Recently, a 70-year old man was killed after his pickup truck crashed into the back of a semi-truck. According to law enforcement, he swerved to avoid another vehicle near the River Ridge Parkway exit only to crash into the back of the trailer. This is sadly common on Texas roads, especially in situations where construction is going on, as it was on River Ridge Parkway. Truck accidents are disproportionately severe in terms of injury and fatality, for a variety of reasons, and if you have been injured in a crash with a semi-truck, your medical bills will likely be very high. Having an attorney on your side can be helpful to try and seek compensation for what you have been through.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Commercial trucking companies handle shipping all over the country, and as such, they are motivated primarily by money. Delays can cost the company significantly, and because of this, it is not uncommon for truck drivers to perhaps drive longer than is recommended, or edge past speed limits. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) has rules that govern the number of hours a driver may safely put in on the road – however, drivers have routinely admitted to falsifying their drive-time logs and otherwise ignoring the regulations in the name of profit (though it can be assumed that pushing the envelope is often done at their employer’s urging).
While cutting corners in a minor way may seem inconsequential, driving while fatigued is one of the major causes of accidents, either by the trucker or by automobile drivers. Other causes include speeding (by either or both vehicles), inexperience on the part of the truck driver (handling a large truck is very different than handling a standard car or pickup truck), and faulty truck maintenance or upkeep, by the truck company or an outside actor like a mechanic or service center.
Who Do I Sue?
If you have been injured, or you have lost a loved one in an accident with a large truck, your first question upon deciding to file suit should be who you will file suit against. While the truck driver would be the obvious defendant, it is worth determining whether or not they were acting within the scope of employment at the time of the crash. The reason this is relevant is because Texas follows the concept of vicarious liability – also known as respondeat superior – which puts an employer on the proverbial hook for any torts (the civil equivalent of a crime) committed by their employees within the scope of their employment.
It may feel more difficult to try and file suit against a large trucking company, but it still may be worth it, especially since individual truckers are very often judgment-proof (that is, they do not have enough assets to cover a jury award if they are found liable). A knowledgeable attorney can help you get through the process, and determine the best chances to get your medical bills taken care of without having to fight for years in court.
Contact a New Braunfels Truck Accident Attorney
As of this writing, no charges appear to be pending against the truck driver who struck the pickup on River Ridge Parkway, but if you are injured in a similar accident, the dedicated New Braunfels truck accident attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm may be able to help you receive compensation from the negligent party. Call our offices today at 888-392-0039 to set up a free consultation.