Who Is at Fault in a Semi-Truck Accident?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were about 127,000 traffic crashes involving large trucks and buses in the United States in 2018. Accidents involving semi-trucks and 18-wheelers are often severe due to the vehicle sizes and weights being transported. Fortunately, Texas personal injury laws allow victims of semi-truck accidents to hold the responsible party liable and seek damages for their injuries.
At K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law, I'm committed to offering experienced legal guidance and reliable advocacy to clients in their semi-truck accident claims. As a skilled Texas personal injury attorney, I can evaluate and investigate the facts of your case thoroughly, identify the liable parties, and explore your options to pursue damages. Also, I will fight vigorously for your legal rights and attempt to seek the maximum possible compensation for your injuries, damages, or loss. My firm is proud to serve clients across Missouri City, Sugar Land, Pearland, Katy, Friendswood, and Fresno, Texas.
Assessing Liability in a Semi-Truck Accident
Being involved in a truck accident can be a devastating experience. It may result in severe injuries, such as burns, disfigurement, head and brain injuries, TBIs, back and neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputation, or sometimes death. Under Texas laws, accident victims may be eligible to file an injury claim against the at-fault party seeking damages for their injuries.
However, liability in a truck accident isn't usually as straightforward as in car accidents. Depending on the surrounding circumstances and events leading to the traffic collision, a number of different parties may be held liable for a semi-truck accident. These include:
Truck Driver – The truck driver may be held liable if the accident occurred while the driver was driving distracted, speeding, driving fatigued, committing a traffic infraction, or violating a traffic law.
Trucking Company – The trucking company may be held liable for recruiting an unqualified driver, insufficient safety inspection, or setting unrealistic expectations.
Truck Manufacturer – The parts manufacturer or truck manufacturer may be held accountable if the accident was caused by a malfunctioning brake, faulty part, or mechanical failure.
Person Who Loaded the Cargo – The persons who loaded the cargo may be held responsible if they failed to thoroughly secure, inspect, or balance the cargo or load, resulting in the accident.
Maintenance Personnel – The maintenance personnel may be held accountable if the incident occurred due to their negligence in performing their designated tasks, such as safety checks, scheduled maintenance, or inspection of the engine, brakes, fluids, and electronic systems.
Government Agency – The government agencies or entities in charge of road maintenance may be held liable if the accident occurred because they failed to carry out adequate maintenance on the road.
The Driver of the Car – The driver of the car may also be held liable if the accident occurred due to their negligence, carelessness, or wrongful action. However, if the accident occurred due to your own carelessness, seeking liability may be quite challenging.
An experienced Texas truck accident attorney can review every last detail of your unique situation, help identify the liable party or parties, and file multiple injury claims.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Furthermore, Texas is an at-fault auto insurance state. According to the state's at-fault system, the at-fault party (the party who caused the truck accident) will hold financial liability for medical expenses, property damages, and other accident-related losses suffered by the injured victims. However, how you will proceed with your injury claims will depend on whether you're the victim or representing an incapacitated or deceased loved one.
If You're the Victim
If you're the victim of a Texas truck accident, you can:
File a first-party injury claim with your own insurer.
File a third-party claim directly with the insurance company of the at-fault party.
File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in civil court.
If You're Representing an Incapacitated Loved One
If you're representing an incapacitated loved one, the first step is to establish adult guardianship in Texas. Once the Texas court confirms you as the legal guardian of the incapacitated victim, you can file a personal injury claim on their behalf.
If You're Representing a Deceased Loved One
Conversely, if the negligent truck accident resulted in the victim's death, the decedent's survivors – including the spouse, parents, or children – can bring a survival action (or wrongful death claim) in Texas civil courts.
Understand Your Rights With My Help
A semi-truck accident in Texas may result in severe injuries, hospitalization, being unable to work, incapacitation, or even death. Such an unfortunate incident can affect you financially, physically, or mentally. Nevertheless, you don't have to suffer the pain and financial liability all on your own. Therefore, when involved in a negligent truck accident, it is important that you hire a skilled personal injury attorney immediately to protect your legal rights and help pursue fair financial compensation.
At K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law, I have the diligence, resources, and experience to advocate for your best interests. My goal is to help you hold those responsible for your injuries accountable. Using my extensive knowledge of the laws and procedures addressing liability in semi-truck accident cases, I can guide you through the overly-complex claims process. As your legal counsel, I will fight compassionately for your rights and help you seek the financial justice you deserve.
If you or someone close to you were hurt in a negligent truck accident, you may recover damages. Contact my firm – K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law – today to schedule a simple case evaluation with a trusted truck accident lawyer. I can offer you the compassionate representation, support, and personalized legal guidance you need in your personal injury claims. My firm is proud to serve clients across Missouri City, Sugar Land, Pearland, Katy, Friendswood, and Fresno, Texas.