used by the truck driver
- The throttle percentage
- The frequency of daily and monthly trucking
- The force of the tires
- Whether or whether the trucker got in touch with or spoke with the trucking firm
Why Commercial Truck Black Boxes Are Crucial for Tractor Trailer Accident Victims
Black boxes are essential tools for truck accident victims because they offer objective information on how and why a collision occurred that cannot be accessed in any other way.
In order to better understand what happened before and after a devastating tractor-trailer collision, black boxes can be used.
The recordings frequently prove essential in helping a plaintiff in a personal injury case establish that a trucker was fatigued, overworked, or otherwise careless.
Black box data is unquestionably valuable, but it can also be challenging to access. Black box data is not always made available to accident victims by trucking companies.
In truth, the majority of gadgets delete data after thirty days automatically, and they might even try to destroy it.
For these reasons, if you or a loved one were involved in a tractor-trailer accident, you must get in touch with a qualified trucking accident lawyer as soon as you can.
By drafting a legal “spoliation” letter to the trucking business that requests that the contents of the trucker’s black box be saved and provided to you, the attorney can preserve and obtain the necessary data.
In addition to knowing how to obtain the black box data, your truck accident attorney must also know how to use it to your advantage.
Understanding very technical information about truck mechanics and standards, as well as laws governing the trucking business, is necessary for this.
Employing one or more experts to provide testimony in court or consult on issues like truck driver exhaustion, FMCSA compliance, tractor trailer braking systems, the physics of semi-truck crashes, or the operation of black boxes itself may also be part of the process.