According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 500,000 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) accidents occurred throughout the United States in 2018, including over 100,000, which led to serious injuries and more than 4,400 resulted in fatalities.
CMVs, which 49 U.S. Code §31132 defines as vehicles that weigh at least 10,001 pounds and transport products or passengers, often cause more severe injuries in motor vehicle accidents, and more fatal CMV accidents occur each year in Texas than in any other state.
Texas has many thriving industries, such as petroleum, manufacturing, and agriculture. As a result, the trucking industry thrives in Texas, as well. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) notes that trucks move more than $1.6 trillion worth of goods, or 1.2 billion tons of freight in Texas each year, and trucks account for 12% of all the miles traveled in the state annually.
While the trucking industry certainly supports the Texas economy, it also poses a risk to other drivers, especially in congested metropolitan areas. Cities like Houston and Austin have some of the highest rates of CMV accidents in the state, but suburban counties like Hays still face the threat of dangerous CMV collisions.
If you or someone you love suffered a serious injury due to a CMV driver’s negligence, a commercial vehicle accident lawyer serving Kyle, TX, can help you seek financial recovery. Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, today at (713) 850-8600 to discuss your case with our legal team.
Causes of CMV Accidents
Large truck and bus accidents often occur for the same reasons as other motor vehicles, as driver error accounts for the majority. In many cases, more than one factor plays a role in CMV collisions. TxDOT lists the many causes of motor vehicle accidents in Texas in 2018. Some of the most common include:
- Driver inattention
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Faulty evasive action
- Failure to yield
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Improper lane usage
Additionally, driver fatigue frequently contributes to CMV accidents as drivers often stay awake for long hours on the road without stopping to take breaks. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that more than 1 in 10 CMV drivers in one particular study felt fatigued at the time of their accident.
Large truck and bus drivers have a responsibility to take extra precautions that ensure the safety of those on the road around them. If a fatigued, reckless, or negligent driver caused the CMV collision that led to your injuries or the loss of your loved one, the lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, can help you determine if you have a case.
Contact our legal team at (713) 850-8600 to set up a free consultation so that we can discuss the details of your accident with you as well as your legal options.
Proving Negligence in Your CMV Accident Case
To pursue financial recovery from the liable driver in your CMV accident case, you must first establish liability. A lawyer can guide you through this process by proving that the driver’s actions meet all four legal criteria for negligence.
- Duty of care: The driver had an obligation to keep you or your loved one safe on the road by using reasonable safety measures, such as following traffic laws.
- Breach of duty: The driver breached their duty of care to you or your loved one by acting carelessly or failing to act.
- Causation: The driver’s breach of duty resulted in your injuries or the loss of your loved one.
- Damages: Your injuries or losses left you or your loved one with significant damages.
Once you prove liability in your case, you can proceed with pursuing financial recovery for your damages.
Types of Evidence that May Support Your Claim
Accident victims can find it challenging to establish liability in their case independently, as parties can launch their own investigations into the accident as soon as it occurs, and they do not always agree on what caused it. A commercial vehicle accident lawyer serving Kyle, TX, can help by gathering evidence from your accident to help prove negligence, including items such as:
- Photos and videos from the scene of the collision
- Photos of your injuries
- Medical records and invoices
- Financial statements
- Police reports
- Witness testimony
- Cell phone records
- Sobriety tests
- Black box data
Your lawyer could also use your testimony, or your recollection of the accident and the days that followed, to help prove your case. In some cases, the opposing side’s legal team will request a deposition, or a statement, from you. If this happens, your lawyer could help you prepare so that you feel confident about the process.
Financial Awards in CMV Accident Cases
If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a CMV accident, you might qualify for financial awards. However, the types and amounts you seek depend on your case and the extent of your financial losses. If you receive awards, they may include recovery for:
- Emergency medical care, rehabilitation, medical equipment, and other health care costs related to the accident
- Transportation to and from medical appointments
- Lost wages for the time you missed at work because of your injury or loss
- Loss of earning capacity if you suffered a disability due to the accident that prevents you from returning to work or if you lost a loved one who provided for you financially
- Funeral and burial expenses if you lost a family member in the collision
- Pain and suffering for your emotional, mental, and physical distress
A lawyer can assess your damages and help you seek fair financial recovery on your behalf.
A Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer Serving Kyle, TX, Can Help You with Your Case
CMV accidents often have a devastating impact on victims and their families that may extend beyond emotional and physical pain. You do not deserve the financial instability caused by your injuries, and the lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, can help you seek the recovery you need to get back on your feet. Contact us today at (713) 850-8600 to discuss your case evaluation with our legal team.