Commercial trucking accidents are different from other types of motor vehicle accidents. When you’re dealing with a big rig, 18-wheeler, semi-truck, oilfield truck, or other heavy commercial vehicle, there are multiple factors that make recovering compensation an incredible challenge for many victims.
Accident victims healing from truck wreck injuries need a highly experienced truck accident attorney to protect their rights. On your own, it’s nearly impossible to successfully stand up against a trucking company, their insurer, and a team of investigators hired to invalidate your claim to fair compensation.
The Houston truck accident lawyers from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm are practiced, skilled, and determined to see you obtain justice after trucking company negligence devastated your life.
Contact our office to schedule your free consultation with a top Houston truck accident lawyer on our team. We’ll answer all your questions about truck accident claims and the legal process for recovering a truck accident settlement.
Why You Need a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
Having a law firm of compassionate, capable, and experienced truck accident lawyers on your side is of indescribable benefit when filing a truck accident lawsuit. Commercial truck accidents are much more difficult to litigate than car accidents, for more reasons than one.
In order to secure the financial award needed to cover your medical bills, lost income, and other damages, you will need to find a Texas truck accident attorney you can trust to work competently and fearlessly on your behalf.
Even more than a typical car accident, a truck accident case involves:
- Extreme, severe injuries and high risk of fatality
- Vehicles owned by companies, driven by employees, and handled by many parties along the shipping and transit chain
- Municipal, state, and federal trucking regulations
- Big business insurance companies protecting the trucking company’s assets
- Teams of investigators hired by truck companies to discredit your claim
Texas truck accident lawsuits are necessary for holding trucking industry negligence accountable and making Houston’s roads safer for all of us. Truck accident victims need to know their severe injuries and financial losses are being compensated by the insurance company of the at-fault party. Those costs should never come out of your own pocket.
Find the Right Truck Accident Attorneys To Represent You in Texas
How do you know if you have the right Houston truck accident lawyers on your side? Before we take on any new truck accident case, we sit down with our potential clients for a free consultation. This gives us the opportunity to learn about your Texas truck accident case, and gives you the chance to ask us questions to see if we’re the right personal injury law firm for you.
We are proud of the hard work our truck crash lawyers devote to each and every case. Our successful track record litigating complex tractor-trailer accidents across the nation speaks volumes about the talent and drive our attorneys possess.
Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm’s Houston truck accident lawyers are:
- Winners of numerous awards in personal injury law
- Nationally-recognized trial lawyers
- Known for a strong local presence and outstanding reputation in our region
- Houston Trial Lawyers Association and Texas Trial Lawyers Association members
- Equally accomplished working at the local, state, and federal court levels
- Capable of communicating with you and your family in Spanish or English
- Caring, compassionate, and driven to see you get justice
We Will Fight for Your Rights, No Matter What
Trucking companies are rarely willing to take responsibility for the devastation their actions or the actions of their truck drivers cause. While you endure pain and suffering and a growing mountain of medical bills, the trucking company is likely working with their high-paid team of attorneys to find a way to evade liability.
We take Houston truck accident cases seriously. When trucking negligence injures or kills the people of our city, the truck accident attorneys of Buckingham Barrera Vega take action.
To build a strong truck accident claim, your Houston personal injury attorney will:
- Conduct rigorous and exhaustive investigations
- Accurately determine liability, no matter how many parties are at fault
- Gather evidence to prove negligence
- Interpret and understand state laws and federal trucking industry regulations
- Work within the time limits set by the Texas statute of limitations
- Partner with engineers, medical experts, forensic investigators, and accident reconstruction specialists who can prove your claim
- Calculate the full spectrum of your economic and noneconomic losses
- Negotiate a settlement with the insurance company that awards you maximum compensation
- Expertly represent you in court if your case goes to trial
How Much Is a Houston Truck Accident Claim Worth?
There are several variables that influence the value of a Houston truck accident claim. Damages will depend greatly on the actions of the negligent party and the severity of the accident and injuries. At Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm, we have won multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for personal injury victims.
When our Texas truck accident attorneys evaluate your case, we examine all aspects of your situation to assign the highest value to your truck accident claim. You can only obtain maximum compensation if your legal representation takes the time to understand all the ways your life has been impacted by your 18-wheeler accident—both now and in the future.
What Compensation Can Texas Truck Accident Victims Recover?
The following overview provides information about damages that may be available to victims of accidents involving a large commercial truck. Because your truck accident case will be unique to the circumstances of your crash, a truck accident attorney will need to advise you of the specific damages to which you are entitled under Texas law.
You may be eligible to seek:
- Economic damages
- Noneconomic damages
- Punitive damages (in rare cases)
This category of damages is referred to as “economic” because it compensates your financial losses. We’ll fight for you to receive compensation to cover the costs associated with your truck accident and serious injury.
Common economic damages in a tractor-trailer accident are:
- Ambulance and hospital expenses
- Diagnostic tests and medical imaging fees
- Cost of treating an injury
- Future medical care, including physical therapy
- Prescription medications
- Home and vehicle accommodations following permanent disability
- Lost wages from missed work time
- Loss of future earnings after diminished earning capacity or inability to work
- Lost work-related benefits, such as retirement savings plans or health insurance
- Cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle
- Property damage to valuables inside your car
- Transportation and rental car costs
- Child care, pet walking, or other incidental living expenses
These damages are for other, non-financial losses. It’s possible you had to completely readjust your lifestyle after your personal injury. You may have missed important life events, and your psychological health may have declined severely after your serious accident.
You may be able to recover damages for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of consortium after the wrongful death of a loved one
Punitive, or exemplary, damages are not common in personal injury claims, but they may apply in a small percentage of truck accident cases. Unlike the damages that compensate your losses (known as compensatory damages), punitive damages make an example of grossly negligent behavior, so it doesn’t happen again.
If an intoxicated truck driver causes a fatal accident, for example, a Texas court may deem punitive damages appropriate. Your Houston truck accident lawyers can review the details of your truck crash and determine if it is within your legal right to seek punitive damages.
Seeking Justice After Fatal Truck Crashes
Accidents involving an 18-wheeler are often fatal to passenger car occupants. If you lost a loved one in a Houston car accident involving a commercial truck, one of our lawyers can help you seek justice on their behalf.
Our truck accident lawyers will help you hold the at-fault party accountable and recover compensation for medical bills, funeral and burial costs, lost income, and other losses your family has suffered.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit after a fatal truck accident is never easy. We make sure to handle all aspects of the legal procedure for you, giving you space to grieve and focus on what is important in your life. Every member of our legal team will treat your wrongful death claim with the professionalism, sensitivity, and respect your loved one deserves.
What Does it Cost To Hire a Top-Rated Houston Truck Accident Lawyer?
When clients come to Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm for help, it’s because they are facing one of the most difficult periods of their life. Truck accidents leave victims emotionally, physically, and financially devastated. At our personal injury law firm, we don’t believe this is the right time to charge clients legal fees.
Our Houston truck accident lawyers take most cases on a contingency fee basis, allowing you to focus on healing without worrying about how you can afford top-quality legal representation. We don’t get paid until we win your case. All of our truck accident cases begin with a free consultation to help you learn if we’re the right Texas truck accident lawyers for you.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
A heavy truck, whether it’s a tractor-trailer, garbage truck, or oil truck, can cause catastrophic injuries in a crash. This means the injuries will have long-lasting damage and could prevent you from returning to work due to permanent disability.
Accidents involving commercial trucks often result in one or more of the following types of injuries:
Truck drivers rarely suffer severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in a truck crash, but this type of personal injury is seen with relative frequency among occupants of passenger vehicles. Accident victims who suffer a TBI may experience issues with memory, concentration, motor function, and communication. Even a concussion, one of the mildest forms of a TBI, can impact your ability to function normally for months.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis
Damage to the spinal cord can cause loss of feeling and function below the injury site. A broken spinal cord could result in complete or partial paralysis. People who suffer sudden, trauma-induced spinal cord damage often need to change many aspects of their life to accommodate their disability.
A body part can be severed in a trucking accident, or damaged beyond repair so that it must be surgically removed. Accident victims who lost a limb in a semi-truck accident may never be able to return to their previous employment.
A truck accident victim may suffer second or third-degree burns if a vehicle fire breaks out. If the tractor-trailer is hauling hazardous materials, there is also the danger of chemical burns. After a semi-truck accident, a burn victim may be left with permanent disfigurement and severe burns prone to infection.
Internal Organ Damage
Internal bleeding is a serious condition that requires immediate medical treatment. Organ damage may lead to organ failure and can be life-threatening if not remedied right away. A physician usually needs to perform an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan to determine the extent of internal injuries.
A broken arm or leg may eventually heal, but the recovery process could mean limited mobility for months, followed by prolonged physical therapy. This could prevent accident victims from working or performing everyday tasks for a significant amount of time.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Sprains, strains, and tears may not be detected immediately and require an X-ray or MRI to diagnose. These injuries also take time to heal and can cause chronic health issues and ongoing pain.
Coping With Trucking Accident Injuries
When you’re dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident, filing a truck accident claim may seem like an impossible task. That’s why the Houston truck accident lawyers from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm work hard to make sure every legal matter is handled for you.
The cost of health care should not prevent you from getting the treatment you need. When you’re faced with hefty medical expenses on top of your other financial responsibilities, it’s natural to worry about affording care.
Our truck accident lawyers will assess the full extent of your injuries. This includes what injury you’ve sustained, how long it will take to treat, and any form of treatment needed for recovery. When we seek compensation on your behalf, we make sure the number reflects an accurate picture of your needs now and for the rest of your life.
The wrongdoing committed by a truck driver or trucking company should not result in your financial hardship. Let a Houston truck accident attorney on our team go over your right to file a truck accident claim with you. Call today for a free case evaluation.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
While all vehicles can be involved in accidents like:
- T-bone (broadside) collisions,
- Rear-end collisions,
- Head-on crashes, and
- Sideswipe accidents,
there are some types of accidents that are unique to trucking accidents. Once these accidents are set in motion, it’s all but impossible for the truck driver to regain control and prevent the crash.
In Houston, TX, commercial vehicles like tractor-trailers are often involved in the following types of truck accidents:
Truck drivers who take turns too quickly risk causing a rollover accident. Due to the weight, size, and high center of gravity, a semi-truck is vulnerable to losing its balance when turns and curves aren’t handled skillfully. Overloading or improper loading can also cause this type of 18-wheeler accident.
A semi-truck accident involving a rollover can generate a significant road obstruction that incoming vehicles don’t have time to avoid, leading to a chain-reaction car accident.
Override and Underride Accidents
An 18-wheeler accident in which the truck drives over the car in front of it is called an override accident. Similarly, when a car slides under and becomes trapped beneath the back or side of a truck, it’s known as an underride.
In semi-truck accidents like these, there’s very little passenger vehicle occupants can do to free themselves. In some cases, parts of the car can be shorn off, and those trapped inside are in danger of life-threatening injuries.
A jackknife is a type of 18-wheeler accident in which the tractor and trailer portions of the vehicle move in opposite directions. This creates an “L” or “V,” or “jackknife,” formation. Under these circumstances, the trailer can easily become a barrier that collides with traffic.
Truck drivers need to be well trained by trucking companies on how to avoid jackknife accidents. Improper braking, poor handling of steep inclines, and driving recklessly in unsafe weather are truck driver errors that can cause jackknifes.
Another type of trucking accident that can result from inadequate truck driver training is a wide-turn collision. If you’ve seen commercial truck drivers maneuvering turns before, you know the space and navigational dexterity it requires. Left-hand turns, in particular, require training, experience, and patience.
When truck drivers rush to complete turns, fail to check blind spots, or haven’t been given proper training by the trucking companies that employ them, passenger vehicle drivers are put in danger.
If your Houston car accident involved one of the above types of semi-truck accidents, you need a strong team of accident lawyers in Houston to help you stand up to the negligent truck driver or trucking company.
The consequences of these commercial truck accidents can be severe. This is why it’s so important to have a trusted Houston, TX truck accident lawyer represent you. We’ll find out what kind of accident you were in and what caused it.
Your Houston truck accident attorney won’t stop until every detail of your case is uncovered. Negligent trucking companies can’t hide behind dishonest tactics when Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm is on your side.
What Causes Texas Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents are a tragically common occurrence in our state. Texas has consistently led the nation in truck accident and fatality rates for the past several years. The size of the state and the pervasiveness of major interstate trucking routes contribute to the fact that more truck accidents happen in Texas than anywhere else in the United States.
In Houston, TX and the rest of the Lone Star State, truck accident cases can involve one or multiple contributing factors. Your Texas truck accident lawyer will investigate the 18-wheeler accident and assign liability to one or more parties.
Some of the most common contributing factors seen by our semi-truck accident attorneys include:
Truck Driver Error
If the trucker is inexperienced, careless, intoxicated, or distracted, they can cause an accident. Some of the most frequent driver errors involve:
- Failing to signal
- Distracted driving
- Substance abuse
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Improper turning
- Broken traffic laws
- Inexperience and loss of vehicle control
Truck Driver Fatigue
Drowsy driving is especially dangerous when the driver is operating an 18 -wheeler. Driver fatigue is a major issue in the trucking industry. Truckers are often on the road for long hours over multiple days. They may skip regulated resting times due to strict deadlines, pressure from their employer, or financial concerns.
Your personal injury lawyers may need to review driver logs and company records to determine if the driver that caused your Houston car accident was in violation of federal hours of service (HOS) regulations.
Violated Federal Regulations
In addition to HOS regulations, there are many other federal laws trucking companies must follow. This system of regulations is controlled by agencies like the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Being compliant with these laws means operating commercial vehicles to the highest safety standards in the areas of:
- Emergency protocol
- Fueling requirements
- Tire, brake, steering, and other mechanical parts operation
- When and where vehicles may be parked
- Types of cargo certain trucks are allowed to carry
- Loading and weight standards
- Licensing for drivers, owners, and operators
- Hiring and training
- Drug and alcohol testing
A Houston truck accident attorney from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm will thoroughly investigate the trucking company to determine if any federal regulations were violated.
A high percentage of truck accident claims cite mechanical failure as a primary contributing factor. A trucking company may be in violation of federal law if it is found that the parts failure is attributable to a lack of inspections or negligent fleet maintenance.
The most common mechanical failures known to cause truck wrecks are:
- Defective or worn-down brakes or brake parts
- Steering system issues
- Transmission failure
- Tire blowouts
- Insufficient fluid levels
- Broken lights and turn signals
This may include improperly secured cargo that comes loose on the highway, cargo that shifts inside the trailer and throws it off balance, or overloaded cargo that leads to a rollover or mechanical failure. Commercial trucks that are loaded incorrectly are more likely to experience transmission failure or a tire blowout—in addition to being at higher risk of causing a loss-of-control trucking accident.
Who Is Responsible for Your Truck Accident Injuries?
If you were injured in a Houston car accident, you and your car accident lawyer would most likely file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. But a semi-truck crash is much more complex. It’s not always the driver who is at fault. In fact, there are multiple parties that may be found liable for your 18-wheeler accident.
It’s easy to assume the driver is at fault, but it’s possible that the negligent party was not even at the accident scene. Commercial trucks pass through many hands before they set out on a haul—from truck drivers and trucking companies all the way back to auto parts manufacturers.
You Texas truck accident lawyer can help you determine which of these parties is responsible for your trucking accident.
An 18-wheeler accident may be the fault of the driver if the trucker engaged in reckless, intoxicated, distracted, or fatigued driving. In Houston, TX, drivers must have the proper commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a vehicle within city limits. HOS violations, drunk driving, and other dangerous behaviors lead to truck accidents every day.
In some cases, a driver’s negligence may also be tied to trucking company negligence.
A truck company may be partially or fully liable for your accident if the driver was improperly trained or forced to spend more time behind the wheel than what is legally allowed.
Serious issues like overloading, poor hiring practices, lack of truck maintenance, and failure to conduct inspections may indicate a trucking company is at fault for the truck crash. An experienced Houston truck accident attorney will need to investigate the trucking company’s history to see if there is a pattern of negligent behaviors.
Passenger vehicle accidents usually involve two cars driven by their owners. In this situation, you and your car accident lawyer will investigate the actions of the other driver and file a claim with their auto insurance company. But in a truck accident, the driver is rarely the owner of the vehicle.
If the truck is owned by a party other than the driver or the trucking company, things can become even more complicated. For example, a truck owner may fail to maintain a vehicle and send a driver out on the road in an unsafe tractor-trailer. The driver may, in turn, be a third-party worker for a trucking company that does not legally employ them. This will require your attorney to spend a significant amount of effort investigating all involved parties, including the truck owner.
If the truck is owned by a separate party, your Texas truck accident lawyers will examine the owner’s actions, analyze the laws they were required to follow, and review the terms of their insurance policy.
Auto Parts Manufacturing Companies
Sometimes a manufacturing or design defect can lead to a truck crash months down the road. If the brakes failed, the transmission gave out, or the headlights didn’t work, a manufacturing company may be responsible for your injuries.
Shipping and Loading Companies
The duty of safely loading the trailer of the truck sometimes rests with a shipping or loading company. These employees are responsible for securing or transferring cargo to the commercial vehicle from ships or other forms of transit or directly from a factory or warehouse.
If an individual at this stage of the cargo’s journey acts negligently, the shipping company or employee may be responsible for the injuries you later suffer. Shipping or loading negligence may involve failure to fasten cargo securely or unbalanced loading.
However, if the trucker or carrier does not notice poorly-loaded cargo—when it should have been noticed during a routine inspection—liability may still lie with the company or driver.
Your Houston Truck Accident Attorneys Will Hold the Negligent Party Accountable
An experienced truck accident lawyer will not be intimidated by a negligent company. Negligent corporations need to be held accountable for their actions. We’ll demonstrate how a failure to prioritize safety resulted in your injuries and damages. Then, we can seek the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Taking your truck accident claim to a powerful motor carrier and their insurance company is no simple task. Occupants of passenger vehicles involved in a serious accident caused by a commercial truck need to be protected. We are the lawyers who will defend your rights, no matter how hard a company fights back.
What To Do After a Houston, TX Truck Crash
Because trucking collisions can result in severe injuries, it may not be feasible to complete all the steps outlined below. As much as possible, however, it’s important to try to follow these steps after a collision. Doing so can protect yourself and the safety of others.
- Move vehicles out of traffic and to a safe location on the shoulder or off the road.
- Do not attempt to move an accident victim who appears to be seriously injured.
- Call 911 and wait for emergency medical technicians to arrive.
- Take photographs or video of the accident scene if possible.
- Get important information from the truck driver, including their name, the company they work for, their CDL number, and the vehicle license plate number.
- Give your account of the accident to the police officer who arrives at the scene.
- Obtain a copy of the police report for your records, or ask the officer on duty how to acquire a copy of the report later.
- Allow yourself to be examined by EMTs. Even if you are cleared to go home, follow up with your primary care physician for a more complete physical examination. Internal injuries can be masked by adrenaline after a crash.
- Contact an experienced truck collision attorney to learn the steps you should take next.
Why Is the Truck Insurance Company Contacting Me After a Crash?
Based on our experience, we know that an insurance adjuster hired by the truck company’s insurer may begin contacting you immediately following the truck wreck. Be careful when you speak to this person—they don’t have your best interests in mind.
The insurance adjuster has been trained to get information from you that can save their company money. The adjuster will try to get you to settle as quickly as possible, saying anything to convince you that the amount is fair and generous. In truth, an initial settlement offer is never fair and generous. They will trick, bully, intimidate, or lie to you if necessary. They will ask you questions to trip you up, confuse you, and get you to say something you don’t mean or don’t understand.
Respectfully tell the insurance adjuster that communications will be handled by your truck crash lawyer. Never agree to give a recorded statement, and always refrain from answering any questions about your health condition or the cause of the accident.
Be polite but firm. If the insurance company employee is insistent, end the phone call immediately and contact your lawyer.
How Long Do I Have To File a Truck Accident Lawsuit in Texas?
Each state has its own statute of limitations for truck accidents and other types of personal injury cases. A statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to take legal action against the at-fault party. The clock usually begins from the date of the accident and injuries or, in some cases, from the date the injury is discovered.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for most commercial trucking accidents is two years. Injured parties and representatives of wrongful death victims generally only have this limited amount of time to file lawsuits to recover rightful compensation.
From a legal standpoint, this is a short amount of time. The time passes even faster when you’re recovering from serious injuries or mourning the loss of a close relative. Don’t let the deadline pass for financial recovery. Even if you think you can handle the repercussions of a trucking accident on your own, you may not realize the intense financial burden your medical expenses and other bills may become in the upcoming months and years.
If never hurts to speak with an experienced Houston truck accident law office about your legal options. In difficult situations like these, information is invaluable. The free legal advice our law firm can offer may change the course of your future.
Get Experienced Representation Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Texas, you deserve dedicated legal representation. You deserve a legal professional who cares personally about your case outcome. You need a lawyer who will resolutely advocate for your future.
The Houston truck accident lawyers at Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm fight fiercely to protect clients’ rights. Our reputation is built on an unwavering commitment to our clients’ needs and an unwillingness to take no for an answer.
We understand the hard work and attention to detail it takes to build a strong case. While the legal process can take time, we’ll prepare your case, so you have the best chance of winning a successful outcome. Because of the time it can take to gather all the necessary evidence, it’s important to reach out as quickly as possible so we can get started on your claim.
Contact Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm today for a free case evaluation. We’ll listen to your story and go over the ways we can help.
Our truck accident attorneys have prepared for decades to fight for you.