Although snow rarely falls in Temple, the city sees its share of extreme weather. Windy conditions often prevail, and residents are accustomed to severe storms that spawn tornados. Freezing conditions are not unusual in the winter.
Driving in severe weather like wind and heavy rain is difficult for even the most skilled and experienced drivers. If the vehicle is a heavy tractor-trailer, the challenges of driving in bad weather are multiplied.
If you sustained injuries in a bad weather truck accident in Temple, you could seek monetary damages. Although weather conditions might have contributed to the mishap, more care on the part of the trucker or some other party often can prevent truck accidents.
Truck drivers must follow all state vehicle and traffic laws, in addition to complying with comprehensive federal rules governing commercial tractor-trailers and tanker trucks. The federal rules cover every aspect of the trucking industry, from hiring practices to training to driver work rules and vehicle maintenance schedules.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require a trucker to use extreme caution when driving in bad weather. If conditions become too hazardous to operate safely, the truck must pull over. Unfortunately, truckers are under intense pressure to deliver their loads on time and semi-drivers sometimes risk driving in poor conditions because they need to meet a delivery schedule.
An experienced accident lawyer could look into all the circumstances surrounding a truck accident to determine the factors that led to the crash. Perhaps conditions were bad enough that the driver should have pulled over. Maybe the driver was poorly trained, or the truck’s owner deferred maintenance on the vehicle. Any violation of Texas law or federal regulations, or indicators of poor judgment, could be evidence of negligence.
Whenever someone seeks damages for personal injuries, they must prove that the defendant was negligent. A plaintiff must present evidence demonstrating that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty which they breached, and the breach was the cause of the accident that caused the plaintiff’s injury. A failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations is a circumstance that an injured person’s attorney could use to establish that the trucker and the trucking company breached a duty.
Proving that a breach was the direct cause of an accident could be problematic if the accident occurred in extreme weather conditions. The trucking company’s attorneys could assert that poor conditions caused the wreck and that it would not have happened if the weather had been clear.
Depending on the evidence available, a savvy accident attorney could counter that weather conditions were poor enough that the trucker should not have been on the road. If an investigation revealed that the driver or their employer had not followed other federal regulations, that could help establish that negligence led to the accident.
Many people get into wrecks in bad weather because they are driving too fast or too close for conditions or are simply not experienced enough to handle slippery roads.
When a plaintiff in a Texas personal injury case is negligent, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §33.001 allows them to collect reduce damages in some cases.
If a jury finds the plaintiff bears more than 50 percent of the blame for an accident, they may not collect any damages. If the plaintiff is not primarily at fault, they could collect damages, but the total they are entitled to receive is reduced by a percentage that equals their portion of the fault.
Although a judge apportions fault at a trial, during pre-trial negotiations a defense attorney might try to reduce their client’s liability by attempting to shift blame onto a plaintiff. An experienced plaintiff’s attorney could meet that tactic with evidence showing the plaintiff’s responsibility is slight compared with that of the trucker and the trucking company.
After suffering a bad weather truck accident in Temple you might be confused about where to turn for help. A local personal injury lawyer is the person who could help you evaluate your legal options and pursue compensation from negligent parties.
Those who have been injured in a truck wreck have only two years to file a lawsuit in Texas, so it is important to seek legal representation. Schedule a consultation today.