Laws Affecting Truck Accidents
Truck accidents often involve several complexities compared to typical car accidents. According to Texas Transportation Code section 550.026, the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident which causes injury to a person, death of another person, or significant vehicle damage, shall:
- Immediately stop at the accident scene.
- Report the accident to the police.
- Provide necessary assistance or aid to the accident victims.
A driver who fails to comply with the above requirements shall face third-degree felony charges.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules are designed to improve the safety of truck drivers and other road users. Here are some FMCSA rules:
- All truck drivers must meet the necessary requirements and qualifications set by the Texas Department of Transportation.
- Drivers must obtain a special Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in order to operate large trucks that weigh over 26,000 pounds.
- Truck drivers and trucking companies must implement a routine vehicle maintenance program to avoid sudden breakdowns.
- Truck drivers and maintenance personnel must conduct a comprehensive vehicle inspection before and after every trip.
- Truck drivers must strictly adhere to the federal hours of service limitations for commercial motor vehicle drivers.
As a truck driver, it is important to follow these rules and regulations at every point in time.
Statute of Limitations
Under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.003, a truck accident victim may bring a personal injury suit or wrongful death claim within two years from the date the accident, injury, or death occurred.
Truck accidents are unique, and depending on the surrounding circumstances leading to the incident, a number of different parties may possibly be held accountable for a truck accident. These include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- Parts and equipment manufacturers
- Maintenance personnel or company
- The persons who loaded or shipped the cargo
- Government agencies who failed to properly maintain the road
An experienced attorney can review and investigate all of the facts of your personal situation and determine the party or parties that should be held liable and how to file a personal injury claim or recover damages.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Texas is an at-fault auto insurance state. Under Texas's at-fault system, the party who caused the traffic accident or your injuries will pay for medical expenses, property damages, and other accident-related losses suffered by the victims.
If You're the Victim
If you're the victim of a truck accident in Texas, you can:
- File an injury claim with your own insurance provider.
- File a third-party claim directly with the insurance carrier of the at-fault party.
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in civil court.
If You're Representing an Incapacitated Loved One
To recover damages on behalf of a loved one who was incapacitated following the truck accident, you must first establish adult guardianship. Once you have been confirmed as the legal guardian of the injured person by the Texas court, you can file personal injury claims on the incapacitated victim's behalf.
If You're Representing a Deceased Loved One
Additionally, if a person lost their life in a negligent truck accident, the surviving family members of the deceased person, including the spouse, children, or parents of a decedent, can bring a wrongful death claim (or survival action) in Texas civil courts.
A skilled Texas personal injury attorney can evaluate your unique circumstances and explore your possible options to recover damages.
Work with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Being involved in a truck accident can be devastating and may prevent you from working or even enjoying life. Regardless, you don't have to go through the emotional toll, physical pain, and financial liability all on your own. If you were hurt in a truck accident, you need to retain an experienced personal injury attorney immediately to help protect your rights and pursue the financial justice you deserve.
At Rick Davis & Associates, I have the experience and resources to assist, support, and represent clients in their truck accident claims. As your legal counsel, I can:
- Fight to protect your best interests and hold the responsible parties accountable.
- Review and investigate all the surrounding facts of your situation thoroughly.
- Gather and document relevant details, necessary evidence, and required documentation.
- Work to prove fault and establish liability.
- Evaluate the full magnitude of your injuries, other losses, and determine case value.
- Communicate with the insurance carriers on your behalf and help negotiate a fair settlement.
- Take additional legal action, where applicable.
Using my extensive legal understanding, I can guide you through the often complicated legal processes involved in pursuing personal injury or wrongful death claims. Having me on your side can increase your prospects of receiving the best possible outcome in your truck accident case.