How Texas Laws Protect Victims of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Truck accident in Texas commercial vehicle accident

Victims of Commercial Vehicle Accidents Deserve Compensation

After a commercial vehicle accident, there’s a lot going on.  The victim, and their family, are dealing with injuries, death, property damage, and psychological turmoil.  Through it all, they’re expected to navigate the difficult insurance world so they can receive the compensation they deserve.  Insurance companies are counting on the victim being overwhelmed, and they expect them to take a settlement that isn’t quite up to what they need.

What they need is an attorney that specializes in commercial vehicle accidents.  The Car Crash Captain has the information on how victims are protected under Texas law.

Proving Liability in a Commercial Vehicle Accident

Unlike many car wrecks, where the at-fault driver is the one that is ultimately liable for the wreck, commercial accidents are a little bit different.  The liable party may not be the driver, or the liability may fall onto multiple different parties.  They include:

  • Maintenance Workers
  • Parts Manufacturers
  • Cargo Loaders
  • Drivers
  • Employers
  • Trucking Company
  • Truck Owner

Some of these may be the same person, or all of them may be different parties.  We’ve written about this in the past; take a look at how to understand liability in a truck accident to learn more about that.

Proving Negligence in a Commercial Vehicle Accident

When you know who is responsible for the wreck, then it’s a matter of determining that the liable party was negligent and they caused the accident.  This is a four-part process.

First, we have to prove that a duty of care was owed to the victim.  This is fairly easy, if you’re sharing the road, you have a duty of care not to injure anyone else that you’re sharing the road with.

Next, we show there was a breach of that duty.  If you’re minding your business and obeying traffic laws, and a commercial vehicle smashes into you, there was a breach of duty.  This could be failure to maintain their lane, running a stop sign or light, or something of the sort.

Third, did that breach directly cause the accident?  It’s easy to prove if a truck runs a red light and T-bones your vehicle.  But what if a truck merges, maybe a little closer than you’re comfortable with, you overreact, lose control, and roll the vehicle?  Is that the trucker’s fault, or yours?

Finally, once the first three are satisfied, were there damages?  These can fall into economic and non-economic damages.  Take a look at attorney Zach Herbert’s post that explains economic and non-economic damages to fully understand these.

Compensation Available to Victims

When the liable party is identified, and negligence is proven, then we can figure out what sorts of compensation are available to victims.

Expenses – Lost wages, medical bills, property damage, and other costs are pretty easy to tally up.

Pain and Suffering – Emotional distress, loss of consortium, and other intangible damages can be a little harder to put a price on.

Punitive Damages – In some cases, the court system may award punitive damages to “encourage” the negligent party to get their act together.  We see a great example in the 1994 case of the McDonald’s hot coffee.  The victim sought compensation to cover medical bills, the court hit the fast-food joint with punitive damages because they didn’t seem to care and didn’t think the problem needed to be remedied.

How Herbert Law Group Helps Victims of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Considering the fact that if you’re the victim of a wreck like this, you’re likely severely injured – or, you’re dealing with the emotional stress and trauma of planning a funeral for a loved one – will you have the time, awareness, knowledge, and energy to figure out everything we just talked about?

Or will you be so strapped that you just take whatever offer the insurance company gives you?

Most people won’t want to deal with it.  And that’s why Herbert Law Group is here.  We have the experience to deal with it.  We know what to look for, we have previous cases that prove the compensation we seek isn’t out of the ordinary, and we’re ready to help you. Let’s talk about what happened, and determine a plan.  Call our offices at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch with you for a free initial consultation.