Houston, TX Trucking Accident and 18-Wheeler Injury Accidents
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 Houston, Texas truck accident, you can benefit from having an experienced attorney on your side.
Many attorneys handle car accident cases. But trucking accident lawsuits are a different matter. These cases call for attorneys who know the nuances of trucking law and know how to maximize a case to the benefit of people who have been hurt. Often, truck accident lawsuits can involve more parties who bear liability. And, unlike an average driver on the road, trucking companies tend to have the 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. Call us today 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 due to the fault of the truck driver, there are many ways in which a driver and/or the trucking company can be at fault.
Here are some common causes of semi truck accidents:
- Driver inattention. Just 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, the driver can be held accountable by an attorney. Additionally, the trucking company may be at fault, especially if the company was 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. If a truck is overloaded or cargo is not properly secured, other motorists are put at risk.
- Alcohol or drug intoxication. While drivers are supposed to be routinely drug-tested, some truck drivers still get behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs. Our attorneys have no tolerance for people who get behind the wheel drunk 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 fail to properly train drivers, 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
In 2013, 359 people lost their lives in a crash involving a semi truck in Texas, according to the state Department of Transportation. Nearly 3,000 people were seriously injured in truck accidents that year.
18-wheelers are less maneuverable than passenger cars and also take much more time to slow down. Tractor-trailer accidents take many forms, and they occur for many reasons.
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, causing serious injury or even death to the people in the passenger vehicle.
Roll-overs occurs when a truck loses traction, often in poor weather, turns sideways and overturns. In addition to the obvious risk of collision, a roll-over accident can spill potentially dangerous cargo.
A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer swings outward perpendicular to the front of the truck. This can span multiple lanes of traffic. This is often the result of sudden braking.
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 be 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.
But, ideally, you should follow these steps if you are in a serious accident with a truck:
- Take photographs of the vehicles, their positioning, your injuries and any property damage.
- Get the insurance information of everyone involved.
- Cooperate with 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. The company wants 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 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 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 that may be available 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 more.
Our goal is always to get you what you need to move on in life and get past this terrible ordeal.
Why You Need a Texas Truck Accident Attorney
Truck accident cases call for a special type of attorney. Most personal injury attorneys handle car accident cases, but the number who can claim to be 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 involved. The laws may involve several layers of government. Trucking accident lawsuits are more complex each step of the way.
But if you’ve been injured in an 18-wheeler accident, you don’t have to worry about that. It is the job of your attorney to collect paper work and deal with insurance companies. This way, you can focus on your health. The attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek have a solid record helping people in Houston and elsewhere in Texas.
Call us today or contact us online to learn more. There is no cost and no obligation to speak with an attorney about your rights, so you have nothing to lose.
Texas Truck Accident FAQs
- 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 need to be held accountable.
That is why you need to speak with an attorney if you’ve been injured in a Texas truck accident. Contact us today.