Experienced Semi Truck Accident Attorneys Serving Clients in Houston, Texas, and Nationwide

Experienced Semi Truck Accident Attorneys Serving Clients in Houston, Texas, and Nationwide

Experienced Semi Truck Accident Attorneys Serving Clients in Houston, Texas, and Nationwide

In the Houston region, which is one of the nation’s major trucking hubs, semi trucks are a frequent sight.

Even though the trucking sector is heavily regulated, the businesses in charge of transporting freight are primarily focused on the profit line.

It is far too simple for trucking businesses and the employees who work for them to make compromises to maintain their financial line. When this occurs, innocent individuals are hurt or killed.

Our attorneys at Patrick Daniel Law have a wealth of knowledge in the intricate world of commercial trucking accidents.

Our law company can assist you in seeking the compensation you need if an 18-wheeler crash caused catastrophic injuries or the death of a loved one.

Do I Need a Lawyer in a Case involving a Truck Accident?

Yes. Although you are not needed to have legal representation before filing a lawsuit against a trucking firm, the chances are against you if you don’t.

Car accident cases are different from truck accident claims. Although one or more automobiles are involved in both types of claims, truck accident litigation is far more difficult.

A good resolution in your case depends on you selecting a competent attorney since trucking accidents are complicated for the following reasons:

Your case can involve multiple defendants, such as the truck driver, that driver’s company, the manufacturer of a component used in the rig, and possibly others.

Multiple defendants imply there will be several insurance providers involved, all of which will be attempting to shift blame and give you the smallest settlement possible.

Truck drivers must abide by both federal and state laws, as well as local ordinances. Several authorities are likely to be engaged in the accident investigation, and each is subject to its own set of regulations, laws, and protocols.

Compared to “ordinary” vehicle accidents, truck accidents can result in much more severe injuries.

Due to this, truck accident cases typically seek substantially bigger damages.

These variables all work together to make trucking accident claims challenging and frequently contentious.

It is undoubtedly in your best advantage to engage a trucking accident attorney who is aware of the complexity of the lawsuit and the stakes to you personally if you want to obtain the compensation you require and deserve after suffering injuries in a collision with a semi-truck.

What a Houston truck accident attorney may do for you When Should I Hire One?

It’s a good probability that the insurance adjuster will get in touch with you before you’ve had a chance to think about hiring an attorney.

The adjuster hopes to stop you in your tracks and persuade you to approve a settlement before the dust has settled.

You should be able to infer something from that. Therefore, as comedian Bill Engvall would say, “there’s your sign” if the insurance adjuster for the trucking firm calls or comes to your home in an overly polite manner.

But it isn’t funny. If you have even the slightest thought of speaking with a truck accident attorney, now is the time to do so.

Although it is ultimately ideal to contact a lawyer early on, you do have some time to consider your position. If you’re unsure whether you need to contact a lawyer, take a closer look at these circumstances:

  • a deadly truck collision
  • a mishap that left you seriously hurt. Broken bones, paralysis, amputation, burns, blindness, and other long-term or permanent physical impairments are examples of this, but they are not the only ones.
  • There’s even a remote possibility that you could be held accountable.
  • Other cars were involved in the collision.
  • The accident happened near a building site or a school.
  • The official accident report is deficient or inaccurate in its account of what transpired.

You might also seek information from an 18-wheeler accident lawyer on what led to the truck accident in the first place.

There are numerous reasons why trucking accidents happen, and it frequently requires a specialist to go through all of them and identify the precise cause or causes. Finding all the causes will be easier with a superior specialist.

Many people can make assumptions about the causes, but only a skilled Houston truck accident attorney will be able to offer concrete proof.

Accidents involving trucks in Harris County, Texas recently

Patrick Daniel and Randy Canche, two seasoned attorneys, talk about the recent case of a fatal truck accident involving an Amazon tractor-trailer on Houston’s North Freeway, as well as typical causes of semi-truck accidents, what to do after an accident, and frequently asked questions about truck accidents.

What Mistakes Do Truck Drivers Make That Lead to Accidents?

Big rigs’ intimidating size doesn’t make them necessarily dangerous, but when they’re operated carelessly, maintained incorrectly, or placed in a chaotic environment on a busy interstate, they endanger all of us. When driving, performing maintenance, or troubleshooting, alertness is essential.

Compared to your Toyota Camry, an 18-wheeler’s margin of error is substantially narrower. Because of the driver’s brief momentary inattention, the truck strayed into another lane and sideswiped a car.

A large rig traveling 65 miles per hour must come to a full stop in 525 feet, or about a tenth of a mile, from the moment the driver becomes aware of the situation. In contrast, a car moving at that speed would require 316 feet.

That explains why rear-end crashes involve 18-wheelers in such high numbers. But these are not little collisions with a little coffee spilled and modest property damage. These are potentially fatal and destructive.

An 18-wheeler comes with a lot of duties, therefore you should never take them lightly. When they are, disaster may result.

A semi-truck collision may result from several circumstances, just like any other auto accident. The trucker’s negligence may manifest in a variety of ways, including:

  • Drowsiness among truck drivers

Cognitive thinking, threat awareness, and reaction time are all impacted by sleepiness. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration limits the number of hours a truck driver may operate a vehicle each day (11) and across a seven-day workweek (due to these factors) (60).

Employers frequently put pressure on drivers to fulfill delivery deadlines that are nearly difficult to meet without exceeding the set hourly limits.

Driver’s logs are forged, illegal overtime driving occurs, and accidents happen much too frequently as a result.

Other factors that may contribute to drowsiness include the driver’s age, general health, medications (both prescribed and over-the-counter), and the quantity and/or quality of sleep they get when they’re not driving.

This is a key issue in numerous litigation. It is beneficial to win a case if you can demonstrate that a driver was operating a tractor-trailer rig while being aware that he had not taken the legally required break.

Whether the driver felt obligated to violate the law because of pressure from his company to deliver the items on time is a second element in the equation.

  1. Drunk truck driving

The idea that drivers of 80,000-pound monster trucks on our roadways could be drunk on anything from booze to narcotics is terrifying, but it does happen.

In the most recent Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts Report, data gathered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) showed that 2,5 percent of truck drivers involved in these accidents were driving while inebriated, and 4,600 truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had blood alcohol concentrations of 0.01 or higher.

Like everyone else, truck drivers experience aches and pains, and many of them have chronic diseases for which strong medicines have been prescribed.

These medications frequently have negative side effects and can impair judgment when driving. In legal proceedings, disregard for these side effects emerges as a clear liability. A handful of big rig incidents have also been linked to over-the-counter drugs.

  1. Trucks driving too quickly and at high speeds for the terrain

Almost every driver has experienced the sight of a big rig speeding by slower-moving traffic when a softer push on the accelerator would have been more appropriate.

Technically, unless the truck exceeds the posted speed limit, it is not speeding, yet it is unsafe and against the law. Driving too quickly for the road conditions is a ticketable infraction.

The FMCSA states that the following circumstances permit traveling considerably below the posted speed limit:

  • ice or wet roads
  • uncleared roads
  • zones of construction
  • Curves
  • Intersections
  • paving defects
  • rocky roads
  • a lot of traffic

According to the linked FMCSA data, “Speeding of Any Kind” causes 6.5% of fatal incidents and is the main contributing factor in truck accidents.

  1. Dangerous and Retaliatory Truck Driving

Duel, a movie about a crazy truck driver trying to frighten a helpless driver off a perilous mountain route, was legendary movie producer Steven Spielberg’s first full-length film. It took advantage of people’s widespread worry that big rig drivers are out to “get them.”

Thankfully, that rarely happens. Nevertheless, there have been several instances where a truck driver may have been offended by another driver and reacted inappropriately. Less than 1% of fatal truck incidents involved aggressive driving or road rage, according to the FMCSA.

In the courtroom, proving that the trucker drove violently or was under the influence of road rage is a difficult undertaking that frequently requires confirmation from outside witnesses.

Distracted driving crashes involving 18-wheelers

  1. Truck Distracted Driving

Truck drivers frequently text, talk on the phone, and browse the internet while operating their vehicles. Nearly 6% of fatal truck accidents, according to the FMCSA, involved some sort of driver distraction. These consist of:

The distraction caused by anything outside the car, someone, or something else

  • reaching inside the cab to find things
  • telephone conversation
  • Making a phone call
  • utilizing a portable device (texting, using apps, etc.)
  • drinking or eating
  • Changing the climate and audio controls
  • Daydreaming
  • Smoking

Big rig collisions caused by distracted truck drivers can be the most serious in terms of fatalities, injuries, and property damage.

Several motorists have been found guilty of murder due to their actions while driving. Although there are variations by jurisdiction, penalties for commercial drivers who text while driving a moving vehicle are becoming more severe.

  1. Additional 18-wheeler truck driver blunders

Accidents can have many different causes, but the most common ones that haven’t already been discussed are:

  • Distracted driving includes using a phone, eating, listening to music, and other activities while operating a vehicle.
  • Lane deviation
  • refusal to yield
  • Overcorrecting
  • unclear vision
  • disregard for traffic signals and signs
  • Too close to following (tailgating)
  • incorrectly passing
  • improper handling of curves and lane changes

Many often, truck accidents are the result of a confluence of poor choices and reckless actions. It is more likely that a driver may drive too quickly or make irresponsible decisions that result in an accident if they are tired or impaired.

But none of these choices are made in a vacuum. The possibility that the truck driver is carrying out his or her employer’s orders expands the number of defendants in your case.

Who Is Responsible for Trucking Mishaps?

How Do Accidents Cause by Poor Truck Maintenance Occur?

The “runaway truck ramp” sign on roadways with steep gradients serves as a sobering reminder that things don’t always go according to plan for large rigs. In mountainous areas, where brake failure on steep climbs is a frequent reality, this is a familiar sight.

Although the idea of an 80,000-pound truck running away is terrifying and dangerous, brake failure is an inconvenient problem that truck drivers and their companies must deal with.

Overheating, a lack of hydraulic pressure or several other mechanical problems can all cause brake failure. However, brake failure brought on by subpar maintenance should never occur.

Failure to maintain a truck’s brakes or trailer brakes can have devastating results, generally for other vehicles on the road.

The equipment and components of 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles are subject to safety and maintenance regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Additionally, specific laws may apply only to certain states.

  1. Semi truck brakes

A brake failure indicator that alerts drivers is a requirement for trucks. The indication must be visible for cars made after 1973, typically as a dashboard warning light.

The driver must be able to easily recognize a functioning pressure gauge for the air brakes, whether they are on the truck or the trailer.

According to federal guidelines, the braking system needs to be automatically adjusted to account for wear on the brake linings, drums, or discs. It is necessary to manually inspect the braking system, and any documentation for brake repairs, replacements, or new installations must be made accessible.

  1. Semi-Truck Safety Devices

Safety equipment includes stabilizers to lessen the lateral movement of the trailers and coupling devices to ensure that trailers don’t detach from the vehicle carrying them.

  • Securing Big Rig Loads

There have been several 18-wheeler accidents due to shifting cargo. Cargo shifting or falling out of the trailer during an accident adds a complicated dimension to the insurance payout.

Most states hold the company in charge of loading the trailer accountable if it can be proven that a shifting load was the direct cause of an accident.

However, it is frequently a difficult challenge to argue in court that the accident was brought on by a shifting load.

There are benchmarks to reference, including the specifications established by the FMCSA for weight distribution, weight support, space management, tie downs, the center of gravity, dunnage (material that fills the voids between cargo items), and weight limitations.

Throughout all planned and unforeseen trailer movements, the load must stay stable. This includes unexpected lane changes, quick curves, sloping or uneven pavement, strong winds, and any other situation that could affect a trailer on the road.

Different forms of securement are required for various sorts of cargo. Different sorts of tie-downs are required for a load of logs compared to a load of potato chips.

Any mismatch can be a key factor in deciding who is responsible for an 18-wheeler crash because the FMCSA paper outlining all of these laws is comprehensive.

Maintenance Errors in Truck Accident Claims

Who Is Responsible in a Case of a Trucking Accident?

Finding the culprits in each semi-truck accident is an important element of the investigation. This typically includes not only the driver who is present at the scene but also the business that hired the driver as well as any businesses engaged in the operation of the rig.

Those whose carelessness contributed to your truck accident injuries are investigated and pursued by Patrick Daniel Law, including:

  • Transportation Company
  • Delivering freight is a deadline-driven industry. Supervisors and executives alike may put the company’s profit line over the safety of their drivers and the general public.
  • Instances of the trucking company’s negligence include:
  • requiring drivers to work longer than the legally permitted hours of service
  • Drivers being forced to maintain erroneous service and maintenance logs
  • hiring drivers without the necessary qualifications or experience
  • failing to check drivers for drug and alcohol use or health issues that could affect their ability to safely operate rigs
  • Lack of sufficient training for drivers Lack of proper types and levels of insurance coverage

The trucking companies will make every attempt to hide their tracks, so these acts might not be immediately apparent at the collision site.

A thorough investigation will be conducted by Patrick Daniel Law to determine whether corporate carelessness may have contributed to the truck accident.

Maintenance crews for trucks

Your truck accident claim may also involve the issue of who services the semi. In-house maintenance staff or a hired third party may be in charge of maintenance if the tractor and/or trailer are the trucking company’s property.

However, if the trucker is an independent contractor who owns the vehicle, he or she must maintain the vehicle by having tune-ups and maintenance done on it.

Routine maintenance and the replacement of worn-out parts are essential to the safe operation of any truck given the yearly mileage of 18-wheelers.

You might be entitled to compensation from the person or business that services the vehicle if a tire blowout or other failure linked to carelessness in maintenance and repairs caused the truck accident.

Shipping Businesses

During a haul, trucks may stop at several stores and distribution locations. The personnel must use caution when loading and unloading cargo to evenly distribute the weight and secure the things so they don’t move while being transported.

Unbalanced weight distribution puts trailers at risk of toppling over, possibly onto a car on either side of the trailer. Shifting loads could result in the vehicle jackknifing or cargo spilling out onto the road.

The role that unsecured or improperly balanced cargo played in the truck accident is one of the key elements that investigators will evaluate.

To make sure that the person who loaded the truck is held accountable; our attorneys will examine these records and gather more proof.

Manufacturers of parts

Truck accidents frequently involve defective truck parts. A wreck may happen from the driver losing control of the vehicle due to the failure of a tractor or trailer part (or both).

In general, product liability cases demand a thorough examination of the planning and production of the allegedly defective part, as well as the steps, that were taken by the manufacturer to alert the public. Sadly, businesses frequently put public safety last to protect their profits.

Patrick Daniel Law vigorously litigates against negligent businesses that produce and sell faulty trucking parts, just like with trucking corporations and other parties, many of whom have billions of dollars and teams of attorneys on their side.

After analyzing what occurred in collaboration with teams of professionals, we act on your behalf.

What Conditions Are Injured in Truck Accidents?

In a truck accident, there is a considerable risk of severe injury. Since commercial vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, they can cause accidents with forces that even a heavy-duty pickup truck or SUV would be helpless to endure.

Because of this, severe injuries are more common than not. Following are a few examples of the terrible injuries we witness at Patrick Daniel Law in truck accident cases:

  • harm to the brain from trauma
  • spinal cord damage
  • various neck and back injuries, ruptured discs
  • missing a limb
  • Burns
  • scarring and deformity
  • internal wounds, including internal bleeding and organ damage
  • Several broken bones
  • Injury to tendons, muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissue

The death of one or more individuals is the most devastating result of a transportation accident. The driver and passengers of passenger vehicles are the most likely to die in incidents involving heavy rigs, which is regrettably all too common.

What Damages Am I Entitled to in a Claim for a Truck Accident?

Serious wounds demand intensive medical care. You could need to stay in the hospital, have several surgeries, and go through months of physical therapy following a truck accident.

Even with prompt treatment and the best medical care, you could sustain long-term physical and cognitive impairments in addition to the emotional strain of adjusting to your new situation.

Due to their injuries, many truck accident victims are unable to pay their mounting medical expenditures since they are unable to find new employment.

If you find yourself in this predicament following a negligent vehicle accident, Patrick Daniel Law can seek full compensation on your behalf. You might be entitled to damages like:

  • Medical costs
  • lost income
  • reduced future income if your ability to earn a living is affected by the injuries
  • Distress and suffering
  • Special damages for hired aid, house renovations, and reimbursement for additional costs specific to your circumstance
  • Relationship effects with your family (often referred to as “loss of consortium”)

Punitive damages might also be granted to you by the jury, depending on the particulars of the truck accident.

This type of payment is only permitted in instances of extreme carelessness, purposeful disdain for other people’s safety, malice, and fraud.

Punitive damages are rarely granted, but when they are, the defendant is informed that their behavior is undesirable.

If a loved one died in a truck accident, Patrick Daniel Law can file a wrongful death lawsuit on your family’s behalf to recover damages.

In Texas, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought by the decedent’s spouse, children, or parents to recover financial losses, such as lost wages and funeral, burial, and cremation costs, as well as non-financial damages for the loss’s emotional toll.

How Do I Establish My Case in a Truck Accident?

If you can, take the following actions at the scene of the semi-truck collision to help your claim right away:

  • capturing images of the crash site, the damaged automobiles, and your injuries
  • speaking with witnesses
  • gathering data on the truck driver (and the information for any other drivers involved)
  • giving a police report a statement

Unfortunately, the truth is that because of their severe injuries, a lot of truck accident victims need to be sent to the hospital right once.

It is in your best advantage to get in touch with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible if this applies to you or a loved one.

On your behalf, our attorneys will take pictures of the site, look for any witnesses, and gather data on the truck driver, the trucking firm, and other parties. In addition, our research will look at:

  • investigation of the vehicles by experts
  • a thorough examination of the trucker’s logbooks and other records
  • obtaining and studying all accident reports from the municipal, state, and federal levels
  • obtaining digital proof such as call logs, GPS information, and information from the “black box” of the semi-truck (see below)
  • engaging experts to analyze the data and offer their informed opinions

Semi truck “Little Black Box”

The “little black box,” which is officially referred to as the digital event recorder or electronic logging device (ELD), is present in commercial aircraft, railways, cruise ships, passenger automobiles, and semi-trucks. Each ELD is tailored to record data from different sensors depending on the kind of vehicle it is put in.

The ELD’s data frequently serve as evidence in court cases and can be a crucial tool in determining what caused a truck accident. It keeps track of data like:

  • GPS data on speed
  • where the steering wheel is located
  • The suddenness with which the brakes were used and when they were applied Seat belt use

Don’t expect the trucking company or its insurance representative to freely release the data from the truck’s black box if you are hurt in an accident with an 18-wheeler. You shouldn’t even expect them to keep it.

This is one of the reasons it is wise to retain legal counsel as soon as possible following an accident.

The black box data can be preserved with a court order, and your attorney can set up a joint viewing with the opposing party’s lawyer.

Dash cameras for trucks: Ally or Enemy for the Driver?

Dash cams are widely used on highways around the world, as can be seen by taking a short look at YouTube or any other video-sharing website.

Dash cams are frequently used by independent truckers and trucking companies to defend against false claims, and some businesses use dash cams that face the driver to record how they respond to traffic incidents.

Dash cameras can capture what is happening in front of, behind, or even to the sides of the truck. Sometimes they demonstrate the truck driver’s negligence. They may even demonstrate that the auto driver was at fault. It can be difficult to tell at times.

Dash cameras are popular among trucking companies, but only when they are used to their advantage.

However, the corporation will almost definitely attempt to bury the evidence when the footage demonstrates the truck driver’s irresponsibility.

The likelihood that the dash cam film can be made available for inspection, as with black box data, is increased by hiring an attorney early in the process.

When Does a Texas Truck Accident Claim Get Resolved?

How long does it take to resolve a car accident involving a truck? is a frequently posed issue. Depending on several variables, most of which are without the plaintiff’s control, the settlement process can take anywhere from a few weeks to well over a year. In a situation involving a truck collision, patience is not called for.

The insurance company, whether it be yours or the trucking business’s, has the incentive to reach a rapid settlement before long-term health risks emerge.

After a truck accident lawsuit is resolved, the plaintiff often takes on financial responsibility for any conditions that arise.

Even though some circumstances may warrant reviewing the case, most of the time the settlement’s approval serves as the final word.

Putting an expiration date on the settlement offer and implying that if you don’t accept the terms by that time, you won’t receive a payout at all is a frequent approach used by pushy insurance adjusters.

Although they are aware that they are unable to do so, if the wounded party is coerced into accepting a settlement offer, the insurance company will benefit.

All U.S. states have a deadline for filing a lawsuit involving a trucking accident, but these deadlines are typically very flexible and give plaintiffs plenty of time to recover from their injuries, collect medical bills, compile accident data, consider their options for finding new employment, and discuss the case with their attorney.

Medical issues, government-based accident investigations (which can create lengthy delays), witness depositions, and investigations into the trucking company’s compliance with safety rules, vehicle maintenance, and driver policy can all cause delays in the case.

How Our Houston Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help | Houston Truck Accident Attorney

Holding irresponsible parties accountable for the harm they do our clients is one of our main priorities at Patrick Daniel Law.

This frequently entails going up against multibillion-dollar trucking companies and their insurance providers in 18-wheeler accident lawsuits.

We are aware of the strategies used by these businesses to underpay and reject valid accident claims. When you hire Patrick Daniel Law, our attorneys will make sure that these businesses are aware that they cannot exploit you.

Our team, which consists of lawyers, business analysts, and other professionals, builds your case using a multidisciplinary strategy.

We determine every dollar you are entitled to for the harm you have endured, and we vigorously pursue the just compensation you need.

When faced with armies of lawyers and big pockets of companies engaged in trucking accident lawsuits, many firms are eager to settle. Unlike that, Patrick Daniel Law is not.

We take the time to get to know each of our clients personally, which drives us to pursue results that other law firms can only dream of.

We can relate to the difficulties you and your family are going through, and this inspires us to provide the best service we can.

Call Our Houston Truck Accident Attorneys Right Away

After a crash involving a commercial vehicle, time is of the essence. It is crucial to engage a lawyer who can launch an inquiry into how the truck accident has affected you because the trucking firm and its insurer are already circling the wagons in preparation for an injury claim.

Patrick Daniel Law’s lawyers will gather all pertinent information and determine the total amount of compensation to which you might be entitled.

Then, our team will go on the attack against everyone accountable. We will be there for you every step of the way, whether we are successful in negotiating a fair settlement or must go to court.

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