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What are the Time Limits to File a Truck Accident Claim?

 

Accidents can happen in an instant when you least expect them. When an accident happens, it can be devastating, and the injuries an accident victim incurs are likely to be serious. You and your family need to concentrate on your medical treatment as a priority, but also be careful not to allow too much time to go by before you speak with an experienced Houston truck accident attorney.

Statutes of limitations

Texas law places a general limit of two years from the time of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Preserving Evidence

While you have up to two years to file a lawsuit, that does not mean you should wait. The longer you wait, the harder it may become to prove your case. A lot of evidence could be lost or destroyed before you file your case. You should always talk to an experienced Houston personal injury attorney as soon after the accident as possible.

Trucking companies could lose or even destroy information that could be crucial to your case. For example, you may need to have access to the maintenance records of the truck and to the driver’s log showing how many hours the driver was on the road prior to the accident. These important details are necessary in proving your case, and if you wait too long to file, you might find these records are no longer available.

Witnesses

Over time, drivers, passengers, and other witnesses of the accident may not remember the details of the collision as vividly as they did at first. It is always best to start the legal process when you can so your attorney can depose witnesses while they still have a strong memory of the crash. once people cannot recall some details of the crash, their testimony becomes less important and can not always be considered reliable.

Your attorney will want to depose witnesses as soon after the accident as they can so the information is still fresh in their minds. The same holds true for video or surveillance footage that may have captured the accident. If you fail to obtain these recordings soon after the crash, they may no longer be available when you need them to prove your case.

 

The law will preclude you from filing a case after two years. If you try to file a case after that time, it is likely that your case will be thrown out because it does not meet the legal deadlines. Remember that your attorney will need some time to investigate, evaluate, and process information to file the case. Therefore, do not wait to start looking for a lawyer.

 

Call the Texas Trucking Accident Attorney

You can a truck crash evaluation you need from our skilled Houston truck accident attorneys by calling 281-893-0760!

How are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?

 

There are thousands of vehicle accidents on our roads each year. While the majority are minor, some are severe, resulting in critical injuries and fatalities to drivers and passengers. A minor fender bender with another passenger vehicle on a city street is usually not serious.

hit by an 18-wheeler

However, when a passenger vehicle is hit by a semi-truck, the results can be devastating. Truck accidents are often much more severe than other types of crashes. If you were injured in a crash with a semi-truck, get legal assistance from an experienced Houston truck accident attorney.

More Serious Injuries

Accidents with trucks often cause serious injuries such as neck and back injuries, head trauma, broken bones, internal injuries, crush injuries, lacerations and contusions, and more. Your injuries may require extensive medical treatment that might include multiple surgeries and rehabilitation that could last for years.

Some injuries are life-threatening and life-changing. A traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury could leave you or your loved one with a disability. These are situations that will require care and treatment for the rest of your life. Wait until you are certain of the extent of your injuries to accept any settlement offer from the insurance company.

If you accept a settlement offer, you will usually be precluded from taking any further legal action against the party. Unfortunately, the settlement from the insurance company may not even cover all of your medical expenses, let alone your emotional distress, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure that you get the maximum compensation possible to help you recover from your losses after a truck accident.

Truck Accidents are More Complex

Not only are truck accidents often more serious, but they also have more complicated causes and contributing factors. An accident may be caused by negligence by the driver, the trucking company, or even the manufacturer of the truck or its components. Trucks are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) under the U.S. Department of Transportation.

There are many rules and regulations that trucking companies and truck owners and drivers must follow before they can safely drive on the roadways. Sometimes these rules are not followed and the result is a serious or fatal crash. Often, the crash could have been prevented if the rules and laws were followed.

Trucking companies often employ large law firms that will immediately work on an accident case to disprove negligence. Your attorney needs to gather the evidence to show that the driver, trucking company, or manufacturer was at fault for the crash. It is imperative you choose a highly experienced Houston truck accident attorney who knows how to get the evidence needed to prove your case.

Your attorney must take a strong approach to get you the compensation you deserve. We have helped thousands of truck accident victims get the money they were owed. If you or a loved one were hurt in a truck accident, we can help.

Talk With a Real Truck Accident Attorney

Call 281-893-0760 to speak with a leading 18-Wheeler accident attorney in Houston.

 

Should I Talk to the Trucking Company’s Insurance Company After an Accident?

 

 

The hours and days following a severe truck accident are spent recovering from your injuries. Being involved in a crash with a truck is often a traumatic and life-changing experience. While you are concentrating on your health, the trucking company’s insurance company is probably tracking you down to obtain a statement.

 

They could offer you an insurance check quickly after the incident. Many people take this offer, but this could be a mistake. It is always best to discuss the matter with an experienced Houston truck accident attorney before you talk to the trucking company’s insurance company representative.

 

What the Insurance Company Does Not Tell You

 

The insurance company will want to talk to you to get a statement about the accident. Know that the insurance company records these conversations and can use what you say against you later. While the insurance company representative may sound sincere and compassionate, know the primary purpose is to reduce or eliminate the money that the company pays out for your damages.

 

If the truck driver or trucking company was negligent and the accident was more than half their fault, you are owed money for your injuries and other damages such as lost wages and money for pain and suffering. The insurance company may offer you a fast payment. Although it may be tempting to take this offer, you may deny it and should not agree to accept a settlement unless you are sure it is a fair amount.

 

If you agree to a settlement, you are signing away your right to take any further action. However, often the settlement they offer is much too low or does not include the damages you incurred.

 

Why Seek a Consultation

 

Instead, talk to a qualified Houston truck accident attorney before you speak to the insurance company or accept their offer. At the very least, it is imperative that your injury is healed before they provide payment. If not, you could find there are many additional medical and rehabilitative expenses you will pay for out of your pocket.

 

How an Experienced Houston Truck Accident Attorney Will Help

 

The last thing you need after getting hit by an 18 wheeler is to have to deal with insurance companies. You do not need the stress in your life, especially at this challenging time. Instead, count on your attorney to handle the legal issues and protect your rights. You need guidance from an attorney with years of experience negotiating with insurance companies to obtain fair settlements for their injured clients.

You deserve to get the compensation you need to pay for your current and future medical bills, costs for rehabilitative care, money for wages you lost due to the accident and compensation for pain and suffering.

 

Contact our Greg Baumgartner’s legal team today to discuss your case.

 

 

 

Call Us at 281-893-0760

 

 

 

Resources

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/CP/htm/CP.33.htm

 

What is Contributory Negligence and How Does it Affect My Truck Accident Case?

 

When involved in an accident with a big rig in Texas, you may wonder which party was at fault. Generally, one driver might be more at fault for the accident than the other. Sometimes both drivers did something wrong that contributed to the crash. Most states have contributory negligence statues in place that limit when injured parties may collect on personal injury claims if they are partly to blame. Texas utilizes a 51% rule for truck accidents and other personal injury cases.

Understanding Contributory Negligence

In most accidents, one or both parties were negligent. Negligence simply means that the driver was doing something that they knew, or should have known, could cause an accident or injuries. Sometimes one driver is responsible for the accident. However, sometimes, both drivers did something that may have been negligent.

Contributory negligence is also known as proportionate responsibility. According to Texas law, someone who files a claim cannot recover damages if they were over 50% responsible for the accident. Therefore, you can only get damages for your injuries if the other driver was over 50% negligent.

More than one party can hold some responsibility for an accident. For example, one driver may be negligent by disobeying a red light. However, the other driver could be found partly negligent were they speeding at the time of the incident. A portion of negligence is ascribed to each driver. Damages are recovered according to the percentage of negligence apportioned. Your damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. If you are over 50% at fault you may not collect damages for a personal injury claim.

Determining Fault in Truck Accident Cases

Determining fault in an accident is not a simple process. It should be left to professionals with experience in reviewing accident details. If you have been hit by an 18-wheeler, the insurance company will likely contact you following an accident. It is usually best to discuss the matter with a qualified Houston truck accident attorney before you speak with an insurance representative. Remember that the insurance company will often try to keep from paying claims and what you say could be used against you later.

In some accidents, it is easy to determine fault, but often it can be a complicated situation. The police report, witness statements, and video surveillance footage can all be useful in determining how the accident happened. Sometimes, accident reconstruction is necessary to discover what occurred before, during, and after a crash.

The accident can be even more complicated when multiple vehicles are involved. One factor may be considered to be a major contributor to the crash and others that are minor. These factors must be considered when determining fault.

If you were injured in a truck accident it is best to have an experienced truck accident attorney on your side.

 

Contact the Houston truck accident law firm for a no-cost consultation to talk about your case.

Call 281-893-0760     24/7

 

 

 

Resources

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/CP/htm/CP.33.htm

 

What You Need to Know About Proving Liability of Truck Wrecks

 

Most serious injury and wrongful death cases involving an 18-wheeler are investigated at the scene by the Highway Patrol or other police officer and insurance company for the truck driver and trucking company.

lawyer for trucking accident

Typically, hundreds of photographs are taken; the scene is surveyed digitally to show important pieces of evidence such as skid marks and vehicle parts.

 

The victim’s family very should secure a real truck accident attorney (one with a long track record of success with truck accidents) and not just an attorney who wants to handle the case or claims to be a truck accident lawyer.

 

The earlier the family retains a truck accident lawyer the better for the truck accident lawsuit.

 

What is the Reconstruction of an Accident?

 

Reconstruction is really a reenactment of the crash.

 

Some truck accidents are witnessed by many people and what happened is not in dispute. Other times, there will be video either on board the big rig or local video from businesses nearby. But the vast majority of serious injury or wrongful death truck wrecks involve a reconstruction of the accident by expert witnesses.

 

The saying “there are always two sides to the coin” applies to lawsuits involving truck wrecks. Folks usually assume that when the truck driver was ticketed liability is settled. Unfortunately, that is not how it works in Texas. Unless the investigating officers were qualified to reconstruct the accident and actually did so, their opinions are not admissible.

 

An accident reconstruction expert will use information gathered at the scene with computer-aided reenactments and witness accounts and peace the accident scenario together for presentation to the judge with the jury.

 

Typically, the insurance defense lawyer will have an accident reconstruction whose opinions are always wasn’t the truck drivers’ fault, even though the truck driver was ticketed for his conduct.

 

Hiring an attorney early after the crash gives the victim a better chance of fighting the insurance companies attempt to shift the blame.

 

 

Get a Qualified Lawyer

 

If an attorney for a big rig collision cannot quote sections of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, by heart- you have the wrong person.

 

Many trucks now have GPS devises or “trip master” computers onboard that record important information such as speed, braking and hours of operation and the victim’s family needs an attorney knowledgeable about such matters and prepared to act quickly to preserve important evidence and also one with a quick response team ready to get to the scene of the wreck.

 

Often, issues such as the condition of the tractor-trailer, including brakes, loaded weight, and non-compliance with the safety regulations like hours of operation are very important in establishing the proper responsibility for the accident. Investigation of 18-wheeler accidents should be handled by attorneys well versed in regulating trucks and drivers and experienced in the reconstruction of 18-wheeler accident cases.

 

A lawyer investigating an 18-wheeler accident where braking is an issue should know of the air brake systems of both tractor and trailer, proper slack adjuster settings, and be well versed in applying the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations applicable to brakes.

 

On the ground evidence, such a braking, yaw or skid marks and marks showing the point of impact can be very important as the insurance companies for the truck driver always try to shift responsibility to others, and primarily the victim for the accident.

 

Most folks assume the because a ticket was issued that the matter of liability is settled-that is not the case, seldom do tickets come into evidence in a wrongful death case with an 18-wheeler. Usually, the officer’s opinions on the cause of the crash are not heard by the jury.

 

Gathering irrefutable facts from the scene soon is the proper course of action for defeating the insurance companies blame shifting defenses.

 

Most of the time, the trucking company has the advantage time wise. While the victim is in the hospital, the team for the motor carrier is at the scene and working to create defenses to a claim.

 

Getting the best 18-wheeler accident law firm on your side must be a priority.

 

Call us for a no-obligation consultation- (281) 893-0760.

The NHTSA and Keeping Commercial Vehicle Accident Statistics about Texas

 

NHTSA and truck accidents

 

While it is at the least disheartening to realize that one of the responsibilities of a government organization is to maintain fatality statistics related to highway deaths, in fact, that is one of the reasons for the existence of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 

The average Texan believes that a truck accident would never strike their families. But one look at the numbers and it becomes immediately apparent that safety on Texas highways is often not much more than a crapshoot.

 

It is not a secret that Texas has more fatal accidents involving commercial vehicles than any other state. The high number of fatal crashes is a result of several factors, the main one being the sheer number of big rigs that cross Texas each and every day. Many truck accidents occur on Interstate 45, or I-10 outside of Houston.

 

Let us consider the data truck accident data for Texas from 2004 to 2008. According to the NHTSA, the number of 18-wheeler fatal accidents has shown an annual decline from a high of 3700 to the most recent figure of slightly less than 3500. This drop of represents an increase in saved lives due to a combination of factors and clearly is a step in the right direction.

 

However, after 2008 the number of big rigs on the highways has increased at a steady rate and the number of fatal crashes has also followed the trend. More freight means more big rigs on the road and an increased chance of an accident.

 

NHTSA data also reveals that Texas rates well above average in alcohol-related highway deaths and drunk driving accidents.

 

In addition, Texas ranks well above the national average in fatalities where the front seat passenger was using a seatbelt, which may be attributed to higher speed driving.  Each of these areas needs focus, from all of us, from the Texas legislature on down.

 

Finally, one of the focal points of this blog is anything related to semi-trucks including safety, accidents, and deaths. The NHTSA data confirms that deaths from semi-truck accidents in Texas hover around two percent of the annual total fatality figures.

 

To my way of thinking, highway safety is a collective concern and we all need to understand that with a blink of an eye, an 18-wheeler accident can devastate a family.

 

For those wanting to be safer drivers on the highway around big rigs here is an article about avoiding blind spots.

Semi-Truck Lost Load of Lumber on Eastex Freeway

 

 

 

 

 

A semi-truck traveling on the Eastex Freeway in Houston lost its load of lumber in the northbound lanes near Kingwood Drive. It is unclear exactly what caused the load to be spilled onto the highway. However, it caused a major backup that lasted more than six hours. The truck was carrying a load of lumber with thousands of pieces that spilled out onto the roadway. The semi-truck accident occurred at about 4:30 p.m. creating a severe traffic jam in the area.

An aerial shot of the freeway taken from a helicopter above the scene showed many thousands of pieces of wood strewn across all lanes of the road. Several injuries were reported and there was severe damage to at least several cars. Witnesses reported seeing cars being towed from the scene with large pieces of lumber sticking out from the windshield and other damage from the loose lumber.

An eyewitness driving near the truck stated that the truck swerved and then lost control as lumber began spilling from the rig. This particular witness hit a piece of wood at which time his car rolled over and landed back on its wheels. Thankfully, he was unhurt. Others were transported to the hospital with injuries.

Loose Loads are a Serious Concern for Drivers

Truck drivers are required to secure their loads properly before they begin their journeys. When a load is not secured adequately, it can cause serious problems. One of the most common problems can occur when the load shifts unexpectedly. When a driver changes lanes or stops quickly, an unsecured load can cause the driver to lose control of the semi-truck. When this happens, the truck may begin to swerve and the driver may not regain control.

Another problem occurs when a load is not adequately secured and becomes completely loose from the big rig, as it did in this case. The load spills out onto the roadway, hitting other vehicles and creating a serious hazardous condition and often lost load accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA, regulates and oversees commercial truck safety. Truck drivers are required to secure their loads in a specific manner according to the rules and guidelines. Different types of loads require various methods to keep them secure. In this case, it is possible that the rules were not properly followed. The load  may have come loose because it was not secured adequately.

An investigation needs to be done to determine exactly what caused the load to shift and spill onto the road. The truck will have to be inspected to see how the load was secured. In addition, the driver will be questioned to find out how he secured the lumber and whether he inspected the load before he got on the road.

If you are involved in a crash that is caused by a semi-truck, there are several things you should do. First, call the police and obtain contact information from the truck driver. Get medical treatment for your injuries. Keep all your medical records for reimbursement or payment. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.

If you were injured in a crash with a semi-truck, call our legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm today to discuss the details of your case.

Call  (281) 893-0760    24/7

 

Resources

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/

Big Rig Crash Closes I-69 During Cleanup

 

 

 

A crash between two big rigs caused damage to both vehicles and a traffic tie-up that lasted for hours. The 18-wheeler accident in Montgomery County happened in the northbound lanes of I-69 Eastex at FM 1314.

The cause of the crash was not known and is under investigation. Both of the drivers sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to the hospital in stable condition.

 

The accident also caused a hazmat incident at the scene. The Texas Department of Transportation hazmat crews were on the scene shortly following the accident to clean up the hazardous materials.

 

One of the big rigs was transporting fuel, which spilled onto the roadway after the crash. The main lanes had to be blocked while the spill was cleaned and while the wreckage was removed. TxDOT Houston tweeted out a photo of the accident with information for drivers about lane closures.

 

Hazardous Material Spills Cause Concerns for Drivers

 

Hazardous materials can include diesel fuel and other fluids that generally are used to operate big rig engines. Other times, the truck is carrying a load that is hazardous, as in this case. When gasoline or diesel fuel spill onto the roadway, it is dangerous. Other drivers cannot be allowed to drive in the area until the hazmat team properly cleans the spill.

 

The hazmat team is part of the Texas Department of Transportation and includes employees who are specially trained to handle the cleanup of dangerous materials. Different techniques may be employed to resolve the spill, depending on the type of substance, the location, and the amount that was lost. The team wears protective gear to stay safe while they remove the spilled material.

 

Drivers and pedestrians are not allowed near the spill until it is adequately remediated and deemed safe. Cleanup can take some time, especially in cases in which there is much fluid because it can quickly cover a large portion of the roadway. In this case, luckily no other reports of damage or injuries were made.

 

After a Truck Accident

 

If you are involved in a crash with a big rig, the first thing to do is call the police to report the accident. Pull out of the lanes of traffic, if you can, so you will remain safe. However, do not exit your vehicle in the middle of a busy highway. Obtain the name and other information from the truck driver as well as the name of the trucking company that operates the vehicle.

 

Seek medical attention immediately following a severe crash. You may suffer injuries that are not apparent right away but will become painful later. Maintain copies of all your medical records and bills so you can request payment. You and your family may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney to handle the details of your case.

 

If you were hurt in a big rig crash, we can help. Contact our skilled legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free case consultation. Call 281-893-0760

 

 

 

Resources

https://www.khou.com/article/news/local/big-rig-crash-causes-traffic-nightmare-on-eastex-freeway-in-montgomery-co/285-599869413

https://t.co/c0vHVzbIjx

 

 

 

 

 

Semi-Truck Towing Accident in Rush County Leaves Two Dead

 

A truck tractor that was towing a semi-trailer lost control and crashed, leaving two people dead. The crash happened on Highway 84 near Mount Enterprise in Rush County. The truck was traveling west on US-84 when it allegedly experienced a tire blowout. The driver lost control as a result and ran into oncoming traffic lanes. The truck collided with a Toyota Sequoia traveling eastbound. Two women traveling in the Toyota died at the accident scene.

 

Tire Blowout Blamed for Crash

 

The truck driver reported that his truck blew a tire. This caused him to lose control of the truck and it careened into oncoming traffic. The truck driver was reportedly not injured in the incident. The Texas Department of Public Safety troopers responded to the crash and were investigating.

Tire blowouts are responsible for several big rig accidents. When a tire blows unexpectedly, it can cause an immediate shift in the truck and handling becomes difficult or impossible. The driver has just a split-second to react to a tire blowout and try to keep control over the truck.

 

Truck Tire Safety Requirements

 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes several regulations on commercial trucks including guidelines for tire safety. Trucking companies must maintain safe tires. Tires must visually inspected to ensure there is no belt material exposed through the sidewall, no tread separation, no leaks and no cuts that expose tread.

In addition, the tire tread groove must be at least 4/32 of an inch on front tires. Tires with less tread are considered bald and are dangerous. Tires with reduced tread are more apt to burst. The tires, including those in the back, must have a tread measurement of at least 2/32 of an inch.

Re-grooved or retread tires are not allowed for use on the front truck wheels. Truck drivers must visually inspect the truck’s tires before every trip. Besides a visual inspection, drivers and companies need to keep tires at the proper inflation. Improperly inflated tires are more prone to blowouts than tires inflated according to tire manufacturer specifications.

 

Negligence in Truck Accident Cases

 

If you are injured due to an accident with a big rig, a negligent driver can be held responsible for the damages. A driver or trucking company may be negligent if they fail to check the tires before a trip or if the tires do not meet the federal regulations according to the FMCSA.

If you are involved in an accident that is not your fault, you may need to seek legal assistance. These crashes can be complicated and difficult to resolve. You will need to prove that the driver or the company was negligent and caused your injuries.

 

Call the Best Truck Wreck Lawyers

 

Get the legal help you need from the experienced truck wreck attorneys at Baumgartner Law Firm. Contact us today to schedule a free case consultation.

Call (281) 893-0760

 

 

 

Resources

https://www.dps.texas.gov/

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/

 

Truck Driver Dead After Accident on State Highway 31

 

A truck driver lost his life in a crash with his big rig on State Highway 31. The crash occurred along a stretch of remote highway about two and a half miles from Mount Calm. The truck was traveling eastbound when a tire blowout occurred, according to the Department of Public Safety. The blowout caused the driver to lose control of the 18-wheeler. The truck veered out of control and overturned and the truck driver was pronounced dead at the accident scene.

Overturned Trucks a Cause for Concern

 

When big rigs get into accidents, they can overturn. Trucks are more likely to overturn than passenger cars because of the size and shape of the truck and the load it is carrying. When an 18-wheeler overturns, it can crash into other vehicles, causing serious destruction and injuries. Here, the truck was the only vehicle involved in the accident. The driver died as a result and it is not known at this time whether he was wearing a seatbelt.

When 18-wheelers overturn there is a safety concern, not only to the truck driver and the other drivers on the road, but also because of the potential for a hazardous spill. Large trucks carry many gallons of diesel fuel and when they overturn, the fuel spills out onto the roadway and becomes a hazard.

Diesel fuel is flammable and because there is more it, often, the potential for fire is high. Besides fuel, trucks may also carry a dangerous load. When a truck overturns there is usually a concern that a fire could occur.

 

Overturned Truck Crashes

 

Trucks can overturn for many reasons. A tire blowout or sudden lane change can cause the driver to lose control of the big rig. When a truck gets out of control the driver has little he can do to correct the situation, especially if the truck is traveling at a high rate of speed.

An accident is likely to occur quickly. The load may also shift, causing a change to the way the rig handles. Many factors can contribute to truck crashes. An overturned truck indicates that it was traveling quickly at the time of the accident. It may turn over because of hitting into another vehicle or simply due to over-steering when the driver tries to regain control. According to CDL Knowledge, an overturn is the most harmful event in 6.7% of truck accidents in the United States.

When a truck overturns, it may be due to negligence by the driver or the trucking company. The driver must drive safely. Inexperience, load shifts, road conditions, fatigue, and distraction are just a few of the many reasons that a driver may lose control of the truck.

If you or a loved one was hurt in a truck accident you may have compensation for your medical expenses and other damages. Contact the leading Texas truck accident attorneys at Baumgartner Law Firm to learn how we can help you get the money you deserve.

 

Resources

https://www.kwtx.com/content/news/Truck-driver-dies-in-crash-on-Central-Texas-highway-494554601.html

https://www.cdlknowledge.com/truck-accident-statistics/

 

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