18 Wheeler Accidents
According to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics, over 500,000 trucking accidents occur every year in U.S. One out of every eight traffic deaths involves an 18-wheeler, a tractor trailer, a semi-truck or a big rig.
A trucking accident occurs when large trailers (10,000+ lbs.) crash into a car, a motorcycle, an SUV or pedestrians. Some of the worst accidents involve an 18-wheeler truck. The damages caused are much severe than those resulted from crashes between two small vehicles. Besides death, an 18 wheeler accident can result in a lifetime of medical expenses caused by catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Head injuries;
- Herniated discs;
- Spinal cord injuries (paraplegia and quadriplegia included);
- Brain injuries;
- Loss of limbs.
Drivers who operate these inherently dangerous trucks are required by law to comply with strict federal safety regulations; unfortunately, they often fail to do so, which leads to lengthy litigation. Pearland Personal Injury Lawyers is here to offer full legal support and court representation.
Main legal options for victims of a 18-wheeler accident
If you’ve been injured in a traffic accident on major roadway, highway or interstate in Texas and it involved an 18-wheeler or other type of truck, we understand how traumatic it must have been. Our 18-wheeler accident lawyers will evaluate your situation thoroughly and determine the next steps in filing a legal claim against the negligent parties, which can be:
- The truck driver;
- Truck maintenance company;
- The trucking company or;
- The manufacturer of the truck or the manufacturer of the faulty truck part that caused the accident.
Common causes of 18-wheeler accidents
Common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Faulty brakes;
- Poorly inflated tires;
- Pressure from the trucking company to meet targets and deadlines;
- Insufficient driving experience;
- A fatigued or reckless driver;
- Poor truck maintenance;
- Sudden stopping;
- An overloaded trailer or poor load distribution (if cargo is not loaded with even weight distribution, it causes shifting, which results in accidents, truck spills and pileups);
- Traffic law violations (drunk driving, speeding, tailgating, not adapting speed to road conditions, failing to maintain a single lane of travel (swerving), talking on a cell phone, failing to stop at red light).
Ways to prevent 18-wheeler accidents
Many times, drivers of passenger cars can avoid catastrophic 18-wheeler accidents by:
- Avoiding the blind spots around trucks;
- Paying attention to a truck’s turn signals;
- Reducing speed in dangerous areas (curves, limited visibility, inappropriate road conditions);
- Respecting passing procedures;
- Not cutting trucks off;
- Reporting dangerous truck driving to the authorities;
- Not driving on the shoulder;
- Keeping the seatbelt securely fastened;
- Avoid abrupt lane changes, sudden stops, and driving on the right side of an 18-wheeler truck while it makes a right-hand turn.
Contact a lawyer soon after an 18-wheeler accident
Contacting a personal injury lawyer with extended experience in handling truck accident claims is a wise move after being involved in an 18-wheeler accident. In fact, it’s highly recommended to do this, as soon as possible because:
- 18-wheeler accidents usually involve more vehicles;
- Multiple witnesses will be at the scene and someone with previous experience in similar cases (a lawyer, for instance) needs to talk to them;
- The scene needs to be photographed by a legal expert, who dealt with similar cases in the past;
- Sometimes truck accidents are caused by tire blowouts, equipment failure, unsafe loads, use of drugs or alcohol, so any such evidence must be preserved.
- They can keep you safe from any attempts of the insurance company’s representatives.
From the minute they arrive at the scene, insurance representatives generally seek ways to minimize the financial and legal obligations the insurance company may have to the victim. They might even attempt to convince you to sign waivers or claim responsibility. Signing any paperwork or making recorded statements before talking to your lawyer can reduce your chances to claim the compensation you’re entitled to.
Get an experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer
Injured individuals and the families of those who died or have suffered in such a devastating accident need an 18-wheeler accident lawyer who will:
- Safeguard your rights;
- Hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries;
- Ensure that victims receive full and fair compensation for their injuries;
- Will determine if your insurance covers the injuries, and then will proceed to make sure you get the financial compensation you deserve under the policy;
- Will help to obtain the coverage for your medical costs and suffering;
- Will make sure that all obligations are paid before the insurance coverage expires.
Since accident insurance companies are known for not always paying the medical bills on time or fully, an accident lawyer stepping in to force the issue will help you, especially if you went through a costly surgery and you’re trying to focus on your recovery.
Pearland Personal Injury Lawyers pursue maximum compensation to cover your current and future:
- Medical and therapy bills;
- Lost earnings;
- Property damage;
- Physical pain and suffering;
- Emotional trauma.
Injured in an 18-wheeler accident? We are here to help
Pearland Personal Injury Lawyers has extensive experience in commercial carrier law and knows what qualifies as valid proofs in a legal case in the state of Texas.
Our lawyers check the driver logbooks, analyze the truck’s black box, truck maintenance records and know how to spot falsified logbooks. In addition to the legal expertise, Pearland Personal Injury Lawyers pays attention to your needs and secures a good communication throughout the case. When necessary, we collaborate with medical experts and accident reconstruction engineers, just to make sure you receive the fair compensation you deserve and move forward with your life.
If you are from Houston and surrounding areas (Pearland, Brazoria County, Galveston, Fort Bend, Harris), contact us today and let’s meet for a free initial consultation. All the 18-wheeler accident cases we take are on a contingency basis, so we only get paid if we successfully handle your case.