Brian White | August 19, 2020 | News
Around 7:15 in the morning on August 6, 2020, emergency responders had to cut a woman free from a wrecked car. The truck accident happened on Highway 99 at West Road.
An 18-wheeler hit another vehicle and pinned the car against the side of the highway wall. The woman in the vehicle could not get out. Firefighters had to cut the roof of the car off to get the women out of the vehicle.
Emergency responders placed the woman on a stretcher, but her injuries are not known. The cause of the accident was not known at the time of the news report.
Why Do Truck Accidents Happen in Houston?
There were 616 fatalities involving commercial vehicles in the state during 2018. Harris County tied with Dallas County for the most fatal truck accidents that year with 29 fatal crashes. In addition, thousands of people were injured in accidents involving big rigs that year in Texas.
Many factors can play a role in the case of a commercial vehicle accident. Many of the causes of truck accidents involve negligence and human error. Even when poor weather conditions or hazardous road conditions are a factor, the acts of the truck driver often are a factor in the cause of the truck crash.
Some of the most common reasons for truck accidents in Houston include, but are not limited to:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving (drunk or drugged driving)
- Excessive speed
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Improper lane changes
- Failing to check blind spots
- Fatigued driving
- Reckless or aggressive driving maneuvers
- Failing to yield the right of way
Other factors can also contribute to the cause of an 18-wheeler accident. Improperly loaded or overloaded trucks can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle and increase the vehicle’s stopping distance. Overload and improperly loaded trucks increase the risk of rollover crashes.
Trucks that are not appropriately maintained or have defective parts can increase the risk of a truck accident. Also, trucking companies that do not screen and train drivers adequately can increase the risk that their trucks are involved in crashes.
Who is Responsible in a Houston Truck Accident?
The parties who contributed to the cause of a truck accident can be held liable for damages under Texas personal injury laws. In many cases, the truck driver and the trucking company are to blame for the cause of a commercial truck accident.
However, if any of the truck parts or systems malfunction, a truck manufacturer or truck repair facility could also be partially to blame for the cause of the crash. Also, shippers and loaders can share liability for a truck crash if the cargo was not loaded correctly.
Injuries and Damages in Truck Accident Cases
The likelihood that the occupants of other vehicles, bicyclists, or pedestrians are seriously injured is much higher than the chance of a truck driver sustaining injuries or being killed. The main reason for the large difference in risk is the size and weight of the vehicles involved.
A large truck can cause catastrophic damage when it hits another car or a person. Passenger vehicles can be unrecognizable after a collision with a large truck.
Victims of large truck accidents might be entitled to compensation for damages include:
- Cost of medical and personal care
- Ongoing treatment and care for permanent impairments
- Loss of income, compensation, wages, and benefits
- Decreases in future earning potential
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Scarring, disfigurement, and disabilities
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Because of the severity of the injuries, large truck accident claims can be worth millions of dollars. Identifying all parties who might share liability for a truck crash is essential to increase the chance that the victim can recover maximum compensation for damages.
If a person dies in an accident with a commercial vehicle, the person’s family members may have a wrongful death claim. Even if the driver is not charged with a crime, the family can still file a claim in civil court.
A truck accident lawyer investigates the cause of the truck crash to gather evidence identifying the various parties who share liability for the victim’s injuries and losses. Large truck accident cases are complicated. The investigation can take many months to complete.
Because the Texas statute of limitations limits your time to file a truck accident claim, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney as soon as possible about your claim.