Do I Need To Hire An Attorney For An 18-Wheeler Or Commercial Truck Accident?
The commercial trucking company will immediately hire adjusters, investigators, and attorneys to help clear it from liability and reduce your damages. You need an attorney working for you who understands the trucking industry, to help preserve evidence, and to document your damages. There are regulations governing maintenance and inspection of 18-wheelers, and governing training and hours of service for drivers of large commercial vehicles. The attorneys at Wham & Rogers have experience with and know these regulations inside and out.
Why Are Truck Accidents Worse Than Car Accidents?
Because 18-wheelers and tractor trailers weigh significantly more than cars — some as much as 80,000 pounds — and passenger cars usually weigh under 5,000 pounds, big trucks can do more damage to your car than an accident with an ordinary car. Due to this size differential, collisions with big trucks often result in serious or even fatal injuries. There are approximately 500,000 tractor trailer collisions in the U.S. annually, with about 5,000 resulting in death.
How Is Fault Determined After A Commercial Truck Wreck?
Investigators on the scene will examine the truck for maintenance issues, examine the accident scene for clues as to what caused the accident, check to see if the driver had more than the allowable number of hours that day, and check to see if the driver was using illegal substances.
Our firm also checks the maintenance, inspection, and repair history of the vehicle. Often, we find that the truck was poorly maintained or that the driver failed to perform the required inspections. Other times we find that the driver was fatigued from driving too many hours without rest or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
We also investigate whether the truck driver was speeding or driving unsafely. We will investigate the training and hiring practices of the trucking company to determine if they were putting dangerous drivers on the road. Finally, we will determine whether the 18-wheeler was overweight or if cargo was not secured properly; whether there were problems with tires, wheels, or brakes; or whether there were engine or steering defects.
Who Can Be Held Responsible For My Tractor Trailer Collision Or Serious Accident?
The driver of the large commercial vehicle who caused the collision can be held responsible, and the commercial trucking company can also be held directly responsible for failing to ensure its drivers follow the law, failing to hire qualified drivers, and for failing to properly train and supervise its drivers, which could be considered negligence.
If I Am Partially At Fault For The Accident, Can I Still Recover From The Trucking Company?
In Texas, so long as you are not found to be greater than 50% at fault for the collision with the trucking company, you can recover damages from the trucking company. Your damages will be reduced by any percentage of fault assigned you by the jury.