I-35E, a.k.a. Stemmons Freeway, runs through the heart of Dallas, connecting the suburbs of the Dallas-Fort Worth area to the metroplex. Dallas is one of the biggest travel hubs in the country, and I-35 E is one of the largest highways that runs through the city. This means that many travelers, commuters, and shipping companies take advantage of I-35E. This also means that many drivers need to share the road with large trucks, every day. Inevitably, this means truck accidents.
If you or a loved one was injured in a tractor-trailer accident on I-35E, talk to an attorney about your injuries. The Dallas truck accident attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm help injured truck accident victims get compensation for their injuries. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, or you lost a loved one to a truck accident, contact our attorneys today.
Truck Accident Risks
The trucking industry is filled with multiple large and small companies that work to make a profit off their shipping services. This may mean that making money is their primary concern, not keeping people safe. Though there are rules in place to help protect truck drivers and others on the road alike, trucking companies and truck drivers may ignore these rules and cut corners to increase their profits.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) creates laws to regulate trucking across the country. “Hours of Service” rules limit how long a driver can stay on-duty in a day, in a week, and at one time without taking a rest or off-duty time. There are other rules for maintenance and equipment standards. For instance, these regulations control tires, lighting, maintenance schedules, and cargo loading. Trucks cannot weigh more than 80,000 pounds, and cargo must be loaded evenly and safely. If cargo is too high in the trailer or unevenly loaded, it may increase the risk of the truck flipping or fishtailing and causing an accident.
Trucks are also dangerous because of their size and weight. Many drivers are intimidated by driving alongside trucks. There is a fear that truck drivers will not see them, and may drive straight into them. This fear is justified, as trucks typically have large blind spots to the front, rear, and alongside the trailer. Because trucks often weigh around 20-times the weight of a sedan, they can crush other cars during an accident. Trucks may also take up to around 20-times the stopping distance of a regular car, requiring faster reaction times to stop.
Truck accidents are often fatal. Because trucks are so large and heavy, other cars may be unable to keep their drivers and passengers safe. In the vast majority of deadly truck accidents, the occupants of the other car pay the ultimate price while the truck driver lives.
Suing Trucking Companies for Compensation
Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, you can usually sue the driver as well as their employer trucking company. While the truck driver might not be able to pay for your injuries himself, the company that hired him should be able to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. As long as the trucker was working within the scope of his employment when he caused the accident, you may be able to sue the trucking company as well.
Because trucking companies are a business, they may try to avoid responsibility for your injuries. It may take creative legal strategies to ensure that the trucking company does not separate itself from the driver, and is made to pay for all damages it owes you. Trucking companies may also use strong legal teams to try and force you into a settlement or shut down your case. Hiring an attorney can help protect your rights and get you compensated.
Compensation can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Medical bills can be very expensive, since the injuries from a truck accident are often very severe. The money from insurance companies may not be enough to handle your injuries if you suffered severe spinal cord injury or brain injury. If you missed work or are no longer able to work, a lawsuit can provide you with lost wages and continue to pay you income going forward. Lastly, you could be entitled to money for your pain and suffering, on top of these other damages.
You could also receive extra damages if the trucking company violated trucking rules. These “punitive” or “exemplary” damages can be used to penalize trucking companies for their violations.
Dallas Truck Accident Attorneys
The Texas truck accident lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., have decades of experience handling personal injury, auto accident, and truck accident cases. Kevin Queenan used to work in the trucking industry, and knows truck accident cases inside and out. For a free consultation and to find out what your case might be worth, call (817) 719-8082 today.