When an individual has been injured due to the negligence of a truck driver, the injured person or their family will often incur a series of costly medical expenses. In many situations, insurance companies do not fully cover the costs associated with the medical care and ongoing expenses as well as the detriments that the injured party suffered. These victims may try and pursue a case against the negligent truck driver, but in certain situations, the company that employs the negligent truck driver may be the party mainly responsible for the accident — or at least be partially responsible.
Truck drivers are held to a higher standard than other drivers on the road, mainly because of the sheer magnitude of their vehicles and the disastrous impact an accident can have. Trucking companies are mandated by federal regulations to ensure that their truckers are licensed to drive commercial vehicles and are trained properly, and they need to ensure that their trucks are in proper working order. However, there are, of course, situations in which trucking companies fail to comply with the aforementioned requirements, and as a result, an accident occurs.
Trucking companies are supposed to ensure that their drivers know how to control the vehicle they are driving. This means that they should be given specific training and taught safety precautions in relation to the truck they will be operating. Additionally, trucking companies are supposed to make sure that the drivers keep logbooks of their travel time. In fact, there are federally mandated rules that regulate the amount of time that truck drivers are allowed to drive without a break. The trucking companies need to ensure that their drivers are complying with this requirement. When truck drivers push their own limits, there are serious consequences, such as driver fatigue and inattention. Furthermore, although truck drivers are responsible to periodically inspect their vehicles, the trucking company has the duty of ensuring that such inspections actually occur and that the truck driver fixes any problems with the truck.
Victims of trucking accidents should be aware that although they may bring a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, they may be able to name the truck driver’s employer as well.
Investigation of Fatal Truck Accident Reveals Truck Safety Violations
A woman was killed earlier this year in Wake Forest when a dump truck slammed into her minivan. According to a local news report, the dump truck was carrying several tons of logs and pulling a tractor-trailer that was carrying construction equipment. Shortly after the accident, State Police brought a Misdemeanor Death by Motor Vehicle charge against the truck driver and began a thorough investigation of the truck and trucking company.
The investigation revealed that the tractor-trailer brakes did not work because they were not wired properly. Additionally, the chain that was holding the construction equipment was not the strength required by the law, and the emergency breakaway system was also not connected. Finally, the logs in the truck were not secured, and the truck even had a damaged tire. The trucking company disputed the violations and is claiming that they are being bullied and that the accident was just an accident. A trucking safety advocate made comments that there is not enough evidence to show that if the safety regulations were followed, the accident would not have occurred. However, Highway Patrol has stated that the company was irresponsible and did not comply with statutes regarding truck safety.
Have You Been Injured in a Trucking Accident in Texas?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident in Texas, our attorneys can discuss your rights and remedies. In truck accident cases, there is often more than one responsible party. It is important that you have an experienced attorney who can assist you in bringing appropriate lawsuits against the culpable parties. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation from either or both defendants.