Houston Truck and 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney
You have just been in a serious truck accident. There is a high likelihood that you are dealing with painful, debilitating injuries or worse. It can take days, weeks, or even months to get back on your feet in some capacity. While you are trying to get back to some normalcy, and likely having to take time off work, you may notice money is tight. Medical expenses keep adding up.
Fortunately, you may be entitled to compensation for your 18-wheeler accident. You’ve got enough on your plate trying to regain your health. Hiring an attorney can give you the time you need to focus on your recovery. More importantly, 18-wheeler cases can be complicated. An attorney with experience in large truck accidents can give you the best chance to recover all the money you deserve for the accident.
Eric Kirkpatrick has experience in 18-wheeler accidents. Additionally, he has won many large awards for his clients. He understands how important money can be during your recovery period from your injuries following the accident. That’s why he will do everything he can to obtain for you the compensation you deserve.
If you have been in a Truck accident call Kirkpatrick Law today to schedule a free consultation.
Texas Truck Accident Statistics
Every year, there are approximately 500,000 reported commercial trucking accidents. Texas reports more of these crashes than any other state in the United States. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 6,369 total commercial vehicle accidents in Harris County in 2019. This was by far the highest total number of collisions of any county in Texas that year.
Harris County accident statistics:
- 33 were fatal crashes, causing the loss of 36 lives
- 110 classified as serious crashes causing incapacitating injuries
- 409 classified as non-incapacitating crashes
- 1,084 classified as “possible injury crashes”
When a small passenger vehicle collides with a truck, the consequences can be catastrophic. These trucks often weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The sheer weight of these vehicles can cause devastating impacts and effects. If you’ve been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler or a ‘big rig” in Texas, you need an experienced Texas truck accident attorney to work on your behalf as soon as possible.
Hiring an Attorney Within 14 Days of The Accident Will Put You in a Better Position for Recovering All the Damages You are Entitled To
The statute of limitations in Texas governing personal injury lawsuits is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the crash to file a lawsuit, even if you are in settlement negotiations. If you don’t file your lawsuit timely, then you are legally barred from doing so in the future. If you miss the filing deadline, then you can expect all settlement dicussions to immediately cease.
Why is hiring within 14 days of an accident important? To preserve and collect evidence. You want to prevent evidence from going missing. You want images to be collected from the accident. You do not want eyewitnesses to begin to forget the accident. The longer it takes to preserve evidence, the more that goes missing. Then it becomes harder to fight for the compensation you truly deserve.
Texas 18-wheeler accident victims and their families are entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages when the negligence of the truck driver and/or the trucking company caused the crash. Even if you are partly to blame for the accident, it’s essential that you talk to an experienced 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer. Texas does allow accident victims to recover if the trucking company or its driver is at least 50% responsible for causing the accident. For example, if the jury finds you were 30% at fault in the truck accident, you’ll still will be able to recover 70% of your damages.
The Most Common Causes of Texas 18-Wheeler Accidents Are
- Truckers who engage in distracted, reckless, or intoxicated driving
- Truckers who violate traffic laws or commercial safety regulations
- Trucking companies that hire unfit or improperly licensed drivers
- Trucking companies that fail to properly train or supervise drivers
- Trucking companies or service shops that improperly maintain or repair trucks
- Cargo manufacturers that neglect to warn of hazardous materials
- Loading companies that pack cargo in a precarious or unsafe manner
- Truck parts manufacturers that sell defective components
Liable Parties in Texas Commercial Truck Accidents
Commercial truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries and extensive damages. For this reason, trucking companies often carry much larger insurance policies on their commercial trucking operations. Another difference in truck accidents is that several parties can be a part of a personal injury lawsuit. The parties that possible could be named are:
Truck Drivers- The driver of the truck typically bears the biggest share of liability in most accidents. This is due to the fact that driver error is a leading cause of 18-wheeler accidents. If truck drivers engage in reckless, negligent, or distracted driving, they are likely to cause life-altering accidents.
The Trucking Company– Trucking companies are often known to take short cuts. This occurs to get products to locations as quickly and cheaply as possible. When trucking companies fail to ensure drivers are properly licensed and experienced, they can be liable for accidents.
Cargo Company- Cargo companies must load products onto trailers with care and consideration. It is imperative that the products are evenly distributed to prevent tip-overs from happening. If trucks are not loaded properly, it can lead to shifts in the load. This is an even bigger issue in trailers where cargo is not properly secured. When a cargo company engage in reckless and negligent practices it can be held liable.
Truck Part Manufacturers- 18 -wheelers need to operate safely. Trucks with faulty brakes, accelerators, and other malfunctioning parts are dangerous on the road. When parts fail, truck collisions are more likely to occur. When an accident is due to a defective part then the manufacture is responsible. This allows you to recoup damages but also helps prevent others from the same fate by making such defects known to government regulators and the public.
What Damages Are Available to Victims
Every accident is different. As we discussed above, several parties can be liable for a truck collision. Texas allows the victims of negligent truck and 18-wheeler accidents to pursue damage awards for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Physical Limitations
- Loss of Consortium for a spouse
In the event of a fatal truck or 18-wheeler accident, surviving family members may seek damages for their loved one’s wrongful death. Such include recovery for:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Loss of financial contributions
- Loss of care, support, maintenance, advice, and counsel
- Loss of love, companionship, comfort, and society
- Loss of expected inheritance
Also, in a wrongful death lawsuit, family members can also file a survivor action lawsuit. This allows the family to get compensation for the medical expenses, physical pain, and mental anguish their loved one suffered before their death.
Additionally, truck crash victims and their families can also pursue punitive damages under certain circumstances particularly where gross negligence can be shown.
Contact a Texas Commercial Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a family member sustained injuries in a truck collision, protect your legal rights. Get an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney today. Do not try to negotiate with the negligent party on your own! Trucking companies and their insurance representatives are ruthless when it comes to tricking victims into ruining their own case. They will try and minimize your claims and distort the facts. Never accept their terms! Doing this only diminishes the value of your case.
If you have been involved in a commercial truck accident, then you need an experienced attorney. Kirkpatrick Law can help you maximize your recovery after being in an accident. Contact our law office today to protect your legal rights and get the justice you deserve You don’t pay unless we win your case. Call today for your free consultation.