Houston Truck Accident Attorney
If you, or a family member, suffer injuries due to a truck accident in Texas, you will need a team of skilled and experienced Houston truck accident attorneys like those at AK Law Firm. Our truck accident lawyers will work to ensure your physical and financial losses are fully and justly compensated. Our attorneys are compassionate and understanding to victims of truck accidents and their needs.
Obtaining compensation for your current and future expenses is our goal at AK Law Firm. Our team of Houston truck accident attorneys is the following:
- Knowledgeable in state and federal truck rules and regulations
- Efficient and aggressive in truck accident litigation
- Proven successful in obtaining millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients
- Proactive in maintaining client satisfaction through keeping communication open and full case transparency
We want to take the stress out of the legal process so you can recover and get back to your life. While there is nothing to replace a lost loved one, we will strive to obtain full damages for the surviving family members and hold any responsible parties accountable for the loss.
Call AK Law Firm for an initial consultation with one of our truck accident attorneys as soon as possible. Texas has a time limit to file truck accident lawsuits. There is never a charge for your consultation, and you will not pay any legal fees unless we win your truck accident case.
Why Hire a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer?
Truck accidents are difficult to navigate without an experienced truck accident lawyer by your side. If you are struggling with severe and painful injuries, you may not have the time or energy to take on the stress of a lawsuit. Hiring an accident attorney from AK Law Firm is a great step in freeing yourself from the added complication of trying to manage your legal matters.
When you choose AK Law Firm, one of our Houston trucking accident attorneys will do the following:
- Handle all communications with the insurers and trucking companies
- Notify medical bill collectors about your claim and status
- Investigate your claim to determine the cause and all liable parties
- Interview witnesses and collect their statements
- Pursue damages for medical bills, lost wages, disability, and pain and suffering
- Consult with any necessary experts to assess the actual value of your injuries and claim
- Determine an individualized legal strategy to maximize your financial recovery
- File your truck accident claim in a timely manner
- Aggressively pursue compensation through negotiations
- If necessary, proceed to litigation and present your accident case to a judge or jury
Commercial trucking companies hire insurance companies to protect themselves from liability and keep their payout costs to a minimum. They have a team of attorneys on their side. As a result, insurance companies may offer you less than you deserve in a settlement or even attempt to blame you for the accident.
Do not fall prey to insurance company tactics; call AK Law Firm today to get the most out of your truck accident settlement.
Who is Liable for a Truck Accident?
Many parties may be liable for a truck accident. A skilled Houston trucking accident lawyer will investigate all potential sources of liability while determining fault in any truck accident.
Many negligent parties may share fault in a commercial truck accident, including the following:
- Individual truck drivers. The individual truck driver holds some blame in most truck accidents. If a truck driver was negligent in any way such as texting, eating, distracted, or speeding, he or she could be at fault.
- Trucking corporations. Commercial trucking companies are often responsible for accident damages when their trucks violate any state or federal trucking regulations or laws and that violation led to the accident.
- Semi-truck service technicians. When service technicians are negligent in providing maintenance services on a commercial truck, the mechanic may be the ultimate cause of the truck accident and injuries.
- Truck manufacturers. When truck parts are defective or faulty and cause an accident and injuries, the manufacturing company or the manufacturer of the part faces liability.
- Government agencies. Government agencies responsible for maintaining roads are responsible if they cause a truck accident.
To learn more about truck accident compensation and liability, contact the attorneys at AK Law Firm. Our personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and tell you if you qualify for compensation for your injuries or other damages. At AK Law Firm, we are devoted to helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve.
Truck Accident Compensation
It is impossible to predict the precise amount any truck accident claim is worth. However, Houston truck accident claims generally settle at higher amounts than car accidents due to higher costs of property damage, more severe injuries, and commercial, rather than personal, insurance claims.
A truck accident may also involve multiple insurance policies. The truck driver, the trucking company, and third-party vendors may all carry separate coverage. One policy may cover the truck, while another policy may cover the trailer.
Some state and federal laws make commercial motor vehicles carry higher policy minimums than for standard passenger motor vehicles. Commercial coverage ranges are from $750,000 to $5 million.
Typically, accident victim compensation includes the following damages:
- Accident-related medical bills
- Prescription medication costs
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Physical therapy
- Prosthetic devices
- Mental and emotional trauma, such as PTSD
- Disfigurement due to scars or burn injuries
- Lost wages during medical treatment and recovery
- Loss of future earning capacity due to inability to work or inability to work at the same job or for the same hours
- Property damage for the vehicle and its contents
- Wrongful death, including funeral costs, loss of companionship, emotional pain and suffering, loss of support, and related expenses and damages
Sometimes punitive damages are available to victims of truck accidents. Punitive damages are monies awarded by the court as a type of punishment to a defendant. These damages are to deter similar future misconduct.
Never accept a settlement without letting an experienced truck accident attorney review it first. Insurance adjusters are notorious for settling truck accident claims as inexpensively and quickly as possible. A truck accident attorney can evaluate an accident claim and offer an opinion as to its real value.
Texas Trucking Regulations
Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to abide by various laws and regulations designed for public protection. These laws and regulations are enforced by state agencies or by the federal government, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
These public safety regulations include:
- Hours-of-service rules. Hours-of-Service rules govern the amount of time truckers are allowed to be on duty and behind the wheel. These rules include mandatory breaks and weekly limits to the number of hours truckers drive in a week;
- Driver qualifications. Truck drivers must hold a valid commercial driver’s license, pass drug and alcohol screenings, and receiving medical certifications showing they are fit to drive commercial trucks and big rigs;
- Vehicle maintenance. Trucking operators must regularly maintain their fleet and address any known potential hazards. Trucking operators must also address the potential risks they should know about. These include unsafe or worn brakes, old tires, broken headlights or signals, and any other issues that make trucks likely to fail or cause accidents.
- Cargo regulations. Cargo regulations include proper cargo securement, weight limits, and safe transporting of hazardous materials. Violations increase the risks of accidents by making trucks unstable or resulting in fallen debris on the roadway.
What are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Texas?
Public safety rules are unable to protect from human mistakes and habits. A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) review revealed that driver negligence is the most cited cause of truck accidents. Truck driver negligence includes the following:
- Distractions such as cell phones, eating, and GPS
- Road rage
- Unfamiliar roadway
- Bad merge
- Inadequate surveillance
- Drug or alcohol use
Other causes of truck accidents are vehicle defects and poor road conditions.
Truck accidents are also the result of:
- Road construction
- Bad braking technique
- Poor training
- Equipment failure
- Blind spots
- Work zone accidents
- Inexperienced truck drivers
- Improper loading of cargo
- Wide turns
Types of Truck Accidents
According to the FMCSA, there are generally four types of truck accidents that make up more than half of all accidents. These include:
- Rollovers. Rollovers occur when a truck driver falls onto its side or rolls more than once. Two reasons for rollovers are driving too fast for the conditions and not applying enough brake pressure on steep inclines.
- Jackknifes. A jackknife happens when a truck’s axle brakes suddenly lock. The result is a trailer skid that can last for dozens of yards causing the driver to lose control of the truck.
- Under-ride. Under-rides are like a rear-end collision. In an under-ride, a smaller vehicle collides with the backend of a truck and slides underneath the truck’s rear end.
- Rear-End. Trucks are heavy and difficult to stop at a short distance. Therefore, a rear-end accident is the most common type of truck accident and can be the fault of the truck driver or the driver of the other vehicle.
What are Common Injuries from Truck Accidents?
The impact and weight of any large truck creates a significant amount of force in an accident. This can mean catastrophic, or even fatal, injuries for both drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles. Truck accident injuries can require weeks, months, or even years of recovery.
There are many different types of truck accident injuries, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Spinal cord damage. Spinal cord damage may cause paralysis, paraplegia, or quadriplegia. These types of injuries may also result in long-term disabilities and chronic pain.
- Head trauma. Severe head trauma causes traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The brain may move in the skull, and oxygen may not get to the brain. Head injuries may lead to death, coma, loss of cognitive abilities, and depression.
- Soft tissue injury. These are injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
- Internal injuries. Internal injuries include bleeding of the liver, kidney, pancreas, and spleen.
- Broken bones. Car drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians often endure broken arms, legs, ribs, and other body parts after a truck accident. Sometimes broken bones cause a loss of function in the injured area of the body.
- Back and neck pain. Back and neck pain from a truck accident is sometimes lifelong and debilitating.
- Burns, disfigurement, and scarring.
- Whiplash. Whiplash is the forceful movement of the neck from front to back like a whip. Damage from whiplash may last a few weeks or even years.
- Bruises and lacerations.
What Do I Do After a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents are frightening situations, and it is hard to know exactly what to do after one occurs. Following these steps can help protect your legal rights and potential recovery following a truck accident:
- Remain at the scene of the crash. Remove your car from the road if possible to prevent another accident.
- Call for medical assistance and the police. Always get medical attention after an accident and receive any recommended follow-up care.
- Ask for a copy of the police report for your records.
- Identify other parties involved in the accident and exchange information. Be sure to document the truck driver’s name, company’s name, insurance information, and license number.
- Check for witnesses and take down their statements and contact information.
- Document the accident by taking photos of the accident with a phone or a camera. Take pictures of injuries.
- Do not provide a written or recorded statement to the insurance adjuster without speaking with a Houston truck accident lawyer.
Contact a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Call our office today to learn about your legal options during a free consultation. We believe in putting our clients first at AK Law Firm and look forward to speaking with you about your truck accident claim.