McAllen Truck Accident Lawyer
Semi-Truck & 18-Wheeler Accident Cases in Texas
Most semi-truck and 18-wheeler truck drivers are highly trained, skilled professionals who do everything in their power to avoid collisions. However, these accidents can and do still happen. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 4,951 fatalities resulting from large truck crashes in the U.S. in 2018 (the latest year for which data are available) and another 151,000 people who were injured in large truck collisions. Unfortunately, statistics show that when a massive semi-truck or 18-wheeler collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are far more likely to sustain severe bodily injuries or fatalities.
If you were involved in a crash with a large commercial vehicle, or if your loved one was tragically killed in an accident with a semi-truck or 18-wheeler, reach out to Tijerina Legal Group, P.C. right away. Since 2008, our award-winning McAllen truck accident attorney, Humberto Tijerina, has been aggressively protecting the rights of injured accident victims and their families. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars for our clients and has earned a reputation for providing compassionate, client-focused representation, coupled with tireless advocacy and a results-driven approach.
On This Page:
- Common Causes of Truck Accidents
- Common Types of Truck Accidents
- What Is Considered a Truck Accident?
- Injuries Commonly Sustained in Trucking Accidents
- How Is Liability Determined in a Truck Crash?
- Understanding Modified Comparative Negligence
- How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer?
- What Is the Average Truck Accident Settlement?
Although most truck drivers receive extensive training and are held to high safety standards, they are still subject to human error. Carelessness, reckless driving, and general inattention are some of the leading causes of truck accidents.
However, negligent trucking company practices also contribute to a significant number of truck collisions each year. When trucking companies fail to conduct background checks on new drivers, fail to provide proper supervision or training, or simply look the other way when truck drivers drive beyond federally regulated hours of service, the consequences can be disastrous.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including using a cell phone or handheld GPS device while driving
- Driving while intoxicated/under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Speeding, including excessive speeding and driving too fast for weather conditions
- Fatigued driving, often as a result of driving too many hours without rest breaks
- Violating traffic laws, including running red lights, making illegal turns, or passing unlawfully
- Violating federal hours-of-service regulations/forging hours-of-service logs
- Failing to conduct proper truck maintenance and/or repairs
- Overloading trucks or improperly loading cargo
- Defective tractors/trailers or defective truck parts, including tires, braking systems, and more
- Defective roadways, including faulty road construction or design
These and other factors can all contribute to devastating truck accidents, which can, in turn, lead to serious, life-altering injuries.
Any of the above factors can lead to a serious trucking accident. When trucks crash there is often more serious damage and more catastrophic injuries purely because of the immense weight and size of a commercial tractor trailer. Some common types of truck accidents include:
- Rollover accidents - When the entire truck and its trailer roll, sometimes colliding with other passenger cars on the road beside them
- Jackknife accidents - When the truck brakes too suddenly and the attached trailer swings around to the left or right in a jackknife motion, oftentimes striking vehicles in surrounding lanes
- Underride accidents - Underride accidents occur when a passenger vehicle is caught under the trailer of a semi truck; this can occur if a truck attempts to change lanes without checking their blind spots, or if a truck stops suddenly and the car behind them is unable to stop in time
The term "truck accident" doesn't just refer to big-rigs or 18-wheelers. In fact, a truck accident can involve a number of different types of vehicles. Depending on what type of truck you were involved in an accident with, you may be filing a lawsuit against a private company, an individual, or even the city:
- Delivery vehicles (FedEx, UPS, Amazon)
- Oil or gas trucks
- Dump trucks or construction vehicles
- Tow trucks
- Livestock haulers
- Garbage trucks
- Refrigerated delivery trucks
- Big rigs, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks
- Mail delivery trucks
- Food or catering trucks
Common injuries sustained in trucking accidents include:
Victims face a long, difficult road to recovery, paved with expensive medical treatments and ongoing care, missed work and lost wages, and immense physical pain and emotional suffering.
If you believe the truck driver, trucking company, or some other party was at fault for the accident, you could have grounds to file a personal injury claim (or wrongful death claim if your loved one died due to the accident), and our firm can help.
The first step in proving a truck accident case is establishing liability. Under Texas personal injury laws, you can only bring a claim for damages if you can prove that someone else—be it the truck driver, the trucking company, a manufacturer, or some other entity—was at least partially liable for the accident that caused your injuries. In order to do this, our truck accident attorney in McAllen works with accident reconstructionists and other experts to determine exactly how the crash occurred and whether it could have been prevented.
It’s important to note that Texas’s rule of modified comparative negligence allows injured parties to seek compensation even when they were partially at fault. As long as you were less than 50% to blame for the accident, you can still seek recovery for your damages. However, your total recovery will be reduced in direct proportion to the degree of fault the jury decides you have. For example, if a jury determines that you were 10% to blame for the accident, your recovery will be reduced by 10% and you will only be able to recover up to 90% of the total amount you would have otherwise received.
The issue of liability in truck accident cases is often very complex. Unlike in typical car accident cases, in which you file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, truck accident cases often involve multiple liable parties:
- A truck driver who causes the accident might be partially liable
- His or her employer, the trucking company, may be partially or wholly liable
- Third parties, such as other motorists and truck parts manufacturers, might also be partially or wholly liable for your damages
It's important that you work with a skilled and knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through the process of seeking the full, fair compensation you are owed.
At Tijerina Legal Group, we put our clients needs first. That means you don't pay any up-front fee for us taking on your case. Your initial consultation is free, and we take your case on a contingency basis. That means you only pay us if we recover compensation for you, and even then you pay us out of the settlement from the insurance company. That means you don't have to pay anything out of pocket. You have nothing to lose. Get the legal representation you need today.
There is no real average value for truck accident settlements because each case is different and victim's injuries can differ widely from one case to the next. However, because trucking accidents tend to result in more serious long-term injuries, the settlements for these cases tend to be higher. In general, truck accident settlements can range anywhere from $100,000 to several million. If you would like a more specific estimate of what your case may be like, you can reach out to Mr. Tijerina today to discuss your claim.
How Tijerina Legal Group, P.C. Can Help
Mr. Tijerina has been zealously fighting for the rights of injured victims throughout The Rio Grande Valley for well over a decade. In that time, he has proven his ability to take on major insurance providers and their legal defense teams time and time again. No matter how complex your situation may be, our team is here to answer your questions and help you through the recovery process.
We provide legal services in English and Spanish and can travel to meet you in your home or at the hospital if your injuries prevent you from coming to our office.