Commercial vehicles are common on Texas highways and freeways and are used to transport vital goods and services. While commercial trucks are essential for our economy, these massive vehicles can become dangerous to motorists, especially when truck drivers are negligent.
If you or your loved one have been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, it’s important you speak with an experienced attorney. In addition to causing severe injuries, commercial vehicle accidents can cause major property damage due to their massive size and weight. The attorneys at Rochelle McCullough have a proven track record of obtaining the most compensation possible for victims of commercial vehicle accidents.
Types of Commercial Vehicle Accidents We Handle
Every day, drivers share the road with a wide range of vehicles, from personal cars to delivery trucks and school buses. A commercial vehicle is any motor vehicle used to transport cargo or pay passengers. The difference between a passenger and a commercial vehicle is important when an accident has occurred.
Insurance coverage requirements differ between personal and commercial vehicles. Additionally, when a negligent driver was on duty when a collision occurred, the victim may be able to hold the driver’s employer and the driver liable. Commercial vehicles are mainly used for business purposes. Commercial vehicles can include the following types of vehicles:
- Passenger buses
- Transport vans
- Cargo and delivery vans
- Tanker trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Tow trucks
- Dump trucks
- Box trucks
Head-on Commercial Truck Accidents
A head-on collision occurs when a commercial truck collides with another vehicle. The force of a head-on collision can be significant, causing life-threatening and fatal injuries, especially to drivers and passengers of passenger vehicles. When truck drivers are extremely fatigued, intoxicated, or distracted, they may swerve into oncoming traffic, causing a catastrophic accident. Vehicles driving with the flow of traffic may not have time to react when a truck driver veers into his or her lane.
A rollover accident occurs when a driver loses control, and the vehicle and trailer roll over to the side. Rollover accidents are dangerous for the driver of the vehicle that rolls over and everyone else on the road. When a truck rolls over, passenger vehicle drivers may be unable to stop in time to avoid colliding with the truck.
In other cases, the trailer or cab of the truck may crash into a passenger vehicle upon making a wide turn, leading to the structure collapsing and crushing those within the vehicle. Rollover accidents can also start dangerous fires that spread to multiple vehicles and cause severe injuries.
An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle crashes into the back or side of a commercial truck’s tractor-trailer and slides underneath. Underride collisions are among the accidents most likely to cause fatalities. Hundreds of people are killed in underride accidents in the U.S. every year. When a car slides under a tractor-trailer, the top of the vehicle may be completely sheared off, nearly always resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.
While rear guards are required to prevent some underride collisions, many rear guards are aging and not as strong as when they were installed. Additionally, there is no requirement for side guards on large commercial trailers. If you’ve lost a loved one in a commercial vehicle accident caused by an underride collision, it’s crucial you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. You may have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible party or parties.
Injuries Caused by Rideshare Accidents
Rideshare services, including Lyft and Uber, have become more popular in recent years. There are more rideshare vehicles on the road at any time, which has led to an increase in accidents involving rideshare drivers. Many believe rideshare vehicles should be classified as commercial vehicles, requiring rideshare drivers to purchase commercial insurance and obtain a commercial driver’s license. In Texas, rideshare drivers aren’t required to carry commercial insurance because they are classified as independent contractors.
However, victims of rideshare accidents may be eligible to pursue a claim through Lyft or Uber’s commercial insurance policy. When the accident occurs after a driver accepts a ride through the app and before the driver drops off the passenger, Uber and Lyft’s $1 million dollar insurance policy will cover injured parties. Navigating the complex insurance claim process can be difficult, and hiring an attorney is essential.
Accidents Caused By Lost Cargo
When commercial trucks have been loaded negligently with heavy items, their cargo could fall off, causing serious accidents. When cargo loads slide off the truck, the truck has to stop suddenly, causing vehicles behind the truck to make wide turns to avoid colliding with the cargo. In other cases, cargo loaders fail to load and tie down cargo safely.
When cargo hasn’t been distributed evenly in the trailer or hasn’t been properly secured, the truck’s center of gravity can become dangerously high. When truck drivers make a turn, the cargo may shift or cause the vehicle to roll over.
Recovering Compensation After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
The first step to recovering compensation is determining which party or parties are legally responsible or liable for your injuries. Rochelle McCullough will carefully investigate your case and work with experts, including accident reconstruction specialists, to determine what caused the accident. Multiple parties may be liable for your damages, including the following:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- A shipping company
- The truck manufacturer
- The manufacturer of the defective part
- A third party, such as another at-fault driver
Schedule a Complimentary Case Evaluation
Cases involving 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, big rigs, and other large commercial vehicles are rarely straightforward. They may involve multiple insurance companies attempting to deny or undervalue your compensation claim.
The attorneys at Rochelle McCullough have the experience, skills, and resources necessary to hold commercial drivers and their employers liable for the injuries they cause. If you or your loved ones have been injured in a commercial vehicle accident in Texas, contact Rochelle McCullough to schedule a complimentary case evaluation and learn more about your rights.