The Most Aggressive 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers in Houston
While 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 increases in nationwide regulations, more and more of these types of accidents occur each year. In the quest for healthier profit margins, transport companies cut corners and push their drivers to the limits, leading to poorly maintained vehicles and dangerously fatigued drivers.
The results are always serious and often fatal. If you or a family member become another victim of this industry, contact our team today for a free consultation.
No matter how long it takes, we’ll help you in the fight for justice.
Why Work With Our Firm?
A Dedicated Team
Unlike regular car accidents, semi-truck accident claims will usually involve multiple parties, much more evidence, and a whole different set of laws and regulations to be familiar with.
In other words, you have to choose your attorney carefully. You’ll need a Houston truck accident lawyer with experience in dealing with major transport companies, unwilling insurance carriers, and parts manufacturers with access to intimidating legal resources. You’ll need an attorney with the right network and contacts. You’ll need attorneys who can run a comprehensive investigation and dedicate themselves to every facet of your case and do everything possible to maximize your claim.
At Johnson Garcia LLP, we are experienced in all aspects of trucking industry regulations and proving negligence. 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 Truck Accident Lawyers
They have a truck weighing 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 the resources. You don’t.
It might seem hopeless. You might think you’re the underdog, but, time and time again, we’ve seen cases like yours, and we’ve helped them win. With your own dedicated team fighting for you, you can take the power back and get a payout that truly reflects what you’ve been through.
Over 400,000 accidents involving large trucks happen every year on our roads. If you’re in one of them, you need an experienced truck accident attorney who can thoroughly investigate and argue your case. You need Johnson Garcia LLP.
Who Is Responsible for Your Truck Accident?
With so many factors in play, a thorough initial investigation is crucial to finding out who’s at fault. Our attorneys and investigative team will move swiftly and decisively to collect evidence before it’s lost, including logbooks, electronic monitoring, 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:
Was the driver speeding? Were they drunk or on drugs? Had they maintained their truck properly? Were they well rested and fit to drive? Aware of their surroundings? Operating the truck in a legal and safe way?
Did the trucking company keep adequate records of their fleet? Were maintenance and inspections carried out regularly? Did they perform background checks on their drivers and did they train them properly? Were they complying with all state and federal regulations?
Did any truck parts manufacturer supply defective goods? Were any safety features not installed correctly? Were all parts safe to use in all conditions? Had there been a recall of any of their components? Did they inform drivers and companies of any dangers of using their parts?
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
Semi-trucks are much bigger and heavier than regular passenger cars. This makes them harder to control. It also makes it harder for truck drivers to see their surroundings. Companies can usually prevent problems with regular maintenance and good professional drivers. Unfortunately, not all truck drivers are up to standards. Even when they are, trucking company errors and acts of nature can still cause accidents.
Here are some common causes of 18-wheeler accidents:
- Hitting cars in blind spots
- Speeding or swerving
- Cargo shifting inside the truck
- Ice, snow, rain, or other bad conditions
- Tired truck drivers
- Mechanical problems—like problems with the brakes or tires
- Truckers driving while drunk or on drugs
Common 18-Wheeler Accidents
- Underride Accidents
- Tire Blowout Accidents
- Jackknife Accidents
- Blind Spot Accidents
- Lost Load Accidents
Truck Accident FAQs
How Long Do I Have to File?
Each state has a different statute of limitations on personal injury or wrongful death claims, which will restrict the time you have to file your claim. For a truck accident in Texas, this is usually two years, although that time begins from the moment your injury could have been reasonably discovered. For example, you may have neck or back injuries that don’t surface until after the collision.
In the event of any truck collision, the best thing to do is call us immediately. We’ll be able to evaluate your case and let you know how to proceed in a timely manner.
What if I Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Don’t rush to put blame on yourself until all the facts of the case have been determined. Even if the crash was partly due to your error, we may still be able to find other factors that give you a good chance of recovering financial compensation. Causation is often complex in these cases, but we’ll always do everything in our power to strengthen your claim.
Who Can Be Sued After a Truck Accident?
Our clients may be able to seek compensation from multiple parties, depending on what happened in the accident. If a defective part was to blame for the crash, or a safety mechanism did not protect you adequately, then you may be able to sue the manufacturer and supplier.
At the same time, the truck driver may be held liable if their actions resulted in the crash or they were driving fatigued, distracted, or while under the influence. Their employer can also be sued if they are found negligent in their maintenance and supervision of the driver.
What Will I Be Able to Recover?
Personal injury claims cover a wide range of compensation, including medical expenses, loss of income, mental suffering, damage to your vehicle, long-term care, and any expenses arising from the death of a family member. In many cases, we will wait until you achieve maximum medical improvement so that you get the full compensation you deserve.
A judge will also sometimes award punitive damages to plaintiffs, as a punishment to businesses that are found grossly and willfully negligent. This can happen in the case of manufacturers who produce defective parts or trucking companies that flout local regulations.
How Are Truck Accidents Different?
Semi-truck accidents differ from normal car accidents in two main ways, and both may affect the outcome of your case.
The first difference is the severity of the accident. Simply put, a family-sized car is no match for the size and weight of an out-of-control 18-wheeler, and the resulting injuries are normally far worse and can involve multiple vehicles, making the discovery of liability a much more complicated process.
Secondly, driving a truck requires skill to perform it safely. Blind spots and limited vision are common, as are dealing with unique situations like jackknives, poor road conditions, low-hanging obstacles, tire blowouts, steep inclines, unsecured loads, and more. Any one of these in the wrong hands can turn into a fatal disaster, and training, maintenance, and fatigue regulations are that much stricter as a result.
How Long Can Truckers Be on the Road?
In an attempt to boost profits, many transport companies force their drivers to work longer and longer hours. Drivers will skip much-needed rest to keep up with demanding schedules, and this fatigue becomes incredibly dangerous to everyone on the road.
Acting under the Department of Transportation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has nationwide regulations in place to restrict the amount of time truckers can be on the road. These laws apply to any vehicle with a total weight of over 10,000 pounds or if they’re carrying hazardous or flammable materials that require signage.
The key regulations are as follows:
- Drivers may only work for 14 hours per day, of which only 11 of those hours can be on the road.
- They must then have 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
- Total work hours can’t exceed 60 in 7 consecutive days, or 70 in 8 days.
- They must have at least one 30-minute break every 8 hours.
Is the Employer or Employee Responsible?
In many cases, the employer (the trucking company) and the employee (the truck driver) will both be held responsible if the accident occurred while the driver was working for the company. Even if the driver was under the influence, distracted, or fatigued through their own time mismanagement, their employer will still be at fault for not managing their employees properly.
Claims of negligence can also be made directly against a trucking company if they did not follow thorough and proper hiring and training procedures—for instance, if they hired a driver without checking into their driving history or if they did not educate a driver fully on local and federal regulations.
To get full compensation, you need to hire lawyers who have experience against large transport companies. They will fight against every charge of negligence to protect their bottom line—make sure you hire us so we can fight back.
What Is the Time Limit for Filing?
To file a compensation claim in court in a timely manner, you’ll have to follow the statute of limitations of the state in which you’re located and, sometimes, where the accident occurred if this differs. The statute of limitations for truck accident claims in Texas is two years, although there are some factors which may extend this period of time, including the bankruptcy of the defendant and discovery of new injuries by the claimant.
Navigating various state and federal statutes of limitation can be tricky, which is why you should call us as soon as you have received any urgent medical attention. Our experienced team can handle all deadlines and required documentation so you don’t miss out on your claim.
Who Can Be Sued for a Tire Blowout?
Given the sheer size and momentum of an 18-wheeler, a simple tire blowout can turn nasty in the blink of an eye. Even the most skilled truck driver will struggle to regain control and stop safely and, in that time, everyone around them is at risk.
If you’ve been injured as a result of a truck tire blowout, there will be multiple different factors which will determine who we can sue. If the driver and their employer did not follow correct maintenance procedures, or inflated the tires incorrectly, or drove knowingly on faulty tires, then we will hold them liable. If tires were inherently unsafe or defective, to begin with, you may have a case against the manufacturer and possibly distributor of the tires.
Cutting corners on safety is unfortunately widespread in the trucking industry. If you or a loved one has been affected by negligence, we’ll do everything it takes to hold them accountable and get you the compensation you deserve.
18-Wheeler Accidents 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 for all accidents involving these heavy trucks.
Large Truck Accident Trends and Key Insights
- The number of deaths and injuries from large truck accidents has gone down since 1975. There has been a slight increase in deaths and injuries in recent years.
- One in four fatal large truck accidents happened on an interstate highway.
- 61% of deadly crashes happened in rural areas.
- 95% of deadly accidents occurred outside work zones.
- In 2014, about 4% of all crashes that caused injuries or property damage involved large trucks.
About the Victims
- Large truck accidents kill drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorists.
- In 1975, there were 4,483 deaths from large truck accidents. In 2016, there were 4,317 deaths. This is not much of a change.
- Drivers and passengers in vehicles are at the greatest risk of death or injury in semi accidents.
- In 2014, 389 people who were not in a car died because of semi accidents. About 2,000 of them suffered injuries.
About the Vehicles
- Fatal 18-wheeler accidents often involve passenger cars, light trucks, motorcycles, and buses.
- When a large truck hits a passenger car, the people in the car tend to have the most injuries.
- The more vehicles involved in a crash, the more deaths there were. 81% of deaths occurred in multi-vehicle crashes.
- 45% of fatal large truck accidents were head-on collisions.
About the Truck Drivers
- Large-truck drivers in fatal crashes were more likely to have crashed in the past than other drivers.
- 14.9% of large-truck drivers had previous crashes on their records. This is higher than the percentages for passenger vehicles, light trucks, and motorcycles.
- 16% of large-truck drivers had at least one prior speeding violation. This is about the same as it is for drivers of passenger vehicles.
Hurt in an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident? Trust the Houston Attorneys at Johnson Garcia LLP
Johnson Garcia, LLP represents victims of semi-truck crashes and other traffic accidents. We also represent victims of construction accidents, maritime injuries, workplace accidents, and more. Our experienced 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.