Allen Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer
The most deadly truck accidents often involve tractor-trailers. In 2019, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recorded 39,193 crashes involving commercial vehicles like tractor-trailers. This includes 1,471 serious injuries and 613 fatalities.
In a truck accident involving a tractor-trailer, you and your passengers could be badly hurt. Tractor-trailer injuries can require extensive surgery and years of rehabilitation. In some cases, victims become permanently disabled. Many families struggle to pay medical bills associated with tractor-trailer accidents.
That’s why you deserve compensation if you’ve been in a tractor-trailer accident. A personal injury settlement can make your recovery easier. It can help pay your medical bills, replace damaged property, and cover lost wages. Taking legal action after a tractor-trailer accident can help your family get back on its feet.
So don’t wait. Call (469) 998-4069 for a 100% free consultation with an Allen, TX accident lawyer. Our lawyers will develop a custom legal strategy for your tractor-trailer accident case. We’ll help you win the compensation you may be owed. If we don’t, you won’t be billed for our services.
What Is a Tractor-Trailer and Why Are They So Dangerous?
A tractor-trailer is a large commercial truck used to haul freight. People often refer to these vehicles as semi-trucks. However, there is technically a difference between a semi-truck and a tractor-trailer:
- The term “semi” refers to the front of the truck, which includes the cab and the engine.
- “Tractor-trailer” describes both the semi and the long trailer connected to it.
Other common local lingo includes “big rig” and “18-wheeler.” No matter what you call them, there’s no mistaking a tractor-trailer when it’s roaring down the highway.
Size is one of the main reasons why tractor-trailers are so dangerous. On average, a tractor-trailer is 70 feet long. They can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo. That’s almost 20 times larger than the average car.
Even a slow-moving tractor-trailer could inflict serious damage. In an accident, the impact force is measured by calculating the mass (or weight) of a vehicle times its acceleration. Using this formula, we can demonstrate the danger of a tractor-trailer using the following examples.
- Example A: You are in an accident involving an average midsize car, which weighs around 3,300 pounds. This car is traveling 60 mph at the moment of impact. The impact force in this example is 198,000 Newtons (a unit used to measure impact force).
- Example B: In this scenario, a tractor-trailer weighing 80,000 pounds hits your car. The tractor-trailer is traveling 20 mph. However, despite this slower speed, the impact force at the time of the accident is still 800,000 Newtons.
The examples above illustrate why tractor-trailer accidents are often fatal. Despite traveling at only one-third of the speed of the car in Example A, the tractor-trailer causes over four times the impact force.
If a tractor-trailer accident injures you, it can significantly alter your life. Tractor-trailer accident injuries often require surgery, physical therapy, and lifelong medical care. Accident victims often face high medical bills. Many victims cannot return to work and may struggle to lead a normal life.
Tractor-trailer accident injuries include head injuries (such as traumatic brain injury), neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal bleeding and organ damage, broken bones, cuts, bruises, and burns. Psychological trauma is also relatively common. Drivers in tractor-trailer accidents may suffer from PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health issues in the aftermath of a collision.
What Causes Tractor-Trailer Accidents?
Tractor-trailer accidents can have multiple causes. Often, these accidents occur due to driver negligence or reckless driving. In some scenarios, the driver isn’t directly at fault. They may also share liability with a third-party, such as their employer.
By understanding what causes tractor-trailer accidents, you can help determine liability. Our Allen, TX accident lawyers can also assist with this. Common causes of tractor-trailer accidents include:
Mechanical failure causes tractor-trailer accidents when the truck hasn’t been well-maintained or repaired. Companies that operate tractor-trailers are required to perform regular maintenance on their fleet. However, some trucking companies may cut corners.
If engine problems, bad brakes, or other mechanical failures cause an accident, the driver’s employer will be liable. After an accident, be sure to collect the truck driver’s employer information.
Due to their size, tractor-trailers have much larger blind spots than normal cars. Many accidents occur because the truck driver can’t see another vehicle. The driver’s blind spot extends to about 30 feet behind their trailer. They also have blind spots directly in front of the cab and on both sides of the tractor-trailer.
As a general rule, always use caution when passing a tractor-trailer. If you can’t see the driver in their rearview or side-view mirrors, they can’t see you.
Tractor-trailers can haul anything, from vegetables to heavy industrial supplies. However, even harmless cargo can still cause a severe accident. Fallen cargo can inflict damage directly onto other cars. It also causes accidents when other drivers swerve or brake to avoid hitting the cargo.
Fallen cargo usually occurs as a result of mechanical failure or negligence. If the tractor-trailer’s doors are not properly secured, or if they break as a result of poor maintenance, the cargo can come loose when the truck accelerates. In these accidents, the driver may share liability with their employer or a third-party shipping company.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Heavy rain, snow, ice, and fog can contribute to tractor-trailer accidents. In bad weather, a driver may experience reduced visibility. They may also experience difficulty controlling their vehicle. For example, a wet or icy road can cause a truck’s brakes to malfunction.
Other hazardous road conditions that cause tractor-trailer accidents include potholes, cracks, missing road signs, and other infrastructure problems. Fallen tree branches or other obstructions can also cause accidents.
Fatigued Driving and Driving Under the Influence
Tractor-trailer drivers are professionals who require special training and licensing. However, they are still prone to human error. Fatigued driving and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause serious accidents. These mistakes often have deadly consequences.
If you have been in a tractor-trailer accident, reach out today for your free legal consultation. Dial (469) 998-4069 or use our online contact form to speak with a tractor-trailer accident lawyer.