A tractor-trailer accident can result in serious injuries, especially when the big rig collides with a much smaller passenger vehicle. As a victim of such a crash, you can seek a fair amount of compensation. Call us today to discuss your claim with our Houston tractor trailer accident lawyers. Here at Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims, PLLC, our attorneys' aim is to get you the maximum amount of money for the losses suffered in the wreck.
When filing a truck accident claim in Houston Texas, it is important to understand how these claims work, so you can get the right compensation. Here is a look at key aspects of tractor-trailer accidents and the claims resulting from them. A law firm can usually help with these issues.
Tractor-trailer and trucking accidents are caused by a number of factors. Here is a look at some of the most common contributing causes in the case of 18-wheeler accidents:
Alcohol and Drug Abuse: Truck driver negligence or improper conduct can cause severe accidents. It is fairly common among truck drivers to consume alcohol or abuse drugs while on the job. A study by American Addition Centers reveals that nearly 50% truckers consume alcohol and 30% take amphetamines. The abuse of these substances can cause truck drivers to experience lapses in their judgment. As a result, they may end up creating risks for other people on the road and causing serious accidents.
Speeding: Most Texas truck drivers work under imminent deadlines when shipping cargo from one place to another. This puts them under a lot of stress and they may cut corners to make it in time. In cases where the driver is at fault, this will be a real line of defense. This is why speeding is often a contributing factor in tractor-trailer accidents. Commercial truck accidents are in most cases caused by speeding. These vehicles can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, so they are exceptionally dangerous when driven at high speeds. Many fatal truck crashes were caused by speeding factors.
Distracted Driving: Taking a call, texting on the phone, checking the radio, eating, and performing virtually any other task during driving creates a distraction. For the driver, this distraction can result in a momentary failure to focus on the road, resulting in collisions, injury, loss of property, and other types of accidents. Even fatal truck accidents are the result of distracted driving.
Driver Fatigue: Legally, truckers are under an obligation to work no more than a specific number of hours per week and per day. When the drivers work above and beyond this in order to make more money or when being forced by their employer, they may experience fatigue. This can induce drowsiness and cause a driver to sleep on the wheel, resulting in a collision, sometimes fatal accidents. Severe injuries like spinal cord injury can result from this.
Cargo Issues: The cargo that is loaded onto tractor-trailers or semi - trucks must adhere to rigorous federal regulations. Such cargo must not be beyond a certain limit in terms of its weight, and it must also be secured properly. When the cargo is poorly secured or the truck is overweight, it may veer out of the driver’s control at any time and cause incidents.
If you have been in a tractor-trailer accident, it is important to take the right steps after the crash. Making the right decisions in the wake of the crash helps you stay safe while also ensuring that your rights are protected. Here are the recommended steps you should take after a truck wreck:
Get Medical Help
After a Houston truck crash, it is critical to undergo medical treatment. You may feel like you have no injuries but crashes following commercial truck accidents can result in serious internal injuries that are not immediately known. The trucking companies or the insurance company may also turn down your claim later on if you refuse immediate medical treatment. So the first thing to do right after a crash is to get medically examined and undergo treatment if needed.
Give a Statement
As any trucking accident lawyers will tell you, in the case of most traffic wrecks, law enforcement officers reach the scene of the crash. These officers conduct on-site investigations, take statements of all the parties involved, and form their own conclusions. You will be required to give a statement if you are involved. When giving a statement, make sure you stick to the facts and simply tell how you think the crash occurred. It is best not to blame anyone or admit fault at this stage.
In many 18-wheeler accident cases, if you are not too physically hurt to move around, it is advisable that you take photos and videos of the crash scene. Focus on the trucks involved. These should record the passenger vehicles involved in common truck accidents and any visible damage on these vehicles, skid marks on the road, final resting position, surrounding landscape, as well as the injuries caused to you. Such evidence is very useful in substantiating your damages claim later on.
At the same time, make sure you ask the truck driver about the registration number, details of the trucking and insurance company, and other vital information. If any persons or trucks drivers have witnessed the crash, you must also note down their contact details so that they may later be contacted for witness testimony.
Contact a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
A good Houston tractor trailer accident lawyer can be immensely helpful when you are considering filing a damages claim. Qualified lawyers from a reputable law firm have the ability t help crash victims identify the liable party, gather the relevant evidence, and then file the claim without wasting any time. They will also be able to assess the right compensation amount. So it is a good idea to get sound legal help at the earliest after a truck accident.
As per Houston regulations, a number of parties can be liable for accidents involving trucks or tractor-trailers. In most cases, the trucking company is the liable party. An attorney experienced working with the trucking industry in Houston is always a good ally for you, they can bring in accident reconstruction experts or other specialists that can help. This is because when any negligence on the part of the driver is involved, the trucking companies can be held responsible for failing to ensure the hiring of reliable personnel. A trucking company may also be considered negligence if it fails to avert vehicular defects that proper maintenance would have prevented.
Truck accident claims can also be filed against the shipping company, the vehicle manufacturer, as well as other third parties that are related to vehicle operation and trucks maintenance.
When filing a claim for damages in a truck crash in Houston, Texas, our clients have to face the legal teams and resources of major companies. On your own, your odds of success are very slim. This is why it is best to get the help of good truck accident attorneys.
Here at Calhoun, Meredith, and Sims, PLLC, we believe that truck accident victims have a right to fair compensation. Everyone involved in a commercial truck incident has the right to be represented by a well established personal injury attorney. This is why our trucking accident attorneys provide full support and assistance when you hire us to help you with your claim. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your claim with our lawyers.