Truck Accident Lawyers in Houston Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve
In busy cities like Houston, it is not uncommon to see a multitude of commercial vehicles driving through the city every day. With such a large volume of these vehicles, there will inevitably be a certain number of trucking accidents each year. Commercial truck accidents frequently occur for the same reasons that cause collisions involving passenger vehicles. Unfortunately, that’s where the similarities end. Due to the immense size and weight capacity of tractor-trailer vehicles, trucking accidents oftentimes lead to serious injuries and even fatalities.
If you are suffering from injuries sustained in a collision with a commercial vehicle, a Houston truck accident lawyer could help you seek the compensation that you deserve. When trucking companies or their employees engage in negligent actions, it creates dangerous roads for everyone. This is why the injury and death rate of these collisions is so high, even though it’s rare to see a semi-truck accident on the side of the road. If you or a loved one was hurt due to such an incident, it’s important to reach out for help now. A knowledgeable attorney could evaluate the merits of a potential personal injury claim against the parties responsible for causing your accident.
Do I Need a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer?
One of the biggest questions truck accident victims have after an accident is whether they need an attorney. After all, they may have experienced a car accident in the past that was handled in just a matter of days by the insurance company. When accidents are minor — with simple property damage and no severe injuries — it’s possible to get fair compensation from the insurer. It’s less likely, but it’s certainly possible. When it comes to a serious truck accident, though, the stakes are much higher. In fact, you can fully expect an uphill battle even when trucking companies have full insurance coverage.
That’s because adjusters want to pay out as little as possible. They know that injuries sustained in a truck accident can quickly become costly. In many instances, they can last for a lifetime. One simple mistake on the part of a truck driver can leave the company on the hook for huge sums of money. Because of this, adjusters will try to get you to accept a settlement even before a full accident investigation can be completed. If you accept a cash payout from an insurer without first speaking with an attorney, it’s incredibly likely that you received an unfair settlement. In most cases, such a settlement will not take into account future losses such as missed time at work, continuing therapy, and potential related health issues that may arise in the future.
With a Houston truck accident lawyer on your side, insurance companies won’t be able to take advantage of you. You’ll be more likely to receive a fair settlement offer. If such an agreement cannot be reached, though, having a personal injury attorney on your side will also improve your odds in court. Even more important, however, is what legal representation removes from your shoulders. Rather than worrying about insurers and lawsuits on your own, you can focus on healing while your attorney carries the load. Semi-truck accidents tend to leave severe difficulties in their wake, and you shouldn’t have to carry such a burden on your own.
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
Houston truck accident attorneys have seen countless types of accidents involving big rigs. While it’s easy to immediately think the truck driver is at fault, this isn’t always the case. Truck accidents are some of the most complex vehicular collisions out there — mostly due to the many potential parties involved. This is a major reason why having a truck accident lawyer in Houston, TX on your side is ideal. If you try to get a fair settlement from an insurance company on your own, you may fail to realize how much you’re entitled to or even who was truly at fault for your injury.
The following sections showcase just how difficult it can be to decide who’s at fault in truck accidents:
Truck Driver Error
Most commercial vehicle accidents occur for the same reason as most passenger vehicle accidents—driver error. Unfortunately, 18-wheeler drivers are apt to make many of the same mistakes as car drivers. Truckers sometimes speed, drive while exhausted or distracted, tailgate, or even get behind the wheel while under the influence.
Because large trucks pose such a danger to other vehicles, the federal government has set forth strict rules and regulations that truckers and their employers must follow. To prevent collisions brought about by fatigued driving, truck drivers must limit the number of hours they drive without a break. However, many truckers drive for longer than they should because they feel pressured by tight and unrealistic deadlines set by their employers.
Trucker inexperience can also lead to accidents. Trucks have wider turning radiuses and blind spots and take longer to come to a full stop. All of these problems can be tricky to navigate without proper training and experience.
Mistakes by Passenger Vehicles
When a driver or carrier company is at fault for a truck accident, the results can be devastating. Catastrophic injuries are not uncommon. Unfortunately, accidents involving big rig vehicles are not always due to uncommon mistakes on the part of the trucker or their employer. In fact, Houston truck accident lawyers frequently see instances where such collisions were caused by negligence on the part of the victim. Distracted driving by the driver of a passenger vehicle can put them in harm’s way just as easily as reckless actions by commercial truck drivers.
Even if you think you’re at fault, though, you should still consider a truck accident claim. The truth is that you probably don’t have all the facts of the case. While you may think you caused the semi-truck to crash into you, it’s possible that brake failure or other issues are what really led to the collision. The important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t make any assumptions without first discussing your case with legal representation. Assumptions are never a good thing, but when you make them about a trucking accident, you could easily leave yourself on the hook for massive medical bills, lost wages, and other financial difficulties.
Non-Driver Related Truck Accidents
In addition to driver mistakes, there are other common causes of truck collisions that don’t involve the individual sitting behind the wheel. Sometimes, mechanical issues can lead to accidents. This is often the case with defective parts or failure to keep maintenance records. Cargo issues can also occur if the goods are not properly balanced and secured in an 18-wheeler. When this occurs, items could fall out onto the road or cause handling problems for the driver. Truck accident injuries can also result from collisions due to poor road conditions or bad weather. There are countless factors that can cause semi-trucks to crash, and many of them have nothing to do with those behind the wheel.
Truck drivers, trucking companies, loading companies, truck manufacturers, or even the city could all be held liable for truck crashes — depending on the specific details of a case. Delving into these issues to pinpoint who is at fault is an essential task, but it can also be time-consuming and complex. Fortunately, you don’t have to handle this process on your own. A dedicated attorney can help anyone who suffered a serious injury seek justice and receive the compensation they deserve. With an experienced law firm on your side, you’ll have a better chance of receiving a fair settlement or court award.
Multi-Party Truck Accident Fault
Is it possible for trucking companies and passenger vehicle drivers to be at fault for an accident? Absolutely. In fact, it’s possible that all the individuals and entities discussed above could share some level of liability following a truck crash. If you suffered a personal injury in such an incident, you may be able to recover compensation even if you are somewhat at fault for the incident. That’s because Texas truck accidents fall under comparative negligence rules. This means accident victims can recover damages even if they’re partially liable for their own injury — but the amount recovered will be reduced by the percentage of their liability.
For instance, imagine that the driver of a passenger vehicle is speeding down the highway. They come to an intersection where a semi-truck has a stop sign, but due to faulty maintenance on the big rig, the truck is unable to stop. This leads to a collision. Jurors may decide that the accident victim could have avoided the commercial truck if they had not been speeding, but they feel this puts the victim only 10% at fault. If this truck accident case ends with a finding of $900,000 in damages, the financial compensation received by the victim would be reduced by 10% — or $90,000. This means that — even with some measure of fault — the victim will still get $810,000 from their truck accident lawsuit.
What to Do After a Truck Crash
Contacting a Houston truck accident attorney is an important step after involvement in a tractor-trailer collision. Doing so is essential if you hope to receive fair compensation. There are many other steps, however, that are important before you even leave the scene of the accident. Everything you say and does — starting at the moment of impact — will have an effect on your personal injury case. Truck accident lawyers can improve the odds of you winning your claim, but taking the right steps can help them do exactly that.
If you haven’t suffered a serious injury in the collision and are able to take each of the following steps can prove invaluable to your truck accident case:
- Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. This is not an instance where simply exchanging information is sufficient. Do not leave until authorities arrive and give you the go-ahead.
- Get all information from those involved in the accident. This includes names, phone numbers, insurance information, tag numbers, and the name of the trucking company.
- Get contact information of anyone who may have seen the accident. Witness statements can prove invaluable after a semi-truck accident.
- Take pictures of everything. Images should show the accident scene, damage to vehicles, skid marks on the road, and anything else that may be pertinent.
- Make sure to give your statement to officers on the scene.
- Seek medical treatment even if you don’t think the injuries are serious. Serious issues can arise days, weeks, or even months after the truck wreck if seemingly minor injuries go untreated.
- Follow all medical advice and show up to all follow-up appointments. This will prevent insurers from claiming your injury was worsened due to your own negligence.
- Never speak with the insurance company or agree to sign anything before speaking with an attorney.
Of course, there will be situations where following all these steps isn’t possible. For instance, your injury may be so severe that it’s impossible to get out of your vehicle — much less take photographs of the entire accident scene. Rest assured, truck accident lawyers can still successfully argue such cases. Consider asking bystanders for help with things like collecting contact information and taking pictures, but even if you can’t do this, you still have rights.
Truck accident cases are typically more complex than your average car accident, but this doesn’t mean getting justice has to be difficult. The experienced truck accident lawyers at the Law Office of Denise Adkison-Brown can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Frequent Injuries Seen After Trucking Crashes
When large trucks hit smaller cars, devastating injuries often ensue. Big rigs are capable of crushing smaller cars, and multicar pileups are not uncommon. The simple fact is that no passenger vehicle — from smart cars to large work trucks — can stand up against a big rig. This is why truck drivers are so rarely counted among the injured victims in such a collision. Unfortunately, many survivors of these accidents have life-altering physical injuries. In fact, the following are among the most common truck accident injuries seen in emergency rooms:
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Broken or crushed bones
- Severe traumatic brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Complete paralysis
Trucking accident survivors also often experience emotional trauma. They may need to seek treatment for anxiety, post-traumatic stress, or depression. This equates to even higher medical expenses, and victims may need to attend therapy for years after their physical injuries have subsided. Such outcomes are not uncommon after truck accidents, but it’s possible to receive compensation for these losses as well.
Due to the destructive nature of trucking accidents, these crashes also frequently result in fatalities. If such a tragedy has befallen a family member, you may wonder what rights you have. With a skilled attorney on your side, though, a wrongful death claim may be able to get the justice you deserve. Nothing will bring back your loved one, but you can ensure the trucking company, driver, or other negligent parties are held liable while reducing the financial burden you’re sure to face.
Let a Truck Accident Lawyer in Houston Fight for You
Litigation involving commercial vehicle accidents requires a deep understanding of local, state, and federal rules and regulations. This isn’t just the case when your case goes to trial, though, since understanding your rights puts you in a better position to get a fair settlement from the insurance company. Regardless of whether your case is settled or ends up in a courtroom, it’s critical to speak with a Houston truck accident lawyer immediately if you or a loved one is dealing with the repercussions of a serious trucking accident. A seasoned attorney could help you navigate the legal process while allowing you the time to focus on your physical and emotional healing.
It’s an unfortunate fact, but nearly any collision involving a big rig will be far more detrimental than most car accidents we see on the roadways. You shouldn’t have to navigate the difficult road ahead on your own, and if you were hurt due to a negligent truck driver or there are carrier companies responsible for your injury, you won’t have to. You need a Houston truck accident attorney who’s ready to fight for you. That’s what you’ll find at the Law Office of Denise Adkison-Brown. Contact us today at (713) 714-6206 to learn how we can help you fight back against the trucking companies and get the fair compensation you deserve.