Truck Accident Lawyer in Houston
After a Houston truck accident, your life may never be the same. Severe injuries could cause ongoing health issues and prevent you from pursuing your life plans. You should not have to bear this burden alone. Seek legal representation to protect your rights and build a better future for yourself and your family.
A Houston truck accident lawyer from our law firm will help you file your case, negotiate for damages, and hold the liable party accountable for their actions. Call us today for a free legal consultation with a truck accident lawyer serving Houston.
In This Article:
- How a Houston Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You
- Laws and Regulations Governing the Houston Trucking Industry
- Types of Truck Accidents in Houston
- Common Causes for Commercial Vehicle Crashes
- Protecting Yourself After a Truck Crash
- Truck Accident Injuries Can Be Severe
- Damages a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You Seek
- Liable Parties in Truck Accident Cases
- Our Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers Are Ready To Help
- Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents in Houston
- Our Law Firm Is Ready To Help With Your Houston Truck Accident Case
How a Houston Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You
After a truck crash, there can be many issues to handle, often under time constraints. Our personal injury attorneys have years of experience guiding clients through these challenging times. You should contact our legal team because we:
- Offer extensive experience and knowledge of the laws and regulations that apply to the trucking industry in the Houston area.
- Help you understand your rights and options following an 18 wheeler truck accident and guide you through filing an accident claim or lawsuit.
- Have a proven track record of success in helping clients get fair compensation.
- Collect valuable evidence at the scene and surrounding businesses before it disappears or is destroyed that will help prove your case.
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve.
- Help guide your medical treatment so you have the best chance for recovery and pain relief while assembling critical evidence to prove your injuries’ effect on your life and work.
- Help you understand the potential long-term impact of your injuries and work with medical experts to help you get treatment.
- Successfully Try your Case to a Jury in Houston if the Insurance Company does not offer a fair money settlement.
How Much Our Houston Truck Accident Lawyers Can Recover for Our Clients
Our truck accident lawyers have a track record of securing substantial client compensation. Our success is built on a commitment to providing personalized attention and relentlessly pursuing justice for those we represent.
For example, one of our multi-million dollar settlement amounts includes a $3.3 million truck accident recovery for a client who collided with a concrete pump truck. While this case victory indicates our capabilities, we understand that every instance is unique.
In another case, we recovered $9,000,000 for the victim of a traumatic brain injury caused by a commercial truck accident.
The compensation amount we secure for you will depend on the specific details of your situation. This includes the extent of your injuries and the circumstances surrounding your Texas truck accident. Our goal is to help you recover the maximum settlement possible so you can move forward with your life.
Laws and Regulations Governing the Houston Trucking Industry
According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), there is a limit to how much trucks can weigh when traveling on state highways. These limits depend on how many axles a vehicle has and if the owner has a permit to drive in the state.
For example, a single-axle truck can weigh up to 20,000 pounds without a permit. However, if the same vehicle receives a permit, it can weigh up to 25,000. Trucks with two or more axles can weigh significantly more than this, with or without a permit.
Trucks outweigh most passenger vehicles by a large margin. For this reason, victims may be more likely to sustain catastrophic or fatal injuries than those involved in a typical car crash.
Federal Trucking Regulations
Interstate truckers (truckers who cross state or national borders) must comply with federal motor carrier safety regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA oversees commercial licensing regulations, sets limits for drivers’ service hours, determines other trucking and commercial vehicle industry safety standards, and reports relevant statistics.
Commercial truck drivers must keep track of the number of hours they drive daily. In a log, they must record how many hours they spent driving, on-duty but not driving, off-duty, or in the vehicle’s sleeper berth daily.
In addition, FMCSA’s Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) defines how many hours truck drivers can work in a given period. These regulations apply to all interstate truck drivers and the companies that employ them.
Often, truck drivers do not accurately keep their logs so they can drive more miles and longer hours. This is often due to trucking companies pushing unreasonable work demands on their truck drivers or turning a blind eye to truck drivers that routinely fake their driving logs..
State Trucking Regulation
In addition to federal regulations, intrastate truck drivers must also follow state-specific guidelines since they only operate within state borders. The Texas Department of Public Safety outlines relevant statutes for commercial motor vehicles.
These laws determine seatbelt use, load and weight limitations, licensing and registration, and other equipment restrictions.
Types of Semi Truck Accidents in Houston
According to TxDOT crash statistics, there were 27,224 truck crashes in 2021. In addition, TxDOT noted that Harris County had 5,743 commercial vehicle accidents in the same year.
No two Texas truck accidents are the same, but any crash has the potential to cause grievous harm. Here is a brief overview of the types of truck collisions that might result in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Head-on collisions: These happen when the truck’s front end collides with the front end of a passenger car. They can be especially destructive since each vehicle is headed directly toward the other, often at high speeds.
- Side-impact collisions: Also called T-bone accidents, this type of crash occurs when the truck hits another vehicle from the side. This can be dangerous to whoever is on the side that gets hit.
- Rear-end accidents: This happens when the truck hits another motorist from behind. Minor rear-end collisions are sometimes called “fender-benders.”
- Spilled cargo accidents: Trucks transport all kinds of materials along our roadways. If the cargo is overloaded or loaded improperly, it may fall into the roadway, putting other motorists in danger.
- Jackknife accidents: This can occur when a truck’s trailer swings towards the cab. A jackknifed truck could end up blocking the roadway or side-swiping another car.
- Rollover accidents: As the name suggests, this occurs when one of the vehicles overturns completely. If a truck overturns, it could hit multiple other cars and spill its cargo onto the roadway. This cargo presents yet another hazard for drivers, especially if it is heavy, toxic, flammable, or otherwise harmful.
- Single-vehicle accidents: Sometimes, a truck will go off the road or hit a stationary object (like a median or a streetlight) without hitting another car. If any part of the disabled truck or its cargo lies in the roadway, it could endanger others.
Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
Drivers of large commercial trucks may crash for multiple reasons. Unfortunately, collisions often result from careless behaviors and decisions, which can have catastrophic and fatal consequences.
Poor judgment, speeding, driving while intoxicated, failing to get adequate sleep, and distracted driving are a few negligent behaviors that can cause a truck crash. In addition, drivers must work on tight schedules and manage large vehicles on busy highways and roads; these difficult work conditions can also contribute to collisions in Houston.
In 2019, 6% of truck drivers involved in a crash tested positive for drugs, according to the FMCSA. Distraction and impairment were other leading causes of non-fatal and fatal truck accidents in the same year. The listed reasons include phone use, texting, eating, and fatigued driving.
If a driver’s negligent behaviors caused your crash or the death of a loved one, you should not have to bear the financial, physical, and emotional consequences alone. Our Houston truck accident lawyers are determined to help you recover the compensation you need to heal.
Protecting Yourself After a Truck Crash in Houston
You can take several actions immediately after a collision to protect your right to maximum compensation. Here are some of the best ways to preserve your rights and make it easier for us to seek justice.
Move Away From the Accident Scene
According to Texas Transportation Code § 550.021, you must stay at the scene of a crash that results in injury or death until the proper authorities arrive. However, this does not mean you have to put yourself in danger. You are allowed to:
- Move your car out of the flow of traffic.
- Leave in an ambulance immediately if you are critically injured.
- Get far enough away that any hazardous materials the truck contains cannot harm you should they leak or explode.
See a Doctor
One of the most important things you can do is seek medical attention immediately after the crash. This is because:
- Any gap between the collision and your first doctor’s appointment could indicate that your injury was unrelated to the incident.
- Truck accident injuries can be serious, even if symptoms do not present immediately.
- Seeking prompt assistance creates a record of how the accident and your injury are connected, especially if you tell the doctor how the injury occurred.
If you cannot find a doctor or cannot afford one, our Houston truck accident attorney team will refer you to a doctor and clinic to treat your pain and injuries. We work with doctors and clinics that will not seek payment for their medical bills until there is a truck accident settlement in your case.
You should also check to make sure the truck driver is uninjured. If they sustain an injury or are unconscious, call 911 to get them the help they need.
Keep Conversation Brief
The insurance company can use any statement you make about the collision against you. This means you should:
- Never admit or imply guilt to the truck driver, EMTs, or witnesses.
- Cooperate with the police officer who responded to the scene, but keep your responses short and fact-based.
- Not speculate; if you do not know something, say you do not know.
- Avoid reporters or making social media posts about the incident.
- Never agree to anyone’s requests for a recorded statement.
- Say as little as possible until you talk to truck accident attorneys from our team.
One thing you can safely do is ask the other driver for their contact and insurance information. This makes it easier to identify them if and when you decide to sue.
Document the Scene
Use your cell phone to take as many pictures of the scene as possible. This includes documenting:
- The damage to your car.
- The damage to the truck.
- The injuries you sustained.
- The general environment where the accident occurred, especially if you notice a hazard like a broken streetlight or a large pothole.
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, you have two years from the date of a truck accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party or parties who caused the crash. Alternatively, you have two years from your loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death claim.
The legal system adheres closely to these deadlines. Therefore, if you miss the deadline that applies to your case, you could be denied the justice and the compensation you deserve.
We encourage anyone thinking of suing over a Texas truck accident to take action as soon as possible. Undue delays could put your case at risk. Our Houston truck accident lawyers will ensure you file your accident claim on time.
Houston Truck Accident Injuries Can Be Severe
No matter the truck crash type you were involved in, the results can be catastrophic. Victims will likely:
- Sustain serious physical and psychological injuries.
- Lose money on property damage, medical bills, and lost wages.
- Sustain vehicle damage, including the total loss of their car.
Due to their larger weight and size, trucks can inflict serious physical damage on victims. The impact can cause many types of common injuries, including:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal bleeding
- Crushed or fractured bones
- Severe muscle or nerve damage
Such catastrophic injuries can affect you for the rest of your life, as they can lead to disfigurement, scarring, or cause permanent impairment. The more serious the injury, the more money you typically receive in a Texas truck accident settlement.
Truck crashes can be traumatizing for survivors. Sustaining devastating injuries or watching a loved one die can also have lifelong consequences for your mental and emotional well-being. You may seek financial compensation for the following:
- Emotional trauma
- New or worsened mental illness, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of independence
Psychological injuries may be more difficult to quantify than physical harm. However, this does not mean your suffering is not real or that you do not deserve maximum compensation for the mental toll all of this has taken on you.
A personal injury lawyer will explain how we calculate the intangible damages that stem from Texas truck accidents.
Damages a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You Seek
Truck accident injuries can lead to costly medical bills, and they can cause other economic losses, as well. You can seek compensation for various expenses through a claim with the help of a truck accident attorney. You can also seek compensation for non-economic losses or wrongful death damages if you lose a loved one.
These account for the tangible losses you suffered after the collision. To prove the extent of your financial loss, collect all accident-related documents. You may recover the following:
- Medical costs: Your physical injuries can force you to spend money on surgery, diagnostic tests, and other immediate medical treatments. Furthermore, you may need long-term care, like physical therapy, for permanent or disabling injuries.
- Property damage: A collision with a truck can cause expensive damage to your car and any valuables you are transporting; for example, luggage, golf clubs, or computers.
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity: Paying off these bills may be even more difficult if your severe injuries prevent you from returning to the same job you had before or advancing further in your career. You may also no longer have health insurance and other benefits.
- Other expenses: You can also recover assistance from housekeepers, babysitters, landscapers, home nurses, and other professionals.
A truck accident lawyer in Houston can review your case to determine what damages you’re eligible for.
Texas truck accident victims can also seek fair compensation for intangible losses that address the collision’s mental and emotional impact. However, these can be more difficult to quantify due to their subjective nature. As the injured party, you may recover:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Physical impairment and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Our legal team is ready to help assign a monetary value to these losses.
Fatal Truck Accident Wrongful Death Compensation
Our Houston wrongful death lawyers will do everything we can to help your family if you have lost a loved one in a fatal Texas truck accident. We will pursue compensation for damages such as:
- Loss of inheritance
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of consortium
- Your loved one’s medical bills
- Your loved one’s pain and suffering before death
- Lost wages if you took time to tend to your loved one’s fatal injuries
For over 35 years, our law firm has supported truck accident victims and their families as they fight for justice after preventable fatal truck collisions. On one occasion, our Houston truck accident lawyers settled with the liable party for $1 million after a fatal crash. Now we want to pursue justice for you and your loved ones.
Liable Parties in Trucking Accident Cases in Houston
Who can you sue after a truck crash? This can be difficult to answer unless you hire experienced truck accident attorneys to investigate the incident and identify the responsible party. We have identified and pursued liable parties for past claims such as:
In many truck accident claims, the professional driver played a critical role. There are many ways a careless trucker could wind up causing a collision, including:
- Using drugs or alcohol on the job, even if the drug was legal or prescribed
- Driving too fast for the roadway conditions and the size of the vehicle
- Not paying attention to traffic signs or other drivers’ actions
- Distracted driving, such as using their cell phone behind the wheel
- Taking insufficient rest periods leads to driver fatigue and inattentive driving
Even if the commercial driver is at fault, you may not end up suing them personally. Instead, you could sue their employer, who usually has a larger insurance policy.
The truck company is responsible for both its employees and vehicles. They must:
- Provide proper safety training to all drivers.
- Make sure their drivers obtain and maintain the required commercial licenses.
- Never pressure employees to skip breaks or work longer hours than they should.
- Hire responsible individuals to load and unload cargo.
- Ensure that qualified mechanics maintain all trucks regularly.
- Allow state or federal inspectors to examine the vehicles as required by law.
- Ensure that all trucks comply with state and federal safety standards, and take any trucks that do not meet those standards off the road until they are fixed.
Any truck company or employee violation could be grounds for a lawsuit. One of our Houston truck accident lawyers will help you file a claim.
Trucks are made up of many parts that must work well on their own and in tandem with each other. As such, vehicle part manufacturers are held to high standards and are required to:
- Test the materials and the finished product before putting it on the market.
- Include sufficient information on the product label to inform buyers if potential hazards are associated with using the product.
- Respond promptly to customer complaints regarding their products, including issuing recalls as necessary.
Unfortunately, manufacturers often put profit over consumer safety. As a result, they may use substandard materials or delay issuing a recall if it will keep money flowing in, even if it costs roadway users their lives.
If a truck accident lawyer finds sufficient evidence showing the manufacturer was negligent, we’ll file a truck accident lawsuit for damages against them.
The Mechanic or Inspector
Commercial trucks must be maintained and inspected regularly. As discussed before, if a company fails to ensure this is done, you can hold them liable. However, if they tried to follow the rules but were undermined by other negligent parties, you may sue someone else instead of or in addition to the company.
For example, if an inspector did not thoroughly examine the vehicle enough to make an accurate report, the agency they work for could be liable. Alternatively, if a mechanic rushed through their work and missed a critical problem with the truck, they or their company could be sued.
Our Experienced HoustonTruck Accident Lawyers Are Ready to Help
We understand how devastating and overwhelming it is to suffer an injury in a truck crash. However, we want you to know that you are not alone; our truck accident lawyers will support you as you seek justice for your injuries and, if necessary, your loved one’s death.
Our legal team wants to do everything possible to make things easier for you after a truck accident. Here are some of the benefits we offer to clients in your situation.
We Offer Compassionate Advice
It is not your job to know the ins and outs of state law as it applies to truck crashes. However, the Texas truck accident lawyers at our Houston office will:
- Inform you of your rights at every stage of the lawsuit.
- Talk to you about how you can take on “big” liable parties like trucking companies.
- Keep you updated about what is happening, explain the implication of each development, and advise you on how to proceed.
- Promptly address every concern you bring to us.
We Investigative the Evidence
To determine who you should sue after a truck accident, an experienced truck accident lawyer will look into all potentially liable parties by collecting documents from:
- The mechanics and inspectors responsible for keeping the trucks safe.
- Your medical records.
- Traffic cams or other cameras that caught the accident on tape.
- Computers and cameras on the tractor-trailer.
- Your collection of bills, receipts, pay stubs, maintenance records, and other documents related to the accident.
We’ll also interview anyone who knows about the big rig accident, the working environment at the trucking company, or the accident location. Expert witness statements will add great value to your case.
Once our accident investigation is complete, you can clearly understand whether you should hold the truck driver, their company, or another party responsible for your injuries. You can also know exactly how much money the liable party owes you for the damages.
Our Houston Truck Accident Attorneys Won’t Back Down from Insurance Company Negotiations
Whoever the liable party is, their insurance company will be the one to pay whatever damages you’ve suffered. The insurance provider may or may not accept your case as is. However, if they choose to fight your request for damages, we can still negotiate a commercial truck accident settlement without going through a trial first.
For example, if the liable party in your case is the truck driver, and if we decide to pursue compensation from the commercial trucking company’s insurance company, we will:
- Arrange a meeting with that insurance company to discuss your case.
- Present them with the critical evidence our Houston truck accident lawyers collected regarding the trucking company’s liability.
- Protect you against the trucking company’s or the insurance carrier’s attempts to undermine your case, profess innocence, or claim another event that caused your injuries.
If necessary, we’ll take your personal injury claim to court. In this situation, your trucking accident lawyer would present your case at trial and let a jury decide if you deserve compensation.
Our Houston Truck Accident Attorneys Will Take Your Commercial Truck Accident Case on Contingency
Our firm will also help you by charging no attorney’s fees until you receive compensation. This is called a contingency fee, which links our success to yours; if we don’t get compensation for you, we do not charge you any attorney’s fees.
We Offer Bilingual Assistance
If you are more comfortable speaking Spanish, let us know, and we will happily accommodate you. Language should never be a barrier between you and the legal care you want.
Our experienced truck accident attorneys are dedicated to helping the Spanish-speaking community in Houston and throughout Texas.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents in Houston
The aftermath of a collision can be confusing and overwhelming, so you should not take legal action alone. Instead, you should contact legal experts to ensure you make informed decisions about your future.
What Is the Average Settlement for an 18-wheeler Accident in Texas?
The settlement amount for a truck accident case depends on the details of each case. While in some instances, the award can add up to millions of dollars, not all cases settle for that much. After reviewing your case, a truck accident attorney will estimate how much you could receive.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Minor Crash?
You should obtain legal representation after even a minor collision, as a lawyer will protect your rights throughout the legal process. Always consult an attorney before accepting a settlement offer to ensure you receive fair compensation.
Where Do Most Truck Accidents Occur in Houston?
Truck accidents can be particularly dangerous due to their size, weight, and the cargo they are hauling. In Houston, these large vehicles often travel along the various interstate highways and many of the large highways and bypasses that are popular routes for 18-wheelers.
The four major interstates in Harris County experience a great deal of congestion from semi trucks and other big rigs on their way to and from Houston or further parts of the country. They include:
- US 59
The many highway loops, such as Sam Houston Tollway, can also be hazardous roads for truck accidents. In addition, Houston features narrow one-way streets with multiple curves that trucks must maneuver around, which can cause collisions with other vehicles.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Dealing with the aftermath of a serious truck accident in Texas can be a tumultuous process. Many people ask, “How long does it take to settle a truck accident claim?” The answer is that it depends on several factors, many of which are out of the victim’s hands.
The legal process of a truck accident shouldn’t be rushed to resolve. Long-term health problems may emerge after the initial impact and often become the responsibility of the plaintiff, who was likely already hurt from their ordeal. For this reason, most insurance companies prefer to settle quickly before any long-term issues arise, whether it belongs to the accident victim or the responsible parties.
This can range from weeks to over a year for more difficult cases depending upon certain circumstances.
Generally speaking, once a settlement is accepted and signed off on by both parties, this ends financial obligation unless issues merit reopening discussion. Therefore, it is important for victims during this time to remain patient and get their well-deserved compensation in due time.
Our Law Firm Is Ready to Help With Your Houston Truck Accident Case
Domingo Garcia is devoted to helping Houston residents through the tough times that follow a Texas truck accident. We’ll identify the negligent parties, help you file a claim, and fight passionately until you receive the Texas truck accident settlement you need.
Call us or fill out the contact us form on our website for a free case review. A Houston truck accident lawyer from our team will protect your rights and fight to ensure that the liable party pays what they owe you.
Domingo Garcia Law Office – Truck Accident Lawyers Houston, TX12929 Gulf Freeway,
Houston, TX 77034