Hit by an 18-Wheeler in Dallas? A Lawsuit Overview

November 2, 2021 | By Francis Firm Injury Attorneys
Hit by an 18-Wheeler in Dallas? A Lawsuit Overview
dallas truck accident lawsuit

Large trucks such as 18-wheelers, tankers, and semis cause catastrophic damage, injuries, and death in Dallas when involved in a crash. In 2020, they accounted for over 400 crashes in the state; there were even more in 2019, when the number was over 450.

Dallas has heavy commercial traffic, and motorists are at an increased risk when traveling. Commercial traffic includes tractor-trailers, dump trucks, tankers, tow trucks, emergency vehicles, semis, etc. If you or your loved one in Dallas was hit by an 18-wheeler or semi and thinking about starting a lawsuit, there are some things you should be aware of.

What Should I Do After I Am Hit By an 18-Wheeler?

If you are fortunate enough to not be badly injured, you should take certain steps after being hit by a commercial truck:

  • Report the accident to the police;
  • Get the truck driver’s contact, employer, and insurance information;
  • Take photos of the scene and collect any evidence available;
  • Write down the names and phone numbers of any witnesses;
  • Seek medical treatment immediately;
  • Get an estimate for vehicle repairs; and
  • Call your Dallas truck accident attorney.

Of course, the most important step is to look after your health first. Regardless of how you feel, you absolutely need to go to the nearest hospital for an examination. Aside from providing evidence for your case, some injuries—such as traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, or spinal cord damage—are not immediately apparent, and a medical examination can help identify these serious conditions. After you tend to your immediate medical needs, consider calling an attorney. Remember, you only have two years from the date of the incident to bring your Dallas trucking accident lawsuit.

Possible Damages in a Dallas Truck Crash Lawsuit

You may be wondering, How much financial recovery is possible from a Dallas 18-wheeler accident lawsuit? Unfortunately, there is no way to accurately compute the average settlement amount. Every settlement in a Dallas truck crash lawsuit depends upon the facts of the case, and each case is unique. Determining factors include the severity of the injuries, the defendant’s insurance coverage, the person’s age, and the facts of the accident.

Your damages depend upon your specific circumstances. Common examples of damages from claimants hit by 18-wheelers in lawsuits include compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses related to the accident,
  • Past and future lost wages,
  • Vehicle repairs,
  • Pain and suffering,
  • Physical impairment or disfigurement,
  • Loss of companionship and support, and
  • Wrongful death.

Your lawyer can help you figure out your economic damages and how to value non-economic damages. 

What If I Was Partly to Blame?

Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. You will recover damages equal to the percentage that is not your fault, which is a determination that the jury will make. In other words, your damages will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. For example, if the jury determines that 10% of the accident was your fault—maybe because you were on your cell phone or otherwise distracted—and your full damages are $100,000, you would only recover 90%, or $90,000. 

Why Do I Need a Dallas Truck Accident Attorney?

In a Dallas 18-wheeler crash lawsuit, you are at a disadvantage. Insurance and trucking companies are professional claims negotiators and adjusters, whose sole purpose is to resolve your claim as inexpensively as possible.  If you do not have an attorney, they will use your inexperience against you to lower the value of your claim. Furthermore, trucking companies know that their employees may get into accidents. These trucking companies and their insurance companies have teams of attorneys prepared to defend their interests.  

Additionally, The Department of Transportation (DOT)'s rules and regulations require trucking companies and truck drivers retain documents such as logs and vehicle inspections reports, but only for a short period of time.  

  • Without an attorney to stop them, these trucking companies and drivers often destroy critical evidence as soon as the law allows. 
  •  Most trucks electronically store data that is accessible by computer download.  This data often provides evidence of the driver’s routes and drive time prior to the collision; prior unsafe driving; and the speed and braking data for the truck prior to and at the time of impact. The Francis Firm regularly utilizes Texas trucking experts that can access and preserve this data, but only if you contact us as soon as possible after a collision.

Finally, if you are hurt in a Texas truck accident, you will likely find that your PCP either will not provide care for motor vehicle cases or lacks the facilities to fully and appropriately evaluate and treat all of your injuries. The Francis Firm can help you locate and receive treatment from qualified medical providers capable of evaluating and treating any injuries caused by a truck wreck, even ones that require complex surgeries.

Your Dallas truck accident attorney is an asset to help you level the playing field. Their job is to handle the insurance and trucking companies, you understand your rights, get the medical care you need and the compensation you deserve. 

How Your Dallas Truck Crash Lawyer Can Help

Your attorney is your asset. You must have someone who understands the nuances of 18-wheeler crash lawsuits. Some of the things they will do on your behalf are:

  • Identify every liable party (e.g. the driver, the truck owner, the driver’s employer, the truck manufacturer, etc.)
  • Investigate the incident, gather evidence, and interview witnesses;
  • Help you get and pay for the quality medical care you need and deserve;
  • Present evidence to insurance companies and jurors to maximize your compensation; and
  • Obtain records from the DMV and trucking company for evidence.

Your Dallas 18-wheeler crash lawsuit attorney is aware of the different DOT and state regulations required for truck drivers and trucking companies. Examples include specifications for vehicle maintenance, training, and driving safety. Your attorney will likely determine if any of those laws have been violated, adding to the parties’ negligence. 

Examples of Settlements in Dallas Semi Crash Lawsuits

The Francis Firm has successfully negotiated multiple Dallas truck accident lawsuits on behalf of our clients.

A truck driver hit a car when he changed lanes without looking on Highway 114 in Southlake. Two sisters were in the car on the way to work. The collision caused them to spin out, and then other cars crashed into them. Our firm negotiated a settlement with the trucking company and driver for $1,200,000.

A trucker in a commercial tanker was driving without a CDL license when he struck a couple stopped in traffic on I-35. The settlement was limited by the underinsured motorist insurance and the trucking company, but we recovered the maximum allowed amount of $1,050,000.

You can read more of our results here

The Francis Firm is Your Truck Accident Attorney

The Francis Firm can evaluate your case, explain your best options, ensure you get high quality medical treatment and help you maximize your financial recovery. Your attorney will take on the burden associated with the lawsuit and will be your legal advocate. We have the experience to take on your Dallas truck crash lawsuit.

Our managing partner, Michael Francis, represented some of the largest national trucking companies for nearly a decade, and now uses that expertise to represent their accident victims. Finally, you will not pay any fees or costs unless your case is successful. Please contact us to speak with us about your case.