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Many Texas residents are victims of trucking accidents yearly. A truck crash can result in catastrophic injuries and other losses for the truck accident victims. The good news is that you can receive financial compensation from the liable parties if you suffer any losses because of a negligent truck driver's actions. However, you'll need the best Texas injury law firm. So, contact the offices of Calhoun Meredith today.  Read on to learn more about the different causes of truck accidents in Texas.

What Is a Truck Accident?

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A trucking accident is a motor vehicle accident involving semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other commercial vehicles. It causes personal injury or property damage. Many times, a truck crash may result in a fatality. At other times, truck accident victims escape with only severe injuries. In fact, truck wrecks are more likely to cause a fatality because of the trucks' weight and their impact on passenger cars.

Some common truck accident injuries include:

  • Back and neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Spinal Cord Injuries and paralysis
  • Lacerations 
  • Broken ribs

Under civil law, fatal truck accidents are known as wrongful deaths. Wrongful death means that if the commercial truck driver or any other liable parties were more careful, the accident victim might still be alive. In this instance, the deceased's estate can recover damages from the fault party, including punitive damages.

What Causes Most Truck Accidents?

There are many causes of truck accidents in Texas. However, we will examine three factors that cause the most truck accidents. They are:

  1. Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers work for long, stressful hours. Therefore, it's not unusual for them to get tired. That's why federal law has mandatory service regulations for truck drivers. These regulations provide timeframes within which the drivers must stop driving and rest. Many drivers who don't follow this regulation fall into accidents. Unfortunately, a driver who uses the mandatory rest period may yet be tired. Consequently, the fatigued driver could make a driving error, leading to an accident.
  2. Over Speeding: Over speeding could be the fault of both the truck driver and the driver of the other car. The pressure to reach the truck's destination early can make drivers drive faster than they ought to. Drivers of passenger vehicles may also want to overtake trucks and move faster. In the process, they could both drive at unsafe and high speeds. The end is almost always a fatal truck accident.
  3. Improper Loading: All commercial trucks have a cargo limit prescribed by their manufacturers. However, they often load beyond these limits. Overloading will make it more difficult to drive and control. Furthermore, the cargo may spill over and hit other vehicles. Therefore, it would be best for truck drivers to stick to their trucks' recommended cargo limit. 

How Can Truck Accidents Be Prevented?

Trucking accidents can be prevented in Texas or reduced to the barest minimum. The fatality, emotional distress, and physical pain that result from a truck crash can be stopped. However, this will take the efforts of three relevant parties. These include the trucking company, truck drivers, and other drivers of private and commercial vehicles.

Below is how everyone can work to create safer highways free of trucking accidents.

  • Avoid Distracted Driving: Since distractions are a major cause of truck accidents, a focused driver can prevent any accidents from happening on their watch. A distracted truck driver is just as dangerous as the vehicle they're driving. To stay focused, you would have to stay away from your phone and other sources of distraction. Loss of concentration for a minute can result in a fatality. So, you can't take any chances. 
  • Give Clear Signals: Before overtaking, crossing, or turning near commercial trucks, it would be best to notify the driver. If the truck drivers aren't aware of your move, they may swerve and hit you. You can use any signal the driver is most likely to see faster and interpret better. However, you would have to be clearer and give the signal earlier than with an ordinary vehicle. 
  • Maintain Your Trucks: If you're a truck owner in Texas, this is where you come in. Poor maintenance of trailers and other trucks is a significant cause of trucking accidents. However careful the driver is, if the vehicle is unsafe, an accident will most likely result. Negligent trucking companies often don't mind putting bad trucks on the road to make more money. But if they ensure that their trucks are road-worthy, the number of truck crashes will drop.

Do Truck Drivers Get Fired for Accidents?

Many truck accident victims want to know if the Texas trucking industry has a culture of firing their drivers after accidents. So, yes, in some cases, truck drivers may lose their jobs after truck crashes. Where a driver's actions warrant a sack, the company will most likely fire the driver for causing an accident. This often depends on the driver's contract and the nature of employment. 

However, in some instances, commercial truck drivers own their trucks. They only work for trucking firms on a "Per route" basis. If this is the case, the trucking company can't "Sack" the driver. They may only discontinue requesting their services.

What Can Get a Truck Driver Fired?

Below are some instances where a truck driver's actions can get them fired. 

  • Preventable Accidents: Many truck accidents could have been prevented if the drivers were careful. These would include accidents caused by reckless driving and where the driver had insufficient sleep.. If a driver incurs preventable accident damages, the trucking company may let them go. 
  • Driving Under the Influence: Every worthy trucking company policy bans drivers from driving under the influence. Therefore, if the evidence of fault shows that the driver was drunk, the company may fire them.
  • Damaged Company Property: Commercial trucks are costly. So, trucking companies don't take it lightly with drivers that destroy their trucks and other equipment. Even if the insurance company covers the trucks' cost, the employer may yet fire the driver. 

Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?

The question of liability in Texas truck accidents is a major one for injury victims.. This is because it's the liable party that'll most likely pay the compensation. 

The Truck Driver

The driver is the primary and most likely person to be liable for a truck accident. the driver's fault may be absolute or partial. For instance, if it's determined that the driver was distracted, using their cell phone, they will be liable. Furthermore, if they violated traffic rules or drove while tired, they may also be held liable for the crash.

The Trucking Company

As said earlier, trucking firms are responsible for their drivers' actions and the trucks they put on the road. The company will be liable if they don't train their drivers well or conduct periodic drug tests or background checks. Furthermore, where the company strictly requires drivers to drive for longer hours, they'll be liable for any crashes. 

The Truck Manufacturer

The truck maker may also be liable for the accident where they produced a defective or bad truck. They may yet be liable even if only a significant part of the truck was bad. Relevant truck parts include tires, brakes, and steering parts. 

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The Loading Crew

The truck loaders will be at fault where they overloaded the cargo, and it spilled over and caused an accident. Any cargo-induced accident may make the loaders liable. This includes where the shippers improperly secured the cargo too. 

Government Entities

Finally, the government may be the liable party. This would be so if hazardous road conditions caused the accident. Identifying the responsible government agency may be challenging. However, that's where an experienced lawyer proves useful.

Texas Trucking Accident Lawyers Can Help You!

If you have been in a Texas truck accident, you deserve to receive compensation for the injuries that you suffered. However, personal injury law practice can be challenging. You need crucial evidence if you'll win your case. That's why it would be best to hire an accident law firm like Calhoun Meredith, PLLC, to represent you. If you engage our experienced truck accident lawyers, we'll work to get you the maximum compensation in record time. Schedule a free consultation with us today. 

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