After being injured in an 18-wheeler crash, it is important to contact a Houston truck accident attorney as soon as your health allows. Many trucking companies have professional insurance defense investigators working against your best interests.
When there is a crash involving one of their trucks, they may have an investigator on the scene within hours. You may still be receiving treatment in the emergency room while they are working to find ways to limit their liability and blame you for the accident.
Don’t let a negligent truck driver or truck company get away with causing a preventable accident. Immediately put the powerhouse legal team at Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs on your side so that you can fight for the compensation you are rightfully owed.
18-wheeler crashes that cause serious injuries are often very complicated, with many corporations and insurance companies involved.
At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, our Houston 18-wheeler accident attorneys provide comprehensive representation to clients with personal injury or fatal accident claims stemming from 18-wheeler and semi-truck crashes.
We have experience with trucking industry regulations, insurance companies, and accident investigations.
There are many possible causes of truck accidents, but some of the most common include:
In some cases, the truck driver is not the only one at fault. Often, an improper load weight distribution can cause the truck to handle poorly. The truck may have been improperly maintained, causing the brakes or steering to fail. Management’s expectation of driver delivery times may also exceed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act regulations.
Truck drivers have a hefty responsibility when they get behind the wheel. Because their vehicles are so heavy, usually around 80,000 pounds, they can be extremely damaging when involved in an accident.
If a driver ignores traffic laws or allows distractions to interrupt them, they could crash, harming themselves and anyone else on the road.
Drivers can be held responsible for their mistakes, or the trucking companies they work for may be held responsible for bad hiring practices, etc.
If a road is poorly maintained or inherently dangerous in design, it could create dangerous driving conditions for anyone on the road. Roads that are littered with debris, unmarked, cracked, or riddled with potholes could be extremely dangerous and might contribute to the cause of a serious accident. For example, any of these road hazards could cause a driver to lose control, causing them to veer into another vehicle. Or, road hazards could cause flat tires, rollover incidents, or could run vehicles off of the road. In any of these situations, the business or city responsible for maintaining that road could be liable, or the entity that caused the hazard might be responsible. For example, a construction company might leave debris on the road, creating a major hazard.
Drowsy driving is a serious problem among truck drivers, which is why so many trucking regulations exist to help prevent driver fatigue. Truck engines are equipped with timers to monitor driving hours, further encouraging drivers to stick to the strict driving limitations that aim to prevent truckers from working for extended periods of time.
Through the enforcement of these devices, drivers are required to take frequent breaks. However, because so many drivers face demanding schedules and strict deadlines, these rules are often ignored. As a result, drivers might fall asleep at the wheel, leading to major accidents.
Vehicle manufacturers are responsible for creating and selling safe, effective equipment. If any vehicle or part fails, it could cause a serious accident.
Common truck and rig defects include:
A problem with any of these parts could cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle, which might result in a multiple-vehicle pile-up crash, or any other number of serious incidents.
It is the responsibility of the truck driver or trucking company to ensure the vehicle is properly maintained. Failure to take a truck in for regular service and necessary repairs could be extremely risky and may cause the truck to fail when in use. Additionally, failure to repair and check the truck trailer could lead to cargo issues, which might lead to major spills and dangerous cargo loss.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous under any circumstances, but it can be especially risky for a truck driver. Truck drivers are responsible for particularly heavy and large vehicles, and if they lose control of their truck, they could harm anyone in the nearby vicinity. Drugs and alcohol are illegal for a reason—they distort judgment and impair the senses, which makes for an extremely dangerous driver. Unfortunately, it isn’t unheard of for truck drivers to turn to one or both of these vices in order to stay awake during long hours on the road, but their poor decisions could cost other drivers and passengers their lives.
Trucking companies are required to follow a long list of trucking regulation laws, each of which is designed to keep truck drivers and the general public safe from harm. Employers must not require their truck drivers to work unsafe, overextended hours that could ultimately lead to driver fatigue, and they must not prohibit drivers from taking the necessary breaks.
Trucking companies must also practice safe and legal hiring practices, which means they should only hire drivers who have proper licensing to operate their vehicles safely. If a driver does not have a valid license, or if he or she has driving violations, the trucking company could potentially be liable if that driver causes an accident.
Companies could also be responsible for inadequate training, failure to train drivers, inadequate vehicle inspection, failure to maintain their vehicles, failure to practice safe vehicle loading, and more. If employers are negligent and do not follow these regulations, they could be held liable for any harm that occurs as a result.
Keeping a truck safe is about more than just maintaining the engine, it is equally important to ensure a truck trailer is properly loaded and all cargo is safely secured. When a truck is loaded improperly or overloaded, it can create an uneven weight distribution, which can lead to jackknifing incidents, rollover accidents, and any number of serious crashes.
Alternately, if cargo is inadequately secured it could fall from the trailer, striking nearby vehicles or creating dangerous roadblocks and hazards. Ultimately, it is the trucking company’s responsibility to secure the cargo, but a cargo loading company might also be liable for acting negligently. Or, a driver may fail to check their truck’s load, which can be equally dangerous.
We handle all truck accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means if you do not recover money damages in a settlement or jury award, you will not pay attorney’s fees.
When you contact Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs for a free consultation to discuss your accident injury, we will fully explain how personal injury law and federal regulations affect your case, and how we can help you hold a negligent company liable, anywhere in the country. We are proud of our record of success in obtaining full and fair settlements from some of the largest freight carrier trucking companies in the nation.
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