If you or a loved one has been involved in an 18-wheeler collision in Fort Worth, it's in your best interest to speak with a qualified truck accident attorney about your case. Call Grossman Law 24/7: 855-326-0000
In Texas and across the U.S., accidents involving commercial trucks are more common than you might think.
There are 11 million trucks active across the United States and many have overworked and overwhelmed drivers behind the wheel.
Many of these large, heavy vehicles are poorly maintained and improperly loaded, causing a significant hazard to other motorists who share the roadways.
Human error is a leading cause of accidents involving commercial trucks. For victims, these accidents can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler in or near Fort Worth, the personal injury attorneys at Grossman Law Offices can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other damages.
Common Causes of Commercial Truck Crashes in Fort Worth
Just as with any other type of vehicle accident, crashes that involve commercial trucks can happen anywhere, at any time. There are, however, a few common causes of commercial truck crashes.
Commercial truck drivers work hectic and very tight schedules. If they don’t reach their destinations when they’re scheduled to, then this can cause them to incur a heavy penalty.
These unreasonable expectations and schedules often overburden truck drivers and cause them to push themselves to deliver their haul on time.
One problem this creates is tired and fatigued drivers who haven’t been getting good quality sleep at night.
The results are conditions that can cause accidents, like falling asleep at the wheel when driving, difficulty concentrating on the road, and reduced reaction time while behind the wheel.
Commercial trucks have limits on their loads in terms of both volume and weight. If a truck is overloaded, then it can be more difficult to control on the road, increasing accidents.
Another problem that can present itself is cargo that is unbalanced or not fastened to the truck safely. Cargo that shifts during transport can lead to rollover accidents.
Part of the pressure truck drivers are under to reach their destinations can cause them to drive faster than they should. This causes unsafe driving conditions for everyone on the road, making it difficult for a truck to slow down in traffic and avoid a crash.
Truck drivers aren’t always at fault for accidents that occur; sometimes an accident can take place because of mechanical issues with the truck itself.
Brakes are the perfect example, since the braking system for commercial trucks is quite complex, and a problem in the system can easily lead to a crash.
Defective tires, outdated safety technology, and unsafe freight space are a few other mechanical defects that can lead to commercial truck crashes.
Common Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Escape Liability After a Fort Worth Truck Accident
Commercial vehicle insurance companies have many reasons to try to escape liability after a Fort Worth truck accident. By federal law, commercial trucks are required to carry at least $750,000 worth of insurance coverage.
The state of Texas also requires commercial trucks to carry an additional $250,000 in liability insurance on top of that. So any accident involving a commercial truck in Texas can mean that insurers face liability of $1,000,000 or more.
With so much money at stake, it’s rare for an insurance company to admit fault in a case. Given the severity of many injuries that can result from a truck accident, medical bills alone could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If an insurance company were to admit fault right away, which may be the right thing to do morally, then they would be exposed financially for paying the cost of the victims’ medical bills, lost wages, and possible lost future income.
Although not every insurance company resorts to underhanded tactics to reduce the amount of truck accident victims’ claims, it happens surprisingly frequently. Below, we describe three of the most common tactics we encounter and how our Fort Worth truck accident attorneys fight back.
In some instances, citing the conditions of the roadway is a perfectly valid defense. There are times where municipalities fail to properly maintain roadways, and when this is the case, the municipality can have liability.
The problem with how this defense is commonly used by insurance companies is that it is applied to wet roads, icy roads, situations with poor visibility, and other instances where conditions were less than ideal.
Any blame that can be assigned to road conditions can significantly reduce an injury settlement or award.
While the road condition defense is common, an experienced attorney, like those at the Grossman Law Offices, will make sure to keep focus on the fact that drivers have a legal duty to adjust their speed and driving to match the roadway conditions.
For instance, when a roadway is icy, every driver has an obligation to slow down enough so that they can proceed safely. Slowing down for wet roadways is also common sense, especially for a commercial driver.
Your Social Media Activity
As the number of people on social media grows, the amount of content that people share grows right along with it. Insurance companies often mine these sites for anything that could be potentially damaging to an accident victim’s case.
For example, if a widow has filed a wrongful death suit because she lost her husband in a truck accident, the insurance company might look into both the widow’s and the victim’s social media accounts for hints of marital discord.
Since part of the widow’s damage claim will be based on loss of consortium, which compensates someone for the loss of the relationship with a close loved one, this could potentially reduce the compensation the widow receives.
Fortunately, the tactic of using social media posts is a high-risk one for an insurance company.
A skilled truck accident attorney can show that the insurer’s efforts to delve into the victims’ personal lives is little more than a fishing expedition, causing this strategy to blow up in the face of the insurance companies.
The Victim’s Age or Physical Condition
This is one of the more insidious defenses that an insurance company might use.
This defense is basically an insurance company saying, "That's right, our driver was responsible for killing or injuring a person, but you shouldn't award them too much money because they are old and were (are) going to die soon anyway."
This argument is a strategy designed to reduce the amount of compensation the insurer must pay out.
For example, the future earnings of a 55-year-old injury accident victim are considerably less than the future earnings of a 25-year-old.
The unpleasant part of this argument is that it treats sick and elderly victims as if they are worth less than healthy or young people. The fact of the matter is that with extended lifespans, even elderly people may still have 30 or 40 years left to live.
This defense also has one big pitfall: taking a harsh stance with an elderly victim can be off-putting. While it may be objectively true that an elderly person's potential future income is less than a younger person's might be, defense attorneys often press this defense too far.
Experienced truck accident attorneys take this opportunity to show the jury that the insurance company isn't just arguing a legitimate defense but trying to question the value of an older person's life.
It is important to remind jurors that we are all treated equally before the law and that we don't lose rights or consideration just because we age.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of tactics that insurance companies can employ, but it does represent just how far insurance companies sometimes go in an attempt to lessen the amount of money they have to pay out to victims of Fort Worth truck accidents.
Why So Many Fort Worth Law Firms Claim to Be “Truck Accident Lawyers”
You may have noticed that many law firms advertise themselves as “truck accident lawyers,” implying that they specialize in these types of cases.
Truck accident cases often involve large damage awards or settlements, which attracts many lawyers—not all of whom have experience with this complex area of the law.
It’s important that you look for a law firm that can back its claims up with past case results. At the Grossman Law Offices, we have years of experience dealing with truck accident cases.
We have won truck accident cases that awarded millions of dollars to the family of an accident victim and have a variety of client testimonials that let you know we’ve won cases for injury accident victims just like you.
Most importantly, we have experience taking truck accident cases to trial, which not all attorneys want to invest in doing. We treat every case as if it’s destined for the courtroom. This sends a clear message to the opposing party that we’re committed to getting you the results you deserve.
What Are the Most Common Catastrophic Injuries Caused by Fort Worth Truck Accidents?
When a passenger car and a commercial truck collide, the injuries can often be more catastrophic than accidents between two passenger cars. Many times, the injuries in a truck accident can stick with the victim for the rest of their lives.
For this reason, it becomes even more crucial to get the compensation you need to address the ongoing medical issues that can occur.
The most common types of catastrophic injuries that can occur as the result of a truck accident include:
- Neck and back Injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries;
- Loss of digits or limbs;
- Internal injuries;
- Broken bones, cuts, and bruises; and
A truck accident lawyer from the Grossman Law Offices can help you determine the value of your damages and the potential amount of compensation you might be entitled to recover.
Other Types of Commercial Trucks Often Involved in Serious Crashes in Fort Worth
Semi-trucks or 18-wheelers are often the first type of vehicle that comes to mind when you think about truck accidents.
These accidents are not the only type of commercial truck that can pose a threat on the roadways.
Other types of truck accidents we commonly see at the Grossman Law Offices involve:
- Mail trucks,
- Dump trucks,
- Cement trucks,
- Tow trucks,
- Bucket trucks (“cherry pickers”),
- Garbage trucks,
- Farm trucks,
- Recreational vehicles,
- Tow trucks,
- Crane trucks,
- Street sweepers,
- Company/work trucks,
- Flatbed trucks,
- Tanker trucks,
- Moving trucks or vans, and
- Delivery and cargo vans.
No matter what type of truck, van, or large commercial vehicle may have been involved in your accident, we can help you pursue a claim and get the compensation you deserve.
18-Wheeler Truck Accident Statistics in Fort Worth
Every day, thousands of people in Fort Worth get in their cars to go to work, take their kids to school, or run errands.
Unfortunately, people are frequently injured or killed after being involved in an accident with a commercial truck.
Truck crashes account for many of the motor vehicle accidents in Texas. In fact, in 2018 Texas was the number one state for deaths related to truck accidents.
In the Fort Worth area, more than half of all truck crashes occur on the interstates and highways that connect us to other parts of the state and country.
The rest occur on the streets of the city and on private property, such as parking lots.
Although driver error and equipment failure are most often to blame for these collisions, road hazards do contribute to approximately 13% of commercial trucking accidents.
Are You Required to Hire an Attorney Who is Physically Located in Fort Worth?
You are not legally required to hire an attorney from Fort Worth to represent you in a personal injury claim there. The real question to ask yourself is whether you’re getting the best attorney to handle your case, whether they’re located in Fort Worth or not.
Today, thanks in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, you don’t need to physically be in the room with an attorney to get started on your case. The experienced attorneys of Grossman Law help clients throughout Texas, providing exceptional service and getting the results they deserve.
We look forward to showing you how we can help you get the best possible outcome in your case.
How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident in Fort Worth?
A statute of limitations dictates is the amount of time you have after an accident occurs to file a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver and trucking company responsible for your accident.
If you fail to file a lawsuit within this designated period of time, then you might not be able to pursue a legal claim for compensation.
Under the Texas statute of limitations, you have only two years to file a lawsuit for personal injuries caused by a truck accident. The start of that two-year period begins on the date of your accident.
If you’re pursuing a wrongful death suit, then the statute of limitations begins counting down from the date of the victim’s death rather than the date of the crash.
Will You Be Obligated to Hire a Grossman Law Truck Accident Attorney If You Get a Free Case Review?
We will never pressure you to work with us for your Fort Worth truck accident claim. Our no-cost consultation comes without obligation or pressure.
We want you to succeed and recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We will provide you with our honest opinion about the viability of your case and how we can help you obtain the best possible outcome.
What Are the Next Steps to Take to Speak with a Fort Worth Truck Accident Lawyer?
Before you make any decisions about your case or provide any statements to the insurance company, take advantage of our free case analysis. We understand how frightening and challenging your situation is, and we are ready to get to work for you today.
To learn more about the Grossman Law Offices or to speak to a truck accident lawyer in Fort Worth, contact us online now or call (855) 934-1342.