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Houston Truck Accident Lawyer

Houston Truck Accident Lawyer

Every day, countless motorists get behind the wheel here in Houston as they travel to school, work, or on vacation, run errands, and more, never thinking twice about the potential dangers that lie waiting for them on our busy roadways. Even more, individuals travel by public transportation on a bus, by foot as pedestrians, or on a bicycle or motorbike without thinking they may get hurt. However, as a law firm with a Houston truck accident lawyer on staff, we see what can happen to the above-referenced individuals going about their everyday lives when a tractor-trailer operator, trucking company, or others engage in negligence. People get hurt and sometimes die.

Crashes involving large trucks tend to be catastrophic, leaving behind significant destruction of property and persons. Our legal team is often the first point of contact after police officers have documented these crashes and victims have received stabilizing medical care or perished in the collision. We support accident victims as they recover or begin to cope with their loved one’s loss, helping apprise them of their rights to take legal action to secure compensation. Our Barrera Law Group LLC team wants to help you do the same, and it all begins with a free case review with one of our attorneys. Reach out to us to schedule that meeting now.

Texas Truck-Involved Crash Statistics

According to reports published by the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), there were 115,584 total crashes in Harris County in 2022. Of those, 67,386 of them occurred in Houston proper. At least 6,203 of the crashes in our county involved commercial vehicles, which is the category to which tractor-trailers belong.

Common Types of 18-Wheeler Accidents That Occur in Southeast Texas

Trucks weigh more and are longer than passenger cars and many other automobiles. As such, while some of the crashes they may become involved in are similar to ones that any other vehicle may have, there are some examples that are different. The most commonly occurring wrecks involving large trucks include:

  • Head-on collisions: These may occur because a trucker falls asleep at the wheel or is traveling too fast for conditions and suddenly brakes, both of which are actions that may cause the driver to lose control of their rig and cross a center line or median into oncoming traffic.
  • Rear-end crashes: Crashes like these often stem from truckers not anticipating drivers slowing ahead and faulty brake issues.
  • Jackknife accidents: These incidents are most common during the wintry months, when ice may have accumulated on the road, extending the time it takes for speeding truckers carrying heavy loads to bring their tractor-trailers to a complete stop, resulting in two components of their truck assuming a “Swiss knife” orientation.
  • Blind spot wrecks: These sideswipe types of crashes often occur when a motorist cuts in too close ahead or behind a truck or is unidentifiable by the trucker due to it riding in its blind zone.
  • Truck rollovers: These incidents can affect all types of commercial carriers, including box trucks or 18-wheelers, and often occur as operators go around circular exit lanes because they take those turns too fast with their poorly secured or distributed load.
  • Override or underride accidents: These commonly occur at intersections when motorists run traffic lights or even as a motorist is riding close behind another and involves a smaller, lower profile car, motorbike, or other vehicle sliding under (and the truck sliding over) the other automobile.

Where Tractor-Trailer Collisions Occur in Harris County

Houston is a hotbed of interstate commerce, which is evident by looking at the sheer number of multi-lane interstates, highways, Texas state roads, and U.S. routes that stretch from one side of the city to the other in all directions.

Some of the interstates with the highest number of crashes involving big rigs include:

  • I-10, also known as the Baytown-East Freeway or Katy Freeway
  • I-610, which drivers refer to as the 610 Loop
  • I-45, commonly called the Gulf Freeway or North Freeway
  • I-69, also known as the Eastex Freeway or Southwest Freeway

Texas state roads and federal routes where these collisions occur include:

  • State Highway 249, also known as Tomball Parkway
  • State Highway 146, referred to as Baytown Freeway
  • S. 90, the Northwest Freeway, which connects Houston to Austin
  • Sam Houston Tollway (Beltway 8)

Other accident-prone roadways where collisions often occur, particularly at intersections, include:

  • North Shepherd Drive
  • West Little York Road
  • Airline Drive
  • Beechnut Road
  • Veterans Memorial Drive
  • South Post Oak Road
  • Bellaire Boulevard

Bissonnet Street, where it intersects with the Sam Houston Tollway, is often pointed to as one of the most dangerous intersections in all of Texas.

Common Causes of Truck-Involved Crashes in Houston

Wrecks involving tractor-trailers can happen for a wide range of reasons, some of the most common of which include:

  • Fatigued or drowsy driving
  • Substance abuse, including alcohol and prescription or illegal drug use
  • Distracted driving
  • Poor vehicle maintenance and unaddressed repairs
  • Defective truck components
  • Improper loading
  • Road design issues
  • Inclement weather conditions

As you might imagine, the list goes on and on in terms of contributing factors to truck crashes. And no matter the cause of your crash, you can count on our legal team to investigate and hold the responsible parties accountable for it if you have us represent you in your case.

Potential Liable Parties for Collisions Involving Big Rigs

While you may get the impression that only truckers may be responsible for incidents where a commercial carrier collides with someone or something, that’s not the case. While you certainly may pursue legal action against the tractor-trailer driver if their negligent behaviors hurt you, you can also sue:

  • Trucking companies
  • Auto parts manufacturers
  • Mechanics

There may be additional responsible parties in addition to or instead of the ones listed that may be partially or fully liable for what happened, too. You can expect your Houston truck accident lawyer to determine who the potentially liable parties are after reviewing the police report in your case during your initial consultation or soon thereafter. So, if you’re looking to know what your rights are and to hold all responsible parties liable, schedule your free case evaluation today.

Compensation Recoverable in Texas Tractor-Trailer Collision Cases

Some of the most catastrophic injuries that trucking accident victims suffer include spinal cord injuries that cause paralysis, internal organ damage, burns, broken bones, and head trauma, resulting in traumatic brain injuries. As you might imagine, the costs associated with treating these conditions can easily reach tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. Physical impairments aside, there may be residual mental health concerns left behind that are hard for injured parties to shake, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Fortunately, Texas law allows those individuals hurt due to someone in the trucking industry’s negligence to file insurance claims or civil lawsuits to recover compensation for damages they suffered. The following are examples of compensable losses:

  • Property damage costs
  • Medical expenses, which may include emergency room, surgical, physical therapy, counseling, and medication costs
  • Renovations to your Houston area residence to make it wheelchair accessible (if necessary)
  • Lost wages

It may also be possible to demand compensation for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life, by filing a civil lawsuit against the trucker who struck you or any other responsible party.

Damages Recoverable in Fatal Truck Accident Cases in the Bayou City

As the statistics suggest above, collisions involving trucks often prove fatal. Losses may look a bit different in injury versus deadly crash cases. Damages recoverable in these unfortunate truck-involved wrecks that cause loss of life include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Losses of companionship
  • Future lost earnings
  • Lost benefits (i.e., retirement stipends)

Also, it’s within a Harris County judge’s discretion to assess punitive damages in semi-truck crash cases where the responsible party’s negligence is determined as grossly negligent. An example of when this might occur is if it’s proven that the tractor-trailer operator was intoxicated when the wreck occurred.

Determining How Much Your Truck Accident Injury Case Is Worth

A common question our attorneys at Barrera Law Group LLC receive centers around what the value of their case is. That can be challenging to determine without first knowing the following:

  • The extent of your injuries and the medical treatment required to address them
  • How much time you might be out of work or if you have to retrain for another career
  • Whether your injuries are temporary or permanent
  • How debilitating your mental or emotional trauma is
  • If you shared any responsibility for causing the crash
  • Whether you did anything to prevent the onset of your injuries (i.e., wearing a seat belt to prevent ejection)
  • How much in peripheral expenses you incurred, such as travel to doctors’ visits, acquisition of a wheelchair and transportation, including a handicap-accessible van

While the factors above certainly dictate how much your case is worth, so too does your choice of attorney. Successfully negotiating with insurers, especially ones representing those in the trucking industry, takes fine-tuning that only comes with years of experience. Our attorneys have handled personal injury cases like these for decades and have a lengthy track record of securing sizeable settlements on behalf of our clients, and we want to help you achieve the same.

Do I Need an Attorney To Represent Me in My Houston Truck Crash Case?

Our country affords its citizens the right to self-representation in front of a judge and jury during the pre-litigation stage of a case and in the courtroom. While pro se representation is allowed, it’s not advisable. Why?

State and federal laws are notoriously complex to understand, as are rules for filing cases and presenting them in court. Plus, insurance companies are big businesses backed by high-powered attorneys looking for any way to deny liability and not make payouts. They regularly take advantage of self-represented injury victims because they can, meaning if you attempt to file a claim or lawsuit unilaterally, there’s a strong chance you could end up with nothing and be left paying for the bills you’ve amassed on your own.

How a Tractor-Trailer Collision Lawyer in Houston Can Help You

There’s a lot that goes into building a strong case against a negligent bad actor in the trucking industry that demands the compensation you need and deserve, and that’s where a Houston truck accident attorney comes in. You can count on the attorney handling your case to:

  • Know the elements of negligence in Texas that must be proven to file a civil case.
  • Be aware of the statute of limitations that applies to your specific accident or wrongful death case.
  • Understand state and federal laws that apply to the trucking industry that can affect liability determinations.
  • Collect evidence proving negligence, which may include electronic logging device (ELD) and other onboard data.
  • Determine the causation of the crash.
  • Solicit the services of experts for accident recreation to explain how injuries occurred or what prognoses are or testify at trial, as necessary, to strengthen a case.
  • Identify responsible parties to hold liable.
  • Gather your medical records that demonstrate how the collision hurt you.
  • Request your medical bills, pay stubs, etc., to calculate your financial losses.
  • Negotiate a maximum settlement that covers your actual incurred expenses and other losses.
  • Know when litigating your case in the courtroom is necessary.

Questions To Ask a Houston Truck Crash Attorney You’re Considering Working With

Once you feel like you’ve narrowed down your list of attorneys, you’ll want to interview each of them to confirm that they’re the best fit for your case. Some questions you should ask any prospective lawyer you’re considering having handle your legal matter include:

  • How many cases similar to my own have you handled?
  • How much experience do you have negotiating with insurance companies?
  • Are you comfortable taking the case to trial if reaching a fair out-of-court settlement appears impossible?

Why You Should Contact Barrera Law Group LLC Attorneys About Your Truck Accident

When you entrust your case to a law firm, you want to make sure they have a comprehensive understanding of all applicable laws; have the requisite time, energy, and experience to see your case through to completion; and that they’ll be forthright in communicating any impasses that may arise as necessary. This is where our attorneys’ experience comes in.

We understand how significantly a wreck with a tractor-trailer can turn life upside down. We know how debilitating serious injuries are and how long the path to recovery can be, especially if you are additionally experiencing emotional turmoil, such as PTSD, after your loss. We also comprehend how nerve-wracking it can be to be unable to work and earn a living or lose the income provided by your household’s primary breadwinner when incidents like these occur.

While we certainly can’t guarantee a specific outcome in your case, we can offer you our promise to advocate strongly for yourself and your best interests from the moment Barrera Law Group LLC takes your case on. So, if you’re looking for a passionate team to shepherd your case through the legal system, consider calling or emailing our firm to schedule a free initial consultation with a Houston truck accident lawyer today.

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