The sheer size of heavy trucks, and the speed at which they often travel, means accidents in which they are involved are often very serious.
- Four out of five commercial truck crashes involve more than one vehicle
- One in three is head-on
- Tens of thousands of Americans suffer catastrophic injuries in collisions with big rigs each year
- Thousands lose their lives
- More people die in Texas, as a result of truck accidents, than anywhere else in America
The statistics are grim. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 340,000 semi-truck trailers were involved in collisions on American roadways in 2013 alone (the last year for which figures are available). Approximately 95,000 people were injured in those crashes, the NHTSA says, and nearly 4,000 people died.
In Texas, 493 people died in crashes with big rigs in 2013 – the highest number in all of the United States. (http://1.usa.gov/24oj0Jz)
Why Do Truck Accidents Occur?
Truck accidents can occur as a result of one or a number of circumstance, including driver error, weather conditions, faults in the road surface, and improperly maintained vehicles.
Big rig drivers must keep a log in the truck that shows that the vehicle has been properly maintained. Accidents can happen when tires are worn out or under-inflated, or when air brakes are in poor condition and need to be replaced – the log may show whether either of these is to blame for the crash.
Commercial truck companies also put governors in their trucks (to regulate speed) and global positioning systems (to provide travel details). Either of these might reveal detours or trouble on the road, which can help a legal case.
Other issues that relate to the vehicle itself include:
- Did the truck have a defect?
- Was the truck properly loaded?
- Did the driver have adequate visibility?
- Were the roads clear?
- Was the road signage missing?
Here are the law offices of Charles J. Argento we know that the driver’s training, schedule, and behavior will also be heavily scrutinized during the preparation of a lawsuit. Drivers must be properly trained and well-rested, otherwise it may be dangerous for them to get behind the wheel. The log book will show how long the driver has been on the road, which may indicate whether driver fatigue contributed to the collision.
Additional questions regarding driver behavior will include:
- Was the driver using drugs or alcohol in the hours before the collision?
- Is there evidence to suggest he or she was driving aggressively?
- Was the driver tailgating?
- Was the driver speeding?
- Is it possible that the log books have been falsified?
Should I File a Police Report after an Accident Involving an 18-Wheeler, Semi-Truck or Big Rig?
Yes. It is very important to establish that a big rig accident happened, and to have police experts attend the scene, investigate the collision, and issue a report. Commercial trucking corporations and insurance companies may attempt to deny claims in the absence of an official police investigation report.
Do I Need an Attorney to File a Lawsuit after a Crash Involving a Semi-Truck Trailer?
The personal injury cases for victims of truck accidents can be complex, and crash victims should consult a Houston truck accident lawyer who understands how to win a lawsuit against a commercial trucking company. So the answer is definitely ‘Yes’.
While the laws governing truck accident claims are largely the same as those governing passenger vehicle accidents, the legal process is significantly different. In part, this is because big companies sometimes have their own adjustors, and they self-insure for the first $50,000 to $1 million. That means a lot of the money paid in damages comes right out of their pockets, so lawsuits are carefully scrutinized for weaknesses with companies looking to avoid payouts whenever possible.
An attorney must also prove the driver was actually an employee of the commercial trucking company, and not working as an independent contractor.
Why Choose Charles Argento to Handle Your Truck Accident Claim?
If you or a member of your family have been victims in a big rig crash, Charles J. Argento can help.
For the first 10 years of his 27-year legal career, Mr Argento defended trucking companies against lawsuits. As a result, he knows how commercial trucking companies may try to hide essential details and information from attorneys who don’t know where to look. He knows exactly how they try to avoid paying damages.
He now uses that knowledge to help his clients get the compensation they deserve. As a highly respected negotiator and litigator, Mr Argento provides aggressive defense of his clients’ rights in the Texas state and federal courts.
A complex personal injury lawsuit against a corporation or insurance company requires significant legal resources and considerable financial investment, which is beyond the means of most people. Recognizing this, we offer a first initial consultation free of charge, and should we proceed, we only get paid if we win a settlement for you.
Contact our Houston office at (713) 225-5050 to find out how Charles J. Argento can help you pursue a financial settlement to compensate you for injuries sustained in a truck accident. We represent clients in Houston and surrounding area, including Beaumont, Brownsville, McAllen, Harlingen, the Rio Grande Valley, Orange County and Brazoria. We speak both English and Spanish.