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Dallas Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney

Tractor-trailers, or “big rigs,” are a vital part of our economy, and countless businesses and people depend upon them to thrive. These vehicles carry cargo great distances every day, and it’s important to recognize their inherent dangers. If you’ve been involved in a tractor-trailer collision, you need to know the laws surrounding these incidents.

Types of Tractor-Trailer Collisions

Drivers of any type of vehicle have a duty to the other drivers on the road to follow the traffic laws, operate their vehicles safely, and exercise caution around hazards or poor road conditions. This is expected to a higher degree of tractor-trailer drivers due to the nature of their vehicles. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh upward of 40 tons (80,000 pounds), whereas typical passenger vehicles weigh around 3,000 pounds. When these vehicles collide, the smaller vehicle’s occupants are at enormous risk of serious or fatal injuries.

Truck drivers work for long shifts and spend most of their time on the road. If they fail to get enough rest, take breaks, and stay healthy, they endanger themselves and others around them. Sleepy or distracted driving is extremely dangerous, and any truck driver who causes an collision due to falling asleep at the wheel likely would be accountable for any resulting damages, injuries, or deaths.

Tractor-trailers also carry large volumes of cargo. Since tractor-trailers are so much higher off the ground than other vehicles, they have higher centers of gravity. As such, an imbalanced load can easily result in a tip-over or jackknife, which is when the trailer swings out to one side from the front of the truck. This is incredibly dangerous, because the trailers are so large and can cover an entire lane of traffic.

Similarly, some types of cargo require special considerations when it comes to securing the load. Tractor-trailers often carry large pieces of lumber, concrete pipe segments, smaller passenger vehicles, construction equipment, and large appliances that don’t fit inside trailers. If these types of cargo are not properly secured, they can fall off the back of the truck and into the road, should the driver take a sudden turn or brake too quickly.

Winning Your Case

If a trucking company fails to enforce Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations for truck driver behavior, tractor-trailer maintenance, or proper cargo securing practices, the driver as well as his or her employer may be liable for the damages and injuries caused by an collision.

A tractor-trailer collision is far more dangerous than a typical passenger vehicle crash, and the injuries are often severe, if not fatal. If you’ve been involved in such an collision through no fault of your own, you need to secure legal representation as soon as you are able. Your attorney can help you collect compensation for:

  • Medical expenses, including hospital bills, the costs of ongoing necessary treatments and necessary surgeries, rehabilitation, and any other medical costs.
  • Pain and suffering. Though difficult to translate to a dollar figure, injuries sustained in vehicle collisions are often painful, and victims often deal with serious pain throughout the recovery process. Your attorney will bring in expert witnesses to testify as to the degree of pain associated with your injuries and recovery.
  • Property damage to your vehicle and any other possessions damaged in the crash.
  • Lost wages from time you were forced to spend away from work due to your injuries. If your injuries result in a permanent disability that prevents you from returning to your work, you can secure compensation for the income you would have reasonably been expected to earn had you not been injured.
  • Lost quality of life. Some injuries may result in permanent disabilities, and your attorney can help you secure compensation for this as well.

Contact the Law Office of Stephen W. Shoultz. We have a proven track record of victorious cases in a variety of practice areas. Let our team handle your legal concerns while you focus on healing.