Across the state, many residents have experienced the repercussions of loose regulations for commercial trucking companies on the road. The state has one of the worst track records in the United States for semi-truck accidents, and many cite a lack of strong rules as the reason why. An online petition to increase commercial trucking regulations garnered over 10,000 signatures in a matter of weeks. The people of Texas are speaking up, but the Texas legislature isn’t always listening.
With the help of some state legislators, trucking companies are attempting to shift the blame of accidents away from themselves. A newly proposed bill “House bill 19” would do just that. The legislation in question would make any defendant in a commercial trucking accident need to prove that the truck’s safety procedures were “grossly negligent” in a court of law, or else the trucking company itself wouldn’t be liable for the accident in any way.
Even still, Texans are continuing to fight back against the unprecedented new bill. Some groups are running television ads, and others are speaking out publicly about the proposed bill. Many people are describing it as giving large corporations a “free pass”.
There may be a beacon of hope for the Texan public, as legislators bring the bill to a public hearing before the Texas House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence. The committee chair (who happens to be the bill’s author) admitted that there were some “fairly significant” flaws in the bill and made a vow to edit and change it from its original, highly unpopular state. Although the changes haven’t been publicly debated by legislators, the first hearings allowed for the public to weigh in and make comments on their thoughts surrounding the bill.
In the wake of this bill, many commercial truck companies are doubling down on their efforts to pass this legislation. Their motivation comes from the increased prices that come from having to be responsible for their own actions. Oftentimes, trucking companies can see insurance hikes up to 200-300% after a big lawsuit, and the cost to keep drivers safe makes the figure even greater. These companies would rather shift the financial responsibility to everyday taxpayers.
To read more about these bills or sign the petition to oppose them visit the website KeepTexasSafe.com
DeSouza Law Firm is a leading personal injury firm representing accident victims throughout Texas.
If you’ve been injured by a car, truck, 18-wheeler, company vehicle, or in the oilfield, call DeSouza Injury Lawyers today at 361-799-2222 or visit the firm online at https://jfdlawfirm.com/.