Arlington Texas Truck Accident Lawyers and Legal Counsel
Arlington Texas truck accident cases can be complex and require experienced legal counsel.
Consulting with an Arlington Truck Accident Lawyer immediately following an injury is essential to the preservation of crucial evidence and witness testimony.
The United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry to ensure standardized safety rules across the United States. Arlington truck accident attorneys at the The Cooper Law Firm understand the federal regulations and how they overlap with Texas statutes addressing driver actions in Arlington accidents, including hours worked, proper licensure and training, periodic medical screening, and screening for drug and alcohol use, in addition to statutes that reveal third party responsibility involved in the transport of goods and services, that may include cargo loaders, maintenance personnel, truck and parts manufacturers, and trucking companies and owners.
Texas truck accidents.
Texas 2018 truck accident data revealed the highest number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes at 658 and the largest number of total vehicles involved at 5,222. In many cases, it is difficult to pinpoint causes for a truck accident, as outside factors including weather, other drivers and roadway conditions must be taken into consideration, but Arlington truck accident lawyers will build a case by:
- sending investigators to the scene,
- reviewing police, witness, and medical reports,
- hiring financial experts for loss valuation,
- assessing cause of the accident, and
- drafting and filing complicated insurance and legal documents.
Cooper Law Firm its Arlington truck accident attorneys will fight for client rights to compensation for injuries and property damage loss utilizing federal regulations and Texas State laws that support reparation to truck accident victims.
Commercial driver licensure (CDL).
Commercial driver training must be completed before the granting of a commercial driver license (CDL) because of the difficult maneuverability and specialized mechanisms in big rigs and tankers. In the United States there was a 9% increase in fatalities caused by truck accidents in 2017, and 72% of those people were occupants of other vehicles. Tanker trucks may be more dangerous than regular large trailer carriers because of the weight distribution and the type of substance they are carrying, such as flammable liquids, pressurized gases, or highly toxic chemicals that are difficult to clean up after an accident. Individuals should contact a semi-truck accident lawyer in Arlington Texas to discuss legal options after an accident involving a big rig, or tanker.
Commercial motor operators that drive big trucks carrying cargo are restricted by the federal government regarding the maximum hours driven; minimum hours off duty; and required rest periods after 60/70 hours of driving over 7/8 consecutive days. Commercial motor vehicle drivers that are carrying people have more stringent restrictions. The United States Department of Transportation, 49 C.F.R. part 387, subpart A, mandates minimum levels of financial responsibility to address accident losses.
Economic and non-economic losses, such as lost wages, medical bills, legal fees, property replacement and pain and suffering are addressed in loss valuations with punitive damages in some cases. Expenses for medical bills and lost wages from work are simply calculated in a claim for damages, but estimates for pain, scarring, emotional harm, or short and long term psychological and physical limitations are not as easy to calculate. Valuations are determined with input from Arlington TX semi-truck accident lawyers, insurance companies, and juries who must consider what is a fair and reasonable amount of money to cover the loss, based on a compilation of evidence provided to the court.
Arlington Texas Semi-truck accident lawyers at the Cooper Law Firm are skilled at identifying additional parties to the truck accident claim, separate from the driver, including trucking companies, mechanics, or manufacturers of a truck and/or parts, and understand the trucking industry and relevant regulatory laws. They can determine the best legal approach to individual cases such as mediation, arbitration or going to trial, while staving off unnecessary pressure from insurance companies who want to swiftly close out a claim.
Statute of limitations.
After a truck accident in Arlington, it is important for victims to understand that they have a limited time to take legal action against negligent parties. The Texas statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death actions is two years from the time the injury, or death. Government entities require a shorter filing time at 180 days for tort claims and cap damages depending upon the government unit involved. The state and municipalities allow up to $250,000 per person and $500,000 per incident. All other levels of government allow for $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident.
Utilizing the 51% fault rule in Arlington Texas, personal injury lawyers will explain how loss valuations determine the compensatory damages requested for lost wages, medical bills, medical care, and treatment, plus household expenses, and non-economic loss for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or companionship. Exemplary (punitive) damages are contingent upon proving that a defendant deliberately, with reckless disregard, acted in a manner to cause harm to another person, such as driving while impaired. Punitive damages must be sought in a separate case, after compensatory damages have been awarded and Texas law limits that amount to two times the actual damages up to $750,000 in total damages, or $200,000. Drivers are required to file accident reports with Texas Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of an accident when the accident resulted in fatality, injury, or property damage of $1,000 or more.
A recent government study identified driver fatigue as a key factor in 31% of the cases where the driver died in approximately 13% of large truck accident cases annually in the United States. Family members, or legal representatives must file a wrongful death legal action within two years and a Texas wrongful death attorney in Arlington can assist with damage valuations and timelines relevant to each case. Compensation may cover medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
Hire legal counsel.
Truck accident victims should take steps to minimize additional stress by hiring competent legal counsel at the Cooper Law Firm who can objectively speak on their behalf in a courtroom, and work toward catastrophic damage recovery.
Cooper Law Firm
N. Eric Cooper
Address: Arlington, TX
Telephone ; (903) 297-0037
Toll-Free: 1-855-297-HURT (4878)
Facsimile: (903) 236-0035
Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers in Arlington, Texas
Commercial trucking carrier and driver responsibility to Fort Worth Texas motorists.
Arlington Texas semi-truck accident attorneys at The Cooper Law Firm, who are familiar with trucking industry regulations, federal regulations, and Texas state laws, will work on behalf of truck accident victims in Fort Worth against commercial truck operator negligence. A semi-truck driver’s decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol, or other drugs that could put other roadway travelers in significant danger, especially because of the size discrepancy between a fully loaded semi-tractor trailer and a passenger vehicle. What are the responsibilities of a trucking company regarding their commercial drivers in Texas?
Trucking companies are required to instruct commercial drivers regarding all applicable rules and regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and to supervise their drivers.
Trucking industry regulations are outlined in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations as a set of uniform standards of travel to promote roadway safety and prevent truck collisions. Trucking companies must adhere to those standards and understand that ignorance of these regulations is no excuse against legal action when trucking companies, or drivers are in violation of State and Federal laws.
Texas commercial trucking laws.
Texas commercial trucking laws are in place to protect drivers and mandate specific safety requirements for commercial drivers, in the hopes of reducing accidents. Size is a factor in the extensive damages caused due to a tractor-trailer being approximately 65 feet in length and weighing up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, causing any type of crash between it and another moving vehicle, stationary object, or person to be more catastrophic and/or fatal in terms of injuries.
Business of trucking may fuel violations.
The deadline imposed facet of commercial trucking companies may cause drivers to violate safety laws, such as allowing tired drivers to continue to drive past their hourly restrictions, or transport overloaded cargo trailers, or drive while under the influence of drugs that may keep individuals awake, or alcohol. State and federal regulations also require tractor-trailer trucks to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis, and keep accurate travel logs. Semi-truck accident attorneys may use driver logs and toxicology reports as evidence of negligence in some cases.
Common violations of Texas trucking rules include:
- Improper maintenance,
- Driver fatigue,
- Driving under the influence of drugs, or alcohol,
- Distracted driving,
- Commercial company negligence,
- Unsecured loads,
- Driving in extreme weather,
- Speeding, or reckless driving.
What factors could play a role in whether a truck driver or trucking company might hold individual responsibility for the accident?
- The cause of the accident,
- The driver’s adherence to the law,
- Trucking company policies,
- Whether the driver works as an independent contractor for the company.
In many cases, the law relies on vicarious liability to hold the truck driver’s employer responsible for the accident.
To prove liability in a trucking accident claim, the trucking company, driver, or some other related responsible party must meet the legal criteria for negligence that includes:
- Duty of care: The driver had a duty to exercise a reasonable amount of care to ensure the victim’s safety.
- Breach of duty: Through an act of omission or a willful act, the driver breached their duty of care, putting the victim in danger.
- Causation: The driver’s breach of duty caused the victim’s injuries.
- Damages: The victim’s injuries resulted in significant physical, emotional, or mental damages.
Federal regulations require tractor-trailer trucks to carry various levels of insurance coverage, based on the transported cargo. The coverage amount required depends on what type of freight is being hauled and where its beginning and ending destination. At-fault states require a truck driver’s insurance company to determine liability for the accident, and the at-fault party’s carrier must pay for the victims’ damages. Even after liability has been determined, insurance companies may not like to pay more than the absolute minimum of the policy coverage. They might try to undervalue your injuries so they can keep your settlement amount low. A truck accident attorney at The Cooper Law Firm in Texas can communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf to fight for just compensation. If your damages surpass the maximum coverage that the insurance policy allows, you could pursue further compensation from the individual, or trucking company responsible for causing the accident.
Injuries stemming from truck accidents may include wrongful death claims, brain and spine injuries that could lead to paralysis, and amputations that cause expensive long term medical costs and therapies. Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to fight for your rights. The laws and regulations related to the trucking industry can be difficult to understand, but the experienced semi-truck lawyer can assist you with any potential claim for damages resulting from a truck accident.
Elements that will increase the likelihood of damage recovery involve a commercial driver’s compliance with state and federal laws and specific trucking restrictions, determination of fault, and the extent of losses through personal injury and property damage. Contact legal counsel to assist with loss determination and legal action when necessary.
When fatal injury occurs in a trucking accident, family members, or legal representatives must file a wrongful death legal action within two years and a Texas wrongful death attorney in Fort Worth can assist with damage valuations and timelines relevant to each case. Compensation may cover medical expenses incurred up to the time of death, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
Competent legal counsel at the Cooper Law Firm can objectively speak on a Fort Worth truck accident victim’s behalf in a courtroom, and work toward damage recovery through communications with multiple insurance carriers of those individuals who share liability after a truck accident resulting in property damage, physical injury, or death. If you have suffered harm after a truck accident, or someone you love was hurt in a semi truck accident lawyer Arlington and Fort Worth Texas, and you think the driver may have been under the influence of drugs, or alcohol, you may have a strong case for damages to pay for accident-related medical bills, current and future lost wages, and pain and suffering
Cooper Law Firm
N. Eric Cooper
Address: Arlington, TX
Telephone ; (903) 297-0037
Toll-Free: 1-855-297-HURT (4878)
Facsimile: (903) 236-0035