Trucking accidents are common and serious occurrences in Texas and surrounding states. The most recent data reports at least 452 accidents caused by trucks, tractors, or semi-trailers in the state. Large trucks and fire trucks resulted in another 143.
If you have been involved in a trucking accident in Texas, you are likely wondering how to deal with the consequences. Serious injuries and heavy property damage are common in trucking accidents. If you need help dealing with a trucking accident, this article will guide you through the process and answer your most common questions.
Common Reasons For Truck Accidents In Texas
There are many reasons for trucking accidents to occur. Often, they are caused by human error on the part of the truck driver. However, environmental or mechanical errors are also commonly involved.
Below are some of the most common factors that cause truck accidents based on data from the Federal Motor Carrier Association:
- Driver non-performance (due to sleep, heart attack, or other disablement)
- Driver inattention
- Driver’s poor decision (speeding, ignoring poor weather, etc.)
- Driver performance (overreaction, overcorrection, etc.)
- Brake problems
- Following too closely
- Drug use (prescription or over the counter)
- Roadway problems
- Illegal maneuvers
- Tire problems
- Internal distractions of the driver
- Driver use of alcohol
In many cases, truck drivers have to work very long hours and struggle with maintaining attention and focus while driving. Trucks are also prone to suffer from mechanical issues because of the heavy load they often have to bear and the many hours a day they travel.
Potential Negligent Parties In A Texas Truck Accident
There are several possible negligent parties in a truck accident in Texas.
- The most obvious negligent party is a truck driver. As discussed above, they may be fatigued, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, following too closely, or otherwise distracted. They may also make poor decisions for a variety of other reasons.
- Another possible negligent party could be another driver on the roadway. If someone in another truck or a smaller vehicle was driving drunk, drove into the truck’s lane, or acted in some other negligent or dangerous manner, they might be responsible for the accident.
- The negligent party could be a manufacturer of a truck or the employer of a truck driver. If the truck malfunctioned in a way that it shouldn’t have, the manufacturer or a repair company could be responsible for failing to care for the truck properly.
- A truck driver’s employee could also be responsible if they failed to obey the law and give the driver enough time to rest properly.
Texas Law has a few requirements for commercial drivers that could result in prosecution if they are not followed.
- Drivers are allowed to drive for 11 hours after they have had at least 10 hours off.
- Drivers must have 30-minute rest breaks AT LEAST every 8 hours.
- Drivers should not be required to drive more than 14 hours (16 hours in some rare cases).
- Drivers must not be required to drive 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days and should not drive straight for 7 or 8 days unless they have had a 34-hour rest period in between.
These are the fundamental laws. If they are violated, an employer could be held as negligent and partially responsible for a truck driver’s failure to pay attention or stay awake on the road.
To prove negligence, there are a few things you’ll need. You’ll want to keep records of medical expenses, repair costs, lost income, and other pain and suffering you’ve been through. Get in touch with a personal injury attorney in Texas at the Patterson Law Group. We’re here to help you prove negligence and get the compensation you deserve.
What To Do After A Truck Accident
Just as after any accident, you want to take a few main steps after a trucking accident.
First, you’ll want to make sure you call the ambulance. You’ll want to deal with any injuries immediately, especially since some are not obvious at first but could become problems later.
After calling the ambulance, call the police to make sure an official report is filed. You’ll need to get contact information from the other driver and any witnesses. You’ll want to find out insurance information from the other driver as well.
After the accident, make sure you get the healthcare you need to feel better and get back to living. Then, call an attorney at Patterson Law Group to help you decide what to do next.
Why A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You In A Truck Accident
You may not immediately think of calling a personal injury lawyer after an accident, but there are many good reasons to do so.
For one, you’ll want to have some help dealing with legal matters and insurance companies. You’ve already been through so much with the accident and all your injuries–you don’t need more stress to deal with. You’ll also need someone to help you determine the compensation for damages that you’re entitled to and help you win it.
At Patterson Law Group, we are devoted to recovering everything our clients are owed and entitled to. We will help you fight for what is rightfully yours and we won’t rest until we win. If you’ve been in a trucking accident, contact Patterson Law Group today. We can help you figure out what you need to do next to recover and get back to living your life.