HOUSTON TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYERS
Almost every consumer product in every store in Texas spent some time on a large truck. Therefore, it’s not surprising that wrecks involving these large commercial vehicles have increased 42 percent since 2009. These large trucks, when fully loaded, weigh more than 80,000 pounds. So, it’s also not surprising that these collisions often cause catastrophic injuries and even death.
Truck wreck claims are often quite complex, and not just because the injuries are so severe. Two reasons for the complex claim process are. First, the truck drivers are usually not Texas residents. Second, the companies that own these trucks are generally an out-of-state corporation. Given these geographic details having the best Houston truck crash lawyers handling the case can make things go a bit smoother.
When you partner with Williams Hart, law team, you have one of the country’s best law firms. Our experienced Houston truck crash lawyers routinely handle these cases in Harris County and nearby jurisdictions. Many truck drivers are just getting their bearings when they pull out of the Houston Ship Channel. Thus, not being a native to the area, navigating the web of Houston expressways can be quite difficult. Yet, that is no excuse for negligent driving. Therefore, we never stop fighting for you.
Houston has some of the most dangerous roads in America. An approximately Six hundred forty people die each year on Houston roads. And an additional 2850 more people sustained injures due to mobile auto collisions. As Houston expands, increased traffic leads to a higher rate of roadway accidents. Recent highway designs now allow drivers to go as fast as75 mph (120.7 km/h), making collisions even more deadly. When combined with drunk and distracted drivers, these factors have led to an increased risk of deadly collisions in the Houston area.
Our team is dedicated to holding truck drivers accountable and getting victims the maximum compensation.
Many Houstonians sadly see fatal collisions as inevitable, but nothing could be further from the truth. While some accidents do happen, many truck collisions are preventable. Often these accidents occur because someone chose to ignore basic safety protocols. Thus, neglecting the rules results in the loss of lives and leaves many families to heal after a horrific event.
When a serious collision could have been prevented, the lawyers at Williams Hart are here to help. Hiring an experienced truck accident attorney is critical. Trucking accidents may involve multiple insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, and at-fault companies. Thus, it is vital to have a legal team experienced in these complex legal situations. This will ensure you get the best possible outcome.
After a serious truck crash, we know that financial compensation can be a critical step in paying for medical bills. It also helps provide for loss wages or long term care of disabilities because of the accident. We are committed to helping individuals and their families get justice after major vehicular accidents.
HOW A TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWSUIT WORKS
First, it is entirely free to inquire about your possible case at Williams Hart. There is no obligation to sign up with Williams Hart. The first step is to get your questions answered by our experienced legal team.
Second, when you sign up with our firm, our legal team will begin collecting the necessary information about the case. Preparing a case requires communicating with all parties involved with the accident. This so we can get the necessary documents from the owner of the truck, the trucking company, the insurance companies, and law enforcement.
Third, we will talk about your options. Every case is unique, and we want to help families make informed decisions. With all the facts laid out, we can help you go forward into a trial or other legal proceedings.
Sadly, many attorneys are familiar with some parts of the legal industry but inexperienced in trial. We feel this is unfair to the families who look to their legal team for complete legal aid.
Our lawyers have taken on major corporations and huge insurance companies all the way to a win in court. We know what it takes to see a case through to the end, and we are ready to see your cases through. The work truck and 18-wheeler related accidents can be especially tricky. However, we know what it takes to get justice in these complex legal cases.
Our law firm works on a ‘contingency fee basis,’ which means we only get paid if we win you money! We promise you won’t have any out-of-pocket legal expenses during your case with us.
INJURIES IN TRUCK CRASH CLAIMS
As mentioned, large trucks weigh tens of thousands of pounds. Furthermore, most large trucks carry hundreds of gallons of highly-flammable diesel fuel. As a result, large truck collisions often cause catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Serious Burns: Frequently, truck accident victims sustain third or fourth-degree burns. These wounds always require skin grafts and other treatments only available at expensive burn centers. These wounds are often fatal as well.
- Head Injuries: The massive force in a truck collision usually causes a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). TBIs are always permanent. Once brain cells die, they never regenerate. However, extensive physical therapy can help these victims live normal lives.
- Exsanguination: Excessive blood loss, mainly from internal injuries, is often the official cause of death in truck crash cases. Typically, victims are on the verge of hypovolemic shock by the time emergency responders arrive.
Damages in a truck crash claim usually include two forms of compensation. Which are compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages might be available as well, in some extreme cases.
Harris County Couple Awarded $12.4M Verdict in Trucking Accident Case
On September 30, 2019, Jim Hart and his legal team of Williams Hart won a $12,450,000 verdict in the 129th District Court of Harris County, Texas. Their clients, a young working couple, sustained serious injuries when an 18-wheeler operated by New Prime, Inc. struck their small sedan from behind at highway speed on Interstate 45 in Houston.
One client suffered an injury known as trigeminal neuralgia. This is a painful nerve disease that is one of the most painful conditions known in medicine. The jury’s award consists entirely of mental anguish and pain and suffering.
New Prime, Inc. is one of the largest trucking companies in North America. It entrusted its vehicle to a driver with a history of over 60 safety violations. The defense strategically admitted to the driver’s negligence before trial. The trial lasted one week, and it took the jury a half-day of deliberations to return their verdict.
Attorneys that also helped in the success of this case were: Attorneys Kevin Haynes and Margot Trevino, as well as Trial Paralegal Jael Hamilton of Williams Hart.
ESTABLISHING FIRST-PARTY LIABILITY
Truck accident victims must establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not. Traditional evidence, such as medical bills and the police accident report, often form these claims’ backbone. Additional evidence in truck accident claims includes:
- Event Data Recorders (EDR): Large truck EDR are much like the black box flight data recorders in commercial airplanes. Depending on the make and model, these devices track and record things like vehicle speed and brake application. These numbers are often critical in car crash claims.
- Federal government’s Safety Maintenance System (SMS): Is a multi-state driving record. As mentioned, most truck drivers have out-of-state licenses. SMS database reports are generally admissible in court.
- Electronic Logging Devices (ELD): Are often important in drowsy driver claims. These claims are common. Many drivers circumvent HOS (Hours of Service) requirements so that they can stay on the road longer. Much like an EDR, an ELD is a computer that’s attached to the truck’s drive train.
Most truck crash claims settle out of court. There is usually a direct relationship between the amount of evidence a Houston truck crash lawyer gathers and the claim’s settlement value. In other words, more proof usually means higher settlements.
LEARN MORE ABOUT TRUCK ACCIDENTS
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THIRD PARTY LIABILITY
A ship’s captain is ultimately responsible for the crew’s conduct. Similarly, employers are liable for the negligent acts their employees commit during the scope of their employment. This legal doctrine, known as respondeat superior, has three basic prongs:
- Employee: There was a time in Texas law that limited this category to only W-2 workers receiving regular paychecks. Today, the term “employee” has a broader label and applies to anyone the employer controls. So, this label includes owner-operators, independent contractors, and even some unpaid volunteers.
- Scope of Employment: Similarly, Texas law once limited employment scope to situations like a delivery driver on a regular delivery route. Now, this category is much larger. It includes any act which benefits the employer in any way. For example, an employee injured in company softball games is acting within the scope of employment. How is this so, you may ask? The employer benefits from the free advertising.
- Foreseeability: Accidents are foreseeable if they are possible. It is not foreseeable that someone will steal a truck from the garage and cause a crash. Anything short of that is probably within the realm of possibility.
Other employer liability theories, which often apply in assault and other intentional tort claims, include negligent hiring and negligent entrustment.
Most passenger vehicle drivers and other non-commercial operators have a duty of reasonable care. The same can be said of truck drivers and other commercial operators who should demonstrate the highest level of care while driving. Common carriers are not quite insurers of safe conduct, but they are close.
Traffic laws reflect this higher duty of care. For example, the speed limit is generally lower for large trucks than it is for passenger vehicles. Furthermore, some roads and highways do not allow large trucks at all.
Since 1983 we have helped thousands of people recover just compensation after a serious car accident. We are proud of our work in helping people. We know firsthand that a serious accident can alter an entire family’s way of life. Beside the obvious costs of emergency medical care, surgery, rehabilitation, and other long-term costs. Victims may experience a permanent loss of income and emotional pain, which may be a long-lasting consequence. We know that the legal proceedings required to ensure just compensation can be overwhelming. The attorneys, paralegals, and the support staff at Williams Hart are proud to help families seek justice and recover.
We are proud Houstonians and here to help our community and to make our city a safer place!
We want our clients to focus on recovery.
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