Table of Contents:
- Hire a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
- Truck Accident Causes
- What to Do After a Truck Accident
- Compensation Available After a Truck Accident
- Truck Accident FAQs
Hire a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
Due to their sheer size, accidents involving 18-wheelers can be devastating. The injuries sustained by other drivers and passengers on the road can require extensive medical care, adding hefty medical bills to the pain and suffering that victims experience. If you have been the victim of a semi-truck accident, you can benefit from having an experienced Houston truck accident lawyer on your side.
Many attorneys handle car accident cases, but trucking accident lawsuits are a different matter. These cases call for attorneys who understand the nuances of trucking law and know how to maximize the case value for victims to the benefit of people who have been hurt. Often, truck accident lawsuits can involve more parties who bear liability besides the driver. And, unlike an average passenger vehicle owner, trucking companies tend to have more assets and greater insurance coverage to provide for a significant payout.
The truck accident attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek have the knowledge and experience to bring a strong case on your behalf. Contact us today at (832) 230-2643 if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck crash in Texas.
Trucking Accident Causes
While not every accident involving an 18-wheeler is the truck driver’s fault, there are many ways in which they and/or the trucking company can be at fault.
Here are some common causes of semi-truck or 18-wheeler accidents:
- Driver inattention: Like other drivers, truckers may take their eyes off the road or be using their cell phones at the wheel, with potentially dangerous consequences.
- Driver fatigue: Federal law specifies how many hours a truck driver can drive in a 24-hour period. If the driver exceeds this and causes a crash, he or she may be held liable under negligence laws. The trucking company may also be at fault, especially if they were aware that drivers were exceeding their allowed driving hours.
- Unsafe cargo: Sometimes, the cargo a semi-truck is carrying is more dangerous in a crash than the truck itself. Overloaded or improperly secured truck cargo puts other motorists at risk.
- Alcohol or drug intoxication: While drivers are supposed to be routinely drug-tested, some truck drivers can often get behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs. Our attorneys have no tolerance for truckers who operate while under the influence and hurt others.
Often beneath the direct cause of the accident is another factor: the trucking company. Companies can be held accountable for the actions of their drivers. When companies negligently hire drivers, fail to properly train them, do not properly maintain equipment, or do not keep proper records, the company can be held accountable in a truck accident lawsuit.
Types of Texas Trucking Accidents
According to statistics provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a total of 649 fatalities in Texas involved large trucks in 2017. This was the highest recorded number that year of any state in the country. Thus, people traveling on Texas highways may be at a higher risk of a serious or fatal truck accident while on the road compared to other areas.
Tractor-trailer accidents take many forms, and they occur for many reasons. For instance, 18-wheelers are less maneuverable than passenger cars and cannot adjust their speed as quickly.
Among the most dangerous accidents are rear-end crashes, due to the truck’s mass. Because of its size, a tractor-trailer takes much longer to stop than a normal car. If a driver is not watching the road ahead and needs to stop suddenly, any delay might cause the truck to slam into stopped vehicles ahead of it. This can seriously injure or even kill the people in the passenger vehicle.
Roll-overs occur when a truck loses traction, turns sideways and overturns, often in poor weather. In addition to the obvious risk of collision, a roll-over accident can spill potentially dangerous cargo, creating even more dangerous road conditions.
A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer swings outward perpendicular to the front of the truck. This can span multiple lanes of traffic and is often the result of sudden braking. A jackknife situation can block an entire road or trap vehicles underneath the trailer.
Under-ride accidents occur when a tractor-trailer stops suddenly and a car behind it is unable to stop in time. Because the truck sits much higher off the ground than a passenger vehicle, the car can become wedged beneath the trailer.
Accidents may also be caused by malfunctioning equipment, such as failed brakes or a faulty cargo hold. A truck can be very difficult to control after a tire blowout. If a trucking company does not maintain its equipment as required under the law, the odds of a mechanical failure increase.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
After any serious crash, the first priority is always to summon emergency medical personnel for anyone who is seriously injured. If you are the one seriously hurt, it’s unlikely you will have time to document the scene.
If it is at all possible, follow these step after a serious accident truck accident:
- Take photographs of the vehicles, their positioning, your injuries, and any property damage.
- Get the insurance information of everyone involved.
- Cooperate with the police, but don’t discuss the specifics of the accident.
- Get a copy of the accident report.
- Do not admit fault to anyone, and don’t give a statement to an insurance company without speaking with an attorney. Even an offhand comment could be used against you by an insurer.
- Visit a doctor as soon as possible so your injuries are documented.
- Contact a Texas truck accident attorney. Do not discuss the accident with anyone except your attorney.
Typically after someone is hurt in an accident, the insurance company of the liable driver will offer a settlement. They will want to close the claim as quickly as possible for as little as possible. That’s how they make money.
You may be entitled to far greater compensation than an insurance settlement if you hire a lawyer and pursue a lawsuit. If you agree to an insurance settlement, you may lose your right to seek further compensation. This is why it’s important to get a Houston truck accident lawyer on your side right away to make sure your rights are protected.
What Compensation Is Available in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
The compensation will vary case by case. You can be assured, however, that the lawyers at Pierce Skrabanek will always seek the maximum possible compensation under the law for our clients.
When our attorneys take a truck accident case, we review all medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and any other documentation relevant to your case. The amount of compensation you may be eligible to receive will depend on your medical expenses, how much time from work you missed, the cost of future care, and other factors.
Our goal is to get you what you need to move on in life and past this terrible ordeal.
Why You Need a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accident cases call for a special type of attorney. Most personal injury attorneys handle car accident cases, but the number who are actually experienced in truck accident cases is much smaller. That’s because truck accident law is much different than regular motorist liability. There are often more parties and several layers of government involved. Trucking accident lawsuits are more complex each step of the way.
However, hiring a qualified truck accident attorney will ensure you won’t have to worry about these details. As trucking accident attorneys, it is our job to collect paperwork and deal with insurance companies. This way, you can focus on your health and recovery. The attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek have a solid record of helping people in Houston and elsewhere in Texas.
Call us today at (832) 230-2643 or contact us online to learn more. There is no cost and no obligation to speak with a Houston truck accident lawyer about your rights. We are here to ensure you get the compensation and justice you deserve for your case.
Texas Truck Accident FAQs
Yes. A trucking company may bear legal responsibility if the company:
- Did not properly train the driver
- Failed to meet alcohol and drug testing standards
- Allowed a driver to drive more hours than allowed by law
- Did not properly maintain the truck or trailer
- Kept inadequate records
Believe it or not, some companies have been caught operating trucks even after being shut down due to safety violations. Companies that blatantly disregard the law and safety regulations must be held accountable.
Insurance companies do not hold negligent trucking companies liable, which is why you need an attorney. We can help ensure the roads are safer for everyone by holding these companies to account. If you’ve been injured in a Texas truck accident, contact us today at (832) 230-2643 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
“I found Mr. Skrabanek to be very trustworthy, creditable, and genuinely concerned about my well being while I was going through this very difficult process.”
“Fantastic team of attorneys and staff dedicated to their clients. Michael Pierce is an outstanding trial attorney for personal injury cases.”