Accidents involving 18-wheelers are some of the deadliest collisions that occur on Texas roadways today. Unfortunately, the state of Texas leads the country when it comes to 18-wheeler accidents with thousands of visitors and residents experiencing serious and even fatal injuries every year.
If you or someone in your family has been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, it’s important to take steps to protect your rights. One of the best things you can do is to get in touch with our Texas truck accident lawyers from Burkett Law Firm. We can review the facts of your case and help you recover the maximum compensation possible for the injuries, damages, and losses you sustained.
What Exactly Is an 18-Wheeler?
Commercial vehicles are required to haul people or cargo to receive pay. However, what most people think of when it comes to a commercial vehicle is an 18-wheeler or semi-truck. 18-wheelers are a tractor-trailer combination. They can vary in size with the smallest having just 10 wheels; however, most have 18-wheels, which is where the name comes from.
The reason that there are so many wheels is due to the weight and size of the vehicle. Semis have gross weights of as much as 80,000 pounds. The weight is typically spread across 70 feet, 18-wheels, and five axles. A smaller tractor-trailer has fewer wheels and axles, simply because they don’t weigh as much.
It’s extremely difficult to operate these trucks safely. Because of this, it’s necessary for operators to have a commercial driver’s license. Based on the specifics of the truck, a driver may also require specialty endorsements on this CDL.
When compared to a traditional passenger vehicle, 18-wheelers require up to 50% more space to come to a complete stop. Additionally, drivers must be on the constant lookout for hazards. If they do not notice the danger and use the brakes immediately, a serious and devastating accident may occur. Large trucks like this also have a much larger turning radius. This is a factor that increases the likelihood of accidents caused by a wide turn.
Services We Offer for 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
When we represent your case, our legal team will provide several services for an 18-wheeler truck accident. Keep reading to learn more about the services that we offer.
Quick and Thorough Investigation of the Accident
If you or someone in your family was involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, you shouldn’t treat the situation like a usual car accident. In these cases, there is much more at stake. In the state of Texas (and around the country), 18-wheelers are required to follow both the state and federal regulations and laws in place. An example of this is that truck drivers must have a special operating license. Also, the number of hours they can drive at one time and rest periods are limited and pre-determined.
When you hire our Texas truck accident lawyers, you can feel confident that we will acquire evidence related to your case to find any truck regulation violations that have occurred. You can count on us to provide a thorough investigation of the crash, which includes bringing in experts to help reconstruct what happened and why the accident occurred.
Liability in a Texas 18-Wheeler Accident
We understand that in some 18-wheeler accidents, liable parties may not be immediately clear. Our team will determine every person, business, and entity that may play a role in your case. For example, we can find out who owned the cargo being moved and who was responsible for loading it in the trailer. We can also find out who was responsible for providing repairs and maintenance to the truck and look into the driving record of the driver and the history of violations and accidents for the entire trucking company.
This is done to help determine who is responsible for the accident, which will tell us who should be held liable. It’s not always the driver’s fault in these situations. We can determine legal responsibility for the injuries you suffered. Unfortunately, determining liability in these cases isn’t always easy, which is why it’s so important to get in touch with our Texas truck accident lawyers as soon as possible so we can begin a full investigation of the situation.
Who Is Potentially Liable in a Texas 18-Wheeler Accident?
It’s important to note that liability in a Texas 18-wheeler accident is not always clear at first.
For example, if the driver of a truck is an employee and they are acting as an agent of the company, then it is typically the company that is liable. What this means is that it may be the company that is liable for your accident. In other cases, the liable party may be the individual who loaded the cargo, the owner of the cargo, or even the person or entity responsible for truck maintenance. We will determine the liable party in your case and ensure they are held responsible.
Determine the Value of Your Case
After an accident that results in significant costs and time away from work, it’s important for you to get as much in financial damages as you can. In one way, it is about ensuring the at-fault party is held responsible to help you get justice for the incident. However, on the other hand, this is a practical factor that must be considered. After all, bills are going to keep coming in. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury or if the breadwinner of your family has been killed, it’s necessary to find a way to replace the income that has been lost.
We will work to maximize the compensation you receive for your 18-wheeler accident. This is done by calculating your damages. If you try to determine what your case is worth alone, you may over- or under-estimate what you are entitled to. Underestimating this amount may result in you settling for less than you deserve. If you overestimate the worth of your accident, then the negotiations you take part in to reach a settlement may be unsuccessful.
At Burkett Law Firm we have decades of experience representing victims of 18-wheeler accidents. Our team will work with you closely, and sometimes bring in experts, to figure out what your claim is worth. This ensures we can enter the negotiation process with a known and clear goal.
The Most Common Causes of Texas 18-Wheeler Accidents
While there are usually several factors involved that cause or contribute to an 18-wheeler accident, some accidents are more common than others. The most common causes of 18-wheeler accidents in Texas include:
- Drivers with inadequate training
- Hours of service violations and cases of driver fatigue
- Unqualified or inexperienced drivers
- Failure to perform the required pre-and post-trip inspections of the vehicle
- Requiring that drivers drive over the maximum number of hours allowed by federal law
- The use of drug or alcohol use
- Violations of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
- Traffic violations and other reckless behavior
The Most Common Types of Texas 18-Wheeler Accidents
The type of crash you are involved in will impact the injuries you sustain. Factors like the speed being traveled, the angle of the vehicles in relation to one another, and the weight of the vehicles involved all play a part in this. While this is true, there are some accidents involving 18-wheelers that are more common than others.
For example, the most commonly reported accidents involving 18-wheelers in Texas include:
- Head-on accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Side-impact wrecks
These types of accidents can result in serious injuries and even fatalities for those involved. This is why it is so important to hire our Texas truck accident lawyers from Burkett Law Firm. We will get to work right away to determine the cause of the accident and who is liable.
The Most Common Types of Injuries in Texas 18-Wheeler Accidents
As mentioned above, the weight of 18-wheelers is significant. Because of this, the injuries sustained by those in an accident with this vehicle are often severe. In fact, they are much more severe than traditional passenger vehicle accidents.
Some of the injuries that occur in these collisions require long recovery periods where the victim will be unable to work or earn a living. They also impact the person’s quality of life in most cases. There are some situations where this accident may lead to death, as well.
At Burkett Law Firm, you can count on our Texas truck accident lawyers to work with you, your doctors, and any specialists working on your treatment plan to help you secure the compensation deserved for the injuries you sustained. We will factor in things like your pain and suffering, the economic impact the accident has on you, and any future medical needs you may have.
We also understand that every 18-wheeler accident is unique. Because of this, your injuries will be different from others who have been in a collision.
Even if you don’t believe that your injuries were very serious, it’s important to seek advice and guidance from our Texas truck accident lawyers. You should also seek medical treatment. There are many injuries that may take hours or days to show. By getting medical treatment right away, these hidden issues can be found and treated before they get more serious and cause even more problems.
While any type of injury can occur when involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, some of the most common that are seen include:
- Burn injuries: There is a real possibility that a fire may occur after an accident with an 18-wheeler. The burns that occur in these accidents can be extremely serious or even fatal.
- Brain and head injuries: A blow or puncture of the skull or brain can result in serious injuries and long-term consequences. Some examples of the injuries that may occur include lacerations, TBIs (traumatic brain injuries), concussions, skull fractures, and internal bleeding.
- Broken or fractured bones: Broken and fractured bones can cause extreme pain and sometimes require surgery. The injuries may also take a long time to fully heal, as well.
- Spine, back, or neck injuries: The most common injury that is seen in car accidents of all types is whiplash. Other types of injuries to the neck, back, and spine include strains, sprains, spinal cord damage, and herniated discs.
- Chest injuries: When an impact occurs, it can cause serious harm to the human body. Common injuries to this type of the body include internal organ injuries, injuries to the sternum, and broken ribs.
- Soft tissue injuries: Ligaments, tendons, and muscles can be stretched and even torn during an accident. The pain caused by this can be very long-lasting. Some injuries that occur include wounds or deep cuts, penetrating trauma, and more.
Each injury listed here can occur in an accident with an 18-wheeler. Unfortunately, many people who are involved in these types of accidents experience life-altering injuries. These also often require ongoing care and treatment and could prevent the victim from ever returning to work. As our legal team reviews the facts of your case, we will factor in these circumstances to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for the injuries you sustain.
Get in Touch with Our Texas Truck Accident Lawyers for Help with Your Case
When it comes to accidents involving 18-wheelers, you can’t take chances with the outcome. You can count on our Texas truck accident lawyers to provide you with the legal representation you need to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
At Burkett Law Firm, we have represented clients just like you for decades. You can count on us to put our abilities and resources behind your case to help you recover the compensation you deserve. The first step is to get in touch with our legal team and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.