According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 1,781 commercial vehicle accidents in Tarrant County in 2020, largely comprised of semi-trucks and 18-wheelers. Among these accidents, there were 14 fatalities and 59 severe injuries. Many more victims of these accidents suffered minor to moderate injuries. If you have been involved in a Fort Worth trucking accident, you may be dealing with severe injuries due to the negligence of a truck driver, trucking company, or other liable party. If you are unable to work, you may struggle to pay your normal monthly expenses. Pain from your injuries has perhaps become a daily occurrence, preventing you from enjoying your life.
There are many different types of trucking accidents in Fort Worth, across the state of Texas, and throughout the nation. These trucking accidents often leave those in the much smaller passenger vehicles with life-altering injuries. If a trucking accident has left you injured, financially devastated, and facing an uncertain future, it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney from Noteboom—The Law Firm. At Noteboom—The Law Firm, we have been handling catastrophic trucking accident claims since 1982.
We settle more than 90 percent of our claims, leading to an impeccable reputation in the industry. Our attorneys prepare every case as though it were going to trial, which means we are 100 percent prepared no matter what twists and turns your case may take. If we end up settling your case, this level of comprehensive preparation ensures a full and fair settlement for you and your family. Our team-based approach is so successful that we tell potential clients, “If you can find a better law firm, hire them.”
How Is a Car Accident Different from a Semi-Truck, 18-Wheeler, or Trucking Accident?
A two-car accident between passenger vehicles is significantly different than when an 80,000-pound truck hits a 3,000-pound vehicle. Those in smaller vehicles are much more likely to sustain catastrophic injuries or even to die in a trucking accident. There is also an added danger when the semi-truck is carrying hazardous materials.
Liability in a trucking accident is also different from a two-car accident because there can be more than one liable party. When one passenger car hits another, one of the drivers is usually liable for the accident—or at least mostly liable if the other driver contributed to the accident in some way. In a trucking accident, however, the truck driver could have been impaired, overly fatigued, distracted, inexperienced, or reckless.
The trucking company may bear some of the responsibility if it failed to ensure the driver was properly trained, failed to perform a thorough background check, or was aware the driver was not adhering to the number of hours allowed under federal regulations. If the accident was caused by bad brakes or tires, the maintenance company could be partially liable, or if the accident was caused by shifting or falling cargo, the loading company may bear some responsibility.
If a defective truck part was responsible for the accident, a product liability claim may be warranted. It is imperative that your Fort Worth attorney is knowledgeable in the different types of trucking accidents as well as in holding more than one party liable for your injuries. Noteboom—The Law Firm, is highly skilled in trucking accidents and has helped many victims of Fort Worth trucking accidents receive a settlement to fully cover their damages.
What Are the Different Types of Trucking Accidents?
There are many different types of trucking accidents, and while each trucking accident is distinct, the majority of accidents fall under one of the following categories:
- Head-on collision—When a large commercial truck hits a smaller passenger vehicle head-on, the result is likely to be catastrophic injuries or death for those in the smaller vehicle.
- Rollover accident—According to the Federal DOT, more than three-quarters of all rollover accidents are the result of driver error—usually, an error on the part of the truck driver. A truck driver that is exceeding the speed limit, or one that is impaired, fatigued, or distracted can easily experience a rollover accident and those in the surrounding passenger vehicles can become casualties.
- Rear-end collision—A rear-end truck collision can be devastating for those in the smaller passenger vehicle, whether the passenger vehicle rear-ended the truck, or the truck rear-ended the much smaller vehicle. Rear-end collisions are usually the result of bad brakes on a semi-truck, adverse weather conditions, exceeding the speed limit on the part of the truck driver, or any number of distracted driving behaviors.
- Jackknife accident—A jackknife accident usually occurs when the truck driver puts the brakes on suddenly, causing the truck to skid as it slows, but failing to slow the trailer, which then pushes the truck to one side. If there happens to be a passenger vehicle in the vicinity, there may be severe injuries.
- Wide-turn accident—Semi-trucks with trailers cannot turn in the same small radius as a passenger vehicle. Semi-trucks must swing wide to make a 90-degree right turn, starting in the second lane to the left, rather than the right turn lane. In some instances, a smaller vehicle will be caught in the right lane between the truck and a curb, causing an accident, while in others, the wide turn can strike another vehicle.
- Underride accident—An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle collides with the side or back of the tractor-trailer, sliding underneath the truck. This type of underride accident is among the most likely truck accident to result in a fatality. Semi-trucks are now required to have an underride bar on the back of the truck to prevent underride accidents, but when a small passenger vehicle crashes into the back of a truck, the results can still be devastating. While underride bars are now required on semi-trucks, these bars can be missing or faulty.
- Blind spot accident—Truck drivers have several blind spots where, even with their large mirrors, they are unable to see a small passenger vehicle. These blind spots are generally directly behind the truck, directly in front of the truck, and on each side toward the front of the trailer. When a truck driver cannot see a passenger vehicle, they may change lanes or put on their brakes, causing an accident.
- Accident caused by tire blowouts or bad brakes—Poorly maintained brakes and bald tires are near the top of the list for causes of trucking accidents. Maintenance companies are supposed to keep a close watch on brakes and tires, and the truck driver should also check brakes and tires regularly. Since a large semi-truck takes almost the length of a football field to come to a full stop when traveling at 65 mph, imagine what can happen if that truck’s brakes are faulty or one of the tires has a blowout.
- T-bone accident—A “T-bone” accident is also known as a sideswipe accident. When a fully loaded 80,000-pound truck crashes into the side of a passenger vehicle, the injuries to those in the smaller vehicle will almost certainly be catastrophic, even deadly.
- Accident caused by spilled or shifting cargo—Spilled cargo can cause a chain reaction of accidents, even causing the drivers of passenger vehicles to slam into the truck—or one another. Shifting cargo can cause the trailer to lean, resulting in an accident that can involve one or more passenger vehicles.
- DUI accident—Truck drivers must always be alert and never impaired when driving, yet in some instances, a truck driver could be drunk from consuming alcohol, or high on prescription or illegal drugs. When this occurs, accidents with severe injuries can result.
Why Should You Contact Noteboom—The Law Firm Following a Trucking Accident?
As you can see, there are many different types of trucking accidents that can occur, with injuries from each of them having the potential to be catastrophic. Whether you’ve experienced a Fort Worth trucking accident or another type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need solid legal counsel. At Noteboom—The Law Firm, we consistently get good results for our clients. When you hire our legal team, you can take the time you need to recover from your injuries while we fight for your rights and your future. Contact Noteboom—The Law Firm, today.