Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been injured in a truck accident in Houston, TX? You shouldn’t have to deal with the consequences on your own, especially if you got injured because of someone else’s negligence.
Houston 18-wheeler truck accident attorney Brian White is Board Certified in personal injury trial law and nationally recognized for his skill to help clients just like you. He and his team have successfully won hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of injury victims and families throughout the Houston metro area.
We understand how devastating an accident with a big rig or tractor-trailer can be. We’re here to put 45+ years of collective experience to work to get you the results you deserve. Contact our law offices to learn more about your legal rights and discover how we can help at (713) 500 5000. Your first consultation is free.
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How Our 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You After Being Injured In Houston, TX?
At Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers, we know that a truck accident can turn your life upside down. Medical bills can be sky-high, and you might be faced with a permanent disability or impairment. To make matters worse, negligent truckers, trucking companies, and insurance providers won’t want to pay for the damage that’s been done.
That’s where our personal injury lawyers can help.
We’re an experienced, award-winning, top-rated personal injury law firm. When you hire our law firm, you benefit from a Board Certified civil trial specialist and a team with more than 45 years of collective experience. We’ve developed a reputation for being top trial lawyers who get top results for our clients – and insurance companies know this all too well.
Trust our legal team after your truck accident, and we’ll:
- Coordinate a thorough investigation into your commercial trucking accident
- Work closely with leading truck accident experts and specialists throughout the litigation process
- Determine what caused your trucking accident and identify all liable parties
- Seek all damages available to you under Texas state law
- Handle all negotiations with other parties and work to secure the best possible settlement deal on your behalf
- Have a respected and accomplished trial lawyer argue your case before a compassionate jury, if necessary.
The days, weeks, and months after a catastrophic truck accident can be overwhelming. Our goal is to help to make things as easy as possible for you. You focus on getting better – let our personal injury attorneys take care of your claim or lawsuit. We’ll do everything in our power to get you every dollar you deserve.
Your first case evaluation is free, so give our law offices – with three convenient locations throughout Houston, Texas – a call to get started now.
How Common Are Truck Accidents in Houston?
Texas is the most dangerous state to share a road with a large truck or commercial vehicle. In 2019, there were a total of 5,005 fatal truck accidents nationwide. At least 552 of those deadly crashes happened in Texas.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were a total of 32,562 commercial vehicle accidents in the Lone Star State in 2020. A staggering 15% of these truck accidents happened in Houston and surrounding cities in Harris County.
In 2020, Harris County saw a total of 4,915 crashes involving large trucks.
As a result, there were:
- 41 fatal crashes resulting in 46 deaths
- 96 serious crashes resulting in 21 serious injuries
- 326 wrecks resulting in non-incapacitating injuries, and
There were another 500+ truck wrecks where the results were unknown, but potentially resulted in thousands of additional injuries.
How Do Truck Accidents Differ from Car Accidents?
Damages and Insurance. These are the two ways a truck accident differs from a car accident. Semi-trucks make up a little over six percent of all vehicles on the road. However, they cause over 12% of fatalities on roadways in the United States.
Why? 18-wheelers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. In Texas, Trucks that obtain oversized load permits can weigh up to 92,000 pounds. Trucks that acquire super heavy permits can weigh up to 254,300 pounds! By contrast, the typical passenger vehicle weighs somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds.
It’s no surprise which vehicle typically wins in a collision. In fact, occupants of passenger vehicles make up almost 70% of fatalities in truck crashes, with truck drivers representing just 16% of these deaths.
Therefore, large trucks are more likely to cause serious accidents, with significant injuries, property damage, and the potential for wrongful death. Damages after a truck accident can include tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and lost wages and considerable pain and suffering.
Accordingly, truck operators and trucking companies are required to have extensive commercial vehicle liability insurance to cover damages in a truck accident. These policies almost always provide six and seven figures worth of insurance coverage. Insurance companies do everything they can to avoid paying out the large limits on their policies.
Most Dangerous Roads and Intersections for Truck Accidents in Texas
Large numbers of trucks combined with significant congestion and traffic make Houston a dangerous place to drive. In fact, it has three of the 10 deadliest roads in Texas:
- Tomball Parkway Between Antoine Dr. and W. Greens Road: 3.2 Deadly Accidents per mile from 2017-2019.
- I-45 Between Airtex Dr. and TX 249: 2.4 Deadly Accidents per mile from 2017-2019
- I-45 Between Rte. 5 and Cavalcade: 2.3 Deadly Accidents per mile from 2017-2019
Other dangerous roads and intersections include:
JFK and Aldine Bender
- East Fwy frontage road at the intersection of Gellhorn Drive
- Highway 225 between Shaver and Scarborough Lane
- Greens Rd and I-45
- I-45 feeder road at Chartres St
- Sam Houston Parkway and Westheimer Rd
- Beechnut St and Sam Houston Parkway
- Bissonnet St and Sam Houston Parkway, and
- Main Street and Sam Houston Parkway
- Main Street and South Loop
- 610 Loop and North McCarty
In reality, any roadway can quickly become unsafe when large trucks are driving on them.
Texas Truck Accident Laws
Truck operators and trucking companies are subject to strict laws to ensure safety on roads and interstates. For one, all commercial truck drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Likewise, they are subject to federal hours of service rules limiting how much they can drive at one time.
Truck drivers and companies must also obtain minimum amounts of liability insurance, and those operating across state lines must have an MCS 90 endorsement as part of their policies. These coverages compensate accident victims for any damages caused by the driver or company. Commercial auto policies often have extremely high coverage limits since truck accidents tend to cause serious injuries and property damage.
Trucking companies have to properly vet and train their truck operators and ensure they comply with federal and state regulations concerning hours of service and cargo limits. A trucking company that uses unqualified drivers could be responsible for negligent hiring practices in the event of a crash.
Trucking companies also have the responsibility to keep maintenance/service logs on their trucks, and drivers must keep logs concerning their work and rest periods.
There are many more laws that may come into play in Texas truck accidents. Our accident attorneys will conduct an exhaustive, independent investigation to determine if a trucking company or driver violated commercial trucking regulations prior to your accident. We will also monitor the investigations of state and federal agencies to help us identify liability for your crash.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer After a Truck Accident?
Accidents involving big rigs, tractor-trailers, and semis are different from other types of motor vehicle crashes.
- Given the sheer size and weight of a truck, the potential for destruction and devastation is much greater.
- Victims – especially passengers of smaller vehicles – are much more likely to suffer serious injuries.
- Large trucks are driven for a commercial purpose, so many different parties can be involved in a legal claim for damages.
- You won’t just be fighting a negligent truck driver for compensation. You will be going up against powerful insurance companies, large trucking companies, and other defendants with deep pockets.
- Successful claims will require specialized knowledge of state and federal trucking regulations.
Hiring a truck accident lawyer gives you the time you need to focus on getting better, while also increasing the likelihood of a much-needed win.
Research shows that victims who hire attorneys are more likely to succeed and more likely to secure a higher economic compensation (up to 3.5 times more than what you might recover on your own!).
How Much Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Cost?
Money is likely tight after a truck accident. You are probably contending with steep medical expenses, lost income, and other damages. You may think you cannot afford a lawyer after your crash.
However, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means they only charge for legal services if they recover compensation for you first. They will typically take a percentage of your total settlement or verdict (usually between 33 – 40 %) to cover their legal fees. This arrangement gives you the capability to seek legal services with minimal financial risks and no upfront costs.
Attorney Brian White personal injury lawyers is proud to offer contingency fee arrangements to prospective clients. You don’t pay for our legal services unless we recover money for you. Plain and simple.
We Represent Clients in All Types of Truck Accidents in Houston
At Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers, we represent clients in all truck and big rig accidents throughout Texas, including:
- Underride accidents
- Jackknife accidents
- Blindspot accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Cargo-related accidents
- Oversize load accidents
- Lost load truck accidents
- Tire blowouts
- Logging accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Side-impact accidents
- Wolfcamp Shale truck accidents
No two truck accidents are the same. There are many different types of trucking crashes – often depending on the type of vehicle involved, the location, and other factors.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident with a large truck, you deserve to work with a lawyer who has experience with these complex matters. That’s why our law firm should be your first call. Get our experienced attorneys on your side and set yourself up to get the best possible result. Your first case evaluation is free, so contact us now.
What Causes Most Truck Accidents in Houston, TX?
Truck Driver Error
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), up to 88% of all truck accidents across the United States are a result of driver error. That’s understandable when you consider the size, weight, and length of the vehicles truck drivers are asked to navigate.
Consider this: it takes about 40% longer for a large truck to come to a complete stop than a passenger vehicle.
So, the margin for error is much, much less compared to operating a small car or even an SUV. Any mistakes or errors can be costly.
The most common errors that truck drivers make can contribute to big rig accidents include:
- Not leaving an adequate amount of distance between vehicles
- Misjudging the speed of other vehicles on the road
- Making assumptions about what other drivers will do
- Making unsafe turns
- Driving in lanes where trucks are prohibited
- Engaging in vindictive or aggressive behavior
Truck drivers might make mistakes because they are underqualified, inexperienced, drunk, distracted, or for a multitude of other reasons.
There are more intoxicated and impaired truck drivers on the roadway than you might think.
According to a report by the FMCSA, preliminary crash data shows that there were
Trucks are more complex to navigate than smaller vehicles. When driven at an excessive speed, especially in less-than-ideal road or weather conditions – they become even more difficult to maneuver.
The FMCSA suggests that trucks operate below posted speed limits under certain conditions. For instance, drivers entering or moving through intersections, approaching curves, or traveling down gravel roadways should operate under the speed limit.
It’s very common that a lot of other motorists aren’t happy when they have to share the roadway with a large truck. They might engage in aggressive or vindictive behaviors, like tailgating, changing lanes aggressively, or generally making it more difficult for truck drivers to stay safe.
Some truck drivers might let their emotions get the best of them and return the favor – putting themselves and others in danger. Any focus that is removed from driving can potentially lead to or contribute to an accident.
Improper Cargo Loads
Semi-trucks haul nearly 73% of all freight that is moved across the country. That cargo has to be loaded and installed carefully. 18 wheelers have to be balanced and the goods must be secured. Any miscalculations or errors can make it more difficult for 18 wheelers to operate properly. Improper cargo loads can – and do – contribute to many truck-related accidents in Texas every year.
Distraction or inattention is the second leading cause of driver-error trucking accidents, according to a study by the FMCSA. In 2019, at least 261 fatal truck accidents were caused by distracted truck drivers – accounting for 5.3% of all fatal truck collisions.
Negligent Hiring Resulting in Inexperienced or Unqualified Truck Drivers
Before a truck driver can get behind the wheel of a rig and hit the open road in Texas, they must undergo training and demonstrate the ability to operate a large truck safely. Drivers must also prove that they are physically fit enough to handle a truck.
Unfortunately, there are inexperienced and unqualified truck drivers on the road. Some companies are guilty of negligent hiring practices. They don’t have proper screening protocols in place when enrolling or turn a blind eye to the fact that their candidates are not qualified.
When a truck driver is unqualified and a company fails to take steps to make sure that their drivers meet all federal and Texas state truck regulations, accidents are more likely to occur. Inexperienced operators who haven’t had the necessary training will not know what to do or what kind of split-second decisions are necessary to avoid a wreck.
Negligent Truck Maintenance
One simple mechanical malfunction or problem with the function or structure of an 18 wheeler can have serious consequences if it’s not taken care of. That’s why federal regulations require that 18 wheelers undergo regularly-scheduled maintenance.
Violations of Hours of Service Regulations
Truck drivers, in particular, have to be alert and aware when they’re out on the open road. Many truckers might want to push through on their route and not stop to rest. This can result in overtired, fatigued, and distracted drivers behind the wheel.
Federal hours of service regulations limit how much time a truck driver can log behind the wheel of their rig at one time.
For drivers carrying property, the limits are:
- 14 hours: a trucker can be operating for a maximum of 14 hrs after being off duty for at least 10 hrs
- 11 hours: a truck driver cannot operate more than 11 hrs within the 14 hour period after being off for at least 10 hrs
Drivers are also required to take 30-minute breaks at least once every 8 hrs.
Defective Vehicles or Equipment
Sometimes trucking collisions happen even when the most competent and experienced drivers are behind the wheel. In some cases, these crashes happen because safety devices, or the trucks themselves, are defective. Brakes can fail, and lights can stop working. Even the most experienced operator can lose control if their tractor-trailer is inherently defective or dangerous.
Who’s Liable for Injuries Resulting From an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident in Houston?
Under Texas state law, anyone who contributes to a trucking accident can be accountable for the consequences.
When our team of truck accident attorneys investigates your case, we’ll work hard to identify all probable causes. When we understand what led to your collision, we can be better situated to determine liability and seek damages from all responsible parties.
These might include:
- Negligent truck drivers
- Trucking companies
- Shipping companies
- Truck brokers
- Truck manufacturers
- Negligent third parties, including other motorists
- Government agencies
Truck accident injury cases can be particularly challenging when multiple parties (and insurance companies) are involved. We have 45+ years of combined experience dealing with these exceptionally complex situations. You can rest assured that we will handle your case with the level of care and attention to detail it deserves.
Can I Still Win My Truck Accident Case if I Share Some of the Blame?
You can still file a lawsuit and recover compensation for your injuries as long as you’re not mostly at fault. Texas operates under a modified comparative fault system with a 51% bar to recovery.
This means that you have the right to file a lawsuit even if you share some – but not most – of the fault. Once your liability equals or exceeds 51%, you will be prohibited from recovering damages. If you are less than 51% responsible, your damages will be reduced to account for your share of the blame.
Suppose you suffered $100,000 worth of damages in a truck accident. However, a jury finds you were 30% at fault for the crash because you were speeding at the time of the crash. In this case, you would be able to recover $70,000 (70%).
However, suppose the jury finds you 52% responsible for the crash due to texting while driving. In this case, you will be barred from recovering any damages.
Trucking companies and their insurers are notorious for blaming accident victims for their driver’s carelessness. They know they can avoid tens of thousands of dollars in liability if they can shift just some of the fault to you. Don’t let an insurer unfairly hold you accountable for the accident.
Attorney Brian White personal injury lawyers can help protect you from allegations of comparative fault and preserve the complete value of your claim.
What Is My Commercial Truck Accident Case Worth?
There’s no “average” value of a truck accident case. Every situation is extremely different. So, it is hard to say what your case is worth without examining its specific details and circumstances.
However, certain factors will absolutely be important in considering and calculating its value:
- The extent and severity of injuries: Cases involving catastrophic injuries and inflicting permanent impairments will commonly be valued higher than those involving more minor trauma.
- Limitations on future activities: Will your injuries stand in the way of your ability to live a “normal” life? Will you still be able to do the things you loved, like hiking or rock climbing? Will you be able to participate meaningfully in your child’s life? Or, will your trucking accident injury affect what you can and cannot do?
- Impact on current wages and future earning capacity: Sometimes, truck accident victims realize that they’re unable to go back to work in the same capacity, even after they’ve made a full recovery. The more an injury interferes with your ability to provide for yourself and your family, the more a case will be worth.
- Pain and suffering: The trauma of being involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer can be significant. It can cause PTSD, depression, and fundamentally interfere with a victim’s ability to enjoy or participate in their life. Injuries from those collisions can also cause chronic physical pain that lasts a lifetime. The more pain and suffering a truck accident causes, the higher the potential value of a related claim.
- Available insurance coverage: Depending on what the truck or 18 wheeler was hauling and whether it was involved in intrastate and/or interstate commerce, several different insurance policies might be applicable to your situation. At the same time, there are times when limited insurance coverage might apply. It might present a limitation on what you can recover – not necessarily what your case is actually worth.
- Liability: The value of your case can – and will – depend largely on whether or not your own negligence was a contributing factor. If you’re assigned blame, then your case’s value will be adjusted to reflect that.
Do not let insurance companies control the discussion around what the value of your truck accident case is. They’ll push to get you to accept a lowball offer or, worse, walk away with nothing at all. Force honest discussions and level the playing field by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you.
At Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers, we are fierce advocates for our clients. We are nationally recognized and certified as personal injury civil law specialists for a reason: we help victims stand up and win.
We’re ready to be in your corner, if you have any questions all you have to do is call us or reach out to us online to get started.
What Compensation Can I Get After a Semi-Truck Accident in Houston?
In Texas, victims of large trucking crashes are generally entitled to seek compensatory damages for their injuries and suffering. Compensatory damages fall into one of two categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are awarded to put you back in the financial position you would have been in had you not been hit by an 18 wheeler. These are the verifiable costs, losses, and expenses associated with your truck accident and injuries (present and future).
- Medical bills, including hospitalization, surgery, and follow-up medical care
- The cost of medical equipment and medical devices
- Rehabilitation or therapy
- Nursing care
- Lost income and wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- The cost of replacing or repairing property damage
Funeral expenses and financial losses associated with a deadly truck accident can also be available through wrongful death and survival actions.
Not every consequence of a semi-truck or 18 wheeler accident will have a set monetary cost or value. That’s where non-economic damages come into play.
These account for the subjective costs of an accident or injury, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality or enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Vehophobia (fear of driving)
The value of non-economic damages can vary significantly from one case to the next. Our team works closely with leading experts – including medical professionals, therapists, and vocational rehabilitation specialists – to ensure that we understand the current and potential impact an injury can have on our clients.
With this information, we’re better prepared to advocate to secure damages that accurately reflect the pain and suffering our clients experience.
Punitive damages may also be available if there’s evidence to show that a negligent truck driver, trucking company, or third party acted intentionally or with a reckless disregard for a victim’s safety.
Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Truck Accident?
You will — unless you and your truck accident lawyer can negotiate a settlement with or obtain a judgment against the insurer for the trucking company.
You will initially be responsible for your medical bills. Your health insurance may pay for many of the bills. But it will expect to be reimbursed once you obtain a settlement or verdict. Your lawyer may be able to negotiate to reduce the amounts you owe to your health insurance company.
This highlights one of the main reasons to look for legal representation as quickly as possible after your accident. Your lawyer can help move your claim along toward a prompt and fair resolution without sacrificing any compensation you are owed.
Big Rig Accidents Can Cause Catastrophic, Fatal Injuries
Our car and truck accident lawyers represent clients who have suffered severe, life-changing injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Amputation or loss of limb
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Paralysis, including paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Broken bones
- Crushing injuries
- Chest injuries
- Nerve damage
- Internal trauma
We are also here for families who have lost family members in devastating 18 wheeler collisions in Texas. While money may not bring a loved one back, a wrongful death action can help to secure much-needed financial support and provide a bit of justice and closure, as well.
Do I Have to Prove Negligence to Win a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Typically, yes. Most – but not all – 18-wheeler accident lawsuits in Texas are based on negligence.
Negligence means that another party had a responsibility to act with care, failed to act reasonably under the circumstances, and caused you to get injured.
In order to prove negligence, you’ll need evidence to establish each of these things:
- Duty: the defendant owed you a duty of care
- Breach: the defendant failed to act reasonably and breached the duty of care owed to you
- Causation: the defendant’s actions (or inaction) were the direct and proximate cause of your injury
- Damages: you can recognize harm that you’ve suffered, as a result.
A thorough independent investigation will be necessary to help you build a successful truck accident claim. Through an exhaustive investigation, our team will search for evidence like:
- Data from the truck’s black box – also known as an electronic control module (ECM) or event data recorder (EDR)
- Indications that the trucker violated specific commercial truck rules, such as hours of service regulations
- Photographs or video footage of the scene of the accident, tire tracks, property damage, and resulting injuries
- Accident reports
- Witness statements and testimony
- Experts testimony and reports
- Medical records
- Trucking company employment and training records
- Admissions of fault made by the truck driver or another party
Evidence will disappear over time. Witnesses will begin to forget the details of the crash soon after it happens. So, the sooner we can begin looking into the conditions surrounding your truck accident, the better prepared we can be to fight to secure substantial compensation for you. Call our truck accident attorneys for immediate assistance.
What to Do After a Large Truck Accident?
You should act fast after a truck accident. The trucking company will stand at the ready to employ teams of defense lawyers and insurance personnel to challenge your claim. They will do everything they can to avoid paying out the high policy limits of their commercial vehicle insurance. They may even blame you for the accident.
Therefore, you should take the following steps after a truck accident:
- Remain at or near the scene of the accident. Move out of the way of oncoming traffic.
- Call and report the accident to the Houston Police Department. The dispatcher will send officers and other first responders to the accident scene.
- Don’t state that you are sorry or imply you were at fault for the accident. Insurance adjusters may try to twist your words and pin liability on you.
- Exchange information with other parties. You should obtain the truck driver’s name, company, and insurance coverage.
- Gather evidence. You should take pictures of skid marks, damage to the vehicles, and other notable features of the crash. You should also record videos that show the conditions after the crash, jot down the names of any witnesses, and document anything that might be helpful.
- Seek medical attention ASAP. Prompt medical care will ensure that all of your injuries are diagnosed and treated, including injuries with delayed symptoms. Additionally, your medical records will help to establish a causal link between the truck crash and your injuries.
- Contact a truck accident lawyer right away. You can be the trucking company and their insurer will be well resourced. You need a lawyer on your side who knows the game as well as they do. One that can protect your best interests and make sure your claim settles for a fair amount.
Contact Attorney Brian White personal injury lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your truck accident. We will take over your claim and provide you with much-needed peace of mind after your crash.
What’s the Statute of Limitations For Truck Accident Lawsuits in Texas?
Most truck accident lawsuits in the state of Texas must be filed within two years of the date of an accident.
There are some exceptions to this statute of limitations, but they are few and far between. For instance, you might have more time to file a lawsuit if your injuries aren’t apparent right away or if the victim is a minor. On the other hand, you’ll face an accelerated timetable if a government agency is at fault.
Protect yourself and your right to recover compensation. Reach out to our trusted personal injury attorneys immediately after your tractor-trailer accident. Our team is always standing by to take your call – 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Award-Winning Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
You may have the right to file a lawsuit or insurance claim if you’ve recently been injured in a truck accident in Texas. Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers can help you seek the full value of your claim.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there’s no upfront cost to hire our truck accident lawyers. You only pay if we win your truck accident insurance claim or lawsuit – end of story.
Reach out to our legal team today through our contact us form, we’ll answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options. We’re always standing by to take your call when you need us most.
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