Houston Truck Accident Lawyer | Commercial Truck Crash Attorney in Texas
Truck Accidents / 18 Wheelers
The oil and gas industry has boomed in the Houston area, leading to rapid growth and development throughout the city. However, the growth has created an increased amount of large commercial trucks on the interstates and city roadways.
A 2014 series by the Houston Chronicle and Houston Public Media shows the state has become one of the deadliest in the nation for traffic fatalities, including in the Houston area. Deaths from commercial vehicle accidents in Texas climbed from 2009 to 2014 after decades of decline.
These types of accidents can be catastrophic and often result in death or very serious bodily injury. Most 18-wheeler and commercial semi-trucks are large enough to easily crush a smaller vehicle, so the accidents often are more dangerous. You should not have to pay for the negligence of others. If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler accident, contact a Houston personal injury attorney.
Information Center for Truck Accidents in Texas
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
- Who Do I Sue After an 18-Wheeler Accident?
- Liability for Failing to Maintain Equipment
- Receiving Compensation After a Truck Accident
- Resources for Truck Accidents in Texas
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, more than 2,000 serious injuries occurred in 2010 due to truck accidents on Texas roads, as well as 284 fatalities. There are several potential causes for 18-wheeler accidents in Texas, including human error and outside factors.
Common causes of accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration include:
- Distracted driving, such as eating or talking
- Reckless driving
- Following too closely
- Failure to follow traffic signs
- Failure to check blind spots
- Cell phone use, including texting or calling
- Driver fatigue
- Driving under the influence or drugs or alcohol
- Tire or truck problems, such as a blowout
- Inclement weather, including heavy rain or ice
These crashes are unfortunately common throughout Texas, especially along major highways and roads including Interstate 10.
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Who Do I Sue After an 18-Wheeler Accident?
Federal and state laws heavily regulate the trucking industry. This means commercial truck crashes often are more complex than passenger vehicle crashes. Truck drivers have a variety of requirements they must meet and regulations to follow to ensure they are traveling safely.
For example, the Federal Department of Motor Carrier Safety Administration specifically prohibits interstate truck and bus drivers from using handheld mobile phones while operating a vehicle, which includes texting or navigating with a GPS app.
Many times when a driver is involved in an auto accident with a truck driver, he or she is not entirely sure who to file a lawsuit against. In most cases, the lawsuit will be filed against the company who employs the truck driver. This is because it is the trucking company’s responsibility to ensure their drivers are properly trained, have the necessary license and are not doing anything that could jeopardize public safety.
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Liability for Failing to Maintain Equipment
Failed parts and equipment are one of the leading causes of 18-wheeler accidents across the country. Federal standards require strict guidelines on braking systems, but many trucks on highways and interstates do not meet the criteria. When brakes do not function properly, a truck is less able to stop in time to avoid a collision, or may cause more damage than would have been inflicted otherwise.
Guidelines for maintaining trailers also are mandated by federal law. These include requirements for inspections and ensuring the trailer is properly aligned. If a trailer is misaligned, it can directly impact the tires, steering, balance and overall performance of a truck, leading to greater risk of accidents.
If a driver fails to abide by guidelines to maintain his or her equipment, that person could be held liable for accidents that result from the negligence. If the brakes or other equipment malfunctions outside of the driver’s control, it may be possible to hold the manufacturing company accountable for the resulting injuries.Back to top
Receiving Compensation After a Truck Accident
Drivers can receive several different types of compensation after an accident involving an 18-wheeler under Chapter 41 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. These types of compensation include compensation for economic damages, including medical bills and lost wages.
Drivers also could receive compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish, in addition to exemplary damages, such as extra compensation due to gross negligence by truck driver or company.
In some cases, trucking companies may attempt to offer a quick settlement to employees or victims injured in accidents. It is important to consult with an experienced Houston personal injury attorney who has the knowledge and resources to estimate your long term costs resulting from the injuries you’ve suffered. Your attorney can help you decide what is best for you, and he will work to get you the compensation you deserve.Back to top
Resources for Truck Accidents in Texas
- Texas DPS – Commercial Vehicle Enforcement: The purpose of the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Service is to reduce commercial motor vehicle accidents and protect the public, by enforcing the safety regulations set forth by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
- Road Safe America – Commercial Trucks: This website provides information on how to prevent being involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle. It also provides tips to truck drivers on how to avoid accidents as well.
- Semi Truck Accident Victims Center: The goal of this organization is to ensure that that all semi truck accident victims are treated fairly and receive the medical treatment that they deserve.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: The primary mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.
Finding the Best Truck Accident Lawyer in Houston
Contact Ben Bronston & Associates for a consultation about your 18-wheeler accident claim in Harris County or the surrounding areas. Ben Bronston is an experienced auto accident lawyer who will make every effort to fight for the damages you deserve. Call (713) 225-5236 to schedule a free consultation.Back to top