Accidents involving 18-wheelers are among the most complicated cases that personal injury lawyers process. That is because the accident does not just involve the driver of the 18-wheeler and the other vehicle. There are often multiple insurance companies involved along with the company that manufactured the big rig.
These types of accidents often result in more fatalities and more serious injuries than other types of motor vehicle crashes. Compared to the average car, 18-wheelers are bigger and more difficult to maneuver safely, leading to a disproportionate number of crashes. That’s why it’s important to know a truck accident attorney in El Paso you can trust in the event of an accident.
If you or a loved one have been in a truck accident, contact Zinda Law Group by phone or through our website for a 100% free case evaluation with one of our experienced El Paso personal injury attorneys.
Do You Have a Truck Accident Claim?
If you’ve been in a wreck with a truck or 18-wheeler, you may be wondering if you have a case. Some factors to consider are:
- Were you injured in a collision?
- Do you need medical treatment?
- Did someone else cause the crash?
- Did you miss work due to the accident?
- Are you experiencing a reduced quality of life due to the truck wreck and resulting injuries?
Even if you’re not certain how to answer one or more of these questions, remember that there’s no risk in contacting a truck accident attorney from our firm for a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation with a truck accidents lawyer serving El Paso, call 800-863-5312
Truck Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2021 over 5,788 people died, and 154,993 were injured nationwide in accidents with trucks or 18-wheelers.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) also reports on truck accidents in the state. In 2020 there were 580 deaths in Texas. Eight of those truck accident deaths occurred in El Paso. TxDOT reported 705 fatalities in the state in 2021, and 17 occurred in El Paso County.
Truck Accident in El Paso lawyers near me 800-863-5312
What to Do After a Truck Accident?
There are a variety of steps you can take after an accident to help improve your odds of recovering the compensation you need and deserve. Some of the steps you can take include:
- Seeking medical attention
- Reporting the accident
- Documenting the truck accident
- Contacting an El Paso truck accident attorney
Seek Medical Attention
It is crucial to immediately seek medical attention if you have been involved in a truck accident. Even if no injury is apparent, you may still be injured and should seek medical care as soon as possible.
By immediately seeking diagnosis and treatment of your injuries from a qualified medical professional, you not only secure necessary medical help, but you are also able to ensure documentation of your injuries and their subsequent treatment.
Report the Truck Accident
Once you have sought medical attention, you should report the accident to the proper authorities. Depending on where the crash occurs, this may be local police, sheriff, or highway patrol.
They will respond to the accident, offer assistance where needed, take statements from any present witnesses, and complete an accident report that documents the details of the accident.
Document the Truck Accident
After a truck accident, you should document as much evidence surrounding the collision as possible. If you are able, take photos of the injuries you have received. You should also take photos of any damage done to your vehicle, as well as of the entire accident scene. You should get the contact information of anyone that may have witnessed the accident.
Contact an El Paso Truck Accident Attorney
After a truck accident, you should contact an experienced El Paso semi-truck accident attorney as soon as possible. By consulting an 18-wheeler accident attorney quickly, your lawyer can begin investigating the accident right away while the evidence is still fresh and readily available.
Your attorney will work to discover who was liable and if negligence may have been involved in the accident.
Who Is Liable for My Truck Accident?
A variety of parties could hold a level of liability for your accident. Depending on the details of your case, some of the most commonly at-fault parties include:
- Truck drivers
- Trucking, shipping, and cargo companies
- Government agencies
The truck driver involved in the accident may be liable if they exhibited negligent behavior that led to the accident, such as driving while under the influence, distracted driving, or fatigued driving.
Trucking, Shipping, and Cargo Companies
In some cases, the company that owns the truck may be liable.
If the company was negligent in their maintenance of the truck or its equipment, the truck was improperly loaded, the company placed unsafe expectations on the driver that caused driver fatigue, or if the company has failed to ensure only properly trained drivers were employed, they may be responsible for the accident.
If the accident was caused by poor road conditions due to improper care of the roadway, whether through poor maintenance, poor construction, or poor design, the government entity responsible for that roadway may be liable.
Read more about who might be liable for your truck accident.
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How to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in El Paso
There are several steps in the process of filing a truck accident lawsuit and recovering the compensation you need and deserve. Attempting to recover the damages to which you are entitled on your own is unlikely to yield favorable results.
Call a Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents can cause serious injuries, resulting in costly medical bills and severe damage to other vehicles. To ensure you can seek the compensation you may be entitled to, it is critical that you call and consult with an El Paso truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after you are involved in a truck accident.
An experienced semi-truck accident lawyer will be able to immediately begin investigating the accident and gathering evidence surrounding the accident.
Once you have secured the services of an 18-wheeler accident attorney, they will investigate the accident, seeking to determine the facts and gather evidence to determine who is liable and if negligence may have been a factor in the accident. They will collect police reports, photos, and witness statements, if available, as well as documentation of your injuries and property damage.
With the facts and information gathered during the investigation, your attorney can begin negotiating a settlement with the insurance company. Your lawyer will present your claim to the insurer, along with any evidence that may help to prove liability or negligence.
This negotiation will usually go back and forth between your attorney and the insurer until a settlement can be agreed upon by both parties. If no settlement can be reached, the case may go to trial.
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Proving Truck Driver Negligence
To prove negligence by the truck driver, your semi-truck accident attorney must prove four elements.
Duty of Care
In a truck accident case, the truck driver generally has a duty of care to others on the road to operate the truck safely and lawfully.
Breach of Duty
Your attorney must prove the driver negligently breached this duty of care, such as by driving fatigued or under the influence or by failing to properly maintain the truck and its equipment.
The victim of the accident must be able to prove that they suffered damages, including physical, emotional, and property damages.
Finally, you must prove your damages were caused by the driver’s breach of duty.
Modified Comparative Negligence in El Paso
When pursuing damages after a truck accident in El Paso, it is essential that you know that Texas uses a modified comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, multiple parties can share in the fault for an accident. However, holding a level of responsibility for the crash will not necessarily prevent you from recovering compensation.
As long as your level of fault is 50% or less, you can still pursue damages. However, the amount of money you will be eligible to recover will be reduced in proportion to your level of liability. For example, if you were 40% to blame for the crash, you would only be able to recover 60% of the full value of your claim.
In this example, if your case is worth $100,000, the maximum you will be able to recover is $60,000.
Types of Compensation for El Paso Truck Accidents
Many factors will be considered when calculating compensation in truck driving accidents. In most cases, you will be eligible to recover a wide range of damages. However, identifying all the damages you qualify to claim is essential to securing the full value of your accident claim.
Economic damages are all of the losses you incurred that hurt you financially.
Medical damages account for the costs of diagnosing and treating any injuries you suffered from the truck accident, including the cost of hospital visits, specialist consultations, surgeries and other treatments, and medications. Future medical expenses may also be awarded in some cases if you require them for your recovery.
Compensation for property damage covers the cost to repair or replace property damaged in the accident. If your vehicle is damaged beyond repair, you may be compensated based on the fair market value of your vehicle.
You may be able to receive compensation for lost wages if you missed work due to injuries you suffered as a result of a truck accident preventing you from performing your normal duties.
Loss of Earning Potential
If you are unable to return to your job as a result of a truck accident, you may be able to claim damages for loss of earning potential.
Non-economic damages cover every other type of loss resulting from your accident.
Pain and Suffering
You may be able to receive compensation for any physical and psychological pain you experienced as a result of your injuries from a truck accident.
If you have lost a loved one due to a truck accident, you may be able to file for wrongful death damages, such as loss of consortium or loss of earning potential.
Types of El Paso Truck Accident Claims
We’ve helped El Paso clients with all types of truck accident claims. Some of the common ones include:
- Wide-turn accident
- Brake-failure accidents
- Jackknife accidents
- Tire-blowout accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Shifting-load accidents
- Blind-spot accident
- Under-ride collisions
- T-bone collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Motorcycle-truck accidents
Large trucks making a right turn will often swing left to do so, sometimes resulting in a vehicle to the right of the truck being caught between the truck and the curb.
If an 18-wheeler’s brakes are not properly installed, maintained, or replaced as needed, they can fail, causing the truck to be unable to slow down or come to a stop.
When a truck driver is speeding and suddenly brakes, it can result in the driver losing control of the truck, with the trailer dangerously turning at a 90-degree angle in relation to the cab of the truck.
The size and weight of large trucks mean a tire blowout can be much more difficult to manage by the driver and may result in the driver losing control of the vehicle.
Rollover accidents can occur when a semi-truck climbs or descends a steep incline at a high speed, causing the truck and/or trailer to roll over.
When the cargo of a truck is loaded improperly, it can shift during travel, and such a weight shift can lead to the driver losing control of the vehicle.
An area of a vehicle in which the driver does not have visual access is a blind spot. Due to the size of semi-trucks and 18-wheelers, these blind spots are much larger than in passenger vehicles.
Under-ride collisions occur when an automobile collides with the rear of a truck in which the trailer’s underside is higher than the car, causing the smaller vehicle to go under the trailer.
T-bone collisions occur when a truck impacts the side of a passenger vehicle. These accidents are common at intersections, especially if the truck driver has run a stop sign or red light.
Rear-end collisions are often caused by drivers failing to accurately judge the distance required to stop or adequately reduce speed to avoid colliding with the vehicle in front of them. With their heavy loads, trucks need more time and distance to safely slow down or stop.
Head-on collisions occur when a truck collides with the front of a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. These collisions can occur when a truck drives the wrong way down a highway or drifts across the lane into oncoming traffic.
The difference in size between small motorcycles and large trucks can make it difficult for truck drivers to see and account for motorcyclists on the road, which can lead to an accident if a truck driver fails to notice the presence of a motorcyclist in its vicinity.
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Common Causes of El Paso Truck Accidents
Many of the truck accidents in the El Paso area occur on busy commercial routes such as U.S. Route 54, Interstate 25, and Interstate 10 and may be caused by:
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Driver fatigue
- Substance abuse
- Distracted driving
- Worn or punctured tires
- Malfunctioning or non-functional lighting
Speeding and Reckless Driving
This includes speeding, not slowing down in work zones or in dangerous road conditions, such as rain or fog, as well as reckless behavior, such as weaving in and out of traffic, passing where it is unsafe or unlawful to do so, or even drifting across lanes haphazardly.
Truck drivers are expected to travel great distances to deliver their cargo as quickly as possible, leading to some drivers going too long without rest and failing to pay proper attention to the road and the vehicles around them.
Along with alcohol and illegal drugs, legally prescribed drugs and medications can also interfere with a truck driver’s ability to drive safely, even if prescribed.
Using mobile devices, eating while driving, looking for items within the truck, and interacting with passengers are all dangerous distractions that can cause a driver to lose focus and cause an accident.
Worn or Punctured Tires
A truck’s tires must be properly monitored for wear and replaced promptly. Worn tires can lead to a decrease in traction, especially on wet or icy roads. Worn tires and tires that have been punctured, if not repaired or replaced, can also cause a blowout while the truck is moving.
Malfunctioning or Non-functional Lighting
Drivers at night have drastically limited vision. If a truck has rear or sidelights that are not working properly, the vehicle can be more difficult to see at night or in other low visibility environments, such as fog. Other drivers can also have difficulty accurately determining a truck driver’s intentions if brake lights or turn signals are not functioning properly.
Texas Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases is a time limit on how long you have to make your claim for compensation after your accident. In Texas, it is two years from the date of the accident.
In cases involving minors (those under the age of 18), the time limit imposed by the statute of limitations is tolled and may not begin until the child has turned 18 and becomes a legal adult. In wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
It is critical to consult an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you can file your claim before this time limit expires, as most cases presented after the statute of limitations has expired will not be successful.
Truck Accident FAQs
- 10 Things You Should Do After a Truck Accident
- 7 Reasons to Hire a Lawyer After an 18-Wheeler Accident
- Safety Records of Major Trucking Companies
- What if I am Partially at Fault For a Truck Accident?
- Truck Override and Underride Accidents
- What Should I Do After a Fatal Semi-Truck Accident?
- What to Know Before Meeting With Your Truck Accident Lawyer
- How to Get a Crash Report in El Paso
Why Choose Zinda Law Group as Your El Paso Truck Accident Lawyers?
Our team of honest and aggressive injury attorneys will fight to help you get the compensation you need to get back on your feet. We offer free consultations 24/7 and never collect a fee unless we win your case, so there is no risk in contacting us. Our El Paso truck injury lawyers have helped clients just like you collect fair compensation for their losses.
At Zinda Law Group, our El Paso accident lawyers can help you determine if you have a case and what the best course of action is moving forward. Any questions you may have concerning a truck accident can be answered by one of our injury attorneys. Don’t wait to see if the liable party’s insurance carrier will “make things right.”
Protect yourself and consult with a truck accident lawyer serving El Paso today. Contact us for a free consultation with one of our Texas trucking accident attorneys. As our client, you will pay nothing unless we win your 18-wheeler accident case. Please note that in-office visits to visit our El Paso office located at 2300 George Dieter Dr, El Paso, TX 79936 are by appointment only.
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