Houston 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyers
Experienced 18 Wheeler Truck Accident Lawyers in Houston
Trucks are an essential part of our industrialized economy. They also represent one of the biggest dangers on our roads today. With incredible weight and unstoppable momentum, all it takes is one false move from a driver to endanger the lives of everyone around them — including you.
Unfortunately, despite recent improvements in trucking industry regulations, thousands of semi-truck accidents happen each year in the United States. To boost their profits, transport companies often cut corners and push their drivers to the limit. The results of poorly maintained vehicles and dangerously fatigued drivers are always serious, and sometimes fatal.
If you or a family member has been injured due to the trucking industry’s negligence, contact our Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyers today for a free consultation. The skilled Houston truck accident attorneys at Johnson Garcia LLP are ready to take on the trucking companies, their insurance carriers, and faulty parts manufacturers.
No matter how long it takes, we will help you in your fight for justice
What Should I Do After a Houston 18-Wheeler Accident?
If you or a passenger are seriously injured or unresponsive, don’t try to move. Call 911 immediately, follow the instructions of the phone operator, and wait for help to arrive.
If no one is seriously injured, take a few deep breaths and do the following:
- Pull over to a safe location. Most semi-truck accidents happen on highways and freeways; leaving your car on the road can be dangerous. If possible, pull over to a safe location off the road. If your car is on the road but it’s too dangerous or impossible to move, carefully exit the vehicle and move to a safe place off the road.
- Call the police. Even if no one has been hurt, you’ll need to call the police to get a complete report before you or anyone else involved leaves the scene of the accident. If there are witnesses nearby, make sure they report what they saw to the police. Give the police an honest account of what you remember, but do not admit fault (for example, don’t say, “I only looked down for a second!”). If you don’t know the answer to something, don’t make something up — simply say you don’t know.
- Get the contact information of witnesses. If there are witnesses or if other drivers stopped at the scene, get their contact information (full names, cell phone numbers, email addresses). Witnesses can be difficult or impossible to track down after the fact.
- Take notes. Write down everything you can remember about the accident, including any details you noticed (even if they don’t seem important). Things like where the vehicles ended up, the timing of events, etc. Also, take notes about the truck (license plate number, license state, etc.).
- Take pictures. Use your phone to take photos of the scene from different viewpoints and angles. Make sure to get clear pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the positioning of your vehicle and the semi after the crash, any tire marks or debris on the road, any injuries you or your passengers sustained, etc. The more information, the better.
- Get medical care. Even if medical personnel arrive on the scene and say you don’t need to go to a hospital, you should still go to an ER, urgent care center, or your doctor’s office as soon as possible after the accident. You might feel normal immediately after the accident, but many people have soft tissue injuries, whiplash, or even a concussion and don’t realize it. Only a doctor can diagnose these conditions.
- Call a trusted Houston truck accident attorney. Our skilled Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyers will walk you through your rights as a victim and help you file a claim.
Key Questions After a Truck Accident
If you were in an accident with a semi-truck, you probably have a lot of questions. What should I do after the accident? Who will pay my medical bills and fix my vehicle? What if I’m injured and lose my job?
Our Houston truck accident law firm can provide answers to these and other questions and help you get compensation for your injuries and lost income. Here are some things to consider about the accident:
Our experienced Houston truck accident attorneys will help you collect documentation of your medical bills, missed time from work, and other expenses, and we’ll help you determine the impact of your injuries, including pain and suffering and any permanent impairments or disabilities. Call our Houston truck accident lawyers today for a free consultation.
Why Our 18-Wheeler Accident Law Firm?
A Dedicated Team of Experienced Houston Truck Accident Lawyers
Unlike an accident involving non-commercial vehicles, semi-truck accident claims usually involve multiple parties, much more evidence, and a whole different set of laws and regulations.
This is why it’s so important to choose the right attorney. You need a Houston truck accident lawyer who has experience dealing with intimidating transport companies, insurance companies, and parts manufacturers. You need an experienced truck accident attorney in Houston with the right network and contacts. And you need an attorney who will work tirelessly to investigate your claim and do everything possible to get you the most for your damages.
The Houston truck accident attorneys at Johnson Garcia LLP understand trucking industry regulations and how to prove a truck driver was negligent. We can help you in cases where the driver was fatigued, distracted, under the influence, or poorly trained. We can help you in cases where their employer didn’t carry out proper maintenance, background checks, documentation, or oversight. When you’ve been unjustly injured, we can help you win.
Trusted Houston Truck Accident Lawyers
They have a truck that weighs tens of thousands of pounds. You’ve got a small family car. They’re a national trucking company with hundreds of employees. You’re just one person. They’ve got major financial and legal resources. You don’t.
It might seem hopeless. You might think you’re the underdog, but time and time again, we’ve taken on cases like yours and helped clients win. When you hire our experienced Houston truck accident lawyers to handle your case, you’ll have a dedicated team fighting for you.
Every year, there are more than 400,000 accidents involving large trucks on U.S. roads, highways, and freeways. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, you need an experienced Houston truck accident attorney to thoroughly investigate and argue your case. You need Johnson Garcia LLP. Contact us for a free consultation today.
How To Determine Liability in a Houston 18-Wheeler Accident
Liable parties in an 18-wheeler accident:
- The driver
- The trucking company
- The manufacturer
- Other parties
To recover compensation for your damages after a truck accident, you must prove that someone else is liable. Going it alone is risky. Trucking companies and their savvy attorneys are known to put obstacles in your way to prevent you from getting the information and documentation you need to file a strong claim.
Our Houston 18-wheeler accident attorneys and investigative team are just as savvy. We’ll move swiftly and decisively to collect evidence from all parties involved, including logbooks, information from trucking electronic logging devices (ELDs), employment records, witness statements, company training and maintenance records, and anything else that will help strengthen your case.
We’re determined to put the fault squarely where it belongs and ask the right questions to make sure each party is held accountable for your pain and suffering. Parties that may be liable in a truck accident claim can include:
Dealing With the Insurance Company After an 18-Wheeler Accident
Trucking companies are typically insured by large commercial insurance companies that have robust legal resources. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible — or deny claims altogether — whenever possible. You can make sure they don’t undercut you by hiring an experienced Houston 18-wheeler accident attorney who knows how to deal with commercial insurance companies.
If you decide to negotiate with the insurance company on your own, here are some tips:
Going up against a trucking insurance company can feel daunting. You’re the underdog, and more than likely, they’ll treat you that way. The Houston truck accident lawyers at Johnson Garcia LLP know when insurance companies are trying to take advantage of people to get a claim off their books. We’ll fight to get you the best settlement for your damages.
Damages in a Houston Truck Accident
Since Texas is an at-fault state, you may qualify for damages after a truck wreck once your Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer proves the other driver’s liability. The damages you may be eligible for vary depending on the facts of your case, including the extent of your injuries, the at-fault driver, and where the crash occurred. Injured victims and their families typically seek economic (special) or non-economic (general) damages, or both.
These are measurable monetary damages that victims suffer due to 18-wheeler accidents. They are damages that victims and their Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyers can document and calculate, including:
Essentially, these damages reimburse any money lost due to truck wrecks. Accurately calculating economic damages is often confusing and time-consuming, and it requires the help of an experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer near you to ensure maximum compensation.
While economic or special damages include tangible receipts and bills, non-economic damages equate a monetary figure to psychological or physical suffering due to the accident. These damages are handled much differently and are generally subjective. An experienced Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer can help you assess the value of these damages, which include:
Non-economic damages can be worth a lot, but it can be challenging to prove these damages without the help of an experienced Houston attorney.
Wrongful Death Damages
If your loved one dies in an 18-wheeler accident, certain family members — the spouse, children, and parents — may file a wrongful death claim seeking damages such as:
In some personal injury cases, the court may find the defendant extremely reckless or malicious and impose punitive damages. Punitive damages aren’t compensatory damages. They are meant to punish the defendant and discourage them from repeating similar actions. For example, if the truck driver was drunk during the collision, the injured victim may be awarded punitive damages.
Are There Any Upfront Costs for Hiring a Houston Truck Accident Attorney?
We’ve seen too many people get shortchanged after an accident because they didn’t know what they were entitled to or because they didn’t have legal representation. Many people never contact a Houston truck accident law firm because they think they can’t afford an attorney.
But what many people don’t know is that reputable Houston truck accident attorneys who are confident in their ability to win often work on a contingency basis — meaning they don’t get paid unless you do.
Johnson Garcia LLP is just such an 18-wheeler law office. We work on a contingency basis, and there are no upfront costs — no consultation fee, no retainer fee. We’re confident that if we take on your case, we can win. Call us at 832-844-6700 to set up your free consultation today.
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
Semi-trucks are much bigger and heavier than regular passenger cars. This makes it harder to control. It also makes it harder for truck drivers to see their surroundings. Companies can usually prevent problems with regular maintenance and proper driver training.
Unfortunately, not all truck drivers are properly trained. Nor are all trucks properly maintained or inspected before they enter or reenter the highway. A study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that more than one-third of 407 trucks involved in crashes had maintenance defects that would have placed the trucks out of service if they had been inspected before the crash.
Even when trucks are properly maintained and inspected, weather conditions and trucking company errors and abuses — like forcing drivers to work without adequate sleep — can still cause accidents.
Here are some common causes of 18-wheeler accidents:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires property-carrying drivers to drive for a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours of rest. Some drivers and trucking companies don’t care about such federal and state laws governing the hours of service that drivers must abide by. When truckers ignore such directives and resort to driving for long hours, they risk causing 18-wheeler accidents. Sharing the road with a trucker asleep at the wheel is extremely dangerous and may lead to deadly accidents.
Distracted driving is dangerous and illegal in Houston, Texas. Given the size of an 18-wheeler, if a driver texts or takes their eyes off the road to look at their navigation system, they can cause multiple deaths and severe injuries when they collide with other vehicles or property.
Truck drivers hold commercial driver’s licenses, which impose stricter standards of intoxication than those for non-commercial drivers. In Texas, it is illegal for drivers to operate trucks with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or higher. Intoxicated driving is a felony regardless of the circumstances, and it can severely affect road users in Houston.
Too often, motorists take road safety for granted. Careless behaviors and poor driving habits, such as tailgating, ignoring traffic signals, and speeding, may result in 18-wheeler accidents, injuring truckers, passenger vehicle occupants, and pedestrians.
Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Large trucks, such as semis and 18-wheelers, can cause significant damage to vehicles on the road due to their sheer size and weight. 18-wheelers need to be in good shape to ensure road safety. Worn tires, for example, can result in blowouts, forcing a truck off the road into oncoming traffic.
Improper Cargo loading
Each load must adhere to specific size, length, width, height, and weight limits. If an 18-wheeler hauls hazardous or dangerous materials, the FMCSA imposes even stricter regulations and insurance requirements.
Still, mistakes can happen, making a truck too heavy or likely to tip over. If this happens, it can lead to a catastrophic accident involving crush injuries or even fatalities. Likewise, hazardous materials could catch fire, explode, or release toxic substances that could harm road users and the environment.
Inclement Weather Conditions
Rain, ice, snow, fog, and smoke are potential hazards to safe truck movement that may affect driver vision and reduce tire traction. Trucks may hit guardrails, enter other lanes, or veer off the road. During such weather conditions, 18-wheelers can jackknife, sideswipe other vehicles, or drive into oncoming traffic, resulting in fatal crashes.
Common 18-Wheeler Accidents
Many types of accidents are unique to 18-wheelers because of their size, weight, length, and blind spots, as well as their lack of maneuverability. The severity of injuries in a crash and the likelihood of fatalities depend on the type of 18-wheeler accident. Some of the most common semi-truck accidents include:
This type of accident happens when a driver hits the brakes, folding the truck at a 90-degree angle and sweeping away everything in its path. During jackknife accidents, the trailer’s weight may force it to detach from the cab. When a driver loses control during a Houston jackknife accident, the consequences can be catastrophic.
T-bone accidents happen when a vehicle collides with another vehicle from the side. These perpendicular collisions can result in a smaller vehicle being crushed or pinned.
Underride accidents can have devastating consequences for passenger car occupants who may be crushed or pinned underneath the truck. They happen when a smaller vehicle rams into a semi, and the momentum forces the car to be trapped under the truck. Such accidents are why the FMCSA requires all 18-wheelers to have rear impact guards or bumpers.
Tire Blowout Accidents
A tire blowout can force an 18-wheeler out of its lane and onto the path of other cars. These accidents mainly occur due to a failure to regularly inspect, maintain, or replace tires.
Blind Spot Accidents
18-wheelers have significantly larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. If a truck driver can’t see adjacent cars while turning or changing lanes, the truck may crush, strike, or run other vehicles off the road.
Other common accidents our 18-wheeler accident lawyers in Houston handle include:
18-Wheeler Accident Statistics
An 18-wheeler weighs more than 10,000 pounds. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) calls these vehicles “large trucks.” Federal traffic organizations, like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), keep official records of all accidents involving these heavy trucks.
According to the NHTSA, 5,788 people were killed in traffic accidents involving large trucks in 2021. This represents a 17% increase from the 4,945 people killed in such accidents in 2020. About 72% (4,149) of the fatalities were occupants of other vehicles. Other facts cited by the NHTSA regarding large truck accidents include:
Why Are Truck Accidents So Much More Dangerous Than Other Motor Vehicle Accidents?
Truck accidents are more dangerous than passenger vehicle accidents for various reasons, including:
If you’ve been hurt in an 18-wheeler accident, you need an experienced attorney at your side. You can trust that the Johnson Garcia team will fight for your rights and work to help you on the road to recovery.
Hurt in an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident?
Trust the Houston Truck Accident Lawyers at Johnson Garcia LLP
Johnson Garcia LLP represents victims of semi-truck crashes and other traffic accidents in and around Houston, TX. We also represent victims of construction accidents, maritime injuries, workplace accidents, and more. Our experienced Houston injury lawyers know how to fight insurance companies or recover extra damages. We have recovered more than $100 million for our clients. Those results speak for themselves!
If you were injured in a Houston area truck accident, we can help. The trusted attorneys at Johnson Garcia LLP will fight for what you deserve. We believe that legal help should be affordable to victims, which is why we also work on contingency. If you don’t get money from your suit, you don’t have to pay us!
Call 832-844-6700 today to schedule a free consultation.