Involved in a commercial truck accident?
Every time we drive, we face some level of risk simply by operating a vehicle on a public thoroughfare around other people. In the case of highways and other roads where semi truck traffic is common, there is the added risk of colliding with an 18-wheeler, which can cause significantly more damage to your vehicle and your body than a standard class D vehicle (a basic car, SUV, or pick-up truck).
While any type of vehicle accident can be devastating and frustrating to deal with, semi truck accidents can be especially dangerous and difficult. In these cases, it’s important to take the right steps and seek the best legal representation to get everything you need to recover fully.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
After you’ve been involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler, you may find yourself in a state of shock and confusion. Take a moment to collect yourself and assess your physical state, and then follow these steps to ensure that you handle the situation appropriately:
- Determine whether you or anyone in your vehicle requires medical attention and call 911 immediately to request emergency response. The survival and health of those in the vehicle should be your number-one priority immediately after the accident.
- If no one is injured, you still need to contact the authorities to get a police report of the incident.
- If you or another person in the car is physically able to do so, get out of the vehicle and exchange insurance information with the driver of the truck. Do not admit any fault or make any comments that would suggest you played a role in the crash at this time.
- Write down details of the situation, including the final resting place of the vehicles, the damage sustained, and any other details of the crash you can recall or see on the scene.
- If possible, take as many photos as you can with a camera or cell phone. Get photos of the overall scene, the damage to both vehicles, any areas of debris or skid marks, any injuries or bruising sustained, etc.
- When everyone has been medically treated and the police report is complete, contact the necessary insurance companies to file a claim for damages.
- Retain an experienced, knowledgeable truck accident lawyer in Houston to help you recover the full amount of damages you deserve as a victim of a truck accident.
The Benefits of Having an Experienced Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
The lawyers of Johnson Garcia LLP have decades of combined experience handling serious car and truck accident cases and know all of the strategies often used by the opposition. How? Because insurance companies and other corporations hired the founding lawyers at Johnson Garcia LLP for many years to defend them in these types of cases. No one has the experience that Johnson Garcia LLP can bring to help you fight for what you deserve under the law.
We’ve been doing this for over 25 combined years, but we never forget that this may be your first (and, hopefully, last) experience with an accident. That’s why we make sure you stay informed every step of the way. When Johnson Garcia LLP takes your vehicle or truck accident case, you can count on us to help you recover your damages as quickly as possible and to make sure you always know where things stand.
What We Can Help You with After an Accident
After your accident, the experts at Johnson Garcia LLP can help you build a strong case to recover all necessary damages and get justice for your accident. The following are just a few of the things we can do to help you as a crash victim:
- Obtain “black box” information from semi truck tracking systems
- Seek the full amount of insurance policy limits
- Sue for additional damages from the trucking company, should insurance coverage be insufficient
- File any and all necessary legal paperwork, allowing you to simply relax and recover
- Organize and manage all pertinent information to create an accurate picture of what happened in the crash
- Leverage legal expertise to identify any failures on the trucker’s behalf to observe relevant traffic and/or commercial trucking laws
- Get a fair settlement to help you cover medical bills, lost income, etc.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Just like any other traffic accident, there are a variety of reasons why a semi truck collision may occur:
- Inclement weather may cause poor visibility and poor road conditions, which may increase the risk that a truck could lose traction or a driver could fail to see another vehicle. In a severe blizzard, for example, a trucker may struggle to see other drivers while changing lanes and may have a problem braking properly behind another vehicle (especially if they were following too closely).
- Unexpected road hazards like black ice, damage, downed trees, deer, etc. can create sudden swerves, pile-ups, etc.
- Driver fatigue can occur when a trucker fails to get sufficient sleep or is asked to drive for too many hours at a time. This can lead to poor judgment and impaired driving capabilities.
- Similarly to fatigue, intoxication due to drugs, alcohol, or other substances can create a dangerous inability to control the truck.
- Malfunction or breakage of important semi truck components and systems can cause sudden problems that lead to a loss of vehicle control.
- Distracted or simply negligent driving is also a common cause of truck accidents, with some truckers failing to pay proper attention or obey the laws of operating a commercial vehicle.
Common Injuries Sustained by Accident Victims
Due to the hefty, large nature of 18-wheelers, accident victims are at risk of sustaining a number of serious injuries, such as the following:
- Concussion and/or brain damage
- Broken/crushed body parts
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Bruising, cuts, and abrasions
- Broken/fractured bones
Unfortunately, especially severe crashes can end in the death of one or more of the people involved. In such cases, the repercussions spread far beyond the victims, affecting the family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors of those killed in the crash, as well.
Trucking Accident Statistics
According to data from the Texas Department of Transportation, 22,953 semi trucks were involved in crashes statewide in the year 2016. 16,266 of these trucks were involved in non-injury crashes, 2,195 were involved in non-incapacitating injury crashes, 803 were involved in incapacitating injury crashes, and 403 were involved in fatal crashes (the remaining 3,286 trucks were involved in crashes where the injuries were either unknown or classified as “possible”).
Houston Trucking Laws
In an effort to provide guidance and prevent these types of accidents, Texas state and federal authorities have put a number of specific laws into place that govern the operation of commercial trucks. In addition to requiring drivers of 18-wheelers to earn a class C license and obey regular traffic laws, Texas truckers must hold special driving certification, observe defined truck weight limits, undergo testing for drug and alcohol use, meet various safety standards, have regular compliance reviews, and obey all other rules and standards set out by the Texas Highway Patrol Division’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement guide.
Involved in a Car or Truck Accident? Find an Expert Truck Accident Lawyer at Johnson Garcia LLP
If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in an auto or truck accident, call the law firm of Johnson Garcia LLP to ensure your legal rights are protected. Unfortunately, serious accidents occur every day on our highways and streets, but the injuries, pain, and damage last long after the accident is cleaned up and the vehicles are taken away. Your injuries may cause you to miss work and disrupt your everyday life in ways that most would not understand. You need someone on your side.
Take a look at our list of Frequently Asked Questions below, and contact Johnson Garcia LLP today at (832) 241-5465 for your free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions*
A: No. When claims are resolved, the other side will often require that you sign a release. However, signing a release before you have been made whole can impact your ability to recover. Speak with a lawyer at Johnson Garcia LLP before you sign anything.
Q: No, the insurance company for the other driver is not on your side. Thus, we recommend that you call the lawyers at Johnson Garcia to help handle responding to these requests for information. We know the ways the other side may be trying to hurt your case and will make sure you have someone in your corner from the beginning.
A: After a serious accident, you should hire someone to fight for you immediately. At Johnson Garcia LLP, we know from years of experience that the other side will often immediately begin preparing to fight against you. This means they will look for ways to pay you less than what you deserve. Don’t let them treat you or your loved ones unfairly. At Johnson Garcia, we know what you’re facing and will make sure you have the upper hand.
*Note: Our FAQs are intended solely for informational purposes and should not be relied or construed upon as legal advice. Each case presents different facts that must be evaluated independently under law. Call us for a free case evaluation.832-844-6700