Trucking companies carry goods across the state of Texas on its interstates and highways every day. We are all used to seeing huge 18-wheeler trucks in traffic. Unfortunately, we also happen to pass by a horrific 18-wheeler accident. We always hope we will never end up in that situation. However, you never know what the future holds. If you or someone you love is involved in a truck accident, the experienced truck accident attorneys at Calhoun Meredith law firm are ready to protect your legal rights.
According to Texas laws, victims of 18-wheelers or semi-truck accidents have the right to seek financial compensation for their catastrophic injuries. In case of fatal accidents, the bereaved families are also entitled to compensation from the reckless driver and the trucking company. However, having law by your side and winning a personal injury lawsuit are not one and the same thing. You will need the assistance of experienced lawyers, who know how to prepare and negotiate claims for trucking accidents or win the maximum compensation in court.
In general, traffic accidents are caused by negligent truck drivers. Or, this is what trucking companies want you to believe. In reality, personal injury lawyers know that the truck company, as the employer of commercial truck drivers, is vicariously liable for the severe or fatal crashes caused by their employees.
Thus, we shall look at the common causes of commercial truck accidents in light of why they happen and who is responsible for them. Let us detail them:
A distracted driver is not fully focused on the activity of driving. The most common example of distracted driving is texting and driving. While they are focused on their mobile phone screen, drivers may lose control of their vehicle and cause a terrible 18-wheeler truck accident.
In this instance, the at-fault party is the truck driver. However, truck accident lawyers can find out if the respective driver had a history of distracted driving or other traffic law violations. Since the trucking company overlooked this dangerous conduct and kept allowing the driver behind the wheel, they may be considered vicariously responsible, as well.
Drinking and driving is prohibited in all US states, as well as driving under influence of drugs. And the trucking industry should have internal controls and policies to identify and remove drivers who breach this rule from behind the wheels of large trucks loaded with merchandise.
Unfortunately, many companies put profits above the safety of the other road users and allow offending drivers to keep working, in order to deliver as many orders as possible. When a DUI truck driver causes a motor vehicle accident, an experienced attorney can prove that the trucking company did nothing to prevent this catastrophic accident.
Commercial drivers are subject to immense pressure to deliver the orders within very short deadlines. For this reason, many of them skip the mandatory breaks imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. A fatigued driver, who has not slept for more than 18 hours, is very likely to cause fatal semi-truck accidents.
Actually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a driver who has not slept for more than 24 hours is just as impaired as a drunk driver with a BAC of 0.10% (which is above the legal limit in all 50 US states).
In this situation, the primary fault party for these types of accidents is the trucking company that gives its drivers unrealistic deadlines. Truck driver fatigue would not be an issue if commercial drivers were instructed to comply with federal safety regulations.
Driving on an unsafe lane, speeding in poor road conditions or inclement weather conditions, tailgating other drivers, and switching lanes without checking that it is safe to do so are examples of reckless driving, an offense under the Texas Transportation Code. This issue should have been prevented by the trucking company by carefully screening drivers before employing them. It is not difficult to identify a driver with a track record of breaking traffic regulations and getting pulled over on interstate highways.
However, looking over 18-wheeler accident statistics, truck accident lawyers know that reckless drivers are hired and entrusted with fully loaded trucks, despite their poor driving history. Thus, their employer should contribute to the fair compensation that 18-wheeler accident victims deserve.
An 18-wheeler accident case may be absolutely not caused by driver error, but by vehicle malfunction. Any vehicle in traffic should be roadworthy: in good condition, properly maintained and with every system working well. However, many tractor-trailer accidents happen because the brakes or the tires failed and the driver could not stop the truck in time or steer it away from oncoming traffic.
In this case the 18-wheeler accident lawyer will definitely request the record of maintenance and repairs for the respective vehicle. If it is proven that the truck had not been taken for routine maintenance in a long time, it is yet another instance of the trucking company putting profits over people's safety.
Commercial truck accident victims usually suffer severe injuries when they are crushed in their passenger vehicle by a large and heavy truck. Some of the most severe injuries they suffer are:
They need specialized medical care over a long period of time and may be left with life-changing injuries and disabilities. In order to obtain a fair truck accident settlement that covers their financial losses as well as the non-economic damages they suffered (loss of consortium, loss of quality of life, mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering) these accident victims should consider hiring an experienced lawyer. An attorney can help hold the truck company accountable for the negligent behavior of their drivers and recover fair compensation for the injured party.
Suffering severe truck accident injuries means spending a lot of time in hospital, accumulating medical care bills while losing your regular source of income. The financial security of your family is in danger, as much as your health and well-being.
Trying to obtain fair compensation on your own from trucking companies is difficult. They have powerful insurance companies that will try all the tactics (both legal and on the fringe of illegality) to persuade you that you do not have a case or to reduce the amount of your truck accident claim.
An experienced personal injury attorney can fight these tactics and prove that you have a strong case. Thus, if the insurance company does not agree to settle, the attorney will help you file a truck accident lawsuit.
At Calhoun Meredith, your personal injury claim will be treated with the utmost dedication and professionalism. Our Houston personal injury lawyers are not afraid to take big insurance companies to court and prove that our clients have the right to the maximum compensation allowed by law, including punitive damages in some cases.
Do not forget that the sooner you get in touch with us the better. The statute of limitations for taking legal action in personal injury cases is 2 years after the date of the accident. We offer a free case review, so call us now: 855-664-0273!