There's a common misconception that if you rear end another vehicle, the accident is always your fault. However, as a Fort Worth car wreck attorney, I can tell you that this isn't always the case. If you rear-end a semi truck parked along the roadside, for example, it could be the trucker's fault. Here, we explain.
Where Semi Truck Drivers Are Not Allowed to Park
Texas Transportation Code Subchapter G (sec. 545.301, et seq.) prohibits all semi-truck, 18-wheeler and tractor trailer drivers from stopping, parking or leaving their vehicle standing (either attended or unattended) on any main traveled part of a highway.
The law also states that it is illegal for truck operators to stop, stand or park a vehicle on a sidewalk, in an intersection, on a crosswalk, obstructing a safety zone, alongside a street excavation or obstruction, on a bridge, on a railroad track or in any other place where an official sign (or local ordinance) prohibits stopping.
If your accident occurred while the truck was parked in one of these areas, they are in breach of the local law, and therefore negligent – meaning if you rear-end them, it's not your fault.
Warning Sign Requirements
Federal law requires truck drivers to put out warning signs such as hazard triangles or flares if their rig breaks down beside a roadway. If truckers don't put out warning signs or if they place them incorrectly, it's considered an act of negligence, meaning that if you crash into the stalled truck, you have a right to sue.
Discuss your case with an experienced and local personal injury attorney in order to determine whether or not the truck driver in your case was actually negligent, and whether or not you are entitled to make a claim for damages against them.
What Happens If You Wreck Into a Parked Semi?
First, were they making a mistake? Were they parked somewhere they weren't supposed to be? And more importantly, do you have evidence to prove it?
When you make a claim (or a truck driver makes a claim against you), it's all about evidence. if you believe the truck driver is at fault for the accident because they weren't following the law or were illegally parked, then you're going to need to build yourself a strong case using facts from the scene.
If you're unhurt and the damages are small, it's likely that you'll be able to handle your case on your own. However, if you've been seriously injured in the accident and you have thousands of dollars in medical bills and damages, it could be worth consulting and expert.
You can contact the Anderson Law Firm to talk to an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth personal injury attorney. We will discuss your case in detail and analyze the law in order to make an honest assessment of your right to make a claim.
Download My Free Guide
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a semi-truck accident, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You’re missing work, you might have unpaid medical bills, you’re in pain and you feel uncertain about the future.
I wrote this guide to help accident victims understand the right steps to take after an accident to ensure they get the money they need to pay for their injuries, damages, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Download my free guide now: How to Make a Successful Truck Wreck Claim in Texas