The company might be accused of negligent hire if the driver did not have a valid commercial driver’s license or had priors for distracted or drunk driving.
A total of 581 people were killed in truck accidents in Texas in 2020, while another 1,245 were seriously injured and over 7,000 suffered non-incapacitating injuries. These statistics make Texas the state with the largest number of deadly commercial vehicle crashes in the country. Besides the suffering, what all these families affected by tragedy have in common is one thing – they all need money to cover their medical bills or funeral expenses, not to mention the financial struggle to stay afloat while the bread-winner is incapacitated. Technically, the insurance will cover the financial damages, but to actually get that money you’ll need help from the best Texas truck accident lawyers you can find.
If you want to recover damages you will have to prove that someone else is to blame for what happened, to establish negligence as the attorneys call this. With car accidents it’s easier as it is between you and the other driver. In truck accidents other parties might be found responsible, at least partially, for the crash. That’s the main reason you want an experienced Houston truck accident lawyer working on your case, to determine liability. Maybe it’s the trucking company that should be held accountable, the manufacturer, or the cargo company.
When you reach out to an accident lawyer, they will listen to your story to see if you have a case. Once they’ve decided that you do qualify for damages, they will conduct their own investigation. This will include visiting the crash site, talking to eyewitnesses, reading the police report and requesting tons of documents from the trucking company. You should get a lawyer as soon as possible because they need to get their hands on those documents before they go missing. Usually, a seasoned truck accident lawyer will immediately send a formal letter to the company asking them to preserve any documents concerning that truck as well as the driver.
For instance, the company might be accused of negligent hire if the driver did not have a valid commercial driver’s license or had priors for distracted or drunk driving. Also, they will inquire about the training the driver got before someone handed him the keys to a big rig and let him loose on the roads.
At the same time, your attorneys will check the driver’s log to see how many hours he had put in during the seven days before the accident. Driver fatigue is a common cause for truck accidents and the company can be held accountable if they were the ones insisting he should keep driving when, by law, he should have been resting.
Another important part of the investigation concerns the technical state of the truck. The trucking company is responsible for that, so if the brakes or the steering system failed, you can file a claim accusing them of negligence. A good number of truck accidents are caused by a poorly balanced load. If the load suddenly shifts in the middle of the highway even the most experienced drivers will struggle to control the vehicle.
Once they have decided who is to blame, your lawyers will help you put an estimate on the damages you deserve. Under the law, you can claim economic damages, covering your medical bills and lost wages, but also non-economic damages meant to compensate you for your pain and suffering.