COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
Houston Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Commercial vehicle drivers are held to a much higher standard of safety than other drivers are. However, that doesn’t mean that a commercial vehicle accident won’t happen. Wherever there is traffic, accidents are bound to occur. If you’ve found yourself the victim of one of these accidents, call our Texas commercial vehicle accident lawyers today. At Reich & Binstock, we offer caring and compassionate counsel to victims of motor vehicle accidents and other personal injuries. Contact us today to see if you are eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.
What is a Commercial Vehicle?
A commercial vehicle is a type of motor vehicle used for the purpose of transporting goods. property, or paying passengers. If a vehicle is designed to carry 15 or more people, it will be automatically classified as commercial. Instead of driving for personal reasons, someone who operates a commercial vehicle is doing so for business reasons.
A commercial vehicle can be anything from a bus to a semi-truck. Drivers of these vehicles are met with stricter safety standards than the average driver. This is because they are responsible for operating large, often dangerous vehicles and representing their company while doing so.
Who Sets the Rules for Commercial Vehicles?
Safety rules and regulations for commercial drivers are put in place by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These strict standards govern all commercial drivers, including truckers and bus drivers. In addition to these ordinances, each state also further implements their own additional safety rules and regulations.
Texas itself imposes a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Service to reduce commercial motor vehicle accidents through the FMCSA. The mission of this service is to weigh and check commercial vehicles that are using Texas’ public highways. They ensure that the vehicle is in compliance with all the provisions made by the FMCSA. These provisions include the regulation of the following:
- Motor carrier safety
- Transportation of persons
- Hazardous material
These rules and regulations for commercial vehicles are put into place because, as things like semi-trucks and buses are so large, they can be exceedingly dangerous in the event of an accident. Every driver who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle has a responsibility to others on the road. Commercial vehicle drivers shoulder even more of this responsibility.
What Causes Commercial Vehicle Accidents?
Now more than ever, the trucking industry is crucial to society. Consumer demand drives the commercial industry, and as the demand for delivery of goods continues to skyrocket in response to COVID-19, so does the need for commercial drivers. With this increasing demand for drivers, the chance for commercial vehicle accidents also increases.
Common causes of commercial vehicle accidents include driver faults, such as distraction, fatigue, or driving while impaired. Vehicles malfunctions can also cause commercial vehicle accidents, such as mechanical malfunctions.
What are Commercial Vehicle Accident Damages?
If you or a loved one were hurt in a commercial vehicle accident in Houston, Texas due to the negligence or neglect of another person or party, you may have the right to seek damages for your losses. For example, you may be able to make a claim to recover your:
- Medical Costs
- Lost Wages
- Future Medical Expenses
- Future Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Property Damage
- And Other Losses
Commercial Vehicle Accidents: Driver Fault
Driver negligence can come in several different forms. The same things that often cause personal vehicle accidents also cause commercial vehicle accidents. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
As commercial drivers are often on the road for long periods of time, it is not uncommon for them to get distracted. Anything that diverts the driver’s attention, like texting, for example, is defined as a distraction by the FMCSA.
Because of the nature of a commercial driver’s work, they are often subject to extreme schedules, including long hours and nighttime driving. This can make it easy for drivers to get fatigued while operating their vehicles. Fatigue can decrease a driver’s alertness and attention and lengthen their reaction times, which can in turn lead to very serious accidents. While federal and state regulations try to minimize this possibility by imposing strict parameters on hours driven and mandatory rest breaks, they cannot eliminate the possibility of fatigue altogether.
While commercial drivers are in high demand, not many people may be up for the job. This is because of the unhealthy lifestyle that accompanies these types of jobs. Truckers often lead solitary and sedentary lifestyles with little room for healthy meals and exercise. It also often brings with it feelings of stress and boredom. For this reason, some drivers might turn to drugs or alcohol. This can significantly increase the chance for devastating accidents to occur.
Commercial Vehicle Accidents: Company Fault
Commercial vehicle accidents are different from typical car accidents because there may be multiple liable parties involved. Attorneys Reich & Binstock will look for other variables that may have contributed to the accident, including:
The company that is responsible for the commercial vehicle is also responsible for ensuring an experienced and qualified crew of mechanics. However, the mechanics themselves are responsible for the work that they perform on the vehicle. If the work performed on the vehicle by the mechanic proves to be faulty, they might be held partially responsible for the accident and your injuries.
If the manufacturer of the commercial vehicle in question does not provide the company with a safe vehicle, they may also be held liable. Commercial vehicles like semi-trucks and buses are complicated machines and should be put together in a careful and exact manner to ensure safety. Flaws in the design or construction of the vehicle as well as faulty parts can certainly contribute to an accident.
It is a company’s duty to hire safe, experienced drivers who are fit to withstand the high demands that the job entails. If an inexperienced or unfit driver causes an accident, the company that hired them may be held partially responsible. In addition to this, the company must also enforce and adhere to both federal and state rules and regulations regarding commercial vehicle safety. Failure to do so may result in the company’s liability.
Were You Hit by a Commercial Vehicle in Houston? Contact Reich & Binstock Today!
If you were hit by a commercial vehicle and received injuries as a result, you are likely entitled to compensation. The dedicated attorneys here at Reich & Binstock know how traumatic and catastrophic an accident of this sort can be. Things like property damage and medical bills can add up quickly, and time you spend recovering often results in lost wages. We want to help lift that weight off your shoulders.
Reich & Binstock will work vigorously to help you recover financially while you work on your own physical and mental recovery. If you or a loved one has been involved in a commercial vehicle accident, call our experienced Houston attorneys today at 713-622-7271 or you can send us a message using the contact form below.
There is a never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.