Texas remains one of the largest trucking states and as such sees a great number of catastrophic trucking accidents each year.
One major cause of serious accidents on the freeways of Houston is directly related to being involved in accidents with trucks. Whether they are transportation trucks, 18-wheelers, Big Rigs, or industrial trucks, driving in a car or motorcycle and being involved in an accident with any of these trucks can have a devastating impact physically and mentally.
If you have been involved in an accident with a truck it is important to seek proper legal advice and representation to help you seek recovery for your injuries. Joe I. Zaid & Associates personal injury attorneys are dedicated to providing each client with aggressive representation of their claim.
Truck Accident Injuries and Lawsuits in Texas
Texas ranks 1st in the nation with the most truck accidents with 621 killed in 2017. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,761 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks. Trucks defined as a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds in 2017. Of all the occupants that were killed, only 18% were actual truck drivers. Seventy-two percent were drivers of other vehicles, and 10% were pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.
A truck accident can be extremely traumatizing for a victim unfortunate enough to become yet another statistic while traveling on the highways and roads of Texas. Victims should seek immediate medical and legal representation.
Insurance companies may be quick to offer victims a settlement, which, in most cases, is grossly inadequate and should not be considered. Consulting an attorney can be a critical step in your healing process.
The Causes of Truck Accidents
The cause of these accidents involves various types of trucks:
- Delivery trucks
- Big rigs
- 18 wheelers
- Oil and gas trucks
- Box trucks
- Dump trucks
- Tow trucks
- Refrigerated trucks
These occur for a number of reasons including, driver fatigue, negligent truck drivers, jack-knifing, driver error, improper or unsafe equipment, shedding of loads, speed, drug and alcohol abuse, over-scheduling, driver inexperience, and inattentive cars on the highways or road construction defects or dangerous conditions on the highways.
Establish Liability for a Truck Accident
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries if you can establish that someone was at fault for the accident.
In most cases, the at-fault party is typically the truck driver but not always.
Potential at-fault parties may include:
The Truck Driver
The truck driver may be at fault if they were negligent. Such negligence can be caused by falling asleep at the wheel, distracted driving, or running a red light.
The Trucking Company
The trucking company may be at fault or partially at fault if they were negligent. Such as having the truck driver drive for extended hours at a time than permitted or if they hired someone who had a history of distracted driving.
The Cargo Company
The cargo company may be at fault for Improperly loading cargo or overloading cargo.
The manufacturer may be at fault for a defective vehicle.
Statute of Limitations
In most cases, the statute of limitations to file a case in Texas is 2 years from the date of the accident.
However, in some cases where the government has involved the statute of limitation is a lot shorter.
Who is Liable for The Accident?
A trucking company may be held liable for the truck driver’s negligence under the theory of respondeat superior. Respondeat superior is a theory that states a trucking company is held liable for a trucking accident caused by a truck driver so long as the truck driver is an employee and was acting upon their scope of employment.
Sometimes you and the truck driver are both at fault for the accident. Texas law followers what is called modified comparative fault. This means that what you recover is limited to the degree of fault. However, if you’re more than 50% at fault you can’t recover any damages.
Damages You Can Recover After an Accident
Texas awards both economic and non-economic damages in truck accident cases. Economic damages are those losses that can be easily calculated such as medical expenses and lost wages.
Non-economic damages are those that you cannot easily calculate such as pain and suffering.
The state can also award punitive damages if the defendant acted in ill intent or malice. For example, punitive damages may be awarded to you if the truck driver was intoxicated.
Why You Need an Attorney
Injuries associated with trucking accidents are often catastrophic and life-altering in nature. Victims are typically left permanently impaired requiring months and sometimes years of therapy and care.
These reasons equal negligence and wrongdoing, and the offending party must be held liable to pay for the victim’s hospital and surgeon’s bills, doctor bills, physical therapy costs, all expenses incurred, plus compensation for pain and suffering.
Following an accident, the victim’s life may spiral downward, and, unfortunately, in some cases, the state of their mental health can closely follow suit, resulting in depression and total despair. Family life may suddenly be thrown into utter chaos, as members of the family unit are forced to take on new roles, they don’t particularly care for. Loss of lifestyle can lend itself to bad feelings, especially among younger family members, who don’t fully understand the gravity of the situation.
Important household bills may remain unpaid; mortgage, electricity, car payments, credit card bills. Living “on the edge” becomes the norm, giving way to an extreme lack of funds driving a wedge between family members. As each day passes; poverty seems to be just around the corner.
An experienced personal injury lawyer has the expertise to prevent potential “worse case scenarios” from happening to your family. It is vital to your family’s financial future to call for a consultation, and get professional legal representation for your case, fight for your rights, and work towards a complete recovery. Don’t lose what you’ve been working for all your life, and don’t suffer needlessly from the effects of crushing debt.
Seek Legal Representation
Outside of dealing with liability, an experienced attorney or law firm will be able to properly evaluate the value of your claim. Often times, insurance companies will try and quickly settle your case before you can obtain legal representation. Once you settle your case, you cannot seek additional compensation from that insurance policy or coverage.
Do not delay or jeopardize your legal rights. Call now and speak with our team of experienced attorneys about your case for a free legal consultation of your accident with a truck accident.
In Texas, there are time limits in which you have to file a claim and you may be getting close. Once this deadline has passed, you forever lose your right to bring an action for your injuries. Don’t delay, call now at (281) 990-5200 or schedule a free consultation.