Truck accidents can cause devastating damages and injuries to everyone involved. 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, damages to passenger vehicles and their occupants are typically much greater.
Truck Accidents by the Numbers
The size and inertia of semis and their trailers pose a greater risk to other drivers on the road. A collision with a semi-truck is far more likely to cause death or serious injury than an average passenger vehicle accident. In 2019, the NHTSA reported 159,000 injuries caused by truck accidents, along with 5,005 deaths. The 32:1 ratio of injuries to deaths is much higher than the overall 76:1 injury to death rate in car accidents. This represents a huge jump in risk of death when dealing with trucks, as their bulk and solid frame face little resistance from most passenger cars.
Of these 5,005 deaths resulting from these crashes, over 80% were in the vehicle impacted by the truck. Car drivers and passengers also account for over 74% of injuries as well, compared to just 26% affecting the occupants of the truck. The overwhelming majority of risk for injury or death in these cases lies with everyday commuters.
Truckers Owe a Higher Duty of Care
Every driver is responsible for exercising reasonable care while driving in order to keep themselves and others safe. Due to the heightened dangers and risks of trucking, truckers are subject to strict safety regulations.
State and Federal Regulations for Truck Drivers
Commercial trucking has been the backbone of interstate and intrastate commerce for decades. Because trucks account for just 4% of all vehicles on the road, but account for 6% of auto injuries and 13% of deaths, there are more responsibilities and regulations involved in allowing them to operate on public roads and highways.
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. A commercial vehicle is 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 accident attorney could help those suffering from truck accident injuries determine whether the type of truck they were struck by was a commercial vehicle or not. Evidence of a driver’s noncompliance with state or federal regulations could be used as evidence of liability against them in court.
State laws predominantly regulate intrastate commerce, but they also regulate 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 in Sugar Land Truck Accidents
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 truck accident attorney in Sugar Land. TX 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 or omission
- The negligent act or omission was committed during the ordinary course of their employment
Texas Laws for Sugar Land Truck Accident Victim Compensation
In addition to proving liability in your truck accident case, one of our Sugar Land truck accident attorneys will gather information to help prove the value of the damages in your case. Texas law provides that truck accident victims may recover for the following damages:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost income in the past
- Lost earning capacity in the future
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering (Past and future)
- Emotional distress and mental anguish (past and future)
- Punitive damages
Get in Touch With An Experienced Sugar Land Truck Accident Lawyer
All out-of-pocket medical expenses, including those incurred on the date of your accident or injury, can be recovered. Calculating damages requires a thorough examination of your medical records, employment records, and other factual evidence plus understanding the long-term impacts of your injuries. The Sugar Land truck accident lawyers of the Amaro Law Firm will employ every means available to quantify the full extent of your losses.