Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Houston
As 18-wheelers transport goods and materials across the U.S., they do so in close proximity to other motorists, and often at high speeds. If a big rig driver is distracted, drowsy, impaired, or otherwise careless or negligent behind the wheel, a catastrophic injury accident could occur in a split second.
Since you’re unlikely to avoid trucks on Houston’s highways, you should arm yourself with knowledge about the common causes of truck accidents. Unfortunately, even defensive drivers may be injured by irresponsible and reckless truckers.
Common factors include truckers driving while tired, distraction, speeding, substance abuse (drunk or drugged driving), poor maintenance of the truck, inexperienced or improperly licensed drivers, and overloaded or imbalanced trucks.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, the attorneys at Fleming Law, P.C., have the skill and experience to help you hold the at-fault parties responsible. You could be awarded damages, including the cost of your medical bills, the work you missed, and compensation for pain and suffering.
Contact us now for a free claim review.
What are Common Truck Accident Injuries?
The average car on the road is dwarfed by the semis that haul goods across the city, state, and country. There’s no doubt that trucks provide an important service, but when truckers drive dangerously, they can cause extreme, even catastrophic, injuries. Some common injuries caused by truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and concussion
- Fractures and crush injuries
- Internal trauma, such as organ and brain bleeding
- Neck injuries, such as whiplash
- Spinal injuries, including paralysis
Many of these injuries can lead to death. If you have lost a family member due to a truck crash, Fleming Law, P.C.’s compassionate accident lawyers in Houston can discuss a wrongful death claim with you.
What Causes Most Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents are more common than they should be. That’s because many crashes are caused by negligence and recklessness. Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Aggressive driving – Truckers are under lots of pressure to make deliveries quickly. That doesn’t excuse aggressive driving like speeding and cutting off other motorists.
- Impaired driving – All drivers should be rested and fully alert when they operate a moving vehicle.
- Tailgating – Trucks require much more space to stop than smaller vehicles, which makes it particularly dangerous for them to tailgate.
- Speeding – To meet their deadlines, some truck drivers may feel as though they have to drive faster than the posted speed limit. This is especially dangerous since these vehicles require greater distances to stop and cannot make quick evasive maneuvers if necessary.
- Drunk, drugged, and drowsy driving – Studies have documented the fact that the stress and difficulty of trucking increase the likelihood of substance abuse. Companies require drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines, so truckers skip breaks and sleep to meet them.
- Imbalanced or overloaded trailers – A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds. Overloaded and imbalanced trucks can swing out of control when the driver makes a small course correction.
- Poor driver training – Truckers must be properly licensed, which includes more training than a standard driver’s license. Some companies hire unlicensed drivers or fail to train their employees thoroughly before they get on the road.
- Truck maintenance errors – Truckers and their employers are required to keep their vehicles in good order and undergo regular maintenance. Failure to adequately maintain a vehicle could result in a serious accident on the road.
Are Truck Accidents More Serious Than Car Accidents?
Truck accidents are often are much more serious than other kinds of auto accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 5,000 people died in crashes involving large trucks in 2018, which was a 0.9% increase. Of the 4,951 documented deaths, only 885 were occupants of the large trucks. In other words, the vast majority of truck crash deaths are people in other vehicles or pedestrians.
The fact is trucks hurt people more seriously. It’s simple physics. They weigh more than anything else on the road, so trucks cause cars much more damage. Unfortunately, that means more serious and catastrophic injuries, and, ultimately, more deaths.
What Evidence Do I Need for My Truck Accident Case?
If you’ve been hurt by a negligent truck driver, you need some specific evidence to hold the trucker responsible for their behavior. Here are a few things you can do in the immediate aftermath of your crash.
- Seek immediate medical treatment.
- Call the authorities so that there is an official record of your crash.
- Take photographs of the scene, your car, the truck, and your injuries.
- Get the contact information for the trucker, other drivers, and any witnesses.
- Avoid talking to insurance companies or giving unnecessary statements.
- Keep all documents, such as medical bills and insurance documents.
How Do I Prove Liability in a Truck Accident Case?
First, contact an experienced Houston accident lawyer. Your attorney can gather as much evidence as possible about the crash, and document the facts of the case. They’ll build an argument that proves how the truck driver, their employer, or other at-fault party were legally responsible, or liable, for the crash and your injury.
The key concept your lawyer will work with is called a “duty of care.” Under the law, a trucker or other responsible person or business can be forced to pay when they had a duty, such as driving safely or taking care of their truck, and violated that duty. So, if we find out that the trucker that hurt you took stimulants before they got behind the wheel, we can argue that they violated their duty of care. Once we prove the trucker was liable, you can win damages to cover the economic and non-economic costs of your crash.
Contact Fleming Law, P.C. for a Free Consultation
When you are injured by a negligent truck driver, you need experienced representation. At Fleming Law, P.C., we’ve helped many Houstonians move on from their truck crashes. Let us put our experience to work for you.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’re available 24/7.