Permian Basin Truck Accident Lawyers
Wherever you travel throughout this great State of Texas, you are sure to find massive 18-wheelers traveling right alongside you. Unfortunately, when an accident occurs with these gigantic vehicles, the resulting damages can leave victims suffering from life-changing injuries – or worse.
Your Permian Basin truck accident attorneys at Williams Hart have the experience and determination to help you deal with your commercial vehicle accident. We know just how catastrophic a truck accident can be and so we fight tenaciously to help you secure the results you need to begin healing.
Our dedicated attorneys are able to provide you support if you have suffered a truck accident in any of the following counties:
Andrews, Borden, Crane, Dawson, Ector, Eddy, Gaines, Glasscock, Howard, Lea, Loving, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward, Winkler, Yoakum, Brewster, Crockett, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Kent, Mitchell, Presidio, Reagan, Scurry, or Sterling.
Contact Williams Hart right now at (713) 352-7071 for a FREE consultation.
Why Are Commercial Trucks so Dangerous?
18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles such as dump trucks, passenger trucks, and garbage trucks are substantially larger than regular passenger vehicles. Their sheer size and weight can make them especially dangerous on the road for a number of reasons including:
- 18-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when hauling a full load. Most passenger vehicles weigh around 5,000 pounds.
- Tractor-trailers are over 13-feet high, 20-feet wide, and can reach lengths of up to 80-feet. This can make them difficult to handle and dangerous in the hands of a negligent driver.
- Because of high ground clearance, passenger vehicles are at risk of underriding trucks in a traffic accident.
- Semi-trailers can take up to 40% longer to stop in comparison to a passenger vehicle.
- Tight deadlines, severe weather, and negligent driving behaviors can all greatly increase the risk of a truck driver causing an accident.
While being a safe driver is always in your best interest, accidents do happen. If you have suffered a serious truck accident in the Permian Basin, the dependable Texas attorneys of Williams Hart are here to guide you through this dark moment.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
While every case is unique, your truck accident attorneys at Williams Hart have noticed a few common causes of truck accidents. These issues tend to include:
- Tire Malfunction: Tire blowouts and other related tire failures are the 2nd most common cause of truck accidents. When a truck driver or owner fails to properly maintain their vehicle’s tires, a strain on the tire’s material can lead to a devastating blowout. In cases of blowouts, the truck may swerve or jackknife into oncoming vehicles or even across multiple lanes.
- Brake Malfunction: Brakes and tires need to be constantly checked, especially on 18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles. Brake system failures account for nearly 30 percent of all truck accidents. A runaway commercial truck can cause catastrophic damages to nearby vehicles.
- Lack of Inspection: It is legally required that owners and drivers regularly inspect their vehicles before use. This should enable them to catch any potential safety hazards. Failure to do so puts the driver and others on the road at risk.
- Failure to Use Visual Cues/Malfunctioning Lights: Because of their sheer size, truck drivers need to use their warning lights, blinkers, and brake lights effectively. When they fail to do so – or if the lights are not working properly – they can easily lead to cars smashing into them at sudden stops.
- Improperly Loaded Trailer: In the U.S., trucks are limited to towing 80,000 pounds without special permits for oversized or overweight loads. However, despite these restrictions, trucking companies do not always comply. An improperly loaded trailer can put additional stress on the tires and brakes, which can lead to a serious accident.
- Driver Error: There are negligent drivers behind every type of vehicle on the road and, unfortunately, they place others in danger. Truck drivers who are speeding, who fail to use their lights appropriately, who make wrong turns, illegal u-turns, or use their phone or other technology behind the wheel can cause a devastating accident. With hectic delivery deadlines, long work hours, and other diversions, truck drivers must be attentive and vigilant when behind the wheel.
Important Differences Between Truck and Car Accidents
While any motor vehicle accident can be disastrous for a victim, there are a number of differences between truck and car accidents that should be considered, especially as they play into the amount of compensation that an individual is able to recover.
Factors that set truck accidents apart from traditional car accidents include:
- Damages Suffered: The reality is that the impact of an 80,000-pound vehicle slamming into a passenger vehicle is going to be much more impactful than two regular-sized vehicles crashing. Truck companies know this and usually retain dozens of forms of insurance coverages to protect themselves. Serious physical injuries in truck accidents can include broken bones, deep lacerations, back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or even death.
- Increased Property Damage: Because of their sheer size, an accident with a truck will often leave the passenger vehicle totaled or in a state of difficult repair.
- Multiple Parties Involved: There are numerous parties who are involved in the trucking industry and who may be partially liable for the damages you have suffered. From the driver to the company and others, multiple parties may be involved in your claim. The experienced Permian Basin attorneys of Williams Hart can help you uncover who exactly is responsible for your accident.
- Complex Insurance Policies: As previously mentioned, trucking companies want to protect themselves from claims, so they will purchase a number of different policies to do so. These insurance companies, in turn, may act in bad faith or may be difficult to work with in order to minimize the compensation you are able to recover. Our attorneys at Williams Hart are aware of their dirty tactics and will help you secure what you actually deserve.
Evidence Needed to Prove Your Claim
In order to build a strong claim, our determined truck accident attorneys will help you secure vital evidence that can include:
- Your vehicle. The condition of your vehicle is going to be one of the strongest forms of evidence in your truck accident claim. Visible damages provide valuable information on what exactly occurred. Please note that you should NEVER fix your vehicle until after your claim has been settled.
- Vehicle inspection reports. Inspection reports are important to show whether or not the vehicle was in safe operable condition. A missing inspection report can be a sign of negligence.
- Maintenance logs. These vital documents will show whether or not a particular truck was receiving its regularly required maintenance. A failure to maintain the vehicle can be used as evidence against the defendant.
- Cargo logs. These documents show how much weight in cargo the truck had while in transit. An overloaded truck can easily cause an accident.
- Electronic monitoring data. This information covers important information such as the speed of the truck or whether a mechanical malfunction occurred before the accident.
- Alcohol and drug testings results. Truck companies may conduct random drug tests to ensure their workers are clean. A positive drug test can give credence to your claim.
- Driver records. Driving records can show that the driver had a recorded history of accidents or other issues.
Contacting an experienced Permian Basin truck accident attorney immediately after your accident is important. Truck companies or drivers may attempt to correct any issues (or evidence may “disappear”), so seeking legal counsel can help you to stop these acts of bad faith.
Who Can Be Held Liable for My Truck Accident?
Depending on the circumstances of your truck accident, there may be several parties who can be held liable for the damages you have suffered. Your claim may be against an individual or multiple entities that include:
- The Driver – If it can be proven that the driver was driving in a negligent manner, such as driving while intoxicated, they can be held liable for the damages you suffered. As previously mentioned, driving records, write-ups, complaints against the driver, a recorded history of accidents, and drug/alcohol tests results can all be used to strengthen your claim.
- The Party Responsible for the Driver – If the driver works for a company that failed to adequately train or supervise the individual, or hired the driver despite their bad driving history, they may be held liable for their employee’s actions.
- The Party Responsible for Maintenance – This party can include the owner-operator, leasing company, or trucking company. These parties are responsible for maintaining the truck, keeping maintenance records, and complying with federal laws.
- Defective Parts Manufacturer – If the accident is the result of a defective part, then your claim may be a product liability issue. This means you may have a right to file a lawsuit against the party who manufactured the defective truck part.
- The Trailer Loading Company – If the company that loads the trailer of the semi-truck does so improperly, including overloading, it can have a negative effect on the driver’s ability to handle the vehicle safely. The loading company can be held liable if an improperly loaded trailer led to your accident.
Results You Can Depend On
The truck accident attorneys of Williams Hart want to right the wrongs done against you. We are a tenacious team of attorneys with more than 30 years of experience who can deliver the results you deserve. We are not afraid to handle any size claim and are more than capable of handling your claim in court.
We will work diligently to help you secure compensation for but not limited to:
- Medical damages (past, present, and future)
- Lost wages and future earnings
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death damages
Contact Williams Hart today at (713) 352-7071 if you have been involved in a serious truck accident in the Permian Basin region of Texas. Our attorneys are ready to offer you a FREE consultation.