Truck Accidents & Injuries
Semi truck (18 wheeler) accidents can be tragic, often times ending in paralysis or even wrongful death. An semi truck and trailer can weigh well over 10,000 pounds. The force of a fully loaded truck is disastrous, even when traveling at slow speeds. There are a few events that may lead a truck driver to cause an accident. These causes may include, but are not limited to: (i) driver negligence; (ii) fatigued driving; and (iii) use of a controlled substance. The best way to figure out what may have caused the accident is to hire experienced truck accident lawyers. A good lawyer can subpoena records that may prove driver negligence.
Texas’s Negligence Law
When you are involved in an accident with an 18 wheeler, Texas’s negligence laws almost always apply. To have a successful negligence claim, you must establish:
- That the driver of the 18 wheeler owed you a duty;
- The driver breached this duty;
- The breach was the cause of the injuries; and
State and Federal Regulations
It is no secret that 18 wheelers are highly regulated. The commercial trucking industry is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”), which covers the topics of driver, company, and vehicle regulations. Additionally, Texas state law provides its own rules and regulations. When combined, these regulations can be quite complex, which is why it is vital to hire truck accident lawyers who have experience fighting and winning against trucking companies in Texas courts.
Driver regulations include, but are not limited to, the number of hours they can drive within a given period of time, the length and width of the truck’s trailer, the weight of the truck’s load, adequate maintenance, reasonable training, and their speed. Furthermore, drivers must fill out both pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspection reports. If you, the injured person, can show that the truck driver failed to meet a state and/or federal truck regulation, this may automatically establish a duty and breach of that duty, which are elements one and two of the negligence laws.
Statute of Limitations
As in other lawsuits, there is a statute of limitations regarding traffic accidents, including those involving 18 wheelers. Texas law holds that if you are injured in an accident, such as one involving an 18 wheeler, you must file your lawsuit within two years of your injury. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this time frame, you will most likely be barred from filing the lawsuit. Thus, this time limitation should be adhered to.
Hiring Truck Accident Lawyers for your Case
If you or a loved one has been involved in such an unfortunate accident, call the firm of Pastrana & Lee. We represent the El Paso area, and charge a fee only when we win your case.