Victims of truck accidents know the incredibly violent nature of crashes involving semi-trucks on the roadway. The size and weight of semi-trucks increase the velocity and gravitational forces in an accident, leading to worse injuries and often long-lasting disabilities. If you have been injured in a truck accident due to someone else’s negligence, you should not have to suffer without financial compensation.
Common Reasons for Truck Accidents
The trucking industry is infamous for imposing strict deadlines on drivers to reach their destinations. Drivers often feel pressured to travel long hours on the highway, even when they are drowsy. While there is a requirement for commercial truck drivers to get adequate rest between shifts, often drivers cannot sleep during odd hours or fail to sleep on command.
Many truck drivers travel at night during the normal sleep cycle. Drowsy truck drivers are at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. They may drift in and out of their lane and collide with other vehicles. Proving drowsiness was the cause of an accident is difficult, but it may be done with experienced lawyers. To prove a truck driver was too tired to safely operate a vehicle, our lawyers look at traffic cameras, interview eyewitnesses, gain access to driver data recorders, and more.
Another common factor behind truck accidents is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even though truck drivers have the added responsibility of operating a large vehicle, they make mistakes like other automobile drivers. When the police catch a commercial truck driver driving under the influence, the legal consequences are severe. When a DUI truck driver causes a car accident, the courts can hold him or her responsible for damages.
Like most states, Texas imposes a stricter blood alcohol content (BAC) level on commercial drivers than other drivers. While the legal limit for a non-commercial driver is 0.08 in Texas, the limit for commercial drivers is 0.04 BAC—punishable by a commercial driver DUI. A BAC as low as 0.02 in truck drivers results in a 24-hour commercial driving suspension. If a DUI truck driver caused your accident, your lawyer can use the defendant’s BAC results to prove negligence.
Commercial Truck Driver Liability Insurance
Every commercial truck driver has some form of insurance coverage. State and federal laws in Texas make insurance mandatory for truck drivers depending on what the vehicle hauls. When you are involved in a truck accident, a representative from the trucking enterprise’s insurance company will likely call you.
The person you will speak to is the insurance adjuster, a specialist the company hires to negotiate a settlement with the victim of an accident. After an accident, it is difficult to know how to handle these conversations. The role of the adjuster is to secure a settlement without going to court. The price the adjuster offers is generally less than what a plaintiff would receive in court, but the idea of avoiding a trial tempts many people.
The insurance adjuster can use anything you say over the phone against you in court. If you give too many details about your accident, you may hurt your chances of winning compensation. It is important to know how to handle the initial conversation with insurance adjusters or to let your attorney speak with them instead.
Harker Heights Truck Accident Lawyers
If you need someone to come to your defense in a truck accident case, trust the truck accident lawyers at the Ted Smith Law Group, PLLC. We have helped clients throughout central Texas obtain financial compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and other damages from negligent truck drivers. Contact us today for a free case evaluation with one of our compassionate accident attorneys.