Truck accidents often cause serious injuries that will require long-term medical care. When you are involved in a serious accident with an 18-wheeler, you may be left with a lot of questions.  You may also be inundated with calls from the trucking company’s insurance company. Below are answers to common questions we often hear at Marye Law regarding trucking accidents.

How is a truck accident different from a car accident?

Because of their size and weight, commercial trucks can sometimes do far more damage in a collision than ordinary cars and can seriously injure more people in a single wreck.  All drivers must follow traffic laws, but commercial trucks (which can include semi-trucks, delivery vans, moving trucks, and – depending on the combined weight of payload and truck – vehicles towing heavy equipment) are subject to a more complex set of state and federal laws. The U.S. Department of Transportation has created regulations that govern almost all aspects of the trucking industry. From the hiring practices of the trucking company, the qualifications of drivers, the training and supervision given to drivers – to mandatory drug testing procedures, and the safety of equipment, all are covered within the regulations.

Trucking accidents also routinely involve more than one party.  Truckers may own the vehicles they are driving but may operate them for another company. Sometimes the owner of the vehicle may be responsible for inadequate maintenance. The owner of the cargo or broker for the goods being transported may also have legal liability. An experienced trucking lawyer will track down each of these leads, and will obtain information from the company to determine whether the company was adequately following the regulations created by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Why is a traffic accident involving a truck more likely to cause serious injury than a personal automobile?

Size is the answer. A commercial tractor-trailer can weight over 80,000 pounds, while an average passenger car averages around 3,000 pounds.

Are truck drivers required to carry the same insurance as other drivers?

In Texas, drivers of personal vehicles are required to carry only $30,000.00 in liability insurance coverage. Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations, commercial vehicles traveling in interstate commerce must carry a $750,000 in liability insurance coverage. However, the State of Texas imposes a $1 million dollar minimum insurance for commercial vehicles that are not covered under Federal Law, and that operate across state lines. Many trucking companies realize the serious damage their trucks can cause and carry much more insurance coverage than is required by state minimum.

Can I sue the trucking company for the injuries I sustained in the accident? What about the shipper of the cargo the truck was transporting?

Each case is unique. If the truck driver was responsible for your accident, you may be able to sue the trucking company, depending on the circumstances. In some instances, the trucking company is legally liable for the actions of the driver, if he was on the job at the time of the accident. Additionally, there are cases where the trucking company is directly liable for your injuries. For instance, if our investigation shows that the trucking company failed to maintain the truck, the truck driver was not properly trained, the truck driver was fatigued due to pressure placed on the driver by the company, the truck driver was negligently hired by the company for a various reasons, then you may have a direct claim against the company. 

The shipper of the cargo is generally not liable for your injuries, unless they also own the truck. If the cargo was improperly loaded by the shipper onto the trailer or otherwise dangerous, and the shipper failed to notify the driver, you may be able to pursue a claim against the cargo company.

How can an attorney help me after a truck accident?

Legal action is often needed following a trucking accident to protect your legal rights. For example, you need an attorney to take action to prevent the trucking company from destroying various documents related to the truck and trailer involved in the accident including electronic data recorded by the truck that may identify speeds, breaking, and other movement of the vehicle, company documents regarding accident investigations, employee post-accident performance reviews, and hours of service logs that may show whether the driver was fatigued at the time of the accident. An attorney can also help you deal with the trucking company and their insurance provider.  An attorney will be far more experienced in these types of claims than you or the individual who was injured.

Should I answer questions from the trucking company or their insurance?

One thing to remember is that you are not negotiating on level ground when dealing with a trucking company after a trucking accident.  Most trucking companies are highly skilled at truck accident investigation and claims practice. The trucking company and their insurance company both want to reduce their own liability. Any information you give them will be used for that purpose and to limit any settlement with you. Truck companies often have accident investigators and attorneys that are on-call and dispatched to the scene of the crash as soon as the trucking company learns of the accident. While the accident victims and their families tend to medical care and sometimes funeral arrangements, the trucking company is investigating the truck accident and setting up their legal defense. That is why you should contact the Marye Law firm immediately after your accident. Once you have Serious Suits on your side, we will contact the trucking company and their insurance provider to let them know you have retained an attorney. All dealings with the trucking company and their insurance will be handled by us at that point. 

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The Marye Law Firm P.C.

More than 20 years of experience

Marye Law has more than 20 years of experience in personal injury law in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Texas. We have represented a number of clients and helped them secure the compensation they deserved due to their accidents, and many have spoken about our integrity and personal approach. If you have been involved in an accident and are in need of legal representation, call us today at 214-987-8240 or fill out our FREE case review form.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

I got hurt on a cotton gin when the rollers on the condenser unit caught my arm and pulled me into the machine. My arm was smashed up to my elbow. I lost muscle and all my nerves and still have pain to this day. A local Lubbock lawyer dropped my case because my employer didn’t have workmen’s comp. I called Eric Marye and he worked on my case for about two years. We got real close to trial and at the second settlement meeting, my case settled for one and a half million dollars (Client received $900,000). He got my medical bills paid and I am getting a check every month from the insurance company for the rest of my life. I am definitely happy with the job Mr. Marye did for me and my family and would recommend him to anyone who needs an attorney for a serious injury.

Jerry Alvarado

I hit an 18-wheeler that ran a stop sign on a highway in Louisiana. A local lawyer told me that he could get me $600,000 for my case if I was lucky. I had brain surgery and I couldn’t raise my arm. After hiring Eric Marye, he got me to a good doctor that told me I had a torn rotator cuff and operated on my shoulder. He also sent me to a doctor for my brain injury and a psychiatrist. He settled my case for almost two million dollars! (Client received $1,266,666.67.) I am getting a check each month for the rest of my life.

Lusty Harris

Eric, I thank u for everything u have done for me and my family. Thank u for caring so much for Jacob when u hadn’t even met him. U believed in all of us. Only God can put that kind of faith, hope, and heart-felt feelings in a good person like yourself. Your a dam good lawyer and a wonderful friend.

Emily Garcia

Eric and his staff did the most wonderful job helping me get a start in life after my work accident. I got shocked at work from a broken electric stove. My employer did not want to back me up so I hired Eric through my daughter, and he got a lot of experts and we went to trial on my case and won. We got everything we asked for and I ended up with a lot more money than I thought I could get, especially now that I am retired. If anyone needs a super lawyer, hire him because he is the best. Thanks again Eric.

Carolyn Moreno

When my wife was killed by an eighteen-wheeler, my family and I hired Eric Marye. Eric did a great job on the case. Not only was he a great lawyer, but he also became a friend. If you need a lawyer for an eighteen-wheeler accident, hire Eric.

Milton Jensen

Initially, I couldn’t find a lawyer willing to take my case. I was in a one-car accident on the job and had a head injury so I couldn’t remember what happened. Eric Marye found two witnesses and sued my company. The settlement was confidential, but I am very happy with what Eric did for me. My life would be much different if I hadn’t hired Eric Marye’s firm.

Robby Thomas

I hit an 18-wheeler that ran a stop sign on a highway in Louisiana. A local lawyer told me that he could get me $600,000 for my case if I was lucky. I had brain surgery and I couldn’t raise my arm. After hiring Eric Marye, he got me to a good doctor that told me I had a torn rotator cuff and operated on my shoulder. He also sent me to a doctor for my brain injury and a psychiatrist. He settled my case for almost two million dollars! (Client received $1,266,666.67.) I am getting a check each month for the rest of my life.

Lusty Harris