Each year, motor vehicle accidents result in fatal outcomes for tens of thousands of victims in the U.S. and even more suffer injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 36,000 people lost their lives on U.S. roadways in 2018. Despite advances in safety technology and widespread legislation regarding distracted driving, drivers could avoid most of these collisions if they obeyed traffic laws and paid attention to the road conditions.
Traffic accidents caused by driver negligence always carry a risk of injury, but those involving commercial motor vehicles (CMV) can result in more serious consequences, especially for victims in lighter vehicles.
CMV accidents can take or change a life as quickly as they occur, and they often leave victims with more than just physical and emotional wounds. If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a collision involving a large truck or bus, a commercial vehicle accident lawyer serving Flower Mound, TX can help you seek financial recovery. Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ at (713) 850-8600 to speak with our legal team about your case.
The Prevalence of Commercial Vehicle Accidents in Texas
Between tourism, heavily populated urban areas, and the trucking industry, Texas has many buses and trucks on the road. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), nearly 40,000 CMV accidents occurred in Texas in 2018. Nine hundred thirty-two CMV collisions took place that year in Denton County alone.
CMVs Pose a Serious Risk to Others on the Road
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), passenger vehicle occupants account for the most fatalities in accidents involving CMVs. They made up 67% of large truck accident victims in 2018, and pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists accounted for 15%. Truck drivers and passengers made up only 16% of the fatal injuries in accidents.
Unfortunately, sometimes safety features can make collisions involving large trucks more dangerous for other vehicles. Similarly, buses have design elements intended to ensure the safety of their passengers, particularly school buses. As the NHTSA notes, children have a much greater chance of suffering injuries in another vehicle than on a school bus. CMV components that make occupants of passenger vehicles more vulnerable to injuries may include:
- Increased size and weight
- Increased braking time and distance
- Higher ground clearance
- Protective seating
- Crush and rollover protection
If a negligent bus or truck driver caused the collision that led to your injuries or the loss of a loved one, a lawyer can help you pursue a financial award. Contact the legal team at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ at (713) 850-8600, and we can discuss your case with you.
A Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer in Flower Mound, TX Can Help You Establish Liability
As a fault state, Texas requires the driver responsible for the accident to provide financial coverage for a victim’s injuries. However, those involved may find it difficult to prove liability on their own, as insurance companies, lawyers, and law enforcement often launch their own investigations at the same time. An attorney can assist you in establishing fault in your case so you can seek just financial recovery.
Determining liability in a Texas CMV accident case requires that you first prove that the actions of the other driver constitute legal negligence, which includes:
- Duty of care: It was the driver’s duty to keep the victims safe within reason, such as by following traffic laws.
- Breach of duty: The driver breached, or violated, their duty of care by failing to act when necessary or acting negligently or recklessly.
- Causation: The driver’s violation of their duty of care caused the victim’s injuries.
- Damages: The victim’s injuries left them with significant damages.
An attorney can help you collect the information you need to prove negligence in your case.
In many cases, evidence from the accident scene and from those involved in your case can support your claim and help you pursue financial awards. Some of the types of evidence that may help you include:
- Police reports
- Videos and photos of the accident
- Photos of your injuries
- Medical records
- Cell phone records
- Eyewitness testimony
- Field sobriety tests
- Black box information.
Sometimes, your own testimony regarding the events of the accident and the days that followed can help you build your case, as well.
Fighting Back Against Insurance Company Tactics
In Texas, drivers must carry liability policies as part of their auto insurance package to cover victims’ losses in the event of an at-fault accident. However, even though liability insurance exists for the victims’ benefit, insurance companies may hesitate to provide them with adequate financial recovery. The higher the settlement amount, the more it cuts into their profit.
To avoid providing more than they can get away with, adjusters will often try to blame the victim for the accident or will offer a settlement upfront before the victim has even had a chance to assess their damages. While it may seem generous, especially during your time of need, know that these offers likely will not cover all of your damages. You have a right to reject the insurance company’s offer and have a commercial vehicle accident lawyer serving Flower Mound, TX to handle communication with them on your behalf.
Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ Today for Help with Your Case
Commercial vehicle accidents can have devastating effects on the lives of victims and their families, and we know you may feel overwhelmed or confused about what to do next. A lawyer at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ will advocate for your rights, manage your case for you, and help you pursue the financial recovery you deserve. Contact us today at (713) 850-8600 to speak with our legal team about your case evaluation.