Commercial vehicle / big truck accidents affect individuals and families across the country every day and have been increasing significantly for the last decade. For Texas drivers, this is especially true. The Lone Star State consistently has more fatal commercial truck accidents than any other state. The majority of these crashes are caused by things such as driver fatigue and lack of driver training. Today, a severe driver shortage is forcing the industry employees to work strenuous hours across long distances. This creates dangerous driving conditions for both the truck drivers and surrounding drivers. Being involved in an accident with such a large vehicle can be exceedingly scary and exhausting, but a qualified Texas personal injury attorney can guide you through the process and fight for your compensation.
The first part of evaluating a claim is determining which party(s) was at fault. This is called liability. Liability is a crucial part of handling commercial vehicle / 18-wheeler accidents and can potentially include parties such as the truck driver, the trucking company, the cargo company, or the manufacturer. Often, the truck driver was at fault due to distractions or exhaustion. Typically, the legal theory “Respondeat Superior” holds the trucking company responsible for its driver’s negligence. The trucking company can also be responsible for failure to properly hire, supervise or train its drivers. Additionally, the state of Texas follows the modified comparative fault. In these cases, if you are more than 50% responsible for the crash, you cannot receive any damages.
On June 16, 2021, Governor Abbott signed a new law regarding commercial liability cases for trucking companies. In essence, the law’s purpose is to lessen the number of lawsuits against trucking companies in which the driver was not at fault. This new law requires two trial phases. Initially, the court would assess the incident solely under the standard of negligence. In the second phase, a more thorough look will be given to the legal issues that resulted from the incident.
After being involved in a trucking accident, there are three critical steps you need to follow to obtain the best possible outcome. First and foremost, seek medical attention and follow your medical providers’ advice. Because many doctors will not treat motor vehicle accident victims, Burress Personal Injury Law has a war chest of medical providers of virtually every specialty who will help accident victims and they will not charge you up front for helping you.
Collecting evidence is the next step. Evidence will help prove liability and ensure proper compensation. Along with medical documentation, you should make sure to file a police report, gather all necessary contact information, and take photos of the accident.
Lastly, contact a qualified personal injury attorney who can help you through this process and fight for your case. In a commercial vehicle accident case, it is extremely important to hire legal counsel quickly so that evidence can be preserved. Evidence from the vehicles involved in the truck wreck need to be captured. Vehicles have crash data retrieval tools known as “black boxes” that can reveal speeds, braking, steering inputs and many other data points that can prove liability and even gross negligence. Victims who do not hire qualified personal injury attorneys have no way of downloading the black boxes or interpreting the data. Moreover, experienced truck accident attorneys can send thorough spoliation (preservation of evidence) letters to ensure trucking companies and their insurers maintain evidence or else pay a high price in the courtroom. Without taking steps to preserve this type of evidence, vehicles and thus black boxes are destroyed.
Contact a McKinney Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a truck accident, the team at Burress Personal Injury Law is here to help. Our skilled Collin County injury lawyers can help determine who is liable for your accident, helping you to better understand your case and your compensation options. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 214-726-0016.
Burress Injury Law is a highly rated personal injury firm based in McKinney, Collin County, Texas. As of the date of this publication, we have recovered more than $150 Million on behalf of our clients. We have a winning percentage higher than 99.9% and we maintain a perfect 5.0-star Google rating after hundreds of client reviews. Our attorneys have tried more cases than any other injury law firm in Collin County.