Several major highways run through and around Irving, Texas, including I-635, SH-114, SH-161, and SH-183. These and other Irving highways are heavily traveled by massive, powerful 18-wheelers and other commercial trucks, which can cause terrible, potentially fatal accidents if the driver fails to pay attention and obey traffic laws.
Financial compensation may be available to the survivors of commercial trucking accidents in Irving and the surviving spouses and family members of wrongful death victims. Many cases involve severe injuries, and a lawsuit can help you get fair compensation. You might have several options for legal strategies, including suing for trucker negligence or negligence by the trucking company. Filing a lawsuit can be difficult, and your attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process. They can assist with investigating for evidence, communicating with the opposing party, and drafting a formal complaint. They may also help you throughout the trial as you present evidence and arguments to support your claims.
To discuss your personal injury claim or wrongful death case in a free case evaluation, call The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. at (817) 476-1797.
Were You Injured in an 18-Wheeler Wreck on SH-183 or I-635 in Irving, TX?
Unfortunately, 18-wheeler accidents tend to result in extremely serious injuries. Commercial vehicles are much heavier and more powerful than passenger vehicles, so if a collision occurs, safety devices such as airbags and seatbelts may be unable to prevent debilitating injuries from occurring. Our decades as personal injury attorneys in Irving, Texas have afforded us extensive experience with all types of injuries.
We are familiar with the medical expenses various injuries can lead to and know what types of complications victims may experience during recovery. We bring our detailed knowledge of medical expenses to every claim and lawsuit we handle in order to maximize the value of your case. Our objective is to see that you receive the compensation you need to get high-quality care for your injuries.
Types of injury claims we handle in truck accident cases include, but are not limited to:
- Back Injuries
- Blunt Force Trauma
- Broken Bones
- Burn Injuries
- Cuts and Lacerations
- Dislocated Joints
- Facial Injuries
- Head Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Nerve Damage
- Organ Damage
- Permanent Scarring
- Skin Abrasion (“Road Rash”)
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
- Sprains and Strains (Soft Tissue Injuries)
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Wrongful Death
How to Sue Trucking Companies for Injuries in Irving, TX
When you are hit by a truck, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against the trucking company. Typically, auto accident lawsuits are filed against the driver who directly caused the crash – which would mean the driver of the truck instead of the trucking company. However, trucking companies can be sued under a few conditions. Your Irving truck accident attorney can help you figure out if you can sue the trucking company in your case.
Suing a Truck Driver’s Employer
Employers are typically held liable for mistakes their employees make on the job. The same is true in the case of negligence that causes injuries. Trucking companies can typically be held responsible for their employees’ mistakes behind the wheel under a rule called “respondeat superior.” This legal doctrine allows employers to be sued when their employees commit negligence during the course of their normal job duties, i.e., while driving (in the case of truck drivers). This means you can sue the trucking company alongside their driver.
Unfortunately, this does not work in every case. Many truck drivers are employed as independent contractors or independent owner-operators who are essentially their own trucking business. These drivers are not employees, so this rule does not apply to them, and there is no trucking company you can sue for the driver’s mistakes. However, all drivers are required to carry auto insurance, and these drivers typically carry additional insurance to cover accidents and property damage. This means there is still usually coverage available for your injuries.
Suing for Negligent Hiring and Retention
Trucking companies are responsible for who they hire and place behind the wheel. Companies should screen their potential hires for safety. Any drivers with a history of causing serious crashes, driving under the influence, or assaulting others with a vehicle should be rejected as applicants. When trucking companies hire these drivers anyway or fail to run background checks, they could be held liable for negligent hiring.
Similarly, trucking companies should not keep bad drivers on staff. If a driver caused a serious crash or was arrested for DUI, but the trucking company kept them on as a driver, they could be liable for future issues. By that point, they were on notice that the truck driver was dangerous, so they are responsible for later mistakes their driver might cause.
Suing for Accidents Caused by Equipment Failure
When trucking companies hire drivers, they often furnish them with trucks from their own fleets. Some truckers own their own trucks but still work for companies – though many truckers working as employees at a trucking company use a vehicle from the company’s fleet. Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their fleet of vehicles, so any malfunctions or equipment issues are typically their fault.
Sometimes, trucking companies may be able to shift the blame to third-party companies, such as the maintenance company that repaired or performed work on their trucks or the manufacturer of the truck. However, you may be able to initially sue the trucking company, then they can go back to court after you get paid, and they can determine whether someone else shared liability with them.
Suing for Trucking Regulation Violations
Many trucking companies encourage their drivers to break the law in order to meet deadlines and deliver more cargo. Trucks are not allowed to exceed weight limits, and drivers are usually limited in the number of hours they can drive. Some trucking companies have been held responsible for refusing to pay drivers unless they falsified driving logs to hide the overages.
Companies also overload trucks beyond their weight limit or require unmeetable deadlines, pushing drivers to violate rules. If these regulations were violated at the trucking company’s bidding, that could give you cause to sue them for the resulting accidents and injuries.
How to File a Lawsuit for an Irving Truck Accident
Filing a lawsuit after a truck accident can be complicated, time-consuming, and sometimes overwhelming. It is extremely difficult to navigate this process without a lawyer’s legal knowledge and experience. As such, your first step should be to speak to a qualified attorney about your truck accident.
You and your lawyer can begin your case by drafting a complaint. The complaint is a formal legal document that is the basis of your lawsuit. Your complaint spells out how you were injured and why the defendant should be held liable. The complaint is more than just a list of grievances, though. It must contain very specific information about your case and the laws that apply to it.
Essentially, your complaint should properly identify all parties involved, including yourself, the defendant, and other relevant parties. Names, addresses, and other identifying details should be included.
Next, we need to explain the accident. This is a lot more than simply stating that you were hit by a truck. We need to provide the location of the accident, details about where you were going, and information regarding how the accident happened, such as speed. When explaining the accident, it should be clear from the details we provide that the defendant is to blame.
We also have to provide information about your injuries, damages, and costs from the accident. This should include information about what kind of compensation you are entitled to. If we overlook or undervalue damages, you might lose valuable compensation.
The court will not accept your complaint without any evidence to back it up. While we do not need absolute evidence that proves our claims up front, we need enough to show you have a valid cause of action.
How Your Attorney Can Help You Obtain Evidence in Your Irving Truck Accident Case
While you have the option of handling your case independently, doing so would be unwise. Your lawyer can help you investigate for additional evidence and get information from the opposing party during the discovery phase. Both these steps are crucial to your case.
Investigating for Evidence
As mentioned before, we need at least some evidence just to get your case in the door. We will likely need to investigate for additional evidence so you can win your case. The tricky thing about evidence is that it could come from almost anywhere and look like almost anything. As such, our truck accident lawyers can help you conduct an investigation for more evidence.
One important way we can help you obtain more evidence is to interview witnesses. Not all witnesses can provide great testimony. Some have hazy memories or refuse to get involved. Others might have excellent recollections of the accident and can paint a detailed picture of the accident for the jury. We can determine whom we should call to the witness stand by interviewing and deposing witnesses. We can also depose witnesses the opposing party plans to use so we can prepare our counterarguments.
If we need additional evidence, we can review police reports from the accident. It is unlikely that the report itself will be considered admissible evidence as it violates the hearsay rule. Even so, the police might have turned up evidence we are unaware of, and details about that evidence might be in the police report.
Your lawyers can also help you obtain medical records to prove how badly you were injured. Your damages are an important element of your case, and your medical records can shed light on the extent of your damages. Not only can medical records be used to prove how expensive your medical care was, but they might also show how much pain and suffering you endured.
An important part of the trial process is the discovery phase. Contrary to what you might see on TV or in movies, there are no surprises in the courtroom. Both sides of a lawsuit are required to exchange the relevant information and evidence they have during the discovery phase. This is incredibly important when the opposing party has valuable evidence that we need to see to prepare our case.
For example, a big source of evidence in a truck accident might be business records from the trucking company. These records might have information about who was driving the truck, when the truck and various pieces of equipment were last inspected, and records of rests and breaks taken by the driver. Obviously, we might not have access to these records on our own. We can compel the opposing party to disclose these records during the discovery phase so we can obtain information we might not otherwise have.
Taking Your Truck Accident Case to Trial in Irving
While you might think that the trial is the meat and potatoes of your case, it is actually closer to the end of your case. Most work that goes into a trial happens long before the case gets to court. The trial itself is like the culmination of all our efforts.
At trial, your attorney can help you by presenting evidence and legal arguments in the most effective way possible. Simply providing evidence of your claims is not enough. The jury may accept or reject the evidence as they see fit. Your lawyer’s oral arguments can make or break the case by convincing the jury of your claims.
Another important element of the trial is making objections. Most people are familiar with objections through television shows that make them seem very dramatic. In many cases, objections are not dramatic but very matter-of-fact. We must object if the opposing party says or does something that we believe should not be admitted into court.
How Truck Accidents Happen in Irving, TX
Many truck accidents happen in the same sorts of ways that other car accidents happen. Others can be pinned on issues that are somewhat unique to large trucks and 18-wheelers. No matter how your accident happened, our Irving truck accident attorneys may be able to investigate the crash and work to hold the at-fault driver and trucking company responsible for your injuries.
Many truck accidents are caused by speeding drivers. Some companies put speed limiters in their trucks so drivers cannot exceed the speed limit, but others encourage drivers to speed to meet short deadlines. In any case, speeding is against the law, and truckers can typically be held liable for injuries they cause because of their speeding.
Drugged Driving and DUI
Many truck drivers rely on drugs to keep alert during long shifts. This could include reliance on illegal drugs like cocaine, but it may also involve reliance on prescription drugs such as Adderall. If drug use impaired the driver’s ability to handle a vehicle safely, they could be held liable for the resulting crash.
Alcohol is more clear-cut: driving with too much alcohol in your system is illegal. While some drugs might be allowed, such as prescription drugs, too much alcohol is always illegal. Drivers might rely on a few beers to give them a “buzz” on long shifts, but that could make them unsafe behind the wheel.
Fishtailing and Jackknife Crashes
When cargo is improperly loaded in the trailer of a tractor-trailer, the trailer can begin to sway from side to side. Sometimes drivers can get this under control by slowing down or adjusting their steering. Other times, it results in the trailer folding against the cab, causing the truck to crash without actually hitting anything. This often causes the truck to collide with other cars on the road – or it blocks traffic and causes other drivers to crash into the truck. In many cases, trucking companies and drivers can be held liable for improperly loaded cargo if such mistakes lead to a crash.
How Much Compensation Can a Truck Crash Victim Get from a Lawsuit or Settlement?
Without knowing the details of the accident in which you were injured, it is impossible to provide an estimate of what your claim or case may be worth. In order to get a clear idea of the value of your case, you will need to speak with a knowledgeable Irving 18-wheeler accident attorney who has experience handling these types of cases.
Truck drivers, trucking companies, and other parties may be held liable for injuries and fatalities caused by accidents resulting from recklessness or negligence. Negligence is a complex concept that involves a few different elements. Put simply, it is the careless failure to take the necessary actions to avoid a foreseeable accident. Some examples of ways a trucker or trucking company may be negligent or reckless include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Driving while fatigued or falling asleep behind the wheel.
- Failing to check mirrors for other vehicles.
- Failing to inspect and repair trucks with defective parts.
- Failing to signal properly.
- Failing to secure external cargo, such as lumber, which can fly off a truck and strike a nearby vehicle, injuring the driver or passengers inside.
- Hiring drivers with records of DUI or auto accidents.
- Ignoring red lights or stop signs or violating other traffic laws.
- Speeding excessively.
- Tailgating (following other drivers too closely).
Your attorney’s role is to prove that the trucker, and, in some cases, additional parties, acted with negligence, leading to an accident and the resulting injuries or fatalities. To prove that a truck driver was negligent, your attorney can analyze evidence such as medical records, photographs of the accident site and vehicle damage, security camera footage, eyewitness testimony, vehicle maintenance records, and other pieces of information.
Irving Truck Accident Attorneys Handling Wrongful Death and Injury Claims
When represented by the Irving big rig accident lawyers of Queenan Law, you can expect personalized, compassionate representation and around-the-clock support. You are not just another case to us; you are a person who was wronged and deserves justice for the suffering you and your loved ones have been forced to endure. We know how difficult it can be to truly heal when you do not have a sense of closure, so we work aggressively to hold careless truckers accountable for their actions. Queenan Law handles all types of Irving truck crashes, including but not limited to:
- Chain Reaction Accidents
- Head-On Collisions
- Highway Accidents
- Loop 12
- SH-161 (President George Bush Turnpike)
- Lane Change Accidents
- Off-Ramp Accidents
- Parking Lot Accidents
- Rear-End Collisions
- Rollover Accidents
- Sideswipe Accidents
- T-Bone Collisions
Call Our Irving Truck Accident Attorneys for Help
Call our truck accident attorneys at Queenan Law at (817) 476-1797 to schedule a free case review.