Waco Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been on the road with a truck, you know how imposing they can be beside a passenger car. Trucks can weigh over 25 times more than the average passenger car. A collision with a truck can result in catastrophic injuries or even death. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 67% of the deaths in large truck crashes were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles. If you have been injured or you have lost a loved one in a trucking accident, you may be confused about what to do. A Waco truck accident attorney at Craft Law Firm can help you make sense of all your legal rights and get compensation for your losses.
- Craft Law Firm has been recognized by U.S. News as one of the Best Law Firms in America.
- At Craft Law Firm our clients become a part of the family during and after their cases. We help them navigate what has become the new normal in their lives after a Waco truck accident.
- We take a limited number of cases, which allows our experienced team of lawyers to be selective and pay detailed attention to each case.
We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, so we will never charge a fee unless we win. Call 713-225-0500 for a free consultation with an experienced Waco personal injury attorney.
Causes of Truck Accidents in Waco, TX
Because of the danger that trucks pose to other road users, trucking is a highly regulated industry. In order to drive a truck, truckers must have their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), which requires extensive training beyond what is required for a driver’s license.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck accidents make up only 3% of motor vehicle accidents but a collision with a truck can have very devastating effects. The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) reports that in 2019, of all deaths involving large trucks, 67% were passenger vehicle occupants, 16% were large truck occupants, and 15% were motorcyclists, bicycles, and pedestrians.
This evidence illustrates how dangerous trucks can be in a collision. There are many causes of Waco truck accidents including loss of control of overweight or overloaded trucks; mechanical failure such as braking failure; poor maintenance of trucks, truck wide turns; and blind spot obstructions. The number of hours that truckers are on the road is also regulated. Truckers are expected to have enough rest between trips and keep a log book as evidence that they are abiding by the regulations. Lack of adequate rest can diminish a trucker’s ability to respond and react adequately to surprises on the road.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
There are several kinds of truck accidents that commonly occur:
- Blind Spot Crashes: Trucks have significant blind spots compared to passenger vehicles, so a truck driver may not see other cars at their side, immediately in front of them or behind them. The accident can be catastrophic when a truck driver cannot see a car in what is known as “No Man’s Land” and makes a turn or changes lanes.
- Underride Accidents: Tractor-trailers have a higher profile, so passenger vehicles often slide under the side or rear of a truck when they collide. This kind of accident typically results in severe injuries and fatalities.
- Rollover: A truck that rolls over is a severe threat to its driver and surrounding vehicles. In addition to the truck rolling, its cargo may also spill onto the road, leading to further collisions. Rollover accidents often occur from cargo shifts on an incline or when a truck driver takes too wide of a turn.
- Tire Blowout: The truck driver can completely lose control when a tire blows out on a large truck. Tire blowouts are often caused by improper maintenance due to the extreme weight of the vehicle and sometimes defective tires.
- Jackknife: When a truck’s attached trailer swings into the cab, causing the truck to fold in on itself at a 90-degree angle, it is called a “jackknife accident.” These collisions commonly occur when a truck driver must brake hard and fast, which causes the truck’s axles to lock up.
- T-Bone: This type of accident occurs when a vehicle runs into the side of a truck, causing the accident to look like the letter “T.” These often happen when a truck driver runs a red light and a vehicle with a green light collides into its side.
Who Can You Hold Responsible for Your Injuries?
Truck accidents can result in catastrophic injury including traumatic brain injury, paralysis, amputation, disfigurement and even death. If you have been injured or you have lost a loved one because of a Waco truck accident, you may have experienced tremendous losses. Your losses may include medical bills, property damage, long-term life alterations, and loss of past and future wages. If the truck accident was caused by negligence or recklessness of another person, you may be entitled to compensation from that person.
Because of the danger trucks pose, the government has regulations and strict standards that truckers and trucking companies must comply with. Non-compliance with these regulations can be considered as negligence and a basis for claiming compensation for damages.
Negligence in law is a failure to behave in a way that is consistent with the expected behavior of others in the same circumstances. When a person’s negligent actions cause injury to another person, they may be held responsible to compensate the victim for the damages they caused. To make a successful claim against the person or entity whose actions caused the injury the injured person must prove negligence.
To prove negligence, you must show:
- the person who caused the injury had a duty of care toward the injured person
- they breached their duty
- the breach caused the injury
- the breach was the proximate cause of the injury
- the injured person suffered actual damages
Truckers owe a duty of care to other road users. That duty includes keeping their truck in good working condition; not overloading their truck when making deliveries; abiding by the regulations by keeping accurate log books; and driving with care. If they breach any of their duties, and that breach causes an accident, for instance, a poorly maintained truck that experiences brake failure and crashes into other vehicles, then the next question to ask is whether their breach was the proximate cause of any injuries that occur.
Sometimes, determining the proximate cause of an injury and identifying all the parties responsible for the truck accident requires the expertise of a lawyer. The proximate cause is the legal cause of the accident. Sometimes, there are many factors that come into play to cause an accident. It could be a combination of factors including the conditions of the road, a defective part in the truck, the recklessness of the trucker, or the recklessness of another road user whose actions precipitated the accident. An experienced lawyer can help you gather the evidence necessary to ensure that all parties responsible for your injury are held accountable.
How Much Compensation Can You Get?
It is near impossible to give an exact figure for how much compensation you can expect. However, your lawyer may be able to give you an estimate based on similar cases that they have handled in the past. At Craft Law Firm, we have taken on some of the largest companies in the world, including automotive manufacturers, and we have the knowledge and experience to assess your case and advise you on the possible outcomes. We also have access to investigators and experts who work with us to build a strong case for you.
If successful, you may be entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those tangible losses that can be quantified such as damage to your car, medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and out-of-pocket costs. The amount of these damages are usually established with receipts, invoices, and other tangible evidence. Generally, in truck accident cases, insurance will cover economic damages. However, the injuries sustained in a Waco truck accident can be catastrophic and leave you with long-term injuries that prevent you from living the life that you enjoyed before the accident. The requirements to make you whole in such a situation may be more than the insurance company will cover, and you may be able to sue to get more compensation.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to establish because they are intangible and subjective. They include such things as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of activities, and emotional anguish. If the truck accident results in a death or catastrophic injury, the greatest losses may be non-economic. In this case, you should speak with a Waco wrongful death attorney.
How Can a Waco Truck Attorney Help?
Apart from gathering evidence for your case, identifying the responsible parties in a truck accident can be a complex issue. Truck drivers are sometimes part of a complicated chain of relationships that affect who can be held legally responsible. For example, a truck driver could be an independent contractor hired by a contracting company that provides truck services to a trucking company. If the truck driver gets into an accident in the course of making a delivery for the trucking company, who would be held responsible for the accident? The contracting company and the trucking company may deny any responsibility because the trucker is identified as an independent contractor in the relationship. However, a full investigation into the operational relationship of all the parties may reveal other important facts. An attorney experienced in handling trucking accidents will be familiar with all the intricacies involved in the trucking industry.
Whether you are filing a lawsuit or not, having a Waco truck accident attorney advocating for you during negotiations will show the insurance company how serious you are about reaching a fair settlement. At Craft Law Firm we prepare each case for trial and are always courtroom-ready if required, to get you the compensation you deserve.
How Much Does An Attorney Charge?
You may be discouraged from contacting a lawyer for your case by the thought of attorney fees. The truth is that you cannot afford not to have an attorney by your side while you try to get compensation for your losses. Attorneys offer different fee arrangements tailored to clients’ ability to pay. One of these is the contingency fee arrangement generally used by personal injury attorneys, and Craft Law Firm handles all cases on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that you will not have to worry about attorney fees unless we win.
What To Do After a Truck Accident
There are specific steps to take after a truck accident to protect your rights:
Truck accidents often result in severe injuries and fatalities. Emergency responders will arrive on the scene and take anyone injured to the hospital. It is also critical to call 911 so that law enforcement comes to the scene to create an accident report. Their report will contain critical details about the accident, including the officer’s opinion on how the accident occurred, who caused it, and statements from each party and any witnesses. As a result, police reports can significantly impact an insurance company’s decision on fault.
If you are not taken to the hospital, collect any potential evidence. Take photos and videos of the positions of the vehicles, their damage, any debris, traffic signs, skid marks, and your injuries. Ask the truck driver and anyone else involved for their contact and insurance information, and be sure to get the trucking company’s name if the driver works for one. If there are witnesses, ask how to contact them and if they will make a brief recorded statement on your phone.
Seek Medical Care
See a doctor as soon as possible. Some severe injuries may not be immediately apparent, and you need medical records linking injuries and potential injuries to the accident.
Report the Accident to Your Insurer
Let them know about the truck accident, but do not give a recorded statement until you speak to a lawyer.
Speak to a Waco Truck Accident Lawyer
Connect with a Waco truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Evidence from a truck accident must be collected quickly to ensure you recover fair compensation. Commercial trucks typically have a “black box” containing data about the crash and the truck’s condition before it. This data can be vital to your case and may be destroyed if you do not act quickly. Once you hire a lawyer, they will send a spoliation letter to the trucking company to ensure the data is preserved. Your attorney will also take over any communication and negotiations with the insurance companies so that you can focus on recovering.
Contact a Waco Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a trucking accident, you may be confused about what to do. Our Waco trucking accident lawyers can answer your questions and bring clarity to your legal options. Call us at 713-225-0500 for a free consultation. When you call, you will speak with an experienced Waco accident attorney, not a paralegal or intake specialist.