This Blog was brought to you by the Laredo’s Truck Accident Attorneys The Carabin Shaw Law Firm, Principal Office in San Antonio
Laredo Truck Accident Attorneys
While not as common as collisions involving passenger cars, truck accidents are often more devastating for the victims and their families. Anytime a tractor-trailer, semi-truck, or 18-wheeler is involved in an accident with a smaller vehicle, the smaller vehicle bears the brunt of the impact.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates commercial trucks, nearly 4,000 fatal crashes yearly involving “large trucks and buses.” In the last year for which the FMCSA has complete data, there were roughly 132,000 injuries attributed to truck and bus accidents. Approximately three-fourths of all injuries and fatalities in these accidents are sustained by “occupants of other vehicles.” More info on this website
What Causes Truck Accidents?
The typical passenger car weighs about 5,000 pounds. In contrast, the legal limit for a commercial truck–that is, one that does not have an oversize or overweight permit–is 80,000 pounds. This 16-to-1 weight difference makes a commercial truck a dangerous instrument when left in the wrong hands.
Several factors may lead to a serious truck accident:
The driver lacks experience in handling the vehicle;
The truck is carrying a load above its legal weight limit;
The driver recklessly operates the truck on narrow roads that are not designed to handle commercial vehicles;
The driver fails to obey traffic laws;
The driver does not see the victim’s car due to a commercial truck’s large “blind spot”; and
The driver is operating the vehicle while tired – possibly over the maximum hours permitted by FMCSA regulations.
Like anyone who operates a motor vehicle on Texas roads, truck drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists. If a driver’s negligence leads to an accident, the victims have the right to seek compensation. A qualified truck accident attorney is an invaluable ally in holding the driver, among other parties, accountable.
Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents are not simple fender benders. They typically involve a web of factual and legal issues. If you are a victim recovering from serious injuries, the last thing you should do is attempt to deal with such problems on your own.
Why are truck accidents so complicated? For one thing, it can be challenging to ascertain who owns the truck. Consider a typical car accident. You typically exchange insurance and registration with the other driver, who, in most cases, is also the car’s owner. It is, therefore, readily apparent who is liable for any potential damages.
With truck accidents, it is usually not that simple. There may be multiple parties who are potentially liable for your injuries:
the truck driver, who may be an employee or an independent contractor;
the company that employs the truck driver;
the company that owns the truck, which may be different than the company that employs the driver;
the company that leased the truck from its owner; or
the company that owns or leases the trailer attached to the truck if it was carrying commercial cargo at the time of the accident.
Ownership interests are complicated to decipher because they often involve a variety of legal entities–corporations, LLCs, etc.– designed to minimize the valid owner’s liability. Experienced personal injury lawyers know how to untangle this mess and identify the correct parties.
How Do You Investigate a Truck Accident?
Identification is just the first step. Commercial trucking accidents generate a lot of paperwork – which is information that may clarify a defendant’s liability. At our Law Office, we know how to sort through this mountain of evidence to get to the heart of the matter. There are several questions we can investigate the answers to on your behalf:
Who was actually in control of the truck when the accident occurred?
Was the truck properly maintained according to the owner’s written records?
Who was responsible if the company failed to keep proper maintenance records, as required by federal law?
Has the same company – or even the same truck been involved in any previous accidents?
There are also cases where the truck driver and owner did nothing wrong. In other words, the accident was not the fault of negligent driving but a physical defect in the truck itself. Trucks are enormously complex machines that require thousands of parts to function correctly. If one of those parts fails due to a manufacturer’s error in design or production, an accident victim may have a cause of action for product liability.
What Compensation Can I Recover?
A truck accident can leave you with lifelong injuries. Traumatic brain injury and paralysis are just two examples. These are not the kinds of injuries that heal after a quick visit to the emergency room. In many cases, victims find their quality of life significantly reduced. They may be unable to work or enjoy everyday activities.
Our attorneys can help a judge and jury understand a truck accident’s total financial and emotional impact. By law, you are entitled to recover past and current medical expenses from the negligent parties and compensation for estimated future medical care – even if it lasts the rest of your life. You may also seek damages for lost wages, future earning capacity, and non-economic damages to compensate you for pain and suffering.
Why Should I Contact Your Truck Accident Attorneys in Laredo?
Our Law Office is not a one-man affair. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers is dedicated to serving the people. We know how to handle your case from start to finish, whether that involves a brief negotiation with an insurance company willing to admit liability or an extended trial involving months of investigation, discovery, and possible appeals.
Our Law Firm is committed to helping your family seek justice. If you or a loved one have been injured due to a negligent truck driver, owner, or manufacturer, call us today to schedule a free consultation.