Fort Worth 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer

Have You Been Injured in an 18 Wheeler Accident?

It’s hard to imagine many roadway events scarier than being hit by an 80,000lb 18-wheeler vehicle, but this is the reality for over 26,000 Texans injured by large truck crashes each year.

Suffering any type of motor vehicle accident can be frightening and overwhelming, but collisions with commercial fleet vehicles present a particular set of challenges to obtaining your rightful settlement. Trucking companies have robust legal and insurance resources at their fingertips, not to mention experience protecting their interests in the aftermath of an accident.

As an individual simply working to heal your injuries and put your life back together following a serious truck collision, you may find that you need the help of a specialized accident attorney. Thompson Law has the experience, expertise, and tenacity to stand up to big companies and help you collect your rightful compensation. Call us today to put Thompson Law to work for you.

Semi Truck Accident Lawyer

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The Fast Facts:

18 Wheeler Realities and Risks

  • Semi-trucks, by Texas licensure standards, are categorized as any vehicle weighing between 26,001 and 80,000 pounds, spread over 18 conventional wheels.
  • There were 468 fatal Truck-Trailer crashes in Texas in 2017, and 4862 nationwide, meaning Texas contributed 9.6% of the total for that year.  
  • According to the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) most recent statistics (2015) there are 2,892,218 registered tractor trailers in the United States.  
  • After gaining a Texas Driver license, you can take your Commercial Driver License (CDL) test in just 14 days after receiving your Commercial Learner Permit (CPL). A Class A CDL is what allows operation of an 18 wheeler.  
  • The US’s largest trucking company, UPS, reported it’s 2018 revenue at $71.861 billion. 
  • The Teamsters Union, which includes truck drivers, was founded over 100 years ago and is the 4th largest labor union.

18 Wheeler Crashes

  • Driver Fatigue:  Long hours, limited or off-cycle sleep opportunities, and physically demanding onload/offload contribute to physically and mentally tired drivers.
  • Cargo Issues:  Overweight, unbalance, improperly loaded cargo can lead to leaks, spills, or handling difficulties.
  • Road Time Limits: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates Hours of Service that truck drivers may be on the road. These mandated limits may be higher than you think, including a stipulation that property-carrying drivers are only required to take a break after their 14th consecutive hour of driving.
  • Mechanical: Before antilock brakes were required, starting in 1997, they were a main cause of tractor trailer accidents, particularly jackknifing.
  • Treacherous Roads:  Inclement weather, icy roads, and low visibility are all complicating factors for every vehicle, but never so much so as with semis, which much longer amounts of time to stop or change course.

Causes of Semi-Trailer Collisions

Big Rig trucks can be notoriously dangerous on the road. Their size, weight, and handling ability make them exceedingly precarious when they are not being operated with the driver’s full attention and uncompromised ability. Despite what we know about the damage these 18 wheelers can cause when things go wrong, modern expectations of long-haul drivers can be extremely demanding, forcing the owner-operators and employees who drive these vehicles to cut corners in order to meet tight timetables and cover as much mileage as possible.

Types of Tractor Trailer Crashes

  • Jackknife: When the rear wheels of the trailer lock up and the trailer swings to create a sharp angle with the truck.
  • Rear End: Due to the weight of a trailer and cargo, these trucks are much harder to stop than cars, SUVs, or other standard vehicles.
  • Broadside: Also called a T-bone collision, one automobile collides with the side panel of another.
  • Sideswipe: This type of impact occurs commonly with large trucks that require wide turns.
  • Rollover: Since the requirement for antilock brakes went into effect, rollovers have surpassed jackknifing as the most dangerous semi accidents.
  • Head-On: Often due to fatigue or drowsiness resulting in lane wandering.
  • Single Vehicle: One tractor-trailer colliding with debris, stationary objects or going off the road, resulting in damage or injury.
  • Multi-Vehicle: One or more semi-trucks colliding with one or more vehicles or objects, and one of the deadliest forms of a vehicular collision.

As Fort Worth Grows, so Does the Need for 18 Wheelers

There are a lot of convenient benefits that we experience here at home as we transition to an increasingly delivery–based way of life. Subscription services now exist for almost any shopping need you can imagine, and with order-it-online culture comes an increase in shipping needs, and a lot more trucks on the road to deliver these items.  With one of the largest warehouses in the world here in Texas, and multiple Amazon distribution centers right here in Fort Worth, we have a front-row view of increasing trucking demands. With this increase, there has also been a surge in truck-related accidents in this area. Tarrant County has had more than 2,000 commercial vehicle crashes each year for the past 5 years. 2019 is already looking toward similar results with some serious and surprising accidents already on the books.

At Thompson Law

We provide 18 wheeler crash victims with dedicated and tenacious legal representation, ensuring that you get fair value for your claim. Our Fort Worth auto accident lawyer will build a strong case with supporting evidence so that you recover the money that you deserve.

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After an 18 Wheeler Accident

What to Do When You Have Been Hit by a Tractor Trailer

If there are serious injuries at the scene, the first thing to do is call 911 for emergency medical help. Emergency professionals such as EMS, police, and firefighters will direct the next steps to take care of people and property.

Recording events of the accident is extremely important to arm your Thompson Law team with the best information possible as they represent you in your claim. Take pictures, take down identification, and coordinate with emergency responders to make sure reports are generated.

Do not make a statement to any representatives from insurance companies or the companies associated with the fleet vehicle. Do not apologize to anyone involved in the crash, because even as a figure of speech this can be construed as an admission of guilt.

Leave the scene carefully by the instruction of the emergency professionals. As soon as you safely can, call Thompson Law for assistance with your next steps to rightful repair and recovery.

accident emergency

Resulting Injuries from 18 Wheeler Accidents

The size of these vehicles results in some of the most devastating and impactful damage that occurs in roadway accidents. Tractor-trailers cause catastrophic collisions frequently involving multiple vehicles. Common injuries from an 18 wheeler accident may be:

  • Whiplash, muscle injuries, sprains
  • Cuts, scratches, bruises
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries

The most important thing you can do following a serious 18 wheeler accident is to take care of your health. At Lion Law, we want every client to recover as fully as possible and receive the best compensation possible. Please feel free to reach out anytime 24/7 so that we can help you and yours after the accident.

Call for Your Free Consultation

(844) 308-8180

The Thompson Law Difference

If you have been hurt in an 18 wheeler accident, the time to call Thompson Law is right now! Your dedicated team will guide you through the process of seeking treatment, protect your interests in negotiations with at-fault parties, and go to battle for the compensation you deserve.

Don’t be afraid to stand up to the big trucking companies and insurance companies. After a truck wreck, you need an expert advocate and a tenacious attorney to have your back. Thompson Law is the team of truck accident lawyers you need.

Texas law limits the time to file a claim so reach out now to speak with one of our knowledgeable and compassionate representatives about your accident. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Thompson Law team (844) 308-8180 is here to help

18 Wheeler Accident FAQs

More 18 Wheeler Accident FAQs

Truck/18 Wheeler Accident

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Get medical treatment! Your health and safety are the most important thing, and your first priority should be seeking immediate attention from a hospital or doctor. Not sure that you’re injured or how serious your injury might be? You should still seek immediate medical attention if you are in a car accident, truck wreck or any other type of accident. 

Getting immediate medical treatment does two things: First, it makes sure that any injuries you sustained are properly diagnosed and treated and second, it helps eliminate any doubt that your injuries were caused by the accident. Often, the shock and adrenaline of an accident can mask symptoms of injury, but making the mistake to skip getting checked out can have serious consequences. By seeking prompt medical treatment, you protect both your health and your ability to seek compensation for medical bills and time off work, with the help of your attorney. 

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A competent and skilled personal injury lawyer is almost always necessary to get full and fair compensation for injuries you have sustained in an accident. Most defendants, whether individual drivers or commercial vehicle operators, are covered by liability insurance. Those insurance companies are not obligated to protect or take care of you. They are there to take care of the defendant (their customer) who caused your wreck or accident. 

An expert personal injury attorney should be able to help you not only force that insurance company to pay for the injuries and damages the defendant caused, but will also do their best to make sure that you are compensated for every category of damages you may be entitled to, some of which you may not even be aware of: medical bills, future surgical costs, time off work in the past or time you may have to take off in the future, as well as the pain, suffering, and impairment that many injured people experience. 

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The largest factor affecting your claim’s value is the severity or magnitude of your injuries. More severe injuries typically require more medical treatment. So it is essential to have all your injuries documented properly by seeking immediate treatment with doctors or hospitals, and continuing under the care and direction of your doctors as long as necessary to heal. Without prompt and consistent medical treatment and documentation, an injury claim becomes very difficult to pursue, let alone win. 

Of course, other factors an also have an impact, and each and every case is different. Were you injured in a commercial vehicle wreck or truck wreck that totaled your car, or was it a fender bender that did very little damage? Was the other driver intoxicated or drunk, or speeding? A multitude of factors may play into your claim’s overall likely value. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to visit with you and talk to you more specifically about factors which may affect your particular claim.  

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The real question here is how soon should you contact a personal injury attorney, and the answer is as soon as possible! In Texas, you generally have two (2) years to file a personal injury claim before it is barred by the statute of limitations. However, other states may have different time limits, and you may not always be able to tell on your own which state’s limitations apply to your case! The safest course of action for anybody injured in a car wreck, truck wreck, slip and fall, or any other type of case, is to immediately consult with a personal injury attorney in your area.   

This will help you make sure that your claim will not miss the applicable limitations period. But second, and just as importantly, it will make sure that the right investigations are conducted and the right steps are taken to preserve the evidence, photos, witness statements, and records needed to successfully pursue your claim in court, should that become necessary. 

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If you are injured in a hit-and-run wreck (and are unable to locate the driver) or are hurt in a collision where the other driver does not have insurance, you are not necessarily out of options in terms of financial recovery. You may still be able to recover for your personal injuries if your own policy has Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage or Personal Injury Protection (PIP). It’s a good idea to contact your insurance company to confirm what types of coverage you have on your policy before an accident, but if you have been hit be sure to ask these questions before finalizing your claim request. Even if you do not have UM or PIP, the attorneys and investigators at Thompson Law can work to track down the other driver in a hit-and-run accident. To do this, we rely on witnesses who may have captured a photo of the car or license plate and/or available surveillance camera footage that might have captured the wreck.  

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If you are injured in an accident, the robust team of attorneys, paralegals and investigators at Thompson Law is ready to fight to help you get the money you deserve. Damages can include doctor and hospital bills, lost wages, property damage, and can include pain and suffering and even punitive damages in certain cases.  

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Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage can help save the day if you are hit by an uninsured driver or if you are the victim in a hit-and-run collision. In short, UM coverage is an add-on coverage that drivers can add to their auto insurance policies that will protect them in the event that they are in an auto accident with a driver who either does not have insurance or cannot be located. You can contact your insurance provider to confirm whether your policy includes UM. If you do not have this coverage, the personal injury attorneys at Thompson Law recommend that you consider adding UM to your auto insurance policy today. 

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Knowing how comparative negligence works is vital if you live in a state that uses it. In simple terms, comparative negligence implies both drivers can share fault for an accident, but one driver can be more at fault than the other. For example, you are texting while driving when another driver runs a stop sign and hits your car.

A jury finds that the driver who ran the stop sign is 80 percent at fault, but they believe you would have had a better chance of avoiding the accident if you were not texting at the time. They find you 20 percent at fault. You can only collect enough compensation to cover the other driver’s fault. In this case, you would get $8,000 if the jury thinks your case is worth $10,000.

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Having the police respond to the accident scene is of paramount importance. Make sure that YOU call them and insist that they come and investigate the accident. When the police arrive, they will separate the drivers and witnesses from one another and take statements from everyone involved. Be cooperative, detailed, and firm in describing the accident. The investigating officer will usually determine fault based upon these statements, and it is essential that your version of the events is heard and believed. If you think that you may be injured, make that clear to the officer. If an ambulance or other medical professionals arrive on scene, get checked out. If not, make plans to visit an emergency room or doctor soon after you leave the scene. Before you do leave for this care, the officer will provide you with a report number and their contact information. Make sure this information is safely saved, as it will be very important in any auto accident injury claim you may have.  

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Call an attorney. Your first instinct might be to call your insurance company, but it’s best to seek legal council first so you don’t accidentally admit guilt or take responsibility for the accident. In many cases your attorney will call the insurance company for you to prevent that from happening.

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Absolutely not. It’s important to leave the investigation to the professionals. They know exactly how to work a case to determine all of the facts and details.

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Typically, yes. If a family member is seriously injured or killed in an accident, or if the injured party is a minor child, then it may be appropriate under the law for a parent, spouse, relative, or legal guardian to file a claim or lawsuit on behalf of the injured or deceased party.  These types of claims are complex, and usually depend on the type of relationship involved, as well as the individual facts and circumstances of the injury. Calling the experienced personal injury attorneys at Thompson Law is step one to explore filing a legal claim on behalf of your loved one. 

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Even if you are partially to blame for a car accident, you may be able to recover some of your damages from the other party. Under Texas’s proportionate responsibility system (also known as comparative negligence), unless you as the claimant/plaintiff are determined more than 51% at fault, you may recover legal damages that are reduced by the percentage you are determined at fault. For example, if you are determined to be 30% at fault, you can recover 70% of your damages from the other responsible party (you can’t recover the other 30% because that was the amount of liability that was determined to lie with you). The personal injury attorneys at Thompson Law can help you navigate this proportionate responsibility system – so reach out online or call anytime for a free consultation.     

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If the other vehicle involved in your crash was an 18 wheeler or another commercial vehicle, call an attorney immediately. Companies who own commercial vehicles and 18 wheelers often have their own team of investigators who will arrive on the scene immediately working on the driver’s defense case. The sooner you involve an attorney of your own, the better your chances are of receiving compensation for your injuries and damages.

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Drivers of 18 wheelers and other commercial vehicles are held to a higher standard of driving. If they neglect to turn on their flashing lights when they’re on the side of the road, don’t move over far enough onto the shoulder, don’t properly secure their cargo, or don’t leave enough clearance when making a left turn, and in many other cases, the driver could be considered negligent. If you want to know if the driver of the 18 wheeler involved in your case was negligent, contact a personal injury attorney.

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No. They aren’t trying to help you. They’re trying to protect their drivers and reduce their costs. That’s why they have a team of lawyers ready to flock to the scene of any accident. Don’t accept any form of compensation until you talk to your attorney. Most victims of 18 wheeler crashes sustain more injuries than victims of normal crashes, and can receive higher compensation as a result. Don’t let them fool you into accepting a smaller payout for your injuries and damages. Your injuries could require years of medications and surgeries, and the company will try everything to avoid making huge payouts. Call your attorney and let them do the negotiating on your behalf.

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Many times it can be the fault of both the driver and the 18 wheeler company. Truck drivers can be at fault just like any other motorist for failing to follow the rules of the road. However, 18 wheeler companies and their employees have federal laws they are required to follow that govern things like how many consecutive hours of driving are allowable, minimum numbers of resting hours between jobs, when and how to do inspections, and so on. Also, the 18 wheeler companies have specific duties and responsibilities regarding training their drivers and supervising their work. When trucking companies refuse to follow standard rules, regulations, and practices regarding the commercial and transportation industry, people can get hurt and companies can be found at fault for contributing to or causing the collision through their irresponsible decisions. An experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer will know what violations to look for and how to hold both the driver and the company responsible for endangering the motoring public on the roads we all share.  

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If you or a family member are injured in an automobile accident, you cannot afford NOT to hire the very best attorney available. Thompson Law works on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that you only pay legal fees IF we win for you and AFTER your case is settled. We understand that legal fees upfront are simply too much to deal with after a serious accident where you are dealing with property damage repairs, medical bills, missed work and lost wages. The fact that you owe $0 upfront is an added bonus when you hire great legal representation at Thompson Law.  

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If you were injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, there is a good chance we can help you out. We will look at the facts of your accident, whether a car wreck, truck wreck, motorcycle accident, or on-the-job-injury and examine whatever reports or records are available. If we believe that you were injured and it was someone else’s fault, it is likely to be a case we can take. The more information and documentation you can give us about your accident and your injuries, the quicker we can evaluate your case and let you know. Give us a call or reach out online anytime! 

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The right personal injury attorney has three major characteristics: Excellent customer service, cutting edge technology, and a willingness to take cases and win at trial. Ask your potential attorney about the client experience they offer, what kind of technology they use to make your life easier, and when was the last time they took a case to jury trial. Asking these types of questions will give you guidance on what kind of experience you can expect as a client and what kind of results you can expect at the end of your case. Thompson Law, LLP has high ratings from clients for its emphasis on customer service, and its attorneys have achieved significant results on small, large, and complex cases alike. No matter if you have been involved in a minor car wreck or are dealing with catastrophic injuries from a rarer and more devastating event like a terrible workplace accident, dog bite, or an 18 wheeler wreck, Thompson Law Injury Lawyers can assist you.  

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Yes! Thompson Law is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide free consultations. If you have been injured in a truck wreck or car accident, hurt in a slip and fall incident, or otherwise injured from the negligence of another person or party, give us a call any time at 1-800-LION-LAW. We can speak to you over the phone, chat online through our website or social media outlets, or arrange an in-person meeting at your convenience. Our team is ready to help! 

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Thompson Law is available 24/7 to provide free consultations and to sign up new clients. We can sign you up over the phone or we can send one of our experienced licensed investigators to meet you at the hospital or at your home if you prefer. Whether you live in Arlington, Ft. Worth, El Paso, McAllen, or even outside of the state of Texas, we are always here to assist you and provide the resources you need at a difficult time. We do the hard work for you so that you can focus on healing from your injuries.  

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Let’s be honest: this isn’t a legal show on TV and your case will not settle in the next hour – or even tomorrow.  The true answer is: it depends.  We find that most cases settle within 7-10 months from date of incident; but the timeframe in your case could be shorter or longer depending on: the facts and circumstances of the accident; the length of time it takes you to complete medical treatment; and the character of the insurance company, or companies, involved in your case.  In the event that your case cannot settle pre-litigation and it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit, that process alone can take 1 to 2 years due to the court system and legal process necessary to prepare for trial.  But because so much of the timeline depends on the facts and circumstances of your unique case, call Thompson Law today to discuss. 

Thompson Law’s Guarantee

Thompson Law offers free case reviews to every potential client so we can help you determine the best legal approach to pursue. We receive no attorney fees and you pay no legal expenses unless you get compensated for your accident.

Thompson Law’s personal injury lawyers and their legal teams treat every client with respect, empathy, and compassion. We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, as every case is unique and different. Our firm won 10 of the top 50 settlements in Texas in 2020, including the 2nd and 3rd largest personal injury settlements in the State. We can help you, too.

State law limits the time to file a claim following a personal injury accident. If you have been injured, call now for the help you need.