Proving Negligence in a Truck Accident Case
Written by Greg on July 11, 2018
Big rigs are a necessary part of our society because they transport goods across the country. Although they are needed, it can be dangerous to be on the road with them. Big rigs are large and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when loaded. Needless to say, an accident with a big truck can easily lead to a severe injury due to the sheer weight and physics.
When an accident occurs with an 18-wheeler, it can cause serious injuries or fatalities. If you are hurt in a big-rig crash, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, medical expenses and other legal damages for your injuries.
How to Prove Negligence in Semi-Truck Accidents
Proving negligence can be as simple as showing a violation of the law, or as difficult as providing an accident reconstruction via an expert to testify about the truck drivers’ actions. Speaking with one of the best truck accident attorneys is a good start.
There are many forms of negligence. To prove your case, you and your attorney will need to show that the party was responsible for causing the accident and that they were negligent. Generally, negligence occurs when a driver does something wrong which caused the wreck. This can be as simple as failing to control their speed and running into the rear of your car or as complex as a failure to keep the vehicle safe, such as a wreck caused by an “out of service” big rig.
Semi-trucks are required to be inspected every day. Failing to correct a known deficiency can be a form of negligence if the condition of the rig relates to why the crash occurred.
There are several common reasons for big truck crashes. Some examples of trucker negligence include:
- A distracted driver
- The driver was overworked
- The driver was fatigued
- The driver was drunk or on drugs
- The driver was not duly licensed
- The driver was not trained
- The truck was improperly maintained
- The vehicle was not loaded properly
- Improper documentation
These are just some of the many negligent actions that could have caused or contributed to an accident. If the driver was not paying attention or lost control, he or she might be considered negligent. You must find the cause of the crash to prove negligence because it is not enough to prove wrongdoing as the conduct must relate to why the crash happened.
Who is Responsible for Big Rig Accidents?
Some people assume that the big rig driver is responsible for a crash, however, that may not always be the case. The responsible party depends on who was the cause of the accident. There can be more than one party at fault.
- Big Rig Driver: The truck driver might be liable if he or she did something that was negligent. For example, if the driver fell asleep, was driving while distracted or was speeding, he or she is likely responsible for the crash.
- Truck Company: The trucking company must ensure that its vehicles are safe on the road. If they fail to provide proper maintenance or repairs, the owner could be responsible. For example, if the brakes failed to work, causing a crash, it might be considered negligence by the trucking company.
- Manufacturer: The company that manufactured the big rig might be negligent. A product liability claim could be appropriate if a manufacturing defect ended up causing a crash. The truck manufacturer or a component manufacturer could be considered negligent.
Truck accident cases can be complicated. Texas uses the comparative responsibility method of legal liability. The cause of the crash is not always immediately apparent. Your attorney will work to gather the facts of the accident and determine which party or parties were negligent. If you are proven to be less than 51% at fault you may be able to collect damages for your injuries in Texas.
If you were involved in a crash with a big rig, speak to a top-ranked truck attorney as soon as possible. Do not delay because sometimes, a crash reconstruction might need to be done, along with other investigative work.
Contact Baumgartner Law Firm (281) 587-1111 today to discuss a Texas 18-wheeler accident case with a free consultation.