Involved in a truck accident? Don’t fight the trucking company alone. Call us for a free consultation.
Every day, millions of Americans share the road with large commercial vehicles. These trucks are crucial to the nation’s economy and transportation of goods, but they also present unique risks to drivers. Because 18-wheelers are so large and usually weigh tens of thousands of pounds, they can cause catastrophic damage in the event of an accident. If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a trucking accident, you need an experienced legal team to investigate the circumstances of the crash and pursue all avenues of compensation. At Mejias Lindsay PLLC, our Houston truck accident lawyers know how tragic truck accidents can be, and we can put your mind at ease knowing our lawyers are fighting to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.
How Are Truck Accidents Different?
Unlike other types of auto accidents, truck accidents present unique challenges when trying to pursue compensation. Truck drivers and trucking companies have certain federal regulations they must abide by, so when truck accidents occur, there could be multiple parties at fault. Unfortunately for victims, many trucking companies have virtually unlimited financial resources with which to aggressively fight trucking accident lawsuits; and, without the aid of an experienced lawyer, victims can be left with lowball settlements or nothing at all.
Causes of Trucking Accidents
The cause of a trucking accident may not always be apparent at first. Most often, an investigation will need to be performed to understand how the accident happened. Some of the most common causes of trucking accidents revealed in investigations include:
- Reckless driving – Truck drivers are often under tight deadlines, and this sometimes causes them to engage in reckless driving behaviors like speeding, improper lane changes, or failing to use turn signals. Because trucks have the potential to cause such severe damage, truck drivers should exercise extra caution when driving to help prevent accidents.
- Inadequate training – Driving a truck is not the same as driving a car. 18-wheelers can take up to 40% longer to come to a complete stop compared to a car. For inexperienced and/or untrained truck drivers, accidents are likely to happen. All trucking companies are required to provide the training employees will need to perform their jobs, so if inadequate training is the cause of an accident, the trucking company can be held liable for the resulting damages.
- Negligent hiring – Trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure all hired employees are capable of driving commercial vehicles safely. If a trucking company hires a driver with a history of truck accidents or driving under the influence, it can be held responsible if this negligently hired driver causes an accident.
- Distracted driving – Truck drivers are just as susceptible to distractions while driving than other motorists. Changing the radio, using cell phones, and eating are distracted driving behaviors that can cause accidents.
- Driving under the influence – Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. Truck drivers who cause accidents while under the influence can not only be held responsible through a civil lawsuit, but will also face criminal charges.
- Fatigued driving – Driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous, if not more so, than driving under the influence. Federal regulations limit the number of continuous hours truck drivers can work, but for a variety of reasons, drivers do not always adhere to these regulations.
- Unsecured loads or overloaded trucks – Federal regulations provide strict guidelines for the securement and weight of cargo transported by commercial vehicles. If loads are not properly secured or if they exceed weight limits, cargo can shift and cause the vehicle to turn over.
- Defective parts or inadequate maintenance – Trucks will travel thousands of miles each year, so all vehicle parts need to be in top condition and regular maintenance needs to be performed to ensure the truck is safe to operate.
Common Injuries Caused By 18 Wheeler Accidents
18-wheeler accidents can cause many severe injuries. Oftentimes, victims will suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, lacerations, paralysis, or even death. Victims will not only need emergency medical treatment, but could require additional surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and specialty medical equipment to recover from their injuries. Even with extensive medical treatment, some victims could suffer from permanent injuries and disabilities.
The severe nature of 18-wheeler accidents often puts a huge financial burden on the victim and his or her family. Not only do victims face expensive medical bills, they also are often unable to return to work for some time or permanently, which causes them to suffer lost wages.
Why Hire A Lawyer?
Many victims of trucking accidents are unaware of just how much compensation they will require to completely cover the cost of an accident. The Houston attorneys at Mejias Lindsay PLLC know how to pursue every type of compensation to ensure you get the most out of your claim. If you were injured in a truck accident, call us today to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys can analyze your situation and help you understand your legal options. We can help you in both English and Spanish.