According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, the most recent year for which there are statistics, 4,761 people were killed in the U.S. in crashes with large trucks. In Texas, a total of 590 people died in truck crashes, including the driver of the truck and people in other vehicles.
Thousands and thousands of more people were injured, some of whom were so severely injured, they were never able to return to their former lives.
A large truck is defined by the NHTSA as “any medium or heavy truck, excluding buses and motor homes, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds.” A fully loaded cargo truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can cause severe damage, to both property and person, when it rams into a car that weighs only about 5,000 pounds.
If you were injured, or someone you love was killed in a trucking accident, you need the help of a personal injury lawyer who knows Texas law and can gather the necessary evidence to prove your case.
Causes of Trucking Accidents
Most trucking accidents are caused by the negligence of:
- Truck drivers. Drivers get distracted, get fatigued, speed, brake too fast, merge when it is not safe, and more.
- The trucking companies. A company may not have properly screened the driver, failed to inspect the driver’s logs documenting hours driven without a break, failed to properly maintain the truck, and other reasons.
- Negligence in general. The cargo may have been improperly loaded, the driver was in a hurry to meet a deadline and drove too fast, for example.
- Negligence of municipality. The crash may be due to dangerous road conditions such as potholes or overgrowth blocking the view.
Any and all negligent parties may be held liable for your injury and required to pay you damages.
Damages to Which you Are Legally Entitled
You are entitled to the same type of damages that are awarded in any personal injury case in Texas. This includes:
- Payment of your medical bills for injuries resulting from the accident.
- Payment for future medical bills you are expected to incur due to the accident.
- All necessary rehabilitation including physical and vocational.
- Damages for your pain and suffering.
- Depending on the nature of your injury, you may be entitled to collect damages for the loss of your enjoyment of life.
- Loss of current wages as well as for lost future wages if you are unable to return to your former employment.
Proof of Fault
Personal injury attorneys must prove the truck driver’s negligence was the cause of the crash and the damages it caused, both for property and personal injury. According to Texas proportionate responsibility law, the amount of the damages you collect are reduced according to your own fault in the accident.
For example, if your damages equal $100,000, but you are found to be 10% responsible for the accident, your damages will be reduced by 10% so you will receive $90,000. If you are at least 50 percent at fault, you will collect nothing.
If you were injured in an accident with a large truck, or someone you loved was killed, contact one of our personal injury attorneys at the AMS Law Group. We will fight to get you justice and all the damages to which you are legally entitled. Texas law requires you to bring your claim for damages within a certain time after the accident, so do not delay. If you miss the deadline, you will lose forever your right to compensation for your injuries.