Consultation from a Truck Accident Attorney is the Very First Step to Take
Due to the complexities and multiple specific clauses that are only applicable in the state of Texas and in case of large trucking accidents, it is necessary to first consult a truck accident lawyer and discuss the details of the case with them.
A confident 18 wheeler accident lawyer will offer a free first consultation alongside a review of the case to let you know whether the case has any merit to it or not. They should also be able to guide you in taking the necessary steps after the accident to increase your chances of winning the maximum compensation amount possible.
Different Federal and State Laws Govern Commercial Trucking Corporations
The main difference between the average car accident and an 18-wheeler or any other large truck related accident is that both state and federal laws that govern the commercial trucking corporations differ quite a bit from the ones that govern the usual cars on the road. Some of the differences can be summarized as below.
- Both drivers and owners of 18-wheelers must adhere to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration laws
- Both drivers and owners of the large trucks must also adhere to Texas Transportation Code’s Title 7 laws
The Multiple Guilty Party Rule
Only applicable to commercial trucking accidents, the claimant might be entitled to compensations from more than just one party provided that multiple parties are indeed proven to be guilty in court.
The guilty parties may include only one or multiple of the potential defendants, as mentioned below.
- The driver of the 18-wheeler
- The trucking company that owns the 18-wheeler
- The manufacturer of the 18-wheeler
- The cargo company, whose cargo the truck was carrying during the accident
Shared Liability Does Apply in 18-Wheeler Accidents as Well
If you think that you were partially responsible for the accident that ensued, you too might be held responsible under the Texas Shared Liability clause, also known as the modified comparative negligence stipulations.
In such cases, there are two possibilities, as stated below.
- The percentage of your responsibility, as ascertained in court, will be deducted from your total compensation amount
- If you are found to be more than 50% at fault, no compensation will be awarded, and the case will be dismissed
It is due to this reason that a review with your lawyer is essential to know whether you have shared liability to worry about, and if so, exactly how responsible you are.
It should be noted that there are many other details to be discussed here as well, but consulting a Texas attorney who has significant experience in dealing with trucking accidents and taking into account the specifics of the claimant’s situation will be necessary for that.