Operators of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), which federal law defines as a vehicle weighing more than 10,001 pounds designed to transport passengers or property, must obtain special licenses to drive CMVs on Texas roads. These licenses certify that the driver understands the risks associated with their vehicle and has the knowledge and skills to operate it in a safe manner. When CMV drivers fail to adhere to these standards, serious injuries and even fatalities can occur.
CMVs, such as large trucks and buses, play a critical role in the Texas economy. However, accidents involving CMVs often have tragic consequences. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a CMV collision as a result of the driver’s negligence, a commercial vehicle accident lawyer serving Hempstead, TX can help you hold them accountable for your damages. Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today at (713) 850-8600 to discuss your case with our legal team.
CMV Accidents Carry an Increased Risk of Injury
The size and features of CMVs make them ideal for the safety of their passengers, but they pose a serious risk to pedestrians and passengers of lighter vehicles in accidents. School buses, for example, have higher regulation standards than any other vehicle on the road. NHTSA emphasizes that children have a much higher chance of suffering an injury in a collision in a passenger vehicle than they do in a school bus due to additional structural protections. While these features certainly benefit the lives of millions of children across the U.S., they can worsen the severity of damage and injuries for others involved in the event of an accident.
Similarly, large trucks create an increased risk of injury for occupants of passenger vehicles in accidents, who accounted for 96% of the fatalities that occurred in collisions between a passenger vehicle and a CMV in 2018. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) addresses the dangers of large trucks, which include:
- Weight of 20 to 30 times more than lighter vehicles
- Braking distance 20% to 40% longer than passenger cars
- Increased ground clearance
If a negligent CMV driver caused the accident that led to your injuries or the loss of your loved one, a commercial vehicle accident lawyer serving Hempstead, TX can help you determine if you qualify for financial recovery.
Causes of CMV Accidents
CMV accidents often occur for the same reasons as other types of collisions, and most have preventable causes. Some of the factors that play a role in CMV accidents in Texas include:
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to Yield
- Improper lane usage
- Driver inattention
Additionally, In 2018, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) released the findings of a study they conducted on the causes of large truck accidents in Texas. Researchers examined almost 2,800 accidents from 20 Texas counties that occurred between 2011 and 2014 to determine factors that contributed to at-fault accidents, or those caused by the truck driver. They found that many involved driver errors, which simple measures such as increased training and technology could help minimize.
You do not have to manage your CMV accident case alone. Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today at (713) 850-8600 to speak with our legal team about seeking financial recovery in your case.
Proving the Negligence of the CMV Driver in Your Case
In Texas, the driver who causes an accident holds legal responsibility for covering the victims’ damages. However, in order to pursue a claim, you must first prove the driver’s negligence in your case. Victims and their families often find this difficult as police, lawyers, and insurance companies typically launch investigations into the accident right away to determine fault, and they may not have a consensus on who caused the collision. An attorney can help you prove negligence in your case by gathering evidence to support your claim, which may include:
- Photos and videos from the scene of the accident
- Photos of your injuries
- Police reports
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Cell phone records
- Field sobriety tests
- Medical records
- Bills and financial statements
- Black box information
Once your lawyer has used this information to prove the negligence of the driver in your CMV accident case, they can help you pursue financial recovery for your injuries or loss.
Financial Awards in CMV Accident Cases
Victims and their families often qualify for financial awards in CMV accident cases, but the types and amounts they may receive vary depending on the specifics of their case, such as the extent of their injuries and if they can return to work. Awards may include recovery for:
- Emergency medical care, rehabilitation, and other healthcare costs related to the accident
- Lost wages for the time you had to take off work to recover
- Loss of earning capacity if your injury left you with a disability or you lost a loved one who provided you with financial support
- Pain and suffering, such as mental anguish, loss of consortium, or permanent disfigurement
- Funeral and burial expenses if you lost a loved one in the collision
A commercial vehicle accident lawyer serving Hempstead, TX can evaluate your damages and seek adequate financial rewards on your behalf.
D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ Can Help You with Your Case
Between the state’s many oilfields, booming tourism industry, and congested metropolitan areas, accidents involving commercial motor vehicles occur more commonly in Texas than in any other state. If you or a loved one suffered serious or fatal injuries as the result of a Hempstead CMV driver’s failure to exercise an appropriate level of caution to keep you safe, the lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can help you pursue legal action for your damages. Contact us today at (713) 850-8600 to speak with our legal team about your case evaluation.