The world obviously cannot do with trucking companies, as they are an essential puzzle piece to the supply chains of many goods and services. As useful as they are, trucks can also present quite a danger to pedestrians, bikers, motorcyclists, and even other drivers. After all, they are huge vehicles that are capable of great damage when accidents happen. Truck drivers are sometimes distracted, mechanical issues can be at play, or there may have even been negligence from the manufacturer's end of the spectrum. Regardless of what the root of the problem may be, a truck accident victim will often end up with severe injuries and is more prone to fatal ones than those involved in other types of crashes. Getting compensation after truck accidents is not a straightforward task, which is why it should never be attempted without the assistance of an experienced truck accident lawyer. Whether it's the trucking company, the truck driver, or another party, negligence leading to truck accidents should never be allowed to go unpunished. Schedule a free consultation today with one of the best truck accident lawyers in Houston by calling Schuerger Shunnarah at (833) 692-5038.
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What Our Clients Have To Say
I have worked with Schuerger Shunnarah twice and they have been very helpful on my personal injury cases. They went above and beyond my expectations and did a great job both times.
- Ashley C.
Schuerger Shunnarah helped me receive a settlement on my case in just months. I was treated with respect and dignity. Thanks to their help, I have been able to get my life back to normal.
- Michael S.
They provided me with excellent service throughout my personal injury case. They were available to answer my questions and helped me understand the process. I am very grateful for them!
- Deshawn B.
What Kinds of Compensation Will Houston Truck Accident Attorneys Help Clients to Gain?
Houston truck accident lawyers have one objective in mind when they represent their clients, which is to reach a fair settlement based on the circumstances that led to the incident.
Beyond establishing the lines of fault, this means being able to identify the different kinds of damages that may be at play and ensuring that they are adequately calculated.
Thankfully, a competent truck accident attorney will know how to do this well. Some of the typical damages that are sought include:
Current and future lost wages
Loss of consortium
Remember that the kind of policy that trucking companies have with their insurance company of choice is much different than that applicable to private drivers. The coverage tends to be more extensive since a semi-truck operates in a commercial space.
Knowing this, an expert truck accident attorney will relentlessly fight on behalf of clients to ensure that there are no losses on their part if they bear no fault in the matter.
Who Is At Fault in Truck Accident Cases?
This is always one of the most important elements in ensuring that a client's claim is handled correctly. Truck accident lawyers must be able to accurately identify who is at fault, and link the act of negligence to the suffering of the client.
At first glance, it may be said that a truck driver is at fault for an accident. However, it is not always so clear-cut. Truck drivers can lose control of their vehicles because the maintenance teams that the trucking companies did not do the expected due diligence.
To take things even further, a company that manufactures components for a truck could be liable if there is a factory defect that led to the truck accident.
A trucking company, its drivers, its suppliers, other vehicles, etc., are all potential bearers of fault in an accident. Only proper investigation and compilation of evidence will lead to the right party being named.
Typical Injuries Stemming from a Texas Truck Accident
Truck accidents tend to be synonymous with terrible injuries, which is understandable considering the proportions of a truck. Here are some of the typical injuries that a trucking company or a truck driver, among others, could be liable for:
Spinal cord injuries - This kind of injury can happen in quite a few ways with different effects cropping up from each. In one case, there may be nerve damage, while in another, there may be temporary or permanent partial or full paralysis.
Internal injuries - These are particularly problematic because it is not always immediately known how severe the injuries are. This could mean that there are damaged organ systems that need special attention.
Lacerations - While many of the cuts or lacerations that a victim will suffer from a truck accident are not too severe, this is not always the case. Sometimes, there may be glass, metal, or other materials lodged within sensitive areas of the body.
Lost limbs - Based on the way the impact took place, it's not beyond the realm of possibility for truck accidents to cause a loss of limbs. Even if not immediately, extremities may be so damaged that they cannot be saved.
Traumatic brain injuries - While some head injuries are temporary at worst, others, such as serious traumatic brain injuries, can often have lasting effects on memory, cognition, and more.
Wrongful death - Some truck accident cases see victims losing their lives either immediately upon impact or some time after the damage is suffered. This is known as wrongful death in the legal world and will typically see a truck accident lawsuit initiated by the deceased individual's surviving family members.
What Kind of Circumstances Tend to Result in Truck Accidents?
At the end of the day, no truck driver or trucking company intends an accident to happen. Nevertheless, they do, and there are typically certain circumstances that lead to their occurrences. In rare cases is a truck accident unavoidable. One of the following may be at play:
Truck drivers operating their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Driving a semi-truck during periods of extreme fatigue
Aggressive driving considering road conditions that may not be positive
Driving at excessive speeds
One look at the causes listed and there may be concerns that these all implicate the truck drivers as the problem. However, as indicated before, trucking companies and other parties may be at fault, such as they are in the following cases:
Neglecting to perform the requisite checks on the vehicles before sending them onto roadways.
Setting unrealistic delivery times that result in the disregard of what would usually be considered safe driving.
Trucking companies that put pressure on their drivers to operate vehicles beyond the hours permitted by federal law.
Failing to purchase vehicular components such as tires, front-end parts, etc., when they are needed.
Bear in mind that some truck accident cases can see a combination of factors across different parties contributing to the occurrence of the crash.
Common Semi-truck Collisions
Just as there are common reasons that lead to truck accidents, the way the actual collisions occur also presents a pattern. The following are some of the most common crash types:
Cargo shifts - Whenever the accident is because of cargo, there tends to be a situation where a trucking company neglected to properly secure the load. Alternatively, the truck may simply have been overloaded. Once a cargo shift occurs, the driver will likely lose control, swerve, or even tip over.
Rear-end collisions - When this kind of truck accident case happens, there is often something stopping the driver from stopping as desired. This is often a distraction such as a cell phone, but it could also be a more concerning occurrence such as a failure of the brakes.
Side impact crashes - This is definitely one of the most dangerous, considering the truck is hitting a pedestrian or a vehicle from the side. Like the point above, there is likely a distraction at play that caused the driver to ignore a stop light or sign. Of course, given the power and weight of the truck, those hit will likely be dealing with severe injuries.
Underride crashes - In this case, the truck is rear-ended by another smaller vehicle, which will end up under the trailer.
Jackknife accident - This is often synonymous with a trucker braking too quickly, which leads the trailer to fold into itself at 90 degrees. Of course, as the trailer is sliding, it can potentially hit and damage other parties on the road.
Are Houston Truck Accident Lawyers Really Necessary?
No law says that truck accident victims must hire a lawyer to deal with the opposing side's insurance company. However, doing so is beneficial for a series of reasons.
The first is the said handling of the opposing insurance company. One of the most unfortunate things to deal with after a truck accident is one of these firms that is clearly trying to protect its profits instead of doing what it should and compensating the victim.
Truck accident lawyers know how to deal with an insurance company and will be able to call on legal experience to attempt to secure the best settlement.
Next, putting a truck accident case together takes a lot of legwork if the claim is supposed to stand up as expected. A semi-truck accident lawyer will, alongside a team, collate all the relevant pieces of data that go into a good case.
Remember that proving that the accident happened is not enough. There needs to be proof that the trucking company, driver, or whichever responsible party was negligent, caused the accident, and now has put the victim in whatever negative position is at play.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. These legal matters must be handled with precision, after all.
What Kind of Qualities Should a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Have?
A truck accident case should never be handled by an attorney that is not up to the task unless the victim wants to minimize the chances of successfully being awarded a settlement.
While a truck accident lawyer will typically offer a free case evaluation and even take the matter on a contingency fee basis, it doesn't mean that all attorneys are built equal.
Even with minimal knowledge of the legal intricacies involved in truck accident claims, it is possible to pay attention to a few signs that truck accident attorneys are either perfect for the job or should be avoided. Use the insights below to help with the eventual decision.
Truck accident attorneys will be doing a lot of interaction with their clients as they work on case building. At the onset, it is usually possible to get a feel for how the flow of communication will work.
This can be taken a step further by simply asking how interactions will work. Will the lawyer call directly? Will it be another staff member? How frequently should you expect to be in touch?
Different attorneys will handle this differently. What's important is ensuring that whatever method is used works for you.
Experience with Cases Involving Truck Accidents
Relevant experience is always non-negotiable in these kinds of sensitive matters. Having experience is one thing. However, applicable experience is another. If a loved one died from the crash, does the lawyer have past experience in fatal truck accidents?
What were the outcomes of these cases? It's much better to have a lawyer who is simply repeating what has been done before instead of one who is learning the bases while handling the matter.
Whether it's accounts of past cases or independent reviews, it's always a good idea to understand the reputation of a law firm. What is the success rate? What are the parameters of the cases handled? How did previous clients feel?
Successful law firms pride themselves on their reputation and will even make it a part of their marketing strategy. Pay attention to this kind of thing.
Remember That a Texas Truck Accident Is Subject to a Statute of Limitations
A victim has two years to file a claim after a truck accident in Texas if there is any hope to recover compensation. Note that if there was a wrongful death, the timeline is calculated from the date of the death.
They were polite and really cared throughout the entire process and made me feel like my case was important. I would highly recommend them to anyone that didn’t get a fair offer from the insurance company like me!
- Brian D.
How Long Do Truck Accident Victims Wait for an Injury Claim Lawsuit to End?
There isn't a defined timeline that governs this. The best case scenario sees the trucking company agree to the settlement presented without the matter needing to be brought before a court.
While this does happen, sometimes the other side will not agree to the compensation being sought, which means a trial becomes necessary.
At that point, there is no saying how long it will take since variables are different from one case to the next.
What is Your Semi-truck Accident Lawsuit Worth?
Like the timeline, this is not the kind of thing that a Texas truck accident lawyer can simply tell you. There needs to be an understanding of how everything unfolded and the kinds of damages that are to be sought.
Non-economic damages in particular will require serious expertise to value accurately.
What Are the Essential Things to Do if Hit By a Truck Driver?
Seek Medical Care
After an ordeal such as an 18-wheeler accident, getting medical attention to care for injuries suffered is a must. If possible, attempt to call for medical assistance for others involved in the crash that may not necessarily be able to do so for themselves.
Truck accident lawsuits are won based on how solid the case is. Any data from the scene that can prove the negligence of the trucking company, driver, etc. is a win. Photo and video evidence of elements such as the position of the truck, any skid marks, injuries, property damage, etc., would be helpful.
Lookout for Witnesses
Having people who saw what happened to provide testimony is a great asset for claims surrounding commercial truck accidents. Not everyone who sees something will be willing to be a witness, but getting a couple who are is a huge plus. Ensure to retain the contact details somewhere safe.
Provide a Statement to Law Enforcement
A police officer will usually be called to the scene of an accident where a personal injury has taken place. If this did not occur, get to the relevant station as soon as possible to file the report.
Sometimes, a major deciding factor in a truck accident claim in Houston is the presence or lack thereof of a statement to the police.
This will usually contribute to the eventual police report that Texas truck accident attorneys will often request as they build the case.
Call an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
Once the medical side of things is adequately taken care of, this should be one of the first orders of business. A personal injury attorney has a very good idea of what kind of actions are helpful or harmful to a case.
By reaching out, legal counsel is provided that will lead to an understanding of what actions to take and what to stay away from such as talking to an insurance company alone.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Best in class Houston Truck Accident Attorney Today!
A trucking accident can cause serious injuries that may or may not reduce the quality of life permanently. When drivers or other parties are negligent, they should be made to pay for what they have done quite literally.
This belief is what motivates us to go to war for our valued clients, and we will continue to lean on our principles, so long as there are those who would jeopardize the safety of others.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are here to support you with one of the best Texas truck accident lawyers available. Schedule a free case review today with no obligation by calling (833) 692-5038