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.

Truck wreck claims are often quite complex, and not just because the injuries are so severe. The drivers are usually from out of state, and the company which owned the truck is usually an out-of-state corporation. These geographic details create significant procedural complexities. So, only the best Houston truck crash lawyers should handle them.

When you partner with Williams Hart, that’s the kind of representation you get. 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 and begin navigating the web of Houston expressways. 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. 640 people a year die on Houston roads. 2,850 more people are seriously injured due to collisions. As Houston expands, increased traffic leads to a higher rate of roadway accidents. Recent highway designs allow drivers to go as fast as 75 mph which makes collisions even more deadly. These factors combined with a high rate of distracted driving and driving while intoxicated contributes significantly to an increase the risk of deadly collisions in Houston, Texas.

Our team is dedicated to holding truck drivers accountable and getting victims the maximum compensation.

Many Houstonians sadly see fatal collisions inevitable, but nothing could be further from the truth. While some accidents do happen, many truck collisions are preventable. Often basic safety protocols are ignored costing lives and leaving 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 related accidents may involve multiple insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, and at-fault companies. It is important to have a legal team experienced in these complex legal situations to ensure you get the best possible outcome. We know that financial compensation after a serious truck crash can be a critical step in paying for medical bills, lost wages, or the long term care of disabilities that occurred 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 communication with the owner of the truck and trucking company, the insurance companies, law enforcement, and other responsible parties to get the necessary documentation.

Third, we will talk about your individual 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 comprehensive 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 our cases through. Work truck and 18-wheeler related accidents can be especially tricky and 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. 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, mostly 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 compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic 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, 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 and 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. Also assisting 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 the backbone of these claims. Additional evidence in truck accident claims includes:

  • EDR: Large truck Event Data Recorders 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.
  • SMS: The federal government’s Safety Maintenance System database is basically a multi-state driving record. As mentioned, most truck drivers have out-of-state licenses. SMS database reports are generally admissible in court.
  • ELD: Electronic Logging Devices are often important in drowsy driver claims. These claims are common. Many drivers circumvent HOS (Hours of Service) requirements so they can stay on the road longer. Much like an EDR, an ELD is a computer that’s attached to the truck’s drivetrain.

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​

​THIRD PARTY LIABILITY

 

 

Much like a ship’s captain is ultimately responsible for the crew’s conduct, employers are responsible for the negligence of their employees. This legal doctrine, which is called respondeat superior, has three basic prongs:

  • Employee: Once upon a time, Texas law limited this category to W-2 workers who received regular paychecks. Today, the “employee” label 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 the scope of employment 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, employees who are injured in company softball games are acting within the scope of employment. 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.

Truck crashes often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Houston, contact Williams Hart today. You have a limited amount of time to act.

Most passenger vehicle drivers and other noncommercial operators have a duty of reasonable care. Most truck drivers and other commercial operators have a duty of highest care. 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. Additionally, 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 helping people. We know first hand that a serious accident can alter an entire family’s way of life. Besides the obvious costs of emergency medical care, surgery, rehabilitation and other long-term costs, the permanent loss of income and emotional pain may be a long lasting consequence. We know that the legal proceedings required to ensure just compensation can be overwhelming. The attorneys, paralegals, and 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.
​Contact us for a free case evaluation with
​no obligation to sign up.