Injured Riding in the Bed of the Pickup Truck
- October 8, 2012
- Car Accidents
It is a common sight on the roads in and around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex: people riding unrestrained in the back of a pickup truck. Despite how unsafe it looks, you may be surprised to learn that it is perfectly legal in Texas for persons older than 18 to ride in the bed of a pickup truck. However, just because it is legal does not mean that it is safe.
As a Dallas injury attorney, I know that passengers injured riding in the bed of the pickup truck suffer extremely serious injuries. Since such passengers are typically unrestrained, there is nothing at all in place to protect their bodies in the event of a collision with another vehicle. As a result, pickup truck bed passengers are frequently ejected in a car crash and suffer catastrophic and even life-threatening injuries as a result.
Common Ways Pickup Truck Passengers Get Injured
Imagine that a pickup truck is traveling at 55 mph. It is hit by another vehicle, causing the pickup truck to suddenly stop. Since the passengers in the pickup’s bed do not have safety belts, their bodies continue to move at 55 mph due to inertia force.
Passengers riding in the open bed of a pickup truck are likely to suffer serious injuries in non-collisions too: for example, if the pickup truck driver performed an emergency stop in order to avoid the aforementioned wreck, or even as a result of poor driving or poor road conditions. It is important for injured pickup truck passengers to realize that there does not necessarily have to have been a multi-vehicle accident in order for them to make a claim.
It is also critical that you understand your right to make a claim even if the negligent driver of the pickup truck was a relative, friend, or co-worker. Talk to an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney to discuss your specific legal rights and options in depth.
Understanding the Law and Improving Passenger Safety
Before allowing anyone to ride in the bed of your pickup truck, it is a good idea to be sure of the law. In Texas, passengers younger than 18 are prohibited from riding in the bed of a pickup truck apart from in specific, limited circumstances: for example, if the pickup is the family’s only vehicle, in the case of an emergency, in the normal business of farm operations, or if the pickup is being driven in a parade, as a hay ride, or on the beach.
Regardless of your passenger’s age, it is important that drivers understand that they have a responsibility under Texas law to ensure the safety of their passengers. This means that if you allow someone to ride in the cargo area of your pickup and they suffer injuries, they have a right to make a claim against you. Pickup truck safety experts recommend investing in safety restraints if you intend to regularly travel with passengers in the back of your pickup truck. Installing a cab and safety belts are recommended for the best passenger safety.
If You’ve Been Injured – Call a Lawyer
If you or a member of your family has been injured as a passenger in a Dallas pickup truck accident, it is a good idea to discuss your case with an experienced Dallas personal injury and wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. The Dallas lawyers at Guajardo & Marks offer all injury victims and their immediate relatives a free initial consultation. Call today 972-774-9800.