How do I File a Claim After a Truck Accident?

18 wheeler attorneys in Texas

When you are involved in any type of accident, it can be a scary situation. However, when you are the victim of a truck accident, it can be extremely traumatic. Because of their size and weight, trucks commonly cause severe and life-threatening injuries. Your first and most important consideration is to take care of your medical needs. Next, contact a truck accident attorney to review the details of your case. Your lawyer will determine the best way to proceed.

Possible Claims Following a Truck Accident

It is normal to assume that the driver of a vehicle is responsible for an accident. However, when it comes to truck accidents, they can be trickier and much more complex than regular vehicle accidents. There are several parties that could possibly be responsible for the accident and your injuries. These include:

  • Truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • Truck manufacturer
  • Truck repair company
  • Tire or other parts manufacturers
  • State or local government

The first step is to determine the cause of the crash. In general, the main cause of a crash may fall under into one of several categories including driver error, mechanical failure, and weather or road conditions.

Human error is a driver mistake such as speeding, driving while fatigued, failing to obey traffic signals, driving while distracted, and others. Mechanical failure is a problem with the truck itself such as brake failure or a tire blowout. Weather or road conditions include such things as rain, ice, snow, debris on the road, or poorly maintained roads.

How to Determine the Cause of a Crash

Determining the cause of a truck crash is not often easy. It is something that must be left to the experts. The court may review the documents from a crash to make a determination as to the amount of negligence to assign to each particular driver in the crash.

Whenever there is any question as to the cause of the accident, it may be in your best interest to have an accident reconstruction expert review the crash. An accident reconstruction engineer will analyze data from the crash to determine what happened prior, during, and after an accident.

In some instances, the crash may have several factors that caused or contributed to it. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) analyzed many truck crashes and published the Large Truck Crash Causation Study. They collected data from numerous truck crashes to determine critical events and critical reasons for crashes. Critical events are actions that put the truck “on a course that made the collision unavoidable.” A critical reason is the failure that led to the critical event. They found three common critical events in large truck accidents, including running out of the travel lane, losing control of the vehicle, and colliding with the rear of another vehicle.

If you were seriously hurt in a truck accident you need support and guidance from an experienced Houston truck accident attorney.

Contact the leading truck wreck lawyers in Houston to discuss the details of your accident today. Call 281-893-0760!

Should I Talk with the Truck Driver’s Insurance Company After a Crash?

Should I give a statement after an accident?

Getting into an accident can be a stressful and traumatic event. When the vehicle that hit you is a truck, the situation can be even worse.

You may have suffered a serious or life-threatening injury due to the crash. After the accident, you may be wondering what to do and how to make sure that you are properly compensated for your injuries.

One of the first things to do is to call a trucking accident attorney. Your lawyer will protect your rights and handle the situation to ensure that you get the money you deserve.

What to Know Before You Talk to the Insurance Company

Following an accident, the insurance company will contact the drivers to take statements and find out how the accident occurred. It is important to remember a few things before you speak to the insurance company.

Regardless of how nice or compassionate the insurance adjuster sounds, he or she represents the truck driver’s insurance company. The job of the insurance company is always to minimize their payout. They may try to do so in a number of ways such as trying to blame you for the accident or minimizing your injuries or trying to say that your injuries were not a result of the crash.

Keep in mind that the insurance company may make an audio recording of your conversation. Anything you say can and will be used later in an attempt to reduce your claim. The insurance company will ask you to tell them how the accident happened and what you were doing before and after the wreck and about your injuries! The insurer can then use your statement to try to prove that you were somehow to blame or that you were not hurt as bad as you were.

Worse, is often the insurer reaches out to you well before you really know how badly your injuries are from the crash. Emergency rooms are for treating emergencies. If your injuries are not life threatening, the hospital usually discharges you with instructions to follow up with your doctor or a specialist.

Frequently, it is only after seeing a specialist the seriousness of your injuries become known. Giving a statement to your adversary about your injuries prior to knowing the full extent of the injuries is always a mistake.

Questions which will be used to shift the blame are also part of the insurance companies arcenal and the unprepared can hurt their case.

Help from an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney

No matter how prepared you are to speak to the insurance company, you could end up saying something that could hurt your case. The best thing to do is to seek help from a 18-wheeler lawyer. Your lawyer will guide you through the process and will help you before you talk to the insurance representative. If you have already spoken to the insurance company, do not worry. Your lawyer will review the situation and work to obtain a favorable outcome.

Truck crashes are among the most complicated and difficult accidents to resolve. They may require expert witnesses and accident reconstruction specialists to determine the cause of the accident and any contributing factors. Keep in mind that you may not be aware of exactly how the crash happened so do not take responsibility. Instead, count on an expert truck accident legal team to take the necessary steps in the case.

Do not discuss the case with the insurance company or make a statement before first talking to your attorney. You may be owed money for your damages including compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Contact our skilled legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free case consultation today. Call- (281) 893-0760!

Deadly Big Rig Fire Causes TxDOT Response

Big rig fire

A deadly big rig crash on Houston’s Eastex Freeway caused an emergency response and a huge traffic delay. The crash happened on the southbound lanes in the Humble area. The truck driver was killed in the crash and there were no other injuries reported. According to police, the truck driver slammed into the guardrail located near FM 1960. The accident happened at about 12:45 AM. The truck lost control after hitting the barrier and then slid. The truck then caught on fire and was engulfed in flames just minutes after the accident.

Witnesses stated that the vehicle exploded when it flipped over. A huge fire ensued and the driver was not located inside the rig until about an hour later. Flames were visible for more than a mile. The road was closed for 14 hours while the fire was extinguished and the road cleaned. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) crews had to repair the guardrail before the road could reopen. Remnants of the truck were unrecognizable. A large black charred area on the road was visible from the air. The big rig was carrying lawn mowers.

What Causes Big Rig Fires?

Big rigs are more prone to catching fire in an accident than are other vehicles. Trucks have many mechanical parts that are exposed, particularly underneath the vehicle. They use different types of fluids, such as hydraulic fluid, which can easily spill onto the road during an accident. As in this accident, big rigs may cause sparks when they crash because of their large metal components. Diesel fuel and other fluids are highly flammable. When they spill on the road, it may cause a hazardous situation not only for the truck, but for other nearby drivers.

Another potential cause of 18-wheeler fires is the type of load they carry. When they carry hazardous materials, they are more likely to catch fire during an accident. Trucks that carry flammable materials may more easily catch fire. Sometimes a truck’s load catches fire without an accident. This can cause the driver to crash. Drivers should be aware of potentially dangerous trucks and maintain a safe driving distance while on the road.

In this accident we do not know what caused the driver to veer out of the lane and hit the guard rail. The accident will continue to be investigated. The driver may have been fatigued or distracted. Truck drivers are restricted in the number of hours they can drive in a row and how long they must rest between shifts. Driver logs will help investigators learn the details of what led to this crash. Driver logs are now electronic so they can provide more detailed and accurate information than ever before. Luckily, this crash did not impact any other drivers. Had the accident happened during the day, the road would have been crowded and other vehicles may have been involved in the crash.

If you were seriously injured in a truck accident, you may be owed money for your damages.

Contact the attorneys for truck accidents at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free initial case consultation today. Call (281) 893-0760!

What Documentation Do I Need to File a Truck Accident Claim?

When you are hurt in an accident with a truck, your injuries may be severe. Your medical bills and other damages should be paid by the negligent party. Truck accidents are often more complicated than regular car accidents. Immediately following an accident, the trucking company will typically involve its own accident team. It is helpful to seek professional legal help from an experienced Houston truck accident attorney soon so you can get the information to prove your case.

Gather Details About the Accident

Immediately following the accident you should make sure that you obtain a copy of the police report. In addition, you will need to know the name of the truck driver, trucking company and insurance company. When you receive medical treatment you must keep copies of everything. Take notes so you will have details of diagnosis, names of doctors, dates of treatment and anything associated with your medical care and rehabilitative therapy. You will need this information to prove your injuries and damages. Besides your physical treatment, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering.

Obtain Information From the Trucking Company

There is some important information you will need to get from the trucking company. Truck drivers are restricted to driving only a set number of hours in a row. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires the use of and electronic logging device (ELD). The system makes trucking safer and to provide accurate data. The truck driver may not have followed the law and might have been driving while fatigued. It is necessary to obtain the ELD to discover the details of the trucker’s log. You will also need to obtain truck maintenance and repair logs.

Vehicular Accident Reconstruction

Some accidents are complex, and it is necessary to know what happened before, during, and following an accident. This is especially true for truck accidents and multiple vehicle crashes. There may have been several things that precipitated the crash. Vehicular accident reconstruction is a scientific process that analyzes, examines, and determines the events that occurred in an accident. You may need to hire an accident reconstruction engineer to explain your accident so you can prove that the other driver was negligent.

Expert Witnesses

You may need reports and testimony from expert witnesses to prove your case. An expert witness might be needed to provide medical testimony, testimony about the accident, about a mechanical default or any other issues that arise from the case. Your case will be much stronger when you have expert witnesses to back up your claims.

Sometimes negligence in a case is difficult to prove. Your attorney will take charge, assess the situation and examine the facts of the accident. Additional information may be necessary to ensure a successful resolution to your claim. When you or a loved one was hurt in a truck accident, do not delay.

Contact our 18-Wheeler attorneys today to start your case for compensation! Call 281-893-0760!

Freight Truck Accident Kills Two in Lubbock

Two men died when a freight truck collided with their vehicle in Lubbock, Texas. The accident happened near North Slide and Clovis Highway in Lubbock. The freight truck was a semi that was pulling multiple trailers when it collided with a passenger vehicle. Both the driver and passenger in the vehicle were killed and the truck driver was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Both men killed were in their 20s.

The freight contained chemicals, which caused great concern. The police called in the Lubbock Fire Rescue hazmat team. The freight truck is owned by Old Dominion Freight Line. The company brought in their own hazmat team as a safety precaution to contain the chemical spill. In addition, troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) were called to the scene as were representatives from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Lubbock officials were investigating the accident.

Concerns of Freight Truck Safety

Freight trucks are semi-trucks that transport freight, which is typically transported in containers. Freight containers are also known as shipping containers and are usually made of metal. They are called intermodal freight containers because they are transported using a variety of methods. The containers are often transported by sea and rail and then transferred to a freight truck for delivery to their final destination.

Freight trucks can be dangerous because of their size and weight and because they often contain hazardous materials. When a large freight truck gets into an accident, it can cause serious damage and injuries, and often fatalities as in this case. The cause of this accident has not been determined. However, trucks of this size and weight can be difficult to control if they try to make a sudden stop or lane change.

Hazardous Materials

The Institute of Hazardous Materials Management states that hazardous materials are any substances that have the potential to cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment. They may be biological, chemical, radiological or physical and may cause harm on their own or through interaction with other factors. The Department of Transportation further defines hazardous materials as any material or chemical that is a risk to public safety or the environment during transport. A hazmat team is a group of specially trained professionals who are able to evaluate and clear the hazard during an emergency. A hazardous spill on the roadway could be harmful to other drivers, pedestrians, first responders and to those living or working near the spill.

Hazardous materials must be safely transported. When a freight truck carrying hazardous materials is involved in a crash, it may result in a compromise to the containment of the material. The material must be cleaned by a hazmat team before the road can be cleared for traffic.

If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident with a freight truck you may be owed compensation for your injuries and damages.

Contact our experienced Houston truck accident team to talk about maximizing your compensation! Call 281-893-0760!

Houston Business Owners Accused of Providing False 18-Wheeler Inspections

18-wheeler road safety is of the utmost importance. Big rigs are required to pass stringent safety inspections in order to be deemed safe for the roadways. Recently, three men were arrested on felony charges for allegedly forging Department of Transportation (DOT) inspections on 18-wheelers. After the arrests, their business was shuttered and nobody answered the phone at the Pearl Street location in Houston.

DOT inspections include more than 100 different items that must be checked and should take between 30 minutes and an hour to complete properly. According to deputies, the business completed 122 inspections in two days of observation and completed more than 7,200 inspections last year. They provided forged documents to truck drivers indicating that the trucks passed the complete inspection.

18-Wheeler Inspection Requirements

All 18-wheelers in Texas are required to have a valid safety inspection sticker. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Department of Public Safety has adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (Parts 390–393 and 395–397), and Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (Parts 171-173, 177 and 178). In Texas, big rigs only need to have a Texas DOT inspection and not an FMCSA inspection since they are basically the same.

An inspection is a comprehensive safety review of all of the systems of the truck including brakes, tires, exhaust systems, and more. If the vehicle passes inspection, the driver will be provided with a sticker and documentation showing that the vehicle passed. The driver must carry this paperwork at all times and must produce it for a member of law enforcement if requested.

The Importance of Safety Inspections

Safety inspections are designed to keep the roadways safe for public use. A check of 8,000 commercial trucks tested by the Department of Public Service during a three-day period found that 24% had some type of safety violation. That equals about one in every four trucks. During that time period, they issued 1,200 safety citations and 18,000 warnings.

Safety inspections can prevent the incidence of big rig accidents on the roads. Safety problems are responsible for a number of incidents and can cause serious accidents that result in injuries or fatalities. Truck accidents often cause the most severe injuries that may include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and more. When a truck gets into an accident, it often results in worse injuries to passengers of the other vehicles than to the truck driver. 

In this case, it is unclear whether truck drivers knew that the inspections were being forged. Truck drivers should make sure that their inspections are current and that they are completed properly. Falsifying inspection documentation is a crime, and the men arrested in the case mentioned above may be facing additional charges.

If you were seriously hurt in an accident with a big rig, you need help from an experienced Houston Truck accident attorney. You may be owed compensation for your injuries. Contact trucking accident attorney Greg Baumgartner today for a free initial case consultation.


How Soon Should I Contact an Attorney After a Serious Truck Accident?

collision with a big truck

Truck accidents are among the most severe crashes that can happen. When you are involved in an accident with a big truck, you could be severely injured, and recovery could take months or years. Yes, your first consideration should be your health, but many people wonder how quickly they should call a truck accident attorney following a crash.

The Earlier You Retain a Lawyer the Better!

Generally, the sooner you contact an attorney, the better. Although Texas law allows you to file a personal injury claim within two years of an injury, you should not wait that long to talk to an attorney. It is advisable to call your lawyer immediately. If you are hospitalized, your spouse should contact the attorney.

Quick Response Team

When you have been involved in a truck accident, you can be sure that the trucking company is already putting their attorneys on the case. They will begin the process of reviewing the accident and may try to say that you were at fault. It would be best if you acted quickly to make sure that the evidence from the truck driver and trucking company are preserved.

Your lawyer’s quick response team is a group dedicated to investigating severe truck accidents. The team can be comprised of attorneys, investigators, and accident reconstruction experts who have experience and knowledge working on these types of cases. The team will determine the cause of the accident and gather proof of negligence.

Not every law firm has a quick response team in place. It is necessary to get the team working on your accident as soon as possible after it occurs. The investigators need to collect information about the driver and trucking company including the driver’s log that shows how long the driver was on the road and the maintenance log that provides details about the truck. These items can be lost if they are not requested immediately. Sometimes a court order is needed to ensure that the documents or other valuable evidence are not destroyed.

Why Truck Accidents are More Complicated

Truck accidents can be more complicated than passenger vehicle accidents. Large commercial trucks must comply with many rules and regulations. If they fail to do so, the truck driver or trucking company could be considered negligent. These factors may enhance the recovery in personal injury cases. Because of the complexity of a commercial wreck, it is best to hire a truck accident attorney with experience working on these types of accident claims.

Texas Comparative Fault Rule

It is important to note that Texas follows the comparative fault rule. Comparative fault means that you may be partly to blame for the accident and still collect a portion of your damages as long as you are not more than half at fault.

The First Step is to Talk with the Best Truck Accident Attorney

The first step after an accident is to discuss the incident with your attorney. The lawyer will review the details of your case and let you know if you should proceed. If so, you may be able to obtain legal help immediately.

Call the truck accident law firm in Texas. Our award-winning attorneys have helped truck wreck victims for over three decades.

Call 281-893-0760    24-7!

Fatigue Likely Played a Role in Fatal Texas Big Rig Crash

A truck driver was killed in an accident that happened near Robinson, Texas. The truck was traveling south on FM 434 when it left the road. The truck overturned near Flying Heart Road and the driver was killed. The accident happened in the early morning hours and the police report there were no other vehicles involved in the crash. The truck is owned by Western Star. Officials say it appears that fatigue may have caused the crash.

Truck Driver Fatigue

Truck drivers are limited by law to the number of hours they may drive in a row and how many hours of rest they must receive between shifts. Truck driver fatigue continues to be a concern for 18-wheelers on our roadways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver fatigue is estimated to be a major factor in about 40% of all truck accidents.

It is easy to see how fatigue can affect truck drivers. They often drive for long distances, often during dark hours, making the drive boring. The driver may not have had enough sleep before starting the trip. Truck drivers often get paid by the trip, so they are encouraged to drive for longer periods of time than is safe.

Following a crash such as this one, an investigation is done to determine the cause of the accident. The driver’s log and record will be reviewed to discover whether he or she was driving for too long a period of time.

Preventing Driver Fatigue

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides commercial motor vehicle driving tips to prevent driver fatigue. They state that about 13% of truck drivers in crashes were fatigued during the accident. They offer six driver tips:

  • Get enough sleep and do not drive when drowsy
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Take a nap if you are feeling drowsy
  • Do not take medications that could cause drowsiness
  • Learn the signs of fatigue
  • Do not use tricks to keep you alert

According to the FMCSA, research found awake for over 18 hours at a time could impair you so it is equivalent to a BAC of 0.08%, or being legally intoxicated.

Other drivers need to use caution when driving near 18-wheelers. If you notice a truck traveling too fast or too slow, stay out of its way. When you see a truck driving erratically, report the incident to the police immediately. The police will locate the truck and determine whether the driver is safe to be on the road.

If you have been hurt in an accident with a truck, you may be owed compensation for your damages. You could be owed money for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Contact the experienced trucking accident attorneys– for legal help with your case. Call (281) 893-0760!


What Happens if I Can Not Afford an Attorney After a Truck Accident?

Truck accidents are among the most terrifying crashes and often cause the most severe damage. Houston is a transportation hub, so there are many 18-wheelers on our roadways. Large commercial trucks may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when they are loaded. Not surprisingly, truck accidents cause severe injuries to drivers and passengers in other vehicles.

Serious injuries may require extensive medical care and ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. The negligent driver pays for your medical expenses and other damages incurred. However, you may need the assistance of a knowledgeable Houston personal injury attorney to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

What to do Following an Accident

One of the most important things you can do following an accident with a truck is to seek help from a truck accident attorney. The truck driver’s company is putting a lot of resources into negating its own liability. You need to protect your rights and prove negligence and damages to get the money you are owed.

To prove your case, show that the other driver was negligent and that you sustained damages due to his or her negligence. You may be owed money for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and future medical care. If the driver was grossly negligent, he or she may be ordered to pay punitive damages.

Attorneys Take Cases on Contingency

Some people do not call an attorney because they believe that they do not have the financial resources required to pay for legal help. However, often the victim need not provide payment before legal services.

Attorneys will review the details of your accident and decide whether you have a good case. If so, the law firm may take your case on a contingency basis. That means you will not need to pay the attorney’s fees up front. Instead, the attorney will be paid from the money you receive when your case is settled or resolved.

Truck accident cases can be complex and sometimes require expert witnesses, accident reconstruction, and more. You may need to pay for some of these expenses or the attorney may add them to your final bill. Once you are paid for your damages from the negligent party, the attorney will get money for his or her services.

If you were hurt in a truck accident, it is best to talk to a skilled Houston truck accident lawyer soon. The sooner your attorney works on the case, the more likely you are to receive the compensation you expect. Your attorney will immediately act on your behalf and gather information to prove your case.

We are experienced in handling truck accident cases.

Our team of attorneys has been helping injured victims get the money they deserve for over 35 years. If you were hurt in a truck accident, we can help.

 Call the Texas truck accident attorneys for a no obligation consultation- Call (281) 893-0760!

Have Your Truck Accident Injuries Led to Disability?

An accident with a truck can leaves you with serious and sometimes life-threatening injuries. Your main focus after an accident should always be your recovery. You may be facing ongoing medical treatment such as surgery and rehabilitative therapy.

The medical treatment following a serious injury can be expensive. The negligent party should pay your medical bills and for any other damages caused by the accident.

An experienced truck accident attorney can handle negotiations with any insurance company involved and will take care of filing a legal claim for compensation.

Types of Disability

The injuries you suffer in a truck accident will determine whether you are temporarily or permanently disabled, and thus, the compensation to which you might be entitled.

Temporary Disability: A temporary disability means you have relatively minor injuries and you will have a full recovery. Some of the common injuries that may cause a temporary disability include broken bones, whiplash, muscle strains, lacerations, and contusions.

Although some injuries may be serious, you will recover, sometimes after a period of physical therapy.

Long-Term Disability: A long-term disability occurs when you suffer a major injury likely to prevent you from returning to work for a long period. Some injuries may cause partial disability.

For example, you may recover from a shoulder injury, but you might never lift heavy boxes. You might be prevented from returning to your normal job if it partially disables you.

Permanent Disability: Some injuries may be permanently disabling. Head trauma may cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that will render you disabled and unable to work for the rest of your life. Other types of injuries that fall into this category are spinal cord injuries and arm or leg amputations. If you suffer from a permanent disability, you cannot work, and you may also require ongoing medical care.

Getting the Compensation You Deserve

After a truck accident, you will work with the insurance company of the at-fault party to obtain compensation for your injuries. This process can be a difficult and confusing time because the insurance company may offer you a settlement even before your medical treatment is completed. Accept no offers made to you at this time, and instead refer the insurance representative to your attorney.

You should not be provided settlement compensation unless the full extent of your injuries and recovery are known. If you are disabled following an accident, you are owed money for the time you cannot work.

 If you are permanently disabled many additional expenses might need to be paid. You need not try to negotiate a settlement on your own. Count on your attorney to work to get you the settlement that will cover all of your damages.

If a settlement cannot be reached, a lawsuit may be necessary. If you or a loved one has been hit by an 18 wheeler and need a lawyer, call us to discuss your rights and options.

Call 281-893-0760!

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