Truck Accident Lawyers in Corpus Christi, Texas
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If you are reading this, you might wonder if there are any lawyers in your area who can help you litigate your case after a truck crashed into you. Fortunately, Corpus Christi truck accident lawyers near you help victims of truck accidents who are looking to get compensated from the driver and company that caused them harm.
Our experienced lawyers understand how the negligence of one driver can negatively impact one or several victims’ lives, and we want to see what we can do to help. In this article, we will discuss the causes of truck accidents in Corpus Christi, the legal theory under which victims of such accidents can sue, and what our Corpus Christi accident lawyers can do to help.
Common causes of Corpus Christi truck accidents
You might expect truck drivers to take more care than the average driver since they are on the road for the entirety of the day. While we do expect more from truck drivers and to an extent hold them to a higher standard of care than the average driver, they are human like any other driver on the road.
The problems that affect the average driver affect truck drivers much more, simply because they are on the road more and face more chances to get into an accident. For example, ordinary drivers face the challenge of driving while fatigued if they have not gotten enough sleep the night before. Truck drivers are pressured to drive many consecutive hours without getting enough sleep despite there being federal laws in place to prevent fatigued driving.
Some trucking companies try to push the boundaries on those laws by penalizing drivers who cannot make strict or impossible deadlines. Ordinary drivers also must occasionally deal with harsh weather such as snow or ice on the road, but truck drivers inevitably face those conditions much more often.
Trucking Companies’ Responsibilities
Trucking companies can be complicit in causing accidents by failing manage their companies according to the modern standards of the industry. Most trucking companies adhere to a maintenance and inspection schedule to ensure that vehicles are in good working order, but companies should also train employees to be able to competently load a trailer so that it does not sway or whip around from being overweight. Finally, trucking companies should subject employees to regular drug tests to ensure that employees are not driving while under the influence.
What to do if you are in a truck accident in Texas
If you find yourself in a truck accident, there are some things you should do before you talk to any Corpus Christi accident lawyers so that you have enough information to tell the lawyer when you call them to see whether he or she can help you. If you are reading this article after being in a truck accident and are seeking legal advice, you have hopefully completed most of the steps listed below.
Determine Whether You Have Sustained Injuries
If you were seriously injured, you likely received emergency medical care at the scene of the accident and did not have the opportunity to complete the steps listed in these sections. You can probably find most of the information you need to start your investigation on the crash report, if someone called the police to file a crash report. If you did not notice any serious injuries at the scene of the accident, then you probably had a chance to complete the following steps.
Even without any serious injuries at the time of the crash, you should visit your doctor to make sure that you did not suffer any injuries that are invisible now and will worsen over time. You might start out thinking you sustained just cuts, sprains, and bruises, only to learn later that you have a spinal injury or brain injury that could affect you for the rest of your life.
Keep track of your visits to the doctor along with all of your medical bills and records. A lawyer could always request these on your behalf later, but depending on how serious your injury is, you might lose track of the various specialists you visit and treatments you receive.
Record Immediately Available Evidence
If you are able to get out of your car without feeling any pain, carefully work your way around the accident scene, gathering the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the truck driver and other drivers in the crash, as well as the names and contact information of the witnesses to the crash. Also, find out whether the truck driver works for a company and get the name of that company.
Snap photographs of the accident, including pictures of the vehicles and of where the accident took place. Call the police so that they can put together a crash report. After a few days, the report becomes public record, but it helps for you to have the information for yourself so that you can confirm it against the crash report.
Now that you have taken care of your injuries and gotten the preliminary evidence immediately available to you, you can begin investigating what happened on the day of the accident. At this point, you can discuss your case with an accident lawyer to see whether you could recover under the law for your injuries. To be confident that you could be compensated, you will need to determine—and prove—that the other driver was at fault for the accident.
Use the contact information you gathered from the accident witnesses to begin interviewing them to see whether they would make good witnesses for you. As you listen to other sides of the story, talk to a Corpus Christi lawyer about what legal strategy would work best in your case. The lawyer will also look at the crash report and other available evidence to see whether the facts are favorable to you.
Requirements to be a truck driver
In order for someone to be qualified to drive a semi-truck in Texas, he or she must pass through several requirements. This matters in the context of your case because if the driver was not qualified to drive the truck that hit you, then the driver or the company that hired her may have been negligent. The more requirements and steps to becoming a qualified driver there are, the more ways a driver or company may have been negligent.
A driver must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to drive a semi-truck. To get a CDL, there are multiple steps that the driver must pass. Talk to a Corpus Christi injury attorney if you suspect that the driver who hit you was not qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
Commercial Learner’s Permit
The first step for a driver who wants to obtain a CDL is to get a commercial learner’s permit. Even this step is not without its own requirements. The applicant must be able to show his or her status as to the following:
- Texas driver’s license
- Citizenship or lawful presence in the United States
- Texas residency (for example, a bill to your home address)
- Social security number
- The registration of the vehicle the applicant plans to drive
- The insurance of the vehicle the applicant plans to drive
- Medical certification by the applicant to attest to his or her physical ability to drive
Similarly to when the applicant applied for a commercial learner’s permit, the applicant must provide proof of U.S. citizenship (or lawful residence), Texas residency, identity, and social security number in order to apply to get a CDL. In addition, the applicant must pay an application fee, get fingerprinted, and have his or her picture taken.
Physical, Knowledge, and Skill Requirements
The applicant verifies his or her health information when applying for the learner’s permit, but Texas also requires that applicants pass an eye exam. Then, the applicant must take knowledge tests pertaining to the class, or type, of vehicle that the applicant plans to drive. Finally, the applicant must show that he or she has the skills necessary to operate the vehicle on the road.
The skill requirement involves an examiner who inspects the vehicle that the applicant plans to drive to ensure that it is in the proper condition and that it matches the class of CDL for which the applicant has tested. The applicant must then demonstrate his or her control over the vehicle and show the examiner that he or she understands how to drive the vehicle while following all traffic laws.
If a driver failed to pass the tests for the class of vehicle he or she was driving, or if the driver failed to get the correct endorsements for the vehicle he or she was driving, then the driver may have been negligent. An accident lawyer can help you determine when negligence occurred—if at all—in your case.
Negligence in Truck accident cases
If you were hit by a truck driver, it was likely due to the driver’s negligence or the negligence of the driver’s employer. The plaintiff who files a claim of negligence in a truck accident case must prove four things:
- The truck driver or company owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
- The truck driver or company breached the duty of care to the plaintiff.
- The plaintiff received a compensable injury.
- The truck driver or company caused the plaintiff’s injury.
You might be wondering how the truck driver’s employer can be responsible if it was the driver who hit you. This is due to the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. Under that doctrine, the employer must take responsibility for the negligent acts or omissions of the employee while the employee is working for the employer. The trucking company in your case might try to raise a defense that the employee was not working for the employer at the time of the crash, but an experienced attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence that helps you invalidate such a defense.
Standard of the Duty of Care
The first two elements of a negligence claim in a trucking accident pertain to the standard of care that the driver or company owed the plaintiff. A legal duty of care arises out of certain types of relationships. For example, doctors and lawyers owe patients and clients a professional standard of care, meaning that they must provide the level of care that the average professional in their field would apply.
Average drivers on the road owe each other the level of care that a reasonable person under the circumstances would apply. For example, if there is ice on the road, a reasonable person would drive more slowly and carefullt follow all traffic laws.
Truckers and their employers must also meet the appropriate standard of care. Truckers must meet the requirements expected of them and exercise the care that the average trucker would take in a given situation.
Furthermore, trucking companies should maintain industry standards when it comes to the number of consecutive hours they expect employees to drive as well as the frequency with which they inspect and perform maintenance vehicles. When truckers and trucking companies do not take the right amount of care, they have breached their duty to prevent foreseeable harm to other highway motorists.
The Plaintiff’s Injury
The final elements of a negligence claim pertain to the victim’s injury. The victim must have received an injury of the type for which he or she can be compensated; a physical injury will normally meet this element. Last, the defendant’s act or omission must have caused the plaintiff’s injury.
Where can I speak with Corpus Christi Truck Accident Lawyers near me?
You might be thinking, “Why should I talk to a personal injury attorney near me?” First of all, drivers who cause dangerous truck accidents should not get away without paying for the damage they cause.
You are likely still recovering from your physical injuries that you received from the crash, and you have probably had medical bills pile up as a result. You deserve to be paid for the injuries you suffered that were not your fault, and the truck driver or trucking company should be discouraged from committing negligent acts or omissions in the future.
A Corpus Christi injury lawyer can help you understand what can be done to help you in your unique case. The Zinda Law Group Corpus Christi accident lawyers can draw on their experience with Corpus Christi area courts and cases to estimate how much compensation you should expect from a settlement. These attorneys are familiar with the standard of care that truck drivers and companies must take in all areas of the job.
When you call (800) 863-5312 to reach Zinda Law Group, you will schedule an appointment with a Corpus Christi injury attorney who is ready to hear what happened to you on the day of the accident. Once the lawyer has enough information to form his or her preliminary thoughts about the case, your Corpus Christi injury lawyer can discuss strategy with you, and you can tell your lawyer about your goals for your case.
Not only can you count on us for a free consultation, but we also offer our clients a No Win, No Fee Guarantee. This is of great benefit to you, because you will not need to pay us unless we win your case for you.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.