Trucks inflict terrible carnage every day on America's roads. How do you begin to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of a bad truck accident? At The Law Offices of Tyler & Peery in San Antonio, our longstanding focus has been on representing Texans who were injured in accidents involving big rigs and other trucks. This includes the families of people killed in fatal truck accidents.
Many of our San Antonio truck accident attorneys are Board-Certified in Personal Injury Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We focus our practice on handling major accident cases involving cars and trucks, with a proven record of results.
Contact us online or by phone at (210) 774-6445 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Types of Truck Accident Cases We Handle
After being hurt in a truck accident, you are facing loss of income from time off work, medical bills, doctor visits, and grief. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a large truck or another type of commercial vehicle, you need a lawyer who knows how to handle it. We've been handling these kinds of cases since we started our firm in 1990.
As experienced truck accident lawyers, we are able to offer plenty of guidance and support for clients who get injured in trucking accidents. These include:
- Accidents in or around oilfields. There's an oil and natural gas boom in Texas, which is generally a good thing. But this is not the case if you're a car driver injured by an 18-wheeler around the Eagle Ford Shale or Barnett Shale oil region. The same is true if you're an oil and gas worker injured because your colleague fell asleep behind the wheel or acted negligently.
- Major and multi-vehicle accidents. Accidents involving 18-wheelers and other large trucks often involve many vehicles. It can be difficult to figure things out, including who is at fault for the accident. We look for who can be held liable. We start investigating as early as possible. We look for truck driver negligence and bad truck maintenance, among other common causes.
- Fatigued truck drivers. The government has detailed rules on how long truck drivers are allowed to be on the road without taking breaks. Our attorneys can help you respond to an accident caused by a fatigued truck driver who violated those rules.
Continue browsing our website to learn more about the common causes of truck accidents, as well as how our team can help you with your claim.
Truck Driver Fatigue and FMCSA
Truck drivers have great responsibilities and might have to drive for several hours to make sure goods get delivered on time. The things that we buy are usually transported by a truck, and nobody stops to think how dangerous the transportation process is. Truck drivers go through extreme dangers during their jobs, and it is important to understand these dangers. Fatigue is a major problem for truck drivers, and it could lead to a fatal accident. Driving for more than a certain amount of hours may lead to a lack of focus on the driver's part, causing an accident.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the amount of time truck drivers are allowed to drive without any rest. These hours of service rules were established to make sure truck drivers are not overworked, thus keeping the roads safe. According to FMCSA laws, truck drivers carrying property may not drive for more than 11 hours if they had 10 hours off duty before that. There are several hours of service rules as well that drivers must follow. However, it is difficult for FMCSA to know how long a particular truck driver has been driving.
Trucking companies sometimes play a role in overworking the driver which could lead to an accident. There is a lot of pressure on drivers to make the deliveries on time, which is why they drive more than the number of hours allowed by FMCSA. But truck drivers also put a lot of pressure on themselves by pushing their own limits.
Exposing Negligence by Truck Drivers
It's not uncommon for truck drivers to blame other drivers for causing an accident. Exposing truck driver negligence is essential for assigning fault and recovering the full compensation you deserve. In investigating truck accidents, our attorneys work with accident investigators in measuring skid marks, reviewing data from a truck's onboard black box data recorder, analyzing GPS information, and inspecting a driver's log book.
By comparing fuel receipts against GPS information, we can often determine if a truck driver exceeded his maximum allowable drive time hours. This is important in cases where driver fatigue is a factor. In measuring skid marks and analyzing data from a truck's black box data recorder, we can often determine if a truck driver was speeding or engaged in unusual driving maneuvers.
Who is Liable in a Truck Accident?
Unlike car accidents, there are several possible liable parties following a truck accident. The following list will illustrate some of the more common parties who have been at fault in other truck accidents throughout Texas:
- Truck Driver – Truck driver fatigue is probably one of the most common causes of truck accidents in Texas. While there are rules regarding how many hours a driver may log, many drivers either break the rules or participate in other physical activities (such as assisting with the loading of the truck) immediately prior to driving the load. Also, some drivers take drugs (often to fight their sleepiness) or drink, either before driving or while driving, and may have impaired judgment.
- Truck Owner (Cab) – The owner of the truck cab, who may or may not be the driver, has a duty to inspect the cab's equipment and ensure it is in safe working order, including the brakes, lights, and tires.
- Truck Owner (Trailer) – The owner of the truck trailer is typically not the same person who owns the truck cab. However, whether the owners are the same person or separate people, they also have a duty to inspect the trailer to ensure it is in a safe condition, including the trailer's lights, brakes, and tires.
- Truck Loading Company – The truck loaders have a duty to properly load the truck, including ensuring there is no load shift that can cause an accident or rollover. If an improper load caused your accident, then the truck loaders could be liable.
- Truck Driving Agencies – A truck driving agency that employs truck drivers may also be responsible for a truck accident if it did not properly investigate the background of the truck driver or set unrealistic schedules that directly or indirectly led to speeding and/or disobeying the law.
- Truck Manufacturers and Truck Part Manufacturers – Truck manufacturers and truck part manufacturers could also be responsible if their products were defective.
- Government (Federal, State, and Local Road Authorities) – The government can also be responsible for a truck accident by failing to maintain the roads in a safe condition. Poor design, construction, and maintenance of roads or highways may contribute to an accident. The agency responsible for the design, construction, or maintenance of the road may be held liable for the unsafe and dangerous road condition.
A Truck Accident Is Not Your Average Car Wreck
In many cases, an action can be brought against multiple potential parties, including the driver and the trucking company. You need a lawyer who has the experience and knowledge to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident and to help you fight for the maximum amount of compensation allowed under the law.
We have extensive experience representing the victims of accidents involving trucks. Our years of practice have resulted in access to innumerable experts in a variety of specialty areas related to trucking and transportation litigation. This access and experience enhances our ability to achieve a fair and just result for our clients.
Representing Clients across Texas
If you hire us, you're hiring attorneys who are Board-Certified in Personal Injury by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization who have helped many clients just like you over the years—clients who have been injured and had to deal with a changed lifestyle, a long recovery, and mounting medical bills. 18-wheelers and big-rigs are some of the largest motor vehicles on the road. Their sheer size can often increase the risk for accidents and injuries.
In fact, according to the NTSB's 2013 transportation fatality report, there were 691 deaths due to medium and heavy trucks on highways alone. Furthermore, blind spots are bigger for 18-wheeler drivers and maneuvering can be difficult, especially if the driver is fatigued, has been working longer than hours recommended by the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) or was not properly trained/supervised. Let us help you seek maximum compensation for your serious injuries.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation with our truck accident lawyers in San Antonio. Call (210) 774-6445 or submit an online contact form to get started.