While large commercial trucks make up less than five percent of vehicles on the road, in any given year they can account for almost a quarter of all fatal multi-vehicle collisions. That is a startling statistic that sheds light on just how dangerous these vehicles can be. The trucking business is robust in the Houston area, so drivers here need to be especially vigilant in watching for warning signs of potential accidents.
Although driver error is the most common reason for truck accidents, drivers certainly are not the only culprits. In fact, if you are injured in a truck accident, an experienced lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation from multiple different sources. These may include:
The Truck Driver
In many truck accidents, the most obvious place to assign blame is on the truck driver. Semi trucks and tractor trailers are huge, extremely heavy and require special training to drive. Drivers also need to remain alert and fully aware of their surroundings at all times. When truck drivers make mistakes or fall asleep behind the wheel, the results can be catastrophic.
The Trucking Company
The next place to look for potential liability is the trucking company. As employers (and under the right circumstances), trucking companies can be held financially responsible for the acts of their workers. The trucking company may also be responsible for your injuries and losses if the accident results from:
•Failing to conduct a proper background check of the driver
•Hiring a driver without a valid commercial driver’s license
•Requiring or allowing drivers to exceed the maximum allowable number of hours behind the wheel
•Failing to perform proper truck maintenance
•Improperly securing a truck’s cargo load
It is important to remember that other drivers may be at fault as well. Just because a truck is involved does not necessarily mean that the truck is solely responsible for the accident. If another driver swerved, braked suddenly, collided with the truck or otherwise caused the truck driver to lose control, that other driver may be liable for all or a portion of your damages.
The Truck Manufacturer
Each year, manufacturers recall tens of millions of vehicles due to defects. While the majority of recalls are for passenger vehicles, large trucks are not immune to product defects. Faulty brakes, tires, gas pedals, engines and transmission systems can all cause accidents without fault on the part of any driver or the truck driver’s employer.
Other Responsible Parties
There are numerous other entities that can cause or contribute to trucking accidents in addition to the parties mentioned above. These are the most common culprits; but, depending on the facts of your case, any number of different parties may be responsible. From pedestrians to government agencies, if you have been involved in a truck accident, it is important to explore all possible sources for obtaining financial compensation for your losses.
Speak With a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer at Morrow & Sheppard L.L.P.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a collision involving a large truck, lawyers Nick Morrow and John Sheppard can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Schedule your free, confidential consultation today.