Punitive Damages in Truck Accident Cases
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), there are about half a million accidents each year that involve a large truck (weighing 10,000 pounds or more) such as an 18-wheeler. There were about 5,000 fatalities and that equates to approximately one fatality for every eight accidents.
Though these statistics may seem alarming to some, when you realize that a big rig can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, it’s no surprise. An average auto only weighs 3,500 pounds so it’s no match for a big truck. Imagine driving down the road in your car and being hit by anything that weighs 80,000 pounds traveling at 60 mph. It’s actually a wonder there aren’t more fatalities each year, but auto manufacturers have stepped up their game and now provide more security in the way of better designs and air bags.
The trucking industry has grown enormously in the last 10 years. Today, it represents over $600 billion dollars in revenues for large and small businesses all over the U.S. In fact, almost every store, restaurant, and retail establishment in America receives their products each week via 18-wheelers.
Trucking Injury Lawyers in Austin, TX
Truckers fill the roadways everywhere. The roads and highways are jam packed with 18-wheelers and though most of them do a pretty good job of driving safely, there is a segment that doesn’t. This includes inexperienced drivers. Someone that just had minimal training and has no experience might not be able to respond quickly enough in case of an emergency. These trucks require a great deal more distance to come to a full stop than a regular car or SUV.
In other cases, semi-drivers have been known to take drugs to keep them awake so they can get more miles in each day. This is against the law, but it does still happen. A truck must also be properly maintained so that it has good tires and all the safety features required by law. The trailer must be loaded properly so that the weight is distributed correctly over the axles. Each of these factors is important to a trucker getting safely to his destination.
When trucking companies or drivers try to side-step the regulations in order to improve their profits, they put everyone on the road at risk. Drivers who are sleepy or under the influence can quickly cause a fatal accident. If a big rig has a blow-out and the driver loses control, again, every other motorist is at risk.
Punitive Damages in Truck Accident Cases
These are just a few of the reasons why courts are awarding higher punitive damages to victims of accidents like the ones described above. It’s tough to lose a loved one but if you find out that the accident was caused by a trucker who was drinking on the job or acting negligently, then the pain of the loss can be more severe. Accidents like this shouldn’t happen and yet they do.
Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers in Austin
If you or a loved one has been injured in some type of trucking accident and you believe the accident occurred because of some negligence on the part of the driver or his company, then you can take action. You may be able to recover damages like lost wages, personal property damages, medical bills and many others.
Courts are also awarding punitive damages in many of these cases as well. Punitive damages are supposed to punish the guilty and make them think twice about their behavior. Compensatory damages are just not enough in some cases and the courts will seek to award an amount high enough to cause the truck driver or trucking company to make changes so that they don’t endanger lives anymore.
If you’ve lost a loved one in some type of accident with an 18-wheeler and you believe the driver or company was at fault, then a truck accident attorney from Zinda Law Group PLLC can help you recover both compensatory and punitive damages in your case.
Go with a Winning Team
Zinda Law Group PLLC has been helping Texans for years with legal cases like this and we have the resources and experience to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and expenses. We work on a contingency fee basis and offer free legal consultations so that you can learn about your legal rights and make an informed decision. Please call 800-863-5312 today to schedule your free appointment.