The sight of big rigs, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers is common in Texas. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for truck drivers to violate federal and state regulations and overload their trucks or fail to properly secure the load, so that the risk of falling debris to nearby vehicles is increased. Falling materials can directly injure a motorcyclist or pedestrian who is unprotected, and they can cause an automobile driver to lose control of the car, resulting in a crash. The skilled truck accident lawyers at Feizy Law Office can guide Dallas residents harmed by a careless big rig driver through the process of pursuing the compensation that they need.Holding a Commercial Driver and Trucking Company Accountable for Negligence
Commercial drivers and trucking companies must adhere to state and federal laws related to training, hours of service, vehicle safety, and how the truck should be loaded. These include federal regulations that have been designed to ensure the safe operation of trucks in interstate commerce and protect drivers from falling debris. Among the regulations are rules for properly tying down a load and properly securing it, whether the materials are on a flatbed or a tractor-trailer. Even if the driver is not the one personally securing the load, he or she must have enough tie-downs of the right materials.
However, in some cases, truck drivers are not the ones who load the truck. A supplier of a container or load can potentially be held liable if it took on the responsibility of securing and balancing the load. Usually, it is necessary to retain an investigator to determine whether the load was properly secured and who was responsible for securing it. In some cases, a plaintiff can sue not only the truck driver, but also the trucking company and the owner of a container.
If you are hurt by falling debris, you will need to bring in all responsible parties and show the negligence of each of these parties. To prove negligence, you will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence the duty of the defendant, a breach of duty, causation, and actual damages. The preponderance of the evidence is a modest standard that means something is more likely true than not true. It is important to bring in all responsible parties because this makes it more likely that you may recover the full range of your damages. Unlike in some other states, each defendant generally will be liable to you only for the percentage of damages for which it is responsible. However, a Texas defendant may be jointly and severally liable for the damages if its responsibility for the falling debris is greater than 50%, or if it had the specific intent to do harm and acted in concert with others to cause harm.
Insurers for truck drivers and trucking companies often try to argue that an accident would not have happened if the victim of the falling debris had followed at a safe distance. Under Texas law, if you were not more than 50 percent at fault, you still can pursue an amount of damages that is reduced by the extent to which you were at fault.Seek Legal Guidance for an Injury Claim in Dallas
Cases involving falling debris can be complex. If you have been involved in a truck accident on a highway near Dallas, you may want to consult an injury attorney who understands federal and state regulations and the trucking industry. At Feizy Law Office, we can enlist the appropriate experts and fight aggressively for your rights. Call us at (214) 651-8686 or contact us via our online form. We represent accident victims in Irving, Arlington, Garland, Plano, and Fort Worth, among other Texas cities.