If the other party is at fault, you are entitled to receive damages for your losses and injuries. Of course, accidents are not always black-and-white in terms of who’s at fault. The state of Texas follows a rule of modified comparative negligence. This means that, as long as the other party is determined to be at least 51% responsible for the incident, you still may receive damages if you are partly at fault. However, the amount of the damages you receive will be reduced by the percentage of your responsibility.
Consider a hypothetical situation in which you are driving north, and a truck turning left from the southbound lane mistimes his turn and hits your car. It seems pretty straightforward that the truck driver is at fault, right? Generally, yes. But what if you were speeding? Your speed could have affected the driver’s ability to accurately time the turn, and you may be found partly liable for the accident.
Only an experienced West Texas truck accident lawyer can expertly assess your accident and determine the strength of your case. That’s why you should call an attorney at the Hanna Law Firm at 432-606-2378.
What If My Loved One Is Killed by a Truck?
If you’ve lost a loved one in a collision with a truck, you may have a case for a wrongful death claim. While similar in some ways to personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death claims differ. They are designed to compensate survivors — generally children, spouses, and parents — for expenses and losses resulting from their family member’s death. These losses may include medical bills, funeral expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, loss of love and companionship, and lost inheritance — what the deceased person would have been expected to save and leave to the family after death.
How Do Commercial Truck Accidents Differ from Other Car Accidents?
When a collision involves a heavy commercial truck, there is a much higher likelihood of catastrophic injury or death due to the 18-wheeler’s enormous weight. Truck accident cases differ from other types of motor vehicle wrecks legally speaking, too.
When a commercial truck is involved, there are often multiple defendants who may bear some degree of liability. These may include the driver, the carrier, the company whose cargo is on the truck, and others.
Truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to industry-specific laws and regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Unfortunately, some drivers and trucking companies, under pressure to deliver loads quickly and keep costs down, may not adhere to the letter of the law.
What Are Common Ways Truckers and Carriers Break the Law?
Like all drivers, truck drivers may engage in dangerous behavior. This includes distracted driving, driving under the influence, speeding, and other common traffic violations. However, with the weight and size of a truck, these dangerous acts can have more catastrophic results. But commercial drivers and their employers have other rules they’re obligated by law to follow, including:
- Hours of service maximums. If drivers don’t take required breaks — and accurately record them in their logbook — they are breaking the law.
- Vehicle inspection and maintenance. If a trucking company fails to regularly maintain and inspect its vehicles, it is breaking the law.
- Load and cargo rules. If cargo is overweight or is improperly secured to the truck, that is breaking the law.