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Personal injury

tractor-trailer accidents

Accidents are a broad category of incidents that may result in personal injuries or property damage. Personal injury refers to an injury to a person’s body—also known as bodily injury—or to their mind or emotional well-being—also referred to as emotional distress. Property damage refers to damage to any kind of real property (real estate) or personal property (all property that is not real estate).

Accidents usually refer to incidents caused by someone else’s negligence rather than by their intentional act. Claims for personal injuries or property damage resulting from an accident or negligent act of another person or entity may create legal liability if the person injured in the accident can prove another person or entity breached their duty of ordinary care in the activity that led to the accident (driving a tractor-trailer vehicle, for example) and that negligence or breach of the duty of ordinary care caused personal injuries or property damage to the claimant.

Legal claims for personal injuries and property damage resulting from accidents are primarily a matter of state law and may be located (1) in the state’s court opinions—also known as cases, case law, or common law—such as for the elements of a negligence claim; or (2) in the state’s statutes when the state legislature has defined the standards for the safe operation of tractor-trailer vehicles on public roadways—such as statutes that prohibit the operation of a tractor-trailer without the proper license or while intoxicated.

If the operator of a tractor-trailer vehicle violates a statute by speeding, failing to yield a right of way, or operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI/DWI), for example, and the violation of the statute is the primary (proximate) cause of another person’s personal injuries or property damage, the mere violation of the statute may be negligence—known as negligence per se (pronounced “Pur-say”).

In that case, the person or persons who suffered personal injuries or property damage may not have to prove the tractor-trailer operator was negligent in any other way to prove the operator’s liability for the accident.

In Texas, accidents that result in personal injuries or property damage due to someone else's negligence can lead to legal liability. To establish liability, the injured party must demonstrate that the other person or entity failed to exercise ordinary care, which caused the accident and subsequent harm. Texas law, including both case law and statutes, governs claims for personal injuries and property damage. For instance, if a tractor-trailer operator violates traffic laws, such as speeding or DUI/DWI, and this violation leads to an accident causing injury or damage, this may constitute 'negligence per se'. In such cases, the injured party may not need to provide additional proof of negligence to establish the operator's liability. It's important to note that these legal principles are subject to the specifics of each case and the interpretation of Texas courts. An attorney can provide guidance on the applicability of these laws to individual circumstances.

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