In case of a truck accident in Houston

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Houston is the largest city in Texas, which means we have the most motorists and the most road accidents. In fact, The Houston Chronicle says that the death toll on the city’s roadways is the equivalent of three fully-loaded 737s airplanes crashing each year at Houston’s airports, taking the lives of all on board!

Accidents mean injuries, and here are answers to some frequently asked questions about truck accidents in Houston.

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Do I Need An Attorney After A Truck Accident?

If you have been seriously injured in a semi accident, speak to our experienced Houston big rig accident attorney Mario Davila. We will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Our Houston truck crash attorneys have the background and legal skills to properly bring legal action or to negotiate with a trucking company, insurance companies, and other parties to the crash.

The Mario Davila Law Firm doesn’t take any upfront fees. That’s because we will take your case on a contingency. This means that our firm will take a percentage of the money recovered at trial or in a settlement. If a semi accident victim is awarded no money, we do not collect a fee. However, a contingency client may be responsible for some expenses, such as court filing and expert witness fees.

What is the Deadline to File a Lawsuit?

It’s important to remember that you only have two years from the date of the semi crash to initiate a lawsuit. Contact the Mario Davila Law Firm and speak to one of our experienced big rig accident lawyers right away to be certain that your lawsuit is filed in time.

Where Do Most Truck Accidents Occur in Houston?

Houston trucking accident lawyers will tell you that there are several prime locations throughout Houston and the nine-county metro region where truck accidents frequently happen. 

They include four Interstates that run through and around the city (I-45, I-10, I-69, and I-610); U.S. Routes 290 and 59 (US 290 and US 59); Texas State Highways 288, 249, and 6 (SH 288, SH 249, SH 6), and Beltway 8 (BW8); Farm to Market 1960 and 1093 (FM 1960 and FM 1093); and Veterans Memorial Drive.

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What Kinds of Semi Accidents Happen in Houston?

Houston motorists typically think about “truck accidents” as involving crashes with large commercial trucks such as semis, tractor-trailers, large delivery trucks, dump trucks, oil and gas trucks, refrigerated trucks, large box trucks, and big semi tow trucks. Many motorists in Houston are injured every day in truck accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has found that a large percentage of truck accidents in Texas and around the U.S. are due to driver-related issues. The leading driver-related factors are the following:

  • Drivers who are impaired by fatigue, alcohol, or illness.
  • Drivers using excessive speed.
  • Drivers following too close to the vehicle in front of them.
  • Drivers’ careless driving.
  • Distracted or inattentive driving, such as texting on a cell phone, eating, or being in a daze.

  • Drivers’ not yielding the right of way to other motorists.
  • Drivers’ overcorrecting the truck in traffic causing other motorists to adjust.
  • Drivers not remaining in the proper lane.
  • Improper lane changes.
  • Drivers not obeying traffic signs, controls, or law enforcement.
  • Drivers’ impaired vision by weather, road design, and other vehicles.

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What are the Causes of Houston Truck Wrecks?

Our Houston semi accident lawyers say that there are several elements that can influence big rig crashes in Houston. The most frequent causes and contributing factors of tractor-trailer accidents include the following:

  • Drivers exceeding their hours limit for operating the semi.
  • Poor or a lack of truck driver training and driver safety programs.
  • Improperly loaded cargo that creates road hazards.
  • Poor or incomplete truck inspections.
  • Improper tractor-trailer maintenance.
  • Inclement weather.

Which Parties May Be Held Liable in A Houston Truck Crash?

If you or a loved one is injured in a truck crash, a highly-qualified big rig accident attorney from the Mario Davila Law Firm in Houston can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Your Houston trucking accident lawyer will tirelessly investigate your accident and determine whether another party or parties was at fault. Let’s look at some of the possible parties who may be found to be negligent in a typical semi truck accident:

The Truck Driver The person who was driving the tractor-trailer may be at fault for your injuries based on his or her negligence in causing the accident. In many instances, truck drivers at fault in these cases are found to be driving while distracted or fatigued; under the influence of medication, alcohol, or illegal substances; driving carelessly; or failing to obey traffic laws and federal trucking regulations.
The Trucking Company The semi driver’s employer, the trucking company, may also be liable for negligence on some level if it’s proven that the truck company broke federal or state law in the operation of its trucking fleet, or if it’s found to at fault for its negligent hiring of incompetent drivers or in the training and operation of its fleet.
The Truck Manufacturer The manufacturers of semis have also be found liable for truck accidents. A tractor-trailer accident can be caused by a defective semi, including issues with the truck’s hydraulics, suspension, its safety equipment, or the semi’s braking system.
The Owner of the Semi Trailer The semi driver and his or her company are typically carrying cargo for another business, and they may be using another company’s trailer to carry that load. The trailer owner may have failed to keep the trailer in proper working condition, and there may be broken, missing, or inferior equipment on the trailer that is found to be a contributing factor in the accident.
The Cargo Company The freight services company for commercial trucking companies may also be found to be at fault for a truck accident. A frequent reason for semi truck accidents is improperly loaded or overloaded cargo—which is usually the fault of the cargo company. Improperly loaded cargo may fall off the semi and into the road, causing hazardous driving for other vehicles. Plus, overloaded semis are much more likely to rollover and cause truck accidents. Overloaded trucks take a much longer distance to a stop, which is an issue in an accident. Finally, a tire blowout could happen because of the excess weight, causing the truck driver to lose control of his or her vehicle.
The Private Maintenance Company that Serviced the Big Rig and/or the Trailer The trucking company or the company that owns the trailer may work with an independent equipment repair facility to service to inspect the semi or the trailer. This repair shop may not use the best and most effective diagnostic tools to be certain that the truck or the semi trailer is serviced properly. This third-party service center may also have used inferior replacement parts that create issues with the operation of the semi or trailer. In addition, the repair and maintenance facility’s mechanics may not be adequately trained to discover all of the maintenance problems with the tractor or trailer.
The Company that Provided Safety Compliance to the Trucking Company Many trucking companies will bring in a specialty company to provide safety and compliance programs to their semi operators. These companies conduct safety audits for compliance with federal safety rules, and another company may provide the federally-mandated training and testing of drivers for alcohol or controlled substances. It’s not unheard of for an accident to be in part caused by faulty procedures, inadequate training, or a violation of federal trucking regulations. The third-party company that was responsible for those aspects of the truck operations may also be a party to a lawsuit for an accident victim’s injuries.

In addition, the lack of enforcement of traffic laws may implicate the local police department or the state highway patrol. Your Houston commercial vehicle accident lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the causes of your truck accident to determine all of the parties who may be at fault.

Is a Commercial Trucking Accident Lawsuit Different than an Auto Accident?

Semi operators and their employer are required to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). These rules stipulate the minimum standards for those involved with the operation of commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. 

These regulations encompass the maximum hours that a semi driver can operate a tractor-trailer in a given period, his mandated rest periods, and what should be done if the driver is excessively fatigued; the required driver training; and inspection frequency and scope.

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How is Fault Decided in a Houston Semi Accident?

Fault in a commercial truck crash in Houston involves our attorney’s review of the accident report by the authorities, witness statements, and the statements of the parties for the insurance company. Know that the insurance company’s decision isn’t definitive and the final say. Our experienced Houston semi truck accident lawyer Mario Davila makes certain that your interests are protected, and you receive the most compensation possible.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Houston Truck Accident?

There are several kinds of damages that an injured person may recover in a truck accident case. One is economic damages, which is comprised of the semi accident victim’s “out-of-pocket expenses” incurred as a result of a big rig accident. Non-economic damages may also be awarded to compensate a semi accident victim for his or her injuries. In addition, exemplary (or “punitive”) damages may be awarded to the victim in a tractor-trailer accident if the injuries were caused by the willful act or omission or gross negligence of the truck driver or other parties.

How can a Houston Truck Accident Attorney Help Me With a Settlement?

Our Houston commercial truck accident attorneys knows that every commercial truck accident in our city is different. There are a number of factors that are involved in the settlement process in a semi crash. Thus, there’s no precise formula for your Houston semi accident attorney to negotiate a deal for you. 

Your Houston commercial vehicle accident lawyer Mario Davila notes that the degree to which a party is motivated to settle and the offer amount after a big rig crash will depend upon many factors in the case. These include the severity of your injuries; the cost of your medical expenses; your loss of past income and of future wages; the limits of insurance coverage of the parties; and the type and availability of documentation and evidence.

Our Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer notes that one other important factor in settlements is whether the victim was at fault in bringing about the semi wreck. Texas negligence law uses the “modified comparative negligence” doctrine. This law states that an accident victim’s damages are barred or decreased based on his or her percentage of fault

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Houston

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Summary

A serious semi tractor-trailer accident can be drastic life-changing event for the victim. This includes a total change to his or her physical, mental, and emotional health, along with his or her financial well-being. The Houston truck wreck lawyer Mario Davila will help you recover the compensation you require to get your life back on track. 

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck accident, contact Mario Davila Law Firm in Houston and speak to our experienced Houston big rig big rig accident attorney.