Injured in a semi-truck accident?
Trucking accidents are extremely common in the United States. Sometimes, they’re caused by tired, irresponsible truck drivers. Other times, vehicles are side-swiped while changing lanes. Any 18-wheeler incidents like these can leave victims with serious injuries and damage. Learn more about what to do if you were injured in a semi-truck accident, and how a good lawyer can help.
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
What Should I Do if I’ve Been Injured in a Truck Accident?
You’re probably feeling overwhelmed and frustrated after being injured in an 18-wheeler crash. Semi-truck accidents can be very emotional and cause a lot of anxiety, so it’s important to try to keep calm. Your thoughts will be much clearer, and you’ll handle things best if you stay level-headed. When you are ready, you can start talking with the truck driver and getting information.
You can’t turn back time and return to the scene of your accident, but other drivers should take these steps after the crash:
- Call 911 and let them know if you need medical care. Be clear about what you and your passengers need. Your life and your passengers’ lives are more important than your car.
- Gather evidence. Take photos of the accident scene with your phone. If you can’t take photos, ask a passenger or nearby witness. Make sure you get pictures of the vehicles, skid marks, damage, and debris. These pictures will help you prove what happened.
- Talk to the police when they arrive at the accident scene. Be honest with them, but do not admit to fault. Make sure they get a thorough report.
- Get all the insurance and vehicle information you need from the other driver(s).
- Call a Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will make sure you get what you deserve as a victim. Compensation can cover things like medical bills, vehicle damage, and more.
- Contact your insurance company to begin the process of filing a claim.
The Many Consequences of an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident
Truck accidents are no laughing matter. Semi-trucks are so large and powerful that even slight collisions can be life-threatening. Even if a passing 18-wheeler only clipped your car, you might suffer serious injury. You may have had a concussion, whiplash, broken bones, cuts, internal bleeding, or other harm. The damage to your car and other property might also be quite significant.
The physical repercussions of trucking accidents aren’t the only problems you’ll face. Mental, emotional, and financial issues can also make things difficult during recovery. If your accident was very traumatic, you could develop anxiety or even PTSD. Over time, car repairs, medical bills, and other expenses start adding up. If you are currently unable to work due to your injuries, you may also be missing out on important income.
The Importance of Having an Experienced Attorney: How Johnson Garcia LLP Can Help
Suing a trucking company for damages can be intimidating. Having an experienced Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer can make things much easier for you. The lawyers at Johnson Garcia LLP know your rights and can help build a solid case. We’ll gather black box information, toll tags, accident photos, GPS data, and more. Information like this can make a huge difference in the success of your case.
Our attorneys have helped many semi-truck accident victims get what they deserved. Are you struggling with finances due to lost income and medical bills? Do you struggle to pay other monthly bills while you recover from your injury? The trucking accident attorneys at Johnson Garcia LLP can help you get the money you need. We’ll fight for the full amount from your insurance company or the trucking company. Whatever you need, we’ll do whatever we can to get you what you’re owed.
Houston Trucking Laws
Houston truckers must follow state and federal traffic laws. Truck drivers need to be alert, use defensive driving, use signal turns, and avoid tailgating. They must also make sure they secure their cargo so that the goods do not shift in the truck. If a trucker ignores these rules and causes an accident, they are the one at fault for the crash.
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.
Additional statistics and more detailed information can be found on our 18-Wheeler Accidents Statistics page.
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.