Corpus Christi Truck Accident Lawyers
Commercial trucks and truckers often travel thousands of miles in order to complete their jobs. Whether they are carrying machinery, deliveries, or any other kind of large load, these trucks must be able to get to their destination safely. The significant mileage placed on these vehicles as well as the often extremely heavy loads they carry can create a serious strain on the vehicle. Without proper maintenance and safety inspections, it is easy for a large truck to fall into disrepair and cause a serious accident. Truck malfunctions or defects are hazardous not only to the truck driver but also to all other drivers on the road. Accidents between a truck and other vehicles may cause serious injuries, such as broken bones, concussion, brain injury, paralysis, and even death.
Trucking companies have a duty to keep their vehicles in safe driving condition, and when they fail to do so, it endangers many innocent people. This form of negligence is unacceptable, and you should not have to pay the consequences. In addition, if truck drivers fail to observe the proper safety protocols, take the correct number of breaks, or fail to obey the rules of the road, accidents may occur. As drivers who share the road with large trucks, we have a right to expect that the drivers and the companies that employ them are following established safety guidelines to keep everyone on the road safe.
Though nothing can make up for the suffering you’ve experienced because of a trucking accident, the dedicated attorneys at Brunkenhoefer, P.C. Injury Attorneys can help you fight for the monetary compensation you may need to move forward. If you’ve found yourself financially struggling because of a trucking accident, you may have legal options to recover some or all of the costs of the crash. We believe that you should not have to go into crippling debt because of someone else’s error. Our legal team is ready to fight to get you the damages you deserve.
Common Truck Defects and Malfunctions
Across the United States, there are an estimated 15.5 million commercial trucks on the road. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of fatal trucking accidents increased by 10%, from 4,251 fatal trucking accidents to 4,657. These statistics are shockingly high and new regulations have been put in place in an attempt to make truck driving safer. However, many of these accidents are not caused by poor driving practices but instead stem from defective or malfunctioning parts of the vehicle. Some of the most common defects and malfunctions include:
- Brake malfunction
- Tire defects
These problems can be detected and solved during routine maintenance checks. However, when these precautions are neglected, the risk of equipment failure and a disastrous malfunction is greatly increased.
The commercial trucking industry allows us to move large amounts of goods all across the country, and the more things you can pack into a truck, the less it costs to move each item. This motivates companies to pack these trucks as full as possible in order to maximize the value of making a trip. Whether or not the truck can handle hauling this packed payload it is a completely different story. Trucks can only carry so much weight, and if this weight limit is exceeded, these trucks can become serious hazards to other drivers, as well as sources of tremendous liability in the event of a truck accident.
The Brunkenhoefer, P.C. Injury Attorneys is dedicated to protecting the rights of those who are injured in trucking accidents. We understand the emotional strain and turmoil you are likely experiencing after being injured, and our Corpus Christi truck accident attorneys are dedicated to seeking justice on your behalf. We are ready to help you anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day because we understand that injuries can happen anywhere at any time. We firmly believe in full and open communication with our clients as just the first step to superior client service and a satisfactory outcome to your case.
Why are Overloaded Trucks So Dangerous?
Commercial trucks are designed to carry a large cargo load, but as with all mechanical devices, they do have their limits. Overloading a truck can cause a number of critical systems to fail under the added stress, which can lead to a sudden increase in the probability of an accident.
Some systems that can fail on an overloaded truck include:
Additionally, even if nothing were to fail, an overloaded truck can carry a lot more force and momentum, which can itself be dangerous. If a truck is too heavy, it carries an increased risk of rolling over if it takes a turn too fast or too sharp. Likewise, a truck that is too heavy will not be able to stop nearly as well and could cause an accident by being unable to brake in the event of an emergency halt.
Truck Accident Statistics
Truck accidents are on the rise. They were the cause of 3,660 motor vehicle accident deaths in 2014 alone, and by 2030 truck accidents are expected to be the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. The main issue with truck accidents is that, because of the larger size and weight of the truck, the people in the smaller vehicle that the truck collides with are much more vulnerable. Trucks (meaning cement trucks, coal trucks, 18-wheelers, and buses), can weigh up to 20-30 times as much as a standard passenger vehicle, and because of this it takes them between 20 and 40 percent longer to come to a complete stop. In fact, if a car and a tractor-trailer are driving at 40 miles per hour and break at the same time, the tractor-trailer will travel an extra 45 feet before stopping. This issue is especially relevant when driving during any type of weather– rain, hail, snow, or any other condition when the roads are especially slippery, and it can be the difference between life and death for some accidents.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, 4,102 people died in large truck crashes in 2017. 52% more truck drivers died in these accidents than in 2009, and 30% more people died overall. In terms of road type, 1,297 (32%) of deaths from large truck accidents occurred on interstates and freeways, 2,132 (52%) of deaths occurred on other major roads, and 616 (15%) of deaths were on minor roads. Additionally, only 30% of deaths in car accidents not involving large trucks happened between the hours of 6:00 am and 3:00 pm, while 49% of deaths in large truck accidents in 2017 occurred between those hours.
One way to show how much more dangerous truck accidents are is to look at how common it is for a death to occur if the vehicle rolls over as a result of the crash. 48% of large trucks that rolled over in 2017 resulted in a fatality, whereas only 45% of SUVs, 41% of pickups, and 22% of cars had the same result. It’s also important to note that it is much less common for alcohol to be a factor in fatal crashes involving large trucks, but it’s one of the most common causes of passenger vehicle car accidents. In fact, 29% of drivers drivers who suffered fatal injuries in passenger vehicle accidents in 2017 were found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.08, the legal limit for driving. That same year, only 4% of truck drivers who suffered fatal injuries had a BAC over the legal limit. Despite this, there are still overall higher rates of fatalities in truck accidents, which proves just how dangerous they can be.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study, there are several other factors that show that when drivers aren’t paying complete attention or there are issues with the truck, it can make an already dangerous driving situation even worse. Some of these factors include being fatigued or overly tired, being under pressure, being unfamiliar with your route or location, driving aggressively, being sick, being under the influence of alcohol or other substances, and having tire or brake problems.
Though many of these factors are mistakes or mechanical issues that drivers don’t do on purpose, it’s important for them to actively work to prevent them from happening. Statistics have shown that driving a large truck, and even just driving on the road near one, puts people in more danger than if we only drove standard-sized vehicles. Because of this, it’s important to hold people accountable for their driving so that they are not a danger to themselves and others. Due to the excessive damage that can occur in large truck accidents, they can result in very large settlements. In fact, semi-truck accidents can cost up to $20 billion each year in settlements, with some of these going to the families of deceased drivers, some going to pay for damages, and some going towards helping those who suffer a decreased quality of life or permanent disabilities as a result of the accident. If you were injured in a devastating large truck accident, don’t just be a statistic. Make sure that the driver who injured you pays for their mistakes, which will help you with your recovery and will help ensure that they don’t make the same mistake again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Following an accident with a large truck or 18-wheeler, you undoubtedly have questions about the process, what to do next, and what type of compensation you may be entitled to. We have provided the following answers to some frequently asked questions to try to help you. Ultimately, the best decision is to call us at (361) 888-8808 to discuss the specifics of your case.
What type of 18-wheeler accident cases do you handle?
Our experienced attorneys have handled a wide spectrum of truck accident cases for individuals in Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas. Accidents on our busy roadways are common, and they can be especially devastating if they involve a large truck. Most commonly, accidents are caused by:
- Negligence or mistakes on the part of the truck driver
- Improper maintenance or failure to maintain the truck
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Employer negligence
- Fatigued or over-scheduled drivers
- Dangerous or improperly maintained roads
- Improper packing or overloading of the cargo
There are countless ways an accident can occur, so if you were hurt due to one of the reasons listed above or any other reason, be sure to contact an experienced truck accident attorney today.
What type of compensation might I expect from my case?
Drivers who have been hurt in an accident with a truck may experience devastating injuries as a result of the accident. Paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and other serious injuries can result in the loss of the ability to work and support oneself and one’s family. We will aggressively seek to secure the fair and just compensation you deserve for your claim, including (but not limited to), medical bills and expenses, loss of future wages or earnings, therapy costs, and additional pain and suffering. Because the specific details and value of each case is different, we cannot tell you what compensation you are owed without talking to you about the accident. That’s why it is so important to call us before the time runs out on your claim.
Why Should I Hire An Attorney?
Trucking companies and the companies they work for often have vast resources and an obvious self-interest to protect their profits. This means that as you lie in the hospital recovering from the accident, they may be working to conceal evidence and diminish your claim. By hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer like Brunkenhoefer, P.C. Injury Attorneys, you can take the time you need to recover while we investigate the accident, gather the evidence needed to make a compelling case, and fight to recover the compensation you so justly deserve.
Contact a Corpus Christi Truck Defect or Malfunction Attorney
An accident involving a commercial truck can be devastating for everyone involved. You and your loved ones may be facing a significant financial burden due to medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and time away from work during recovery. You should not have to suffer these losses due to another person’s negligence. The Corpus Christi 18-wheeler accident lawyers at Brunkenhoefer, P.C. Injury Attorneys will help you understand your rights and what steps you can take next. You may even be entitled to compensation to help you through this hardship. At Brunkenhoefer, P.C. Injury Attorneys, we have the experience and the resources to take on the large trucking companies and the companies they work with. We are not afraid to challenge the large insurance companies that might try to deny or reduce your claim. When you hire us, we will let you focus on what is most important to you: your recovery and your family, and we will handle the legal process on your behalf. To discuss your case, contact us at (361) 888-8808 today.