Commercial vehicle accident
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Getting into a car accident can be a very traumatic experience. You need to deal with damage to your vehicle, a possible lawsuit with the other driver, and personal injuries to you and your passengers. When an accident happens with a commercial vehicle here in Texas, this can complicate matters. Commercial vehicles tend to be larger and can cause more damage in a collision. But aside from this, there are issues with liability and who can be held responsible for your injuries and the damage to your car. An experienced Texas car accident attorney can assist you with this complex process, helping you get the compensation you need after your collision.

Who Can You Hold Liable for a Commercial Vehicle Accident?

When you get into an accident with another passenger vehicle, things are pretty straightforward. You exchange insurance information with the other driver, obtain an accident report from the police, and figure out who is responsible for the cause of the collision. But when it comes to accidents with commercial vehicles, things are not as clear-cut.

The most obvious person to hold liable is the driver. He or she was the one who was operating the commercial vehicle when it collided with your car. There is a chance that their negligence was the proximate cause of the accident. However, there may be other reasons for the accident beyond any fault of the person driving the truck at the time of the collision.

The employer may also be held responsible for the accident. Employers of commercial drivers are responsible for making sure only qualified people are hired for these positions. This means only trained and experienced drivers should be handling their commercial vehicles. They are also held accountable for the training of the drivers, as well as the proper maintenance of the vehicles. For example, if the accident was the result of improper servicing of the commercial vehicle, this may make the owner of the truck liable as well as the driver. 

Other parties may also be held liable. A defect in the design of the truck or van can cause it to lose control, colliding with your car. If this is the case, then the vehicle manufacturer may be held liable. Similarly, if the owner had it serviced by a third party, and this maintenance work was defective, then you may be able to hold the mechanic shop liable for your damages. Finally, even cargo companies may face liability. This can happen if the items were improperly stored or loaded onto the commercial vehicle, causing them to fall off and damage your car.

How Can I Determine Who Is Responsible?

After you have attended to any injuries that you or your passengers may have sustained in the accident, you should examine the scene. This will involve looking at the roadway where the collision occurred. It may also require an experienced expert to examine the commercial vehicle involved in the accident. This person will look at any defects in the truck, conditions of key safety and mechanical parts, and whether there was anything about the commercial vehicle that contributed to the causation of the accident. 

You will also need to determine if the driver was compliant with applicable regulations in the operation of the commercial vehicle. This will entail a review of the employer’s records to make sure the driver wasn’t exceeding the maximum number of hours allowed by applicable state and federal law. It will also look into the physical condition of the driver, such as whether he or she was driving under the influence at the time of the accident. Each of these factors will determine the parties that you may be able to hold liable for your injuries and damages.

Why Is This Important?

Texas state law sets forth the minimum amounts required for commercial auto policies. When you are injured in a commercial accident, you may only be able to collect up to the limits of the policy the driver and his or her employer have in place at the time of the accident. Under Texas law, each commercial driver must have at least $30,000 per person in liability, $60,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage. If your own injuries exceed these amounts, then you may have to pay out of pocket for any excess. This is why it is crucial to determine if you can hold the employer, the truck manufacturer, and other parties liable. This would increase your ability to collect compensation for your injuries.

If You Have Been Injured in an Accident With a Commercial Vehicle, Call Our Firm Today

Getting compensated for a commercial vehicle accident can be a very complex matter. It may involve suing multiple parties beyond just holding the commercial driver accountable. The experienced accident attorneys at Hernandez Sunosky LLP can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle.