How Bad Are Truck Accidents in Conroe?Unfortunately, many truck accidents occur in Conroe, along with other nearby cities in Montgomery County. Roads like TX-242 and FM 1314 often experience accidents involving various trucks, including smaller pickup trucks and 18-wheelers. Throughout Texas, tens of thousands of truck accidents take place every year, with hundreds resulting in fatalities, according to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Due to the frequency of truck accidents in Conroe and other cities in Texas, people need to understand the kinds of rights they have in the event of a truck accident when it comes to seeking compensation.
Why Do Commercial Trucks Present a Greater Risk of Accidents?There are multiple reasons why commercial trucks put people at risk of severe injury or death. Some of these reasons include:
- Larger vehicle size: Tractor-trailers normally weigh nearly 40 tons, which is around 20 to 30 times the weight of passenger cars that weigh two tons or less. This increased size and weight make large trucks more capable of causing serious injuries, fatalities, and damage. Their larger size also makes these vehicles more difficult for drivers to handle.
- Increased height: In addition to increased weight, commercial trucks are taller than passenger cars and other vehicles. In turn, they have a higher center of gravity that increases the risk of rollover accidents, especially when making tight turns or driving on ramps. These vehicles’ size can also generate a windstorm that can pull smaller vehicles under them.
- Additional blind spots: Every vehicle has certain blind spots, but commercial trucks have even more on all four sides. Blind spots are areas where truck drivers cannot see if other drivers are traveling behind, in front, or on either side of them. Although many motorists understand that truck drivers have more blind spots and attempt to avoid them, they may still wind up in them. The primary indicator that a driver is in a truck driver’s blind spot is if the trucker is not visible in the side view mirror.
- Increased stopping distance required: Compared to passenger vehicles and other smaller vehicles, commercial trucks need a greater distance before they can safely come to a complete stop. While the FMCSA recommends a space of two football fields between commercial trucks and other vehicles, the stopping distance will be even greater when wet or icy road conditions are present.
- More space needed for turning: Trucks cannot turn as easily as smaller vehicles because of their size and weight, with a minimum of 55 feet of clearance needed to make a safe turn. The “right turn squeeze” is particularly dangerous, requiring motorists to practice extra caution when trucks make a right turn. In a “right turn squeeze,” the truck moves to the left to make a wide enough turn to the right, which puts other motorists at risk of going into the oncoming lane in an attempt to get around the truck from behind.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in ConroeTruck accidents in Conroe result from many types of potential causes, including:
- Driver fatigue: Truck drivers must maintain compliance with certain regulations regarding hours of service, but drivers often stay on the road despite these regulations. As a result, drivers may experience fatigue because of a lack of sleep, long work hours, strenuous work, and other issues such as sleep apnea, which is a type of breathing disorder that causes interruptions while sleeping due to an inability to breathe properly.
- Speeding: Truck drivers may also drive above the legal speed limit, or they may fail to slow down due to icy or wet road conditions, which could cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle. Speeding trucks could crash due to several other factors, including the size and weight of the truck, blind spots present, the security of the cargo the truck is carrying, stopping distance, and the higher center of gravity.
- Distracted driving: Often, truck drivers travel over long distances alone and spend a lot of time driving down a straight and monotonous route, which may lead truck drivers to seek ways to stay engaged on the road. This could cause them to engage in distracting behavior such as cell phone use, eating or drinking, or generally looking away from the road at billboards or other objects, all of which can cause serious distractions that put drivers at risk of causing an accident.
- Impaired driving: Truck drivers must not operate vehicles while intoxicated and undergo regular testing to ensure they do not engage in this behavior. Despite this, drivers often continue to drive under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances. Some drivers may willingly engage in impaired driving, while others may take medication that unexpectedly causes them to become impaired. Truck drivers also have a lower legal limit for intoxication than other drivers, with the FMCSA specifying 0.04 percent as the legal level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for truck drivers. If a driver is even mildly impaired, their condition could severely hinder their ability to handle a commercial truck safely.
- A lack of familiarity with the roadway: Drivers frequently need to travel to unfamiliar locations to transport goods, leading to unexpected turns and other road structures or conditions that put the driver at risk of losing control. This is why drivers must pay close attention to signage and other features of unfamiliar roadways to help minimize the risk of accidents.
- Disruptions in traffic flow: Due to the additional stopping space needed for trucks to come to a complete stop, stop-and-go traffic can be difficult for truck drivers to navigate. Additionally, they need more time to accelerate once stopped. Drivers must also keep an eye out for work vehicles, workers, and flaggers who may not be as easy to see or navigate around.
- Inadequate training: Truck drivers require proper training to pass their commercial driver’s license (CDL) test, but that training does not necessarily prepare the driver for the real-world experience of operating a large truck. Due to more recent driver shortages in Texas and throughout the U.S., many companies have become more lenient with their training programs, which leaves new drivers with minimal real-world experience before they begin working.
- Inclement weather: Large trucks are more difficult to stop compared to smaller vehicles, which is why drivers need to practice even more caution when operating these vehicles in harsh weather conditions. Rain and other conditions can cause poor visibility that requires drivers to slow down and remain alert, while slippery road conditions demand a greater distance between the truck and other vehicles to ensure it can come to a complete stop without colliding with others.
- Poor maintenance: Every year, trucks travel thousands of miles across the country to deliver and pick up goods of all types. Due to this length of travel, parts will experience wear and tear over time, making it necessary for drivers and trucking companies to ensure their vehicles are in consistently good condition. Trucks require regular maintenance for a wide variety of parts, including brakes, tires, and electrical systems.
- Defective parts: Trucking companies need to ensure that equipment undergoes inspection before departing on a journey or returning from one. In some cases, manufacturers may supply defective parts that make them liable for accidents, but trucking companies may also be responsible if they neglect to inspect their vehicles.
The Types of Recoverable Damages in Conroe Truck AccidentsFollowing a truck accident in Conroe, victims may sustain various injuries and endure subsequent losses. Some of the many damages that victims may incur include:
- Medical expenses: Depending on the severity of a victim’s injuries, they may require extensive medical treatment. Some victims may need emergency transportation via ambulances, hospitalization, surgeries, trauma care, time spent in intensive care units, follow-up visits, rehabilitation, medications, and many other items that contribute to medical costs. Even minor injuries may lead to thousands of dollars in medical expenses.
- Lost wages and earning capacity: Trucking accidents may cause injuries that require time to recover, which can cause victims to miss work. Victims may miss work and lose wages due to time spent in the hospital, visiting doctors, or recovering from surgery. During the recovery period, injury victims may also be unable to return to work, or they may be unable to return to the same job even after recovering, resulting in lost earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering: Another type of damage that may result from a truck accident is pain and suffering, which is non-monetary and pertains to the personal experience of victims following an accident. This damage could entail physical and mental pain that victims experience and certain types of catastrophic injuries that negatively impact the victim’s quality of life, such as permanent disability and disfigurement. Courts will determine the amount of compensation to award based on the extent of suffering.
Why Work With Our Conroe Truck Accident Lawyers?At Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, we understand the needs of truck accident victims. When you turn to our Conroe truck accident attorneys, you will be able to count on us to help seek any compensation that you deserve for your injuries and damages. We work to provide clients with some of the most compassionate representation available. Truck accident cases in Conroe are often complex, particularly when injuries and other damages are involved. Victims may wonder how they’ll recover and pay off medical expenses, repair their vehicles, and what their rights are after getting involved in any type of truck accident. Our team of experienced lawyers will be able to provide you with the answers you need. If we decide to work with you, we will help guide you toward the full amount of compensation you deserve. We have plenty of experience handling commercial truck accidents and many other types of motor vehicle accidents. Depending on your needs, we offer:
- Connections with the resources required to help you recover from an accident, including medical treatment and rental vehicles.
- The ability to collect all necessary evidence to support your claim or lawsuit.
- Filing of truck accident claims and all pertinent documentation.
- Information about protecting your rights.
- Negotiations with trucking companies and insurance carriers.
Steps to Take After a Truck AccidentIf you are involved in a trucking accident, there are some key steps to take that can help you properly handle the scene and support a potential claim. Unlike other types of accidents, trucking accidents will involve not only drivers but also trucking companies, along with their insurance carriers and attorneys—all of which will attempt to negotiate the lowest settlement possible, have your claim denied entirely, or even accuse you of partial or full liability for the accident. To make sure you have the best chance at recovering the damages you deserve following an accident, the following are some of the specific steps to take at the scene of the accident:
1. Stay CalmIf you are not seriously injured, it is important to remain calm immediately after an accident to help ensure you can properly assess the situation. In the moments after an accident occurs, victims may experience a level of shock. They may not even realize that they are injured, but keeping calm will help you recognize the reality of the situation and take the next steps.
2. Move to a Safe AreaIf you can, move the vehicle to a safe location out of the way of traffic, and make sure the vehicle is away from the truck. Following an accident, trucks may spill cargo onto the road or catch fire, which may contribute additional hazards to you, your vehicle, and other people and vehicles on the road.
3. Exchange InformationAfter moving the vehicle and getting out of the way of both the truck and other traffic, check for any injuries to you or your passengers. If you or anyone requires immediate treatment, it is important to call the authorities. However, if nobody has sustained injuries or injuries appear minor, record relevant information at the scene. Information to collect will include each vehicle’s license plate number along with other identifiers and markings. In addition, ask witnesses for contact details so you can reach them later. You should also ask about the truck driver’s name, phone number, email, employer, and details about insurance. Even if you are involved in a truck accident without insurance, you may still be able to seek help with the assistance of an attorney.
4. Dial 911While you may believe you only need to call 911 if someone is injured in an accident, you should call the police to file a report. An in-depth police report can help support your case by confirming your version of events. Insurance adjusters may attempt to deny your claim if the police do not create an accident report, further illustrating why you must contact the police to file one. The police may also determine whether the truck driver violated the law at the time of the accident. In turn, police may issue a citation, test the driver for impairment, or even arrest the driver if they committed a serious offense.
5. Capture Photo or Video EvidenceAfter contacting the authorities and beginning a police report, take photos or record video footage of the scene using a smartphone or another device. Visual evidence will provide solid proof of what took place at the accident scene soon after it occurred, making it particularly critical. While waiting for first responders to arrive, capture evidence of vehicle damage, injuries, and other property damage. When taking photos, include a combination of wide shots and close-ups. Photos should include footage of the truck in the area of impact, along with any debris, spilled cargo, tire tracks, existing road conditions, blown or shredded tires, and other evidence. Although you might not be certain that some elements of the scene have to do with your accident, it is still important to take photos of them. Something that may seem indirectly associated with the accident may actually constitute a contributing factor. Photographic evidence can also help experts reconstruct the events of the accident, which may help identify the specific cause of the crash.
6. Tell the Police What You RecallWhile you may not remember every detail of the accident, it is important to tell officers as much as you can about what happened. Discuss what you recall about the driver’s operation of the truck before and throughout the accident. For instance, you might remember the driver exhibiting aggressive or otherwise erratic driving behavior that may have indicated that the truck driver was at fault. However, you should avoid confronting the truck driver directly, especially if you are concerned about their behavior at the scene.
7. Seek Medical AttentionIf first responders include EMTs, give them the chance to examine you for any injuries you may have sustained, even if you do not believe you have been injured. Although some symptoms such as dizziness or dull pain may appear to be normal and harmless, they could indicate serious underlying injuries. In some cases, you may not feel any pain at all immediately following the accident, which could be due to an adrenaline rush that temporarily numbs it. Even if EMTs evaluate you at the scene and do not recommend transporting you to a hospital, you should still seek further medical attention as soon as possible following an accident. It can take up to days, weeks, or even months for some symptoms to appear, some of which might indicate a serious life-threatening condition. Medical professionals can properly diagnose any injuries and recommend treatment to begin the recovery process. Not only will seeking medical treatment help you initiate recovery sooner, but it will also provide you with medical records that may support your claim. Insurance companies are likely to question the severity of your injuries, but a detailed medical record that you receive soon after the accident can prove the extent of your injuries. If you are worried about the cost of medical services, seeking medical attention and getting a report can help build a strong claim, which could help you secure compensation for this treatment from the truck driver or another at-fault party.
8. Speak With a Conroe Truck Accident AttorneyAlthough it might appear as though a case is simple enough to handle on your own, truck accident cases are often highly complex. If you are not familiar with truck accident cases or the law in Conroe, your case may suffer, and you may not recover the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies also tend to try to settle for the lowest amount of payout possible, making it important to negotiate with them and understand what you’re truly capable of recovering. An experienced attorney will be able to determine if you have a valid claim and may help you navigate the claims process from building evidence to settling. They may also take your case to trial if your claim turns into a personal injury lawsuit.
Types of Truck Accident Injuries That Victims May SufferEach truck accident will result in different damages, but commercial trucks often cause many serious injuries to accident victims. Crashes involving these larger vehicles can involve huge amounts of physical force that cause the body to move unnaturally and sustain a variety of minor to severe injuries. Depending on the nature of the accident, some potential injuries include:
- Soft tissue tears, strains, and sprains
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
Conroe Truck Accident FAQIf you have additional questions about truck accidents in Conroe and want detailed answers, the following are some frequently asked questions and answers for more information about these cases.
#1. How Can I Prove Liability in a Conroe Truck Accident?Multiple parties may be at fault for a truck accident in Conroe, making these cases complex, especially if multiple insurance carriers are involved. When determining fault in a truck accident case, you will need to first determine whether the truck driver is an independent contractor or working under an employer. If the truck driver works for a trucking company, you may be able to sue the company for a variety of factors that contributed to an accident, including improper maintenance, insufficient training, or other types of violations. Trucking companies could put their drivers and others at risk of danger if they fail to maintain brakes, tires, or other parts. Regardless of whether the trucking company was at fault or the driver directly caused the accident, our attorneys can help conduct an in-depth investigation into an accident to identify the root cause. To prove liability, we may employ professionals such as neurologists, accident reconstruction experts, engineers, and others who may be able to paint a complete picture of the accident. The sooner you begin the claims process, the better your chances will be of proving liability and seeking compensation if someone else was at fault for the accident. Contact Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers today.
#2. How Can I Cover Medical Expenses Without Health Insurance?Following a truck accident, the most important step for you to take is to recover. Even if you are without health insurance when seeking treatment, resources are available to help. When filing an accident claim with one of our Conroe truck accident lawyers, we may be able to help connect you with resources to ensure you’re able to receive proper care. Our firm offers access to ongoing mobility assistance, physical therapists, and other professionals to provide the right treatment, regardless of whether our clients have insurance.
#3. How Much Do Conroe Truck Accident Attorneys Cost?Like many other reliable accident lawyers, our Conroe truck accident lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means we do not charge our clients any upfront payments for attorney’s fees. Ultimately, we won’t charge any amount unless we reach a favorable settlement for your claim. We will then use an agreed-upon portion of your settlement to help cover legal fees.
#4. What Kind of Settlement Can I Get for a Commercial Truck Accident?Each accident will involve a different settlement amount based on several factors, but the settlement amount for commercial truck accidents involving semi-trucks will depend on the extent of the damages, liability, and insurance coverage. All trucking companies must carry a certain amount of commercial insurance, which normally covers expenses in these accidents if victims and their attorneys can prove liability.
#5. What Does the Truck Accident Claims Process Entail?When working with a truck accident attorney, four main steps are generally involved in the claims process. These include:
- Collecting evidence: To build a strong claim, attorneys will collect as much data as they can about an accident. This will involve looking closely at all police reports and medical records, interviewing any witnesses present at the scene of the accident, speaking with experts, and more. Any physical evidence you have collected, like photos and damaged property, may also support a claim.
- Treatment: Victims must begin the recovery process as soon as possible after an accident. Treatment will not only help victims achieve the maximum achievable level of recovery, but it will also reveal the overall extent of the injuries sustained and gauge how they will affect victims in the future. If your injuries are more severe, you may be able to seek a higher amount of compensation.
- Negotiation: Once injury victims have completed treatment and they have reached an estimate for the total amount of damages, lawyers can begin negotiating a settlement. Attorneys will work to reach the maximum settlement amount that covers all damages related to the accident, including medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering. Negotiations may involve truck drivers, trucking companies, insurance companies, and other attorneys. Although most cases settle out of court, some cases may result in disagreement over the settlement amount, which may take the case to trial.
- Litigation: Attorneys may wind up taking a case to court in what is known as litigation. This would entail the attorney explaining the details of the case to both a judge and jury to prove that victims deserve the compensation they are seeking. The judge may then decide on a settlement and award it to victims.
Consult a Reliable Conroe Truck Accident LawyerTruck accident cases involve many aspects that victims should not have to navigate on their own. With the help of the right truck accident lawyer, victims can begin seeking the compensation they deserve for injuries and other related damages. Many cases involve multiple liable parties, including truck drivers and companies, making it important to work with a reputable lawyer to prove liability and help reach the best possible settlement. At the Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, we have worked to provide our clients with the representation they need and protect their rights for more than 20 years. If you were injured in a Conroe truck accident, call our office right now for a free consultation! Because we take all of our truck accident cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a dime unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by clicking here.
See what past clients have to say:
Review: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"As a relatively new resident of Houston, I did not know of an attorney to contact for a personal injury suit. I randomly went through the yellow pages contacting two attorneys that had rejected my case prior to me contacting Stewart Guss. Stewart took my case on and settled for far more than I had anticipated. The silver lining of this is that I will now have enough money to go back to school for retraining, so I will be able to reenter the workforce in a new capacity. The paralegal, Angela, was kind and supportive throughout the process. If I did not understand the legal jargon, I did not hesitate to ask, and was never once made to feel that I was incompetent. Thank you Stewart and Angela for giving me a new lease on live."