Proposed TX Bill May Protect Truckers in Auto Accidents
A new proposed bill would make it more difficult for accident victims to recover full damages after a collision with a truck.
Texas consistently leads the nation in crashes involving large trucks, which are some of the worst accidents on the roads. One of the unique factors of truck accidents is that, unlike most crashes involving two smaller vehicles, there are a number of parties that could potentially be liable for a crash. Trucking companies are often one such party when it is found they did not properly hire or train their drivers. Now, though, a bill being proposed in the Texas Legislature would make it more difficult for victims to hold trucking companies liable, and to recover the full compensation they deserve.
House Bill 19
House Bill 19 is the new law currently being debated in the Legislature. If the bill is passed, truck accidents would have to follow a new trial process with two phases. During the first phase, accident victims could not use any evidence that a trucking company was negligent in its training, hiring, or supervision practices. The only evidence accident victims could use during this phase would be that which shows improper truck maintenance or truck driver negligence.
If an accident victim could show the driver was negligent, they could then show evidence of improper training during the second phase of the trial. Still, accident victims would have to prove a trucking company was grossly negligent, which is a much higher legal standard than proving negligence alone. To prove gross negligence, a jury must also unanimously agree on a verdict, whereas the lower threshold only requires 10 out of 12 jurors to agree.
What Does This Mean for Accident Victims?
If the bill is passed, it is going to make it much more difficult for accident victims to claim the full compensation they need after a crash. The injuries from a truck crash are usually catastrophic, due to the size and weight of commercial trucks. When an accident is caused by a truck driver’s negligence, it is often because the driver was not properly trained, or the trucking company used negligent hiring practices.
While accident victims can still file a claim or lawsuit against the truck driver, the insurance that covers these individuals is often not enough to fully cover the cost of injuries. Today, accident victims can pursue a claim against the trucking company to recover the damages they deserve. If this bill is passed though, that will not be an option. Not only will that make it more difficult for accident victims to claim damages, but it will also make it easier for trucking companies to continue on with negligent hiring and training practices.
Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Edinburg Can Help with Your Case
If you have been in a truck accident, our Edinburg truck accident lawyers at the Law Office of Raul A. Guajardo, PLLC, are here to help. We know how difficult the aftermath of a truck accident is, and we will help you through the process to make it as easy for you as possible. Call us today at 956-318-3200 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.