Dallas and the surrounding area is a hub for semi-trucks. In addition to delivering goods to local stores, many truck drivers go through Dallas as they head to other states. Despite the fact that truck drivers must undergo specialized training and pass at least one licensing test, truck accidents still happen. The main difference between a truck accident and a car accident? The utter devastation that occurs when a large truck hits a passenger vehicle or motorcycle.
Common Causes of Dallas Truck Accidents
Even though truck drivers undergo specialized training and they take a driving test to receive their CDL, accidents happen. Sadly, many truck accidents could be avoided or the damage could be reduced simply by the driver ensuring that they are following the laws that are specific to driving a truck.
Drivers can only drive a certain number of hours each day. This is both a federal regulation and something regulated by each state. Driver fatigue is one of the main causes of truck accidents. Unfortunately, many truck drivers feel pressured by unreasonable delivery deadlines, and they may break the law and surpass their driving hours.
Drivers should follow all posted speed limits. In some areas of the nation, even in Texas, there are speed limits that are posted that apply to semi-trucks. Regardless of speed limits posted for trucks or for all vehicles, truck drivers should obey all posted speed limits. It takes longer for trucks to stop when compared with a passenger vehicle. If a car pulls out in front of a truck or if the truck driver is involved in a sudden traffic jam, the truck may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision.
Truck drivers should not use cell phones or other devices while driving. Although cell phone use while driving isn’t banned in every state, cell phones and other objects contribute to distracted driving. When truck drivers are distracted, they may find themselves involved in a truck accident.
Trucks and trailers should be properly loaded. Another cause of truck accidents is improperly loaded trucks or trailers. If the truck or trailer is improperly loaded, the load can shift when the driver accelerates, must suddenly stop, or takes a turn. This can cause the truck to be propelled forward or even flip.
Suing the Right Defendant in a Dallas Truck Accident
When a car accident occurs between two passenger vehicles, the injured party may decide to file a lawsuit against the other party who caused the accident. For car accidents, this can make handling a legal claim easier. However, truck accidents aren’t always that simple. If you’re involved in a truck accident, you should talk with an experienced truck accident lawyer. A truck accident lawyer can ensure that the right parties are named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Common defendants in a truck accident include:
- The truck driver. If the truck driver was negligent in some way, the driver might be personally liable for the injuries and property damage that occurred as a result of the accident.
- The trucking company. Sometimes, trucking companies encourage their drivers to break federal and state laws about driving too many hours. Sometimes, trucks don’t receive the scheduled maintenance. Keep in mind that not all truck drivers are considered employees of the trucking company. Drivers who are considered “owner-operators” may be considered independent contractors.
- The truck manufacturer. Just like any other item, sometimes there are defective parts on trucks. If the truck accident was caused as a result of a defective part, the truck manufacturer might be named as a defendant.
- The truck mechanic. Commercial trucks should have the right maintenance performed by a qualified diesel mechanic. If the mechanic cut corners or did not follow best practices and the truck accident was the result of a mechanical failure, you may be able to name the truck mechanic as a defendant.
Involved in a Truck Accident? Hire the Right Attorney
When you’re involved in a truck accident, it can be hard to know what to do. The trucking company or the driver may refuse to accept liability. The insurance company may not pay you what your claim is worth. It’s important that you hire a truck accident lawyer so that you have an experienced legal advocate on your side.