Big Trucks - Big Issues
When Big Trucks or Large Commercial Vehicles and passenger vehicles collide the results are seldom minor and in most cases cause devastating personal injuries and/or wrongful deaths. If you or a family member has suffered a personal injury or a tragic loss as a result of an accident or collision with a Big Truck or a Large Commercial Vehicle, you and your family may be entitled to damages.
Damages common to this type of loss can include the cost of medical expenses, burial costs, mental anguish, pain and suffering, lost wages, bodily impairment, future damages, future cost and property damage to your vehicle or personal property. In some cases punitive damages are available.
This page of our website provides information on Big Trucks and Large Commercial Vehicles Accidents, issues that can arise on trucking cases and the types of damages you and/or your family may be entitled.
Highway Safety is an issue of highest concern to most Texans. The lawyers at Carabin & Shaw have the experience you need for cases involving trucking safety and trucking accidents. Big Trucks and Large Commercial Vehicles accidents present unique issues that are not common with a typical motor vehicle accident. These differences include:
- Federal regulations
- State regulations
- Drug testing
- Tractor maintenance
- Trailer maintenance
- Trucking Records and Logs
- Greater likelihood of serious injuries or deaths
- Negligent hiring and supervision claims
- Negligent maintenance claims
- Unique insurance coverage issues
- Governmental regulations
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was formed in the early 1980’s in an effort to curb the unacceptable number of fatal truck accidents occurring on highways in Texas and across the Nation.
Laws were enacted to prohibit truck drivers from having more than one license. By 1992, truck drivers were required to meet minimum national standards in order to operate a tractor trailer. Once a driver met these standards, he can be issued a Commercial Driver's License ( CDL).
Today, to help reduce fatal Texas semi truck accidents, each truck driver is required to be licensed in his or her State of principal residence. Additionally driving record must be kept in a centralized computer for access by each state.
The new laws also required each state to adopt uniform testing standards for commercial drivers prior to being licensed. A CDL is required to operate the following vehicles:
- any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the GVWR of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds;
- any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver; and any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
- farm equipment operators;
- vehicles used to transport farm products, equipment or supplies to and from a farm;
- vehicles used within 150 air miles of a farm;
- vehicles not used in operations of a contract carrier; and
- firefighting equipment operators, military vehicle operators, and recreational vehicle operators, if the vehicle is primarily used for personal use.
For certain vehicles, special endorsements are required. There are five possible CDL endorsements and one restriction, which require testing.
- double/triple tractor trailers
- passenger vehicles
- tank vehicles
- semi trucks carrying hazardous materials
- combination tank and hazardous materials
- vehicles with air brakes
Common Causes of Large Commercial Vehicle Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA), considered the driving force behind the regulation of the trucking industry to reduce large truck accidents, covers issues such as driver qualifications, emergency equipment, safe loading, alcohol and drug usage and a number of other factors. Some of the most common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Running off the road
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Aggressive driving behavior
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Dangerous or reckless driving
- Mechanical failure
- Lack of training
- Overloaded trucks
- Oversized trucks
- Brake failure/defect
- Poor driving conditions
- Driver inexperience
If you are injured or suffer a loss in a trucking accident, do not turn to the defendant’s insurance company for help. The insurance company will attempt to settle your claim as quickly as possible before you have a chance to consult an experienced trucking accident attorney. You should never sign documents or agree to a settlement without first consulting an experienced Big Trucks and Large Commercial Vehicles Accident Lawyer. We will aggressively protect your rights if you have been injured in a trucking accident.
We understand the unique legal and practical problems associated with Big Trucks and Large Commercial Vehicles Accidents and other truck crashes and have experience dealing with the issues that arise in such cases. Our goals include protecting the individual where litigation is necessary, but also providing resources to help educate the public when injuries are caused by the negligence or carelessness of trucking companies, in hopes of increasing road safety. Contact us today for further information. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingent fee basis, which means that there is no fee unless we successfully resolve your case.
For immediate assistance, call us toll-free at 1.800.862.1260