Truck accidents could cause devastating damages and injuries to everyone involved. Most cars are no match for the sheer size and force of a commercial truck in motion. The forces in a truck accident are much greater than the forces in an ordinary car wreck case at the same speeds due to the greater mass of the truck involved in the accident. As a result, the damages to the vehicles and their occupants are typically much greater.
If you suffered an injury caused by a truck accident, you might be trying to recover both physically and financially. A Sugar Land truck accident lawyer might be able to help. With a skilled Sugar Land personal injury attorney at your side, you could feel more at ease about your recovery efforts. Call now to schedule a free consultation today.
State and Federal Regulations on Truck Drivers
Commercial trucking has been the backbone of interstate and intrastate commerce for decades. Interstate commerce is any commercial activity that is being done between states. Intrastate commerce, on the other hand, involves any commercial activity being done within the state.
All commercial vehicles engaged in interstate commerce are subject to regulations by standards set by federal agencies such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Commercial vehicles are defined as any vehicle that is:
- Used on the highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property.
- Weighs 10,0001 pounds or more
- Is used to transport more than eight passengers including the driver for compensation
- Is used to transport fifteen or more passengers including the driver, but not for compensation
- Is used to transport hazardous materials in quantity requiring placarding
A truck crash attorney in Sugar Land could help those suffering from truck accident injuries determine whether the truck they were struck by was a commercial vehicle or not. Evidence of a driver’s noncompliance with federal regulations, as well as state regulations, could be used as evidence of liability against them in court.
State law predominantly regulates intrastate commerce, but also regulates interstate truck drivers. For example, interstate truck drivers are prohibited from driving more than eleven hours consecutively. In addition, interstate truck drivers are required to have at least ten hours off duty prior to beginning their next shift after driving on duty for fourteen hours total.
However, intrastate truck drivers may drive twelve hours consecutively but only after having eight hours off duty. Intrastate truck drivers may only drive a maximum of 70 hours during seven consecutive days.
Liability and Recovery for Truck Accidents in Sugar Land
Vicarious liability is a common issue that arises in truck accident cases. Many truck drivers are employed by another entity, such as a government organization or privately-owned company.
If applicable, a Sugar Land truck accident lawyer could use vicarious liability as a legal theory to pursue damages against the truck driver’s employer. Plaintiffs seeking relief must file their personal injury claim against the employer and employee within two years of the accident pursuant to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §16.003. Under vicarious liability, employers are liable for their employee’s negative actions under the following circumstances:
- The wrongdoer is an employee, not an independent contractor
- The employee committed a negligent act
- The negligent act was committed during the ordinary course of their employment
- The negligent act was not committed during a frolic, a substantial deviation from the scope of their employment
Ways That a Sugar Land Truck Accident Attorney Could Help
Moving forward after a truck accident is not always easy. In some cases, victims have sustained catastrophic and long-lasting injuries which have forced them to change their lifestyle to accommodate their injuries.
Getting just compensation could make a big difference for someone recovering from a truck collision. A Sugar Land truck accident lawyer might be able to investigate your case and help you bring on your claim for recovery. Call and reach out to an attorney to schedule a free consultation and start your claim for recovery.