18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer:
Attorney  Discusses Your Legal Options After You’ve Been in an Accident
with an 18 Wheeler or Semi-Truck

The wide-open spaces of the Lone Star State are crisscrossed with major and minor transportation routes for both Texans and the businesses that keep Texas humming. We’re shipping goods all over the state and to all points throughout the rest of America.

San Antonio is a hub for shipping heavy cargo overland. That means there seem to be as many 18-wheelers on the roads around San Antonio as there are cars.

With thousands of tractor-trailers driving across the country in a short amount of time, and drivers logging long miles staring at the road as it passes by, accidents, injuries, and even deaths are a statistical inevitability.

Dallas accident lawyers

If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler accident, or if a loved one was killed in a San Antonio semi-truck wreck, our firm is here to help you. Over the past 20 years, we have litigated hundreds of trucking accident cases, and we empathize with the pain you have suffered. We can help. We also want to inform you of the challenges and difficulties you are facing as you seek compensation. We want you to know about the legal venues available so that you can take the right action to achieve just restitution for your 18 wheeler accident injury.

The San Antonio semi-trailer 18 wheeler accident lawyers at our firm would like to take some time to explain some of the basics of a semi-trailer 18 wheeler accident case, such as whether you have a valid claim, the purpose of semi-trailer 18 wheeler accident litigation, naming the defendants in your case, the two ways to win a claim, investigating the facts, obstacles to your claim, and why you should hire a lawyer to help you with your litigation.

Who Is At Fault for a Dallas 18-Wheeler Accident?

Truckers, trucking companies, manufacturers, companies that load trucks, and companies that plan routes are only a few of the many individuals or entities which may cause a wreck. In order to hold the responsible party accountable and collect fully for your losses, it’s important to identify all of the parties who were at fault for causing your accident.

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Truck Drivers

First, there are the 18-wheeler drivers themselves. Truckers are among the parties most frequently responsible for causing accidents because of the nature of most wrecks. Their actions often directly cause wrecks. Sometimes, truckers are merely careless, reckless, or incompetent. They may speed, roll through stop signs, ignore traffic warnings, ignore traffic conditions, or make illegal turns.

truck accident law

When their own driving errors lead to accidents and injuries, the truckers themselves may be held responsible for their carelessness in a San Antonio personal injury civil suit. Sometimes, a tractor-trailer accident in San Antonio does not result from ordinary carelessness or recklessness. Truckers can cause accidents by driving without getting enough sleep. Did you know that, by law, truck drivers are required to take periodic rest breaks and keep track of their stops in records? That, combined with the tight deadlines and demands truck drivers often face, can be a recipe for disaster. Some truckers are faced with impossible deadlines or with compensation systems which value speed over proper safety precautions.

Sometimes, there is so much pressure that these drivers may skip their rest breaks and falsify their logbooks. This happens way too often as many lawsuits and undercover press operations have discovered. There was one study that showed that around one of every five long haul truckers admitted to having fallen asleep at the wheel at least once in the month preceding the study. Truckers who skip their breaks and spend more than eight hours at a time behind the wheel double their likelihood of being involved in wrecks, according to studies conducted by such organizations as the National Transportation Safety Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Whether the 18 wheeler driver in your case was careless or fatigued, you may be able to name him or her as a defendant in your lawsuit if their actions can be proven to have led to your wreck.

When multiple parties contribute to causing an accident, all of them may be named as defendants in your lawsuit. Finding the right defendant or defendants is not always a simple proposition or a straightforward challenge in Texas truck accident litigation. This is because so many entities may play a role in preparing a truck to make deliveries, and there are so many people on the road.

18-Wheeler Companies

Trucking companies may be held responsible for accidents through either direct or indirect liability. A trucking company is directly liable for causing an accident if the trucking company did something negligent which ultimately led to a wreck. If a trucking company was supposed to have kept its fleet in good working order but failed to repair the brakes on one of its trucks, the trucking company may be able to be held directly liable for any resulting injuries.

In other instances, trucking companies do nothing wrong themselves, but may still be held indirectly liable for an accident. Employers are responsible for the on-the-job actions of their employees. This is the case even if the employer didn’t endorse the employees’ conduct. It’s the case if the employer didn’t know about the employees’ conduct, or otherwise did nothing wrong itself. In trucking accident cases, the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior” usually allows a plaintiff to hold a trucking company liable for an accident caused by a trucker

Route-Planning Companies

Logistics companies that plan routes may also be to blame for wrecks if an 18 wheeler collides with an environmental obstacle that it didn’t have sufficient room to clear, such as a low overpass for a tall truck, or a narrow road for a wide load. The fact is that these heavy trucks can’t go on all of the roads that your car can. Weight, cargo, and height restrictions limit trucks from traveling certain bridges, tunnels, and roads. Individual truckers almost never make up their routes as they go along. If the roads that 18 wheelers travel are unsafe for semi-trailer truck traffic and an accident results, the company that planned the route may be named as a party to a lawsuit.

Cargo Loading Companies

Truck loading companies are usually different companies than the companies that own trucks, and these companies may be held responsible for accidents that result from improperly loaded, incompetently loaded, or overloaded cargo. Sometimes it’s the case that the individual responsible for loading an 18 wheeler will do a careless job, and the cargo won’t be properly secured to the trailer. Cargo can come loose during the truck’s travels and fall onto the roadways. This is a major hazard.

The truck cargo of any size that ends up lying in the middle of the road can create a serious danger for other drivers. Sometimes, companies responsible for loading trucks overload trailers and that creates its own hazard. By law, most trucks may only be loaded to 80,000 pounds but many companies, however, can and do cram more than 80,000 pounds onto a trailer in order to deliver more goods without the added cost of making additional trips. They are putting money over safety because overloaded trailers have a tendency to tip over. If overloaded or improperly secured cargo resulted in your accident, the company that loaded the truck may be held responsible.

Parts Manufacturers

Sometimes, manufacturers may be liable for causing wrecks if their defective products lead to accidents. Occasionally, truck parts leave the factory with manufacturing defects or design flaws which make the parts unsafe for use. In order for a truck to operate safely, its critical components must be working properly.

For example, if a tire is defective, an 18 wheeler runs the risk of rolling over or losing control. Or, if a brake fails, it can cause a wreck. If a strap designed to hold cargo in place is flawed, cargo could fall from the trailer onto the roadway and cause the wreck or the driver to lose control. If a manufacturer’s error caused your accident, you may be able to sue the manufacturer for damages.

Contact Our Dallas Law Offices, Today

When our Dallas clients come to us, they are often in a state of shock and confusion. We understand that this is a difficult time for injured victims and their loved ones, particularly if they are experiencing pain and suffering due to their injuries. We want you to focus on getting better, while we work diligently on your case.

Contact our Texas law offices today to find out how we can help you with your case. We are here to help you gain a better understanding of your options, so you get the best outcome for your specific situation.

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