US Route 380 is one of the largest highways that connects the Arlington-Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to the Western part of Texas and into New Mexico. Because this highway runs practically due west, it is an excellent route for travelers and shipping. However, this means that thousands of tons of freight are delivered across this highway by big-rigs, tractor-trailers, and other large trucks every year. When trucks and cars drive together, there are often dangerous and deadly trucking accidents.
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident on Route 380 in Texas, talk to an attorney today. Especially in Johnson and Wise Counties, the Dallas truck accident lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., may be able to take your case. Kevin Queenan used to work in the trucking industry and, as a personal injury lawyer, has handled hundreds of truck accident cases.
Dangers of Truck Accidents
Trucks may be necessary to deliver food and goods across the country, but they are also huge dangers to many other drivers on the road. Because of their immense size, they can take up to 20-times the normal stopping distance of other cars. Trucks can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds, meaning they also weight around 20-times as much as a normal sedan. In a collision, the heavier vehicle can crush the smaller vehicle, leading to severe injuries for the drivers and passengers in other cars and SUVs.
Trucks are allowed to way up to 80,000 pounds under federal law, but many trucks break this rule. Weight limit violations are some of the most common violations for trucking. If a truck weighs too much, it may become difficult to control and increase the chance of a catastrophic crash or mechanical failure. If cargo is loaded improperly, it may cause the truck to fishtail or roll over. Fishtailing trailers can cause a tractor-trailer to “jackknife,” or fold against the trailer, potentially crashing into other cars on the road.
There are other trucking regulations that try to keep only fit, healthy, and alert truck drivers on the road. The federal government’s regulations require truckers to be medically cleared to drive. This means they must be free from hearing, vision, or limb loss issues (as well as diabetes). They also undergo random and scheduled drug and alcohol testing to ensure they are not driving under the influence of dangerous substances. Lastly, truckers must follow strict limits on how much they can work. These “Hours of Service” rules aim to stop truckers from becoming tired behind the wheel after long hours. Tired driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving, so these regulations are strictly enforced.
If a truck driver or their trucking company breaks any of the federal trucking regulations, courts may punish them with “punitive” or “exemplary” damages.
Truck Accident Lawsuits
If a trucking company or the driver violated trucking rules, you could be given additional damages in court. Courts may use punitive and exemplary damages as penalties against dangerous trucking companies. These damages are paid straight to the victim of an accident in order to punish the trucking company.
Filing a lawsuit may be best way to get the highest value compensation for your case. While car insurance may be available, the trucking company’s car insurance may not pay for all of your needs. Usually, car insurance only covers medical expenses and some lost wages. However, taking your case to court could mean recovering medical expenses, lost wages, damages for your pain and suffering, and punitive damages (if available).
Compensation for medical expenses can include the cost of any medical treatments that the accident forced you to undergo. That includes ambulance rides, hospital visits, surgery, and rehab. Lost wage compensation covers any income you missed if you were unable to work. If your injuries are so severe that you will not be able to return to work, you may also be able to sue for future lost wages.
Lastly, pain and suffering damages may be available. Car insurance usually does not provide pain and suffering damages, but these may be the biggest part of an injury lawsuit. Every case is different, and pain and suffering damages depend on your personal experience with your injuries. Texas puts no legal limits or “caps” on pain and suffering damages, so a jury may be willing to award high amounts.
Dallas-Fort Worth Truck Accident Lawyer
The Dallas-Fort Worth truck accident lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm may be able to help if you were injured in a truck accident. If you lost a loved one or you were injured in a truck accident on Route 380, talk to one of our attorneys today. You may be entitled to substantial compensation. Talk to an attorney before accepting any money from a trucking company or an insurance company. Call (817) 819-8082 today for a free consultation on your truck accident injury case.