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Who is Liable for Damages in a San Antonio Truck Accident?

— March 31, 2022

A sudden shift of the load can make the driver lose control of the vehicle and crash into another car.

San Antonio, TX – Texas is the state with the highest number of truck accidents in the country. According to a recent report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2017, 649 people were killed and several thousand injured in truck crashes in Texas, the highest number in the decade. Statistics show that most truck accidents occur around large urban areas, such as San Antonio. The most dangerous roads in the San Antonio area are Interstate 10 (I-10), Farm to Market 2252 (FM 2252), Interstate 35 (I-35), Interstate 410 (I-410), and U.S. Route 90 (US 90). 

If you sustain severe injuries, as it often happens in truck accidents, you will be wondering who will be paying for damages. This is a question only seasoned San Antonio truck accident lawyers can answer. Each case is unique and your lawyers will have to investigate your accident to determine who is liable for damages. The conclusions in the police report may indicate who is responsible, but your attorneys may need to conduct an independent investigation to understand whether there were underlying factors that contributed to the accident. This is more than a mere technicality, it’s a crucial step in the recovery process because, when you have a large claim, you want to know all the sources where that money might come from. 

Let’s have a look at who may be held accountable in a truck accident and keep in mind that in this type of crash you may have more than one party that is responsible for damages.

The trucker

According to the FMCSA report, speeding, distraction (cell phone use, eating, lost in thought) and failure to yield the right of way are the most common causes of truck accidents in Texas. If that is the case in your accident, you will have to file a claim against the trucker’s insurance, but, unfortunately, most commercial drivers only carry minimum liability coverage (around $25,000) and this may not be enough to cover your damages.

The trucking company

Driver fatigue is another common cause of truck accidents in Texas and you may be able to build a case against the trucking company if they failed to monitor the driver’s activity or encouraged him to ignore federal Hours of Service regulations. According to the HoS, a commercial driver cannot drive for more than 11 hours straight and has to take a 10-hour break after each shift.

Aerial view of loading dock full of trucks; image by Ivan Bandura, via
Aerial view of loading dock full of trucks; image by Ivan Bandura, via

Also, if your Texas truck accident lawyers determine that there was a mechanical failure that led to the crash, the trucking company may be held accountable for failure to provide adequate maintenance.

The maintenance company

Many large interstate trucking companies use third-party maintenance services providers. If there was a problem with the brakes or the steering system, those in charge of maintenance may be held accountable for failure to repair or replace the defective part. The same goes for tire blowouts, another frequent cause of truck crashes.

The manufacturer of a defective part

Your lawyers may need to bring in independent experts to examine the truck. If it turns out that a certain part was defective and the maintenance crew couldn’t have known about the problem, the manufacturer will be liable for damages.

The shipping company

A sudden shift of the load can make the driver lose control of the vehicle and crash into another car. While the driver may be found guilty of some error, your lawyers may be able to build a case against those responsible for loading the truck.

If you were recently involved in an accident or have other legal issues and you’re wondering where can I find attorneys near me, don’t worry, help is just a few clicks away. Just follow the link and select your state and city, choose your lawyer, and schedule a free consultation. They’ll take care of your problem in no time.

Source: FMCSA Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report

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