18-Wheeler Accident: 10 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
With major highways running throughout the Houston metro area—including Interstate 610, Interstate 45, and Interstate 69—Southeast Texas sees an enormous amount of tractor trailer traffic. Due to their sheer size, large commercial trucks pose a safety hazard. When proper precautions are not taken, truck accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries and fatal crashes.
At Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, we fight tirelessly to protect the rights and interests of injured victims and their families. The big tractor trailer companies and their insurance providers must be held accountable for public safety. Truck accident claims are complex cases. Here, our Houston truck accident lawyer answers top 10 of the most frequently asked questions.
18-wheeler accidents can happen due to a wide range of different causes—from speeding truckers and distracted truckers to tire blowouts and poorly loaded trailers. Every truck accident in Southeast Texas requires a comprehensive legal investigation to determine exactly how it happened. In far too many cases, large truck accidents occur because the proper safety precautions were simply not followed. Profits should never be put before people. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that large commercial truck crashes are disproportionately likely to result in severe injuries and fatalities.
Few things are scarier than a crash with a large commercial truck. If you were involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler, it is imperative that you know what to do to protect yourself and the people you care about. Among other things, truck accident victims should be sure to:
- Stop their vehicle, exchange information, and call the police;
- Seek immediate emergency medical attention—and proper follow up care;
- Document the truck accident, get pictures and names of eyewitnesses;
- Avoid speaking to directly to the truck company or its insurer; and
- Consult with an experienced truck accident attorney in Texas.
Texas has a two year statute of limitations for 18-wheeler accident injury claims. If you are hurt in a crash with a tractor trailer, you must file any personal injury lawsuit within two years of the wreck. Failure to act before the deadline runs out will result in the dismissal of your claim. Be proactive: Call a Houston truck accident lawyer right away.
Texas is an at-fault tractor trailer accident jurisdiction. In effect, this means that the party (or parties) deemed to be responsible for causing a crash through negligence is liable for the damages. As truck accidents can happen for many reasons, a number of parties may share liability for an 18-wheeler crash. Notable examples include:
- The trucker;
- The trucking company;
- The company that loaded the trucker;
- The truck manufacturer; and
- Third party motorists.
Under Texas law (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 33.001), liability for all motor vehicle collisions—including commercial truck accidents—is assigned proportionally. This is known as the state’s comparative fault (comparative negligence) standard. It is important because injured victims could potentially be deemed partially at-fault for their own truck accident. If that occurs, their financial recovery will be reduced. Protect yourself by speaking to a Houston truck accident lawyer right away.
A thorough investigation is a must in a tractor trailer accident case. Many different forms of evidence could potentially be used to help prove the truck company’s liability. Some notable example of relevant evidence include:
- Victim statement;
- Eyewitness testimony;
- The police report;
- Black box recording data;
- Other truck company records; and
- Expert witness testimony.
Every truck accident injury claim is unique. In Texas, injured victims have a right to get compensation for their actual economic and intangible damages. Put another way, your financial recovery will depend on the extent of your damages and your ability to prove fault. Compensation may be available for:
- Automobile repairs;
- Emergency medical care;
- Hospital bills;
- Physical therapy;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering;
- Disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death.
No. You cannot rely on an insurance company to do what is right for your and your family. An insurance company—especially a truck company’s insurer—will protect its own financial interests. They want a statement to try to find a way to limit their liability. Work with the insurance company through a Houston truck accident lawyer.
A Houston truck accident lawyer can review your case, answer questions, investigate the crash, represent you in settlement talks, and take the appropriate legal action to help you get justice and compensation. Our principal attorney Rahlita D. Thornton has the professional skills and legal experience that injured victims can trust in an eighteen wheeler accident claim.
No. You do not have to worry about paying any upfront costs or out-of-pocket fees to hire a top-rated Houston truck accident attorney. At Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, we handle these injury and accident claims on contingency. You only have to pay if you win your case.
At Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, our Houston tractor trailer accident attorney is a skilled and effective advocate for injured victims. If you or someone you know was hurt in a collision with an 18-wheeler, we are here to help. Call us now at (713) 401-3998 or reach out to us online for a no-cost, no-commitment case review. From our Houston law office, we are well-positioned to handle truck accident injury claims in Harris County and throughout all of Southeastern Texas.