San Antonio Distracted Driving Truck Accidents
There’s no doubt that distracted driving is dangerous. However, when the driver is in control of an 80,000-pound commercial truck, a distraction can be the difference between life and death.
Distracted driving truck accidents can cause victims to be hospitalized for long periods, miss time from work, and endure a lengthy, agonizing recovery. In the worst circumstances, victims do not survive the crash, and families are left to pick up the pieces.
If a truck driver is distracted and causes a crash, victims have a right to demand compensation for the tragic losses they suffer. If you or a family member has been the victim of a distracted driving truck accident in the San Antonio area, call Ketterman Rowland & Westlund for legal advice today. Our experienced distracted driving accident lawyers will review the details of your case and explain your legal options thoroughly. We are always available to answer your questions, and we will provide compassionate support in seeking full compensation for your injuries.
An initial consultation with our lawyers is always free, and you do not pay for legal representation unless we win your case. Call us today at (210) 490-4357 to speak with a member of our team.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any action or cognitive exercise that takes a driver’s attention from the road. This may seem like it would cover a wide variety of things, and it does.
If you consider the speed that a car can travel in just a split second, being distracted for any amount of time could be deadly. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident caused by a distracted truck driver, you know precisely how devastating this can be.
Common causes of distracted driving among truckers include:
- Talking on the phone
- Eating while driving
- Talking to a passenger
- Changing radio stations
- Looking at a map or navigation device
- Reaching for something dropped in the cab
- Looking at the scenery
- Daydreaming or being lost in thought
If you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by a distracted semi-truck driver, know that you are not alone, and that help is available to you. You could be owed significant compensation from the trucking company or other parties responsible for putting the truck on the road, so reach out to an experienced attorney right away to discuss your legal options.
Types of Distracted Driving
While many different actions can contribute to distracted truck driving, the majority of distracted driving accidents fall into three main categories:
- Visual Distraction: A visual distraction refers to anything in a driver’s line of sight that can take his or her attention away from the road. Action occurring outside of the truck is usually the culprit. Some visual distractions are intended to be eye-catching to drivers, such as billboards or those blow-up figures that are designed to attract attention to businesses they appear in front of. While much of the roadside advertising you can see at any time is meant to catch the attention of potential consumers, it is the responsibility of the truck driver to stay focused on the task of driving.
- Manual Distraction: Manual distractions involve anything that requires the driver to move his or her hands away from the truck’s steering wheel, gear shift, or other features needed to drive. Manual distractions can include cellphone usage, interacting with passengers, or adjusting the radio or other auxiliary controls. In most cases, drivers should set everything up while the commercial motor vehicle is parked before they leave or wait until the vehicle is stopped to perform any of these actions.
- Cognitive Distraction: These types of distractions can include daydreaming, talking to others in the vehicle, talking on the phone (even hands-free), and other actions that take a driver’s mind off the duty of driving safely.
Distracted Driving Outcomes
When distracted driving causes an 18-wheeler accident, there are often severe consequences. Injuries caused by distracted driving may include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: A victim suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI) when impact or sudden movement causes the brain hit the skull with force. This can cause the brain to swell and further cause damage to the matter surrounding the brain. The severity of TBIs can range drastically, but often include memory loss, cognitive malfunction, severe headaches, seizures, aggressive behavior, and reduced ability to perform tasks the victim was once capable of. Concussions and other TBIs are horrible injuries and can often be challenging to diagnose because symptoms may not be present until some time after the accident.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries are common in car accidents due to impact that can affect the back and neck. Severe movements and force to the body can result in debilitating spinal damage that can contribute to pain, paralysis, and more.
- Broken Bones: Distracted driving car accidents frequently cause broken bones, fractures, and other bodily damage from impact. Broken legs and ankles are common in rear-end accidents, while broken arms and collar bones are more common in T-bone accidents and side impacts.
- Wrongful Death: Unfortunately, distracted driving can have even more dire consequences and fatal results. Our San Antonio distracted driving attorneys can assist you with a wrongful death claim if you have lost a loved one in a tragic crash. Our legal team will treat you with the sensitivity and compassion you deserve in the wake of your loss while we aggressively pursue those responsible.
Distracted Driving Laws in Texas
While Texas state law requires drivers to operate their vehicles in a safe and reasonable manner, there are some recent statutes that specifically address distracted driving:
- Texting and Driving: A statewide ban on texting while driving in the State of Texas was passed in 2017. This law prohibits all forms of reading and typing electronic messages on cellphones. If caught, violators pay $99 for their first offense and $200 for subsequent offenses.
- Cellphone Use: Cellphone use is generally allowed in Texas, while the Department of Transportation encourages the use of hands-free devices. Cellphone use for drivers under the age of 18 is prohibited, except in cases of emergency.
While the attempt of these laws is to prevent distracted driving – specifically distracted driving caused by cellphone use – authorities note that few citations are actually administered for texting while driving, and the fines are not hefty enough to persuade motorists to change stop their cellphone use.
Holding Distracted Truck Drivers Accountable
If a truck driver causes a collision because he or she was not paying attention to the road while driving, that person should be held accountable for careless and reckless actions. In addition, an investigation may find that the trucking company that hired the driver should also be held liable.
The victims of distracted driving accidents often suffer severe and potentially life-altering injuries as a result. When these entirely preventable accidents cause others harm, the law allows victims to pursue civil actions to hold the responsible party(s) accountable.
At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, we firmly believe that victims of distracted driving accidents should not have to pay out of pocket for their medical bills, damaged property, or any expense they incur due to someone else’s negligence. Our team is committed to demanding justice for those who have been hurt in San Antonio truck accidents. We are here to send a message to any driver who prioritizes their phone, their social media accounts, or any other action other than driving that this type of careless behavior will not be tolerated in our community.
Our team has an impressive track record of successful verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. We will work hard to help you pursue full and fair compensation including payment for:
- Medical bills and ongoing treatment
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Home modifications
- Repair or replacement of damaged property
- Pain, suffering, or mental anguish
Don’t let the reckless actions of another person cause you harm, and don’t wait until it is too late to take legal action. The statute of limitations for injury claims in Texas is two years from the date the injury occurred, so make sure you hire an attorney as soon as possible. Investigating the accident, negotiating with the insurance companies, and filing a lawsuit (if necessary) take time, so make sure to take immediate action to protect yourself and those you love.
How Our Attorneys in San Antonio Can Help You
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident caused by a distracted truck driver, Ketterman Rowland & Westlund can help. Call us to schedule a free consultation about your accident at (210) 490-4357. Our aggressive San Antonio truck accident lawyers will do everything in our power to fight for the maximum compensation owed to you by law.