What Happens If You Are Injured In A Semi Truck Accident In Texas?
In general, car accidents are a frightening experience for almost everyone involved. However, when that accident involves a semi truck it can be far worse and is much more likely to be fatal. Additionally, the extent of your injuries or damage to your vehicle is usually much worse when the other driver is driving a semi truck and not a car.
If you have been involved in a semi truck accident you will want to speak to a truck accident lawyer in Dallas as soon as possible to find out your legal options. You should not have to struggle alone with medical bills, auto repair costs or a loss of a job because of a semi truck accident. Get the help you need right away or read on for more information below.
Common Causes for Semi Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, semi truck accidents are more common than most people think. There are a few reasons for why an accident may happen, including:
- Falling asleep at the wheel – Too often truck drivers are expected to travel long distances in a short amount of time, to make up time drivers continue driving past the point of exhaustion leading to deadly accidents.
- Mechanical issues – There may be an issue with the semi truck itself which could place liability on the truck manufacturer.
- Distracted driving – Semi truck drivers are prone to the same distractions as other drivers such as texting on their cell phones while driving.
Assigning Liability in a Semi Truck Accident
After a semi truck accident one of the issues you may run into is figuring out exactly who is responsible for your damages. There are several individuals or organizations that may be liable.
If there was an issue with the semi truck then the manufacturer may be the primary cause of the accident. Depending on the specifics of your accident, it may make most sense to sue the truck manufacturer under a products liability claim instead of the other driver.
The most obvious person that could be held responsible is the driver of the truck. Your semi truck accident lawyer can help you negotiate with the insurance company or the driver of the other vehicle directly.
Even though the individual driver was the one driving the semi truck, often employers can be held responsible for the actions of their employees. This is especially true when an employee is acting under the control of their employer such as when they are driving the semi truck during a scheduled transport.
It is important to find out exactly who you should include in any potential claims or lawsuits otherwise you may lose the chance to include other parties later on. Furthermore, it may make more practical sense to include the employer or manufacturer in a lawsuit as they probably have more resources than the driver.
Texas Negligence Laws for Accidents
In order to narrow down exactly who is legally responsible your lawyer will need to work with you to find out exactly which party was negligent (at-fault) and how negligent they were. In Texas, when it comes to accidents liability will fall on the negligent party. A party is negligent if they breached a duty of care that actually and proximately caused damages to another person. Every single one of these elements must be met in order to prove negligence.
1. You have to show that the other driver owed you a duty of care.
Usually, everyone owes the general public a duty to act as a reasonable person. Therefore, a semi truck driver will be expected to act as a reasonable semi truck driver under similar driving conditions.
2. Your lawyer must also show that this duty was broken.
This will require showing that the other party acted unreasonably. It must be shown that the driver did not act as other reasonable driver on the road acted.
3. Your side must prove there was actual and proximate cause.
This means that the other driver’s actions were the cause of the accident, and there were no outside, unforeseeable causes that could be responsible instead.
4. You must prove your damages and fight for the amount you are entitled.
Depending on your situation, this fight may be negotiating with the insurance company or in a courtroom. Damages can range from physical suffering to property damage to emotional harm.
Damages Are Limited in Texas Depending on Level of Fault
You should be aware that Texas follows a negligence model that limits damages depending on each party’s fault. Generally, in a car accident both sides can be shown to be somewhat at fault. A judge will reduce the amount of damages awarded by subtracting the amount the party requesting damages was responsible for their own loss. For example, if your total damages are worth $10,000 but you were found to be 20% responsible for the accident then the most you can actually recover is $8,000.
Finally, you should be very careful that the other side is more than 50% responsible. If a judge finds that you are even one percent over 50% responsible then you will not be awarded anything. For example, if the other side was 49% responsible for the accident and you were 51% responsible for the accident then you will be completely barred from recovering any damages.
Consult with a Dallas Semi Truck Accident Lawyer
Do not wait to get advice on the semi truck accident you were involved in. By filling out the free case evaluation form you can receive feedback from a lawyer regarding your case. The longer you wait, the more complicated your case can become. Speak to a Dallas semi truck accident lawyer today for a free consultation at (214) 305-8277.