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Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
Call One of the Best Truck Accident Attorneys in Houston, TX
When you've been involved in a semi-truck accident the experience can be both frightening as well as harmful, resulting in physical and emotional injuries. Truck drivers have a tough job - it requires long hours, driving through all types of weather and all hours of the day and night, and being constantly alert of nearby traffic. But there's no excuse for a truck accident to be caused by negligence of the driver. Driving while distracted, drowsy, or under the influence are all negligent acts which can lead to terrible consequences for others on the roadways.
Serving the needs of injured victims and their families across Texas, Joe Stephens is considered one of the best truck accident lawyers in Houston. Having been selected every year as a Texas Super Lawyer, Joe Stephens is a name injury victims can trust to handle their cases with professionalism and expertise. He is well renowned as a very assertive and driven Houston car accident lawyer with a legendary reputation for obtaining large settlements for injury victims.
Types of Houston Trucking Accidents We Handle:
Truck Driver DWI
Wide Turn Accidents
Blind Spot Accidents
Read End Accidents
Lost Load Accidents
Our Lawyers Gather the Evidence on Your Behalf
When you've been in an accident with a commercial truck, gathering evidence often isn't the first thought that comes to mind. In extreme cases injuries can be severe and lead to an incapacitated state. In such events it is up to your legal team to begin obtaining all evidence related to the accident including citations, photographs of the scene of the crash, transcripts of interviews, medical records and more.
It's the job of your Houston personal injury attorney to clearly prove negligence was at the heart of the accident which lead to your injuries and losses. Without an ample amount of evidence it will be difficult to convince a court of guilt and make any demands for compensation. The Stephens Law Firm will conduct an exhaustive investigation on your behalf to gather all the evidence necessary to present a strong case on your behalf.
Dealing With Trucking Insurance Companies
Truck drivers and trucking companies usually carry multiple lines of commercial truck insurance to cover different aspects of the trucking company, the trailer, the truck, and the driver. There may also be insurance specific to the type of materials the truck is hauling. This makes truck accidents more complicated than a typical car wreck.
As you can image, the trucking industry has it's own agents, adjusters, investigators and a team of defense lawyers at the ready to rebut any claims against their client. They often present damaged parties with settlement offers that are much lower than what they could be awarded had they hired an attorney.
Hire an Experienced Houston Truck Accident Attorney
After a truck accident case, the first priority for injury victims is to seek out medical assistance and treatment. That is why it is so important to hire a truck accident attorney who can expertly handle every detail of your case. Truck accident attorney Joe Stephens will hire the right experts to reconstruct the case while gathering evidence and witness testimony in support of your claim. He has over 35 years of experience providing exceptional legal services for truck accident victims throughout Houston and has written numerous articles related to the trucking industry.
How to File a Houston Truck Accident Lawsuit
When your case requires the skill and knowledge of a seasoned truck accident attorney, Joe Stephens is the first choice. Having tried over 100 verdict cases successfully in his 30+ years as one of the top personal injury lawyers in Texas, he has a reputation for achieving results for his clients. Cases involving truck accident collisions can be very complex and present difficulty proving negligence between the truck driver and the trucking company. However Joe Stephens understands how to uncover and present the facts in each case effectively. If you or a loved one was involved in a truck accident injury, you need a top houston truck accident lawyer on your case. Call the Stephens Law Firm today!
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT
TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN TEXAS
We've prepared the following truck accident FAQs to help you better understand the accident claim process when it involves an 18-wheeler trucking accident.
If you were involved in an 18 wheeler wreck it is important to call the police immediately, get all of the truck drivers information, seek treatment for any accident injuries incurred and contact a personal injury lawyer to see if you have a truck accident claim.
Truck accidents are different from other auto accidents because of the severity of the injuries sustained. Tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds which creates more force and severe injuries when involved with another vehicle. Also, trucks have large blind spots which prevent the driver from seeing if another vehicle is present. If you have an injury claim involving a semi-truck accident, contact the 18-wheeler accident lawyers at the Stephens Law Firm today!
While each trucking accident is caused by its own unique situation, there are some common potential causes involving negligence that can occur. Potential causes are:
- Driver error / negligence (i.e. speeding, reckless driving, unsafe lane change)
- Distracted driving or drunk driving
- Improperly maintained vehicles
- Negligent hiring or retention of drivers (i.e. unqualified drivers or truckers with a history of poor driving, substance abuse, or medical conditions that would prevent them from holding a CDL)
- Violations of cargo securement or vehicle weight regulations
- Violations of Hours-of-Service Rules (which limit on-duty and driving time)
- Defective products or auto parts
All trucking accident claims are unique. The causes of trucking accidents, parties involved, legal issues, and related challenges all differ when it comes to recovering compensation. That is why it is impossible to make any broad statements about how much an 18-wheeler crash victim can recover. To determine the compensation you may be eligible to receive, it is important to seek the help of a skilled Houston truck accident attorney.
Compensation will vary depending on your case since there are so many factors taken into account. Typical compensation that your lawyer will fight to recover consists of vehicle damages, medical expenses, funeral costs, pain and suffering, lost past and future income, and lost comfort, car and companionship.
Once a thorough investigation of your accident has been conducted, it is easier to identify who is responsible for your injuries. However, common parties that are liable for accidents include truck drivers, trucking companies, product manufacturers, and other vehicles and drivers. Each case is different and may include some or all of these parties.
You may still be able to recover damages under Texas truck accident laws if you were partially at fault. Most states use comparative negligence which means that the contribution of each party is evaluated. Under Texas proportionate comparative fault scheme, even a severely injured truck accident victim can be barred from recovering if they are found to be 51% or more at fault. If they fall under that threshold, their recovery can still be reduced in proportion to the degree of their fault. So, if you suffer $1 million in damages, and you are 40% at fault, your recovery will be limited to $400,000. If you are determined to have been 51% or more at fault for the accident, it will be difficult to recover any funds. Note that these rules do not determine your truck accident settlement, though the defense will consider it when making an offer. It's often less expensive for a trucking company to pay your full damages rather than incur the expenses of trial.
It depends on whether an employment relationship is established between the truck driver and the trucking company. If such a relationship is shown, the company can be held legally liable for the driver's negligence under a legal theory known as "respondeat superior". Establishing the liability of a company can become problematic when a truck driver is an independent contractor of the company. In such a situation, the key issue becomes the amount of supervising exercised by the company and whether negligent hiring was a factor in the accident. As a top truck lawyer in Houston, Joe Stephens will be able to determine the specifics of your case and let you know what your options are.
It is important to file a lawsuit as soon as possible while the incident is easily remembered and all evidence is available. These types of lawsuits are also subject to the statute of limitations which requires a person to take legal action within a specific time period or else the claim is barred. In Texas, the statute of limitations for bodily injury claims related to a person's recklessness or negligence is two years from the date of injury (or the date when the injury could have been reasonably discovered). In some cases, this period may be "tolled" because the victim had a legal disability, including being a minor at the time of the accident. In general, if both parties agree on the matter, then the time allotted for filing an accident lawsuit may be shortened or lengthened.
We can't start negotiating with the trucking company until you've finished your medical treatment for the injuries you sustained in the wreck. From that point forward, negotiations typically take between three and nine months. When you hire a top Texas truck accident lawyer, companies usually want to settle instead of go to court. However, if the case goes to trial, it may take one to two years before the trial date, although we can still negotiate a settlement during that time. Most cases do settle out of court, but there is a chance your case could go to trial.
Yes, it is always a good idea after any type of wreck to notify the police and document the scene. The police report will be an important part of you insurance claims as well. Traffic enforcement will provide an impartial eye to what occurred and can provide emergency services or speak with witnesses to the accident.
Truck drivers need a valid commercial driver’s license and meet some physical requirements. Also, in Texas they need to be aware of the provisions of the Texas Commercial Driver’s Handbook.
Truckers are regulated under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for the amount of hours they are allowed to work. Current regulations state that a trucker can be on the road for no more than 11 hours of daily driving with a 14-hour work day cap, no more than a minimum average of 70 hours a work week, and if the weekly limit is reached, they can continue after 34 hours of consecutive rest.
The "No-Zone" refers to the areas behind and beside a commercial truck, where the truck driver has limited or zero visibility: the left rear quarter, the right rear quarter, and directly behind the truck at a short distance.
A commercial truck, such as a "big rig," is a vehicle used in the course of business and/or for the transport of commercial goods. Examples are eighteen-wheeler tractor trailers, tanker trucks, delivery vehicles, and other large freight trucks. Although some businesses use standard pickup trucks for their day-to-day activities, commercial trucks are generally much larger, serve a specific purpose (cement trucks for example), and require a commercial driver's license to operate.
Most attorneys specialize in one area of law so you would not want to hire a tax attorney to help you with an 18 wheeler injury accident case. You should contact an experienced truck wreck attorney in Houston, Texas, who understands how to deal with the intricacies of insurance carriers, trucking regulations, and medical expenses like The Stephens Law Firm Accident Lawyers.
Our 18 wheeler accident lawyers work on a contingency basis so we will not collect any money unless you get a settlement. Our typical contingency fee ranges from 35-45% depending on the specifics of your case.
Under Texas state and federal regulatory laws, 18-wheeler drivers and their employers are required to maintain comprehensive records of repairs, driving time, and more. These records provide substantial evidence in accident cases — for example, a trip log that exhibits long hours of driving can be used to demonstrate driver fatigue. Attorneys can also access GPS data, black box information, and witness accounts to build a case.
No, do not agree to take any settlement from an insurance company. The goal of the insurance company is to minimize damage and cost to them despite the damages of your injury. Talk with an experienced personal injury law firm like The Stephens Law Firm Accident Lawyers to ensure you receive the proper compensation.
No, do not record any statement with an insurance adjuster without contacting your personal injury attorney. Insurance adjusters may take your statement and use it against you during the claims process. The best way to protect yourself is to refer your insurance provider to you personal injury attorney.
It is possible to still have a case despite a mechanical failure. It is possible to have multiple factors that lead to an 18 wheeler accident and should be investigated. Mechanical failure to a trucking accident could have been caused by worn tires, defective brakes, or inadequate safety systems which could have been prevented if the trucking company kept up proper maintenance. These are all examples of plausible causes in an 18 wheeler accident lawsuit. Call our accident law firm today if you've been injured.
Losing a loved one to an accident is a terrible tragedy. Unfortunately, with the size and weight of commercial trucks, death due to a wreck if more common than with another motor vehicle. When a loved one is killed in a commercial truck accident you may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate. Contact a personal injury attorney right away for a consultation.