Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
Were you or someone you love injured in a truck accident in Texas? Houston truck accident lawyer Hector Longoria has successfully handled countless trucking injury cases and has the experience you need to get the compensation you deserve. Contact him today to arrange a free confidential consultation.
Commercial Vehicle Injuries
They may be called semis, tractor-trailers, commuter shuttles, big rigs, or simply trucks. They may carry livestock, frozen produce, other cars, grain, or even gasoline. Regardless of their size, shape, and purpose, commercial vehicles and the services that they provide help residents of Greater Houston fuel their cars, use the online marketplace, and put food on their dinner tables. Because of the vital role that commercial vehicles play in Texas’s economy, sustaining an injury in a collision with a truck can have different legal repercussions than being involved in a car accident would entail. After all, commercial vehicles are owned by businesses and organizations, and this means that a company rather than a private citizen could be at fault in the event of an accident. If you have any further questions or concerns about how a commercial vehicle accident in the Houston area can affect you and your family, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys would be glad to provide further information.
How Do Accidents Involving Trucks Tend to Happen?
Though the carrying capacity of commercial trucks makes them one of the most efficient ways to ship large quantities of goods across great distances, the size of a truck can be a blessing and a curse. Trucks can range from simple U-hauls to eighteen-wheel behemoths, but what they all have in common is that they tend to be much bigger than the average car. This means that when a car and a truck share a road, the driver and passengers in the car face an elevated risk of collision.
Because the size of any given truck’s cargo can prevent a driver from seeing through the rear windshield, truck drivers must rely only on their side mirrors in order to keep track of traffic behind them. Smaller cars can easily disappear into the truck drivers’ blind spots, making a collision likely when truck drivers try to change lanes without thoroughly checking if the adjacent lanes are clear. The dimensions of the average truck mean that coming to a sudden stop is far more difficult than it is for cars, and some trucks may inherently have a higher risk of rollover. When a truck collides with another car, skids uncontrollably, or turns over, the larger, heavier truck may be able to continue on its route unscathed, almost as if nothing had happened, while a car may lose a mirror, a door, or even half its frame.
Distracted driving remains a widespread and serious problem in the state of Texas, as even a split-second lapse in attention can have fatal consequences. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that as many as 20 percent of all crashes, private and commercial vehicle alike, are caused by driver distractions. In 2017, Texas’s state legislature adopted a new law to prevent this unfortunate trend, and sending and reading emails and/or text messages while driving are now illegal practices within state borders. This law, however, has a loophole: it does not necessarily count cell phone use for other purposes, such as checking a map or playing music, as illegal. Accepting a phone call while driving, though a risky decision, is still legal as long as it is through a hands-free device. Though several dozen cities throughout Texas, including population hubs such as Austin and Galveston, have passed local ordinances that prohibit all cell phone usage for drivers, Houston has not followed suit. This means that while truck drivers in the Houston area may not text while behind the wheel, their mobile devices still provide a wealth of other possible distractions that can lead to crashes.
Could I Be at Fault for a Truck Accident if I Was Driving My Car?
Truck drivers receive extensive training in order to do their jobs and maintain road safety, but accidents still happen. The United States is home to about half a million truck-related collisions and accidents every year, and though the fatality rate in truck accidents is low, one out of every 100 of these incidents results in death. In the Houston metro area and Texas as a whole, these statistics are no less dire. Over 15,000 commercial truck accidents occur each year in Texas, and of these, over 2,000 result in injury, and almost 300 end in death. Because 98 percent of fatalities in truck accidents affect the passengers or the drivers in the cars involved in the accidents, all drivers should take extra precaution when they find themselves sharing the road with a vehicle of a different size.
Though truck drivers must strive to carefully maneuver around other vehicles, car drivers who are not familiar with the ins and outs of trucks can easily make unwise choices that threaten road safety. If a car passes too quickly or suddenly changes lanes in front of a truck, the truck driver may be unable to control her or his vehicle, leading to a collision. Driving directly behind or next to a truck, essentially hiding in the truck driver’s blind spots, can be a recipe for disaster. Trucks can collide with stalled cars that have not fully been moved onto the shoulder. In inclement weather, whether wind or rain, the risk of a truck-related accident is even greater. If you worry that you may have contributed to a truck accident, or that you are responsible outright for such a collision, you should contact a Houston truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Many of our law firm’s clients ask us if commercial vehicle accidents require an alternative legal approach than car crashes do, and we understand how the differences in the vehicles may create this impression. The truth is that, though commercial vehicle collisions are subject to an extent to different laws, the basis of all of these accidents is the same: due to road conditions, poor judgment, or another factor entirely, two or more vehicles have collided, and all drivers and passengers involved in the incident should seek prompt medical attention and legal representation from a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer.
Having a Houston truck accident lawyer by your side is an asset even if you did not cause the accident and walked away without a single injury. Your insurance company may be unable to completely reimburse you for the damage to your car, and the business responsible for the truck can refuse to pay its share. If you were injured and were not at fault, receiving compensation from the trucking company may cover your medical bills. If you were partially or completely at fault for the accident, you will need the advice of an attorney to argue your defense in court. Please contact Houston truck accident lawyer Hector Longoria if you have any questions, and we will help you to achieve the result you want in your case.
Call Hector at 713-929-3996 and let his experience work for you.