Justice for Injured Truck Drivers
Were you injured while driving a semi, 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer truck? Neal Davis helps hurt truckers obtain compensation in third-party injury lawsuits in the Houston area and throughout Texas.
Driving a commercial truck is a difficult, dangerous and thankless job. It takes a special kind of person to be able to withstand the rigours of commercial truck driving - from long shifts and tight deadlines to being away from friends and family. Professional truck drivers, along with people in other industries like oil rig workers, are exposed to a high level of danger in order to provide a necessary service to American society. Truckers are an important part of the U.S. economy, and few of us would be able to enjoy the ample products, foods and consumer goods that we use every day were it not for them.
When a truck accident occurs, people often think of the injuries experienced by other motorists - and understandably so since a truck is so much larger and heavier than the average vehicle. But what about the injured truck driver? A serious accident can single-handedly end a driver’s career and leave them buried under medical bills and financial insecurity.
Houston truck accident attorney Neal Davis understands the challenges of the job and believes in giving truckers the respect and support they deserve. That’s why we offer injured truck drivers a free consultation and won’t take a penny from you unless we win your case - that’s our No Fee Unless We Win Guarantee. We will stand with you to help hold third-parties financially responsible for your injuries.
You are not alone.
Let our truck accident attorneys help relieve the stress of making sure you and your family recover financially.
Common Dangers for Commercial Truck Drivers
Staying safe and healthy while working in the trucking industry means you have to be constantly aware of the dangers you face every day.
The biggest hazards to truckers can be sorted into three main categories:
- Truck Accidents - Compared to the average driver, truckers are actually safer on the road because of strict federal regulations that govern how long a trucker can drive, how many rests they are allowed, and how much weight they can haul. However, when truck accidents do occur, they are typically more serious due to the large size and weight of commercial vehicles. Truckers can easily be injured in rollover accidents, jackknife accidents, tire blowout accidents and other crashes.
- Loading/Unloading Injuries - A trucker’s job often entails carrying or lifting heavy objects which, if not done carefully, can result in serious back injuries, head/brain trauma, knee sprains, musculoskeletal disorders, or falls from a vehicle or loading zone. When loading or unloading cargo from a trailer, truck drivers should use appropriate safety gear and get assistance from others when needed. Mechanical aids and forklifts should also be provided by the company to assist with heavy loads.
- Chronic Stress Injuries - After a trucker has driven for a while, he or she may start to develop chronic neck and back pain from sitting for long periods or wrist and shoulder pain from steering. Truckers can take steps to prevent these repetitive stress injuries by maintaining good physical health, taking frequent rests and stretching.
Commercial Trucking Statistics
An estimated 9 million people are employed in trucking-related jobs in U.S. - nearly 3.5 million of which are truck drivers. Here are some other statistics on the trucking industry:
- There are an estimated 15.5 million trucks in the U.S., including 2 million tractor trailers.
- In 2006, the transportation industry logged 432.9 billion miles - the equivalent of driving from the Earth to the sun and back over 2,000 times.
- Truck drivers deliver nearly 70 percent of all freight transported annually in the U.S., accounting for $671 billion worth of manufactured and retail goods.
- The average truck driver makes about 30.3 cents per mile. Average yearly income for a trucker is $32,000/year.
- Fewer than 9% of auto accident deaths involve commercial vehicles. More than 75% of truck driving accidents are due to the driver of the passenger vehicle. Only 16% of all truck driving accidents are due to the truck driver’s fault.
- The United States Department of Transportation estimates that over 500,000 truck accidents occur every year. One person is injured or killed in a truck accident every 16 minutes.
- Compared to other occupations, truckers experienced the largest number of injuries and illnesses causing time away from work over the most recent five years for which data is available (1992-1996).
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Your Legal Options as an Injured Truck Driver
In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one suffers a truck worker injury while on-the-job, it is comforting to know there are a couple of options available for taking legal action to ensure your injuries are covered.
- Workers’ Compensation. Filing a workers’ comp claim is the only way to obtain compensation from your employer for a work injury. Unless you are an independent contractor, it is your right to file a workers’ comp claim with your employer if you are hurt in the course of your employment. Truck drivers can also file a claim for repetitive stress injuries that arise as a result of their job, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or back pain. If an employer denies your work injury claim, you may need to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your legal options.
- Personal Injury Lawsuit. Regardless of whether or not you are able to obtain compensation through a workers’ comp claim, injured truckers may also be able to seek financial recovery from a third-party if it can be proven that they were at least partly responsible for your injuries. Third-party injury claims may be brought by truckers against manufacturers of a faulty truck part, another driver who caused the accident, or a trucking company if you are an independent contractor.
A personal injury lawsuit can also help compensate injured truck drivers for damages workers’ comp may not cover, such as pain and suffering caused by the injury.
Winning a third-party injury lawsuit requires a plaintiff to prove that the defendant acted negligently.
Injured Trucker Checklist
After a truck driver is injured, certain steps must be followed in order to ensure the best possible chance at financial recovery through workers’ compensation and/or a personal injury claim. If you are injured on the job as a truck driver, here’s what you should do:
- Report the injury. Immediately following the accident, report the incident to your employer and tell them about your injury. Make sure they know it was job-related. If the injury is caused by repetitive stress, describe when symptoms first start appearing. Fill out a company workers’ comp claim form if available.
- Record the incident. While your memory is still fresh, start a journal or description of the accident, writing down how it happened as well as witness’ names, address and contact information. Be as detailed as possible. Take pictures of the accident scene too. These records may be used as important evidence in your case.
- Receive medical attention. Seek medical treatment from an approved physician and follow their instructions. Tell your doctor exactly how the accident occurred and give them a full description of the injuries you are experiencing.
- Refuse to sign. You should never sign any documents you don’t understand or make a recorded statement to your employer or an insurance company until you have first consulted with a legal expert.
- Request legal help. Contact an experienced attorney to discuss your injury case and determine your compensation rights. If there is an insurance dispute, you should discuss your case with a truckers workers’ compensation attorney. For third-party injury claims, consult a skilled personal injury lawyer who specializes in truck accident cases.
We Help Injured Truckers Recover from an Accident
While it is the job of a doctor to help an injured truck driver heal physically, our Houston truck accident lawyers can help you recover financially from a serious truck accident. Neal Davis has 20 years of legal experience and will grapple with individuals, insurers and companies to hold all responsible third-parties liable for your injuries.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit during this difficult time may seem scary, but we will guide you through the entire process and ensure the best possible outcome in your case.