College Station Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with our College Station commercial vehicle accident lawyers for free
Commercial vehicles are a constant sight on roads across America. These vehicles include large semi-trucks and 18-wheelers delivering goods, as well as buses carrying passengers, and even smaller cars, trucks, or vans being used by businesses and their employees during the course of their everyday business. While commercial vehicles are common on Texas roads, so are accidents involving these vehicles.
Commercial vehicle accidents create additional layers of complexity for victims already struggling to recover from physical, emotional, and financial after-effects. If you were injured in a College Station truck accident or one involving any kind of commercial vehicle, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312.
Schedule your free consultation with one of our skilled commercial vehicle accident lawyers who can help you determine your next steps after your accident. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), crashes involving large trucks or buses that resulted in injuries increased 13 percent from 2016 to 127,000 in 2019, after increasing 62 percent from 2009 to 97,000 injury crashes in 2015. Meanwhile, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses increased by approximately 47 percent from 2009 to 2019, with 5,237 large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes in 2019.
The FMCSA reported that fatal crashes involving large trucks often occurred in rural areas and on interstate highways. In fact, 57 percent of all fatal crashes occurred in rural areas, 25 percent of these fatal crashes occurred on interstate highways, and 13 percent fell into both categories by occurring on rural interstate highways.
Texas Commercial Vehicle Statistics
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot) estimates that approximately 1 in 16 Texans work in the trucking industry, with about 73 percent of all goods manufactured in Texas being transported by trucks. Meanwhile, with about 85 percent of trade between Texas and Mexico being conducted by trucks, it should come as little surprise that there are over 66,000 trucking companies operating in Texas, employing over 185,000 truck drivers.
With over 3,200 miles of mileage, Texas has more interstate mileage than other any other state, in addition to over 300,000 miles of public roadways in general across Texas, giving Texas the largest highway and interstate networks of any state in the country. Truckers travel these roadways all over Texas every day, with trucks representing about 12 percent of all vehicle miles traveled in Texas each year, transporting approximately 1.2 billion tons of freight worth over $1.6 trillion across the state each year.
In 2020, there were over 32,000 accidents involving commercial vehicles in Texas, with 134 of them occurring in Brazos County. To help put this number into perspective, the frequency of car accidents in Texas means that every 2 hours and 15 minutes in Texas, a person was killed in a vehicle accident in 2020, while one person was injured every 2 minutes and 34 seconds, with a reportable crash occurring every minute and seven seconds. Many of these accidents happen on rural roads across the state, while most typically occur on major interstates running through Texas, such as I-10, I-20, I-30, and I-40.
COMMON CAUSES OF COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
Businesses that operate commercial vehicles have an obligation to ensure that their employees are qualified to drive their respective vehicles, follow applicable federal and state laws and regulations, take appropriate care to prevent causing an accident, and make sure that their commercial vehicles are well maintained and safe to drive. Unfortunately, commercial drivers, or the trucking company itself in many cases, may fail to meet these obligations and engage in dangerous behavior that ultimately results in College Station truck accidents.
Drivers have a responsibility to maintain focus on the road and other drivers to stay aware of their surroundings. They must be able to react to changing road conditions and any potential dangers that may arise. Drivers who are distracted by cell phones, eating, or other passengers may fail to notice a potentially dangerous situation, which can in turn ultimately lead to accidents.
Driving Under The Influence
Drivers have a responsibility to ensure that they do not get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Alcohol and drugs can severely impact the reaction time and decision-making ability of drivers, as well as their ability to properly perceive their surroundings. A driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol is much more likely to cause an accident.
Drivers also have a responsibility to drive in a safe manner and follow the rules of the road. Reckless driving can include behaviors such as frequently changing lanes, failing to yield, and using excessive speed.
Speed may be considered excessive even if it is below the posted speed limit, depending on the conditions of the road. Inclement weather, like rain or fog, can cause decreased visibility and decreased traction for vehicles, and this may result in a safe driving speed that is below the posted legal speed limit. Drivers should be aware of current conditions and adjust accordingly.
Driving While Drowsy
Commercial drivers have tight schedules they are trying to keep, and sometimes this may result in the driver failing to get the proper amount of rest during long trips. Driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as it can negatively impact a driver’s reaction time and decision-making skills as well as their ability to properly perceive conditions around them. If the driver falls asleep while driving, this can be especially dangerous, as this will result in them having little or no control over their vehicle or awareness of the roadway.
Commercially-owned vehicles should be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure all mechanical parts are in good working order. Large trucks making lengthy journeys may experience significant degradation to their tires and braking systems over time from wear and tear. The heavy weight of these vehicles can put stress on these critical parts, and a tire blowout or sudden brake failure could cause the driver to lose control, possibly causing an accident.
Inexperienced and Unqualified Drivers
Companies have a responsibility to ensure the drivers they hire are properly trained and qualified to operate the class of vehicle they will be driving. Drivers who have not been properly trained to operate large vehicles may be unable to demonstrate proper braking techniques or account for the weight or size of their load while driving. This can cause the operator to be unable to fully control their vehicle, which may lead to an accident.
If the company hired a driver with a history of traffic accidents or citations or who did not have the appropriate CDL license, your College Station injury lawyer may be able to use this failure to pursue compensation from the trucking company for your injuries and damages. Investigating the precise cause of your accident with the commercial vehicle will take time, though, so don’t wait; call Zinda Law Group today.
Qualifications for commercial truck drivers
Driving a commercial vehicle requires additional training and more experience than most passenger vehicles on the road. Because of the more complex controls and additional difficulty of driving these large commercial vehicles, federal laws and regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require drivers who are operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on a public roadway in the United States to obtain and possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
To apply for a CDL license in Texas, a driver who plans to drive on any public roads in College Station or Texas must meet certain basic requirements. The driver must:
- be at least 21 years old if transporting hazardous materials or driving across state lines
- be at least 18 years old if the driver will only be driving within the state of Texas
- be a U.S. citizen or a legal U.S. resident
- have proof of Texas residency
- have a clean bill of health
- have a valid non-commercial driver’s license
- have driving experience operating a non-commercial vehicle
- have a clean driving record with no active suspensions or revocations in any state
- apply for and obtain a CDL permit after passing the written CDL examination
- apply for a full CDL beginning any time after holding the CDL permit for at least 14 days
- pass the CDL skills test
Once the driver has obtained a Texas CDL, the license will have to be renewed every 5 years, while the driver must also pass a yearly physical exam to make sure the driver is healthy enough to drive the commercial vehicle safely on Texas roads. If the commercial driver did not have the appropriate CDL for the type of vehicle he or she was driving at the time of the accident, your College Station injury attorney can use that failure to support your claim against the driver or the trucking company.
HOW MUCH IS MY CASE WORTH?
Every case is different, and each one has a variety of unique characteristics that may impact the amount of compensation you may be entitled to. Experienced College Station accident lawyers help their clients seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages suffered as a result of the accident. In some rare cases, you may also be able to pursue punitive damages if the other party’s behavior was especially egregious.
Economic compensation may be sought for a variety of financial costs that you may have incurred because of your accident. These can include medical costs such as hospital stays, treatments, specialist consultation, and medication.
You may also be able to seek compensation for future medical costs if your injuries require ongoing or future treatments. If you were unable to work due to your injuries, or if you have been left unable to return to work in the future, you may also be entitled to compensation for your lost wages or your loss of future income or earning capacity.
Non-economic compensation is usually sought for pain and suffering you have experienced because of the injuries you suffered. This type of compensation can vary greatly from case to case, as it is generally based upon the severity of your injuries and how they impacted your quality of life. If you have lost a loved one due to an accident, you may be able to seek compensation for the loss of companionship or parental figure.
In addition to seeking compensation for your injuries and damages, your accident lawyer may be able to seek punitive damages in some rare cases. Punitive damages are awarded rarely in personal injury cases as these damages are intended to punish the liable party. More importantly, they are meant to discourage the responsible party and others from engaging in the egregious behavior again.
For example, if the trucking company was actively directing its drivers to willfully violate FMCSA Hours of Service regulations or to break other laws to make faster deliveries, you may be able to seek punitive damages. A large punitive damage award would discourage other companies from violating these rules and incentivizing or requiring such dangerous behavior by their own drivers.
WHY SHOULD I HIRE A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER NEAR ME?
An accident involving a large truck or other commercial vehicle is likely to cause serious injuries due to their large size and force. This may leave you unable to work, facing medical bills that keep piling up. A College Station injury attorney can help you seek the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Accidents involving commercial vehicles can be very complex, and the businesses that own these vehicles have teams of attorneys whose job is to make sure that the businesses pay out as little as possible, if anything, to accident victims. A College Station injury lawyer can help you even this playing field and handle your injury claim while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
By hiring an attorney as soon as possible after your accident, your lawyer will have more time to conduct a thorough investigation. They need time to gather as much evidence as possible to determine who may be liable for your injuries and damages, and build as strong a case as possible to support your claim.
The skilled College Station accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group have years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and can help you avoid the pressure from insurers to quickly settle your claims for unreasonable settlement amounts. Insurance companies know accident victims are in difficult financial positions and may be more willing to settle for less than they are entitled to in order to obtain financial relief more quickly.
Contact skilled college station commercial vehicle accident lawyers near you today
Aside from being a bustling Texas college town, College Station has many commercial vehicles, ranging from large trucks and passenger buses to delivery vans and pizza delivery sedans. You can also see a wide variety of other commercial vehicles such as utility trucks, FedEx trucks, and other company-owned vehicles.
If you or a loved one were involved in a College Station truck accident, you may search online for a “personal injury attorney near me,” but the best thing for you to do would be to contact Zinda Law Group today. Call and schedule your free consultation with a skilled accident lawyer who is familiar with Texas law, to discuss the next steps following your accident as well as who may be liable for your injuries and damages.
Your lawyer will walk you through the filing process for pursuing any compensation you may be entitled to from any of the parties who may be liable for the accident. Our team will use the experience we have gained assisting other College Station victims. We’ll pursue maximum compensation for you as well as answer any questions you may have about the applicable Texas laws and federal regulations governing commercial vehicles.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.