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How Complicated are Trucking Accidents?


Typically, trucking accident lawsuits are much more complicated and much more demanding than a lawsuit involving a regular car crash. This is due primarily to the special rules that help regulate commercial trucking and the fact that trucking and freight companies tend to have vast legal and financial resources.

Because of this, it is essential that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney whenever you involved in a trucking accident and that you do so quickly.

What Should I Expect When Seeking Compensation for a Trucking Accident?

The first thing you need to understand when pursuing compensation for a trucking accident is that the playing field is not level.

Typically, large trucking companies have teams of lawyers whose only job is to investigate and challenge trucking accident claims with the goal of limiting or eliminating the trucking company’s liability. These entities also have the financial resources to fight long, hard legal battles in a way that leaves individuals at a disadvantage.

Trucking accident claims are further complicated by the existence of complex trucking regulations as well as state and federal laws defining employer liability and the application of respondeat superior.

This is why it is essential that you hire an experienced commercial accident attorney who is proficient in trucking accident litigation. Thomas J. Henry has been successfully litigating trucking accident lawsuits for more than 25 years. Our commercial litigation attorneys understand the statutes regulating commercial trucking companies and their drivers.

Combine that proficiency with the legal and financial resources that only the largest personal injury firm in Texas can provide, and you finally stand a chance of getting the compensation you justly deserve.

How Can Commercial Vehicle Regulations Affect My Claim?

Drivers of commercial motor vehicles like 18-wheelers and large delivery trucks are strictly regulated by specialized rules put in place by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) in order to keep other drivers safe.

Such regulations include special licensing requirements, stricter blood alcohol content limits, stricter distract driving requirements, vehicle maintenance requirements, and physical fitness requirements. These regulations also set firm limits on the number of hours a commercial vehicle driver can consecutively drive without taking a break.

For example, a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle driver:

  • may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
  • Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

If it is determined that the truck driver, a fleet operator, or any part of a commercial vehicle was in violation of a TxDOT or FMCSA regulation at the time of your accident or leading up to your accident, it is much easier to demonstrate that negligence occurred.

What are the Most Common Causes of Trucking Accidents

There are many different factors that can cause a trucking accident. Here are some of the most common causes of Texas trucking accidents:

  • Truck driver is fatigued or drowsy
  • Drug or alcohol impairment
  • Driver is distracted
    • Commercial vehicle regulations ban drivers from using mobile devices while driving. Doing so is considered a serious traffic violation and could lead to a CDL suspension.
  • Speeding or driving too fast for road conditions/inclement weather
  • Unsecured loads
    • When large trucks fail to secure their loads properly, motorists are put at an extreme danger. Contents from these trucks, including hazardous materials, could spill onto the roadways, causing serious accidents.
  • Improper turning or lane changing
  • Failure to maintain vehicle

How Can a Trucking Accident Attorney Help Me and My Claim?

1. Allow You to Focus on Your Recovery

The first thing your trucking accident attorney will do for you is make sure you are getting the medical attention you need. Trucking accidents can be especially catastrophic due to the large size of the commercial vehicles involved. It is not uncommon for a trucking accident to resulting in back injuries, brain injuries, paralysis, or even death.

By hiring a trucking accident attorney, you can rest easier knowing that your claim is in capable hands and focus on your getting better. As Mr. Henry has said, “The client’s job is to heal. We will handle the rest.”

2. Provide Access to Advanced Technology

When you are going up against a major trucking company, you need to fight fire with fire. Thomas J. Henry utilizes advanced technology both in and outside the courtroom. Through the utilization of a fleet of jets, satellite technology, and mobile technology, our attorneys can be anywhere within a moment’s notice. We can also provide access a client’s files and records and stream live video of evidence and depositions to any courtroom in the country – all with the push of a button.

3. Bring in Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses can help gather and assess valuable evidence and can provide compelling testimony demonstrating how the negligence of another directly contributed to your injuries. Thomas J. Henry has spent years building professional relationships with leading industry experts. Among those who can assist you in your trucking accident claims are:

  • Accident Investigation Experts
  • Hazardous Materials Experts
  • FMCSA Compliance Consultants
  • Forensic Engineers
  • Accident Re-constructionists
  • Human Factors Forensic Science Experts (reaction time, fatigue and distracted driving)
  • General Equipment Technical Expert

Contact Us for a Free Case Review

info@tjhlaw.com

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