Injuries from truck wrecks 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 or “CMVs” are often severe.
Around 1 in 8 fatalities in vehicle accidents in the United States involve a large commercial truck such as an 18-wheeler, a tractor-trailer, or a semi-truck. A common cause of truck accidents is driver error, such as fatigue, or not being able to see vehicles in blind spots.
As a busy commercial hub and one of the largest cities in America, Houston is the site of many accidents involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks and commercial motor vehicles. In a single recent year, Harris County (where Houston is located) saw 5,628 crashes involving commercial motor vehicles, according to statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation. Those accidents caused 30 deaths and 82 incapacitating injuries. Another 2,118 people suffered non-incapacitating injuries or potential injuries.
Truck accidents are a major problem throughout Texas. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FCMSA) listed Texas as one of the top 10 states for fatal large truck and bus crashes.
The Sloan Firm: Truck Accident Attorney Houston
If you have been in an accident involving an 18-wheeler in East Texas, contact the Sloan Firm today to help you!
Our truck accident attorneys are available to help you in the Longview, Houston and Santa Fe areas – and throughout East Texas. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today for a free and confidential evaluation of your 18-wheeler accident case.
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 fight hard to recover the money injured people need to take care of their expenses.
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 people harmed in the accident, 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.
We hold truckers and trucking companies responsible for their negligent and careless behavior so injured people can recover the money they need. 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 Houston to discuss representation.
Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Helping People Hurt in Truck Accidents
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by the driver of an 18-wheeler, we are here to help. After a collision, you may feel unsure of the future. How will you afford ongoing medical expenses? When can you go back to work – if ever? Is your case worth taking to court? These are serious issues, and our legal team is here to help you seek the best solution for the unique circumstances of your case.
We can gather information from you, police and witnesses about the accident. We can conduct a full investigation into what really happened. We can calculate the true extent of your losses. Then we can handle all dealings with insurance companies on your behalf to manage your claim, so you can focus on getting your life back.
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 help you seek what you really deserve.
What matters to you, matters to us. We will fight for the maximum possible compensation for you so that you are able to have some relief from the loss caused by the accident.
The legal issues involved in a truck accident are generally more complicated, but we have years of experience navigating those issues and getting results for our clients.
To provide you with the best case, 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.
Houston Truck Accident Attorney: How Truck Wrecks Are Different?
Cases involving 18-wheeler accidents are often more complex due to the number of parties involved and the likelihood of more severe injuries. The size and weight of a tractor-trailer often results in more extensive damage and personal injuries. This increases the amount of money on the line. These higher stakes mean insurance companies may put up an even stronger fight. The Sloan Firm is here to fight for you.
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 hits someone, the following people could be potentially named as defendants:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The 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 have been seriously injured 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.
Common Types and Causes of Truck Accidents
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.
- Maintenance issues
- Load issues
- Unsafe driving
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.
Houston Truck Accident Lawyers: Types of Compensation Available
An 18-wheeler usually does a lot of damage when it crashes into a smaller vehicle. Your injuries from a crash involving a tractor-trailer may significantly affect your daily life and your future. It may be that you can no longer keep the same job that you had because of your injuries, or perhaps your injuries will affect your ability to do the tasks of everyday life. You may experience chronic pain or permanent disability.
The compensation available for your losses is intended to lighten the financial burden of the effects of the accident. Types of compensation available generally include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Other physical, financial and emotional harm
- Property damage
- Wrongful death benefits if the crash took the life of a close relative
What to Do After a Truck Crash in Houston Texas
If you have been in a crash with a truck in Houston, 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 Houston truck accident lawyer at the Sloan Firm to help you get the compensation you deserve. 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 less than what you may get with an experienced truck accident attorney representing you.
Contact Our Houston Truck Accident Attorney Today
We are not afraid of going to trial, and we will not settle until you get what you deserve. Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher & Perry Law Firm is here to make sure that people hurt in truck accidents get the representation and compensation they deserve. Our Houston trucking accident attorneys are here for you, and will not settle until your case is successfully resolved.
We have attorneys available to help you in Houston and throughout East Texas. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today for a free and confidential evaluation of your truck accident case.
You can trust our firm to take effective action in severe injury claims, and all cases are taken on a contingency basis. This allows you to have quality legal representation without any initial outlay of money. We are not paid unless we win for you.
Learn more about your legal rights and options with our team. Get in touch with our Houston trucking accident lawyers today for free legal advice about your case.