Tyler Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney
Commercial vehicles are a common sight on the roads of Texas. With our ports, industrial centers, and huge cities, we need our big rigs and semis. Unfortunately, big trucks mean big accidents when those 80,000-pound trucks hit smaller, more vulnerable cars. Some accidents are unavoidable, but sometimes they’re caused by the other driver’s carelessness or reckless driving.
Why Morris & Dewett
If you or someone you love has been hit by a semi, you need a Tyler commercial vehicle accident attorney from Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers. Our team has more than 20 years’ experience representing the victims of big rig accidents. If you have been hurt in a commercial vehicle accident, you need the strategic, tireless representation that Morris & Dewett can provide.
When you need answers about your case, we are here for you at any time of the day or night. Our team has the knowledge and experience to handle the toughest truck accident cases. We are known as fierce and reliable advocates for our clients in court and negotiations no matter who our opponent is. Call us at (888) 492-5532for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Negligence and Big Rig Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the majority of big rig accidents are caused by a passenger vehicle obstructing the larger vehicle’s right-of-way. ( FMCSA Causation Study). That does not mean that truck drivers are not careless or reckless as well. Negligence is also found in the companies, the truck manufacturers, and maintenance companies, among others.
Truck drivers can be negligent in the same ways that drivers of non-commercial vehicles are negligent, by speeding, use and abuse of prescription drugs, use of illegal drugs, fatigue, and improper driving practices. Big rig drivers can be held liable if they cause an accident under these conditions.
The trucking companies can also be held liable if they fail to follow state and federal regulations regarding hiring and training drivers and maintenance of vehicles. Companies are responsible for:
- Screening drivers before hiring for illicit drug use, criminal history, and traffic violations
- Training drivers for handling special cargo, and ensuring they know route requirements, load management, and rules for hazardous conditions
- Maintaining trucks in safe condition, complying with all regulations, and ensuring drivers know where to bring trucks for maintenance when out of state
- Complying with all state and federal loading and weight regulations
- Enforcing federal driver work hours and rest hours, and maintaining driver logs and black-box data
Failing to do these things can leave a trucking company open to charges of negligence, and if it can be shown that faulty maintenance or untrained drivers were responsible for an accident, the company could be held responsible in turn for any injuries caused by their driver.
What Should I Do After an Accident?
Commercial trucking companies are like any other large corporate entity. They are backed by teams of lawyers whose first job is to make sure their clients are never held responsible for any accident. If that means blaming you or their own driver for something that is trucking company’s fault, they will do so. You need to protect yourself at an accident scene as much as possible.
If you are involved in a big rig accident, and you are able to take these steps, you should do so. If you are unable to do so, have someone you can trust do them for you.
Call 911 if there are any injuries, if traffic is blocked, there is debris in the roadway, or you believe any hazardous materials may be involved. Also call for police assistance if you believe any driver may be drunk or impaired, or if anyone attempts to flee the scene of the crash.
- See a doctor. Even if you are treated at the scene and released, you should see your own doctor afterward. Some injuries can take time to develop.
- Gather witness information if possible. Not all witnesses will talk to you. Try to get a description so you can match them to the police report later.
- Take pictures of the big rig, including the motor vehicle carrier number (usually on the door), and the license plate. If the truck is hauling a trailer, get a photo of the trailer plate number as well.
- Take pictures and video of the crash site, including any landmarks and the direction of travel of the vehicles.
- Never admit fault. Try not to apologize. The courts recognize that spontaneous exclamations of apology are part of our humanity, but don’t let it go farther than that.
- If you are injured, keep going to the doctor even if you feel okay after a few days. The insurance company can take it as proof that your injuries are not serious if you stop receiving treatment.
- Call your own insurance company to report the accident. Even if you are not at fault, you must report the accident. Be especially wary if any party says they will take care of everything as long as you don’t report it.
- Keep all documents you receive related to the crash, such as letters from insurance companies, doctor’s bills, and reports. Don’t forget emails and texts. Print those out if necessary and keep them all in one place.
- Contact an attorney even if you don’t plan on legal action. Get advice from a commercial vehicle accident attorney at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers.
When Do I Need an Attorney?
In Texas, you only have two years from the time of your injury to file a personal injury claim. Depending on the nature of the claim, you may have to file an insurance claim first and be rejected. This is what attorneys call exhausting administrative remedies. The sooner you contact a Tyler Texas big truck lawyer and get these answers, the better your chances of successfully winning your case.
Contact a Tyler commercial vehicle accident attorney at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers. Our goal is to provide top-tier counsel and zealous advocacy to give our clients their best chance to win. Discover the difference we can make for you. Call our office 24/7 at(888) 492-5532 today.