When you are in a truck accident in Houston, the injuries and damages are typically much more severe than in other types of vehicular accidents. It can also become very complex to determine who is to blame in a truck accident. There are times when they happen due to driver negligence, but there are also times when the accident is caused by something other than poor driving.
If you believe that your truck accident in Houston was the result of maintenance or mechanical failure, then you do have the right to seek compensation from the company who was responsible for maintaining the truck if they failed to do so.
Trucking companies have very stringent rules and regulations regarding maintaining, repairing, and inspecting their fleet – and with reason. One small mechanical issue can be the catalyst for a multi-vehicle accident with a large body count. The trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and their job is to ensure that trucks pass mechanical inspections and are maintained properly. Since one truck can weigh well over 10,000 pounds and be carrying hazardous materials, maintenance is essential to everyone’s safety on the roads.
Any company that operates trucks, regardless of whether they are an independent contractor or a large fleet company, is responsible for ensuring that any truck out on the road has been inspected before it is put to service. If they fail to comply with all the safety standards necessary, then they can be charged with a violation of FMCSA regulations and be cited. Maintenance checks must be performed on all components of the truck, including the brake lights, tires, brakes, turn signals, headlights, fuel systems, windows, body frame, wiring, cargo areas, hitches, reflectors, or any other parts of the truck that aids in its operation and safety.
Why violation of the law is considered negligence per se
If anyone who operates a truck or has the job of maintaining a vehicle fails to do so, then they are considered “negligence per se.” That means that in the eyes of the law, the company that operates and owns the vehicle is negligent. That is important because due to that determination of negligence per se, the burden of proving who was at fault is obsolete, as is the question of reasonableness. If you can prove that someone failed to maintain a truck properly through maintenance and inspection, then they are automatically negligence per se, which means that they are deemed at fault for the accident. The other component to winning a trucking accident case is to prove not only that the maintenance person was negligent, but also that you were injured as a result of their negligence. For any personal injury case, you have to show that the other party was negligent, and that their negligence caused your injuries; you also must prove that you are actually injured and that you suffered as a result.
Why you need an experienced Houston truck accident lawyer
Since proving that a truck accident was caused by poor maintenance is not an easy thing to do, you will need the help of a personal injury lawyer in Houston who deals primarily with truck accidents. Not just any car accident lawyer will do. When it comes to proving negligence per se through maintenance, a whole lot of investigation has to go into examining records and documents, which takes a lot of time and resources.
What if you can’t afford an attorney?
The good news is that most truck accident lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they spend their own time and resources and you only have to pay if they can win your case in court and get the compensation that you are entitled to. Typically, you sign a contract ahead of time stating that they get a portion of the compensation that they recover for your case.
Truck accidents differ from other types of vehicular accidents, not just in severity but in proving who is to blame. If you believe that your Houston truck accident was due to poor maintenance on the part of the trucking company, make sure to hire a truck accident attorney in Houston who knows how to win the case and get you what you deserve for your injuries and damages.