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Hitchcock Truck Accident Lawyer

The Texas trucking industry is alive and well, with one out of every 16 Texans employed and over 66,000 trucking companies operating here. The state and federal governments regulate the industry to ensure agricultural, petroleum, and coal products get where they are supposed to go without incident.

Texas also has the most extensive interstate highway system in the country. If you share it with any of the 185,000 truck drivers active in Texas, you should expect to be safe because truckers receive special training and must carry a commercial driver’s license to prove it. However, accidents happen, and injuries are almost always catastrophic when a commercial rig is involved. If you are involved in a highway collision with a big rig, a Hitchcock truck accident lawyer may be able to get you significant compensation for your personal injuries and other losses.

Federal Safety Measures

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets forth safety rules commercial truckers and trucking companies must follow. Truckers must keep mileage and maintenance logs, refrain from driving more than a prescribed number of hours in any day or week, and take breaks on long hauls. The FMCSA enacted these rules because profit-driven trucking companies began offering bonuses to truckers for early delivery of goods, which caused more accidents.

Commercial trucks are equipped with black boxes like those used to record airplane functionality. Many are fitted with onboard cameras that begin rolling when unusual motions trigger them, such as jolting stops or excessive speed.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) updated two federal rules that now require trailers and semi-trailers to be fitted with rear impact guards strong enough to protect motorists and passengers from severe injuries in multiple truck crash situations.

If a crash happens and a lawsuit is imminent, it is important to protect all evidence before it disappears. A Hitchcock truck accident attorney could doggedly pursue all evidence that bolsters an injured motorist’s claim for compensation, from insurance payouts to negligence lawsuits.

Federal Law Dictates Insurance Claims After a Truck Accident

Federal law requires trucking companies to carry minimum levels of accident insurance. Under the US Code of Federal Regulations § 387.9, commercial trucking companies with interstate routes must carry $750,000 in liability insurance and $5 million if they transport hazardous cargo in Texas or beyond. If an insurance settlement is not enough to compensate an injured party, a Hitchcock truck crash attorney could take the negligence claim to court for a jury to decide.

Proving Negligence

To prevail in a personal injury lawsuit, a truck collision lawyer in Hitchcock must prove the defendant was negligent. The elements of negligence refer to the duty to act reasonably, the breach of that duty, the breach leading to injuries, and the injuries producing compensable damages. By gathering credible evidence, the attorney might find, among other things:

  • The trucker fell asleep at the wheel after fudging the driving log and exceeding allowed hours
  • The trucker took drugs to stay awake
  • The trucker was speeding and lost control
  • The trucker was not trained properly and did not possess a commercial driver’s license
  • The truck’s brakes failed due to faulty maintenance

Human and mechanical errors are both grounds for a negligence or wrongful death lawsuit. A plaintiff might recover compensation for medical bills, ongoing rehabilitative therapy, lost wages, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma with help from a legal professional.

Fight for Compensation with a Hitchcock Truck Accident Attorney

Texas is home to a robust trucking injury, but with big rigs on the road, catastrophic accidents can happen at any point. Truckers must follow federal and state safety laws and be properly licensed, but not all of them can be trusted to obey the rules.

Our Hitchcock truck accident lawyers are skilled negotiators who can work with insurers for a significant settlement. We can also take your case to court and litigate for a fair outcome. Schedule a free consultation today with Schechter, Shaffer & Harris.

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