18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers in Dallas, TX
If you suffered injuries or a loved one passed away in a Dallas truck accident, you could be eligible for financial recovery. Help from a truck accident attorney at McGilberry & Shirer can help you explore the compensation the law entitles you to have. We can represent you during truck company insurance negotiations or during trials in pursuit of full compensation. Let us take care of all aspects of your truck accident case so you can focus on healing. Call (972) 392-1225 or request a free evaluation online today.
Contact Your Local Truck Wreck Lawyers at McGilberry & Shirer
One of our Dallas truck accident lawyers first tasks is identifying the appropriate defendant in a truck accident claim. This may mean accessing the commercial truck’s black box – a device that tracks and records the truck’s speed, braking procedures, and other information that can help determine what caused the accident. We can make the necessary phone calls to make sure a truck company preserves this key evidence after your wreck. Our personal injury lawyers in Dallas can also investigate the truck driver’s history and request drug and alcohol tests, if applicable.
Truck accidents happen more often than the trucking and delivery industries might like to admit. In Dallas, 3,882 traffic accidents involved commercial motor vehicles in 2016 alone. Our truck accidents lawyers in Dallas can help you find out if someone is liable for your crash and how to secure maximum compensation for your injuries. Large trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, delivery trucks – whatever the case, know you have rights as a victim after a serious collision. Truck drivers, trucking companies, and mail carriers have numerous laws they must obey in an effort to prevent accidents.
Truck Accident FAQ’s:
- Who is liable in a Dallas truck accident?
- How can I be compensated for a truck accident?
- What evidence can be used in a truck accident lawsuit?
- Negligence in Truck Wrecks
- Why should I hire a Dallas truck accident lawyer?
- Contact a Dallas Truck Accident Attorney at McGilberry & Shirer – FREE Consultation
Liability in Dallas Truck Accidents
Liability can be a difficult thing to ascertain after a commercial trucking accident. Since your crash not only involved another driver but a trucking company, you will need to carefully consider all the parties that might be legally responsible for the wreck. Under federal law, trucking companies cannot escape liability by leasing their fleets or hiring independent contractors. Truck companies will be responsible for accidents involving their trucks and drivers regardless. The following parties might all share liability for your recent Dallas crash:
- The trucking company. The most likely liable party is the trucking company in charge of the haul. The company will be vicariously liable for the actions of its employees, including the truck driver, loading crew, and maintenance teams that work for the business. The company will also be liable for negligence of its own, such as hiring an incompetent driver or pressuring the driver to meet a deadline.
- A product manufacturer. Large trucks rely heavily on their parts and components to deliver goods safely. A single failed piece of equipment could cause a catastrophic accident. If a truck’s tires, brakes, steering, cargo straps, and/or other parts malfunction during a haul, the manufacturer of the defective piece of equipment could bear responsibility for damages.
- A third party. The trucking industry has many different people and parties involved in a single haul. The contractors and companies in charge of loading the cargo, leasing the truck, and maintaining the fleet may all be separate enterprises. Many third-party companies will often dispute who is liable for a crash. It’s also possible that a third-party motorist shares liability for your accident if he/she caused a multi-vehicle collision.
A trucking company’s legal duty is to adhere to industry standards in all of its business practices. Cutting corners to save money is often at the heart of serious trucking accidents. A truck company that doesn’t properly train its drivers, pressures drivers to meet tight deadlines, encourages drivers to drive past their hours of service regulations, doesn’t maintain its fleet vehicles, or otherwise manages its business negligently could be legally accountable for resultant crashes.
Find Out Who Is Responsible for Your Damages in A Truck Accident
McGilberry & Shirer LLP can get to the bottom of who should be liable for reimbursing your losses. We can pinpoint the cause of your crash and figure out the defendant from there. Many cases involved the “joint and several liability” of more than one defendant. This means that more than one party will have to pay your damages. For example, the trucking company could be partially liable for negligently loading the cargo, but a part manufacturer could share liability for a strap that snapped mid-transit.
After we identify the defendant, we’ll file your personal injury or wrongful death claim within Texas’s two-year statute of limitations. This is incredibly important, as missing your deadline almost certainly means giving up your right to compensation. Our lawyers can then go up against major trucking company insurers in pursuit of fair compensation on your behalf, during settlement negotiations. We aren’t afraid to stand up for your rights in and out of the courtroom in Dallas.
Potential Evidence in a Dallas Truck Accident Lawsuit
File a police immediately following a truck accident. This will notify your insurance that you’ve been involved in an accident, and can serve as a form of tangible evidence in your future settlement or case. Next, if you’ve been severely hurt, keep track of your medical records. Any documentation at the emergency room, doctors office, physical therapy office, or emotional therapy office serves as another vital form of tangible evidence.
There’s also two unique forms of evidence for your truck case that come from the truck themselves. The first type is called an event data recorder, or and EDR. Most, if not all, commercial trucks have an EDR computer chip in them designed to keep track of the truck’s:
- Brake use
- Amount of time driving
- Whether the driver was accelerating
- Whether the truck was moving side-to-side
The second type of unique truck evidence is the truck driver’s logbook. The logbook keeps track of how many hours that particular driver has been driving, where they’re going to, and where they’re coming from. It also keeps track of how much resting time the driver is taking. If a truck accident happens because the truck driver was fatigued due to a lack of sleep, the logbook can be utilized to show the violations of the federal regulations requiring a certain amount of sleep per hours of driving.
Things to Consider Before Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents and car accidents are two very different things. That’s why it’s important to specifically hire someone who has experience as a truck accident lawyer. Experience, however, isn’t the only thing you should consider before hiring a truck accident lawyer.
Asking yourself a few questions before hiring a lawyer is always a good idea. For truck accidents, consider the following questions:
- Who’s liable? The truck driver isn’t the only person you have to deal with when you get into an accident. The trucking company and the manufacturer of the truck might also be involved. Figuring out who’s liable will help in the long run. The trucking company might try to get out of liability for the accident, and it’s best to have an attorney who’s ready to take action.
- Was the driver fatigued? Truck drivers work long hours on the road. If the driver was fatigued, they could have possibly fallen asleep at the wheel and caused the accident.
- Did the equipment fail? Trucks are big pieces of machinery, and sometimes things malfunction. If something happened to the truck that was out of the driver’s control, like blown brakes, the liability could be on the manufacturer of the truck and not the truck driver.
Check out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s study on large truck crash causation to get more ideas.
Experience is key to hiring your lawyer. An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to:
- Determine fault
- Find the best location to file the accident suit
- Get you the maximum amount of compensation
Every truck accident lawyer has their own fee structures. Make sure to ask prior to your case what kind of fees and payments to expect. For more information about how to pick the right truck accident lawyer, call our office at (972) 392-1225 or contact us online today.
Common Reasons Truck Wrecks Happen
The lead personal injury attorneys at McGilberry & Shirer have more than 60 years combined experience in personal injury law. In this time, they’ve helped more than 10,000 clients seek recovery for their medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage, and lost wages. A large number of these clients suffered injuries in large truck and delivery truck accidents in North Texas. Attorneys Steve McGilberry and Bill Shirer have come to recognize a few most common causes of truck accidents, including:
- Trucking company negligence. Truck or delivery companies trying to make a profit. To save money, companies might cut corners in terms of driver hiring, training, and safety procedures. They might ignore vehicle inspections, fail to pay for needed repairs and upgrades, or pressure drivers with unrealistic expectations. These acts of negligence can lead to serious accidents and vehicle rollovers in which case you should consider your options with a vehicle rollover accident lawyer.
- Negligent drivers. Truck driving and mail carrying are not easy careers, but that doesn’t give drivers an excuse to engage in risky or careless behaviors. Driving past hours of service regulations, eating and drinking behind the wheel, and texting and driving are all common examples of driver negligence that can cause accidents. Texting and driving accidents especially from truck accidents Truck drivers must pay strict attention to the road at all times.
- Roadway hazards. Truck drivers receive training to react to problems such as potholes and uneven shoulders and should always drive slowly enough to avoid these common issues. Sometimes, however, a roadway hazard presents an unreasonable risk of harm. Talk to a Dallas industrial accidents attorney to discuss if you are able to sue the city for defects that cause trucking accidents, including lack of proper warning signs in a construction zone.
In many cases, the trucking or delivery company will be liable for accidents. Even though truck drivers are often independent contractors, the law holds trucking companies responsible for the actions and mistakes of their drivers. Most delivery drivers are employees of the company, such as UPS or FedEx. The truck company could also be liable for unsafe trucks, poorly loaded cargo, tire blowouts, and badly trained or inexperienced drivers. If you need to sue a government employee, such as a USPS mail carrier, reach out to our attorneys for assistance. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a truck accident in Dallas and needs help now, call our office or contact us online today.
Why You Should Hire a Truck Accident Attorney at Mcgilberry & Shirer LLP
Some people believe that their legal claims are so straightforward that hiring an attorney would just be an unnecessary expense. While it’s true that a few people in the past have successfully managed their own legal representation, this is not the norm, nor is it advisable for someone recovering from a serious injury.
Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, long-term disabilities, and significant property damage. The average person recovering from a serious injury with no legal training will probably not have the time, resources, or energy required to handle a complex legal battle without professional representation.
Hiring a Dallas truck accident attorney offers several distinct benefits, primarily including the fact that lawyers can provide a better level of representation than the average person with no legal education or experience. An attorney with experience in truck accident lawsuits will be able to determine the different types of compensation available to a client and identify the parties potentially liable for the plaintiff’s damages.
Benefits to Hiring Professional Legal Counsel For a Truck Wreck in Dallas
- In addition to a better quality of representation than the average client can handle alone, there are several other distinct benefits to hiring an attorney for a truck accident claim. Any vehicle accident will likely involve an insurance claim, and an attorney can not only draft an initial demand letter for an insurance settlement but also handle correspondence with insurers, so clients don’t have to worry about difficult claims adjusters.
- The cost of legal fees is one of the most often-cited reasons for refusing to hire an attorney. Legal representation is often expensive, but many lawyers offer contingency fee billing to help offset this cost and make legal counsel available to those who need it but may not be able to afford it. Other attorneys charge by the hour, and while this is often very expensive, it can lead to a more successful outcome for the client. It’s also possible for a plaintiff to secure compensation for legal fees as damages in a truck accident case. If this occurs, then the plaintiff’s legal representation essentially costs nothing.
- Lawyers complete extensive schooling to practice law, and they work hard to build strong relationships with their local courts, other law firms, and expert witnesses who may help in future lawsuits. The average person may require expert witness testimony to succeed with a lawsuit but have no idea where or how to look for one. A good truck accident attorney will know the judge who will review the case, potential complications facing a client’s claim, and the expert witnesses most likely to help in a case. Attorneys also know how to navigate a court’s strict filing requirements and deadlines. The average person who attempts to represent his or her own lawsuit may miss a required deadline. This may be enough for a judge to throw out the case before it even reaches trial.
Finding the Right Legal Counsel
If you are uncertain about whether to hire a lawyer for your truck accident claim, it’s worth taking advantage of a free consultation to find out your odds of success and how an attorney can help. Ask a potential lawyer about his or her background with cases similar to yours, the outcomes of those cases, any patterns the lawyer notices between your own claim and past similar claims, and your odds of success. It’s also worth asking whether the attorney will seek to settle your lawsuit or pursue a trial. The average lawsuit’s trial value is much more than the settlement value, but a settlement can offer a speedier resolution than prolonged litigation.