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Truck Accident Attorney

new faces

Chris Rehmet

Claire Tate Rehmet

Tim Tate

Bart Smith

$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 18 wheeler collision requires a team of attorneys and experts who are all working to uncover the root cause of the collision. 

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 the rules and regulations that apply to commercial truck companies and their drivers. The rules and regulations applicable to large trucks are designed to keep accidents from happening. Trucking companies and 18 wheeler drivers who follow the rules are much less likely to cause an accident. 

But the truck companies and their drivers don’t always follow the rules. Trucking companies have a financial motive to violate many of the rules and regulations that keep the public safe. Often the trucking companies structure driver pay so that the driver receives more money if they violate the rules, and then the trucking company willfully allows the violations because the company makes more money if the driver violates the rules.

Finding the root cause of the large truck wreck is a key step in building a strong personal injury or wrongful death case. The root cause can lead to additional defendants and additional insurance coverages. Finding the root 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. 

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 companies 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 trucking, even if the law dictates they pull over and take time to sleep. Our lawyers find that trucking companies rarely pay a salary which would remove the financial incentive to keep driving when the law requires a rest break.

The truck 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 the trucking company wants 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 large truck wrecks that cause personal injuries or death. Trucking companies know that driver fatigue is a major cause of injury and death, but intentionally do not supervise the drivers. As a result, drivers may try to stay awake by taking amphetamines or other stimulates known as “speed”  to stay awake, and the trucking companies often know the drivers are violating the limits on their hours, 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, Anna, Van Alstyne, Sherman and Denison.

When trucking 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?

Trucking companies don’t supervise their drivers. Our truck accident attorneys often discover the lack of supervision after we have filed a lawsuit. The trucking companies’ failure to adequately supervise their drivers is a 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 truck company, in turn, motives the driver to keep driving by paying the driver by the load or by the mile. The truck company 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 of on duty hours limits through the course of litigation. Shockingly, the evidence of the truck driver’s hours violations is often in the truck company’s possession. Our attorneys know that truck companies 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 trucking company is negligently supervising their driver.

In addition, our attorneys often find that the trucking companies are using other technology to track the tractor trailer, such as a QUALCOMM device. These devices record 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 is generally transmitted to the trucking company. If the data shows discrepancies regarding location, then there is likely an hours violation occurred and the company knew it.

Areas We Serve

McKinney, Sherman, Frisco, Prosper, Allen, Denison, Denton County, Gainesville, Bonham, Van Alstyne. Melissa, Anna, Ardmore, Durant, Marietta, Pottsboro, Fannin County, Grayson County, Cooke County, Collin County, Denton, Tarrant County, Dallas County, all of North Texas and South Oklahoma

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Are tractor trailer companies 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 truck company investigate a driver’s background before putting them on the road. But our attorneys often find that the trucking company hired truck drivers with bad driving histories even though this violates federal regulation and the trucking company’s own policies. This can be a cause of serious accidents.

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

wheeler side view highway

When we sue a trucking company and their driver for causing a collision, our truck accident lawyers will subpoena the trucking company’s records to make sure the trucking company complied with their duty to investigate the driver’s history and previous employment. Our attorneys will identify the truck 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 company 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. Then a second trucking company hired the same driver who caused a major accident with serious injuries. That company fired the driver.

But that driver was hired again, by a third trucking company who was our defendant. That  trucking 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 trucking company did not adequately investigate the driver’s history and put an unsafe driver behind the wheel of a tractor trailer. Our attorneys showed this was a cause of the trucking 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 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 trucking company instructing them to preserve the evidence. After we sent this letter, if the trucking company loses or destroys evidence, it is possible to have a judge tell the jury to presume the evidence would have been favorable to you.

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

Our lawyers may 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 truck 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 trucking company and their driver.  

When our lawyers investigate a large 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 scene. Tire marks on the pavement as well as grassy medians are measured and photographed. This type of investigation is valuable to the tractor trailer accident attorney because it allows the lawyer to argue how a truck accident happened. 

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

Semi truck wrecks can cause catastrophic injury and death. 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, causing 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. Our attorneys fully understand that when trucking companies break the rules, the resulting truck accidents can ruin lives.

truck wrecker truck damage scaled

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

Yes. Truck accident lawsuits typically require a team of several commercial vehicle 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 injury lawyers and experts. Our truck accident attorneys have worked with truck accident reconstructionist and industry experts to show how the truck driver and their company were breaking rules and regulations. We know which experts are appropriate for your case. Our law firm pays for the truck accident experts and we 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. 

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

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 various Federal District Courts of Texas.

Truck Accidents Raise Venue Considerations

Because the plaintiff and the defendant trucking 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 more frequently.  Those venues are more advantageous for the Plaintiff. Our truck lawyers can analyze the venue choices and pick the one that is best for a large truck wreck lawsuit. 

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

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

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 reconstructionist, 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 Rehmet Law Office have handled large truck accidents for decades and we have a history of success against major trucking companies.

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.

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    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 companies 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. Trucking companies rarely pay a salary which would remove the financial incentive to keep driving when the law requires a rest break.

    The truck companies 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 trucking company 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 trucking companies often know the drivers are violating the limits on their hours, but don’t act to stop it.
    The trucking company is prioritizing profits over the safety of their own drivers and the public.

    Trucking companies 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 company has a powerful financial motive to make the delivery faster so they can turn the truck and haul another load. The truck company, in turn, motives the driver to keep driving by paying the driver by the load or by the mile. The truck company 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 truck company’s possession. Our attorneys know that truck companies 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 trucking company is negligently supervising their driver.

    In addition, our attorneys often find that the trucking 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 truck 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 trucking company hired truck drivers with bad driving histories even though this violates federal regulation and the trucking company’s own policies.

    The law requires that commercial trucking companies hire competent truck drivers. Commercial truck companies are required to ask the driver about their driving history and to list the driver’s previous employers. The trucking 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 trucking company and their driver for causing a collision, our truck accident lawyers will subpoena the trucking company’s records to make sure the trucking company complied with their duty to investigate the driver’s history and previous employment. Our attorneys will identify the truck 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 company 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 company 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 trucking company instructing them to preserve the evidence. After we sent this letter, if the trucking company 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 trucking company immediately so we can subpoena records and a judge rule on requests for production of documents.

    Our commercial vehicle 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 truck 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 tractor trailer accident attorney because it allows the lawyer 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 trucking 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 lawyers can analyze the venue choices and pick the one that is best for a large truck wreck lawsuit.

    We have experience with multiple cases in several counties, such as Dallas, Grayson, Cooke, Fannin, Collin, Denton and southern 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 Rehmet Law Office 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.