Houston Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Not everyone on the road is driving a small vehicle for personal reasons. Every day, you share the road with commercial vehicles, many of which are significantly larger than your average sedan. You expect truckers and other commercial drivers to be professionals and to drive responsibly. They are supposed to be highly qualified in avoiding commercial vehicle accidents and keeping themselves and other motorists safe. However, your expectations are ruined when you are involved in a crash with a commercial vehicle that results in injuries.
Following a commercial vehicle accident, you face the prospect of proving someone who was supposed to be a professional driver – or their employer – was negligent, causing a crash that injured you and/or the passengers in your vehicle. This can take weeks or months of gathering and reviewing evidence, working with state and federal authorities, and hiring appropriate expert witnesses.
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we are ready to help you after you are hit by a commercial truck, or whenever you find yourself dealing with any type of trucking accident. Call us today to learn more about your right to recover compensation.
What Is a Commercial Vehicle?
A commercial vehicle is one that is owned by a business, or one that is used for business purposes. It is any type of vehicle that is used to carry paying passengers or goods, whether those are finished goods or raw materials.
Commercial vehicles include but are not limited to:
- Commercial passenger busses like the Greyhound and Megabus
- Transportation vans
- Delivery and cargo vans
- Tanker trucks
- Tow trucks
- Garbage trucks
Commercial Vehicles Require Training and Qualifications to Operate
Many commercial vehicles are not like the typical sedan. They are often more complex to drive and require additional education, training, and licensing. Not just anyone can drive a large passenger bus or tractor-trailer. For certain commercial vehicles, drivers in Texas may need to obtain a Class A or B driver’s license. For many, they must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Specific types of commercial vehicles and systems necessitate obtaining certain endorsements on a CDL as well.
Common Causes of Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Commercial vehicle accidents are caused by many of the same issues regular drivers face, including:
- Speeding in excess of the speed limit or the current conditions
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving
- Driving recklessly, including following other vehicles too closely and weaving between lanes
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Failing to obey traffic signals and signs
There are also common causes of commercial vehicle accidents that are unique to these drivers and vehicles, including:
- Improper driver training
- Inadequate qualifications to operate the commercial vehicle
- Violating hours of service regulations
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Equipment or system failure
- Improper or overloading
The Difference Between Personal and Commercial Vehicle Accidents
After a car accident between two personal vehicles, fault and liability are relatively easy to determine. In most cases, the driver who violated the law is responsible and their insurance takes care of the settlement. More complicated accidents do occur. Complications in these cases have to do with recovering compensation, not in figuring out who caused the crash.
Commercial vehicle accidents are often more nuanced. The reason for the accident may not be readily apparent like in most car accidents. Even if the underlying cause of the accident is determined, it can take time to figure out who is responsible for it and liable for your injuries. In commercial vehicle accidents, the responsible party may be a business you have never heard of, such as the motor carrier, maintenance provider, or loader.
When you are injured in a commercial vehicle accident, your best chance of obtaining the compensation you deserve comes from hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. By working with an attorney who has handled commercial collisions before, you have a professional who is ready to preserve evidence, connect with the right experts, and build the strongest case possible. Providing evidence, including the commercial vehicle itself, the vehicle’s electronically stored data, and the business’s records, may be essential to your case. Additionally, expert witnesses like engineers, physicists, and accident reconstructionists are often needed to prove fault and liability.
A commercial accident lawyer like those at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. are ready to tackle these tasks while you focus on recovering and moving on.
Compensation for Commercial Vehicle Accidents
If you were hurt in a crash involving a commercial vehicle, you have every right to go to an insurer or court to prove the other party’s negligence is the reason for your physical, psychological, and financial injuries. Upon providing evidence of negligence, you can request compensation for your:
- Medical costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical limitations
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Property damage
To recover compensation for a commercial vehicle accident, you may first go to the liable party’s insurer. You can pursue the compensation you deserve through a third-party claim. However, this may not offer a perfect ending to your situation. In some cases, the at-faulty party may not have the insurance you need, the insurer may deny your claim, or the insurer may refuse to offer a settlement that fully covers your injuries. In these situations, you are more likely to have to push through a personal trial to prove to a judge or jury that you have a right to compensation for your injuries.
Let Our Houston Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers Represent You
If you were injured in a commercial vehicle accident, do not hesitate to contact us at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. Our trucking accident attorneys have decades of experience representing individuals just like you. We are prepared to face insurers and negotiate for the settlement and compensation you deserve. We are also ready to litigate your claim if necessary. Fighting for you to receive the maximum compensation you deserve under the law will always be our top priority.