Who Is at Fault When a Semi-Truck Crashes into a Car Parked on the Shoulder?

Numerous semi-truck crashes in Houston seem to involve cars parked on the shoulder of highways. Sometimes, semi-trucks crash into vehicles parked on the side of the highway. In other situations, passenger vehicles crash into semi-trucks parked in a similar manner. But who is at fault in this situation? Can you file an injury lawsuit for a highway shoulder crash involving a semi-truck?

An Example of a Highway Shoulder Crash

On November 30th, it was reported that two people had died after a semi-truck crash in Bellevue. The victims were driving a Honda Civic when they pulled over to the shoulder on US-287. They then attempted a U-turn, maneuvering directly into the path of a semi-truck. The trucker apparently attempted to dodge the vehicle, but the semi-truck ultimately hit the smaller vehicle. The impact claimed the life of one occupant of the passenger car. The other occupant initially survived the crash but later died at a nearby hospital.

In the above example, it seems as though the driver of the passenger vehicle was at fault. Not only did they attempt a U-turn that took them into the path of a semi-truck, but they also pulled over into the shoulder beforehand.

When Drivers Are Allowed to Park or Drive Along the Shoulder

If a semi-truck crash involves vehicles parked along the shoulder, one of the first steps is to figure out whether these vehicles were breaking any traffic regulations. Texas is an at-fault state, which means that determining negligence and fault is an important part of every semi-truck accident lawsuit.

You may be legally allowed to drive or stop on the shoulder under the following circumstances:

  • You pull over on the right shoulder
  • The shoulder is “improved” or paved
  • You can use the shoulder when passing a vehicle that is making a left-hand turn
  • You can drive on the shoulder to avoid a collision
  • You can drive on the shoulder when directed to do so by traffic control staff, barriers, or other traffic-control devices
  • You can stop on a shoulder if your vehicle is disabled
  • You can only use the left shoulder if your vehicle is incapable of reaching the right shoulder

If you were parked legally on the shoulder when struck by a semi-truck, you may be able to sue for damages. You should always put your hazard lights on when stopping at any time or place on the highway. If you strike a semi-truck that is illegally parked on the shoulder, you may also have the opportunity to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Where Can I Find a Houston Semi-Truck Accident Attorney?

If you’ve been searching the Houston area for a semi-truck accident attorney, there are many options available. The main thing is to take action. If you wait too long, the statute of limitations may prevent you from filing a lawsuit. This means that you will no longer have the opportunity to receive compensation. A settlement can help you pay for medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and many other damages. Get in touch with a Texas truck accident attorney today to get the ball rolling.


  1. https://www.newschannel6now.com/2022/11/30/texas-dps-identifies-us-287-crash-victims/
  2. https://abc13.com/driving-on-the-shoulder-when-can-i-drive-is-it-legal-to-in-texas-roads/3149028/

Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/51611994125/

Image License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en



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