Texas Truck Accident Injury Lawyer Discusses Common Unsafe Trucking Practices
Unsafe trucking practices lead to approximately 100,000 injuries and 5,000 deaths per year in the United States alone. These astronomical numbers are a somber reminder that this necessary part of modern living has its price. Large commercial trucks, 18-wheelers, semis, big-rigs, and other types of commercial vehicles can cause immense damage when even a small error occurs. Trucking accidents in Texas can be caused by any number of unsafe trucking practices.
Asleep at the Wheel
Truckers earn their wages by spending time on the road and by quickly delivering their goods. This can be a recipe for disaster as it causes some truck drivers to overextend themselves and drive too long under poor, personal physical conditions. Likely causes of truck accidents often involve a driver falling asleep at the wheel, then causing devastating amounts of damage to both themselves and others. While these are well-known risks, Congress recently chose to actually extend the number of possible hours a truck driver is allowed to legally drive from ten hours to eleven hours. Adding that extra hour may not seem like much, but, in reality, it has been a continual cause for unsafe trucking practices.
However, there are rules and regulations stated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, that define the necessary limits of fatigue and other factors relating to commercial truck drivers:
Article 392.3 – Ill or fatigued operator
“No driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle.”
Breaking the Speed Limit
Because truck drivers can earn more the more quickly they deliver their products, the code also speaks to breaking the speed limit:
Article 392.6 – Schedules to conform with speed limits
“No motor carrier shall schedule a run nor permit nor require the operation of any commercial motor vehicle between points in such period of time as would necessitate the commercial vehicle being operated at speeds greater than those prescribed by the jurisdictions in or through which the commercial motor vehicle is being operated.”
The Bottom Line
Despite these prudent regulations, truck companies and their employees tend to bend the rules in favor of earning a little more cash. Drivers want to cover the most amount of miles possible in the least amount of time because it will result in a better pay rate for themselves with more time off. In other words, even though they are mostly paid by the mile, truck drivers can increase their hourly wages, so to speak, by driving just a little bit faster. Their employers also stand to make more money if their drivers are able to cover long distances in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, it is this drive for more dollars that can oftentimes lead to fatal or injurious truck-related car wrecks.
Taking On the Insurance Company in a Truck-Related Accident
Trucking companies that encourage unsafe trucking practices should be held accountable for their actions, especially if their negligence results in the death of your loved one or personal injury to yourself. Many of these companies hold valuable insurance policies that they will defend to the teeth with aggressive lawyers, highly-trained insurance adjusters, and accident recreation specialists. Trained to rapidly respond to an accident scene, they will typically start building a case against you as soon as the accident has occurred, often before you might have even thought about contacting competent legal help. With years of experience behind them in being able to completely shut down legitimate insurance claims in trucking accident cases, these lawyers and insurance carriers show little remorse to the victims in need of fair compensation. In essence, they will do everything in their power to prevent you from getting fair compensation.
The Experienced Attorneys at our Law Office Can Help
On the other hand, with 20 years of hard-earned experience in Texas trucking accident cases, the lawyers at our Law Office will do everything in their power to ensure that you receive fair and just compensation. With hundreds of settled cases, including many multi-million dollar settlements, our reputation is so well-known with trucking accident insurance carriers that our clients are typically offered out-of-court settlements because these insurance companies know that we’re fully capable of winning a case should it go to court. While we are prepared to go to court should that best suit your case, we also want to lessen your time spent having to worry about the legal ramifications of being involved in such a traumatic event like a truck-related accident. For that reason, we seek to serve you best by attempting to gain a settlement out of court.
No matter the circumstances of your case, we will always keep you informed and help to guide you to the best possible route your case should take. If unsafe trucking practices have caused injury to yourself or someone you love, consider contacting the competent Texas attorneys at our Law Office. Let us help you receive full and fair compensation.