Determining Fault In A Truck Accident

Determining Fault in Truck Accident

Truck accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents on our nation’s highways.  An 80,000-pound truck traveling at 55 mph is a force.  Sadly, most cars are no match for 18-wheelers in a collision.  Fortunately, many truck companies operate their commercial vehicles safely.  However, there are a few companies that operate their trucks negligently by failing to adhere to the federal truck safety regulations as well as failing to attain proper truck inspections.  A poorly operated commercial vehicle puts lives at risk on the road.  When the unfortunate event of a truck accident occurs, there comes a time when determining who is at fault for the cause of the truck accident must be made.  This is when you need an experienced truck accident attorney to assist and protect you in determining fault in a truck accident.  Walker Texas Lawyer is Houston’s Truck Accident Attorney who will be by your side.

Who Is at Fault in A Truck Accident?

When trucks collide with other vehicles, there are several parties that could be at fault.  The other vehicle, the truck driver, the truck company, the truck manufacturer or the manufacture of a part may all be at fault.  The police, insurance companies, attorneys, state and federal investigators will all be looking at several factors, some of which are listed below, in determining fault in truck accidents:

Some Causes Of Truck Accidents

  • Negligence
  • Driver fatigue
  • Driver impairment
  • Part Failure
  • Bad Hiring Practices
  • Failure to provide maintenance
  • Third party causes
  • Improper loads
  • Failure to follow truck regulations
Determining Fault In A Car Accident - Truck Accident Lawyer

One of the most crucial elements in determining fault in a truck accident is negligence. Often in court, attorneys or insurance companies will use the concept of negligence. They are also known as the driver’s failure to exercise “duty of care” to prove whichever driver was more careless. The initial police report and other citations often determine negligence. However, eyewitness statements can play a significant factor as well. To determine negligence, we must understand the three negligence laws.

Pure Contributory Negligence

The idea behind pure contributory negligence is that if one driver contributed even slightly to a collision, they could not recover damages. Additionally, they are considered at fault. However, the rule can be disputed if the plaintiff proves that the defendant was willfully destructive or knowingly negligent.  Contributory negligence is tough to get around since it requires virtually total innocence on the part of the plaintiff; only a handful of states utilize this rule.

Pure Comparative Fault

Pure comparative fault means that fault can be divided between two drivers. The idea here is that the plaintiff can only sue for that portion of damages arising from the accident for which the plaintiff is not at fault.  Even if the plaintiff is 99% at fault, damages would be calculated by subtracting the percentage of the plaintiff’s fault from the total damages awarded.

Modified Comparative Fault

Modified comparative fault is the same rule are pure comparative fault, except that it bars plaintiffs from suing for damages when they are more than 50% at fault (or 51%, depending on the laws of the state where the accident occurred).

Is A Police Report What Determines Fault?

The simple answer is NO. While the police report may provide some evidence, it is not the final authority on who is at fault in the accident.  As you can see from above, there can be many contributing factors to a truck accident case.  Additionally, the officer on the scene may not be fully trained in providing an expert truck accident report.  This is why hiring an attorney that understands truck accident investigations is essential.  In doing this, your attorney will follow up with eyewitnesses, dig into the truck’s maintenance records, hire experts to review the crash, and much more.

Trucking Companies and Manufacturers Can Be Held Liable

Trucking companies are required by federal law to follow  Federal trucking regulations.  This imposes a series of rules alongside truck inspections that they must follow. If the truck company fails to provide proper maintenance or hiring practices, they could be liable for your accident. The manufacturer might be responsible if the truck itself was poorly designed or flawed. The list of parties responsible for the safe design, manufacture, maintenance, and operation of commercial trucks is long. If negligence occurs anywhere in the chain of responsibility for truck safety, the culpable parties can and should be held accountable.

Here is a link to the Federal Trucking  Regulations posted by FMCSA

Why choose Walker Texas Lawyer – Houston’s Truck Accident Attorney

Walker Texas Lawyer is an experienced truck accident attorney. He has handled many truck accident cases and knows how to work with insurance companies and the legal system to provide you with the compensation you deserve. At Walker Texas Lawyer, our first concern is that you are safe if you are in a trucking accident. Once you are safe, we will listen to you and your accident memories. Also, James Walker will work to help you with the losses you have suffered. Losses such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.

We Will Help In Determining the Fault In A Truck Accident

Trucking companies are held to high standards of safety. We will perform a full truck accident investigation.  Our goal is to determine if all the rules and regulations were met.  Was the employer or truck driver negligent?  Was there a failure of a part or parts on the truck? We will talk with witnesses. Additionally, Walker will reconstruct the accident and bring in experts to examine all aspects of the accident. Furthermore, he will check maintenance logs, driver logs, safety inspections, GPS records, and truck accident reports.

We will handle all insurance claims for you.

The insurance company and trucking company will have lawyers on their side. It would be best if you had an experienced truck accident attorney. Insurance companies may act like your friend, but they are not in the business of paying out. It would be best if you had an experienced truck accident attorney to represent you in fighting them.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a truck, call Walker Texas Lawyer.  He is the Houston Truck Accident Attorney.  Call today at 713- 552-1117

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