Commercial vehicles, such as 18-wheelers, cause some of the most devastating collisions on our nation’s roads. These collisions can be caused by a driver who is over-tired or under-trained, or by his employer’s failure to make sure that the trucks in its fleet get the proper maintenance. Our Houston truck accident attorneys have consistently secured excellent recoveries for our clients through aggressive and smart lawyering.
A collision between an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle or another truck is likely to cause serious injuries or death. Each year in the U.S., there are more than 400,000 accidents involving large trucks, including commercial box trucks, flat-bed trucks, and tractor-trailer trucks.
Texas has more than its share of fatal crashes involving trucks among states. In a recent report prepared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration titled An Analysis of Fatal Large Truck Crashes, it observed that Texas leads the country in combination truck crash deaths. As stated in this report:
“Eleven states account for 51 percent of the combination trucks involved in fatal crashes, and ten states account for 52 percent of the single-unit trucks involved in fatal crashes. Texas had more combination trucks involved in fatal crashes than any other state.”
When large trucks are involved in crashes with other vehicles, passengers of other vehicles are killed four times as often as those in the trucks:
“The maximum injury level of all people in the vehicle varies greatly between large trucks and other vehicles. The “no injury” category is more than three times as likely to be seen among large trucks (52%) as opposed to other vehicles (17%)… The percent of vehicles where someone was killed is more than four times as high in other vehicles (7.4%) as compared to large trucks (1.6%).”
Trucking collisions resulting in serious injuries demand serious attention. The dedicated Houston truck accident lawyers of Lapeze & Johns, PLLC recognize this and are prepared to take your case to court if needed. Our experienced trial lawyers will fight for the rights of our clients and aggressively pursue the justice they deserve.
What are the causes of trucking collisions?
Trucking collisions are usually caused by one or more of the following:
- The truck driver: Examples of truck drivers acting negligently or recklessly include failing to conduct proper pre-trip inspections, driving too fast for weather or road conditions, making illegal or unsafe turns and passes, failing to brake, driving while drowsy, leaving loads unsecured, texting or using a cell phone while driving, or driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or medication.
- The trucking company: Oftentimes, the trucking company itself shares responsibility for a truck collision. These companies can expose other drivers, pedestrians, and even their own truckers to danger by failing to implement and follow adequate safety policies, including encouraging their drivers to drive too long and for too many miles — leading to driver drowsiness, and not conducting adequate background checks on the drivers they hire that would show that a driver has a bad driving safety record, a criminal record, or problems with drugs or alcohol. Trucking companies may also be responsible for failing to inspect and maintain the trucks in their fleet, including failing to make sure that their rigs have the necessary safety and emergency equipment.
- Truck manufacturer: Problems with the truck itself, including defective components such as tires, brakes, gears, hydraulics, and lights, can also cause a truck collision.
How we protect you and your rights after a trucking accident
The most important stage in any trucking accident case is the beginning, where the initial investigation is done. This is when we look at the evidence to determine how your accident happened and who is responsible. This includes gathering information from the accident and the truck involved, including reviewing the truck driver’s log books and the trucking company’s internal records, as well as electronic data from the truck’s on-board recorders, which are becoming standard in the industry.
Truck collisions can be complicated as they often involve issues such as causation, multiple parties, and insurance disputes. And remember, trucking carriers and insurance companies will do everything in their power to try to keep from being held responsible.
Our Houston truck accident lawyers aggressively prosecute every trucking case we handle by working the case as if it is going to trial. Not only does this give us the edge in the courtroom, it also provides us with strong bargaining position at the negotiating table where we fight for full compensation on behalf of our clients. Our clients expect nothing less, and neither do we.
Remember, your right to recover compensation for your injuries may be lost forever if you wait too long to act. That’s why if you have suffered a serious injury as the result of a collision with a truck or if you have questions about truck accident law, contact us today to speak with a personal injury attorney in Houston.