Trial is set to begin next week for an incident that took place two years ago in Portland, Texas. The scene of the accident was a rainy Highway, the cause was a tow truck and the victim was left permanently disabled. The disabled man has filed a lawsuit claiming "negligence" against the towing service and the driver. They claim that not only was the driver of the tow truck notoriously reckless, but that his employer knew this and did nothing. These trucks are monitored by GPS systems. This can record things like route and speed. Whenever a driver goes over the allotted speed limit, an alert email gets sent to the company. Apparently, day in and day out, the towing company received these speed violation emails and made no attempt to address the problem.
According to the accident report, it was also confirmed that the driver was using his cell phone at the time of the accident. The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a final rule in 2011 that would ban all cell phone use (hand-held) for bus drivers and drivers of large trucks. This final ban, however, was only for interstate truck and bus drivers, rather than those vehicles that only drive within the state. In Texas, there are many local laws that ban cell phone use while driving, but the overall rules for the state are as follows: no cell phone use permitted, whether handheld or hands free, for bus drivers or novice drivers. Texting has also been banned for novice and bus drivers and banned in all areas around school zones.
On top of this, the tow truck driver's toxicology reports indicate that marijuana was in his system at the time. Driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics is far stricter for drivers of commercial vehicles. There is no tolerance in Texas for marijuana, because it is a controlled substance with a high possibility of addiction. Not only does this man face a lawsuit for causing the injury of another, but he will likely be facing criminal charges of DUI, drug charges and a moving violation. The overarching concern is that this behavior was even tolerated by the driver's employer. So many trucking companies allow their drivers to abuse Texas traffic laws in order to get where they're going at a faster rate. This way, business gets done quicker and the company saves money. Financial gain is never worth the possibility of injury. The man in this case was permanently disabled because of these types of practices. If you were injured in an accident such as this, be sure to call our firm.