Semi-Truck Accidents: FAQs

Semi-truck accidents can cause severe bodily injury and catastrophic loss. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions regarding truck wrecks, including causes, injuries, liability issues, and legal options for those involved in trucking accidents in Texas.

What are some common causes of semi-truck accidents?

Some examples of driver negligence:

  • Fatigued drivers: We know truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road, especially late at night and for extended periods of time.  This is why there are rules and regulations in place to require breaks at certain time intervals to prevent drivers from becoming overly tired and getting involved in accidents.  Unfortunately, sometimes truck drivers do not follow these regulations.  Fatigued drivers who drive for a long period of time are more likely to get distracted while driving or fall asleep at the wheel, which leads to serious accidents.  
  • Distracted driving:  Since truck drivers are on the road for extended periods of time, they may be more likely to get distracted while driving.  They may be texting and driving or eating a meal while driving and this can lead to accidents.
  • Speeding:  Truck drivers may speed to get to their destination faster to meet deadlines.  Speeding can cause any type of motor vehicle collision. However, the weight and size of a semi-truck combined with an unsafe speed can cause serious injuries because they are more difficult to control when trying to stop quickly.  They are likely to roll over or crash into smaller vehicles when they can’t reduce their speed or stop fast enough to avoid collisions.
  • Drug and alcohol use:  Truck drivers may be more likely to use drugs to stay alert or awake while driving long distances.  Intoxicated drivers frequently cause accidents, but with large semi-trucks, the aftermath of an accident can be catastrophic.

Some examples of negligence by the trucking company:

  • Negligent hiring: Hiring a driver with an unsafe driving history.
  • Negligent retention: Failing to dismiss a driver with unsafe driving violations.
  • Negligent maintenance: Failing to properly maintain the semi-truck, including breaks, tires, etc.
  • Inadequate training: Failing to ensure the driver is adequately trained.

What type of injuries are common with semi-truck accidents?

Unfortunately, the most catastrophic injuries can lead to death.  If the fatal accident is the fault of the someone else, then it is called a wrongful death.  This is a painful and serious result of a fatal semi-truck accident, but there are legal options available to the victim’s family. If you lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit

What are some damages that can be claimed in a truck wreck case?

Damages in a truck accident case can be either economic or non-economic. Economic damages are ones that are easily calculated (like bills, lost wages, etc.) Non-economic damages are not as easily calculated because there is no exact amount assigned to them (such as mental anguish, pain and suffering, etc.) For instance, some types of compensation that you may be entitled to are:

  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Funeral and burial expenses

What if I was speeding or otherwise partially at fault for the accident?

In Texas, you can still obtain compensation for a truck accident even if you bear some of the responsibility.  For instance, each party will be given a percentage of fault for the accident and as long as you portion is 50 percent or less, then you can recover damages.  This is known as modified comparative negligence.  Although you are able to receive compensation for the accident, the amount of your award will be reduced by the amount of liability you are assigned for the accident.  

For example, let’s say you are in a trucking accident and were speeding.  It is determined that your fault is 20 percent. The other party is found to be at fault for the remaining 80 percent.  If you win an award of a million dollars, then your 20 percent liability will be deducted from the $1 million reward, leaving you with a total award of $800,000.  

Understating the modified comparative negligence rules can be complex.  If you have questions regarding your ability to recover compensation because you may be partially at fault, then you should contact an attorney today.  Our firm can help determine how much compensation you are eligible to recover based on your specific case.  Our consultations are free and we can help you explore all of the legal options available to you in Texas.

What should I do if I was in an accident involving a semi-truck?

If you were involved in a semi-truck accident and believe it was the fault of someone else, you should contact our bodily injury lawyers today.  We can help you navigate the system, ensure you have all the evidence you need, and help assess your claim.  

Have any other questions?

We’d be happy to discuss your case and answer any further questions you have regarding your trucking accident.  Call 214-575-6060 to reach our personal injury lawyers at Winocour Law.