Texas has one of the highest numbers of truck accidents in the country. These accidents are often catastrophic, resulting in severe injury or death. There are various causes of highway truck accidents. Unfortunately, individuals hurt or killed by a truck may need an experienced personal injury attorney like Adam Capetillo to help recover needed and deserved compensation.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Sugar Land, Texas
Some of the most common causes of highway truck accidents in Sugar Land, Texas are listed below.
• Driver Fatigue
Texas truck drivers often spend long hours on the road. Fatigue slows reaction time and can cause drivers to lose concentration or fall asleep at the wheel. Due to fatigue, they may cause an accident with one or more vehicles.
State and federal laws require truck drivers to take a certain number of breaks. Under federal regulations, commercial truck drivers cannot drive for more than 11 hours at a time and must take a ten-hour break between driving sessions.
Additionally, drivers cannot drive more than 60 hours in one week or 70 hours in 8 days. Sometimes truck drivers ignore these laws, especially if they are under pressure from trucking companies to move cargo as quickly as possible to maximize profits. If this is the case, the trucking company, along with the driver, could be held liable.
• Reckless Driving
Reckless driving includes various types of dangerous behavior, including speeding, ignoring traffic signals, tailgating, and failing to yield to the right of way. Some trucks have speed trackers or speed limits, but not all trucks driving on Texas highways have this technology.
Reckless truck driving is particularly dangerous because of the size and weight of these vehicles. They take much longer to stop and are difficult to maneuver quickly.
• Lack of Training
Texas truck drivers must receive proper training from their trucking company. There are regulations regarding the type of training and how many hours are required. Inexperienced truck drivers who were not adequately trained are much more likely to cause an accident.
• Distracted Driving
Distracted driving includes any activity that pulls the driver’s attention away from the road, including texting or eating. When a truck driver takes their eyes off the road for even a few seconds, it can result in a truck accident.
• Driving While Intoxicated
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets the legal alcohol limit for commercial drivers at .04% BAC (Blood Alcohol Level). This is half of the limit for all other drivers. They are also forbidden from consuming or being under the influence of alcohol within four hours of going on duty or operating a truck. Truck drivers are held to a higher standard because if they drive under the influence and cause an accident, with these types of large heavy vehicles it can have extreme consequences.
• Improper Maintenance and Repair
Trucks are constantly being driven, so it is critical that they are properly maintained. They should be regularly inspected before going on the road to ensure that it is in proper working order. Issues such as worn tires, faulty brake lights, and broken side reflectors can contribute to causing terrible accidents.
• Poor Cargo Loading
Trucks have weight limits, and if they are overloaded, they could blow out a tire or cause the truck to tip over. Also, overloaded cargo could fall off of the truck, possibly going through a car windshield or obstructing a car’s path. It can also force a driver to swerve dangerously to avoid the obstacle of colliding with other cars or tumbling off the highway. An improperly loaded truck with flammable or other hazardous cargo is even more dangerous.
Heavy rain can make the roadways slick and affect visibility leading to accidents. If conditions are dangerous, truckers should slow down or pull over to prevent skidding, hydroplaning, or jackknifing. Inexperienced or improperly trained drivers may not realize this. Truck drivers who feel pressure to complete a scheduled run may risk driving as if there is no bad weather.
What Should You Do If You Have Been Injured in a Truck Accident in Sugar Land?
Given the unfortunate odds that you may be severely injured or even killed, it is important that while receiving medical care, your family member contact a good lawyer. Maybe not immediately but certainly within a short period of time from the date of the accident. A good personal injury attorney like Adam Capetillo can advise you/your family on what to do. If you were to die, your family would be devastated and may eventually want or need compensation. Compensation can cover expenses while in recovery, lost wages, or other related expenses you may not even be thinking about.
Mr. Capetillo can investigate the circumstances of the accident, gather evidence of liability (fault), and if you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. You and your family should be wary of dealing directly with insurance companies before talking to an attorney. Insurance companies sometimes try to take advantage of unrepresented individuals who do not understand what they may be entitled to.
Sugar Land truck accident cases are often complicated, with multiple parties liable for your injuries. Potentially responsible parties can include the truck driver, trucking company, shipping company, truck manufacturer, and the government. Your attorney can investigate the claim, calculate an appropriate settlement, and negotiate with the insurance companies and other parties. Your attorney should be experienced enough like Attorney Capetillo to take the case to trial if necessary.
Your Sugar Land Personal Injury Attorney
Adam Capetillo is an experienced Sugar Land personal injury attorney who is passionate about protecting the rights of his clients and looking out for their interests. If you have a truck accident case, we encourage you to call our office today at (346) 249-5544 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the case.