Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Truck Accident
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Who can be held liable in a truck accident?
To say that truck accidents are complicated is an understatement. A variety of factors that many don’t even know about come into play when determining who is at fault. Unlike car accidents, in which typically only the drivers involved in the accident can take the blame, many other people, companies, and even equipment may be held liable for truck accidents. Here, we discuss some of the parties that may be held liable after a truck accident. When it comes to truck accidents, there are many different parties that may be liable for a victim’s injuries. The following is a brief overview:
- The truck driver. If you are hit by a truck that went through a red light or hit from behind by a truck, the truck driver may be to blame. This is particularly true if the driver was under the influence or distracted when the accident took place. However, you may be able to make a claim against the driver, in addition to additional parties if your attorney finds that more than just the driver could be to blame.
- Cargo companies. You’ve likely seen big trucks traveling down the road while carrying massive amounts of cargo. Often times, these pieces of cargo are unsafely loaded, whether it is because the people who loaded them didn’t follow proper protocol, or because the equipment they used to secure the cargo is unsafe. Whatever the reason, the cargo company may be to blame if falling cargo caused your accident, or if uneven cargo placement caused the truck to create an accident.
- The trucking company. Truck drivers are placed under lots of pressure to deliver their loads as quickly as possible. Oftentimes, truck drivers have to adhere to unreasonable schedules—and may engage in dangerous behavior in order to keep their jobs. For instance, some drivers may go without sleep for long periods of time in order to make it to their destinations.
- Truck manufacturers. No matter how safe a truck operator drives, he may not be able to prevent an accident from occurring if the rig he is driving malfunctions. Faulty manufacturing can be to blame if the truck was defective or poorly designed. Additionally, if the truck was made with defective parts which were to blame for the accident, the truck manufacturer may be at fault.
Determining Who Is to Blame
Finding the evidence you need to prove that the cargo company, truck manufacturer, trucking or cargo company, or even a truck driver is to blame is crucial in a truck accident case. Having a strong attorney on your side can help you get the compensation you’ll need, because the truck driver and his team will also have a strong legal front. Attempting to fight the insurance company on your own can be a losing battle.
The truck driver’s attorneys may attempt to place the blame on you—even if it was clearly the driver’s fault. Additionally, if you try to fight against a major company, you will have an experienced legal team attacking your character, your driving history, and whatever it can to win the case. Are you prepared to fight that on your own? Do you know how to prove that faulty truck brakes or an improper trailer attachment caused your crash?
The attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, LLP will do what it takes to gather evidence and conduct a thorough investigation. Schedule an appointment to speak with a legal professional about your situation by calling 855.947.0707 to learn more about how we may be able to get you the help you need to pay for your medical bills, vehicle repairs, and time lost from work.
What are my chances of getting into an accident with a truck?
Driving next to a large truck isn’t something that many drivers of smaller vehicles look forward to doing. After all, truck drivers have difficulties seeing cars around them because of their size, and driving next to a vehicle that has that much power and weight to it is quite intimidating.
Unfortunately, car vs. truck accidents are quite common, and often, the driver of the smaller vehicle typically gets the brunt of the injuries. But what may come as a surprise to you is that cars are usually the culprit of these accidents. According to a recent report that revealed the results of a study that evaluated over 8,000 vehicles involving car and truck accidents, car drivers caused the accidents 81 percent of the time. This is likely due to how many drivers cut trucks off and don’t give the trucker time to stop before a collision occurs, or runs into the truck while it is attempting to make a wide turn.
Why You’ll Likely Become Involved in a Truck Accident
The scary fact is, your chances of getting involved in a truck accident are quite high. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), around 500,000 trucking accidents occur in the United States each year, and about 5,000 of those accidents are fatalities. Additionally, about one out of every eight traffic accidents that occur involve large trucks. What’s even more frightening is that when it comes to tractor-trailer accidents, 98 percent of fatalities involve those in the passenger vehicles.
Truck accidents occur for a variety of reasons, and many are unavoidable, which is why your chances of becoming involved and injured in an accident with a large truck is quite high. The following are some of the causes of truck accidents:
Inclement weather. Any type of vehicular accident is more likely to occur when the weather is far from optimal. Rain and snow can make the surface slick, causing vehicles to lose traction and become jackknifed or overturned. Since the DC area experiences just about every type of weather imaginable, there’s a high chance that you could be involved in a truck accident that was caused by poor weather conditions.
Other driver error. Spending time on interstates 95 or 495 isn’t for the faint of heart, particularly during rush hour. These busy roads are constantly crowded with drivers who are in a hurry and are inconsiderate of the drivers who are traveling around them. As a result, many drivers drive aggressively or operate their vehicles in unsafe manners, such as changing lanes too quickly. If a driver makes a mistake while on the road, a truck driver likely won’t have time to react safely, and could possibly create an accident because of it.
Blind spot accidents. You’ve probably seen signs on trucks that say “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you,” and that is true. If you aren’t able to see the side mirrors on a truck because you are riding too closely, chances are, the truck driver has no way of even knowing you are there. Furthermore, trucks are filled with blind spots where the trucker is unable to see what is happening around him. For instance, the sides of the truck, along with the front and back, aren’t clearly visible to a driver, and if a vehicle is moving along in these areas, the driver likely won’t see it. This is quite dangerous, as the trucker could attempt to turn or switch lanes completely unaware that a passenger vehicle is in the blind spot.
We Want to Help Truck Accident Victims
Truck accident victims are often plagued with life-changing injuries that can affect them for the rest of their lives. Not only can these injuries be devastating, but they can be costly, too. If you don’t think it’s fair to be held responsible for costs related to an accident that wasn’t your fault, you’re not alone—because we don’t either. The attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, LLP, work hard to help truck accident victims receive the compensation they deserve. Call us at 855-947-0707 to schedule your free appointment and speak with an attorney about your situation.