Liability in a Texas Truck Accident
A truck accident is one of the most dangerous road accidents in Texas. Weighing thousands of pounds, 18-wheelers can wipe out everything in their path, causing unimaginable damage and injuries.
If you have been in a truck accident in Texas, you can sue whoever is liable. Call a Texas truck accident lawyer to file an accident claim against a negligent motorist or truck driver.
However, what makes a driver liable for a truck accident in Texas? We answer this question and more.
Learn more about liability in Texas truck accidents and what you can do after you’ve been in one.
What Makes a Party Liable for an Accident in Texas?
In Texas, a party becomes liable for becoming negligent. In the case of truck drivers, negligence occurs when drivers fail to observe the state’s traffic laws. When an investigation discovers that a driver committed a traffic violation, the driver can be liable for any resulting accident.
Truck drivers can be negligent for distracted driving, running a red light, speeding, or driving under the influence of alcohol. Drivers can also be at-fault for an accident if they fall asleep at the wheel. However, the trucking company can share the blame depending on the driver’s reason for dozing off.
Who Can You Hold Liable for a Truck Accident in Texas?
During an accident, certain parties can have liability in Texas. During a truck accident, the truck driver will most likely have been negligent in driving. As a result, truck drivers retain liability most of the time, but this is not always the case.
Truck drivers can be negligent in their duties by failing to observe Texas’s traffic laws. The violations can take many forms, ranging from distracted driving to falling asleep at the wheel. Truck drivers can also be liable for driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
Besides truck drivers, other parties can be liable for an accident.
The Trucking Company
The trucking company may be liable for an accident for failing to observe state and federal regulations for truck driver safety.
For example, Texas has laws that govern the length of time truck drivers can be on the road. If a company puts a driver on a shift beyond what the state laws require, it can fatigue the driver. The driver can fall asleep at the wheel, causing the company to share the blame for any resulting accident.
The company may also be liable for faulty hiring practices. If a trucking company hires a driver who does not possess a commercial driver’s license, the company can be at-fault if an accident occurs.
Because a trucking company becomes liable through the driver’s accident, they become liable through vicarious liability.
The Truck Manufacturer
An accident can happen because of a problem with the truck. In such a situation, the truck manufacturer’s negligence is the cause of the accident. The manufacturer’s negligence lies in the vehicle’s failure to meet safety standards.
The Cargo Company
Cargo companies can overload a truck to the point where travel becomes unsafe. Overloading can result in the truck tipping over during sharp turns. The cargo can also end up on the road, becoming a safety threat to drivers. The cargo company can be held liable for failing to follow safety regulations for loading trucks.
How Does Fault or Liability Affect Your Claim?
In many cases, a driver and a truck driver have their faults in an accident. For this reason, Texas follows the modified comparative fault principle.
Under this principle, the amount of money you can recover as compensation will depend on your fault.
Imagine that you were in a trucking accident. During the investigation, evidence suggesting the driver’s lapses surfaced. This finding should shift most of the liability to the driver.
However, evidence also appeared that you ran a red light. Your violation caused your vehicle to smash into the truck. For violating a Texas traffic law, you can also be liable.
With you and the driver equally at-fault for an accident, you may only recover up to 50% of your compensation. However, you cannot recover any compensation if the investigation discovers that you are more than 50% liable for the accident.
For this reason, you need a Texas truck accident lawyer to prove that you’re not to blame for a trucking accident.
Maximize Your Claim With a Texas Truck Accident Lawyer
Because of the state’s modified comparative fault principle, you must shift all liability to the truck driver. You can only do this with compelling evidence and a well-built case that shows the other driver’s liability and negligence.
Get the most out of your truck accident claim with an experienced Texas truck accident lawyer. Reach out now for a free consultation and maximize your compensation in Corpus Christi.