Houston Motorists Injured in Truck Accidents
Were you or a loved injured in a truck crash? Our Houston truck accident attorneys can fight to get you the full amount of compensation you deserve.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, at least 500,000 truck accidents occur every year. Someone is injured or killed in a truck accident in this country every 16 minutes. A majority (73 percent) of these injuries and death are suffered by the occupants of a motor vehicle struck by a truck.
In other words, truck accidents are much more dangerous for passenger vehicle motorists than the truck driver. The average 4,000-pound car doesn't stand a chance against an 80,000-pound 18-wheeler semi.
While not as common as car collisions and motorcycle crashes, truck accidents are often especially serious and deadly when they do happen. Motorists who are unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time can suffer catastrophic injuries or even be killed. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, it is important to protect your rights by speaking with an experienced truck accident lawyer about your case.
Houston truck accident attorney Neal Davis can explain your legal options during your free case consultation and provide expert counsel regarding what to do next.
If you decide to pursue your claim, we are fully prepared to fight aggressively on your behalf and get you the compensation you deserve.
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Truck Accident Injuries
Many truck accident injuries are catastrophic, if not deadly. Underride truck accidents are particularly dangerous for motorists.
The size difference when a semi or tractor trailer truck collides with a passenger vehicle (or vice versa) can have devastating consequences on the health and quality of life of those involved. It may take months, years or decades for a victim to recover, if they ever do, resulting in costly medical bills and financial insecurity.
Common types of truck accident injuries include:
Can a Trucker or Trucking Company Be Held Liable?
Determining if a truck driver, truck company or other party can be held accountable for your injuries in a truck accident depends on the details of your individual case. If it can be successfully proven that the trucker or trucking company acted negligently, which directly led to your injury or a loved one's death, then compensation will be granted. A personal injury attorney's job is to investigate whether or not the trucking company fulfilled their obligation to operate their trucks responsibly by:
- Properly maintaining their commercial vehicles
- Hiring and properly training qualified truck drivers
- Obeying federal regulations for the trucking industry
- Assigning a reasonable driving schedule that isn't too demanding on truckers
In addition to the trucking company, other parties may be held liable for a motorist's truck accident injuries if they played a role. For instance, if it is believed a design or part defect was responsible for the accident, the truck manufacturer may also be brought into the claim. Any breach that occurs in the chain of truck safety is considered negligence and the responsible parties can be held liable for your injuries.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
It's true that a majority of truck accidents are caused by other motor vehicles rather than the truck driver. However, many dangerous and deadly truck crashes occur each year that are caused by unsafe driving practices on the part of the trucker or trucking company. Victims of such accidents have a right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent parties involved.
Common causes of truck accidents resulting from the negligence of the trucker or a trucking company include:
- Alcohol/drug abuse - One U.S. study found that American truck drivers had the highest rate of positive alcohol tests worldwide, at 12.5 percent. Many drivers also tested positive for stimulants like caffeine and ephedrine, though these haven't been linked to impaired driving. Nearly 1 in 5 drivers reported using marijuana and 3 percent said they used cocaine.
- Drowsy driving - The U.S. DOT estimates that up to 28 percent of truck drivers may suffer from sleep apnea. The NHTSA reported that as many as 100,000 accidents each year can be traced to drivers who doze off behind the wheel of their vehicles. Approximately 1500 deaths and 40,000 injuries may be attributed to drowsy drivers.
- Tire blowouts - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that tire blowouts cause more than 400 deaths and over 78,000 crashes annually.
- Rollover accidents - The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that 51 percent of large truck occupant deaths in 2014 occurred in crashes in which their vehicles rolled over. A detailed analysis revealed almost half of truck rollover accidents resulted from failing to adjust speed to curves in the road (mostly on-and off-ramps), the load being carried, condition of the brakes, road surface, and intersection conditions.
- Unsecured loads - When traveling at 55 miles per hour, an object weighing just 20 pounds that falls from a truck can hit a vehicle with the impact of half a ton. A 2012 Government Accountability Office study mandated by Congress discovered that unsecured loads and road debris caused 440 deaths and 10,000 injuries in more than 51,000 accidents in the course of one year.
Houston Truck Accident Lawyers Help Injured Motorists
No matter how a truck accident has harmed you or your family, know that you are not alone. If you've suffered a truck crash injury, or experienced the devastating loss of a loved one in a truck collision, our expert personal injury services are available at no cost to you unless we win.
We want to help your family recover financially from this tragedy and hold the responsible parties accountable. Schedule your free consultation with a Houston truck accident attorney immediately.