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Car accidents can cause fatalities or serious injuries, depending on the circumstances. However, if one of the vehicles involved in the accident was an 18-wheeler, the consequences can be severe due to the massive weight and size of the truck. In many cases, the trucker is at fault for the accident. Unfortunately, it’s the occupants of the passenger vehicle that suffer the most severe injuries.
If you have been involved in an 18-wheeler accident you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. An experienced South Side truck accident attorney from the Amaro Law Firm can help you seek compensation for your injuries and other damages and guide you through this complex legal process.
There are many reasons why trucking accidents occur. A thorough investigation by the truck wreck lawyers at the Amaro Law Firm will reveal who should be held liable.
Factors that can contribute to a truck accident can include:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act requires truckers to keep accurate, up-to-date driving records, including cargo weight, rest breaks, mileage, driving time, and more.
With deadlines to meet, truckers may push their driving limits, exceeding the number of hours they’re allowed to drive per shift. They may also cut their breaks short between shifts. A sleep-deprived or drowsy trucker can pose a major threat on the road. They can have a slower reaction time, may be inattentive, and have dulled senses. A trucker who falls asleep behind the wheel can cross a centerline, forcing vehicles off the road, causing collisions between other vehicles, or the truck can strike another vehicle in their lane.
To meet their delivery goals, some truckers may drive too many hours per shift and skip an entry or record a false time, violating federal laws.
A truck driver may drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, tailgate, speed, or break other rules of the road.
Truckers who are not properly trained can pose a major safety risk to other motorists on the road.
Cargo loading companies may employ dangerous loading practices that can increase braking distance, shifting a load that’s not properly balanced. Improper loading practices can also cause cargo that’s not secured to fall from the truck.
Poor truck maintenance or a lack of maintenance can impact the truck’s performance and cause it to brake suddenly, stall, or swerve. It can also lead to issues that impede the trucker’s visibility. All semi-trucks should be inspected routinely for weathered reflective tape, shredded tie-downs, ripped tarpaulins, broken trailer latches, missing mud flaps, cracked side mirrors, review mirrors, or windshields, broken trailer lights, broken taillights, or headlights, worn axles, and bald tires.
Typically, in a passenger vehicle accident, only the vehicles involved are liable for the accident. In a semi-truck collision, there may be several parties that can be held liable:
When an accident is caused due to the trucker’s reckless or careless behavior, the trucker can be held liable for the accident victim’s injuries and other damages.
Trucking companies can be held liable for the trucking accident if they have negligently trained or hired the driver who caused the accident. The trucking company can also be held liable if they encouraged the trucker’s reckless or negligent actions, such as offering incentives for delivering a load on time or encouraging their drivers to drive beyond the hours-of-service limits.
If the semi-truck is owned by someone other than the trucking company or trucker, that party can be held liable if poor maintenance was the cause of the accident.
The freight in the truck may have shifted during transit, causing the driver to lose control of the truck. The company responsible for loading the cargo can bear liability for the accident if the crash was caused by improperly loaded cargo or unsecured cargo.
The maintenance company or mechanic can be held responsible for an accident that resulted from improper or inadequate maintenance.
Truck or truck part manufacturers can be held liable for manufacturing parts that were defective or failed during normal operation.
In many trucking accidents, more than one of these parties can share liability. The truck wreck attorneys from the Amaro Law Firm will work to ensure you’re fairly compensated for your injuries and other damages.
Investigating a trucking accident often involves multiple pieces of evidence that wouldn’t normally be examined in a passenger vehicle accident. When you hire the lawyers at the Amaro Law Firm, our attorneys will examine the following evidence:
The trucking industry regulates how many hours truckers can spend behind the wheel. A trucker is required to log their time on the road. Reviewing a trucker’s driving logs will show whether the trucker exceeded the hours-of-service rules. That type of evidence can indicate the trucker was fatigued at the time of the crash.
Truckers may be required to undergo a drug and alcohol screen after a collision that injured another motorist. A toxicology report will show whether the trucker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident occurred.
Many semi-trucks are equipped with black box data recorders that record a variety of important information, such as braking and acceleration inputs, steering, speed, and GPS position. This information can be used to show what the trucker was doing in the moments leading up to the accident.
A truck’s maintenance logs can show if a truck had mechanical work or deferred maintenance that was not performed properly.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages.
These damages can include:
In Texas, the statute of limitations for trucking accident lawsuits is two years. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time frame, the court can dismiss your suit. This means you will lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries and other damages. Because of this, you must contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will ensure your paperwork is filed correctly and on time.
If you’ve been involved in a trucking accident that was caused by the negligent actions of a truck driver, contact the truck accident lawyers at the Amaro Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation. We understand how devastating a trucking accident can be and how overwhelmed you may feel. Meet with one of our attorneys as soon as possible to discuss your legal options, how you can protect your rights, and how the team at the Amaro Law Firm can help you seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other losses.