The most recent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data on large truck and bus crashes indicates that there were 621 trucks involved in fatal crashes in Texas in 2017. Of these truck accidents, 556 resulted in fatalities. Statewide, there were also 453 fatal truck crashes in 2017.

These numbers demonstrate that a big semi-truck accident doesn’t happen once in a while. In fact, there are multiple 18-wheeler accidents every day in Texas.

Do I need a lawyer after getting into a truck accident?

If you were seriously injured in a large truck accident, talk to our experienced Houston truck accident lawyers at Mario Davila. We’ll work to get you the compensation you deserve. Our Houston accident lawyers have the necessary knowledge, experience and skills to take legal action and negotiate with trucking businesses, insurance companies or other parties involved in an accident.

We don’t require any upfront payment fees, because we work on a contingency basis. This means that our firm will charge a percentage of the compensation recovered at trial or in a settlement. If a truck accident victim doesn’t receive any money, we don’t receive any fees. However, clients working under contingency may still be responsible for some expenses, such as court filing fees and expert witness fees.

How long do I have to file a claim?

A truck accident victim only has two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Contact us at Mario Davila and speak with our experienced 18-wheeler truck accident lawyers today to make sure your claim is filed on time.

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Where do truck accidents most frequently occur in Houston?

Accidentes de camión

Houston and Hidalgo County have dangerous locations where truck accidents are known to occur. In Houston, I-2 and N. Bicentennial Blvd near La Plaza shopping center and the airport (south of 10th Street and Business 83 (I-2)) are some of the most challenging spots for truck traffic. In addition, the stretch of I-2 through Houston from Taylor Road to Sugar Road, and US Highway 83 on the main east-west thoroughfare, are historically problematic for vehicle congestion.

State Highway 107 east through Houston into downtown Edinburg is a busy roadway known for multiple accidents. In addition, incidents occur frequently at the I-2 and I-69C interchanges, and on Business Route at US 281 (N. Cage Blvd) and I-69C / US 281.

What types of accidents commonly occur in Houston?

Houston drivers may think that these accidents involve large commercial trucks, such as semi-trucks and tractors. But they can also involve delivery trucks, dump trucks, oil and gas trucks, refrigerated trucks, box trucks and semi-trailer trucks. Every week, many drivers are injured in these types of incidents in Houston.

These are the most common types of truck accidents on Houston streets and highways:

  • Head-on truck accidents
  • Rear-end truck accidents
  • Accidents in which the car becomes trapped under the truck
  • Side-impact truck accidents

What are the main causes of Houston truck accidents?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that a large percentage of truck accidents in Texas and the United States are due to driver-related problems. The main factors include the following:

  • Impairment due to fatigue, alcohol or sickness
  • Speeding
  • Driving too close to the vehicle in front of them
  • Reckless or careless driving
  • Distracted or inattentive driving (e.g. texting, eating or letting mind wander)
  • Failing to yield to other motorists.
  • Constantly making truck corrections, making it difficult for motorists to react quickly to changes
  • Failure to stay in the correct lane
  • Improper lane changes
  • Failure to obey traffic signs, roadblocks, or law enforcement
  • Impairment of vision from weather, road design and other vehicles

Our Houston accident lawyers also know that there are other elements that can cause big semi-truck accidents. The most common reasons and contributing factors to truck accidents involve:

  • Drivers exceeding their hours limit for operating the truck
  • Inadequate driver and safety training
  • Improperly positioned cargo that falls on the roadway
  • Poor or incomplete truck inspections
  • Inadequate commercial truck maintenance

Which parties may be liable in a Houston truck accident?

Accidentes de camión

If you or a loved one is injured in a truck accident, Houston semi-truck accident lawyer Mario Davila can help recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Your Houston accident lawyer will investigate the accident and determine which party or parties are at fault. Here are some of the possible parties that may be found negligent in a typical commercial truck accident:

Is a commercial truck accident claim different from a car accident claim?

Semi-truck drivers and trucking companies must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR).

These rules stipulate minimum standards for those involved in operating these types of vehicles in interstate commerce. For example, they indicate how many maximum hours a person can operate a truck during a set period, their mandatory breaks, what to do if they’re overly fatigued, and the frequency and extent of required training and completion of driving tests. In a car accident, many of these regulations don’t apply, which make truck accident cases very different.

The truck driver or operator

The person driving the truck may be liable for your injuries based on their negligence in causing the accident. In many cases, truck drivers are found to be distracted or fatigued, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving recklessly or failing to obey traffic laws and federal trucking regulations. Any of these reasons may trigger a serious truck accident.

The freight company

The freight or delivery company may also be held liable for an accident. Large truck accidents are often caused by improper or excessive loads, which is usually the fault of the freight company. Improperly loaded cargo can fall off the truck and onto the road, posing a danger to other vehicles. In addition, overloaded trucks are much more likely to roll over and get into an accident. Overloaded trucks also require much more distance to stop, which can cause an accident. Finally, a tire could blow out due to excess weight, causing the truck driver to lose control of the truck.

The truck manufacturer

The manufacturer may also be held liable for the truck accident. The accident may be caused by a defective truck, including problems with the ignition, fuel lines, safety equipment or brakes.

The trucking company

The truck driver's employer may also be held liable for negligence to some extent when it is shown that the trucking company violated federal or state law when operating its fleet, or was negligent in hiring incompetent drivers or managing driver training and/or the operation of its truck fleet.

The truck maintenance company

The trucking company or owner of the truck may contract an independent repair shop to service and inspect their semi-trucks or trailers. This shop may not use the best and most effective diagnostic tools to ensure that the truck is properly serviced. The truck maintenance company may also have used poor quality replacement parts, causing problems with the operation of the semi or trailer. In addition, their mechanics may not be properly trained to identify all problems related to the truck.

The truck owner

A semi-truck driver and their employer may haul cargo for another business, using another company's truck to do so. Therefore, the truck’s owner may also be liable for an accident. The owner may have failed to keep the truck in good working order, or used broken, missing or substandard equipment, causing the accident.

Safety compliance company

Many trucking companies use a specialized company to conduct safety and compliance programs for their drivers. These companies conduct safety audits to provide training and conduct federally mandated testing for drivers for alcohol or controlled substance use. It’s not uncommon for an accident to be caused in part by inadequate procedures or training, or a violation of federal trucking regulations. The third-party company responsible for safety compliance may also be named in a lawsuit and held liable for the injuries of a truck accident victim or victims.

Finally, failure to enforce traffic laws may mean that the local police department or state highway patrol failed to do their job in enforcing traffic laws. Your Houston commercial vehicle accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate the causes of the truck accident to find any and all parties who may be at fault.

How is fault determined in a truck accident?

Accidentes de camión

Fault in a Houston commercial truck accident will require our attorneys' examination of the accident report by the police or highway patrol, witness statements and the insurance company's statements. Remember that the insurance company's decision isn’t final or binding. Our experienced Houston semi-truck accident lawyer will make sure that your interests are protected and that you receive the maximum compensation possible.

What damages can I recover in a Houston truck accident?

One type of compensation that an injured person may recover in a truck accident case is called economic damages. This includes "out-of-pocket expenses" incurred by the victim as a result of the semi-truck accident.

Non-economic damages may also be awarded to compensate an accident victim for their injuries. In addition, exemplary (or "punitive") damages may be awarded if the injuries were caused by the malice, omission or gross negligence by the truck driver or other parties. That said, punitive damages aren’t commonly awarded.

How can a Houston truck accident lawyer help me with a settlement?

Our Houston truck accident lawyers understand that every large truck accident in our city is unique. There are several factors that will impact the settlement process and amount. As a result, there’s no exact formula for your Houston accident lawyer to negotiate a settlement for you.

Attorney Mario Davila also knows that the party's motivation to settle and the offered amount in an 18-wheeler accident case will depend on many factors: the severity of the injuries, medical expenses, loss of past earnings and future wages, limits of insurance coverage, and availability of case evidence.

According to our expert truck accident lawyers, another important factor in reaching a settlement is whether the victim is also responsible for the accident. Texas negligence law applies the doctrine of "modified comparative negligence," which states that an accident victim's damages are barred or diminished based on their percentage of fault.

Our Houston truck accident lawyers

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck accident, contact Mario Davila and speak with one of our experienced semi-truck accident attorneys. Our Houston truck accident lawyers at Mario Davila will help recover the compensation you need to get your life back on track.

Our truck accident lawyers also serve residents in surrounding areas, including Pharr, San Juan, Mission, Alamo, Hidalgo, Edinburg, Donna, Weslaco, Mercedes, Harlingen, Raymondville, San Benito, Harlingen and Brownsville.

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