Fayette, Bastrop, and Colorado County Truck and 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney
Given the fact that Texas is a gateway for cargo that gets transported throughout the nation, automobile drivers have no choice but to share the road with commercial trucks and tractor trailers. Although there are state and federal safety laws governing trucking companies and truck drivers, accidents are far too common, often with catastrophic consequences. Because of the size and weight of trucks, occupants of smaller vehicles are at a high risk of serious injuries in the event of a collision. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
I am well versed in the applicable truck safety laws and have a well-earned reputation for aggressively fighting for the rights of our personal injury clients.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Despite the state and federal laws that are designed to protect the public, trucks, and big-rigs are frequently involved in accidents for the following reasons.
- Improper Maintenance – Truck parts and components, such as braking systems, engines, tires braking lights, hitch assemblies and straps, must be properly maintained. Trucking companies are required to abide by federal laws regarding vehicle maintenance and can be held liable in the event of an accident.
- Driver Fatigue – Despite federal regulations that set hourly driving limits and that require truckers to take regular breaks, driver fatigue is a systemic problem in the trucking industry. Trucking companies often impose strict delivery deadlines and many truckers are paid based on mileage. These factors force drivers to cover vast distances leaving them susceptible to fatigue. In the event of an accident, both the trucking company and the trucker can be held liable.
- Distracted Driving – Due to the rigors of driving and long work schedules, truckers are more prone to becoming distracted than other vehicle drivers. Combined with the fact that truckers often rely on GPS navigation devices, or can become distracted by eating, drinking, or using a radio, the chances of an accident are high, making a trucker can be legally responsible for an accident.
- Inadequate Training – Although it is a common industry practice for trucking companies to pay drivers to complete trucking courses, drivers are often put on the road too quickly. This is because new drivers are usually paid less per mile than more experienced truckers. Lacking the necessary experience to safely maneuver these vehicles, new truckers are more likely to become involved in accidents. A trucking company can be held liable for inadequately training its drivers.
- Improper Loading – Although state and federal laws regulate the weight of cargo trucks can carry, improper loading can make a vehicle harder to stop or maneuver, and deadly jack-knife incidents can occur. Determining who was responsible for loading requires a thorough investigation.
Truck Safety Laws
Trucking companies and truck drivers have a legal obligation to abide by a number of state and federal truck safety laws. First, trucking companies have a duty to properly maintain vehicles that they own or lease. The braking systems, lights, steering, engine and any other mechanical parts must be operating properly at all times. Trucking companies are also required to conduct routine safety inspections and maintain records of inspections and repairs. These records must also be available for review by authorities. By failing to adhere to these requirements, a trucking company can be held liable for an accident caused by a mechanical defect.
Additionally, trucking companies have an obligation to ensure that all drivers are properly trained. In an effort to cut costs, however, companies are notorious for sending inexperienced drivers onto the road.
Both the trucker and the trucking company can be held liable for accidents caused by inexperienced truck driver error.
Finally, truck drivers also have a duty of care not to injure other drivers and abide by certain rules. They must be adequately trained and are required to obtain special licenses. They must also comply with rules limiting the amount of hours they drive and mandating regular rest breaks. When truckers skirt these rules and cause accidents, the trucking company and the driver may both be held legally responsible.
Austin & La Grange Truck Accident Attorneys
While sharing the road with commercial trucks and tractor trailers in unavoidable, negligent trucking companies and truck drivers must be held accountable for accidents that result in injuries. I have decades of experience pursuing truck accident injury claims and helping you obtain compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.
By collaborating with a respected network of accident reconstruction experts, I work to show how the trucking company and/or the trucker was liable for the accident. Although trucking companies and their insurers seek to minimize their liability, I leverage my knowledge and negotiating skills to ensure that you receive the full value of your claim. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, please call me at 979.968.3783 today for a free consultation or complete the website contact form.