Driving an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer down the interstate within mere feet of other cars and trucks at 80 miles per hour is a significant responsibility. For this reason, the federal government requires that anyone that drives a commercial truck has a commercial driver’s license,1 or CDL.
Obtaining a CDL is significantly more difficult that getting a “regular” driver’s license and requires that drivers go through a background check and special training. In addition, CDL holders are subject to stricter rules regarding traffic violations and impaired driving, the violations of which could result in the loss or suspension of their commercial license.
CDLs Exist for a Reason
There are only two reasons that a person who is driving a commercial vehicle would fail to have one: either they never got one in the first place or they have done something (or developed a medical condition) that the government believes would put the public at risk. Whatever the case may be, driving a commercial vehicle without a CDL is against the law, and anyone who injures someone else while driving a commercial vehicle without a CDL can likely be held liable.
In some cases, victims may even be able to pursue a claim against an unlicensed truck driver’s employer. This is often preferable to asserting a personal injury claim2 against the driver himself or herself because the chances of recovery are typically greater when seeking compensation from a company.
Do Not Accept a Settlement Offer without Speaking to an Attorney
If you have been injured by a person who was driving a truck without a CDL, there is a good chance that you have already been offered a settlement by an insurance company or trucking company. Never accept a settlement offer without first speaking to an attorney, as there is a good chance that the first offer made is significantly less that what your case is actually worth.
Call Stewart J. Guss Today to Speak with a Houston Tractor-Trailer Collision Lawyer
If you have been hurt in an accident with a big-rig that was caused by an unlicensed driver, you should speak with an attorney as soon as you can. To schedule a free consultation with Stewart Guss, call our office today at 800-898-4877 or send us an email through our online contact form.