Truck Accident Kills Two People in a Golf Cart Near Houston, Texas.
Motor vehicle accidents occur daily on major highways and private roadways causing injury and death. Trucks are involved in all kinds of accidents yielding high levels of damage to property, physical injuries and sometimes leading to death. Trucks fall into two classes, those weighing 10,000 pounds or less, and those weighing more than 10,000 pounds which may move them to the Commercial Motor Vehicle category and change some of the laws and damages to be sought after in personal injury situations. The size of a truck causes more damage than that of a passenger-sized vehicle and is accounted for in formal settlements between parties. Nearly 5,000 people are killed in truck accidents annually and 98% of the time, the driver of the other vehicle is killed. Every 16 minutes a person is injured or killed from a truck accident. Texas is among the states reported to have a higher number of truck accidents. The basis for most civil lawsuits is negligence, and settlements are based on the degree of fault exhibited to cause the injuries sustained.
Establishing Responsibility in an “At Fault” State like Texas.
Texas is an at “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. In Texas, the current minimum liability limits are listed as 30/60/25 coverage, which means that the limits are: $30,000 for each injured person; up to $60,000 per accident; and $25,000 for property damage per accident. 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. If the injured driver’s injuries or damages exceed the coverage amount of the at-fault driver’s insurance, then the injured driver would be able to sue the at-fault driver to collect the difference.
This brings us to “Fault” as it pertains to injuries and damages. When an individual fails to exercise the degree of care expected of someone in a similar situation, and it results in an injury of some sort, it is called “negligence.” The basis for most civil lawsuits and negligence laws are established at the state level.
Comparative Negligence (51% Rule).
Texas negligence laws stipulate that damages are proportionate to the claimant’s degree of fault, but Texas utilizes the 51% rule, whereby an injured person can be up to 51% 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. Seeking legal counsel from a professional attorney as he interprets the law so that you know what your options are to receive your best outcome for damages and injuries caused by the accident.
What should I do if I am involved in a truck accident in Houston, TX?
- If you are able, check on the condition of the people involved in the accident;
- Call the police or emergency responders if needed;
- Get a written accident report;
- Remain at the accident scene;
- Exchange driver and insurance information;
- Get witness contact information;
- Call your insurance company to set up a claim;
- Seek out medical treatment if necessary;
- Take pictures of the scene, and the vehicle damages;
- If the truck is a Commercial Vehicle, get State Trooper report.
Should I Move the Vehicle?
If you are in a collision and no one is hurt, don’t wait for the police before moving your vehicle. If you can drive the vehicle, the law requires you to move it out of the flow of traffic.
When Should the Police be Called?
Always call the police when an injury or fatality occurs, the vehicle cannot move, a driver has no insurance, a driver leaves the scene, or a driver is operating vehicle under the influence.
Hiring an Attorney.
How is compensation decided for the loss of a loved one due to a truck accident in the Houston area? Permanent disability, injury and death can cause a financial burden on accident victims, and their families. Financial damages include property damage, medical bills, loss of income and wages, and pain and suffering due to injury and permanent disabilities that may be suffered resulting from an accident along with loss of life. Hiring the legal team at Reich & Binstock to assist with the burden of collecting and analyzing the data related to the above list is a viable solution to this overwhelming task if you are an accident victim. Determining the percentage of fault is a matter for those who have reviewed police reports, witness reports, car damages, roadway marks and other factors present at the time of the accident.
TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE § 33.011(1)