Personal Injury Lawyers in Houston TX | O'Hara Law Firm

Houston Semi Truck Accident Attorney

DON'T LET AN INJURY DICTATE YOUR FUTURE

SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN HOUSTON, TEXAS

In the US, 70% of goods and products travel by truck. As such, it’s been estimated that, by 2030, truck accidents will be the fifth largest cause of domestic deaths. If you’ve been involved in an accident, then you need a Houston semi truck accident attorney. These highly trained professionals can help you navigate everything from filing your insurance claim to proving who’s liable for the accident. Since insurance companies don’t have your best interest in mind, you need legal help in Texas should you find yourself involved in a semi truck accident. This article walks you through the benefits of hiring a Houston semi truck accident attorney, along with what you can expect from a truck accident lawsuit. Keep reading to learn more.

Liability in an Accident

Deciding liability in the event of a semi truck accident is a key reason why you need an experienced attorney. These particular cases are often more complicated than automobile accidents since there are numerous parties involved. This includes the driver, contractor, trucking firm, insurers, and maybe even manufacturers. You need an attorney to determine who’s liable for any losses. Determining liability may also depend on external factors. For example, if the truck’s brakes failed to work properly, then the driver of the truck may not be wholly liable if they don’t own the vehicle and aren’t responsible for maintaining it. The party responsible for truck maintenance would bear some responsibility. A Houston truck accident lawyer can provide you with the legal help needed to determine who’s at fault. However, if you’re the driver, you’re liable for your driving, ensuring it’s in accordance with laws and road rules. Your responsibility is to provide care when driving to protect those around you, including other drivers and pedestrians. Here’s what your lawyer will consider when determining who’s liable for an accident or if liability should be split:

  • Turning accidents: Since a commercial truck requires two lanes for making a right turn, the driver may be found liable if they turn from an inside lane
  • Jackknifing: If the driver turns abruptly to avoid another car, especially when roads are wet, and the truck jackknifes, then the driver usually isn’t liable Keep in mind that liability is assessed on the state the accident occurred. Some states won’t let you recover damages if you bear any type of responsibility, while other states decide based on what percentage of the liability is yours.

A lawyer can help you navigate Texas laws and defend a claim made against you by the trucking company’s insurer and negotiate a low settlement for your responsibility. Remember that insurers ultimately want to pay as little as possible so you need to be prepared for meeting with them. Your lawyer will defend any claims of liability made against you or work to reduce these claims if you’re at fault. No matter what, they ensure you’re treated fairly.

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Trucking Industry Rules and Regulations

Trucking companies and their drivers must follow specific rules that are set by federal regulatory agencies as well as state agencies. These particular rules focus on all manner of subjects, including the length of time a trucker can legally go without taking a break to who’s liable in an accident. You need to know these laws and rules if you want the strongest claim possible against a truck, the trucking company, and anyone else who might be to blame or held liable in an accident. Unfortunately, not all accident attorneys are familiar with this type of law, although insurers will have a team of Houston truck accident lawyers well-versed in these areas. This is why you need a Texas attorney who understands these rules and regulations inside and out.

Evidence Discovery

It’s essential that you hire a skilled semi truck accident lawyer in Texas. They’ll assist you throughout the discovery process. The discovery process takes roughly 20 to 30 days for your attorney to conduct. This is a crucial part of your case, as your lawyer will collect and preserve any evidence. Your lawyer will expertly conduct an investigation to learn the exact cause of the accident. They’re also able to access all documents and ask for pertinent reports to show who the responsible party is. This evidence often extends beyond an accident report, so you need a skilled attorney

  • The semi truck driver’s professional credentials
  • The vehicle itself
  • The vehicle’s ECM data
  • On-board camera recordings
  • Safety records of the trucking company Should your attorney find that inadequate maintenance contributed to the accident, they might subpoena the maintenance records.

The Best Legal Strategy

Another benefit of hiring a Houston semi truck accident attorney is that they can analyze your case to suggest the best legal strategies to take. They’ll examine a few options and choose the approach that yields the most favorable outcome. This might include filing a claim with your insurance company, proceeding for a trial, providing arbitration for the accident case, and negotiating the most ideal compensation, should it come down to that. Most cases end with some type of settlement instead of in a courtroom, and a great Houston truck accident attorney knows how to evaluate all the evidence to decide which legal strategy will produce the best results.

Reaching Out to Insurers

When you hire a Houston semi truck accident attorney, they’re familiar with the tactics used by insurance agencies. Often, insurance representatives and adjusters will try to lower an insurance claim’s payout. They might even try to deny your claim. You might also find that they’ve used against you any previously recorded statements you may have given. Unfortunately, they might also use a delay in filing a claim as an excuse to deny your semi truck accident injury claim altogether. This is why you need a Texas truck accident lawyer to defend you. They have the knowledge and expertise to analyze your claim from every different angle, estimating your claim value. Once they do this, they’ll send a demand letter to the insurance company. Your lawyer will also have the skillset needed to negotiate with a myriad of insurers, as they handle cases like these daily. So no matter what obstacle you face with an insurance agency, you can rest easy knowing your Texas attorney knows how to expertly navigate the situation. Insurance companies have a bottom line, and it’s not in your best interest. Their goal is to minimize the driver’s liability or their company, so they do whatever is necessary to deflect liability, thus avoiding a payout for the full amount of your damages. Your lawyer will work to recoup a settlement for your damages. This includes economic damages and non-economic damages.

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Laws and Regulations

Since Houston semi truck accident lawyers handle these types of cases daily, they’re aware and well-versed in federal and state trucking laws and regulations. Their expert legal and technical knowledge can help you create your claim, prove the other party’s negligence, and demonstrate why they’re the ones who should be held accountable for any losses you’ve sustained. Sadly, truck accidents often lead to serious injuries, which is why you need an accident attorney who can help you receive the best compensation for your injuries.

They Handle Complex Negotiations

Keep in mind that a truck accident claim is very lengthy and time-consuming. There is a staggering amount of legal issues to handle, along with a myriad of paperwork to complete, lawyers to meet with, and insurance agents to talk to. However, if you’ve just been in a truck accident, odds are you’re not in a condition to be tackling any of these rigorous aspects. Your main responsibility is focusing on healing and recovering, which is why you need a semi truck accident attorney in Houston. Your truck accident lawyer will perform any necessary communication on your behalf while gathering pertinent evidence. They’ll also perform legal research and negotiate the best settlement possible for you. Should your case go to trial, your lawyer will prepare your case for you and keep you abreast of everything along the way, while you rest and recuperate. They’ll also answer any questions you have. As you’re recovering, your truck accident attorney can handle all the necessary legal communication, gathering evidence, performing legal research, and negotiating a possible settlement while preparing your case for trial (should that become necessary). They’ll keep you informed while you recuperate, and they can answer any questions you might have along the way.

What to Discuss With Your Houston Truck Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been involved in a semi truck accident, you’ll need to discuss some important factors with your attorney. Here are some pertinent topics to mention at your first meeting.

What Do You Do Following a Truck Accident?

Immediately following a truck accident, seek medical attention. Although you may not notice your injuries immediately following your accident, they may become apparent several weeks later, which is why you need immediate medical attention. You might not even notice the full extent of your injuries for months or even years, but a medical professional can identify injuries that might go unnoticed otherwise. Your attorney will always advise you to seek medical help immediately.

How Do You Protect Your Truck Accident Case?

The best way to protect your truck accident case is to hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible. They’ll preserve evidence from the accident scene and guide you through future interactions with the other driver’s insurer. Your lawyer will advise you to refrain from issuing recorded statements to the insurer until they can review your accident’s information and facts with you.

Are There Deadlines for Filing Claims?

Your Houston semi truck accident attorney will walk you through any deadlines you’ll need to adhere to. For example, you have a limited amount of time to file your claim. This is known as a statute of limitations, and your Texas semi truck attorney will know the exact length of time. Once you miss the deadline, you’ll have no legal recourse, which is why you need an attorney to guide you every step of the way.

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Information Needed

Houston truck accident attorneys need all documents related to your crash and injuries sustained. Your attorney will guide you through what documents and information are needed, including evidence from the accident, witnesses, documents, and photographs, to name a few. They’ll inform you of other documents you’ll need to provide them with.

How Long Do Truck Accident Cases Take?

Your truck accident lawyer will explain to you that your lawsuit may take anywhere from several weeks to over a year. It all depends on how complex your case is and whether it goes to trial or not. You want to receive full financial compensation, which is why your lawyer won’t rush your case and will ensure it’s thoroughly examined. Insurance companies also want to analyze all documentation and photos and talk to witnesses, which adds to the duration of your case.

Attorney-Client Communication

Once you hire your Houston semi truck accident attorney, be sure to ask them how often you can expect to communicate with one another. Ask about regular check-ins and updates regarding your case, and what paralegal will be assigned to assist you.

Damages You Can Expect to Recover

It’s important to discuss with your attorney the type of damages you can expect to recover. They’ll give you an honest answer regarding what your case is worth and what they think they can help you recoup.

Recovering Future Medical Expenses

Since truck accident injuries may be long-lasting or permanent, you must discuss with your attorney if you can recover payment for any future medical expenses. You might need to see a physical therapist for an unspecified amount of time, if not indefinitely. Your lawyer will have a plan that helps you receive the maximum amount of money for your case. They’ll also have a solid plan should your case go to trial and you need to demonstrate the cost of these future medical bills.

Do Insurance Companies Settle?

More often than not, you can expect an insurance company to offer you a settlement. They also seek to pay out as little as possible, which is why you need an attorney with your best interest in mind. An insurance company might not offer you a fair initial settlement amount, but your attorney can work to negotiate an amount that you’re comfortable with.

Do Semi Truck Accident Claims Go to Trial?

The majority of semi truck accident claims settle out of court, but you still need to work with an attorney who’s prepared for and comfortable with going to trial. Should your lawsuit see the inside of a courtroom, your lawyer will thoroughly prepare you and demonstrate the confidence needed to litigate before a jury.

Attorney Fees

Most semi truck accident attorneys work on contingency, although it varies from firm to firm, so be sure to ask this ahead of time. If your lawyer takes a contingency fee, they get paid if your case reaches a monetary settlement. However, you’ll still need to pay case expenses such as hiring a stenographer for depositions and any other fees incurred during discovery.

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Why Might a Semi Truck Accident Go to Trial?

Although it’s not likely, there are instances where a semi truck accident might go to trial. For example, the trucking defendants might deny liability. If these defendants deny having any responsibility or liability in the accident, along with your injuries or losses, then you may have no choice but to find some sort of resolution for your claim at trial. This is when a judge or jury of your peers will ultimately rule whether the defendants need to pay you compensation and are held liable. Another time your semi truck accident claim may see the inside of a courtroom is if there are multiple parties at fault for the accident. When there are multiple parties involved, the case becomes complicated and goes to trial. Whenever parties at fault fail to agree on their respective shares of responsibility, the dispute may lead to a claim that requires a court to settle it. Also, if any defendants argue that you’re partially at fault, your claim may go to trial. If there are truck accident victims that sustained serious injuries, then your semi truck accident claim may go to court. The more compensation someone seeks, the greater the chance that it will be heard before a judge. This is because the other side may find it advantageous to take their chances with having the case go to trial, especially if the verdict means they pay out less.

What Happens During a Trial?

Should you find that your semi truck accident claim goes to trial, you need to know what lies ahead. Although your attorney will prepare you for trial, you still need to familiarize yourself with the litigation process. This process begins with discovery, where each party exchanges relevant information and any pertinent evidence. Any evidence obtained during discovery may reduce the need for a trial. Each party obtains a summary judgment ruling from the court. This includes issues such as affirmative defenses the case defendants raised, or accident liability. It may also include the full extent of damages a person is entitled to should the defendants be found responsible for the accident. If there is a trial, your attorney and the other side’s attorneys will each make opening statements to the jury. If you’re being tried in a bench trial, then these statements are made to the judge. Both sides have the opportunity to present all evidence and witnesses. They can cross-examine each other’s witnesses as well. Once closing statements are delivered, the judge or jury issues a verdict. This ruling is on the liability and damages, and from there the judge reduces a judgment.

Main Cause of Truck Accidents

Semi trucks are large and unwieldy, which can lead to a myriad of semi truck accidents, especially on tight roads with sharp turns. Their large size makes them difficult to navigate, making them harder to manipulate should you notice an unexpected move made by a nearby vehicle. In short, semi trucks reduce the driver’s reaction time due to their large size. However, truck accidents are caused by the drivers themselves or passenger car divers. Regardless of what vehicle you’re driving, you have a responsibility to be aware of rules, laws, and road conditions at all times.

Commercial Truck Driver Accidents

Here are some of the most common types of commercial truck accidents:

  • Insufficient Training: This includes driving techniques, safety, and defensive driving
  • Exhaustion and Fatigue: This includes a lack of sleep from hectic schedules, logistical time restrictions, and companies encouraging more pay to drivers who travel long distances and make more deliveries

Passenger Vehicle Driver Caused Truck Accidents

If you find yourself involved in a truck accident, you might not the one to blame. There are many times when passenger vehicle drivers are to blame. Here are some examples:

  • Disabled vehicles not pulled onto the shoulder of the road
  • Driving in a truck’s blindspot
  • Driving between trucks
  • Abrupt lane changes
  • Moving to the right of a truck making a right turn
  • Passing close to a truck
  • Making a left turn in front of a truck
  • Not slowing down or accelerating when a truck changes lanes

Passenger vehicle drivers have to pay just as much attention as other drivers on the road to ensure safe passage for everyone. Passenger vehicle drivers need to understand that trucks are harder to maneuver than a car, and need plenty of time and space to make turns and change lanes.

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Tire Blowouts

Tire blowouts from trucks can cause serious accidents. The truck driver and other drivers closeby are at risk of serious injury. This is because tire blowouts may cause the truck to swerve into a different lane, rollover, or jackknife. Passenger drivers should avoid driving alongside a truck. Flying debris from a blowout can hit nearby car windshields and cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle. Flying debris from a blowout can also land in the middle of the road, leading to a sudden swerve. Airborne debris can even shatter your windshield on impact. Cause of Tire Blowouts If there’s a cut or break in a truck tire or even a small puncture, the tire will slowly lose air. This can be caused by any of the following:

  • Tires that sustained damage or became worn out due to excessive use
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Leak in tire air
  • High or low air pressure
  • Failing to maintain tires
  • Cargo loads that are unbalanced
  • Dangerous road conditions As a truck driver, you need to routinely check your tires. This includes checking for any signs that your tire may sustain a blowout. Routine maintenance includes checking for:
  • Cuts and cracks in your tire’s sidewalls
  • Excessive or uneven tread wear
  • Bulges
  • Vibrating excessively Checking your tires is essential for avoiding a truck accident. 

Rollover Accidents

Rollover accidents might happen because a truck driver took an exit ramp too quickly or due to a poorly weighted truck. Some common causes of rollover truck accidents are as follows:

  • Speeding
  • Sudden lane changes or swerves
  • Loading cargo improperly
  • Dangerous weather or road conditions
  • Nor performing proper maintenance
  • Driving errors such as distracted driving, improper training, or fatigue

There are two types of rollover accidents. These are tripped and untripped rollover accidents. Tripped rollover accidents involve something outside the truck causing it to roll over. These rollover accidents may be caused by the truck hitting another vehicle, a guardrail, or another road object. Untripped rollovers are usually the result of a poorly maneuvered or fast turn. When trucks are top-heavy or the cargo is weighed improperly, the truck can roll.

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Underride Accidents

Underride accidents occur when passenger cars collide with trucks from the side or rear, sliding underneath the truck. Since trucks are much higher than cars, the front and top of the car can easily be crushed. These accidents often lead to fatalities or serious injuries. A large portion of trucks has an underride guard. This metal barrier works to prevent a smaller car from sliding underneath it. However, these guards might not be strong enough to withstand the impact caused by a collision. Underride accidents are caused by the following:

  • Improperly maneuvered lane changes or turns
  • Trucks making a fast stop, which can lead to a rear-end collision
  • A truck maintaining an inconsistent speed outside of traffic’s normal flow
  • Cars riding a truck’s blind spot as the truck changes lanes
  • Truck drivers not signaling when turning To avoid deadly collisions, always follow road safety rules.

Accidents Caused by Unsecured Loads

For ground transportation, cargo loading is federally regulated. Cargo has to be firmly immobile and secured within a truck using the appropriate restraints. This is based on the type and weight of the cargo and truck. This is one reason for weigh stations and scales on the highway. Trucking companies have to ensure their loads pass federal regulations. Hazardous cargo, such as nitrogen, has even more regulations. If there’s an accident involving a truck that has toxic substances on it, strict considerations are put into place. This is because these toxic chemicals can pose a direct threat to nearby residents and other drivers, either by breathing in harmful gums or water and soil contamination. Unsecured loads can lead to jackknife accidents, rollover accidents, and cargo spills. Not all unsecured load accidents are caused by commercial trucks. When other drivers travel with items such as furniture or appliances in their vehicles, if they’re unsecured, they can cause major accidents. Fallen truck cargo includes raw materials such as sheet metal and lumber, as well as consumer goods.

Jackknife Truck Accidents

Trucks such as big rigs or 18-wheelers consist of a cab and trailer. Jackknifing is when the cab and trailer fold at the joint. Something causes the tractor-trailer’s backend to swing forward, creating a sharp angle between its rear and cab. This makes it so the truck so its facing two different directions. At this point, the truck driver loses control of the trailer’s movement. This makes it easy for a car to become swept under the swinging trailer. This may result in a collision or the car becoming wedged beneath the trailer in an underride situation. Jackknife accidents are commonly caused by the following:

  • Equipment malfunctioning
  • Wheels locking up
  • Speeding or brake failure
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Loose cargo
  • Debris
  • Maneuvering incorrectly Jackknife accidents usually occur due to a combination of steep angles or turns and high speed. The cargo shifts, creating a weight imbalance.

Other causes of jackknife truck accidents are due to slippery road conditions. One small skid can cause a large truck to jackknife into the road.

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Ways to Prevent Truck Accidents

Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce or prevent truck accidents. Here are some examples of ways to be a defensive driver.

Allow Space When Following a Truck

When following trucks, it’s essential to provide more space than when following passenger vehicles. Large trucks limit the visibility of what’s ahead on the road. This includes stopped or slowed traffic, hazardous travel conditions, and construction. When you leave plenty of space between vehicles, you have a greater opportunity to react should you need to stop or swerve suddenly.

Leave Plenty of Space When Passing Trucks

Always leave plenty of space when passing in front of any type of truck. Trucks are much heavier than passenger cars, and as such, need more distance to stop. This is why you never cut in front of a truck. If you don’t have more than enough room to pass, stay in your lane and pass at a different, safer time.

Steer Clear of a Truck’s Blind Spots

If you’re unsure of whether or not you’re in a truck’s blind spot, then look at the truck’s side mirrors. You should be able to see the truck driver’s face in the mirror. If you can’t see their face, then they can’t see you, meaning you’re in their blind spot. It’s always safer to pass a truck on the driver’s side. Trucks have a vastly larger blind spot on their passenger side, so always pass in the left lane when the truck is to your immediate right.

Be Careful When Pulling Onto Highways

Should you need to pull off the highway while in between exits, you should always find a wide shoulder or a designated pull-off spot to do so. Accidents occur when a car pulls over and gets swiped by a passing truck as it swerves onto the shoulder, even a little.

Exercise Caution When Trucks Are Turning

As trucks turn, they require more clearance than a car would. Also, truck drivers have less visibility than car drivers do. When attempting to judge a truck’s speed as it approaches intersections, or when estimating how much space a truck needs to clear a turn, it’s crucial to always allow for more room. Always assume that the truck is moving much faster than you think it is and assume it needs most of the intersection to make its turn.

Let Trucks Pass You

If you think a truck wants to pass you, let it. You should never use the highway as an opportunity to be “faster” or “correct”. Even if you have the right of way, if the truck wants to get in front of you, let it. Failure to let a truck pass you may result in deadly consequences.

Always Pass Trucks Quickly

If you need to pass a truck, ensure that there’s plenty of space ahead for you to pass it quickly. You never want to linger in the lane that’s next to a truck because tire blowouts and rollovers happen frequently. You don’t want to be next to a truck when one of these events happens.

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Always Be Predictable

No matter where you’re driving, always be predictable. This is of special importance when driving next to a truck. Always use signals clearly so tuck drivers know your intentions and can adjust their own driving. Make sure you never change lanes or make turns without using the proper signals.

Never Drive Distracted

Highway driving can become boring, especially when driving for extended periods of time. However, don’t become fatigued or distracted behind the wheel. Keep in mind that other drivers are also bored, and you need to be alert at all times. Plan your music or audiobooks ahead of time so you don’t have to adjust the radio while driving. Don’t check your phone. If you need to adjust something on your radio or your phone, always wait until you’re stopped safely somewhere, such as a rest area. Turn your GPS on so you can hear audible instructions and commands. This prevents you from needing to look at a screen. Utilize voice commands at all costs.

Plan for Weather Conditions

Storms can come on quickly, so always anticipate weather conditions. Bad weather can swiftly create dangerous driving conditions, so be sure to set up a weather app on your phone that alerts you to inclement weather conditions or a dangerous storm on the horizon. If you hear of one coming your way, immediately drive towards the nearest exit and pull over until the storm passes. Now that you understand some causes of truck accidents, let’s take a deeper look into your truck accident claim.

Defendants in a Truck Accident Claim

On average, you can expect your claim to involve you, the driver of the other vehicle, and your insurance companies. However, if you were involved in a collision with another truck, more parties may be involved. This includes:

  • The truck driver involved
  • The trucking company
  • Any contractors
  • Insurance companies
  • The truck driver’s employer
  • Cargo manufacturer or shipper If you’re a truck driver, you might be an independent contractor working for a larger company that hires truckers and issues and then contracts them out to other trucking companies.

In situations such as these, you’ll find there are three possible defendants. This includes the driver, the hiring company, and the trucking company that contracted driving with the hiring company. Depending on the facts associated with the accident, your attorney might involve the truck manufacturer and the shipper or manufacturer of any goods or products on the truck as additional defendants.

Hire the Best Houston Semi Truck Accident Attorney

Now that you understand the benefits of hiring a Houston semi truck accident attorney, ensure you do so should you have a truck accident claim. Houston attorneys are equipped with the knowledge and skillset to flawlessly execute your case from its inception to settlement. Remember that there are plenty of essential steps you can take to help reduce the likelihood of being involved in a truck accident in the first place. No matter what type of truck accident you’ve been involved in, O’Hara Law Firm can help. Read our testimonials here, or reach out to us for more information.

SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN HOUSTON, TEXAS

Our team a the O’Hara Law Firm provides experienced representation for people injured in commercial truck accidents. The insurance company for the trucking company and truck driver will attempt to limit your compensation for your injuries. Trucking companies have lawyers to defend them. Shouldn’t you have a lawyer to advocate for you. We will fight on your behalf for just compensation.

A fully-loaded tractor-trailer truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. A few seconds of distraction or inattention for a commercial truck driver can mean disaster for those in a smaller automobile nearby.

12% of all traffic fatalities involve a commercial truck, and one out of every twenty-five traffic-related injuries involves a commercial truck. The person in the passenger vehicle is almost always on the losing end with 86% of those killed in truck-related accidents in the passenger vehicle. Accidents involving 18-wheelers often result in brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, paralysis, and death.

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The O’Hara Law Firm fights aggressively for the best result for each client. Cases are prepared as if they are going to trial. Some plaintiff firms settle every case and never proceed to trial. This approach by some firms ultimately leads to lower settlements for clients. We have experience in the courtroom and are ready and willing to advocate in front of a jury for clients.

Common causes of 18-wheeler accidents are speeding, fatigue, drugs, poor maintenance, and inexperience. Trucks take longer to slow down because of their size, so speeding is particularly dangerous for trucks. The law limits the amount of time a truck driver may drive during the day and requires drivers to obtain a minimum amount of sleep. Drivers sometimes violate these rules in order to meet deadlines. Fatigue may lead to serious injuries and death. Poor maintenance of brakes, tires, and other equipment may cause an accident. An inexperienced truck driver is more likely to make a mistake and cause an accident if he does not have proper training and testing. These are common causes of commercial truck accidents.

If you have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, contact us for a free consultation. Learn about your options today.

CONSULT A SEMI-TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER IN HOUSTON

Commercial Truck Regulations

Federal and state regulations govern commercial trucking companies and their drivers. Federal regulations place restrictions on the maximum amount of hours that a truck driver may drive in a twenty-four-hour period to prevent driving while fatigued. In addition, drivers are required to rest for a minimum number of hours before driving again. Federal law requires drivers to keep a logbook that records driving and resting time. Truck accident attorneys understand these laws and will audit the records to determine if the truck driver complied with the regulations.

Common causes of 18-wheeler truck accidents include:

  • Safety rule violations;
  • Fatigued driving;
  • Substandard truck maintenance;
  • Drug use or drunk driving;
  • Improper hiring of dangerous drivers; and
  • Driver negligence.

When truck driver causes an accident, they may lose their license and their ability to earn a living as a commercial driver. The law limits the number of accidents and traffic violations a commercial driver may have on their record before suspending his commercial driver’s license. Some company policies are even stricter than state law. As a result, truck drivers have the incentive to avoid responsibility for causing a collision. Trucking companies and their drivers have lawyers and insurance companies fighting for them. Do not face them alone. Contact our attorneys at the O’Hara Law Firm if you have been injured by a commercial vehicle such as an 18-wheeler, bus, or dump truck.

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