Trucking Accident Attorney
Trucking Accident attorney
Dallas - Fort Worth, Texas
If you are in need of a trucking accident lawyer in Dallas, Fort Worth, or the DFW area, look no further than Robert C. Slim. Furthermore, trucking accident deaths account for 15% of all traffic accident deaths. Department of Transportation statistics show that of the 500,000 trucking accidents that occur on an annual basis, approximately 5,000 of these accidents result in a death. Texas ranked in the top five states for the most trucking accident fatalities in the United States.
If you live in Dallas, Fort Worth and North Texas, trucking & 18 wheeler accidents are common. Losses can include serious personal injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, as well as physical pain and mental anguish. Trucking accidents comprise some of the most serious motor vehicle accidents mainly because of the relative size and weight of the vehicles involved. An 18 wheeler truck can weigh more than 80,000 pounds and be 75 feet in length. It is no wonder that truck drivers are required to carry a “commercial drivers license” (CDL) in order to operate a truck.
Common Causes of
Some of the most common causes of semi-truck wrecks include:
- Driver Negligence: Some truck drivers exercise bad judgment on our roads and highways. This includes such things as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, excessive speed, improper loading of the trailer, faulty maintenance of the truck, and insufficient driver training. Other factors include driver fatigue or sleepiness, driver inattention, and aggressive driving habits.
- Road or Driving Conditions: Weather and night driving can create circumstances in which trucks will have to use more care. Additionally, disabled vehicles, pedestrians and animals in the roadway are other circumstances in which truck drivers are at a disadvantage in avoiding an accident.
- Interaction with Passenger Vehicles: Unfortunately, many drivers of passenger cars do not necessarily appreciate the lack of mobility and responsiveness of large trucks. Likewise, automobile drivers fail to keep a safe distance from trucks and sometimes tend to move swiftly and erratically in changing lanes, as well as entering or exiting the roadway.
As part of the Ticketing of Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT), many North Texas police departments have stepped up law enforcement and ticketing of not only aggressive truck drivers, but have also handed out an increased number of citations to car drivers who pose a high risk of danger to trucks on the road. “Law enforcement in the area have written nearly 2,000 tickets since May for things such as speeding, following too closely and unsafe lane changes, and most of the citations are given to four-wheelers [cars]. Police have written 1,700 citations to drivers of passenger vehicles for speeding and other violations around big trucks. Only 260 tickets were given to truck and bus drivers.” Read full article here.
So far, accident fatalities involving trucks have been reduced by 40%. Participating departments include Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Mansfield, Burleson, North Richland Hills, Grapevine, Lewisville and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
State and Federal Trucking Regulations
State and Federal regulations are enacted to address the inherent risks that tractor trailers pose on our roads and highways. Likewise, truck drivers are required to hold a commercial vehicle license (CDL) and are held to a higher standard when operating a truck than a typical operator of a passenger.
Other regulations include placing limits on the number of hours that a driver can be on the road per day, limits of the number of weekly hours and also requiring minimum rest periods. Therefore, truck drivers are required to keep a driving and sleep log in order to show their compliance with these strict regulations. There are also regulations for the maintenance of the truck such as mandatory inspections and weight restrictions. Additionally, truck drivers must also be properly trained and have to submit to routine alcohol and drug testing.
Investigating a Truck Accident
If there is a trucking collision, a police report is almost always completed. In addition to investigating the accident, your lawyer will also investigate the history of the truck driver as well as all the maintenance records of the truck. Your lawyer will also review the driver’s travel log, sleep records, previous drug testing, prior accidents and driving history.
Most likely, an accident reconstruction will also be necessary to analyze and recreate the details of the wreck. This information may be critical in establishing the liability of the driver and the trucking company.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Trucking Accidents
A trucking accident usually involves a collision with a commercial or company vehicle that is designed for the delivery of large heavy loads. They can include something as small as a box truck, up to an 18 wheeler, semi-truck, dump trucks, cement trucks, and even trucks designed to carry heavy equipment.
A trucking accident would not necessarily include a passenger pick-up truck, SUV, or similar vehicle. But, if the pick-up truck is a company vehicle, there could be an insurance policy in place that is usually much larger than a personal auto policy.
Absolutely. Large company trucks are not only required to carry insurance, they are usually required to carry policies with much liability limits than regular passenger vehicles.
This is because the risk of serious bodily injuries and death are much greater when an 18-wheeler is involved in the accident.
Yes. Trucking accidents can get quite complicated. Not only are there many rules and regulations pertaining to truck drivers, there are regulations that relate to the truck itself.
Also, commercial insurance policies are different. The insurance policies tend to have higher limits. This causes adjusters to defend these cases more vigorously. Attempting to handle a trucking accident case yourself will most likely create more problems and even jeopardize its value and settlement potential.
Yes. Operating large commercial motor vehicles requires specialized skills and training. This includes trucks and other large commercial vehicles (including buses). Therefore, Texas law requires that these drivers get a “commercial drivers license,” also known as a “CDL.”
In order to get a CDL, the applicant must show they have the training and qualifications to operate large commercial motor vehicles.
There are laws on both the federal and state level. On the federal level, the most common agency regulating trucks is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The FMCSA regulates driver qualifications as well as safety regulations of the truck itself.
The State of Texas Department of Transportation also regulates large commercial trucks.
There are many factors that cause trucks to crash. Some of the most common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Driver Fatigue
- Improper Training
- Weather Conditions
- Driver Inattention
- Mechanical Defects
These are just some causes of serious trucking accidents. There are many more that can come up after investigating the crash.
Every case is different. Some accidents are more serious than others. Your attorney will gather as much evidence as possible, including the police report, photographs, witness statements, and available public records.
In the more serious trucking accidents, your attorney will thoroughly investigate the driver’s background as well as the truck’s mechanical safety records.
Additionally, your attorney may employ the help of an expert who will inspect the truck and be prepared to testify about its mechanical safety should that be a factor in your case.