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Car accidents are an unfortunate part of life. Removing your eyes from the road for even a second can lead to devastating consequences. However, the aftermath can be especially dire when a driver or passenger is struck by a large truck. Trucking accident injuries can be severe, requiring lengthy hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, and even long-term, ongoing medical care. Some injuries can cause permanent damage or disfigurement, forever altering the victim’s life. It’s essential for truck accident victims to recognize their right to seek compensation from the party (or parties) responsible for the collision. Working with an experienced and knowledgeable Houston personal injury lawyer is the best way to maximize your settlement offer and receive the support you need during this difficult time. This post will explore some of the most effective legal strategies your attorney can use to hold the at-fault parties publicly and financially accountable for their negligent or reckless actions.
In addition to following the rules of the road, truck drivers must also adhere to industry standards and protocols when operating their commercial vehicles. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) lists several rules that truck drivers must follow during their routes, including the 30-minute break requirement after eight cumulative hours of driving time and an 11-hour limit of consecutive hours behind the wheel. Unfortunately, some truck drivers may feel pressured to keep on schedule, causing them to disregard these rules and drive while dangerously tired. Trucking accidents involving drowsy or intoxicated drivers are not uncommon, as these conditions impair the driver’s ability to operate their vehicles safely. Additionally, some truck accidents involve poorly manufactured parts or trucks that have not been properly inspected before use.
Truck accidents are often much more complicated than those involving two smaller passenger vehicles. Since truck accidents typically involve more parties (i.e., the truck driver, trucking company, insurance carriers for both parties, the truck manufacturer, and the injured party), determining fault and pursuing compensation takes time. Truck accidents often cause severe or even catastrophic injuries, so calculating a claim’s worth takes longer and involves more factors than estimating damages in a more traditional auto accident. Determining fault is one of the most time-consuming aspects of the truck accident claims process. Let’s take a look at some of the evidence and strategies your personal injury
attorney can use to hold the trucking company and their insurance carrier accountable for your injuries.
Trucking companies must adhere to laws requiring them to maintain safety inspection records. During the investigation, these documents may reveal that the trucking company cut corners or failed to conduct regular safety inspections, jeopardizing the safety of drivers, passengers, and others on the road. In some cases, inspection records may indicate that an incomplete or cursory inspection failed to identify a safety hazard, and this failure contributed to the accident and resulting injuries.
By law, truck drivers must keep records during their shifts detailing their start and end times, breaks, and inspection reports. These logbooks can show whether the driver adhered to all the required safety protocols. Investigating these logs can uncover any violations of FMCSA or the trucking company’s policies (i.e., exceeding the maximum travel time, failing to take the required breaks, etc.) and demonstrate that these violations contributed to the accident.
Investigators may look into the truck driver’s history to determine whether this individual has a history of substance abuse or other disciplinary action. These records can provide insight into how thoroughly the driver was prepared to operate the size and weight of the vehicle—perhaps the company neglected to provide the required training to the driver, and the driver’s inexperience and under-preparedness caused them to lose control of the vehicle. In some cases, trucking companies facing a shortage of drivers may have allowed an unqualified driver to operate a truck, even though the company was aware of the driver’s inexperience or previous history of engaging in reckless driving behaviors.
Suffering a truck accident injury can be devastating and even life-altering. Suddenly, you find yourself facing a lengthy and painful physical recovery, and you wonder how you will be able to pay down the medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses stemming from the accident. As overwhelmed and isolated as you may feel right now, it’s essential to recognize that you do not have to go through this challenging time alone. Working with a caring and experienced personal injury lawyer is the best way to ensure you secure the compensation you deserve. Your attorney will answer your questions, address your concerns, and defend your best interests at every step of the process. Together, you can hold the negligent parties accountable for their unacceptable behavior and obtain the compensation you need to support your recovery.
If you’re ready to seek compensation following a trucking accident injury in Houston, call DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC, at (832) 745-4878 to speak with an experienced and dedicated personal injury lawyer.
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