Traffic accidents involving tractor-trailers and other large, commercial trucks are often more destructive, costly and complex to settle than typical passenger car collisions.
If you have suffered serious injuries in a collision caused by a large truck, you may face steep medical bills, loss of income and other significant expenses. If you try to reach an insurance settlement on your own, you will be at a disadvantage dealing with the trucking company and their insurers. They will try to protect their interests and deny legal responsibility to you.
At Tate Law Offices, our highly regarded attorneys fight for truck accident victims and their families in Fort Worth and the surrounding areas. We realize the future is often at stake for our clients who file truck accident claims.
Our firm features experienced truck accident attorneys Tim Tate and Chris Rehmet, who are members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and listed among the Top Trial Lawyers in America.® We are proud of the results we have achieved for our clients in more than 3,000 cases, including recovering $6.5 million in a truck and motorcycle accident case involving brain and bodily injuries.
We pursue truck accident injury cases of all sizes, and we are ready to discuss what happened to you or your loved one and how we may help. Many people who call us are looking for information because they are unsure of their legal rights. We are available to talk with you. Call us today to set up a free consultation. We do not charge legal fees unless we recover money for you.
Why Were You Injured in a Fort Worth Truck Accident?
Commercial trucks are involved in accidents for a variety of reasons. Among the most common reasons are:
- Negligence and recklessness. Despite their training to handle large trucks, truck drivers may make the same bad decisions as anyone else behind the wheel. Truck drivers involved in accidents are often found to have been engaged in:
- Speeding or driving too fast for traffic conditions or weather conditions. An 18-wheeler that is speeding requires a greater distance to stop and the driver has less reaction time to avoid a collision. Going too fast in a sharp curve can cause cargo to shift and lead to a rollover accident, in which a truck tips and falls onto its side or its roof.
- Following too closely. Tailgating is a common cause of rear-end collisions. Having to brake abruptly can cause a jackknife accident, which happens when a truck’s brakes lock the drive and/or trailer axles, and the cab and trailer skid out of control and slide toward one another, like a closing pocketknife.
- Carelessness, including failing to adequately survey traffic before proceeding from a stop sign, making a turn.
- Aggressive driving, such as frequent lane changes or risky passing.
- Fatigued Driving. Long-distance truck drivers are susceptible to drowsy driving after too many hours behind the wheel. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which oversees the trucking industry, has established Hours of Service (HOS) regulations that require drivers to take specific breaks and longer rest periods between driving shifts. But truckers often violate the limits and drive while dangerously fatigued. Some truckers are pressured to do so by their employers to meet unreasonable delivery deadlines, and some truck drivers to not receive adequate training due to a major truck driver shortage.
- Distracted Driving. Truck drivers are known to engage in many activities to pass the time on long trips, particularly talking on phones or CBs or using apps on their phones or with the radio. The FMCSA specifically prohibits texting while driving, talking on hand-held mobile phones or dialing by pressing more than a single button.
- Impaired driving. The trucking industry’s regular testing and low tolerance for drinking and driving has significantly reduced drunk driving accidents involving truck drivers. However, drugged driving remains a problem among long-haul truck drivers. Drugged truckers, who should be immediately tested after a serious accident, may have used illicit recreational drugs, over-the-counter drugs or prescription medications, which can cause adverse reactions that lead to driving safety issues.
Two other common causes of commercial truck accidents are:
- Cargo shifts. If the cargo loaded onto a commercial truck shifts or breaks free while in transit, it may alter the truck’s center of gravity and cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. A cargo shift may also cause a rollover or jackknife accident. If cargo breaks free and spills from a truck, it can hit other vehicles or cause accidents among drivers who swerve to avoid debris. After a truck accident, a freight company responsible for loading cargo onto a truck trailer may be liable for an accident.
- Vehicle failure. A truck may have a mechanical breakdown or one if its parts may fail, causing a truck wreck. Commercial truck components that commonly contribute to crashes include faulty brakes, tires, wheels, coupling systems and lighting. A manufacturing defect may cause a part to fail, making the manufacturer liable for the accident. A lack of adequate maintenance by a trucking company also may contribute to an accident. It is important to have a knowledgeable truck accident attorney investigate a semi-truck accident to identify all the parties that may be potentially responsible for a crash.
Who May Be Liable for a Truck Accident in Fort Worth?
A truck driver is responsible for the operation of his or her vehicle when on the road, but other parties may share responsibility for a truck accident:
- Motor carriers are legally responsible for their employees’ driving and for ensuring the trucks they own and put on the road are safe. Motor carriers are responsible for the safe transportation of cargo in their trucks, too, regardless of who owns it or loaded it.
- Companies that provide cargo handling services to motor carriers, or that own and/or load cargo on trucks they hire, may be liable if their negligence contributed to a cargo shift or spill that led to an accident.
- Manufacturers and/or distributors of faulty parts and components may be held liable for the harm their negligence has caused.
- Local governments and their contractors may be liable if a roadway defect caused a truck accident. This may involve neglected maintenance that caused an obstructed view at an intersection, the unsafe configuration of a work zone, or a road bed that gave way under the weight of a large truck due to faulty design or construction.
Because of the multiple parties that may be liable for a tractor trailer crash, it is important to conduct an independent investigation if someone was seriously injured. Any party responsible for negligence that contributed to truck accident injures can and should be held accountable.
Tate Law Offices can investigate your truck accident to determine how and why it happened, and to identify every party that should be held accountable to you. Our experienced truck accident investigators and attorneys can help you pursue multiple claims if that’s what’s necessary to obtain appropriate compensation from all parties responsible for your injuries and losses.
Insurance company lawyers working for a motor carrier or others involved in a truck accident will work to duck responsibility, often by blaming other parties, including the injured passenger car driver. Don’t let it happen to you. Contact the Fort Worth personal injury law firm of Tate Law Offices to protect your rights.
Compensation for You After a Fort Worth Truck Accident
Tate Law Offices will seek full and fair compensation for your losses from every party legally responsible to you due to their role in the truck accident you were involved in.
A fair and proper settlement reimburses you for your economic losses, as well as your noneconomic losses, which includes compensation for your pain and suffering. This includes:
- All medical expenses up to now and in the future
- All lost income during recovery and in the future due to diminished earning capacity
- Property damage repair or replacement
- Physical impairment / disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of household services
- Pain and suffering, including in the future.
In cases of permanent disability, we consult life care planners who develop detailed projections of future medical needs and costs. This includes, but is not limited to, such anticipated needs as additional medical procedures, medication and consumable medical supplies, assistive devices (wheelchairs, hospital beds, etc.) and in-home care or personal assistance.
We also work with economic experts to account for income lost due to a client’s diminished earning capacity. This may include the value of unrealized wages, benefits, retirement account growth, promotions or other anticipated career advancement.
In addition, we will work with you and your family, friends, colleagues, etc., to document the impact your injuries have had on your lifestyle, and the pain and suffering you have and/or will continue to endure.
Tate Law Offices does not take every truck accident claim that we handle to court. In many cases, we can negotiate an appropriate settlement based on the strength of evidence we have compiled in our accident investigation.
We will always seek the fastest resolution possible so that you can obtain money you and your family need and get on with your life. At the same time, we will do everything we can to recover the maximum amount, so our clients are justly compensated, including pursuing claims in court.
A Tate Law Offices truck accident claim is risk-free for you. We represent clients on a contingency-fee basis. You do not pay legal fees or case costs unless we obtain either a financial settlement or court award for you.
Contact Our Truck Accident Attorney in Fort Worth Today For Help!
Contact Tate Law Offices for experienced and dedicated legal assistance if you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial truck accident in the Fort Worth region of Texas. We will thoroughly investigate your motorcycle accident and injuries to identify and obtain all possible compensation for you.
We fight for truck accident victims and their families fully realizing that their future is at stake. We promise you personal attention from your Tate Law Offices attorney, and to always be available to answer your questions. Our firm has been recognized for the ethical, professional and compassionate service it provides to clients.
Contact Tate Law Offices in Fort Worth now by calling or clicking here to set up a free initial legal consultation. Get to know our legal team, and get started on the road to your recovery.