There are more truck drivers working in Texas than anywhere else in the nation. Nearly 200,000 Texans labor in the commercial trucking industry, carrying life-sustaining goods to the people of Fort Worth, the Lone Star State, and the entire United States.
The commercial trucking industry reached $875.5 billion in gross freight revenue in 2021, according to the American Trucking Association (ATA). This represents a huge chunk of the American economy. It’s safe to say that all of us in Fort Worth depend on the services trucking companies provide.
But in a high-stakes industry with enormous profits on the line, a freight company doesn’t always prioritize the safety of its drivers—or other passenger vehicle drivers sharing the roads with its fleet of large semi-trucks. When traffic laws and federal trucking regulations are violated in order to push more cargo faster, tractor-trailer accidents happen.
As experienced truck accident attorneys, we know that too many fatal crashes and serious injuries in Fort Worth, TX have resulted from trucking industry negligence.
If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a Tarrant County commercial truck collision, a Fort Worth truck accident lawyer from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm is ready to hear your case. Our legal team represents injury victims of truck-involved crashes across Texas. Contact our law office for a free case evaluation today.
Texas and Fort Worth Truck Accident Statistics
In 2020, the state of Texas had the highest number of truck accident fatalities in the U.S., according to the National Safety Council (NSC). That year, there were 643 trucking accident deaths—a significantly higher number than the 2nd ranking state of California with 398 deaths.
Our state consistently sees a higher number of truck accidents, injuries, and fatalities than most of the country. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) data shows us there were 1,165 trucks and tractor-trailers involved in crashes that resulted in serious injuries to one or more parties in 2020.
Tarrant County Commercial Motor Vehicle Crashes 2021 Statistics
- Tarrant County had the 4th highest rate of commercial trucking accidents in Texas
- There were 2,174 total truck accidents in Tarrant County that year
- 23 people were killed in 18 fatal crashes
Why You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer After a Commercial Vehicle Crash
Fort Worth collisions involving commercial vehicles are different from all other types of motor vehicle accidents. Unlike a more minor car accident case, almost all truck accident injury cases require the expertise of a practiced litigator.
There are a number of elements that make a truck crash injury claim more difficult to handle. These include:
- A large number of potentially liable parties
- Multiple insurance policies and carriers
- An extensive system of federal and state regulations on the trucking industry
- The high rates of catastrophic injuries and fatalities
- The amount of time needed to investigate liability
- The legal team hired by most trucking companies to shield themselves from liability
At Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm, an experienced truck accident lawyer is prepared and well-qualified to take on these challenges on your behalf. Your Fort Worth truck accident lawyer can help you by:
Understanding Federal and State Laws
We will review regulations set forth by entities such as the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and its operating administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Texas state government, and Fort Worth municipal governing bodies to identify any violations committed by a truck driver or trucking company.
Investigating the Truck Driver and Trucking Company
Your personal injury attorney will need to act swiftly in order to preserve evidence before it is destroyed by the truck company. We may need to send a preservation of evidence letter or file a motion with the court in order to secure valuable evidence like:
- Truck damage before it is repaired
- Truck black box (electric data recorder) and GPS data
- Drug and alcohol test results
- Hours of service and electric logging device records
- Records of employment
- Records of past company violations
- Driver DUI records
- Driver cell phone data
- Dashcam footage
- Police report information
- Records of issues involving other commercial vehicles in the company’s fleet
Partnering With Experts
The truck accident lawyers from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm have long-standing connections with top professionals in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. We regularly turn to the advice of experts like accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, and commercial vehicle industry authorities who can help us better understand and prove the causes of your accident and resulting damages.
Negotiating With the Truck Company and Their Insurer
Your Fort Worth truck accident claim will most likely be filed with the motor carrier’s insurance company. These for-profit businesses have goals that rarely align with that of injured accident victims.
While you are attempting to obtain the fair compensation you are entitled to for your losses, the insurance company may be working to deny liability and even shift the blame onto you. It takes a skilled negotiator to make sure you receive maximum compensation for your medical treatment and other expenses. A Fort Worth truck accident lawyer can protect you from trucking companies that are willing to stoop to any level to protect themselves.
Representing You in Court
In the event that a fair settlement isn’t possible outside of court, we are ready to take your case to trial. This only happens in a small number of cases. But if it does happen in your case, you benefit from the decades of in-court experience our truck accident lawyers possess.
The trial lawyers at our personal injury law firm know our skill and expertise gives us an edge in the courtroom. If your Fort Worth truck accident goes to trial, you’ll have the strongest legal representation available.
Causes of Large Truck Wrecks in Fort Worth, TX
Truck accident lawyers know the causes of semi-truck crashes are numerous and varied. Any collision involving an 18-wheeler requires a thorough investigation to determine liability. This often involves examining the actions of multiple parties along the chain, from loading cargo to truck inspection to vehicle maintenance to the driver’s behavior behind the wheel. Even other motorists sharing the highway can play a role in a truck wreck.
Your Fort Worth truck accident may have involved one or more of the common truck accident causes described below.
Truck Driver Error
A truck driver who fails to uphold a high standard of care while driving may directly cause a truck crash through their actions or inactions. Some of the most common types of truck driver error include:
- Driver Fatigue. Even though there are federal regulations in place to prevent drivers from spending too much time at the wheel during long hauls, that doesn’t mean driver fatigue doesn’t happen. Whether the driver made a choice to keep going when they knew they were overfatigued, or the trucking company forced them to adhere to an unreasonable schedule, fatigued driving is a serious issue that causes thousands of Texas truck accidents.
- Failure To Check Blind Spots. A trucker is handicapped by blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle. Making sudden lane changes, not using blinkers, braking too abruptly, and carelessness in turning or merging can all cause large trucks to collide with other motorists.
- Distracted Driving. Just like passenger vehicle drivers, truckers can give in to distractions that impair their ability to drive safely. Cell phone use is one of the biggest distractions to drivers of both semi-trucks and passenger vehicles.
- Intoxicated Driving. Substance abuse is a tragically widespread issue in the commercial trucking sector. Alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines and other stimulants, and even non-recreational prescription drugs can severely hinder a driver’s ability to anticipate and react to highway hazards.
- Speeding. Driving over the speed limit or too fast for conditions is even more dangerous in a giant truck with a high center of gravity and long braking distances. Truck drivers who choose to drive too fast risk dropping cargo, rolling over, losing control of the vehicle, and putting excessive strain on the truck—strain that can lead to a parts failure or tire blowout.
- Aggressive Driving. Recklessness like tailgating, swerving, and speeding is a cause of serious collisions that are always preventable.
Auto part malfunction is a factor in a high number of Fort Worth truck accident cases. A breakdown can be the result of:
- Overloading that puts strain on the engine and transmission
- Improperly-balanced loading
- Hitching failures
- Inadequate maintenance
- Lack of pre-trip inspections
- Low fluid levels
- Unevenly distributed weight that causes a tire blowout
Trucking Company Negligence
Trucking companies are responsible for hiring, training, and managing truck drivers, as well as for providing the necessary resources to make safe driving possible. Trucking companies may be negligent by:
- Not properly training drivers
- Not ensuring truck drivers have the necessary licensing and endorsements
- Not conducting background checks at hiring
- Assigning excessive route schedules
- Not inspecting or maintaining fleet vehicles
- Not administering drug or alcohol tests as required by law
- Falsifying hours of service records or encouraging drivers to do so
Types of Truck Accidents
Large trucks are vulnerable to a number of specific types of accidents. Some of the most dangerous are:
- Jackknife accident – when the tractor and trailer form an “L” or “V” shape
- Override accident – when the semi-truck drives over a smaller vehicle
- Underride accident – when a smaller vehicle becomes trapped under the truck
- Rollover accident – when the truck loses balance and rolls onto its side or roof
In addition to these accidents that are usually seen only among tractor-trailers, an accident involving a commercial truck could fall under the category of:
- Head-on collision
- Rear-end collision
- T-bone crash
- Blind spot accident
- Turning accident
Common Truck Accident Injuries in Fort Worth
Truck wreck victims rarely walk away from an accident scene unharmed. Any vehicles involved in a crash with a big rig are likely to be severely damaged, causing considerable injury or death to those inside.
Injuries sustained in Fort Worth truck accident cases may include:
- Head, back, and neck injuries
- Brain damage
- Facial disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Loss of limb
- Vital organ damage
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Truck Accident Claim?
Collisions with commercial trucks can be devastating, especially when caused by wrongdoing. There are many potential parties that could be held accountable through a truck accident claim, such as:
- Truck drivers
- Other passenger vehicle drivers
- A trucking company
- A truck part manufacturer
- Loading, shipping, and cargo handling services
An experienced truck accident lawyer will explore every possibility to determine what caused your truck wreck. We understand that sometimes what seems like the most obvious party isn’t actually the party responsible for the crash.
For example, while it may appear that the trucker was clearly at fault, your crash could have been caused by a trucking company that failed to inspect or fix a vehicle, a parts manufacturer that sold a defective product, or a government agency that neglected to repair a dangerous road.
Your Fort Worth, TX truck accident attorney will determine exactly who caused your tractor-trailer wreck and how you can best recover damages.
Recovering Damages After Truck Accident Injuries
The injuries and damages you sustained in a large truck accident caused by another party’s negligence shouldn’t be your financial responsibility. A truck accident attorney from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm can help you handle the legal matters of your case while you focus on your physical and emotional healing.
Typically, economic and noneconomic damages are recoverable through a personal injury claim.
What Are Economic Damages?
Economic damages are the actual costs that you incurred. These generally include medical bills, lost wages, repair bills, transportation costs, and future medical treatment.
What Are Noneconomic Damages?
Noneconomic damages are less physical and more abstract. They’re not as obvious or easy to prove as the economic damages, which is why you’ll need the help of an attorney to ensure you obtain a full recovery. Noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, emotional anguish, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life could all be part of your compensation.
What Are Punitive Damages?
In more rare cases, you might be eligible for punitive damages. These punish the responsible party for especially wrongful behavior that should have never been allowed to happen.
After analyzing the details of your case, your Fort Worth, TX truck accident attorney will be able to help you recover all damages that you are entitled to receive.
Time Limits for Recovering Compensation After a Texas Truck Accident
Texas law limits how long you have to file a lawsuit after injury. The clock usually begins the minute you were injured in your Fort Worth truck crash. Most cases only allow you two years. This is a short amount of time when you consider how long it takes to seek medical treatment, build a case, gather evidence, and calculate fair compensation for current and future damages.
If you wait too long to begin this process, you risk losing out on the compensation you are legally eligible for. Contact a lawyer right away. Don’t let a concern about legal fees stand in your way. Many law firms like ours take cases on a contingency fee basis, so there are no fees unless your case is won.
What To Do After a Fort Worth, TX Trucking Accident
If you were injured in a Fort Worth, TX truck collision, there are a few steps you can take to protect your health, safety, and legal rights.
Keep Yourself and Others Safe
Your safety is the most important thing to consider after a serious collision. As much as possible, try to:
- Get to a safe place
- Call 911
- Check yourself and others for injuries
- Go to the emergency room if you are seriously hurt
- Schedule an appointment with your doctor for a follow-up exam
Gather Available Evidence
If your condition allows, take the opportunity to gather evidence while it is still available. Ask a friend or family member for help if you need to.
- Take pictures of property damage and injuries
- Get the trucker’s name, contact, and company information
- Talk to eyewitnesses and ask for their contact information
- Take videos of the accident scene
- Keep a record of all doctor’s visits, physician’s notes, and medical bills
Get Legal Help
The insurance company isn’t going to give you a fair settlement unless you demand it. Reach out as soon as you can to schedule a case consultation with a trucking accident attorney who can inform you of your rights and legal options.
A Truck Accident Lawyer From Buckingham Barrera Vega Is Here for You
We invite you to contact Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm for a no-obligation free case evaluation. Our attorneys have advocated for many people just like you, victims of accidents that never should have happened in the first place.
To learn more about how our compassionate and skilled legal representatives can help you, reach out by phone or online.