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Truck Accident FAQs
What makes large trucks so much more prone to causing serious accidents than cars?
Large trucks, such as tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and 18-wheelers, present several challenges to their drivers, making them trickier to operate and thus more likely to become involved in a serious accident. First, large trucks require a longer stopping distance – making it easier for them to rear-end other vehicles. Tractor-trailers also have different blind spots than automobiles and present a greater visual obstruction to their drivers. Semi-trucks must adjust for their length by making wider turns, and they cannot always see vehicles nearby during the turning process. Tractor-trailers pose particularly unique risks as the trailer can sometimes swing unexpectedly into another lane while on the highway. All of these factors contribute to the danger associated with large trucks.
If I am involved in a Seguin accident with a truck, what steps can I take to protect myself?
If you have suffered immediate and severe injuries from a truck wreck, make medical treatment your first priority. If you are not severely injured, call the police followed by your insurance company. You will need to file a truck accident report, but do not provide any statements to an insurance adjustor without speaking first to a Texas tractor-trailer accident attorney. Obtain contact information from everyone involved in the accident as well as any witnesses.
You should also seek medical care, regardless of whether you think you have been hurt in the tractor-trailer wreck. The shock of an 18-wheeler accident can sometimes prevent you from noticing injuries. It is common to sustain injuries that may present themselves later, so it’s wise to take the precaution of a medical examination. Finally, make sure to contact a Texas truck collision attorney familiar with personal injury laws who can help evaluate your situation and advise you on any resulting legal action.
What is a “commercial truck”?
A truck is considered to be “commercial” if it is used for business and/or the transport of commercial goods. Eighteen-wheelers, tractor-trailers, tanker trucks, dump trucks, delivery vehicles, semi-trucks, and other large freight trucks are all examples of commercial vehicles.
Is there a special driver’s license for commercial truck drivers?
Yes. Any driver of a truck weighing more than 26,000 pounds, or one that transports 15 or more passengers or hazardous materials, must have a commercial driver’s license, also known as a CDL. Truck drivers receive their CDL after passing a test of their driving knowledge and a road skills test on a vehicle similar to the truck they will be driving in their course of business.
If I am involved in an accident with a commercial truck, is the employer responsible?
If you are injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, in certain cases the employer may be considered negligent according to the principle known as “vicarious liability.” Vicarious liability means that the company is responsible for negligent acts committed by an employee while performing work for the company. An experienced personal injury attorney familiar with truck accidents can help determine if this doctrine is applicable to your case.
Who can sue in a personal injury case involving a truck accident?
The injured victim, as well as relatives of anyone killed in a truck accident, may sue, as long as it can be proven that someone else was at fault. This includes the spouse of the victim and children, who may bring a lawsuit through their legal guardians or surviving parents. The bottom line is that if you or a loved one suffered serious injury from a trucking collision, and the accident was the fault of another person or company, you have the right to be compensated for.
What is an “underride” accident?
When a passenger car collides with a truck or the trailer of a truck and runs beneath the truck, the accident is known as an “underride.” This is a particularly dangerous accident because it can often slice off the passenger car’s roof. Depending upon where the impact takes place, the passenger car may not run completely beneath the trailer. Often, the car collides near one of the truck axles and will not go all the way under the truck.
Do I need an attorney to help with my truck accident injuries?
Unless your injuries were very minor, you will need the assistance of an experienced Texas tractor-trailer accident lawyer if you want compensation for your medical care and other damages. A Texas truck wreck attorney knowledgeable in truck accident cases can help secure evidence and evaluate the accident details to determine liability. An 18-wheeler accident lawyer will also understand what type of damages you are entitled to, and the best course of action to secure your compensation.
Does it matter what type of personal injury lawyer I hire?
Yes. You will want to select a law firm that has handled trucking injury cases previously so that your attorney understands the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Rules and Regulations as well as fleet maintenance procedures. Thorough working knowledge of these laws is vital to preparing an effective truck accident case.
If you have questions, contact the Texas 18-wheeler accident lawyers of our Law Firm to discuss your claim.