It’s a rare person – probably a non-existent person! – who hasn’t gotten distracted while driving. No one plans to get distracted, of course. But it happens. Especially if we get a little cocky or careless behind the wheel. As long as no one is hurt, we can be forgiving about it. But truck driving and distracted driving is another matter altogether. Because that’s a combination too often deadly.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a distracted truck driver, you may have a legal remedy. The lawyer to see about it in Texas is personal injury lawyer Joe Brad Brock. From his Corpus Christi office he’s helped drivers across the state get compensated for injuries distracted truck drivers have caused. He’s taken legal action not only against the drivers, but also against the trucking companies employing them. And sometimes both.
What Tends to Distract Truck Drivers More Than Other Drivers?
- Using a cell phone. Long hauls in particular may require truck drivers to use their cell phones frequently. Even simply answering a call or placing a call can be distracting. But texting when driving a big rig can be fatal. If not for the driver, then for anyone he or she hits.
- Eating Meals. Truck drivers often have no choice but to eat while they drive. Many are well practiced at it and have mastered the inherent difficulties. Still, eating while driving can take their focus off driving, if only for an instant. And that’s all it takes, right?
- Lighting a Cigarette.Truck drivers who smoke don’t stop to light up. Who does? But driving a big, heavy rig demands that eyes be kept on the road. And lighting a cigarette – or a cigar or, certainly, a pipe – can deflect attention just enough to cause mayhem.
What Does the Law Say about Distracted Truck Drivers?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) addresses the matter of distracted truck drivers quite explicitly.
First, it forbids truck drivers from sending or receiving text messages on their cell phones while driving. This ban applies to nearly all drivers, too, including drivers of interstate trucks, drivers who transport hazardous materials (HAZ-MAT), and bus drivers.
Truck drivers can talk on a cell phone, answering or placing calls. But doing even that could be construed as the legal cause of an accident. Say, for example, the driver hasn’t mounted the phone and isn’t using it hands-free. In that case, both hands clearly aren’t on the steering wheel. Nor is it likely the driver’s eyes are on the road. And such negligence causes accidents quite often.
How Can a Lawyer Help If a Distracted Truck Driver Injures You?
Either the truck driver or the employing truck company or both can be held liable for your injuries.
Trucking companies can be held liable for not setting driver policies that discourage distracting behavior.
A truck driver or trucking company deemed legally responsible for your accident injuries is required by law to compensate you. If both are found negligent, and certainly if they admit their fault, both must pay. Damages are typically awarded to cover pain and suffering, medical costs, and lost wages. If someone is killed in the accident, family members of the deceased may file a wrongful death lawsuit.
One thing above all is needed, however, if you’re to collect what you’re due: a skilled lawyer. For many Texas that lawyer is Joe Brad Brock. He’s been handling truck accidents and distracted driver accidents since 1995. He’s a successful litigator, too. So he knows how to navigate the complexities of the legal system on your behalf – and for your benefit. Contact The Law Office of Joe Brad Brock today for a free initial consultation.