Trucks are the heaviest vehicles on our roads. These massive vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when they are fully loaded. In addition to their weight, these vehicles may travel at speeds greater than 60 miles per hour, or even much faster if the driver is speeding.
When you combine the weight and speed of a commercial truck, these vehicles can slam into other drivers and cause massive amounts of devastation. For this reason, it is crucial that you report unsafe truck drivers when you see them driving dangerously.
What Is Considered Unsafe?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and laws require commercial truck drivers to drive safely. This means they must drive at the posted speed limit for commercial trucks, cannot text and drive and have a lower threshold for receiving a DWI charge. In addition, federal hours of service rules require commercial truckers to limit their operating times.
Generally, you should report drivers who appear to be traveling over the posted speed limit, texting behind the wheel, swerving in and out of lanes, or driving very aggressively. You should also report commercial truck drivers with unsecured loads. For instance, if a truck is shedding large objects such as rocks or other cargo, then you could report them for unsafe driving.
Reporting Unsafe Truck Drivers
You can report unsafe interstate truck drivers (meaning they drive between multiple states) to the FMCSA. Some trucks have the name of the company listed on the side of the trailers. In this case, it would be very easy to search for the driver’s company and issue a report. You should also know that interstate truck drivers are legally required to display their Department of Transportation numbers on the side of their trucks.
Once you have the information you need, you can contact the FMCSA and file a formal complaint. To do this, you will need to call the FMCSA at 1-888-368-7238 or report the driver online. You can file an online safety violation report on the FMCSA’s website.
If you feel the safety threat is much more serious and immediate, then you should pull over somewhere safe and call 311 as soon as possible. Be sure to get the license plate number, physical description of the truck and other information to make it easier for the highway patrol to find the driver.
For intrastate drivers, meaning they only operate in one state, you can also call 311. You could also report the driver to the Texas Department of Transportation.
What If I Am Hit by An Unsafe Truck Driver?
If you or a loved one suffer harm caused by an unsafe commercial driver, then it is important to understand that you may have legal rights to compensation. Depending on the circumstances of the crash and other factors, one or more parties could be liable for your damages. For instance, you may secure a judgment against the driver’s company or a truck parts manufacturer.
You should speak with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Evidence can quickly disappear from the scene of the crash. For this reason, you would want to secure evidence crucial to your case as early as possible. Event data recorders and electronic control modules in the truck may show what caused the crash. An attorney can help you preserve evidence before it is altered or destroyed.
Also keep in mind, trucking companies may have access to extensive legal and financial resources. You need an experienced truck accident attorney to take on corporate defense lawyers. Be selective when choosing an attorney. Most auto accident attorneys have details about their settlements and verdicts on their websites. You should determine if the attorney has obtained settlements or verdicts for cases similar to your own. Larger law firms are not necessarily better law firms. Experience counts for a lot when you hire a truck accident attorney.
Compensation from a truck accident lawsuit can help pay for your damages, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, lost income, loss of future earning capacity and home modifications. Damages caused by pain and suffering may also be included in a settlement or verdict.
Most personal injury attorneys, if not all personal injury attorneys, offer free consultations and take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not have to pay the attorney’s expenses unless they secure compensation. You should not let a fear of fees keep you from speaking with an attorney.
More About Our Houston Truck Crash Attorney
The Law Office of Daniel D. Horowitz, III PC can help with Texas truck accident claims. For a free consultation with our Houston truck crash attorney, call us at (832) 460-5181 or use our online case review form.