What to Do if You Get into a Truck Accident on US Route 287

Route 287 runs through some of the largest population areas in Texas, especially in Wise and Johnson Counties.  As one of Texas’ largest hubs that connects the Dallas-Fort Worth area to Denver, Colorado, Route 287 sees many car accidents each year.  It also means that, as a large shipping route, it also sees many large trucks, like 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and big rigs.

If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident on Route 287 in Texas, talk to an attorney about your case.  If the truck driver or trucking company responsible for the crash violated federal trucking regulations, you might be entitled to substantial compensation for your injuries.  Contact the Dallas truck accident injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., to learn more about your options for compensation.

Trucking Regulations in Texas

Truck accident cases are often more complicated than car accident cases because of the strict rules and regulations for truck drivers and trucking companies.  On top of standard traffic rules regarding speed limits, traffic signals, and signaling turns, the trucking industry has a series of rules aimed at keeping other drivers safe.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) writes these rules, and they have the force of law throughout the country.  Many of these regulations deal with keeping tired and unsafe truck drivers off the road, and ensuring that trucks are properly loaded and maintained.

“Hours of Service” regulations help keep truck drivers on the road for limited time periods, ensuring drivers do not become too distracted or tired.  These rules require truck drivers to:

  • Stop driving 14 hours after they go on-duty, then take 10 hours off-duty;
  • Drive no longer than 11 hours in one day;
  • Drive no more than 8 hours in a row without a 30-minute break; and
  • Drive no more than 60 hours in a 7-day period (or 70 hours in an 8-day period), then take at least 34 hours off-duty.

Many trucking companies pressure drivers to violate these rules so they may deliver more cargo.  Additionally, some truck drivers violate these rules in an effort to gain more pay.

There are also health requirements for truck drivers.  Every driver must have a clean bill of health and an up-to-date health card to legally drive in the US.  Drivers must also be free of certain health conditions which may interfere with their driving.  Truckers must also have a clean driving record, free from serious traffic offenses and DWI convictions.  Lastly, drivers must pass random and scheduled drug screening to ensure safe operation.

The trucks themselves also have required maintenance and operation rules.  Tractor-trailers that fail inspections or have faulty equipment may be too dangerous for the road.  Overloaded or unevenly-loaded trucks also pose a huge danger.  These trucks are more prone to flipping, fishtailing, or even jackknifing, causing a huge danger to others on the road.

Truck Accident Injury Lawsuits

If you were injured by a dangerous truck driver, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the truck driver and their trucking company employer.  Texas law allows you to sue the employer of a person who injured you if the injury occurred while the employee was working within the scope of their employment.  This means that the trucking company can be sued alongside the truck driver if the driver causes an accident while on-duty.

You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and even your pain and suffering.  Texas law allows you to sue the responsible parties for an auto accident, but your insurance plan may limit you in some ways.  If you take your case to court, you might be entitled to compensation for any medical bills you faced because of the truck accident, paychecks you missed while recovering from your injuries, and any wages you will miss if you are unable to return to work.

You may also be entitled to compensation for “pain and suffering.”  This includes not only direct compensation for your physical pain, but also for your mental suffering.  This is often one of the highest areas of damages, and is not typically available through insurance companies.

Lastly, if the trucking company or the driver violated rules, you might be entitled to additional damages.  “Exemplary” or “punitive” damages are sometimes awarded in lawsuits to punish the negligent party for their bad actions.  Trucking companies who fly in the face of federal regulations may entitle you to punitive damages in your truck injury lawsuit.

Dallas Truck Accident Injury Lawyers

The Dallas truck accident attorneys at The Queenan Firm, P.C., may be able to help you if you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident.  Depending on the severity of your injuries and whether the trucking company violated federal regulations, you may be entitled to substantial compensation.  If you were injured in a truck accident on US 287 or anywhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, call our attorneys for a free consultation at (817) 476-1797 today.