Truck Accident Attorneys
Fighting to Recover Compensation for Truck Accident Victims
Too many Americans are seriously injured or killed each year as a result of severe truck accidents. Consequences of these crashes tend to be more extreme given the immense size and weight of the vehicles. People traveling in smaller vehicles are especially vulnerable: Trucks often weigh 20 to 30 times as much as passenger cars. Trucks are also taller than other automobiles, leading to situations where smaller cars may even ride under a truck during a collision.
When truck accidents happen, victims find themselves devastated at the loss and overwhelmed by the prospect of taking on a large trucking company when seeking compensation for the wreck. Our team at Potts Law Firm can provide the compassionate representation you need to hold responsible parties accountable and recover just compensation. We have secured over a billion dollars for our clients, and our firm has the resources, agility, and drive needed to win complex cases. Our truck accident lawyers are committed to fighting for you and will stop at nothing to secure the best possible resolution.
If you were injured in a truck accident, contact us online or call (888) 420-1299 to schedule a free initial consultation. Same-day appointments are available, and we offer our services in English and Spanish.
What is a Truck?
A truck is a motor vehicle designed for the transportation of goods, cargo, or materials. Trucks are characterized by their robust and versatile design, with a separate cargo area or bed at the rear of the vehicle that allows them to carry a wide range of loads. They are commonly used in various industries for the efficient movement of goods and can vary in size, shape, and purpose, depending on the specific requirements of the task at hand.
Here are some common types of trucks, including the ones you mentioned:
- Semi-Truck (Semi or Tractor-Trailer): Also known as an 18-wheeler, big rig, or articulated truck. Consists of a tractor unit (front part) and a separate trailer (rear part) for carrying cargo. Widely used for long-haul freight transportation.
- Delivery Truck: Designed for local or regional delivery of goods. Often smaller and more maneuverable than long-haul trucks. Examples include box trucks and parcel delivery vans.
- Pickup Truck: Smaller trucks with an open cargo bed at the rear. Used for a variety of purposes, including personal transportation and light-duty hauling.
- Dump Truck: Equipped with a hydraulically operated bed that can be tilted to unload its cargo. Commonly used in construction and mining for transporting and dumping materials.
- Box Truck: A truck with an enclosed cargo area that is typically box-shaped. Used for transporting a wide range of goods, including furniture, appliances, and perishable items.
- Flatbed Truck: Features a flat cargo bed without sides or a roof. Suited for transporting oversized or irregularly shaped loads, such as construction equipment and large machinery.
- Tow Truck: Designed for towing and recovering other vehicles, such as cars, trucks, or motorcycles. Equipped with mechanisms for hoisting and towing disabled or wrecked vehicles.
- Refrigerated Truck (Reefer): Equipped with a refrigeration unit to transport temperature-sensitive goods like food and pharmaceuticals.
- Tank Truck: Designed for transporting liquids or gases, often in specialized tanks. Used for transporting substances like gasoline, chemicals, and industrial liquids.
- Garbage Truck: Specifically built for the collection and disposal of solid waste and recyclable materials. Various designs include front loaders, rear loaders, and side loaders.
- Fire Truck (Fire Engine): Specialized vehicles used by fire departments to transport firefighters and firefighting equipment to the scene of fires and emergencies.
- Off-Road Truck (Off-Highway Truck): Built for rugged terrain and heavy-duty applications, such as mining and construction in challenging environments.
- Utility Truck: Equipped with specialized equipment or tools for specific tasks, like telecommunications maintenance, electrical work, or tree trimming.
These are just a few examples of the many types of trucks used for various purposes in transportation, construction, and other industries. Trucks play a vital role in the global economy by facilitating the movement of goods and materials across vast distances and diverse terrains.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Trucks are huge, unwieldy automobiles that must be operated by trained professionals. Given the size and weight of many of these vehicles, drivers must make every effort to follow traffic rules and other guidelines specific to trucks. When these rules are broken, catastrophic crashes are often the result.
Our truck accident attorneys can represent you if you were involved in a crash caused by:
- Driver Fatigue. Fatigue is a major factor associated with many car accidents. When drivers are fatigued, their reflexes will be delayed, they will have difficulty reacting appropriately to their surroundings, and they will experience an overall decrease in alertness. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) notes that driver fatigue may be due to insufficient sleep, excessive work hours, strenuous work activities (or non-work activities), or a combination of other factors. The trucking industry operates on very tight deadlines, pressuring truckers to reach their destinations as soon as possible. Because of these deadlines, it is not uncommon for truckers to drive longer than what FMCSA regulations allow, resulting in severe fatigue. Federal law requires truck drivers to stop driving and rest after a certain number of hours. Some trucking companies will demand or incentivize truckers to ignore these rules and exceed the permitted number of hours.
- Speeding. Speeding is a primary cause of all types of vehicular accidents, and trucks are no exception. When truckers drive over the legal speed limit or travel too fast for the present road conditions (which may be impacted by weather or visibility issues), they are more likely to cause an accident. A fast-moving truck will have a tougher time stopping or maneuvering. Unfortunately, some truck drivers will be pressured or incentivized to reach their destinations as fast as possible, compelling them to speed to avoid ramifications or earn bonuses.
- Lack of Training or Safety Programs. Trucking companies must ensure the drivers they place on the road have the experience and qualifications for the job, which is typically verified through the training and safety courses they are supposed to facilitate. Some trucking companies may disregard the rules and put inadequate drivers behind the wheels of large semi-trucks. An ill-trained driver may not understand how to safely operate their vehicle and subsequently cause an avoidable accident.
- Distracted Driving. Distraction can be a problem for everyone on the road, but with heavy trucks, the stakes are much, much higher. Distracted driving encompasses everything from eating while driving to texting while driving to reading while driving. When a truck driver’s attention is on anything other than the road ahead of them, they are less likely to notice hazards and traffic in time to safely stop.
- Insufficient Maintenance. Trucking companies are required to perform routine maintenance on their vehicles. Failure to complete regular maintenance can result in mechanical issues that trigger dire outcomes on the road.
Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident?
Liability for a car accident tends to be cut and dry. If the other driver was failing to follow the rules of the road, they will likely be found at-fault and can be sued by the injured victim for damages. Truck accidents are more complicated, as more than one party may be liable.
Depending on the circumstances of the truck accidents (including its cause), one or more of the following parties may be liable:
- The truck driver: The truck driver can be held liable if their actions, such as negligence, recklessness, or violation of traffic laws, directly contributed to the accident. Common factors include speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence, or driver fatigue.
- The truck driver’s employer (the trucking company): Trucking companies can be held liable under the legal doctrine of "respondeat superior," which holds employers responsible for the actions of their employees when those actions occur within the scope of employment. If the truck driver was on duty and acting in the course of their job when the accident occurred, the trucking company can be sued.
- The manufacturer of a defective truck component: If the accident resulted from a defect in the truck's design, manufacturing, or maintenance, the manufacturer of the defective component may be held liable. This could include defects in the brakes, tires, steering, or other critical components of the truck.
- The truck’s maintenance team: If inadequate maintenance or negligent repairs were a factor in the accident, the maintenance team or company responsible for servicing the truck may be held liable. Properly maintaining a commercial truck is crucial for safety, and failure to do so can lead to accidents.
- The truck’s cargo loaders: If improper loading, securing, or overloading of cargo contributed to the accident, the individuals or company responsible for loading the truck may be held liable. Improperly loaded cargo can cause balance issues and lead to accidents.
- Government Entities: In some cases, government entities responsible for road maintenance and safety may be held liable if a poorly maintained road, inadequate signage, or other road-related issues played a role in the accident.
- Other Third Parties: Depending on the circumstances, liability may extend to other third parties involved in the transportation of the cargo or operation of the truck, such as shippers, brokers, or leasing companies.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
To recover compensation for truck accident-related damages, you will need to take legal action before your state’s statute of limitations expires. The precise time limit will depend on your state, but it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney as soon as you can after an accident. Survivors of a person killed in a truck accident will get additional time to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Our truck accident lawyers will work to get you compensation for all losses, including:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses for your injuries
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
What Are the Most Common Truck Accident Injuries?
The injuries suffered in truck accidents can be severe and life-altering. While drivers and passengers can often walk away from a normal vehicle accident with only minor injuries, that’s not always the case when it comes to truck crashes. Commonly seen truck accident injuries include:
- Concussions and head trauma: Usually the result of intense forces causing the brain to jostle inside the skull. These injuries can cause physical and cognitive impairments.
- Neck and back pain: The forces in a truck accident can often put strain on the neck and back as they absorb the energy of the crash. This can lead to cervical and lumbar sprains or worse, causing extensive pain for truck accident victims.
- Spinal cord injuries (paralysis): When the bones in the spine crack, break or pinch, the nerves in the spinal cord can be damaged. In the worst cases, victims may be paralyzed or suffer other severe impairments due to the damage. These injuries are also slow to heal, if they heal at all.
- Whiplash: When a truck or car is hit with enough force, the torso can be thrown backward and then forward quickly. This motion causes the neck to stretch and strain, resulting in whiplash. Whiplash can cause long-term pain or even chronic neck strain and headaches.
- Internal organ damage/internal bleeding: The force of a truck crash can cause internal organs to rupture or bleed. These injuries require immediate medical attention and can be hard to diagnose, as they often do not have obvious symptoms.
- Fractures/broken bones: Your bones are very study and some what flexible. However, the forces in a truck crash can easily fracture and break the bones in our limbs, ribs, clavicles, and other body parts.
- Lacerations: When glass and metal are thrown about, drivers and passengers can suffer deep cuts. These wounds can be numerous on deep. Depending on the types of lacerations suffered, recovery could be a long process.
How Do You Prove a Truck Accident Was Due to Negligence?
The key to a successful truck accident lawsuit is proving the other party was negligent in their actions. Negligence essentially means that someone acted with disregard for their responsibility and caused injury or death as a result.
To prove negligence, you must show that:
- The truck driver, company, or other liable party had a duty of care towards you (e.g., as a fellow road user);
- That duty was breached; and
- You were harmed as a direct result of this breach.
Truck companies can be held liable if they fail to adequately vet drivers, encourage them to drive longer than allowed by law, or do not perform routine maintenance on their vehicles. In addition, manufacturers may also be held liable if any defective components of the truck were to blame.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer in Houston Help After a Truck Collision?
Working with a truck accident lawyer in Houston can provide vital assistance in your pursuit of justice and compensation for damages. Depending on the severity of your case, you may find yourself up against tough opponents such as giant insurance companies and deep-pocketed trucking companies. These entities typically have their own battery of lawyers whose sole purpose is to limit payouts or deny claims outright.
When you hire a reputable truck accident law firm like Potts Law Firm, we will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome. Our team has years of experience navigating complex cases, so you can rest assured that you are getting the highest quality representation available. We will do our utmost to maximize your financial recovery while also holding negligent parties accountable for their actions.
You do not have to go through this process alone. Call (888) 420-1299 or contact us online to explore your recovery options with our legal professionals.
Many truck accident cases will require you to sue a trucking company, which will have substantial legal resources at its disposal. As you work to recover from severe to catastrophic injuries, you may also not be in a practical position to handle complex legal proceedings.
Potts Law Firm can provide the dependable advocacy you need to level the playing field and get the damages you are owed. We take most truck accident cases on a contingency basis, meaning you will owe us nothing up front. You only pay legal fees if we win or negotiate an acceptable settlement. Our empathetic team will be by your side from beginning to end and will work to investigate the accident, establish liability, gather evidence, and prepare a compelling case.
We work to resolve these cases quickly so that you can get compensation faster. That means we may attempt to negotiate a settlement to avoid a costly, lengthy trial. However, if a trial is the only path forward, we are more than ready to fight for you in court.
If you are unsure if you have a case, don’t hesitate to call us today for a free consultation. Our team of experienced attorneys are ready to review your claim and fight for you.
“They were able to complete it in a timely manner and were great at keeping me up to date with communication throughout the entire process. I highly recommend using this law firm if the need arises.”- Stephen P.
“Michael Bins has been extremely helpful in helping us to navigate a situation with an insurance claim on a commercial property. He’s gone above and beyond in moving our case toward a positive resolution that we’re satisfied with.”- Theo C.
“They know the law from every angle, dig deep, and will not accept anything less than what was asked in the original suit. The Potts team never backed down until the case was settled in full.”- Molly H.