Distracted driving is extremely dangerous, and unfortunately, increasingly common. Distracting driving is defined as anything that takes one’s attention off the road: eating, calling, texting, talking to other car passengers, etc. Texting is particularly dangerous because even glancing at your phone for 5 seconds while driving at 55 miles per hour, means that you will have traveled the length of an entire football field without looking at the road.
Distracted driver accidents often become catastrophic when they are caused by a truck. Trucks are about 20 to 30 times heavier than passenger vehicles, which increases the force of impact and decreases braking ability. This means that distracted truck driver accidents can lead to severe injury, a totaled car, and even death. If you or the loved one has been the victim of a distracted truck driver accident, a Portner Bond, PLLC truck accident lawyer can help you get compensation. Give us a call today at (409) 838-4444 to schedule your 100% consultation.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you have been injured by a distracted truck driver, you are likely feeling stressed and overwhelmed, all while trying to recover from your injuries. An experienced distracted truck driver accident attorney will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve while you rest and recover.
Your lawyer will handle all communication with the adverse insurance company so that you do not accidentally incriminate yourself or otherwise diminish your claim. Insurance companies are motivated to settle your case as cheaply as possible, and may convince you to take a settlement that is far less than what you deserve. A truck accident attorney knows how much compensation you can expect to receive based on the circumstances of your accident, and will advise you on when to accept a settlement and when to continue fighting your claim in court.
Why Should I Choose Portner Bond, PLLC?
Portner Bond, PLLC is a team of highly skilled personal injury attorneys with over 70 years of combined experience. Our lawyers are members of the prestigious Multi-Million Dollar Advocate Forum, an organization for the 1% of American lawyers who have won multi-million dollar settlements for their clients. At Portner Bond, PLLC, we are committed to getting personal injury victims the compensation they deserve.
You may be worried about how you will be able to pay for high-quality legal representation. At Portner Bond, PLLC, we operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that at the end of your case, we will take a small percentage of the settlement. There will be no bills or fees to pay before that, and if we lose your case, then you don’t owe us any money. We also offer a 100% free consultation. We’d like to hear about your case — give us a call today at (409) 838-4444, and we can start to talk about your legal options.
Distracted Truck Driver Accidents
There are many ways in which a driver can be distracted, some of which are more common among truck drivers than passenger vehicle drivers. These are some of the most common causes of distracted truck driver accidents:
Texting or calling
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has banned all truck drivers from texting while driving. Truck drivers can only make phone calls if using a hands-free device.
This is a much more common cause of distracted driving accidents among truck drivers than among non-commercial passenger vehicle drivers. Truck drivers may brush their hair or teeth, attempt to shave, or put on makeup while driving. Many trucking companies incentivize drivers to cover as many miles as possible, meaning drivers want to spend time on the road, not in the bathroom.
Eating or drinking
Similarly, truck drivers may not want to take breaks to eat, prioritizing covering as many miles as possible. Eating and drinking necessitates taking one’s hands off the wheel and likely looking away from the road. Even if only for a short time, this is very dangerous.
Many long-haul commercial trucks come equipped with TV or DVD players that are meant to be used while the truck is stopped during rest breaks. Watching videos is highly distracting during driving and extremely dangerous.
Common Injuries Caused by Distracted Truck Drivers
In general, injuries are more severe when a truck causes an accident than when an accident occurs between two cars. It’s also much more dangerous to be the one in the car, since nearly 96% of all injuries and deaths resulting from an accident between a truck and a car were sustained by those in the car. Some common injuries include:
Head injuries are very serious and can lead to lifelong disability or death. A head injury can be caused by direct trauma to the head, such as if the head slams against the windshield. They can also happen without a direct blow to the head as a result of whiplash. Head injuries can be particularly dangerous because symptoms are not always immediately apparent, or are confused with other ailments. Symptoms, when they do develop, can include loss of consciousness, nausea, confusion, vision problems, and more. It’s critical to see a doctor after a car accident to help determine if you have suffered a head injury.
Broken bones are common following a truck accident, and often include wrist, ankle, leg, spine, and skull fractures. Some broken bones heal quite quickly and patients make a full recovery. However, in other cases, such as a compound fracture (when the broken bone pierces through the skin near the break site) can be quite complicated, leading to infections or to lasting bone or nerve damage.
Truck accidents can lead to significant internal injuries and bleeding in organs like the liver, spleen, kidneys, and bladder. It can be difficult or impossible to tell from the outside if you are suffering from internal injuries, which is another reason why it’s imperative to see a doctor after a truck accident.
Seat Belt and Airbag Injuries
Although your seat belt and airbag are there to protect you, they can also cause injury. A seatbelt could cause burns, laceration, or whiplash, while airbags can cause head injuries or bruising. Still, your injuries will almost certainly be much more severe if you do not wear a seatbelt or have functioning airbags.
Spine Injuries and Paralysis
Spinal cord injuries are extremely serious and can lead to permanent handicaps, such as paralysis. It’s important to know that paralysis isn’t alway immediate, which is why it’s critical to go to the hospital as soon as possible after a truck accident. Even if the injury isn’t apparent to you, an MRI or X-ray can reveal whether or not you’ve suffered a spinal injury.
What Compensation Am I Owed if a Distracted Trucker Hurt Me?
Your compensation will depend on the unique circumstances of your accident. If we successfully prove that the truck driver was the at-fault party, you should receive compensation for any costs you incurred as a result of the accident, such as medical bills and car repairs. You may also be entitled to non-financial damages, like any pain, suffering, and emotional trauma you have suffered in the aftermath of your accident. These two categories are called economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those for which money is a direct replacement. These are medical bills, estimated cost of any future medical bills, the cost of car repairs/replacement, and any lost wages if your injuries prevented you from being able to work. It’s critical to keep documentation of any costs you incurred as a result of your accident. Keep receipts and invoices given to you by your mechanic, and ensure you have medical documentation of your injuries and the cost of your treatment.
It is of utmost importance to go to the hospital as soon as possible following your accident. Most importantly, it is important to your health and well-being to be checked out by a doctor. It’s also crucial to have medical documentation of your injuries. Without this documentation, an opposing insurance company may try to argue that your injuries were not serious, or that they were caused by something other than the accident.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to put a dollar amount on. These are damages for which money is an approximate, rather than a direction replacement for your damages. If your injuries have caused severe pain, suffering, and diminished life enjoyment, you may be able to receive compensation for non-economic damages. In order to prove that you should receive this compensation, it’s a good idea to document every day the ways in which your injuries prevent you from living your life to the fullest.
In Texas, accident victims are allowed to pursue punitive damages in rare cases. These damages are designed to punish defendants if they acted particularly reckless or dangerously. A judge has to given a jury permission to award punitive damages.
Contact a Beaumont Injury Attorney
At Portner Bond, PLLC, our Beaumont truck driving accident lawyers work diligently to bring justice to victims of distracted driving accidents. Truck accidents are terrifying, and the aftermath can be stressful and confusing. Portner Bond, PLLC lawyers are here to handle insurance companies and legal claims while you rest and recover. Give us a call today at (409) 838-4444 to schedule your free consultation.