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Truck Accident Lawyer 

Crashes involving 18-wheeler trucks and other commercial vehicles often result in catastrophic injuries or even death due to the size and weight of the vehicles involved.

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Semi-Truck Accident Injury Attorney

Every day, tens of thousands of large commercial trucks and 18-wheelers crisscross the streets and highways of Texas and New Mexico. These hulking vehicles carry tons of cargo and large amounts of fuel and must share the road with much smaller passenger vehicles. Safely driving a truck requires more attention, skill, and training than operating a car. Like other drivers, however, truck drivers often drive recklessly, violate safety laws and regulations, or engage in other dangerous conduct while behind the wheel. Trucking companies more focused on profits than people may push their drivers to stay on the road too long or skip needed inspections or repairs on their rigs to save a few dollars.

When that happens, and a semi-truck collides with a car or other passenger vehicle, the truck’s size and speed usually produce a tragic outcome. Car drivers and passengers are left with life-changing injuries, or families are overwhelmed with shock and grief over the sudden and avoidable loss of a loved one.

At Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers, we understand how tragic truck accidents can be. We have seen victims and their families struggle with the day-to-day and long-term practical, physical, financial, and emotional fallouts of truck crashes. We hear the questions and feel the dismay and confusion of those who don’t know what to do or where to turn for help after a big-rig accident upends their lives.

That is why our attorneys fight so tirelessly to get compensation and justice for the pain and loss caused by negligent truck drivers or unscrupulous commercial trucking companies. Our Texas and New Mexico truck accident attorneys have the dedication and fortitude to stand up to the efforts and tactics truck companies and their insurers use to avoid responsibility for their misconduct. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to fully discover how and why an accident happened and a comprehensive understanding of the complex web of laws and regulations that play a critical role in truck accident lawsuits. Combining personal commitment and forceful advocacy, the truck accident attorneys of Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers get our clients the compensation and accountability they deserve.

Truck Accidents Kill Thousands of Americans Every Year – and Everywhere

Catastrophic injuries and fatalities caused by truck crashes are all too common – and often completely avoidable. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 4,014 people died in large truck crashes in 2020. Fifteen percent of these fatalities were truck occupants, 68 percent were in cars and other passenger vehicles, and 16 percent were pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists.  In 2019, 538,000 large trucks (gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds) were involved in traffic crashes in the U.S. and at least 104,000 of those accidents involved at least one serious injury, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In Texas, 658 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2019, far more than any other state, the NHTSA reports. Seventy-four trucks in New Mexico were involved in deadly accidents that same year.

Causes and Types of Truck Accidents

18-wheeler crashes happen for a wide range of reasons, including many factors that lead to car accidents. On top of those issues, many truck accidents also involve failures to comply with or the deliberate flaunting of specific federal safety laws and regulations.

Common mistakes or acts of truck driver negligence that lead to semi-truck crashes include:

    • Overloaded trucks
    • Tailgating
    • Hours of service violations and fatigue
    • Driver distraction
    • Speeding
    • Drug and alcohol abuse
    • Falsified log records
    • Unlicensed and untrained drivers
    • Road rage

But it is not just negligence or reckless driving that leads to truck accidents. A study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that approximately 10 percent of all large truck crashes were caused primarily by problems with the trucks or trailers themselves. The tragedy is that many of these problems could have and should have been discovered and fixed if the truck companies had followed the law by properly inspecting, maintaining, and repairing the trucks.

As outlined in the FMCSA study, the most common vehicle and mechanical problems found in semi-truck crashes include:

    • Tire/wheel failure
    • Steering failure
    • Brake failure
    • Transmission or engine failure
    • Suspension failure
    • Cargo shift
    • Trailer attachment failure
    • Body, door, or hood failure
    • Degraded braking capability

Any of these issues can lead to a tragic crash, such as those involving:

    • Rollovers
    • Jackknifed trucks
    • Rear-end collisions
    • Underride accidents
    • Explosions of fuel or flammable cargo

Types of Truck Accident Injuries

Given the size and velocity of 18-wheelers, their damage to cars and passenger vehicle occupants is rarely minor and frequently catastrophic. Common truck accident injuries include:

    • Traumatic brain injuries
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Head and neck injuries
    • Burns and disfigurement
    • Broken bones
    • Lost limbs
    • Organ damage
    • Death

Severe truck accident injuries may never fully heal, and life may never return to how it once was. Surgeries, long-term hospitalization, and years of rehabilitation can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars that even the best health insurance may not cover. Couple these incomprehensible costs with lost income, and the strain can overwhelm even the most resilient families.

The truck accident attorneys at Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers provide constant support for these families, helping them navigate and overcome challenges beyond the four walls of a courtroom. Client well-being is always our focus, and getting them the maximum compensation to help them heal is always our goal.

The Experience and Tenacity Needed in Complex Truck Accident Lawsuits

Holding truck drivers and trucking companies responsible for their negligence is no easy task. Complex issues and laws that aren’t involved in car accidents require lawyers who understand these matters and have the experience to build the strongest possible case. Companies and insurers determined to avoid paying claims need to know they are up against attorneys prepared to take a case all the way through trial. When companies try to hide their misconduct through nefarious means, we know how to expose their wrongdoing and hold them accountable.

Three main differences distinguish truck accident lawsuits from car accident cases:

  1. Federal Truck Regulations – Commercial carriers and their drivers must comply with a long list of strict safety regulations enforced by the FMCSA under federal law. When they fail to do so, those breaches of the law can constitute critical evidence of negligence in a truck crash injury lawsuit. For example, truck drivers must comply with specific hours of service rules restricting how long they can be behind the wheel. Carriers, owners, and operators must also conduct regular safety inspections and maintenance. Aware of severe consequences and penalties if authorities discover them breaking safety rules, drivers and carriers may try to cover up violations by falsifying records or engaging in other types of fraud or concealment. We know the applicable regulations, how companies break them, and how to expose any efforts to hide misconduct.
  2. Vicarious Liability – Vicarious liability refers to an employer’s responsibility for an employee’s negligence committed within the scope of doing their job. This means that even if a driver’s recklessness or negligence caused a crash, the trucking company that employed the driver might also be liable for injuries and losses. Since trucking companies carry the liability insurance policies needed to cover the costs and damages arising from catastrophic injuries, ensuring they are held responsible can be the key to obtaining needed compensation.
  3. Multiparty Litigation – Big-rig accident lawsuits often involve multiple defendants, including the driver and their employer, the truck maintenance company, equipment and part manufacturers, and others. Many of these defendants may also be located far from the site of the accident or residence of the injured victim, requiring proceedings or efforts in far-flung jurisdictions.

No matter where a truck accident occurs and where the parties responsible are found, Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers have the ability and determination to pursue and obtain the compensation our clients deserve.

Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers: Texas and New Mexico Truck Accident Attorneys

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a semi-truck accident, the Texas and New Mexico truck accident lawyers at Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers welcome the opportunity to help you through this difficult time. To arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys at our offices in Lubbock, El Paso, Odessa, Austin, or Albuquerque, please contact us at 866-492-2509.

 

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident regardless of where you live, we will be happy to evaluate your potential case through a free consultation.

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    Act Quickly

    Because truck wreck cases can be complex, gathering as much evidence as possible early on is critically important. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck wreck, the most important thing you can do is quickly contact a personal injury attorney who has experience with truck wrecks. Time is of the essence. Critical evidence disappears, is deleted, or is otherwise unavailable within days of the crash. This includes tire skid marks, the truck driver’s cell phone information, vehicle inspections and more. Hiring an attorney as soon as possible allows the attorney to quickly preserve evidence, maximizing the value of your case and the likelihood of a positive outcome.

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    "Glasheen Valles and Inderman was the best choice by far." - Eleana Flores

    Unsurpassed Experience

    The semi-truck injury attorneys at Glasheen, Valles & Inderman have experts to inspect trucks involved in accidents. In many cases, the trucks have service violations such as brakes that are out of adjustment. Many trucks now have GPS devices that record the movement of the trucks, so that we can compare the truck’s movements to the logbooks. We can sometimes also determine the speed of the truck from this GPS information or from a download of the truck’s airbag control module, or ACM. 

    The ACM contains a wealth of valuable information like whether cruise control was engaged, whether the driver turned the steering wheel before the crash, whether the brakes were applied, and more. Our firm also has cell phone experts that can download the truck driver’s cell phone usage history, including calls, texts, and internet use. This data can be critical in proving the truck driver was distracted at the time of the crash.


    Federal Law

    In addition to the common law negligence principles, the operation of commercial trucks is governed by federal rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Transportation, and in some cases other federal agencies as well. DOT rules impose strict pre-employment screening requirements and ongoing drug testing requirements. They also require truck drivers to thoroughly inspect their vehicles before and after their shifts and document problems requiring attention.

    They impose maximum hours of service to reduce the likelihood that a fatigued driver will get behind the wheel, and also impose a variety of other placarding and record-keeping requirements. Federal regulations also prohibit commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving, which is defined as “manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic device.” Some companies are unaware of all of the rules and regulations that apply to them and others ignore them. Again, the results can be catastrophic.

    Log Books

    In many truck wreck cases, we also discover that truck drivers have falsified their logbooks in order to operate outside the maximum hours of service allowed under DOT Regulations. Trucking companies sometimes create incentive programs that give their drivers an incentive to break the law by driving faster or for more hours than are allowed by law.

    Regardless of how it occurs, where truck wrecks result from negligence, the law provides a basis for you to recover just compensation for your losses. Those losses may include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, future earnings potential damages, and other compensation.


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    Our Team is Here to Help

    Below is a list of some of the most-frequently-asked questions by our clients and prospective clients. If you still have any questions, feel free to contact us.

    • Why should I hire an attorney?

      Potential defendants are usually covered by insurance. The insurance companies are notified immediately when an accident occurs, and they usually hire attorneys and expert witnesses to investigate the claim. It is important that witnesses be interviewed as soon as possible and evidence be preserved. Witnesses will often be more difficult to locate or will have a poor memory if they are interviewed much later after the accident has occurred. Evidence such as machinery parts or skid marks on the highway will disappear unless preserved quickly. Insurance companies have insurance adjusters who will contact you and try to be friendly. You should not trust the statements that insurance adjusters make to you. They are not working for you and will sometimes make misleading statements in an effort to trick you into resolving your case. Insurance adjusters also might record your conversations with them and use your statements against you in order to try to save money for the insurance companies.

      The main thing we try to impress upon people is that it’s never too early to talk to an attorney, and it’s always too late. By that we mean that speaking with an attorney very soon after a crash or other accident in no way will harm you. Along the same lines, the longer you try to handle a claim on your own or delay hiring competent counsel, irreparable damage can be done in the form of recorded statements given to the insurance companies and evidence not being preserved. There is no risk or fee for speaking with an attorney and arranging an initial consultation.

    • How and when do I pay for a personal injury attorney?

      Most personal injury attorneys work on what is called a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay the attorney only if and when the attorney has successfully made a recovery in your case, either by settlement or by winning a jury trial. Our philosophy is that clients have enough to worry about, so clients at Glasheen, Valles & Inderman never pay us a dime out of their pockets directly; when you’re case is finished, the insurance company sends a check to our law firm, we take our percentage fee from that check, and send the remainder to the client.

      In the rare event we are unable to make a recovery on your case, you still don’t pay us a dime, and that even includes case costs, court costs, expert fees, and any advances. There is truly zero risk in hiring a personal injury law firm like Glasheen, Valles & Inderman.

    • What is my claim worth?

      Personal injury claims are usually resolved by either settlement or by a jury. When a case is settled, it is the client’s decision of whether or not to accept a settlement offer. The lawyer will advise the client as to the potential value of the claim. Lawyers evaluate the potential value of a claim by predicting what a jury would do based on experience with similar claims.A jury can consider all sorts of damages in a personal injury case including medical expenses in the past and in the future, loss of earnings in the past and in the future as a result of the injury, physical pain and mental anguish in the past and in the future, compensation for impairment – that is loss of use, and disfigurement damages. The jury has discretion in awarding the sums. We can give you advice on the value of your claim based on our experience with some of our claims and similar jury results.

    • How long will my claim take to resolve?

      The time it takes to resolve a personal injury claim depends very much on the type of case. We believe that it is important to prosecute claims as quickly and efficiently as possible. We usually like to have our client finish with their medical treatment so that we can fully and properly evaluate their injuries before we attempt to settle the claim. Sometimes we can assist a client with making advances to cover lost wages or living expenses while the client is waiting for the case to be resolved. Typically, automobile accident cases with fairly minor injuries can be resolved in about six months. More serious accident cases usually take anywhere from six months up to a year and a half or longer.