Many things can happen in a split of a second after you are involved in a truck accident. You could get injured, your car gets damaged, and in the worst-case scenario, loss of lives can occur. All these things could leave you confused, not knowing what to do next.
But after an accident, you need to seek immediate medical attention for the sustained injuries. Then, after treatment, hire a Sugar Land truck accident attorney to take over the case and help you fight for your compensation. However, hiring the right professional attorney to represent you can prove challenging.
Truck accidents are usually catastrophic and can result in severe bodily and emotional damage to Sugar Land drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Dealing with truck accident claims is a tedious process and requires proof of liability and gathering evidence. If you get involved in this type of accident in Sugar Land, you need professional legal representation to help you make a claim and get reasonable compensation.
We are a national law firm based in Houston with multiple offices around the country. We also work with affiliate law firms in most states that share our focus and dedication to excellence. No matter where you are located, we may be able to help you, so call or contact us now. We are open, for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or you may contact us now by clicking here to submit your case for review.
What Makes Us Stand Out
At Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers, we have over 20 years of experience helping clients get the justice they deserve. We are a team of professional personal injury attorneys dedicated to helping our clients get the justice they deserve. When you reach out to us for a free consultation, you will talk to one of our lawyers, who will answer all the questions you may have. In addition, we can discuss the possible actions you can take after your Sugar Land crash and give you realistic expectations about your case.
Over our years of practice, we understand that insurance companies are in business to make money and not represent your best interests. In the aftermath of a truck accident, your insurer will likely make you settle for less compensation. But if you reach out to Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers after a Sugar Land truck accident, our experienced truck accident attorneys can confidently fight for the compensation you deserve.
Our team will put in the time and effort to give you exceptional legal representation. After reviewing your case, we will discuss all the possible outcomes, but we never guarantee the result since legal proceedings are unpredictable. However, we strive to gather all the necessary evidence to maximize your compensation.
When it comes to truck accidents, we understand the complexity of these cases. But over the years we have been in practice, we have accumulated enough experience dealing with large trucking companies and their insurers throughout Sugar Land and other parts of the country. We have learned all the tactics insurance companies use to delay negotiations or pay minimum amounts. As a result, we’ve developed effective strategies to win substantial settlement amounts for our clients.
We understand the rules and regulations governing these types of cases in the region and follow them when investigating and proving liability in your accident. We are familiar with commercial vehicle cases and have handled numerous truck accident cases similar to yours. We follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to the last detail to ensure success in your legal claim.
If you were in a commercial truck accident in Sugar Land, contact Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers for a free consultation. You will get one of our attorneys to discuss your claim and determine how to move forward in your truck accident claim.
Common Types of Truck Accident Cases in Sugar Land
Semi-truck trailers and 18 wheelers trucks are all over Texas hauling goods to and from Mexico. And just as they are many, so are truck-related accidents. These trucks usually transport heavy goods ranging from petroleum to perishable goods and other heavy cargo.
These trucks’ size and weight can turn even the slightest accident into a fatal one, making injuries involving them more dangerous than any other type of auto accident. In the event of a truck accident, there’s a likelihood of more fatalities than in other motor vehicle accidents.
When a truck accident happens in the greater Houston area, the Stewart J. Guss Accident Injury Lawyers are here to help you make a claim. If you or your loved one are involved in such an accident and have questions about pursuing a claim, contact us for a free consultation with Sugar Land truck accident lawyers.
#1. Likely Causes of Trucking Accidents in Sugar Land
As mentioned, trucking accidents are often more fatal than other auto accidents. Working with an experienced auto accident attorney in Sugar Land will help you understand which of the factors below led to the cause of your accident.
Unlike passenger cars, trucks are usually long and heavy. As a result, it’s hard for the truck driver to avoid an obstacle on the road instantly, hence leading to a collision.
Trucks require twice the turning radius as passenger cars due to their large size and heavyweight. That makes it hard for them to maneuver easily on the road, increasing the risk associated with existing road hazards.
Weight and Size
Commercial trucks weigh between 10,000 to 80,000 pounds. Since the force exerted after a collision is equal to the mass of the truck and its acceleration speed, even a minor impact is likely to cause significant damage.
When you consider their length, which is usually 45 to 65 feet long, it’s hard for the driver to determine their space on the road. This further increases the risk of a truck crash.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
When loading cargo on a truck, the cargo company needs to follow the set regulations regarding the loading of commercial vehicles. Therefore, the loading company needs to consider the cargo’s weight, size, height, length, and width to comply with the law. Failure to comply with these standards results in the truck being too heavy to drive safely, increasing the risk of tipping over.
Unlike smaller vehicles, trucks require over 520 feet. As a result, commercial truck drivers cannot stop in time for slow traffic ahead, which increases the risk of a rear-end collision than smaller vehicles.
Poor Truck Maintenance
The trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure that their vehicles are in good condition at all times. Letting the truck wear and tear without repairs increases the risk of malfunctioning essential truck parts, which increases the risk of an accident.
Lack of Adequate Training
The law requires Sugar Land truck drivers to follow the state and the Department of Transportation regulations. However, some drivers fail to undergo the proper training, and the trucking companies fail to follow the due diligence when hiring these drivers.
A properly trained truck driver practices the proper driving techniques such as defensive driving and avoids driving habits that could lead to an accident. For example, such a driver knows how to avoid skidding, jackknifing, and hydroplaning.
Driving Under Fatigue
Some trucking companies put their drivers under pressure to meet strict deadlines. As a result, these drivers could be driving too fast or under fatigue. Fatigued drivers lose their sense of judgment in an emergency, often leading to accidents.
#2. Different Types of Sugar Land Truck Accidents
The above common causes of Sugar Land truck accidents may lead to the following types of truck accidents.
If the truck driver loses control, the trailer could roll over, making the cargo and the trailer dangerous to other motorists on the road.
Head-on or Rear-End Collisions
These accidents happen when the truck collides with other vehicles on the road head-on or read-end. In rear-end collisions, the truck driver may fail to hit the brakes, driving over the back of another car. These accidents are fatal, especially if they involve a small car.
Blind Spot Accidents
Semi-trucks and 18-wheelers have significant blind spots where the driver loses sight of all other vehicles on the road. In most cases, trucks use signifying signs like “If you can’t see my mirror, I can’t see yours,” and for a good reason. The blind spots are usually more prominent than in smaller vehicles, and the driver needs to follow specific safety guidelines to avoid blind spot accidents.
These types of accidents happen when the truck brakes suddenly, making their trailer swerve out at a ninety-degree angle. After jackknifing, the trailer can roll over or overturn, causing a significant roadway danger.
These are the most dangerous types of truck accidents on the road. They happen when the truck stops suddenly, making the car behind get stuck under the truck trailer. In most cases, the top of the small car is usually ripped-off. The National Transportation Safety Board recommends using side guards to prevent underride accidents.
The above truck accidents can be serious and result in severe injuries, permanent disabilities, and sometimes death. If injured in a truck accident, you should prioritize seeking medical attention. If the accident resulted from the truck driver’s fault, you must immediately contact a Sugar Land Truck Accident Lawyer.
Our experienced Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers can help you make your claim and hold the responsible parties liable. We do this by carrying out thorough investigations to determine negligence and find the liable party.
Proving Liability in a Sugar Land Truck Accident
Proving fault in a truck accident requires proof that the other party was at fault. To do this, you need a truck accident lawyer to help you gather the necessary evidence demonstrating the truck driver or the company was at fault.
However, proving liability is not always straightforward since the trucking companies and drivers need to follow specialized rules. Therefore, when choosing a Sugar Land truck accident lawyer, make sure you choose one who understands the complex analysis involving these cases.
#1. How to Know Who Is Liable for Your Crash
There are three possible defendants in a truck accident where you were not at fault.
In some cases, the responsible parties may be more than one.
- If the truck driver was at fault for your crash, your attorney needs to gather evidence that shows that the driver failed to follow the local traffic rules, didn’t have a driving license, or was drunk driving. Other reasons that may hold the driver liable include driving a poorly maintained truck, exceeding the permitted number of hours on the road, falling asleep behind the wheel, or reckless driving.
- The trucking company must ensure that all its drivers are qualified before getting behind the wheel. If a driver causes an accident and the evidence shows under qualification, the trucking company is held liable. In addition, the company needs to ensure proper maintenance of all their trucks and that the drivers are well rested before sending them off the road. Failure to adhere to these rules may see liability falling on the trucking company.
- The truck manufacturer- the truck parts must be well manufactured and performing correctly to ensure the truck’s safety on the road. The truck manufacturer may be held liable if a trucking accident occurs due to malfunctioning parts.
#2. Challenges Determining Liability in a Trucking Accident
When either of the above parties may be liable for the accident, proving responsibility may be difficult. The trucking company may hold most of the evidence required to establish liability.
The company may not want to provide this information, especially if it knows it was at fault. However, a professional attorney knows the proper legal process to access this information.
Some of the evidence includes:
- The truck’s black box
- Repair and maintenance logbook
- Employee’s employment records and qualifications
- Number of hours the driver has been on the road/ drivers work schedule
#3. What to Do to Start Building Your Claim Case Immediately
After seeking medical attention, you need to talk to a Sugar Land truck accident attorney to build your case immediately.
After the accidents:
- Take photos of the accident scene, including your vehicle and those involved in the crash. Be sure to capture any property damage, inclement weather, road hazards, traffic signs, and any other significant evidence.
- File a police report about the crash.
- Be careful what you say to people concerning the crash. The insurance company may trap you and use your words against you to avoid paying total compensation for the damages. If possible, avoid talking about the crash in the absence of your attorney.
- Exchange contact information with the eyewitnesses to the accident.
- Keep track of all the paperwork, including the medical reports, bills, police reports, communication with the insurance company, and time missed from work due to the injuries.
Texas is an at-fault state, meaning it follows the traditional method of determining who should be liable for the damages in a truck accident. With this law, every driver in Texas needs to carry a minimum amount of car insurance liability coverage in an accident.
Therefore, if you are involved in a truck accident in Sugar Land, you can file a personal injury lawsuit in a civil court or a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the policy minimums cannot cater for the extent of your damages, your attorney will advise on filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Discuss Your Case with a Sugar Land Truck Accident Lawyer
After filing a personal injury lawsuit, you should be ready to face aggressive attorneys and insurance companies on the defense. Therefore, you need to hire a successful and experienced personal injury law firm to represent your interest and fight for your rights.
At Stewart J. Guss Injury Accident Lawyers, we have a track record of holding truck companies and drivers responsible for their negligence. Over the years we’ve been in practice, we have gained extensive experience that helps us win substantial settlements for our clients.
Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers for a free consultation, and we can represent your rights against the largest motor carriers and insurance companies in Sugar Land.
Types of Trucks Involved in Sugar Land Truck Accidents
Numerous trucks go through Sugar Land roads to pick up sugarcane from the sugar plantations to the sugar mills. While these activities contribute to the economic growth of the City of Sugar, they also increase the risk of colliding with a truck.
Truck accidents in Sugar Land are most common when truck drivers fail to observe farm vehicle compliance. The accident’s severity depends on various factors, including the driver’s action leading to the crash and the type of truck.
Learning more about the kind of truck involved in your crash could help you understand your options after the crash.
- Tanker truck – this truck carries hazardous material such as gasoline or other toxic fluids. A collision with a tanker could lead to the release or ignition of these materials, making this type of crash highly dangerous.
- Flatbed trucks – this truck may be an 18-wheeler, but instead of hauling a closed container, it has an open flatbed trailer. These types of trucks carry oddly shaped cargo such as vehicles and lumber.
- Utility trucks – these trucks have limited visibility and large blind spots. Hence, they are prone to causing accidents. In most cases, they haul garbage, dirt, gravel, and other types of heavy material. As a result, they are primarily responsible for pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
- Tractor-trailers – these 18-wheeler trucks include a cab pulling for hauling cargo. They have large blind spots and require extra space to minimize accidents.
- Mail trucks may lead to pedestrian accidents in the neighborhood as the drivers get distracted looking for the correct address to drop their deliveries.
The setup of the truck affects how the crash happens. For example, a tractor-trailer will crash differently from a mail truck.
What to Do at a Truck Accident Scene
The immediate moment after a truck accident can leave you feeling confused about what to do. But your actions at this moment are crucial in protecting your ability to collect your compensation for the damages. After sustaining injuries in a truck accident in Sugar Land, here are several things to do.
#1. Call 911
A call to 911 summons the police and medic responders to the accident scene. The medics will check the injuries you’ve sustained while the police collect the details of the crash as you remember them. These police reports are crucial in investigating the cause of the accident, and you should therefore ensure you get a copy.
A police report includes:
- A sketch of the accidents
- Witness statement
- Statement from the involved parties
- Contact information of both drivers
- The police officer’s opinion on who was at fault
The information helps an experienced Sugar Land truck accident lawyer work with experts to reconstruct the accident scene to prove liability. For example, suppose the truck company’s insurance company engages in defensive tactics to try and win the case. In that case, your attorney will start with the police report to build evidence that shows the other party’s liability.
#2. Gather the Evidence at the Crime Scene
Ensure to collect the evidence at the scene and preserve it to prevent it from being altered or falsified. If you sustain severe injuries that prevent you from gathering evidence, then ask someone to do it on your behalf.
Essential details to collect include:
- Photos of the vehicles involved
- Tire skid marks
- The other driver’s license plates
- Make sure you write about all the details you remember as soon as possible.
#3. Exchange Contact Information with the Other Involved Parties
The law requires you to exchange your insurance and contact information with the other driver. Therefore, make sure you collect the other driver’s name, contact information, address, the number of the truck, and the truck company. Having this information helps speed up the liability investigation process.
In addition, be sure to collect the witnesses’ contact information and address. This information will help your Sugar Land truck accident lawyer reach out to the witnesses later if necessary. Witnesses of the truck accident are usually unbiased, and their testimony helps determine who was responsible for the crash.
#4. Seek Medical Assistance
Truck accidents result in serious injuries, and it’s advisable to seek medical attention immediately. The injuries may not be apparent, but a medical examination will help identify invisible injuries such as traumatic brain injury, internal bleeding, or any other injury that doesn’t show immediate symptoms.
Immediate medical attention helps you obtain the correct diagnosis of your injuries and start treatment immediately. The doctor will also give you a prognosis of how the sustained injuries are likely to affect you in the future. Finally, your attorney will use the doctor’s reports to fight for fair compensation in your truck accident claim.
#5. Contact a Sugar Land Truck Accident Attorney
After the accident, you’re likely to be contacted by the trucking company’s insurance attorneys trying to get a statement from you. Unfortunately, these attorneys may confuse you and try to hold you liable for the accident. That’s why you need a Sugar Land truck accident attorney to answer any questions the other party’s attorney may have.
In addition, your attorney will use the evidence from the crime scene to determine the driver’s liability in the crash. They also help you gather other evidence that can help increase the compensation amount in your claim.
Proving Liability in a Truck Accident
Determining the person liable for a truck accident requires your attorney to carry out a careful analysis of the claim. The evidence you present must depict clearly that the other party was at fault for the sustained injuries.
When proving liability, your lawyer must consider the laws governing 18-wheeler accidents in Texas.
As per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation, the trucking companies and their drivers must:
- Maintain the truck in good condition
- Possess commercial licenses
- Driver must have enough resting hours
- Check their load composition
- Practice proper waste disposal
- Evaluate maximum load sizes
If the trucking company fails to operate under these federal laws, the court may find it liable for the damages caused by a truck crash. However, your lawyer must present facts and unmistakable evidence to prove that the responsible party failed to meet these requirements before the court can decide.
Before determining liability, the court evaluates the actions of both drivers before the accident to determine what led to the crash. Some of the factors include drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving, among other negligent driving behaviors.
Common Injuries Following a Sugar Land Truck Accident
Due to the difference in size and weight between tractor-trailers and standard passenger cars, the occupants of the smaller cars tend to suffer the most after a truck crash. Some of the most common types of injuries sustained include:
#1. Head and Brain Injuries
After a truck crash, the victims may experience traumatic brain injuries, concussions, lacerations on the scalp or face, and blunt head trauma. If involved in the accident, make sure you seek medical attention to determine the exact impact experienced from the crash. For instance, if you sustain tiny lesions to the brain, then a brain imaging scan can help identify them.
#2. Broken Bones
While some broken bones may heal naturally, some require expensive surgeries to aid in the healing process. When fighting for your compensation after an accident, your attorney will use the medical records to prove the extent of the injuries.
#3. Back and Neck Injuries
If you survive a truck accident, you may sustain severe tendon and ligament injuries or damage to the soft tissue at the back of the neck. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you can suffer painful and debilitating symptoms.
#4. Spinal Injuries
This is the most painful type of injury one can sustain in a truck accident. It involves damage to the spinal cord and may result in partial or total paralysis. If you suffer a spinal injury, you may end up requiring assistance in doing most basic things such as breathing, eating, or even speaking.
If the crash results in an explosion, you may sustain severe burns. Burns may also happen if you scrape against the vehicle’s interior or get ejected from the car. These types of injuries are tricky to treat and might require undergoing surgery.
Understanding the extent of your injuries after a truck accident helps your lawyer determine the right amount of compensation you deserve. In addition, the attorney will use the doctor’s reports and expert testimonies in proving that the injuries resulted from the collision.
How a Sugar Land Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If injured in a truck crash, you need an experienced truck accident lawyer to help you get fully compensated for your losses. Such an attorney manages every aspect of your claim and takes actions in your best interest throughout the case. The lawyer helps you get legal justice by:
#1. Finding the Liable Parties
In any truck crash, it’s hard to determine who was at fault between the driver, trucking company, cargo company, and the truck manufacturer. So your attorney gathers all the necessary evidence on what led to the accident, finding the responsible party or parties.
#2. Negotiate on Your Behalf
During compensation negotiations, you will face the liable party’s attorneys and the insurance company. These two parties fight extra hard to either blame you or make partial payments that can barely cater to the experienced losses. Therefore, when hiring an attorney, ensure they have experience in handling multi-defendant cases and are skilled enough to maximize your compensation.
#3. Advice on the Best Legal Strategy
After analyzing your case, your attorney gathers the needed evidence, witnesses and comes up with the best legal action to help you get the compensation you deserve.
#4. Guide You Through the Legal Process
The legal process is complicated and confusing, especially if you have zero knowledge of the law. However, your attorney is here to help you through the process by interpreting everything in clear language. They also deal with the trucking company and the insurance company, taking that burden off your shoulders.
Talk to Us For Legal Assistance
Contact Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers for a free consultation and cutting-edge legal representation. We take the safety of our Sugar Land community seriously, which is why we maintain a track record of securing deserving compensation for our clients.
The legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If a Sugar Land truck accident injured you, 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. Talk to us today, and let us help you.
See what past clients have to say:
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“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.”
Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.