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Truck Accident Attorney

TAL TLO Hero

Tim Tate

Claire Tate Rehmet

Chris Rehmet

$13,000,000

Gross Recovery

Pedestrian Accident

Wrongful Death

$10,750,000

Gross Recovery

Motorcycle Wreck

Head Injury

$9,500,000

Gross Recovery

Defective Product

Brain Injury

$6,500,000

Gross Recovery

Workplace Accident

Head Injury

Texas Truck Accident Attorneys

A Family-Owned Law Firm Experienced in Large Truck Accidents and Tractor Trailer Cases

Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers Texas Tate

Attorney Claire Tate Rehmet started trying lawsuits against trucking companies in 1993. Since that time, our law firm has handled hundreds of semi truck accidents involving serious injury or death in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas. Our law firm knows that successfully pursuing an commercial motor vehicle (CMV) collision requires a team of attorneys and experts who are all working to uncover the root cause of the accident.

Uncovering the root cause of the collision is extremely important to your case. This is true because our lawyers find that almost every truck accident is caused by a violation of rules and regulations.  Trucking companies and drivers who follow the rules are much less likely to cause an accident.

However these companies don’t always follow the rules. Commercial motor vehicle corporations  have a financial motive to violate many of the rules and regulations that keep the public safe. They often structure driver pay so that the driver receives more money if they violate the rules, and then the commercial vehicle  business willfully allows the violations because the company makes more money in this case.

Finding the root cause of a large commercial vehicle accident is a key step in building a strong personal injury or wrongful death case. The cause can lead to additional defendants and additional insurance coverages. Finding the cause often means discovering that a company is systematically and knowingly breaking the rules and regulations. Evidence of systematic negligence empowers your lawyer to get you full compensation for your loss.

One of the most common rules violations is that the truck driver drives too many consecutive hours without rest. Driver fatigue is one of the primary factors leading to most large truck accidents.

Trucking businesses usually pay by the load or by the mile. Under either scenario, the pay scheme presents the driver with a powerful financial incentive to keep driving, even if the law dictates they pull over and take time to sleep. Our lawyers find that companies rarely pay a salary which would remove the financial incentive to keep driving when the law requires a rest break.

The companies understand that the pay scheme motivates the trucker to keep driving, but they often knowingly “turn a blind eye” to violations of the legal limits of work hours because they want the load delivered faster so they can turn the truck around for use on another load.

Violating the law requiring the driver to rest causes fatigue. Our truck accident lawyers often find that driver fatigue is a common root cause of  truck accidents that result in  personal injuries or death. Trucking operators know that driver fatigue is a major cause of injury and death, but intentionally do not supervise the drivers. Often, drivers may try to stay awake by taking amphetamines or other stimulates known as “speed”  to stay awake, and the companies they work for often know that hours violations are present,  but don’t act to stop it.

These violations happen in our communities. Highway 75 and 289 are both major highways and the roads in McKinney are full of commercial trucks. Commercial truck wrecks happen frequently in McKinney, Allen, Anna, Van Alstyne, Sherman, Denison and elsewhere across the states of Texas and Oklahoma.

When companies prioritize profits over the safety of their own drivers and the public, they place all of us on the public roads in danger.

Commercial vehicle coporations don’t supervise their drivers. Our Texas truck accident attorneys often discover the lack of supervision after we have filed a lawsuit. The companies’ failure to adequately supervise is a common cause of collisions and serious injuries.

Truck driver’s hours violations and negligent supervision work hand in hand. The truck company has a powerful financial motive to make the delivery faster so they can turn the truck and haul another load. The business, in turn, motivates the driver to keep driving by paying the driver by the load or by the mile. The company can track the tractor trailer or 18 wheeler and the driver, but often willfully turns a blind eye to the violations of work hours.

We often discover violations of on duty hours limits through the course of litigation. Shockingly, the evidence of the hours violations is often in the employer’s possession. Our attorneys know that companies keep track of certain data regarding any tractor trailer, the driver, and the load in question.

For instance, drivers are required to log their on-duty hours and stop driving when they reach the limit. Most operations track on-duty hours through an electronic logging device that is hard wired into the vehicle. Our attorneys will download the data collected on the truck. The logging device usually transmits the data back to the company before the accident. This means the data showing the hours violations is available to a supervisor. If this takes place frequently, then the management is negligently supervising their driver.

In addition, we often find that the operators are using other technology to track the commercial vehicle, such as a QUALCOMM device. These devices record much more data than the driver’s on-duty status. The  location is tracked via GPS, inspections are logged, as well as other data points.

This type of location data can show that the driver drove too many hours or too great a distance, or lied about their location at a given time. This information is generally transmitted to the company. If the data shows discrepancies regarding location, then there is likely an hours violation and the managers knew it.

What types of rules violations do your lawyers typically find when investigating the cause of a truck accident?

One of the most common rules violations is that the truck driver drives too many consecutive hours without rest. Driver fatigue is one of the primary factors leading to most large truck accidents.

Trucking businesses usually pay by the load or by the mile. Under either scenario, the pay scheme presents the driver with a powerful financial incentive to keep driving, even if the law dictates they pull over and take time to sleep. Our lawyers find that companies rarely pay a salary which would remove the financial incentive to keep driving when the law requires a rest break.

The companies understand that the pay scheme motivates the trucker to keep driving, but they often knowingly “turn a blind eye” to violations of the legal limits of work hours because they want the load delivered faster so they can turn the truck around for use on another load.

Violating the law requiring the driver to rest causes fatigue. Our truck accident lawyers often find that driver fatigue is a common root cause of  truck accidents that result in  personal injuries or death. Trucking operators know that driver fatigue is a major cause of injury and death, but intentionally do not supervise the drivers. Often, drivers may try to stay awake by taking amphetamines or other stimulates known as “speed”  to stay awake, and the companies they work for often know that hours violations are present,  but don’t act to stop it.

These violations happen in our communities. Highway 75 and 289 are both major highways and the roads in McKinney are full of commercial trucks. Commercial truck wrecks happen frequently in McKinney, Allen, Anna, Van Alstyne, Sherman, Denison and elsewhere across the states of Texas and Oklahoma.

When companies prioritize profits over the safety of their own drivers and the public, they place all of us on the public roads in danger.

What are the other common causes of semi-truck accidents?

Commercial vehicle corporations don’t supervise their drivers. Our Texas truck accident attorneys often discover the lack of supervision after we have filed a lawsuit. The companies’ failure to adequately supervise is a common cause of collisions and serious injuries.

Truck driver’s hours violations and negligent supervision work hand in hand. The truck company has a powerful financial motive to make the delivery faster so they can turn the truck and haul another load. The business, in turn, motivates the driver to keep driving by paying the driver by the load or by the mile. The company can track the tractor trailer or 18 wheeler and the driver, but often willfully turns a blind eye to the violations of work hours.

We often discover violations of on duty hours limits through the course of litigation. Shockingly, the evidence of the hours violations is often in the employer’s possession. Our attorneys know that companies keep track of certain data regarding any tractor trailer, the driver, and the load in question.

For instance, drivers are required to log their on-duty hours and stop driving when they reach the limit. Most operations track on-duty hours through an electronic logging device that is hard wired into the vehicle. Our attorneys will download the data collected on the truck. The logging device usually transmits the data back to the company before the accident. This means the data showing the hours violations is available to a supervisor. If this takes place frequently, then the management is negligently supervising their driver.

In addition, we often find that the operators are using other technology to track the commercial vehicle, such as a QUALCOMM device. These devices record much more data than the driver’s on-duty status. The  location is tracked via GPS, inspections are logged, as well as other data points.

This type of location data can show that the driver drove too many hours or too great a distance, or lied about their location at a given time. This information is generally transmitted to the company. If the data shows discrepancies regarding location, then there is likely an hours violation and the managers knew it.

Areas We Serve

We have offices in McKinney, Texas and Sherman, Texas. We serve all of Texas and Oklahoma.

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Are tractor trailer truck operators required by law to investigate a truck driver’s training, experience, and history before putting the driver on the road?

Yes. The rules require that a company investigate a driver’s background before putting them on the road. But we often find that the management  hired truck drivers with bad driving histories even though this violates federal regulation and the company’s own policies. This can be a cause of serious accidents.

The law requires that commercial trucking businesses hire competent drivers. This means that  companies are required to ask the driver about their driving history. The management is also required to ask the driver’s previous employers about the driver’s history. Finally, the company should pull the applicant’s driving history to make sure the driver does not have a history of traffic tickets or accidents. 

wheeler side view highway

When our truck accident attorneys sue a commercial vehicle operation and their driver for causing a collision,  we will subpoena the  company’s records to make sure the management complied with their duty to investigate the driver’s history and previous employment. We will identify the driver’s previous employers and subpoena their records to discover why the driver might have been fired. 

Our attorneys often find the managers did not ask the previous employers for their history with the driver, which is required by law.  When we subpoena the prior employer’s records, we frequently find that a driver was fired for a cause. 

For instance, lawyer Christopher Rehmet found that a driver who had a criminal history of abusing drugs was fired from a previous job for having drugs in the truck. Then a second company hired the same driver who caused a major accident with serious injuries. That business fired the driver.

But that driver was hired again, by a third trucking business who was our defendant. That company’s safety manager admitted that the criminal history was not checked, even though it should have been. In addition, the prior employer should have been contacted, but wasn’t. This type of evidence shows that the defendant did not adequately investigate the history and put an unsafe person behind the wheel of a tractor trailer. Our attorneys showed this was a cause of the accident and the injuries suffered by our client.

Is the investigation conducted by the attorney in an 18 wheeler accident different from a car wreck?

Yes, the truck accident lawyer needs to take immediate steps to preserve evidence. These steps include sending a spoliation letter and hiring a qualified accident reconstructionist to gather evidence.

The evidence is significantly different in an 18 wheeler accident case as opposed to a standard passenger vehicle collision. It is imperative for the attorney to send a spoliation letter to the company that was operating the truck, instructing them to preserve any evidence. After we send this letter, if the trucking management or other parties lose or destroy evidence, it is possible to have a judge tell the jury to presume the evidence would have been favorable our client.

Sometimes our attorneys sue the driver and the company immediately so we can subpoena records, take depositions, and request production of items in the company’s possession.

Our lawyers may also hire accident reconstructionists to investigate the collision. All large trucks have a black box of sorts, called an Electronic Control Module (ECM). That module will most likely contain important information showing the speed, steering inputs, petal inputs, and other data points in the 5-10 seconds leading up to the collision. This type of data allows a truck accident reconstructionist to determine what the driver was doing right before impact.

The accident reconstructionist may also use a 3-D laser scanner to scan the wrecked vehicles, which provides a precise method of measuring the location and degree of crush. Computer models can then use that data, along with other data points, to help determine exactly how a wreck occurred. This can be vital evidence which can be used by your lawyer in an injury case against the  company and their driver.

When we investigate a commercial truck accident, we typically go to the scene with the accident reconstructionist to view the sight and gather evidence. Drone aerial footage is usually taken which can help document the accident scene. Tire marks on the pavement as well as grassy medians are measured and photographed. This type of investigation is valuable because it allows the lawyer to argue how the accident happened.

Yes, the truck accident lawyer needs to take immediate steps to preserve evidence. These steps include sending a spoliation letter and hiring a qualified accident reconstructionist to gather evidence.

The evidence is significantly different in an 18 wheeler accident case as opposed to a standard passenger vehicle collision. It is imperative for the attorney to send a spoliation letter to the company that was operating the truck, instructing them to preserve any evidence. After we send this letter, if the trucking management or other parties lose or destroy evidence, it is possible to have a judge tell the jury to presume the evidence would have been favorable our client.

Sometimes our attorneys sue the driver and the company immediately so we can subpoena records, take depositions, and request production of items in the company’s possession.

Our lawyers may also hire accident reconstructionists to investigate the collision. All large trucks have a black box of sorts, called an Electronic Control Module (ECM). That module will most likely contain important information showing the speed, steering inputs, petal inputs, and other data points in the 5-10 seconds leading up to the collision. This type of data allows a truck accident reconstructionist to determine what the driver was doing right before impact.

The accident reconstructionist may also use a 3-D laser scanner to scan the wrecked vehicles, which provides a precise method of measuring the location and degree of crush. Computer models can then use that data, along with other data points, to help determine exactly how a wreck occurred. This can be vital evidence which can be used by your lawyer in an injury case against the  company and their driver.

When we investigate a commercial truck accident, we typically go to the scene with the accident reconstructionist to view the sight and gather evidence. Drone aerial footage is usually taken which can help document the accident scene. Tire marks on the pavement as well as grassy medians are measured and photographed. This type of investigation is valuable because it allows the lawyer to argue how the accident happened.

CMV accidents can cause catastrophic injury and death. When fully loaded, a  commercial truck is generally about 80,000 pounds. In contrast, a passenger car, like a Honda, usually has a gross vehicle weight rating of about 5,500 pounds.  When an 80,000 pound truck is traveling at highway speeds, a collision with a passenger car can be incredibly destructive and has the potential to take lives or produce life-altering injuries. 

Because of the size and weight of 18 wheelers and commercial vehicles, the damages from a collision can be devastating. When loaded, a large truck weighs as much as 80,000 pounds, but overweight permits allow even greater load weights.

In contrast, a typical passenger vehicle usually has a curb weight of less than 5,000 pounds.  When the larger truck impacts the light passenger auto, the discrepancy in weight leads to severe injuries to the occupants in the much smaller passenger vehicle.

Truck collisions often lead to spinal injuries, traumatic head injuries, fractured or broken bones, burns, lacerations, loss of limbs and joint injuries, causing emergency surgeries. Many of the wrongful death cases which our injury attorneys have handled over the years stemmed from CMV accident fatalities.

The destruction caused by truck accidents is the reason federal and state laws regulate the commercial trucking industry. This regulation is in place in order to increase safety for the motoring public. Our commercial motor vehicle attorneys fully understand that when CMV  operations break the rules, the resulting  accidents and injuries can ruin lives.

What types of injuries do large truck and commercial vehicle accidents cause?

CMV accidents can cause catastrophic injury and death. When fully loaded, a  commercial truck is generally about 80,000 pounds. In contrast, a passenger car, like a Honda, usually has a gross vehicle weight rating of about 5,500 pounds.  When an 80,000 pound truck is traveling at highway speeds, a collision with a passenger car can be incredibly destructive and has the potential to take lives or produce life-altering injuries. 

Because of the size and weight of 18 wheelers and commercial vehicles, the damages from a collision can be devastating. When loaded, a large truck weighs as much as 80,000 pounds, but overweight permits allow even greater load weights.

In contrast, a typical passenger vehicle usually has a curb weight of less than 5,000 pounds.  When the larger truck impacts the light passenger auto, the discrepancy in weight leads to severe injuries to the occupants in the much smaller passenger vehicle.

Truck collisions often lead to spinal injuries, traumatic head injuries, fractured or broken bones, burns, lacerations, loss of limbs and joint injuries, causing emergency surgeries. Many of the wrongful death cases which our injury attorneys have handled over the years stemmed from CMV accident fatalities.

The destruction caused by truck accidents is the reason federal and state laws regulate the commercial trucking industry. This regulation is in place in order to increase safety for the motoring public. Our commercial motor vehicle attorneys fully understand that when CMV  operations break the rules, the resulting  accidents and injuries can ruin lives.

truck wrecker truck damage scaled

Please click or tap  questions below to see the answers:

Yes. Truck accident lawsuits typically require a team of several accident lawyers and a team of experts. The experts may include accident reconstructionist and experts in the trucking industry, such as ex-DOT inspectors and safety managers. Proving up the injury claim may require doctors, life care planners, and economists to calculate lost earnings.   

Truck accidents require a coordinated team of  lawyers and experts. We know which experts are appropriate for your case. Our law firm pays for the commercial truck accident experts and we are only reimbursed from a settlement or recovery. If our truck accident lawyers are not successful in recovering money for the collision, we are not reimbursed for these expenses.

Federal courts often remove truck accident lawsuits, which adds a layer of complexity.

In addition, commercial vehicle accident litigation often involves parties from different states. For example, if you are a citizen of Texas and are hit by a tractor trailer driven by a driver who lives in Oklahoma, and the company is incorporated in California, then no party is a resident of the same state. This is known as “complete diversity” and occurs when the plaintiff is from one state and the defendants are from another.

Under those circumstances, the defendant’s attorney can remove the case from Texas state court to Federal court. This creates an additional layer of complexity because the Federal Court has its own Rules of Procedure and calls for a more intensive motion and pleading practice. We have handled many truck accident cases in Federal Courts across the State of Texas. Our attorneys are licensed to appear in the Eastern, Western, and Northern Federal District Courts of Texas.

Truck Accident Lawsuits Raise Venue Considerations

Because the plaintiff and the defendant commercial vehicle operator and driver often do not live in the same county, there may be options about where to file the lawsuit. The location where the lawsuit is filed is called the venue. Some venues have a history of larger jury verdicts than others. Some venues have judges that tend to rule in favor of the plaintiff more frequently.  Those venues are more advantageous for the plaintiff. Our lawyers can analyze the venue choices and pick the one that is best for a CMV lawsuit. 

We have experience with multiple cases in several Texas counties, such as Dallas, Grayson, Cooke, Fannin, Collin, Tarrant, Harris, Travis, Denton and many Oklahoma counties.

The amount of money we can recover in a truck accident claim is going to depend on the facts of the case and the nature and extent of the injuries. Commercial motor vehicles are required to carry at least $750,000.00 in liability coverage and most have at least $1,000,000.00. Trucking businesses often also have excess insurance that covers damages from commercial truck accidents that exceed $1,000,000.00.

Most truck businesses are required to have either $750,000 or $1,000,000 worth of insurance coverage, depending on the type of operation the company is running and the cargo that is hauled. In addition, many large truck accidents are insured by excess policies of insurance that can exceed $20,000,000.

There are two essential aspects to consider when selecting a Texas truck accident attorney for your injury case: 

  1. proven litigation experience
  2. the financial capacity to cover the court costs and other expenses required to take your case to court.

Almost all large truck wreck cases need to be litigated. This means filing the lawsuit and using the rules of procedure and court orders to force the defendant driver and his company to produce documents and give sworn testimony. You want to have a lawyer experienced with truck wrecks due to their complex nature. The lawyers should have good relationships with the highly qualified expert witnesses, such as economists, life care planners, surgeons, accident reconstructionists, and DOT regulation experts.

Experts are expensive and the attorney you choose should have the financial means to cover the expenses involved.

The attorneys at Tate Accident Law have handled truck accidents for decades and we have a history of success against major trucking companies, including, JB Hunt, Swift Transportation, and many others.

Please call Tate Accident Law for a free consultation with an attorney if you have been involved in a truck accident at (972)433-6113. Our offices are located at 118 South Tennessee Street, McKinney, Texas and 2902 N US Highway 75, Sherman, Texas. Please stop by anytime. If you want to read about what others are saying about our firm, please see our five-star Google reviews.

Are truck accident lawsuits typically more complex than a car accident?

Yes. Truck accident lawsuits typically require a team of several accident lawyers and a team of experts. The experts may include accident reconstructionist and experts in the trucking industry, such as ex-DOT inspectors and safety managers. Proving up the injury claim may require doctors, life care planners, and economists to calculate lost earnings.   

Truck accidents require a coordinated team of  lawyers and experts. We know which experts are appropriate for your case. Our law firm pays for the commercial truck accident experts and we are only reimbursed from a settlement or recovery. If our truck accident lawyers are not successful in recovering money for the collision, we are not reimbursed for these expenses.

Federal courts often remove truck accident lawsuits, which adds a layer of complexity.

In addition, commercial vehicle accident litigation often involves parties from different states. For example, if you are a citizen of Texas and are hit by a tractor trailer driven by a driver who lives in Oklahoma, and the company is incorporated in California, then no party is a resident of the same state. This is known as “complete diversity” and occurs when the plaintiff is from one state and the defendants are from another.

Under those circumstances, the defendant’s attorney can remove the case from Texas state court to Federal court. This creates an additional layer of complexity because the Federal Court has its own Rules of Procedure and calls for a more intensive motion and pleading practice. We have handled many truck accident cases in Federal Courts across the State of Texas. Our attorneys are licensed to appear in the Eastern, Western, and Northern Federal District Courts of Texas.

Truck Accident Lawsuits Raise Venue Considerations

Because the plaintiff and the defendant commercial vehicle operator and driver often do not live in the same county, there may be options about where to file the lawsuit. The location where the lawsuit is filed is called the venue. Some venues have a history of larger jury verdicts than others. Some venues have judges that tend to rule in favor of the plaintiff more frequently.  Those venues are more advantageous for the plaintiff. Our lawyers can analyze the venue choices and pick the one that is best for a CMV lawsuit. 

We have experience with multiple cases in several Texas counties, such as Dallas, Grayson, Cooke, Fannin, Collin, Tarrant, Harris, Travis, Denton and many Oklahoma counties.

What type of recovery can I expect from a truck accident claim? Are there insurance requirements for trucks and tractor trailers?

The amount of money we can recover in a truck accident claim is going to depend on the facts of the case and the nature and extent of the injuries. Commercial motor vehicles are required to carry at least $750,000.00 in liability coverage and most have at least $1,000,000.00. Trucking businesses often also have excess insurance that covers damages from commercial truck accidents that exceed $1,000,000.00.

Most truck businesses are required to have either $750,000 or $1,000,000 worth of insurance coverage, depending on the type of operation the company is running and the cargo that is hauled. In addition, many large truck accidents are insured by excess policies of insurance that can exceed $20,000,000.

How do I find the best Texas truck accident lawyer for my case?

There are two essential aspects to consider when selecting a Texas truck accident attorney for your injury case: 
  1. proven litigation experience
  2. the financial capacity to cover the court costs and other expenses required to take your case to court.
Almost all large truck wreck cases need to be litigated. This means filing the lawsuit and using the rules of procedure and court orders to force the defendant driver and his company to produce documents and give sworn testimony. You want to have a lawyer experienced with truck wrecks due to their complex nature. The lawyers should have good relationships with the highly qualified expert witnesses, such as economists, life care planners, surgeons, accident reconstructionists, and DOT regulation experts. Experts are expensive and the attorney you choose should have the financial means to cover the expenses involved. The attorneys at Tate Accident Law have handled truck accidents for decades and we have a history of success against major trucking companies, including, JB Hunt, Swift Transportation, and many others. Please call Tate Accident Law for a free consultation with an attorney if you have been involved in a truck accident at (972)433-6113. Our offices are located at 118 South Tennessee Street, McKinney, Texas and 2902 N US Highway 75, Sherman, Texas. Please stop by anytime. If you want to read about what others are saying about our firm, please see our five-star Google reviews.

One of the most common rules violations is that the truck driver drives too many consecutive hours without rest. Driver fatigue is one of the primary factors leading to most large truck accidents.

Trucking operators  usually pay by the load or by the mile. Under either scenario, the pay scheme presents the driver with a powerful financial incentive to keep driving, even if the law dictates they pull over and take time to sleep. These companies rarely pay a salary which would remove the financial incentive to keep driving when the law requires a rest break.

The management  understand that they have created a pay scheme which motivates the trucker to keep driving, but they often knowingly “turn a blind eye” to violations in work hours because the business wants the load delivered faster so they can turn the truck around for use on another load.

Violating the hours limit causes fatigue. Our truck accident lawyers often find that driver fatigue is the root cause of an 18 wheeler accident. Drivers may try to stay awake by taking amphetamines or other stimulates known as “speed” to stay awake, and the operators often know the drivers are violating the limits on their hours, but don’t act to stop it.
The company is prioritizing profits over the safety of their own drivers and the public.

Trucking businesses  don’t supervise their drivers. Our truck accident attorneys often discover the lack of supervision after we have filed a lawsuit.

Truck driver’s hours violations and negligent supervision work hand in hand. The truck operator has a powerful financial motive to make the delivery faster so they can turn the truck and haul another load. The company, in turn, motives the driver to keep driving by paying the driver by the load or by the mile. The management can track the tractor trailer and the driver, but often willfully turns a blind eye to the violations of work hours.

Our truck accident attorneys often discover violations for driving and work hours through the course of litigation. Shockingly, the evidence of the truck driver’s hours violations is often in the company’s possession. Our attorneys know that truck operations keep track of certain data regarding any tractor trailer, the truck driver, and the load in question.

For instance, drivers are required to log their on-duty hours and stop driving when they reach the limit. Most trucking companies track on-duty hours through an electronic logging device that is hard wired into the tractor trailer. Our tractor trailer accident attorneys will download the data collected on the truck. The logging device usually transmits the data back to the truck company before the accident. This means the data showing the hours violations is available to a supervisor. If hours violations are occurring frequently, then the management is negligently supervising their driver.

In addition, our attorneys often find that the companies are using other technology to track the tractor trailer, such as a QualComm device that records much more data than the driver’s on-duty status. The truck driver’s location is tracked via GPS, tractor trailer inspections are logged, as well as other data points.

This type of location data can show that the truck driver drove too many hours or too great a distance, or lied about their location at a given time. This information was equally available to the semi-truck company and, if the data shows discrepancies regarding location, then there is likely an hours violation occurring and the driver is trying to cover it up.

Yes. The rules require that a truck company investigate a driver’s background before putting them on the road. But our 18 wheeler accident attorneys often find that the company hired drivers with bad driving histories even though this violates federal regulation and the truck operator’s own policies.

The law requires that commercial trucking businesses hire competent drivers. Commercial truck managers are required to ask the driver about their driving history and to list the driver’s previous employers. The company is also required to ask the previous employers about the truck driver’s history and pull the applicant’s driving history to make sure the driver does not have a history of traffic tickets or wrecks.

When we sue a truck company and their driver for causing a collision, our truck accident lawyers will subpoena the company’s records to make sure the records complied with their duty to investigate the driver’s history and previous employment. Our attorneys will identify the driver’s previous employers and subpoena their records to discover why the driver might have been fired.

Our truck injury attorneys often find the trucking operator did not ask the previous employers for their history with the driver, which is required by law. When our attorneys subpoena the prior employer’s records,we frequently find that a driver was fired for a cause.

For instance, lawyer Christopher Rehmet found that a driver who had a criminal history of abusing drugs was fired from a previous job for having drugs in the company truck. Another trucking business hired the same driver and caused a major accident with serious injuries. The company safety manager admitted that the criminal history was not checked even though it should have been, but wasn’t. The prior employer should have been contacted, but wasn’t. This type of evidence shows that the defendant trucking company did not adequately investigate the driver’s history and put an unsafe driver behind the wheel of a tractor trailer without taking steps to make sure the driver was safe.

Yes, the truck accident lawyer needs to take immediate steps to preserve evidence. These steps include sending a spoliation letter and hiring a qualified truck accident reconstructionist to gather evidence.

The evidence is significantly different in a trucking accident case as opposed to a standard passenger vehicle collision. It is imperative for the attorney to send a spoliation letter to the company instructing them to preserve the evidence. After we sent this letter, if the truck operator loses or destroys evidence, this will instruct the judge and jury to presume the evidence would have been favorable to the victim. Sometimes we sue the driver and the company immediately so we can subpoena records and a judge rule on requests for production of documents.

Our commercial vehicle accident lawyers also hire truck accident reconstructionists to investigate the collision. All semi trucks have a black box of sorts, called an Electronic Control Module. That module will most likely contain important information showing the speed, steering inputs, petal inputs, and other data points in the 5-10 seconds leading up to the collision. This type of data allows a truck accident reconstructionist to determine what the truck driver was doing right before impact.

The accident reconstructionist may also use a 3-D laser scanner to scan the wrecked vehicles, which provides a precise method of measuring the location and degree of crush. Computer models can then use that data, along with other data points, to help determine exactly how a wreck occurred.

Our truck collision lawyers typically go to the scene with the accident reconstructionist to review the sight and gather evidence. Drone aerial footage is usually taken which can help document the scene. Tire marks on the pavement as well as grassy medians are measured and photographed. This type of investigation is valuable to the attorney because it allows them  to argue how a truck accident happened.

Semi truck wrecks cause most of the catastrophic injury and death cases our accident lawyers handle. When fully loaded, the commercial truck is generally about 80,000 pounds. In contrast, a passenger car, like a Honda, usually has a gross vehicle weight rating of about 5,500 pounds. When an 80,000 pound truck is traveling at highway speeds, a collision with a passenger car can be incredibly destructive and has the potential to take lives or produce life-altering injuries.

Because of the size and weight of 18 wheeler trucks and commercial vehicles, the damages from a collision can be devastating. When loaded, the large truck weighs as much as 80,000 pounds, but overweight permits allow even greater load weights. In contrast, a typical passenger vehicle usually has a curb weight of less than 5,000 pounds. When the larger truck impacts the light passenger auto, the discrepancy in weight leads to severe injuries to the occupants in the much smaller passenger vehicle.

Truck collisions often lead to spinal injuries, traumatic head injuries, broken bones and joint injuries, leading to emergency surgeries. Many of the wrongful death cases which our injury attorneys have handled over the years stemmed from 18 wheeler accidents.

The destruction caused by truck accidents is the reason federal and state laws regulate the trucking industry in order to make it safer for the motoring public. When trucking companies break the rules, the resulting truck accidents can ruin lives.

Yes. Truck accident lawsuits typically require a team of several commercial vehicle accident lawyers and a team of experts. The experts may include accident reconstructionists and experts in the trucking industry, such as ex-DOT inspectors and safety managers. Proving up the injury claim may require doctors, life care planners, and economists to calculate lost earnings.

Federal courts often remove truck accident lawsuits, which adds a layer of complexity.

Truck accidents require a coordinated team of injury lawyers and experts. Our truck accident attorneys have worked with most of the truck accident reconstructionists and truck industry experts who are in Texas and across the Southwestern United States. We know which experts are appropriate for your case. Our law firm pays for the truck accident experts and are only reimbursed from a settlement or recovery. If our lawyers are not successful in recovering money for the collision, we are not reimbursed for these expenses.

In addition, semi-truck accident litigation often involves parties from different states. For example, if you are a citizen of Texas and are hit by a tractor trailer driven by a driver who lives in Oklahoma, and the truck company is incorporated in California, then no party is a resident of the same state. This is known as “complete diversity” and occurs when the plaintiff is from one state and the defendants are from another.

Under those circumstances, the defendant truck company’s attorney can remove the case from Texas state court to Federal court. This creates an additional layer of complexity because the Federal Court has its own Rules of Procedure and calls for a more intensive motion and pleading practice. We have handled many truck accident cases in Federal Courts across the State of Texas. Our attorneys are licensed to appear in the Eastern, Western, and Northern Federal District Courts of Texas.

Because the plaintiff and the defendant company and driver often do not live in the same county, there may be options about where to file the lawsuit. The location where the lawsuit is filed is called the venue. Some venues have a history of larger jury verdicts than others. Some venues have judges that tend to rule in favor of the plaintiff. Those venues are more advantageous for the Plaintiff. Our truck wreck lawyers can analyze the venue choices and pick the one that is best for a large truck accident lawsuit.

We have experience with multiple cases in several counties, such as Dallas, Grayson, Cooke, Fannin, Collin, Denton and most Texas and South Oklahoma counties.

The amount of money we can recover in a truck accident claim is going to depend on the facts of the case and the nature and extent of the injuries. Commercial motor vehicles are required to carry at least $750,000.00 in liability coverage and most have at least $1,000,000.00. Truck companies often also have excess insurance that covers damages from truck accidents that exceed $1,000,000.00.

Most trucking companies are required to have either $750,000 or $1,000,000 worth of insurance coverage, depending on the type of operation the company is running and the cargo that is hauled. In addition, many truck accidents are insured by excess policies of insurance that can exceed $20,000,000.

There are two essential aspects to consider when selecting a truck accident attorney for your injury case: proven litigation experience and the financial capacity to cover the court costs and other expenses required to take your case to court.

Almost all large truck wreck cases need to be litigated. This means filing the lawsuit and using the rules of procedure and court orders to force the defendant driver and his company to produce documents and give sworn testimony. You want to have a lawyer experienced with large truck wrecks due to their complex nature. The lawyers should have good relationships with the highly qualified expert witnesses, such as economists, life care planners, surgeons, accident reconstructionists, and DOT regulation experts.
Experts are expensive and the attorney you choose should have the financial means to cover the expenses involved.

The attorneys at Tate Accident Law have handled large truck accidents for decades and we have a history of success against major trucking companies.

Please call Tate Rehmet Law Office for a free consultation with an attorney if you have been involved in a truck accident at:

(972) 433-6113 for our McKinney, TX Office

(903) 892-4440 for our Sherman, TX Office

The initial consultation and investigation is free of charge. Our office is conveniently located at:

118 S Tennessee St in McKinney, TX 

2902 N US Highway 75, in Sherman, Texas

Please stop by anytime. If you want to read about what others are saying about our firm, please see our five-star Google reviews.