Accidents involving 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers are often devastating for the passengers in smaller vehicles because of the differences in the truck’s size and weight and the car’s.
Trucking accidents are far more complex than a regular car accident. Strong experience with personal injury law, trucking regulations and industry standards are necessary to a successful case. Determining liability is also more difficult. The truck driver, the owner of the rig, the company that the driver works for, and even the manufacturer of the truck and its parts may be liable.
As McAllen truck accident attorneys, we strive to provide the best possible advocacy for your rights in an accident claim and hold the responsible parties accountable for the damages you have suffered.
The Texas Department of Transportation reports that in 2013 alone, there were 1,666 fatal accidents that involved semi-trucks, pickup trucks and tractor-trailers across the state. Vehicles towing trailers accounted for 464 fatal crashes.
Early investigation of a trucking accident claim is crucial. The accident scene, the condition of the rig, federal regulation compliance and police findings should all be evaluated by an experienced McAllen personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
According to federal regulations, drivers are required to inspect their equipment daily, as well as inspecting their loads to verify that they are secured. Before driving, the truck operator must inspect the rig’s air lines, compressor, brakes, fuel system, lights, steering, safety equipment, axles, wheels and tires, and various other things. Everything must be re-inspected at the end of the trip.
If any dangerous or defective conditions are found, they must be noted and reported to the trucking company before the rig leaves on another trip.
Other federal laws dictate the minimum safe conduct standards for drivers of 18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles, particularly hours that one can safely drive.
Despite these regulations, trucking companies often place a higher priority on speed of delivery than safety of their drivers and the motorists who share the road with them. Some unscrupulous companies will even encourage drivers to “doctor” their logbooks to make it appear they have been on duty or driving for less time than they actually have.
If you were injured or a loved one killed in an accident with an 18-wheeler, the truck company and their insurance company will try their best to deny liability for the accident. It’s important that you not talk to the trucking companies’ attorneys or insurance adjuster, or sign any documents, before contacting a McAllen trucking accident attorney.
Contact the Law Office of Raúl A. Guajardo today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Texas trucking accident lawyer and get the legal help you need to win your claim or check out our truck accident FAQs for more information.