Injuries from a trucking accident are frequently the most severe and tragic of any vehicle accident. The size and weight of the heavy truck colliding with a smaller automobile is often enough to destroy the smaller vehicle, if not all of its occupants.
A fully loaded commercial big rig can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. These vehicles do not have the ability to brake as quickly as passenger vehicles. Their blind spots are larger. Their drivers typically are on the road for hours at a time, often at night. Accidents with commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are often severe.
At the Sloan Firm, we have seen firsthand the devastation that truck accidents can cause. Throughout our firm’s history, we have handled a number of tragic commercial truck accident cases. While we can’t turn back time and prevent the accident from happening, we can stand up for the rights of people injured in truck wrecks.
Those who survive a collision with a truck often sustain very serious injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, fractures and loss of limbs. These injuries may change the lives of the victims, lower the quality of life, ruin lifelong goals, and possibly make independent living impossible. The weight of medical expenses just adds to that burden.
In most cases, these accidents could have been avoided. When truckers fail to follow federal trucking regulations and traffic laws, serious accidents often follow. Many trucking accidents are caused by fatigue, distraction, and improper truck maintenance.
Truckers and trucking companies should be held responsible for their negligent and careless behavior. If you or someone you love was injured in this type of accident, we invite you to contact a truck accident attorney at our firm in Longview, Houston or Santa Fe to discuss representation.
If you are entitled to compensation, large companies and insurers will try to offer quick – but small – settlements. They don’t want you to contact an attorney. As your attorneys, we will fight for your best interests – not the insurance company’s.
What matters to you, matters to us. We will fight for you so that you are able to seek some relief from the loss caused by the accident.
The legal issues involved in a truck accident are generally more complicated, but we have 151 years of experience navigating those issues for our clients.
Our team can examine evidence immediately and investigate all possible causes of the accident. Trucking companies are required to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations concerning their equipment and their driver’s hours of service. We can carefully examine all records for possible serious and fraudulent violations of safety regulations. Trucking companies are required to keep records or their safety checks for six months. If these records have been destroyed, proving negligence or fraud can be much more difficult.
Truck accidents are different from the typical car crash because there are many more factors at play when a commercial truck or tractor-trailer crashes into another—usually smaller—vehicle. The difference in size means that the smaller vehicle usually suffers much greater damage and the occupants suffer much more serious injuries. This typically means higher damages are possible, making it a higher stakes case, with potentially multiple defendants.
For example, in a case where a truck driver hit someone, the following people could be potentially named as defendants:
The truck driver
The trucking company
Insurance carrier for the truck or truck driver
The truck manufacturer or parts manufacturer
Those responsible for truck maintenance
Others responsible for the crash
There may also be extra evidence available beyond the norm from the truck’s black box, which changes the evidentiary process somewhat, and potentially the leverage you have if you are the victim in a big truck accident.
Also, there are laws and regulations in place to regulate the trucking industry in order to promote safety and prevent accidents. Examples include rest requirements and restrictions on consecutive driving hours. These make the legal issues more complex.
One of the most common causes of a commercial truck accident is a fatigued driver. Rules and regulations have been put in place in an effort to reduce the number of truck drivers who are driving tired.
If a truck is poorly maintained, especially the tires or brakes, it is a recipe for disaster. If the truck has cargo that is not properly secured or is too large for the truck, the truck may become unstable and jackknife or roll.
A truck driver who is speeding, violating traffic signals, driving aggressively or driving unsafely in violation of federal regulations is also more likely to cause a wreck. Although criminal charges may be brought in many of these cases, a criminal conviction of the responsible parties will not automatically result in compensation for your losses or injuries.
No matter what kind of accident you are involved in, a great deal of damage will likely be done, but the worst kind of truck accident is usually a head-on collision. They are normally the cause of the most devastating injuries to human life: brain injury, coma, paralysis, loss of limbs and severe burns. These injuries can reduce the quality of one’s life to a struggle to survive.
If you have been in a truck accident, your life has probably changed significantly. Perhaps you cannot hold the job you did before, or maybe you have a pile of medical bills to pay. Perhaps you have a long-term or permanent injury that affects your quality of life.
The types of compensation that is typically available for someone who has been in an accident involving a truck may include:
If you have been in a crash with a truck, chances are you were not able to walk away. Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries and then contact the police to get a case report. If you are fortunate enough to not have serious injuries that require immediate medical attention, get the contact info and insurance info for anyone else involved in the accident, and for any bystander who may have seen what happened.
Record evidence by taking pictures of the scene, and write down what happened as soon as possible, since your memory may not retain all of the details as time goes on. If you can’t do it yourself, ask someone on the scene to help you.
Contact your insurance company to let them know what happened, but do not give any insurance company a recorded or written statement until you talk to an experienced truck accident attorney, such as the attorneys at the Sloan Firm.
There is a statute of limitations in place for seeking damages in an accident. Don’t delay in contacting a truck accident lawyer at the Sloan Firm to help you. We will do the legwork for you so you can rest and recover from your injuries. The companies involved may wish to settle directly with you, but that amount would almost certainly be much too low.
Why You Should Choose the Sloan Firm for Your Truck Crash Case
Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher & Perry Law Firm is here to make sure that trucking accident victims get the representation they deserve. We are here for you, and we will stand up for your rights and interests.
We have attorneys available to help you in Longview, Houston and Santa Fe areas. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today for a free and confidential evaluation of your truck accident case.