The congested roads and freeways in the Houston area inherently dangerous since drivers must share the road with trucks and tractor-trailers. Given the fact that a commercial truck outweighs a typical automobile by several thousand pounds, a collision can be catastrophic to the occupants of the smaller vehicle. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is crucial to have proper legal representation.
Sherman Law Firm has extensive experience handling truck accident cases. We are knowledgeable about the applicable truck safety laws and have a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes — whether at the negotiating table or in the courtroom. Above all, we will always put your best interests first by helping you obtain the medical care you need — and the compensation you deserve.
Truck Safety Laws
Trucking companies and truck drivers are required to follow state and federal truck safety laws.
First, trucking companies must properly maintain the vehicles; braking systems, lights, steering, engine, and other mechanical parts must operate properly at all times. In addition, trucking companies are obligated to perform safety inspections on a regular basis and maintain records of inspections and repairs. Such records must be available for review by authorities. A trucking company that does not follow these safety rules can be held legally responsible for an accident caused by a mechanical defect.
Truck drivers are also required to follow truck safety laws. They must have special licenses and the skills to maneuver such a large vehicle. Most importantly, truckers should follow rules that limit the number of hours they drive and require regular rest breaks. If a trucker breaks these rules and causes an accident that results in injuries and property damage, both the trucking company and the trucker may be held legally responsible.
Common Causes of a Truck Accident
Truck accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Driver Fatigue — Although federal regulations impose hourly driving limits on truckers and require them to take regular breaks, driver fatigue is a widespread problem in the trucking industry. Trucking companies often demand drivers meet strict delivery deadlines and pay truckers based on mileage, which forces truckers to cover vast distances, leading to fatigue. If an accident happens, the trucking company and the truck driver may both held legally responsible.
- Distracted Driving — Truckers typically have long work schedules, which means that they are more likely to become distracted than other drivers. Truckers can also become distracted by using GPS navigation and smartphones as well as by eating, drinking, or using a radio, which increases the risk of an accident. A distracted trucker may be held legally responsible for an accident.
- Improper Maintenance — Braking systems, engines, tires, braking lights, hitch assemblies, and straps, must be properly maintained. As mentioned above, a trucking company that does not follow federal laws regarding vehicle maintenance can be held liable in the event of an accident.
- Inadequate Training — One common practice in the trucking industry is for companies to pay drivers to complete trucking courses. Because new drivers are paid less than more experienced truckers, inexperienced truck drivers are often put on the road too quickly. A trucking company can be held liable if an improperly trained truck driver causes an accident.
- Improper Loading — A truck that is improperly loaded can be difficult to maneuver — or to stop. Although state and federal laws regulate the weight cargo trucks can carry, determining who was responsible for loading requires a thorough investigation. Depending on the circumstances, the trucker, the trucking company or a third party — such as a freight operator or warehouse owner — may be held liable.
Contact Houston Truck Accident Attorney
At Sherman Law Firm, we know that being injured in a truck accident is a terrible experience. Many accident victims are unable to work for an extended period of time, which can quickly become a financial burden. We can help to lift that burden by offering your first-rate legal representation and personal service. We will take the time to explain all of your rights and advise you of your options.
Over our many years of practice, we have seen how truck companies put profits first, cut corners on maintenance, or send inexperienced, lower-paid drivers on the road in vehicles that are hard to maneuver. In addition, trucking companies typically rely on their own investigators and powerful attorneys to deny claims. We know how to level the playing field. Our legal team of personal injury attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident and to establish liability. When necessary, we will work with accident reconstruction specialists to build a successful claim.
It is important to remember that most truck accident cases will involve the other party’s insurance company. We will use our negotiating skills to help you obtain just compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, and other losses. If negotiations are not successful, we are prepared to litigate your case in court. We will fight for you, so that you can focus on recovering. Please contact our office as soon as possible to set up a free consultation.
The Sherman Law Firm serves clients in Harris and Montgomery Counties and throughout the Houston area.