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I was involved in an accident with a refrigerated truck. Can I file a lawsuit for damages and my injuries?

In all likelihood, you can file a lawsuit for damages and injuries if you were involved in an accident with a refrigerated truck. Who is sued and how the process evolves is usually related to the circumstances of the case and who is deemed to be at-fault for the crash – one driver or both drivers. It is also important to know that being involved in a car accident is “not” the same thing as being involved in a truck accident.

It’s not just big rigs that are involved in accidents, although many think of big rigs when they hear there has been a crash between a truck and another vehicle. In reality, there are a large number of vehicles on the road today that fit the description of being called a truck. Generally speaking, truck accidents can, and do, involve a crash with a large commercial truck, such as:

  • Semi trucks
  • Oil tankers
  • Delivery trucks
  • Gas tankers
  • Dump trucks
  • Box trucks
  • Tractor-trailers
  • Tow trucks
  • Refrigerated trucks
  • Moving trucks
  • Furniture trucks
  • Post office trucks
  • Amazon trucks
  • 18-wheelers
  • Panel truck
  • Flatbed
  • Garbage truck
  • Extra duty truck

According to the most recent statistics complied by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), large truck crashes killed 4,761 people in 2017. Only 18 percent of the total figure represented occupants in the truck, 72 percent of the fatalities were in other vehicles and 10 percent were not occupants in either vehicle and were pedestrians or motorcyclist or cyclists.

Unfortunately, Texas is noted for ranking Number One in the United States for having the most trucks involved in fatal wrecks. Although there are a high number of deaths attributable to truck collisions, there are also a high number of trucks that end up in accidents that only results in property damage – in fact, in 2017, there were 363,000 crashes that resulted in property damage.

It’s important to note that truck drivers are held to a higher standard when it comes to driving. There are not just federal laws in place to regulate the trucking industry. There are also state laws that must be met. Those laws, also called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, cover a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to:

  • Compliance reviews
  • Trucking terminal audits
  • Weigh stations
  • Operation of the truck
  • Qualifications of the trucker
  • Complaint investigations
  • Minimum insurance coverage
  • Roadside inspections
  • Vehicle maintenance and repairs

Texas state laws, which apply to commercial drivers, are similar in nature to the federal laws. If you want further information about Texas state laws, you can find it in Title 7 of the Texas Transportation Code.

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