Trucks driving long distances can increase roadway accidents.
Collisions between 18 wheelers and passenger vehicles are widespread. In 2017, 4,657 fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in the United States, which is significantly lower than the 19,986 light truck crashes that same year. Trucks are involved in all kinds of accidents yielding high levels of damage to property, physical injuries and fatalities.
Driver fatigue and negligence.
Driver fatigue is a large part of the growing accident problem because truckers are paid by the mile and logs can be falsified when enforcement is relaxed. One government study revealed that driver fatigue played a large part in 31% of the cases where the driver died. Negligence due to driver fatigue will have to be proven. Contact an experienced attorney to assist in a claim of negligence if driver fatigue is suspected as the accident cause.
Documentation associated with commercial trucking can support a claim of negligence when a driver was driving while fatigued. Support documentation may include:
- Electronic logging information that some trucks record – this may be a “missing piece” that shows the driver drove too long.
- Cell phone information – a trucker’s texts, phone calls, and emails may contain relevant textual information or may contain time stamps that affirmatively show a violation took place.
- Truck inspections before and after the trip – these may help to give greater clarity in establishing the timeframe of the trip.
- GPS information– may show that the trucker covered more ground that one could possibly drive without exceeding the limits.
- Logbooks – these can clearly show a violation. These are something that all truckers must complete, showing all of their driving time and the breaks they took.
- Other documents – things such as bills of lading, receipts, or anything with a time stamp can show a violation or can at least show that the times entered in the logbook were not 100% accurate.
Negligence determination toward fault.
The basis for most civil lawsuits is negligence, and settlements are based on the degree of fault exhibited to cause the injuries sustained. “Fault” is based on the degree of negligence measured by an individual failing to exercise the degree of care expected of someone in a similar situation. Truck drivers at not supposed to drive when they are tired and negligence could be proven in some cases.
Texas is a “fault state” which means that the party found to be responsible for the accident will have to compensate the other party involved in the accident. Damages covered include medical bills, lost wages, property damages, future lost wages and future costs of care as well as death benefits in some situations. Depending on the extent of damage to property, or injuries sustained by a person in an accident, the minimum might not cover the whole recovery amount and litigation will have to be entertained.
Comparative Negligence (51% Rule).
Texas utilizes the 51% rule, whereby an injured person can be up to 50% responsible for an accident and still collect damages in a Texas personal injury claim but if you were more than 51% responsible for the accident, you are not able to recover compensation for your accident expenses.
Hire an attorney.
Contact a professional experienced accident attorney for a consultation, as they can research specific case facts and interpret the law to support your case’s best outcome toward compensation for damages and injuries caused by the truck accident.