In order to operate a commercial vehicle in Texas, a driver is required to obtain and maintain proper licensing as well as adhere to strict federal and state guidelines. If the commercial driver that caused your accident is not licensed or has allowed their license to expire, they should not have been on the road and your wreck should have never occurred.
What Are Some Regulations Commercial Drivers Are Required to Follow?
There are a number of federal trucking regulations and guidelines that commercial vehicle drivers must adhere to. These guidelines are meant to keep other drivers safe and are outlined in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Among those regulating commercial drivers licenses (CDLs) are:
- Drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive across state lines or operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
- Texas truck drivers must be at least 18 years old to operate within state lines.
- To be eligible for a CDL, drivers must have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
- Prior to obtaining a CDL, drivers must test for and obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and hold it for 14 days.
- In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, drivers must be cleared by a qualified medical examiner that they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
- For commercial motor vehicle operators, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .04, compared to .08 for regular drivers.
- Truck drivers are banned from using handheld mobile phones while driving. Trucking companies are prohibited from allowing or requiring drivers to use handheld devices while driving.
- Drivers are prohibited from holding a CDL issued by more than one state or jurisdiction.
Who Else Can Be Held Accountable for My Trucking Accident?
If the driver in you commercial vehicle accident was not licensed or allowed their license to expire, you may also have a case against that driver’s employer. Trucking companies are generally responsible for the actions of their employees when their employees are acting as agents for the company. This includes verifying that their employees have proper licensing and certifications.
Employers may also be held liable for:
- Negligent supervision
- Negligent hiring practices
- Failure to properly train drivers
- Failure to maintain vehicle
Regardless of who we decide to sue, our experienced team of injury lawyers understands how large companies and corporations operate when an employee is involved in a serious automobile accident.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Involved in a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
As a victim of a commercial vehicle accident, you have rights that require protection. Following an incident, there are certain steps you can take to help preserve evidence from your case and make sure you are taken care of physically.
- Stop immediately after the crash and assess the situation
- Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. Make sure it is safe to exit your vehicle before doing so.
- Make the accident visible
- Use your vehicle hazard lights, set out reflectors, or use road flares to signal to other motorists that they are approaching a crash scene.
- Notify the police
- Contact the police or call 911 if there is an emergency. Filing a police report is an important step in filing insurance claims. Also, be sure that paramedics arrive on the scene to care for any injuries sustained in the crash.
- Record the facts and take pictures
- Speak with responding officers and be as accurate as possible without speculating about facts surrounding the accident or any injuries you may have incurred. In addition, take pictures of your vehicle, the scene, any injuries you or your passengers suffered, or anything else that may help your case in the future.
- Gather and exchange information
- Collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses to the crash. Obtain the insurance information of all drivers involved in the truck accident.
- Seek medical attention
- Sometimes injuries or pain from the accident won’t become apparent until days after the crash. If you are uncertain if you suffered an injury, err on the side of caution and schedule an appointment with a primary care physician.
- Report the accident to your insurance company
- Contact your insurance company as soon as you can. As your claim is processed, keep a log of any medical expenses or crash-related expenses as well as any changes in health. Avoid speaking with other insurance companies or trucking company claims adjusters.
- Contact an experienced Texas truck accident attorney
- Attorneys are responsible for protecting your rights as an accident victim and for making sure insurance companies are acting in your best interest. At Thomas J. Henry, our injury attorneys will immediately work to obtain and preserve evidence from the accident, give you legal advice, and ensure you receive ample medical attention. Experienced Texas truck accident lawyers will make sure you are comfortable and informed throughout the entire process and pursue every measure available to obtain the compensation you deserve.