In the vast urban expanse of Houston, life moves at a rapid pace. Amidst this fervor, accidents, specifically those involving 18-wheelers, can occur – disrupting lives and throwing families into turmoil.
In these crucial moments, having a reliable and adept 18-wheeler accident lawyer by your side is paramount.
This blog delves into the legal world of these special attorneys, offering you valuable insights to make the most informed choice when selecting your legal counsel. Navigate through these challenges with our comprehensive guide tailored for you.
Who is Liable in a Truck Accident?
Determining liability in a truck accident can be a complicated process. Unlike a standard car accident, where responsibility generally lies with one of the drivers, liability in a truck accident can fall on various parties.
These could include:
- The driver of the truck: The truck driver might be liable if they were driving recklessly, under the influence, or not adhering to traffic rules.
- The trucking company: If the company didn’t comply with regulations or pushed drivers to operate in unsafe conditions, the company could be held responsible.
- The truck manufacturer: If a faulty part or poor vehicle construction causes the accident, liability might fall on the truck’s manufacturer or the manufacturer of an individual part.
- Other drivers: Other drivers can also contribute to a truck accident due to reckless driving, negligence, etc.
With so many potential parties involved, engaging a knowledgeable and experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer is critical to navigate these liability pathways.
What are the Different Types of Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents can vary widely in nature, reflecting a range of circumstances and causes.
Here are some of the most common types:
- Jackknife Accidents occur when the truck folds into an acute angle, resembling a jackknife.
- Rollover Accidents happen when the truck tips over onto its side or roof.
- Blind Spot Accidents: These types of accidents happen when a truck operator doesn’t see another vehicle due to the truck’s large blind spots.
- Lost Load Accidents happen when the truck’s cargo is inadequately secured, causing it to dislodge and create dangerous road conditions.
What are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Although the specific circumstances of each accident are unique, there are common causes underlying many truck accidents.
Let’s look at a few key contributors:
- Fatigue: Due to long hours on the road, truck drivers might suffer from fatigue, impairing their ability to operate the vehicle safely.
- Speeding or Reckless Driving: Truck drivers might resort to speeding or reckless driving to meet strict delivery deadlines.
- Distracted Driving: Texting, eating, or using a GPS can distract a truck driver and cause an accident.
- Equipment Failure: Poor maintenance and inspection can result in equipment failure, a common cause of accidents.
- Improper Loading: If a truck’s cargo isn’t properly loaded or secured, it can cause the truck to become unbalanced or lead to lost loads.
What Are The Laws Governing Truck Accident Claims in Houston, Texas?
Truck accident laws in Houston fall under the broader spectrum of Texas personal injury laws.
Some of the notable ones include:
- Statute of Limitations: In Houston, you have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit.
- Comparative Negligence: Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule, meaning if you’re partially at fault, your compensation may be reduced correspondingly.
- Damage Caps: There are no caps in compensation for economic damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc.), but there are caps for non-economic damages (pain, suffering, etc) in some instances.
How is The Legal Process Different With Accidents Involving Big Rigs in Texas?
Essentially, the legal process is more complex in accidents involving big rigs due to factors including:
- Multiple Parties: As trucks are commercial vehicles, there may be many parties involved, such as the driver, trucking company, cargo loaders, or maintenance providers.
- Federal & State Regulations: Trucks are subject to federal regulations and Texas state law, adding an extra layer of complexity.
Should I File a Police Report After An Accident Involving an 18-Wheeler?
Yes, you should file a police report after an accident involving an 18-wheeler.
- Creates an official record of the accident.
- Includes key details such as date, time, location, involved parties, and a description of the accident.
- It can serve as valuable evidence if you pursue a legal claim.
Remember, in the turbulent aftermath of an accident, securing professional legal counsel can ensure your rights are protected as you navigate the complex tangle of 18-wheeler accident law.
When Should You Call a Lawyer After a Truck Accident?
Time is of the essence after a truck accident. Contact a lawyer immediately after the incident, ideally within the first week.
Early consultation allows:
- Swift collection and preservation of important evidence.
- Legal guidance during early interactions with insurance companies reduces the risk of jeopardizing your claim.
- Accurate understanding and protection of your rights.
How Long Does an 18-Wheeler Lawsuit Take?
The duration of an 18-wheeler lawsuit is dependent on various factors, such as the complexity of the case, the number of parties involved, court schedules, and negotiations with the insurance companies. Typically, it can range from several months to a few years. Consult with a knowledgeable lawyer for an estimate tailored to your case.
Why Hire a Houston 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer?
Like a sturdy lighthouse guiding you through a storm, hiring a Houston truck accident law firm provides the following:
- Experience: Lawyers in this field have the expertise to navigate complex truck accident laws.
- Knowledge: Houston lawyers will have local insights that can benefit your case, including command over Texas state laws.
- Negotiation Skills: These experts are adept at dealing with insurance companies, increasing your possibility of receiving a fair settlement.
- Case Preparation: If your case needs trial, a seasoned lawyer can build a robust case strategy, increasing your odds for a favorable outcome.
How Do I Find a Good 18-wheeler Truck Accident Lawyer in Houston, Texas?
To find a top-notch Houston 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer, here are some steps to consider:
- Experience Matters: Look for a lawyer with a solid background in handling cases similar to yours.
- Specialization: Search for lawyers that specifically deal with 18-wheeler truck accidents.
- References and Reviews: Check the reviews or ask around for first-hand experiences from previous clients.
- Consider Local: A local lawyer, such as a prominent firm in Houston, Lakhani & McGrath, PLLC, will have extensive knowledge of state laws and local practices.
Lakhani & McGrath PLLC, located in the heart of Houston, Texas, has exceptional expertise and a strong track record of advocating for clients affected by 18-wheeler accidents. They possess the local insight, experience, and unwavering commitment to fight for their clients’ rights, ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve.
Wrapping Up With Confidence
In the aftermath of a truck accident, you might face medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. It’s a challenging course, but you don’t have to do it alone. Hiring the best Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer ensures peace of mind while navigating this arduous journey.
In Houston, where countless firms offer their services, Lakhani & McGrath, PLLC stands out with its exemplary commitment to clients, extensive local knowledge, and significant success in personal injury laws. We are ready to stand with you, fight for you, and guide you to a brighter tomorrow.