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Getting into a commercial vehicle accident can cause unbearable stress, injuries, and financial loss. While you can get compensation for your injuries, identifying the liable party isn’t always an easy process. 

The Zimmerman Law Firm can help you after any car or truck accident in Texas. Our respected personal injury attorneys offer compassionate, diligent service. Contact us today to schedule a free case review.

The Unique Nature of Commercial Vehicle Accidents 

Crashes with trucks, vans, and buses are quite different from those with personal vehicles. Understanding these differences is key when determining liability. 

Here are some unique aspects of commercial vehicle accidents: 

  • Severity. Trucks and buses are large and heavy, which increases the force and severity of a crash. These accidents can be more lethal than regular crashes and surviving victims can have life-changing injuries.
  • Different governing laws. Commercial drivers and their employers must follow specific state and federal policies. A lawyer must be able to research and analyze these laws to hold parties accountable.
  • Complex litigation. Commercial car and truck accidents involve many parties. Each party will try to shift the blame, which can lead to a lengthy litigation process.

The Zimmerman Law Firm understands the nuances of commercial vehicle accidents. Our attorneys know how to investigate these crashes to get favorable results for our clients.

Who Can Be Liable After a Commercial Crash?

Your attorney can pursue several parties after a commercial car accident. Depending on the circumstances, one party may be liable for the crash or several parties may share liability. These are the typical parties involved after a commercial vehicle accident.

Drivers

Commercial drivers have many responsibilities on the road, and violating them can lead to liability. Naturally, if a driver fails to obey traffic laws, their negligent conduct could make them responsible for the ensuing collision.

Additionally, commercial drivers must follow hours-of-service regulations to prevent fatigue. Failing to follow these rules can also lead to accidents and liability. Lastly, drivers must abstain from drugs and alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

Employers

Generally, employers are responsible for any acts committed by their employees. A company must ensure they hire the right personnel, train drivers properly, and supervise their conduct. Employers also need to ensure their trucks function properly and coordinate regular maintenance.

Manufacturers

Some accidents happen due to unseen mechanical problems. Vehicle manufacturers can be responsible if these problems are due to design flaws or manufacturing defects.

Additionally, manufacturers must notify the public of any potential safety hazards. Failing to issue a recall or notify people of potential risks can make the manufacturer liable for subsequent accidents.

Mechanics

Manufacturers aren’t liable for all mechanical issues. Some problems occur due to poor maintenance or negligent repairs. Mechanics must ensure commercial vehicles will function safely before putting them on the road. 

Cargo Companies

Trucks often haul oversized loads and hazardous materials. Cargo companies must ensure they properly secure payloads with straps and other restraints. If loose cargo causes an accident, these companies can be liable for the victim’s damages.

How to Prove Truck Accident Liability

You can only get compensation for your injuries after an accident if you are able to identify the liable party and prove they were responsible for causing the accident. A commercial vehicle accident lawyer from the Zimmerman Law Firm can help you with this process and maximize the value of your potential compensation.

The following sections describe some steps we follow to identify and pursue liable parties.

Gather Evidence

Our firm will collect all information regarding your accident. This can include the crash report, photos and videos, and witness statements. We’ll also work with your doctor and mechanic to understand the extent of your injuries and property damage and ensure they are properly documented.

Review the Truck’s “Black Box” 

Some trucks have a digital activity tracker that can shed light on the driver’s actions before the crash.

Data from this “black box” can show if the driver was speeding, used their brakes, or violated their hours-of-service requirement. Trucking companies may try to hide or delete this data, so you need to work with an attorney as soon as possible to reduce this risk.

Work with Accident Reconstruction Experts

Sometimes, the available evidence after a crash is limited or inconclusive. A defendant might say that there’s no way to link your injuries to the accident. This won’t stop us from seeking justice for you.

Our firm works with specialized experts who can recreate accidents using the latest technologies. These reconstructions persuade judges and juries by showing them how your commercial vehicle accident occurred.

Check Maintenance Records

Under federal law, motor carriers must carry out regular inspections and repairs. They must also keep records of this maintenance for at least one year.

Our firm will check these records to ensure the commercial vehicle was in proper condition at the time of the accident or if the company knew about a hazardous mechanical issue.

Schedule a No-Cost Consultation

The Zimmerman Law Firm knows how to get results. Since 1962, our firm has helped Texans hold liable parties accountable and recover millions of dollars for their injuries. Consultations are free, and we never charge a fee unless we get compensation for you. 

Call today to schedule a case review.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to common questions we receive from clients. The Zimmerman Law Firm is happy to answer any other questions, so don’t hesitate to contact our firm.

What Compensation Can I Recover After an Accident?

Victims of car accidents can seek compensation to cover their damages. These damages include the physical, psychological, and financial effects of the crash. Your compensation can cover medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and more.

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim?

Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. You can file a lawsuit as long as the accident happened no more than two years ago. However, it’s often best to file a claim as soon as possible. Waiting too long risks evidence becoming harder to find and can lower your chance of success.

Why Do I Need an Attorney if I Wasn’t At Fault?

Attorneys use the law to advocate for your rights. They understand the legal process and will manage your entire compensation claim. Insurance companies may take advantage of you if you don’t have a lawyer. They might offer you a lowball settlement or deny your claim altogether.

A lawyer can help show why you deserve compensation and hold commercial drivers accountable. They can negotiate with insurers or take your case to court to get you the maximum compensation possible.

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Michael Zimmerman

Michael was born in Houston, Texas. His education at Baylor and Texas State Universities earned him a Bachelor of Science degree in 1987. His major was in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry. He finished his legal education at Texas Southern University in 1990, earning a Juris Doctorate from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1990.

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