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Truck Accidents

Texas is no stranger to the trucking industry, with its myriad of highways and central position in the country it is very often driven through on a trucker’s route. Unfortunately, that puts Texans at a greater risk of being a victim in a trucking accident. Any vehicle accident carries the potential for severe injuries, but heavy trucks substantially increase the risk to all parties involved when they collide with others on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nine percent of all traffic fatalities in 2017 involved large trucks. In addition, 72 percent of those killed were occupants of the other vehicles involved in a collision with a truck.


With massive amounts of force behind them, large trucks can have a devastating effect on smaller vehicles in a collision. Heavy loads also increase the amount of time required to brake and react to situations on the road. The potentially deadly impact of diesel big rig vehicles makes it essential for companies and drivers to exercise extra diligence on the road.

The negligence that causes and/or contributes to trucking accidents can be the same as in regular car accidents. For example, truck drivers can cause accidents due to speeding, ignoring road signs, operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or engaging in distracted driving, like texting. However, trucking as an industry is heavily regulated and when those laws are ignored, it can lead to serious accidents.

Trucking Industry Responsibilities

First, truck companies often do not check the driving records of their employees, leading them to hire unsafe drivers. Second, proper training is required for all truck drivers, but it’s sometimes not as rigorous as needed since companies are eager to get as many drivers on the road as possible. Similarly, there are strict guidelines around how many hours a driver can drive each day and how many days they can drive without a break. Unfortunately, in today’s economy, trucking companies are setting hard and fast deadlines; and, in order to meet them, truck drivers feel pressure to ignore federal hours of service regulations. While ignoring regulations might help truckers complete jobs more quickly, it puts them at risk for fatigued driving. When truck drivers decide to drive while feeling fatigued, they put everyone at risk.

Problems with the trucks themselves can cause a trucking accident. Equipment failures are a common problem that contributes to accidents on the road. As trucks rack up thousands of miles in a short timespan, their parts can quickly wear down. If they are not diligently maintained, a part may fail during transit and cause an accident. Brakes, tires, transmission, and lights are the most common equipment failures that large trucks experience. Also, the cargo itself may not be secured correctly or the truck could be overloaded, which could cause it to tip over or jackknife. The speed with which the industry operates means that things like maintenance and ensuring loads are secured correctly sadly often fall by the wayside.

A collision involving a large truck can cause devastating injuries, particularly for the occupants of other vehicles involved in the accident. Victims face a wide range of potential harm, ranging from lacerations to paralysis or even death. The medical bills resulting from these injuries can place a heavy financial burden on the shoulders of victims and their families, as medical bills, medications, and the costs of treatment can quickly accumulate. While trucking companies are legally required to carry insurance for truck accidents, they generally look to settle them quickly and for little payout. Victims may not know where to turn and be intimidated by the thought of trying to get compensation from a major trucking company. An experienced personal injury trial attorney examines each case to determine negligence and to find a way to hold the responsible party or parties accountable.


Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents

How do truck accident claims work?

Filing a claim for a truck accident is a bit more complicated than filing a claim for a car accident. You will want to be compensated for your injuries, but instead of one party being involved, there may be multiple people and businesses that can be held liable for your damages. Truck accident claims are a multi-step process that involve:

  • Gathering comprehensive evidence to prove negligence and identify a liable party or parties for your damages
  • Investigating the direct cause of the truck accident
  • Filing your claim with the relevant party’s or parties’ insurance company or companies
  • Negotiating with the insurance carrier or carriers for fair compensation
  • If a settlement cannot be reached, filing a lawsuit to recover maximum financial compensation for your injuries and other losses

Some claimants are able to obtain a fair settlement from the insurance company; however, insurance carriers rarely want to pay the full amount you are due. They do not have your best interests in mind and will try to pay as little as possible for your damages. Having a reputable and experienced truck accident attorney by your side to negotiate your claim and represent your side of the story will help ensure you receive an appropriate amount of compensation to allow for a full recovery from the truck accident.

Who is liable in a truck accident?

Unlike a passenger vehicle accident in which the driver of the vehicle that hit you is the at fault party, a truck accident usually involves multiple liable parties. The actions of the truck driver may be what directly caused the accident, but the trucking company may share in the blame for the crash. While the truck driver may have been driving recklessly or while intoxicated, the trucking company may have neglected to enforce the strict trucking industry standards of operation for their drivers and vehicles. If a trucking company put pressure on a driver to work longer hours than are legally allowed, forcing them to stay awake all through the night and day, that fatigued driver could easily cause an accident resulting in devastating injuries. A trucking company or another third party involved may have misloaded or unevenly loaded a truck before shipping cargo, causing the truck to tip over. Because the driver is never the only one to blame and is the least likely to have insurance and/or assets from which an injury victim can recover compensation for their damages, our team of trucking accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate all potentially liable parties to pay you for your damages.

What are the most common causes of truck accidents?

Truck accidents are caused in a variety of ways, all of which can be incredibly dangerous if not fatal. The truck driver may have been breaking traffic laws by speeding, driving while distracted, driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, or running stop signs and red lights. These reckless behaviors quickly cause serious accidents. If a truck driver is driving while extremely fatigued, they may fall asleep behind the wheel, lose control of their truck, and cause a collision.

Other common causes of trucking accidents include:

  • Tire blowouts
  • Uneven loads
  • Lost cargo
  • Improper or inadequate truck maintenance
  • Tailgating
  • Blind spot accidents
  • Hazardous weather
Where do most truck accidents happen?

Most drivers might think that the majority of truck accidents happen inside city limits where there is a lot of traffic. This is not the case, though, as truck drivers usually reduce their speed and pay much more attention to the road when they are inside the city. The increase in traffic means the truck driver must be much more aware of their surroundings to avoid an accident. Speed limits are also usually lower inside the city, even when on the highway. With more hazards on the road in larger metropolitan areas, truck drivers are forced to be safer drivers.

The majority of truck accidents happen on highways in rural areas that have fewer obvious hazards and less traffic. The false sense of safety a truck driver may feel out on the open highway, away from the city and dense traffic, can quickly lead to speeding, paying less attention to the drivers around their truck, temptation to drive while distracted by a cell phone or GPS device, or feeling comfortable enough to eat a snack. All of these actions can cause devastating truck accidents.

What are common truck accident injuries?

Truck accident injuries are often incredibly severe and can be life-threatening if not fatal. Trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles and can cause incredible amounts of physical damage. Some common injuries suffered during a trucking accident include:

  • Broken bones
  • Internal bleeding
  • Internal organ damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Contusions
  • Impalement
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Crushing injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Death

These physical injuries, if not fatal, can take months to years to recover from, if a full recovery is even possible. They may leave a crash victim permanently disabled or disfigured and unable to return to work resulting in lost wages and financial support. The cost of medical bills to recover from a truck accident can be astronomical. This does not even include the possible mental anguish and post-traumatic stress resulting from the crash that may require years of therapy. This is why it is essential to have an experienced team of truck accident attorneys working with you to take on the stress of seeking compensation for your injuries while you focus on recovery.

Houston Truck Accident Lawyers

If you’ve been injured during a truck accident, you may have grounds to seek out compensation that will cover the cost of your damages. As experienced Houston truck accident lawyers, Adame Garza LLP has helped score of individuals hurt in collisions with large trucks, and we can carefully analyze your situation to determine how we can help you. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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