Veteran Dallas Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers, Texas
Helping victims get justice for their injuries after a truck wreck
Commercial trucks are regularly used to transport goods and products across state lines and throughout Texas and Dallas. The size, weight, and dimensions of commercial trucks make them more difficult to maneuver and more dangerous. The size and weight of a commercial vehicle also means that accidents involving commercial vehicles are likely to have much more energy and force – creating a greater risk of fatal and catastrophic injuries than car accidents. When trucks crash, many other vehicles often crash, too. This is due to cargo that spills and the difficulty avoiding the truck. Commercial truck accidents are incredibly complex because they often involved multiple victims and multiple defendants.
At Slack Davis Sanger, our Dallas truck accident lawyers have more than 200 years of combined experience holding drivers, the trucking companies that hire the drivers, and truck manufacturers liable for the fatalities and deaths they cause. Our lawyers have a strong track record of success holding large corporations and anyone – and everyone – who was responsible for the truck crash liable for all your damages.
What are the types of commercial trucks?
Any truck that is driven for profit is considered a commercial vehicle. A local Dallas truck can qualify as a commercial truck, so long as its driver has the applicable license. (If the driver does not, you may have to make a claim through his or her personal auto insurance.) Most commercial trucks deliver equipment, tools, agricultural products, oil, gas, retail products, and other goods.
Generally, commercial trucks are categorized by their Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR):
Light-duty commercial trucks have a GVWR of less than 10,000 pounds. This category includes pickup trucks, transit vans, and cargo vans.
Medium-duty commercial trucks have a GVWR of 10,001-26,000lbs. Common medium duty commercial trucks include box trucks, dump trucks, and landscape trucks.
Heavy-duty commercial trucks have a GVWR greater than 26,001lbs. Common examples include semis, semitrailers, semi-tractor-trailers, tractor-trailer, 18-wheelers, rigs, and big rigs. Drivers must have a Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Other examples of commercial trucks include flatbeds, tankers, refrigerator trucks, cement mixers, and garbage trucks. There are also heavy haulers which require special escorts and commercial trucks that transport hazardous materials.
Commercial trucks vs. commercial vehicles
Not all commercial vehicles are trucks. Delivery vans, buses, and even limousines are considered commercial vehicles because they deliver goods (or people) for profit. Because of this, drivers and companies must follow certain state and federal regulations when it comes to safety.
If you were injured in a crash with a commercial vehicle of any kind, Slack Davis Sanger can help.
What are the causes of commercial truck accidents?
When truck accidents take the life of a loved one or cause catastrophic injuries, you deserve justice. Justice begins with understanding how the accident happened. Most Dallas commercial truck accidents are caused by:
- Driver fatigue.Many truck drivers are pushed to make deliveries faster than is reasonable. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates when drivers must take rests. Drivers and the trucking companies who hire the drivers should be held accountable if driver fatigue causes an accident.
- Driver distraction.Truck drivers must have their hands on the wheel, their eyes on the road, and their mind on the traffic around them. Drivers can be distracted because of boredom, fatigue, or as a result of having their attention on something else such as using a cellphone, looking at a GPS system, eating, drinking, playing with the entertainment systems, and personal grooming.
- Driving while intoxicated.Too many truck drivers think it is OK to have a drink and then drive or to use other intoxicating drugs. It is never OK to drink and drive. Drunk drivers cannot react to emergencies in a timely manner, control their trucks effectively, or keep a proper lookout for other drivers. Drunk driving is inexcusable. Drunk driving is a major cause of commercial truck accident fatalities.
- Driving overloaded or unstable trucks.Commercial truck drivers operating on Dallas interstates, highways, and roads must comply with federal and state cargo limit laws. The loads cannot be above certain weight limits. The loads must be properly secured according to very specific FMCSA rules. Loads that shift while the truck is in operation can cause the driver to lose control. Cargo that spills creates a nightmare for everyone near the spill. Load spills often cause multi-vehicle crashes.
- Faulty inspections and maintenance.Commercial truck drivers and owners must regularly inspect their vehicles for any problems that could cause an accident. Drivers should examine their trucks before each trip. Truck owners should take the trucks off the road until any necessary repairs are made.
- Not having enough training.In addition to the need for having a commercial driver’s license (for heavy-duty commercial trucks), every truck driver must understand how to operate the truck and specifically how to avoid accidents and respond to emergencies. Each truck type requires a unique set of skills to safely operate the truck.
- Truck parts that are defective.Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of defective truck parts can be held strictly liable for any deaths or injuries due to the defect. Truck defects include windshield wipers that fail, defective tires, unreliable brakes, and many other defects.
Truck drivers must understand the rules of the road. Drivers who speed, run red lights, or fail to merge properly deserve to be held liable for the Dallas commercial truck accidents they cause. Drivers who take unreasonable chances or who drive recklessly may be liable to pay punitive damages.
Who is responsible for commercial truck accidents in Dallas?
At Slack Davis Sanger, our Dallas truck crash lawyers work to hold all responsible parties liable for your injuries or the death of a loved one. Possible defendants include the driver, the company for which the driver works, the shipper, the broker, and /or the owner of the truck.
In cases where a defective truck part played a role in the collision, the manufacturer of the truck may be liable. So, too, could the company if it failed to maintain or repair its fleet.
If the truck driver was under the influence of alcohol, we can make a claim against the establishment which served him or her.
What are the types of Dallas commercial truck accidents?
Some commercial truck accidents are generally unique to trucks. Specifically, 18-wheelers are susceptible to jackknifes and underride crashes. Another common commercial truck accident is the backup accident, which usually occurs on narrow city streets or at loading docks.
Other commercial truck accidents are similar to car collisions. Rear-end crashes, sideswipes, and head-on collisions are usually related to trucks’ blind spots, but negligent drivers can also collide with vehicles and stationary objects if they are speeding or driving recklessly. Drivers who fail to decrease their speed given highway gradients may be unable to stop in time, even if they see the drivers ahead. (This often leads to jackknifes but can also cause rollovers.)
Intersection accidents are another type of common commercial truck crash. If a truck driver is unable to control the vehicle while going through an intersection, it can lead to a multi-vehicle pileup.
What injuries do Dallas commercial truck accident victims suffer?
In the most tragic cases, a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or bicycle rider is killed because of a truck accident. Most passenger cars are simply no match for the force and energy of a large truck. In those tragic cases, we file wrongful death and survival cases on behalf of the family members to hold the negligent truck driver, and other accountable and to recover full compensation.
In most cases, however, truck accident victims sustain serious injuries – many of which are life-altering and permanent. Those injuries can include:
A traumatic brain injury that can cause a loss of cognitive skills in addition to physical and emotional pain and suffering. Many TBI victims need to treat with doctors and therapists for the rest of their lives.
Spinal cord damage that can cause a victim to become partially or fully paralyzed
Burn injuries that may be fatal or cause first or second-degree burns. Many burn injury victims require skin grafts, plastic surgery, and long-term treatment with psychologists.
Loss of limb due to crushing or shearing injuries or underride crashes. Truck accidents can easily cause a victim to lose a body part. These life-changing injuries often cause a lifetime of physical and emotional pain.
Fractures of the ribs, sternum, legs, shoulders, or neck, to name but a few, often occur. Many broken bones require surgeries especially if the bone penetrates the skin. Some victims never regain full use of the affected body part.
Other commercial truck accident injuries include heart failure, internal organ damage, and chronic back and neck pain.
Why choose the Dallas 18-wheeler accident lawyers of Slack Davis Sanger?
For decades, Slack Davis Sanger has represented families and individuals in catastrophic injury claims involving 18-wheelers, box trucks, and other types of commercial vehicles. We demand compensation for all your daily physical pain and emotional suffering, all your bills for surgeries and other medical treatments, the cost of medical devices and medication, your lost income, any disability you have, and other permissible damages.
Three of the partners at Slack Davis Sanger are Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Mike Slack, Paula Sweeney and John Jose, which speaks to our litigation skill and acumen. We have a Legal Nurse Consultant on our staff, who helps us analyze the medical data related to your injury so we can more accurately assess your damages and the compensation that you deserve.
Finally, our firm is noted throughout the country for its work on complex litigation. No matter how many liable parties there are, or how life-altering your injuries are, we have the resources and the network in place to help you. Our compassion for our clients drives us to fight for the best possible outcome. It’s why we prepare every case for a trial: if a settlement won’t bring you justice, we are always ready to take your story to a jury.
Is there a Dallas truck accident lawyer near me?
Slack Davis Sanger’s Dallas location is 3500 Maple Ave, Suite #1250. We’re in the Parkside Tower, across from Reverchon Recreation Center. Parking is available.
Speak with a seasoned Dallas commercial truck accident lawyer now
A truck wreck is different than a car wreck and thus requires a specialist. There are specific rules and regulations that apply to commercial vehicles, and the attorney representing you needs to be familiar with those rules and regulations. It is critical that you contact an experienced Dallas truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after a wreck. We need to investigate the accident site, inspect the vehicles, speak with witnesses while their memories are fresh, and review your medical needs. We will guide you through every phase of the litigation process. To discuss your rights or to schedule a free consultation in our Dallas office, call Slack Davis Sanger at 800-455-8686 or complete our contact form.
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219
Main Dallas Practice Areas