Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
Houston is a hub for the U.S. energy industry and many other important sectors of the economy. As a result, huge commercial trucks are constantly transporting cargo and materials in and out of Greater Houston, traveling mostly on highways like I-10 and I-45.
If the driver of one of these large, powerful big rigs is fatigued, intoxicated, or simply careless, a devastating accident can occur in the blink of an eye. Sadly, because of the huge size of commercial trucks, accidents often produce serious injuries or fatalities. If you or one of your family members was injured in a truck accident in Houston or the surrounding metro area, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, including your pain and suffering, your medical bills, the income you have lost, and other losses and expenses.
For a free case evaluation with our truck accident attorneys, contact The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. at (817) 476-1797.
Common Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents in Houston
Automotive accidents involving 18-wheelers and other commercial trucks frequently lead to catastrophic, disabling injuries for the occupants of passenger vehicles, which commercial trucks can outweigh by tens of thousands of pounds. If you or one of your loved ones got hurt in a truck accident in Houston, it may be possible for our truck accident attorneys to recover compensation for the costs of your treatment, including procedures and devices you are expected to need in the future. The following are the most common injuries sustained in Houston truck accidents:
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
The back contains two delicate structures: the spinal column, which provides support and stability, and the spinal cord, a bundle of nerves that carries messages between the body and the brain. When these structures are damaged in a crash, the victim can experience chronic pain, loss of sensation, or paralysis.
Broken bones are extremely common in vehicular accidents, particularly fractures in slender, delicate bones such as the clavicle (collarbone) or the tiny phalanges of the fingers and toes. Other common bone fractures in truck crashes include broken noses, broken arms and legs, and pelvic fractures.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury is one of the most devastating and life-altering injuries a person can receive. Depending on the severity of the injury and where it is located on the brain, TBI can strip the victim of their independence by causing many negative effects. These can include amnesia, difficulty balancing, reduced mobility, and reduced sensation, among many others.
“Whiplash” is the colloquial term for a cervical sprain or cervical strain. “Cervical” refers to the neck, a sprain is a stretched or torn ligament, and a strain is a pulled or torn muscle. Whiplash most often occurs in rear-end collisions when the neck is rapidly slammed back and forth by impact, pushing the tissue beyond its normal limits. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, whiplash injuries “are the most frequently reported injuries in U.S. insurance claims.”
A wrongful death is a death that should have been preventable and which occurred due to the careless acts of another person. Some ways truckers can cause fatal 18-wheeler accidents in Texas by being careless or reckless include driving while fatigued after violating their shift limits, driving while intoxicated by alcohol, driving under the influence of stimulants and narcotics like methamphetamine or cocaine, failing to check side or rearview mirrors for other vehicles, and disobeying traffic laws.
Parties Who Could Be Sued for a Truck Accident in Houston
Determining the cause of a truck accident can be a complex process, as multiple parties may share responsibility. While the driver of the truck is likely to be the most responsible party, the trucking company that hired the driver might also be held liable. In some instances, however, legal action may need to be taken against a third party to obtain compensation for your damages.
The Truck Driver
Truck accidents frequently happen due to the truck driver’s negligence, which can manifest in different ways, including distracted driving, driver fatigue, and speeding. Often, truckers can be held responsible for breaking state or federal trucking regulations, like driving for more hours than permitted within a specific period. Apart from the driver, the trucking company that employs them might also be held accountable for their driver’s negligence.
The Trucking Company
In the event of a truck accident caused by a negligent truck driver, the trucking company could be held responsible under the legal principle of “vicarious liability.” This means that if an employee was performing their regular job duties when the accident occurred, their employer would typically be held accountable for any injuries that resulted. For instance, if a truck driver was speeding while making their deliveries, both the driver and the trucking company could be included in a lawsuit.
Trucking companies also bear full responsibility for any negligence on their part. They must ensure the safety of their drivers and the public by providing adequate training to all drivers. They should also conduct thorough background checks before hiring drivers to prevent reckless individuals from being on the road. Furthermore, trucking companies must strictly adhere to state and federal trucking regulations, which mandate routine inspections and maintenance of vehicles in a safe and roadworthy condition.
In situations where the truck driver is classified as an independent contractor, the trucking company will likely not be responsible for any injuries resulting from the driver’s actions. This is because independent contractors are not considered regular employees for the purposes of a lawsuit. For instance, Amazon delivery truck drivers are usually employed by a local delivery company rather than Amazon directly. In this situation, Amazon would probably not be able to be sued, but the local delivery company could be held to account for their driver’s negligence.
Other Third Parties
Sometimes, your injuries might result from the carelessness of another driver. For instance, if someone changes lanes without checking for traffic, a truck driver could be forced to swerve to avoid a collision. However, the truck driver is also often found to have acted negligently in these scenarios. For example, if the truck driver was speeding when the other driver changed lanes, both drivers should be held accountable and sued for damages.
If the cargo on a truck shift during transport, it could be due to negligent and non-compliant loading by another company. Proper loading involves securing the cargo with appropriate straps and placing it in direct contact with other cargo to prevent any movement. Such measures ensure safe transportation and prevent the cargo from sliding around. If cargo is improperly loaded, it can cause devastating accidents, including causing a truck to jackknife and turn over.
Trucking accidents can also be caused by faulty or poorly designed truck parts. In case a defective system like the brakes or steering system fails and leads to a truck accident, the manufacturer or designer of the part could be liable for your injuries.
Steps to Take After Being Injured in a Houston Truck Accident
In case you have sustained injuries from a truck accident, there are several steps you can take to safeguard your rights and secure the rightful compensation you deserve. The following actions can significantly impact the outcome of your case and increase your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve:
Having the police look into your truck accident is crucial for your case later. Typically, law enforcement will speak with the parties involved and note any significant evidence they see at the scene. This information gathered by the investigating officer will later be included in a police report. The truck driver’s contact and insurance details, as well as their employer, should be included in the police report. You can typically get a copy of your police report online from the law enforcement agency that investigated your crash.
Gather Evidence at the Scene
You should try to gather as much evidence as your injuries permit while you are still on the scene. This can easily be done by taking pictures and videos with your smartphone. Photos of damages are a perfectly valid form of evidence and can make insurance settlement negotiations run much more smoothly for you.
You should also speak to any individuals who witnessed your accident. If they are willing, get their contact information so our team can reach out to them later. If it seems like their testimony could support your case, we can arrange for them to be present when it becomes necessary.
Get Medical Care
You should also seek medical treatment immediately following a truck accident in Houston. Even if you do not think you suffered any injuries, getting medical care is still necessary if you want to recover compensation later. This is because medical records typically serve as much of the evidence of your damages and show what lengths you need to go to in order to fully recover.
Contact Our Truck Accident Attorneys
Lastly, reach out to our firm after receiving the medical care you need. As mentioned, truck accident cases can be extremely complex, and it might not be obvious at first who is responsible for your injuries. With our help, you can ensure that the right parties are held accountable for the damages they caused you.
Houston Truck Accident Attorneys Handling Injury Claims and Wrongful Death Lawsuits
For over two decades, our firm has been dedicated to the aggressive pursuit of justice on behalf of those who have been wrongfully injured or killed by the negligent actions of others. We are committed to providing vigorous, personalized representation and will work tirelessly to maximize the value of your claim or case, even if that means going to court.
Our team is equipped to handle a wide array of truck crash injury cases in Greater Houston, including but not limited to drunk driving accidents, head-on collisions, rollover accidents, T-bone accidents, lane change accidents, and rear-end collisions. We also have extensive experience with truck accidents on the many highways coming in and out of Houston, including accidents on I-10, I-45, I-69/US 59, the 610 loop, and the Sam Houston Tollway.
Our Houston Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
Call The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. today at (817) 476-1797 for a free case review with our truck accident lawyers.