If you've been injured in a Texas semi-truck wreck, you know how frustrating and unfair the situation can be. You're likely hurt and in need of medical care, and you want the trucker who hit you to pay for it. To do that, you'll need to prove the wreck was their fault - not an easy task.
As a Fort Worth truck accident lawyer, I know the insurance companies will give you a hard time throughout your quest for compensation. For this reason, it's vital that you become knowledgeable on trucking law and gather all the necessary evidence to build a strong case. This includes understanding the federal laws imposed on truckers, and how the trucker who hit you might have broken them.
Illegal Trucking Violations and Maneuvers
Federal law requires all commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders’ records to be maintained in order to keep an accurate record of any traffic safety violations. If the trucker who hit you doesn't have their CDL up to date, it can greatly help your case.
Additionally, the following violations could disqualify a trucker from driving for 60 days, assuming it's their first offense:
- Speeding (more than 15 mph over the posted speed limit)
- "Reckless" driving, which includes quick lane changes, road rage tactics and failure to yield
- Tailgating or other aggressive driving
- Illegal behavior in connection with an auto collision
- Driving without a valid commercial driver’s license
- Failing to follow railroad crossing rules
Drivers can be disqualified for a whole year if they are found guilty of any of the following offenses, regardless of whether they were operating a commercial vehicle or any other vehicle at the time of the incident:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Leaving the scene of a car wreck
- Causing a fatality while driving a commercial vehicle
- Continuing to drive a truck after their CDL was suspended
The trucker’s employer (the motor carrier company) has a legal obligation to ensure the driver does not operate a commercial vehicle at any point during their period of disqualification.
If the truck driver responsible for your accident has a history of violations or disqualification, you can use this evidence as ammunition in your case.
Building Your Truck Wreck Case
Of course, gathering this information, learning the ins and outs of the law and presenting it in a cohesive fashion isn't a walk in the park. If you're hurt and in the hospital or otherwise trying to recover from the traumatic aftermath of a serious truck wreck, it's understandable that you might feel overwhelmed by the legal process. That's why I'd recommend hiring an experienced Texas truck wreck attorney.
Not only will an attorney will help take the stress off of your shoulders while you recover, but their experience will earn you more than if you tried to fight this battle on your own. For instance, if the motor carrier company has a history of such hiring negligent drivers, your attorney may also decide to pursue punitive damages in addition to standard compensation to cover your medical bills, lost income and other accident-related costs.
If you've been injured in a Truck wreck and would like to discuss your options, feel free to call me for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation at 817-294-1900.
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