Understanding the Basics of Truck Accident Laws: A South Texas Lawyer’s PerspectiveTexas Accident News
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you are entitled to seek compensation for any medical expenses you incurred due to your injures, as well as for any pain and suffering you endured. Additionally, if your injuries forced you to miss work, you can seek compensation for these lost wages and your diminished earning capacity, should your injuries affect your ability to earn money in the future. Accidents involving trucks can be some of the most devasting in terms of personal injury, property damage, and lost wages. You have a ready advocate, though: The Law Office of Joe Brad Brock, serving Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and other Texas communities since 1995. Joe Brad will explain truck accidents laws when you consult with him, of course. But to give you a “head start,” here are a few basics.
The Sad Statistics About Commercial Truck Accidents
Accidents that involve large commercial trucks often result in severe injuries or death. The sheer size of these vehicles increases the extent of the damage they can inflict upon smaller vehicles and their occupants. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 4,440 fatal accidents in 2016 involved large trucks and buses. As large trucking companies continue to cut costs to protect their bottom lines, drivers are taking extreme measures to cover greater distances in less time, leading to reckless and dangerous driving behaviors. It is important to understand federal and state laws governing truck accidents so that if you or a loved one is ever harmed in such an incident, you will understand the legal options available to you.
Laws All Truck Companies and Truck Drivers Must Follow
There are several federal and state laws in place that dictate how trucking companies and their drivers must operate. Such laws impact the liability of various parties involved in a truck accident. Both the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are the primary agencies that regulate trucking laws. At the state level, there are agencies in place that oversee matters involving intra-state trucking incidents and issues.
For the most part, there are several laws that all commercial trucking companies and truck drivers must follow. They include obtaining a valid commercial driver’s licenses, providing sufficient opportunities for drivers to properly rest, abiding by weight limits for truck cargo, completing periodic safety checks, and respecting protocols for transporting hazardous materials. When an accident occurs due to a violation of one or more of these laws, there are several factors that influence the degree of liability each party assumes.
Determining Who Is At Fault
If you are pursuing compensation by filing a truck accident personal injury claim, it will need to be determined who is at fault for causing the accident. In accidents where a negligent truck driver is responsible for causing an accident, the trucking company may be liable for the damages by virtue of “vicarious liability,” which means that employers are held legally responsible for accidents caused by their employees while on the job. If the truck driver broke the law in some way, by speeding or by driving while intoxicated, the trucking company may be held responsible for the accident.
In some cases, you can prove negligence on behalf of the trucking company when you can show that they knowingly hired a risky driver, perhaps someone who had a record of previous drunk driving convictions. Whatever the circumstances of your particular truck accident may be, you should meet with an experienced truck accident attorney to discuss your legal options and to build a successful personal injury claim.
The Texas Truck Accident Attorney to Call
If you are thinking about pursuing a personal injury claim relating to an accident involving a commercial truck, contact the South Texas Law Office of Joe Brad Brock today. Joe Brad and his staff have the experience and know-how – in spades – to help you receive the compensation you are owed as you focus on rebuilding your life.