A picture of a truck accident with the words, "understanding truck accidents."

November 14th, 3:19 AM, Dallas firefighters responded to a report of a crash involving an 18-wheeler and a car on Highway 310. Both the car and the cab of the 18-wheeler had caught fire due to spilled diesel that had resulted from the crash. The truck driver had been able to escape the cab of his truck, getting out of harm’s way. He sustained serious injuries but was able to leave the accident scene alive. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, the driver and passenger of the car were not so lucky and had succumbed to their injuries and the fire.

Stories like this in Texas are all too common. In 2022, Texas experienced 19,425 semi-truck accidents. This resulted in 7,517 injuries and 692 fatalities. These accidents cause significant damage and financial hardship for the victims of these accidents and their families. In this article, the truck accident attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. review the complex nature of truck accidents and what victims can do to protect themselves and their families from the aftermath. 

The Complex Nature of Texas Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are one of the most devastating and catastrophic events that can occur on our roadways. Part of the serious nature of these accidents stems from the massive size of the trucks themselves. Most semi-trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds, making the impact during an accident severe. Cars can be crushed, shoved up underneath the 18-wheeler, or completely pushed off the road.

Long hours and the pressure to meet deadlines combined with the ignorance of other drivers on the road create a recipe for disaster. Other factors that can contribute to truck accidents are as follows:

  • Fatigue
  • Mechanical Failures
  • Distracted Driving
  • Inadequate Training

Apart from the size, power, and contributing factors to car accidents, other areas contribute to the complex nature of truck accidents. These intricacies can significantly impact the outcome of a case and the compensation that a victim receives. These factors are as follows:

The Involvement of Multiple Parties

Truck accidents typically involve numerous parties, unlike normal car accidents where it is just the two drivers. The truck driver, the trucking company, and even the manufacturer may hold responsibility for the accident. Since each of these entities holds a varying degree of liability for the accident, trying to decide which one to seek compensation from can be tricky.

Federal Regulations and Compliances

Trucking companies and their drivers are subjected to federal regulations which were created to keep both the truck drivers and others on the road safe. These regulations set guidelines for hours of service, weight restrictions, and maintenance requirements. The regulations that are currently in place add an extra layer of complexity, as the failure to follow them shows negligence but determining whether it is the driver or the company that was negligent can be a bit confusing. Each party is going to try and protect itself from being held responsible for the accident, so having a dedicated truck accident attorney on your side is extremely important to ensure that you are going after the right party.

Specialized Knowledge Required

Investigating a truck accident can be tricky as it demands specialized knowledge and expertise about the nature of truck accident collisions to deconstruct the accident. Truck accidents are known for their extensive damage and the complex contributing factors that can make nailing down the cause difficult. Investigators need to look at the truck’s black box data, maintenance records, and the driver’s logbook to understand what was neglected. 

An experienced truck accident attorney will be able to gather and analyze the correct data to understand what happened in the accident and which party should be held responsible. 

Safety Issues With 18-Wheelers and the Trucking Industry

18 wheeler on the highway

As mentioned earlier, semi-trucks are massive pieces of machinery that can do extensive damage during an accident. One of the most common results of a truck accident is a car sliding underneath a truck, shearing off the roof, and resulting in a typically fatal accident for the driver and passengers of the car.

In 2011, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crashed dummy cars into the rear of tractor-trailers to test whether or not having strong underride guards could help prevent cars from being shoved underneath during an accident. The results showed that side underride guards were incredibly effective in defending smaller vehicles from being crushed underneath the truck and saving the lives of those inside the vehicle. 

Currently, Federal Law requires large trucks to have rear underride guards but not side ones. However, crash testing from the IIHS found that these rear guards were virtually ineffective in preventing a car from sliding underneath as the guard often buckled or broke during the collision.  Efforts are still being made to make it mandatory for all tractor-trailers to have effective side underride guards.

If you would like more information on this topic, you can find an official report here.

Victims of truck accidents do not have to try and navigate through the legal red tape alone after an accident. The Hernandez Law Group, P.C. is dedicated to ensuring that victims can recuperate both economic and non-economic damages after an accident. These damages include but are not limited to:

  • Property Damage
  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Loss of Future Wages or Earning Capacity
  • Emotional Damages
  • Pain and Suffering

Even if the victims involved in the truck accident succumbed to their injuries, immediate family members of the victims can still claim compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Our experienced truck accident attorneys will walk with you and your family through every step of the process, to ensure that you are not being taken advantage of and coerced into taking a settlement that is less than you deserve.

Texas Personal Injury Law Attorneys: Dallas, Amarillo, and Abilene

An upside down 18 wheeler on the side of the road

The Hernandez Law Group, P.C. proudly serves the individuals of Dallas, Amarillo, and Abilene by being their legal advocate after they have been involved in an accident. Our attorneys specialize in truck accidents and are led by Juan Hernandez, who is one of the 2% of Texas attorneys who is Texas board-certified in personal injury law. 

Our team has successfully litigated many cases against truck drivers and trucking companies, helping to win over hundreds of millions of dollars. With a 98% success rate, you know that your case is in good hands. Contact our team today for more information on our services or to schedule an appointment with our attorneys to go over the facts of your case. Let our family fight for yours!

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