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WHO IS LIABLE FOR SEMI-TRUCK COLLISIONS?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were approximately 475,000 reported crashes involving large trucks in the U.S. in 2016 (the latest year for which data is available). Of these crashes, 104,000 resulted in personal injury and 3,864 were fatal. Due to the sheer size and weight of large commercial trucks, it comes as no surprise that they can and do cause extensive damage when they collide with other vehicles. Often, these collisions are the result of negligence, either on the part of the truck driver, his or her employer, the company that owns the truck, or another party.
In fact, there are many potentially liable parties in a truck accident. Often, victims are able to recover compensation through the trucking company’s insurance provider. However, these claims are often incredibly complex and typically require the attention and skill of an experienced lawyer. If you were injured or your loved one was killed in a truck wreck, contact the Houston truck accident attorneys at Stepp & Sullivan, P.C. to learn how we can help.
How Truck Accidents Occur
Like other types of motor vehicle accidents, such as car and motorcycle wrecks, truck accidents occur for a variety of reasons. In many cases, they are caused by the careless, reckless, intentional, or negligent actions or inactions of others.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Truck driver error, including failing to properly check for other vehicles
- Distracted driving, such as eating or texting behind the wheel
- Driving while under the influence of drugs/alcohol
- Speeding, often in order to meet unrealistic quotas/schedules
- Fatigued driving and hours-of-service violations
- Improper/inadequate truck driver training or supervision
- Overloaded trucks or improperly loaded cargo
- Insufficient truck maintenance
- Defective or faulty truck parts/design
- Equipment failure, including tire blowouts and failed brakes
In many of these and other situations, there may be multiple at-fault parties. For instance, if a truck driver is pressured to meet unrealistic quotas, he may feel the need to drive at excessive speeds, use stimulants to continue driving while fatigued, or violate hours-of-service rules that mandate breaks. If this occurs, both the driver and his employer may be partially at fault for the accident and therefore liable for your injuries and other losses.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Houston truck accident Attorney
Every situation is unique; if you are injured or your loved one was killed in a truck accident, we encourage you to reach out to our legal team for personalized representation backed by more than 35 years in practice.
When you trust your case to our firm, we take the time to learn about your unique circumstances. In many cases, we work with a team of experts, including accident reconstruction specialists, in order to determine exactly what caused the accident and who is liable. In every instance, our goal is to be the fierce advocate our clients need.