Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) such as large trucks and buses require specialized knowledge and skills to operate safely and effectively. For this reason, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), federal law mandates commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) for CMV drivers, ensuring the safety of the driver and others on the road. Large truck and bus drivers know the hazards their vehicles present, and if they fail to exercise caution behind the wheel, serious consequences can result.
If you or someone you love suffered serious or fatal injuries in a commercial vehicle accident in Killeen, TX, you may qualify for financial recovery. Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today at (713) 850-8600 to discuss your case with our legal team and learn how a commercial vehicle accident lawyer serving Killeen, TX may be able to help you.
Texas Has a Thriving Trucking Industry that Puts Many CMVs on the Road
In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported nearly 1.9 million injury accidents across the United States, including more than 100,000 involving large trucks. Over 4,000 victims lost their lives in CMV accidents that year, and according to data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 616 of those fatalities occurred in Texas.
The state’s booming petroleum, agriculture, and manufacturing industries create a high demand for CMV transportation, which has led to a large number of CMVs on both urban and rural Texas roads. In fact, TxDOT notes that about one out of every 16 Texans has a job in the trucking industry. While this benefits local and state economies, it may also make roads more dangerous for everyone, particularly in major cities.
Just one error on the part of a CMV driver can have disastrous results that leave victims and families struggling with physical, emotional, and financial distress. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to the negligence of a CMV operator, a commercial vehicle accident lawyer may be able to help you determine if you have a case.
Dangers of CMV Accidents
The FMCSA details the dangers of large trucks and buses, most of which stem from their size. Both CMV drivers and those on the road around them have a responsibility to take precautions to avoid preventable accidents, which can occur due to differences in:
- Weight: trucks often weigh around 40 tons, while cars typically weigh about 2 tons. The weight of a CMV also makes maneuvering it more difficult, particularly in terms of braking and controlling speed.
- Height: the draft created by CMVs can push smaller vehicles into other lanes or pull them underneath in the event of an accident.
- Braking time: it takes much more time to come to a complete stop in a CMV.
- Blind spots: because of their size, CMVs also have larger blind spots.
- Turning radius: CMVs typically must make wider turns than smaller vehicles, which requires more space.
If a large truck or bus driver acted recklessly and caused the accident that led to your damages, an attorney may be able to help you seek financial awards for your losses.
Causes of CMV Accidents
In 2018, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) released a study on the causes of at-fault large truck accidents in Texas. Using data from nearly 2,800 collisions across 20 counties from 2011 through 2014, researchers found several common factors that contributed to the accidents, most of which involved driver error. Some of the causes they reported include:
- Failure to stop
- Improper lane usage
- Failure to yield the right of way
Driver fatigue also had a presence in many collisions, as truck drivers often work long hours without taking breaks to rest. TTI researchers emphasized that feasible measures, such as increased training efforts and the use of trucking technology, could significantly minimize the occurrence of these dangerous accidents.
If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in a CMV collision, a commercial vehicle accident lawyer serving Killeen, TX may be able to help you hold the driver accountable for your damages. Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today at (713) 850-8600 to speak with our legal team.
Financial Recovery in CMV Accidents
Victims of CMV accidents and their families often qualify for financial awards for the damages they incurred because of the CMV driver’s negligence. The types and amounts you may receive depend on the specific details of your case, such as the extent of your damages and if you had a loss of income. Recovery for your CMV accident claim may include:
- Emergency medical care, follow-up treatments, rehabilitation, medical equipment, medications, and other accident-related healthcare costs
- Lost wages for the time you had to take off work to recover from your injuries
- Loss of future income if your injury left you with a disability or you lost a loved one who provided for you financially
- Pain and suffering, such as mental anguish or permanent disfigurement
- Funeral and burial expenses if you lost a loved one in the accident
A lawyer may be able to evaluate your damages and help you seek adequate financial awards in your case.
Texas Statutes of Limitations on CMV Accident Claims
Each state has its own statutes of limitations, or legal time limits within which victims or their loved ones can file a claim. Texas law generally allows victims of CMV accidents up to two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim for the injuries they suffered, and certain family members typically have up to two years from the date of their loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death suit against the liable party. Your attorney can determine how much time you have left to file and get started on your case as soon as possible to help you avoid potential delays and filing deadlines.
A Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer Serving Killeen, TX May Be Able To Help You with Your Case
CMV accidents often have long-term effects on victims and their families that reach beyond physical pain. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a large truck or bus accident in Killeen due to a CMV driver’s reckless actions or failure to act, the lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ may be able to help you pursue the financial recovery you deserve. Contact us today at (713) 850-8600 to talk to our legal team about your case evaluation.