Trucking Accident Lawyers in San Antonio TX Answer Your FAQs
Accidents involving commercial trucks can be devastating. That’s because these trucks tend to be much larger than even the largest commuter vehicles available on the market. Those involved in such accidents experience often life-threatening injuries. In some cases, they lose their lives. If you or a loved one suffered injury in a trucking accident, a truck accident attorney in San Antonio TX can help.
Commercial trucking companies are required by law to ensure that their drivers meet certain standards. In addition, federal regulations mandate that truck drivers take periodic rest breaks, and the trucks themselves meet minimum safety requirements before they go on delivery. When a trucking company fails to meet these requirements and their negligence results injuries to another driver, they can be sued. Even if they are compliant with these regulations and their driver causes an accident, they are liable for the injuries they cause to both the other driver and their property.
At Brylak Law, we can help you obtain fair compensation or your damages, and prevent trucking companies and their insurers from unfairly laying the blame on you. Below, we discuss some of the many questions truck accident victims may have.
What Is a Commercial Vehicle?
A commercial vehicle is a vehicle that is used by a business to transport goods. In most cases, these commercial vehicles are semi-trucks. However, it should be noted that there are other large trucks that can be used for commercial purposes. In most cases, a commercial vehicle is characterized as a vehicle that requires a special license to operate, such as an 18-wheeler or a cement truck. To clarify if the vehicle was a commercial or private vehicle, speak to your attorney.
How Common Are Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents are an increasingly common phenomenon on U.S. roads. This is despite the fact that technology to improve the driver’s vision with blind spot sensors is now widely available. In addition, the technology to perform diagnostics on trucks leaving for deliveries has improved, and the federal government now mandates rest breaks after 8 hours of nonstop driving. Despite all of the safety measures in place to protect both truck drivers and other drivers on the road, 2018 saw trucking fatalities reach the highest levels in the past 29 years. The larger the truck, the greater the increase in fatalities.
What Makes Accidents With a Commercial Truck More Serious Than With a Passenger Vehicle?
Accidents that occur with a semi-truck often result in serious injuries or death. These vehicles are often 25 times the weight of a passenger vehicle and many carry hazardous materials. These two factors alone make them dangerous on the roads. The drivers of these trucks and their companies are held to higher standards than a normal passenger vehicle because of their potential danger.
What Are the Most Common Causes of an Accident Between a Commercial Vehicle and a Car?
There are many reasons that a trucking accident can occur. However, the most common reasons are:
- Operator error on the part of the truck driver,
- Inherent blind spots in the truck,
- Operational failures of equipment, and
- Road conditions.
Truck Driver Negligence
Truck driver negligence can include any of the following:
- Failing to abide by the rules of traffic,
- Driving while tired, distracted, or inebriated,
- Poor driver training,
- Failing to check mirrors, and speeding.
Another key area of concern is the condition of the truck when it leaves for a delivery. In some cases, some condition of the truck may cause a serious accident involving a passenger vehicle. These include:
- Tire failure,
- Improperly loaded trucks,
- Lack of side rails to prevent undercarriage accidents,
- Failure to perform diagnostics before delivery, and
- Brake failure or failure of some other part of the truck.
There may also be issue with the passenger vehicle driver in some cases, such as tailgating or ignoring or not knowing about the blind spots on the truck. In such cases, the driver may be held either partially or wholly liable for the accident.
I Was Involved in a Big Rig Accident and the Other Driver Was at Fault. Can I Make a Claim for Lost Wages?
Yes, you can file for lost wages due to the accident. You will also be able to file for any future lost earnings that are a result of the injuries you sustained. During your initial consultation, your attorney will explain all the forms of compensation you are entitled to under the law.
I Was Involved in a Trucking Accident with a Vehicle Carrying a Hazardous Liquid. I Now Have Respiratory Problems. Can I Sue the Company That Shipped the Hazardous Material?
There are occasions where the shipper can be held liable in this type of situation. The shipper would have to have shipped the hazardous material without informing the trucking company that it was hazardous to be held liable. This is known as “duty to inform.” If that duty was met, they do not have any liability concerning the accident. Your Laredo injury attorney will look through all the shipping documentation to see if the hazardous materials were correctly shipped and labeled.
What Is a Truck “No Zone” and Why Shouldn’t I Drive There?
The “No Zone” is the area directly behind the truck and usually on the right hand side of the truck. This is where the most blind spots occur. Most commercial vehicles will have a warning label on the back encouraging other drivers not to get into these blind spots. As a rule, you should always remember if the driver cannot see you in their side mirror (or you see the driver in their mirror) you are most likely in a blind spot.
Can I Sue the Trucking Company of the Driver That Caused the Accident?
Your Laredo injury attorney will investigate the possibility of suing the trucking company that is connected to your accident. If the driver is an employee, the company will most likely be liable for the accident. If the driver is an independent driver or a contractor, establishing liability may become a little more difficult. Your attorney will have to determine who actually owns the truck and who maintains the truck to determine full responsibility for the accident.
Does a Jackknife Accident Automatically Mean the Truck Driver Is Liable for the Accident?
When a truck jackknifes it is not automatically their fault. An accident reconstruction specialist will need to be called in to determine the cause of the accident and the jackknife. Some road condition may have caused this to happen at no fault of the driver.
If I Am Partially At Fault for the Accident, Can I Still Seek Compensation?
If you are found to be less than 50 percent at fault, you can claim for compensation in most cases. However, the percentage that you are found at fault will impact your claim. If it is found that you are over 50 percent at fault, most state laws will not allow you to seek compensation.
Speak to a San Antonio TX Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you are encouraged to contact Brylak Law for a free consultation. Your case will be examined by an attorney with in-depth knowledge of trucking accidents and the trucking industry. Your attorney can explain to you all of the forms of compensation you may claim for your injuries and other losses when you are involved in this type of accident. Speak to a truck accident attorney about your case today.