Commercial Trucking /
18-Wheeler Accidents

Commercial Trucking /
18-Wheeler Accidents

A commercial trucking accident can cause catastrophic injuries or even death. Such tragedy can negatively alter the livelihood and well-being of not only the harmed individual(s) but also their families.

Trucking accidents are among the worst forms of accidents that unfortunately occur more frequently than people realize. As a matter a fact, trucking accidents are responsible for hundreds of injuries and deaths annually.

Semi-truck engines can weigh around 3,000 lbs due to the intended purpose of hauling approximately 80,000 lbs. The 18-wheeler must generate several thousand pounds of torque to be in standard operation which is expected to travel a million miles before an overhaul. Thus, the chance of colliding with one of these death machines is extremely high.

Trucks are prevalent on interstate highways, thus individuals who drive next to semi’s run a high risk of catastrophic injury or even death. Semi-trucks are prone to roll over, have a tire blowout, or a cargo collision. The most common causes for semi-truck collisions are:

  • Driver inattention;
  • Driver fatigue;
  • Driver error;
  • Improper training;
  • Improper maintenance;

18-wheelers or “semi-trucks” are regulated by their weight, time on the road and cargo.

The Dangers of Trucking Accidents

Trucking accidents are not only physically damaging, they can be fatal and can change one’s life forever. A general rule is that the amount of force a vehicle occupant experiences is strongly dependent on the size and speed of the vehicles involved.

Here is a list of some injuries that can occur from a trucking accident:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Spinal injuries
  • Extremity Injuries
  • Neck and back Injuries
  • Internal & External Bleeding
  • Heavy Lacerations
  • Whiplash
  • Decapitation
  • Loss of vision and/or hearing
  • Death

Determining Factors

Trucking accidents can be caused by a myriad of factors, the most common cause of accidents is can be found by some form of negligence. Meaning, someone messed up? At Ali Law Group PLLC, we conduct a detailed thorough investigation by immediately obtaining onboard data, any incident reports, all recorded footage, witness testimonies, road construction information, driver logs, hours of service logs, etc.. We hire experts to determine how the accident happened and degree of fault. Trucking accidents are more complex than other types of accidents for several reasons.

  • Multiple responsible parties;
  • Different standards and regulations than a traditional vehicle-to-vehicle collision;

Let’s break each one down, first with multiple responsible parties. Sometimes negligent acts can be due to a combination of multiple parties involved. For example, in addition to the truck driver, the company for which the driver works for at the time of the collision may equally be responsible under the legal theory called “respondeat superior”. This latin phrase means “let the master answer for the servant.” Other responsible parties include:

  • Subcontractor;
  • Contractor;
  • Cargo loading company;
  • Manufacturer;
  • Third parties who repair or maintain truck;
  • Government entities or sub-entities (city buses, mail trucks, etc.); or
  • A combination of the above-referenced.

The second reason commercial trucking accidents can be more complex is due to the heightened standards of care. The commercial truck driver will always be subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which is a specified field within the Department of Transportation. The FMCSA was created to prevent and/or limit fatalities and injuries caused by commercial motor vehicles. The FMCSA holds each trucking company and truck driver to a higher standard of care than your average driver because of the increased risk of injury and death.

How Tough Are Trucking Accident Claims

The heavy cost of hiring experts, properly investigating each case and protecting evidence requires an attorney well-versed in such matters. All 18-wheelers are required to have a black box or an event data recorder (EDR) to record driving and crash data. We at Ali Law Group have the knowledge and experience to strengthen your case while properly providing a helping hand in guidance towards your treatment needs. It is the creed of our firm that every client is first, regardless of the severity of their case.

Types of Damages

The types of damages that can be claimed in a personal injury suit vary widely depending on the individual case. Here is a run down of some common types of damages:

  • Compensation for medical bills accrued due to the injury(ies)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages as a result of the injury
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Mental Anguish
  • Wrongful death
  • Exemplary damages

Economic Damages are considered objective damages that can be calculated based on what has been incurred as a result of an accident.


Medical Expenses

Individuals who have been injured by the negligence of others accrue substantial medical expenses by no fault of their own. We aid in the return of the outstanding medical expenses and out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Lost Wages

When you lose income as a result of an auto accident, either to attend treatment or because of your inability to physically or mentally work, these lost amounts are recoverable in your injury claim.

Loss of Earning Capacity

Sometimes after an injury, a person may be unable to perform certain job duties that they had no problem doing until the accident. Loss of earning capacity are also damages you are able to claim in your injury claim.

Property Loss

The damage done to your vehicle or property as a result of the auto accident are recoverable in your accident claim up to the amount your property was valued the moment before the property was damaged.

Future Damages

Future damages are the un-incurred costs for treatment you need in order to get back to a position you would have been had the accident not occurred. The goal of every case we fight is to put our client back to their status quo. The status quo for a particular client is the pinpointed physical, emotional, and sometimes financial position they were in the moment before being involved in the auto accident. Sadly, an auto accident can forever alter a person’s life. Sleeping positions are forever changed, the way a person showers, the way they eat, the way they brush their teeth, the ability to pick up a child or to spend quality time with a loved one can be drastically altered by such an event. Many times, to get a person back to their status quo will never be met. Other times, a person will be fully recovered from the treatment they undergo. To some, the treatment process is perpetual. Thus, future damages are an essential damage claim to account for what has not been incurred as of yet, but what will eventually need to be incurred to get you back to your status quo. Future pain and suffering, future lost wages and loss of earning capacity also fall within the future damage category.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-Economic Damages are damages that are subjective in nature and can be calculated differently depending on the county your case is situated in. Some examples of non-economic damages are listed below.


Emotional Distress

The negative emotional reaction to an event which resulted from an accident caused as a result of another’s negligence. If you were involved in an auto accident or a catastrophic event, such event could cause mental trauma which could last a life time. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, panic attacks, insomnia and depression are
just some examples of emotional distress which are recoverable in your injury claim.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering damages are the painful experience that injured persons have to endure following physical pain or emotional distress received from a motorcycle accident. Because there is no clear way to resolve pain and suffering damages, some courts have calculated pain and suffering damages by the daily suffering evaluation from the injures one receives from an accident. Most courts, however, calculate pain and suffering based on a severity number (1, which is the least severe pain one endures through 5, the most severe pain one endures) and multiplies the claimant’s total economic losses by the severity number. Oftentimes, these systems that are put in place prejudice a claimant from recovery from the pain they endure.

Statute of Limitations

If you have been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, Texas law holds a 2-year limitations period to either resolve your claim or file suit for preservation of your claim if you are still treating. It is important you hire a lawyer who has the capability of properly preserving your claim after being injured from an auto accident.

We provide zealous representation for our clients and our clients are our priority.

Car Crash with a Company Vehicle

Employers who allow drivers to drive the public roadways have a duty to employ competent drivers who follow the Texas rules of the road. Whenever a driver of a company vehicle crashes due to falling below a standard of care, a company can be held liable for various errors in management. Some areas where an employer falls below specific employment standards include negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, negligent retention, negligent training, and/or negligent supervision. A Defendant employer will face liability for the negligent torts of its employee if (1) a Plaintiff is injured as the result of a tort; (2) the tortfeasor was an employee of the Defendant, and (3) the tort was committed while the employee was acting within the scope of his employment. Baptist Mem’l. Hosp. v. Sampson, 969 S. W. 2d 945, 947 (Tex. 1998) (elements 1-3). A tort is committed while the employee is acting within the scope of his or her employment, and he or she was acting (1) within the employee’s general authority, (2) in furtherance of the Defendant’s business, and (3) for the accomplishment of the object for which the employee was hired. Minyard Food Stores v. Goodman, 80 S.W. 3d 573, 577 (Tex. 2002) (element 3); Mata v. Andrews Transp., 900 S.W. 2d 363, 366 (Tex. App. — Houston [14 th Dist.] 1995, no writ) (element 3). 49 C.F.R. § 390.5.

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