In America, our lifestyles and economy depend upon heavy commercial traffic. During the past few decades, the number of commercial trucks on the roadways has only increased and will most certainly continue to do so well into the future. This means the risk of a truck accident is a reality for anyone on the roads. Typically, accidents involving semi-trucks cause the most destructive vehicular accidents. Extremely careful, defensive drivers still face the risk of collisions and injuries because they cannot control the actions of other drivers—especially truck drivers. Even if you are the safest driver out there, a truck can still crash into you.
If you or a loved one was in a Texas truck accident, discuss your injuries with a Texas truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced truck accident attorneys at the law office of Stewart Guss fully understand the legal landscape involved in a truck accident lawsuit and the potential for recovering damages. At Stewart Guss, we know what to investigate to determine liability in your crash and to advise you of your rights and options. Please contact us for a free consultation about your situation.
Since establishing our headquarters in Houston, Texas in 1999, our firm has grown to numerous locations across the country, including hubs in Dallas, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. Along the way, we’ve built a trusted network of partners throughout all 50 states who share our values and our commitment to excellence.
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Common Causes of Truck Accidents
State law requires specialized training and licensing for all professional truck drivers, who must learn and follow additional rules of the road. Extensive, detailed regulations establish minimum safety standards for commercial driving, and all professional truck drivers and the companies for which they work must follow them. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces these regulations to keep all motorists as safe as possible.
Unfortunately, because trucking companies are for-profit entities, they all too often cut corners and ignore safety regulations and requirements to improve their bottom lines, placing the public in danger of potential harm. Commercial truck drivers may also make dangerous decisions to violate safety regulations for their own benefit or simply out of carelessness.
For example, regulations specify maximum hours of service that a driver may operate a truck during any given day or week. These restrictions on shift times intend to prevent fatigue, which can cause truck drivers to lose control of their trucks and crash. Despite these regulations, some truck drivers continue to exceed the maximum number of service hours and drive after the law requires them to stop. Whether truckers are trying to make faster deliveries for their employers or trying to get home to their families faster, hours of service violations regularly put other motorists in danger.
Companies that lack a sufficient number of qualified truck drivers to handle their workloads may hire unqualified drivers to operate these massive vehicles. Truck drivers without proper training or licenses can put everyone else at risk of harm. In addition, many truck drivers cause accidents because they simply failed to follow the rules of the road.
Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Drugs or alcohol impairment
- Improper lane shifting
- Poor maintenance of commercial vehicles
- Freight overload or improper loading
- Unrealistic delivery deadlines
- Hours of service violations
- Faulty equipment
- Bad tires or brakes
- Failure to obey traffic laws
- Driver inexperience
- Distracted driving
- Defective road conditions
Truck accidents are probably more common than you realize. Every year, more than a half-million truck accidents within the United States involve trucks. Accidents kill about 5,000 people every year and injure thousands more—many severely so. By correctly identifying the cause of your truck accident, our lawyers will know whom you may hold liable for your injury-related losses.
Sharing the Roadway With an 18-Wheeler
When you share the road with a semi-truck, consider the following safety precautions:
- Given their hefty weight, always remember that trucks require much greater amounts of time to stop. Take this into account should you decide to change lanes in front of them.
- Trucks must make extremely wide turns. When a truck makes a right-hand turn, never attempt to make a right-hand turn at the same time or pass the truck on the left.
- If you can see the driver’s side mirror, the truck driver can see you as well. Obviously, trucks are much wider than typical cars, with extensive blind spots, so the truck driver cannot see you unless you appear in that side mirror.
- Never tailgate the truck and never ride too closely. Leave adequate space between the truck and yourself. Should you slam into the back of a truck, you risk driving underneath the truck during the accident—an extremely deadly scenario.
Even if a driver follows all of these safety rules as carefully as possible, however, a truck crash can suddenly ruin their lives.
Truck Accident Injuries Can Damage Your Life
Truck accident injuries can truly derail your life, consigning you to a lifetime of medical services. You may completely lose the ability to work. You may no longer engage in activities you once enjoyed. Our experienced truck accident lawyers are compassionate with our clients in these difficult circumstances.
Common truck injuries our team has witnessed include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Internal bleeding
Without a doubt, immediately seek medical care after a truck accident. Even if you believe the accident did not injure you, get fully evaluated. If you experience delayed reactions to an injury but did not seek medical care, confirming that the accident caused the injury will prove difficult. Obviously, follow every order your care providers give you. Entertain no thoughts of possible settlements until medical professionals fully apprise you of the extent of your injuries and your prognosis.
Truck Accident Insurance Claims
Understand that insurance companies are corporations that will try to limit liability whenever they can. They often seek to settle every case for the least amount of money possible, so never agree to a settlement trusting that an insurance adjuster has your best interests in mind. Should you receive a call from an insurance company, immediately direct it to your Texas truck accident lawyer, who can handle all communications and negotiations on your behalf. You also may deal with multiple claims with the insurers of the driver and the trucking company. Hire legal assistance to deal with these complex claims to ensure you have the best chance to receive the full compensation you deserve.
Shortly after the insurance company for the trucking company learns about the accident, it will send people out to the crash scene to interview witnesses and investigate the cause of the accident. Agents for the insurance company will gather as much evidence as possible to defend against an insurance claim or a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit commenced by any injured parties. Contact an experienced Texas truck accident lawyer as soon as is possible after the accident to preserve crucial evidence and counter the insurance company’s efforts.
Are You Covered by Your Own Insurance?
Our Texas truck accident attorneys can determine if your own insurance covers you, and then work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve under any applicable policies. Even your own insurance company may not always pay medical bills promptly or fully and may question your claim. You need your Texas truck accident lawyer to step in and make sure that the insurance company stands behind the policy that it issued and for which you have paid premiums. Our lawyers will make certain you receive the coverage you deserve to pay for your medical expenses and other losses from any possible sources.
Truck Accident Litigation
In some cases, insurance companies will not make adequate offers to truck accident victims, or a victim’s losses will exceed any applicable policies. Our attorneys will identify when it is time to file a personal injury claim in civil court. The litigation process is specific, and you must adhere to numerous deadlines and procedural rules, all while making persuasive legal arguments regarding liability for your accident and injuries. You need an experienced truck accident litigator handling every step of your case.
The many stages of truck accident litigation include:
- Preparing and filing a persuasive complaint
- Gathering evidence from all liable parties during the discovery phase
- Filing motions with the court
- Representing you in all court hearings
- Attending settlement conferences to negotiate an agreement whenever possible
- Representing you at a jury trial, if necessary
Most parties resolve personal injury cases through a settlement agreement reached outside the courtroom. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators who can work to obtain a settlement offer you deserve without having to put you through the time, stress, and expense of trial. However, some cases require trials to obtain the compensation you deserve, and our attorneys are not hesitant to go to court when needed to fully protect your rights. We are experienced litigators who put the interests of our clients first during every stage of the legal process.
A Truck Accident Lawyer can Help You
Truck accident cases require extensive legal experience to conduct complex investigations, navigate complicated legal processes, and get you the full compensation you deserve. You may seek compensation from many parties when a truck accident victimizes you. Your case may involve the insurance company for the trucking company, the trucking company itself, the driver of the truck, perhaps the manufacturer of the truck, and even your own insurance company. You can find negligence in many places in a truck accident, and claims of negligence may fall upon more than one party. You need a seasoned attorney with years of experience dealing with complex truck accident cases to receive the compensation you fully deserve. Contacting our firm today is a wise first step.
Contact a Texas Truck Accident Lawyer Today
The law office of Stewart J. Guss has assisted numerous clients throughout Texas, asserting their rights after truck accident injuries. If a truck accident in Texas injured you or a loved one, our law office is here to answer all your questions and address any concerns you may have. The team at the Stewart J. Guss law firm has the experience and understanding to investigate your case. Our law office knows how to work with and negotiate with insurance companies to get all of the compensation you deserve in your case. If we cannot reach a settlement, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Alone, you may find Texas’s complex laws relating to all vehicular traffic accidents difficult to navigate. Without question, you need a skilled team of truck accident attorneys to zealously fight for your interests and protect your rights. To schedule a free consultation, and to learn more about our team, please call 800-898-4877 or contact us online today.
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