Types of Accidents & Causal Factors
Street Sweeper Accidents – Houston Personal Injury Lawyers
Important Information if You’ve Been Injured in an Accident With a Street Sweeper Vehicle
In most modern American cities, street sweepers are pretty commonplace. The Houston area is no different. Street sweepers are used for a variety of reasons, but most commonly they are used to remove the debris, trash, and glass that collect on our city streets and in parking lots. Street sweepers are large and built differently than typical commercial trucks and can be difficult to maneuver. Because of this, accidents with other motorists can and do occur.
If you have been injured in an accident with a street sweeper you may be confused as to what your next steps are. The company that owns the street sweeping vehicle may initially deny liability for your injuries and hope that you and your claim simply go away. Don’t let them get away with that.The lawyers at Our Law Office have over 20 years of litigating accidents involving commercial vehicles and we can help you with your claim.
Commercial Vehicle Owners
When you have been injured in an accident with a street sweeper it may be difficult to understand who all the responsible parties are. Many times there can be layers of different parties involved when it comes to determining who liability should be assigned to in an accident with a commercial vehicle. The commercial trucking company could be using their own vehicle, could have contracted out the street sweeping duties to another smaller company, or they could have contracted out to an individual with an independently owned street sweeping vehicle. In any of these scenarios you will have to determine who is ultimately responsible for the street sweeper that injured you.
For example, if the commercial company owns the street sweeper vehicle and employs the driver that was operating the street sweeper when it injured you, determining the responsible party is probably going to be fairly straight forward. However, if the commercial company contracted the work to another smaller company many things will need to be looked at. You will first need to determine the status of the company the work was contracted out to, if they are an agent of the commercial trucking company or an independent contractor, and if the person operating the street sweeper was an employee of the other company or if they were a contract worker as well.
There are so many different issues to consider when making sure the correct party is held liable for your injuries after an accident with a street sweeper. Navigating this maze alone can be difficult, especially when the commercial trucking companies are not always forthcoming with the information that is vital to your case. You need someone on your side to help you get through the confusion and unravel the red tape to get to the truth. Let our truck accident lawyers here at Our Law Office help you cut through the red tape and get you the compensation you deserve from the parties responsible for your injuries.
Insurance – Big Policy = Big Issues
By law, businesses that own and operate commercial vehicles in the state of Texas must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance on these vehicles. Because of the nature of the work commercial vehicles, including street sweepers perform, there is an inherent risk factor built in. Street sweepers come in contact with pedestrians, motorists, and animals so naturally there is the risk of injury or even death to any one of these parties should an accident occur. As you can imagine it is expensive to obtain and maintain insurance on these vehicles and the commercial vehicle owners know this. These policies are worth hundreds of thousands or sometimes even millions of dollars, so the commercial vehicle owners and their insurance carriers will not take claims filed against them lightly.
The owners of the street sweeper truck that has injured you may not accept liability for your claim even when it is clear they are at fault. They do not want to put their insurance coverage in jeopardy by accepting fault for your injuries. This is why having the personal injury attorneys at Our Law Office involved early on is key. This is not something you should go through alone and the commercial vehicle owners and their insurance companies count on you being intimidated and frustrated by the process. Don’t let them bully you into walking away or accepting less than what you are entitled to for your claim. Call our offices today.
As discussed above, the commercial trucking companies do not want to be fair with your claim even when it is clear their vehicle and driver caused your injuries. Not only will they not treat you fairly, but they have aggressive attorneys on their side that will do everything in their power to make sure you walk away with nothing, regardless of the fault of the trucking company.
You can rest assured that the trucking company’s lawyers are not amateurs. They have years of experience dealing with these claims and know how to beat plaintiffs out of their compensation. These lawyers will work tirelessly to protect the interest of the commercial trucking companies and insurance carriers that employ them and will look for every loophole, excuse and justification for not paying you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Your injuries and recovery are not their concern and they will not show you any compassion or fairness. They have a lot at stake and will do whatever is necessary to protect it. You should feel the same way. You need someone on your side who will work as aggressively to protect your interests just like the trucking companies and insurance carriers have. The wrongful death lawyers at Our Law Office will fight for your rights and help you through this difficult time.
Don’t Go It Alone
If you have been injured by a street sweeping truck or any other commercial trucking vehicle it may be difficult for you to understand all the aspects of making a successful claim against the trucking company and its driver. Determining the proper parties to bring your claim against, fighting the insurance company and dealing with the aggressive lawyers to get your just compensation can take its toll. Understanding street sweeper accident claims and how to obtain the compensation injured victims deserve is something our lawyers at Our Law Office have a lot of experience with and we can help you. It is a certainty that the commercial trucking companies and their insurance carriers have aggressive attorneys on their side working against you, so you need an aggressive attorney on your side working for you. You don’t have to do this alone. Our attorneys are here to help. We would be more than happy to help you, call us. Anything you say will be kept confidential. Trust Our Law Office to handle your case, and see the difference it will mean for your pursuit of compensation.
Tow Truck Accidents – Houston Personal Injury Lawyers
What to Know Following an Injury Accident with a Tow Truck
Tow trucks, like 18-wheelers and buses, are commercial vehicles. Not only are they massive vehicles that can inflict a great deal of harm, they are defended by the same insurance companies and defense attorneys as are other large commercial vehicles, which makes recovering adequate compensation in a tow truck accident a daunting task for a non-attorney.
Additionally, the nature of the vehicle itself poses unusual risks, such as the huge hook found on most models. There are also tow trucks with a flatbed portion that, if not “stowed” or adjusted properly in relation to surrounding traffic, has such sharp edges that it is something akin to a “moving guillotine” of sorts.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a tow truck, or lost a loved one due to this sort of tragedy, you need to be apprised of the legal options you may have in regard to pursuing compensation. The Houston two truck accident attorneys with Our Law Office provide this article in order to answer some of the questions that are no doubt running through your mind. If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers, please call us.
How Tow Truck Accidents Occur
There are many ways that a tow truck accident can take place, and any of these can result in significant injuries or even fatalities. Some of the common scenarios that we have encountered include accidents that took place under the following circumstances:
Tow truck drivers falling asleep — Just like 18-wheeler drivers, for example, tow truck drivers can work odd shifts and gruelingly long hours. Unlike the drivers of 18-wheelers, however, they are not required to take periodic rest breaks. Conceivably, a tow truck driver could stay behind the wheel 24 hours or more consecutively, if he wished. You can easily see why a tow truck driver could cause an accident after being on the road for an incredibly long period of time.
The vehicle in tow becomes disconnected from the tow truck.
The tow truck is parked in harm’s way and approaching motorists do not have adequate warning. Most tow trucks are very well illuminated, but occasionally a tow truck driver will be in another motorist’s path and he will not have its lights on.
The brakes of the tow truck are taxed severely – when this takes place, obviously, the truck cannot come to a stop. Tow truck drivers are supposed to know how to modulate the brakes when the truck is hauling a load, because if they are not, those brakes can fail due to being overworked. Our firm once litigated a case where a tow truck driver overused his brakes on a steep freeway exit ramp, causing him to blow through a red light and T-boning our client, breaking his arms and legs. The tow truck driver later told police that he, “forgot about the weight of the car.”
But in all of these above scenarios, there are typically multiple instances of liabilities. For instance, in the cases we’ve litigated where drivers fall asleep at the wheel, we often find that the transport company knowingly over-worked their employees. And in the instances we’ve litigated where vehicles are not properly illuminated, or their brakes were not properly applied, we find the drivers simply were not given adequate training. The significance of this is that showing the negligence of the driver nets one result. Showing that the company contributed to the driver’s negligence nets a much more substantial result.
In order to determine all of the causal factors related to your accident involving a tow truck, you will need an experienced law firm working on your behalf to launch an investigation. Not only will that investigation reveal the reason for the accident, it will also help you identify all of the parties that you can target with legal action. And as you can tell from the above list, there are several potential defendants, including not only the driver but the towing company, the manufacturer of a faulty part or even other drivers.
The only way that you can be sure to have the best possible chance of obtaining compensation is by hiring an experienced lawyer as soon as you can.
Who Owns Tow Trucks?
You may think of tow trucks as only being owned by small, private businesses that own only one or two vehicles. However, governmental departments use them as well, and many of the businesses that run towing operations have fleets of these vehicles operating in several different cities. A governmental agency such as a state’s transportation department may use tow trucks as well on toll roads and major highways. Other governmental bodies, such as public works departments, fire and police departments can also use them.
Taking action against either a private entity or a public one can be extremely complex and fraught with difficulties. Each has its own particular challenges, and each will necessitate the help of a skilled attorney who is familiar with pursuing this kind of accident case. At Our Law Office, we have represented clients for the past two decades, so we have the experience you will need on your side to help you secure restitution for your suffering, and we will be able to provide the hard proof that you will need in order to be able to prevail in your litigation.
But who else would face liability in this sort of accident case? Some would argue that the company that calls for the vehicle can face liability. They have to do their due diligence in order to make sure they are dealing with a reputable and safe tow truck company. The towing company will face most of the liability in an accident, but the party directing the actions of the towing company cannot merely turn a blind eye. While it may be a long shot, you may also have a case against the party that hired the towing company vehicle that was involved in your accident.
Taking Action against a Towing Company
You can seek restitution from the towing company and its insurance company if you have been hurt in a tow truck accident that was caused by another party’s negligence. However, it is imperative that you understand it will be very difficult for you to obtain fair compensation without legal representation, and you will encounter extremely formidable opposition. Tow truck insurance policies are typically very valuable, and thus the insurance company (or the tow truck company if it is self-insured) will work extremely hard to defeat your case. If you do not have the help of an experienced attorney, you will find it nearly impossible to win.
Plotting Your Legal Strategy
There are many ways in which a tow truck accident can take place, as mentioned previously, and therefore several variables that determine the legal course of action your attorney will take. The accident, for example, could have resulted from the negligence of the tow truck driver, or due to the failure of a piece of safety equipment. It is not only important that you understand the kinds of tow trucks that are in use, such as wheel-lift, hook-and-chain and flat bed, but also how they operate. Unless you happen to be a tow truck expert, it will be essential that you have the help of a lawyer who not only knows tow trucks inside and out, has a great deal of experience in litigating this kind of case, and, most importantly, has a track record of winning this type of case. Otherwise, again, your chances of prevailing are basically zero.
Call Our Law Office as Soon as You Can
The attorneys at Our Law Office have helped thousands of personal injury victims obtain compensation for the suffering they have experienced, and we would like the opportunity to put our passion and tenacity to work for you as well. If you or someone close to you has suffered an injury in a tow truck accident, please call us for a confidential and free consultation.
Intoxicated Truck Driver Accident Attorney – Houston Personal Injury Lawyers
In an Accident With a Drunk 18-Wheeler Driver? You May be Entitled To Recover Damages
Within this article, we’d like to discuss the ramifications of being involved in a truck accident where the truck driver is said to be intoxicated. Before we delve into this matter, however, it should be noted that any truck accident victim in Harris County needs the help of a qualified attorney, should they seek compensation. On another page, we discuss why hiring an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney is so crucial to an accident victim’s recovery.
Compared to an everyday auto accident, a truck accident is already a categorically different experience. But when intoxication allegations arise, not only may liability from the matter be altered, but also the landscape of named defendants to your accident claim. This is due to the implementation of liquor liability laws, more common known as dram shop laws.
In Texas, it is not only illegal, but inherently dangerous to serve an already intoxicated patron more alcohol. To rectify this precarious situation between faculty-lacking individuals and that of profit-seeking businesses, the Texas legislature drafted laws to bind these businesses to their liquor license, issued by the TABC. When applying these laws to 18-wheeler accidents, if a trucker were found to be intoxicated from alcohol served at one of these establishments, not only may the trucker incur fault, but also the business who provided the over-service.
But what if a trucker’s intoxication is not from alcohol, but rather from a narcotic or prescription medication? In this situation, the quantity of defendants may not increase, but certainly the overall liability of the incident could. It’s relatively easy to imagine the heightened fault placed on an intoxicated truck driver, but what about the company that employs the individual?
An intoxicated trucker’s liability is relatively discernible, but in many of the accidents we have litigated, the owner’s fault in the matter was actually more egregious. In one particular instance, we aggressively pursued a trucking company after it became increasingly apparent that they had negligently hired a trucker with a marked past use of narcotics (including one such instance while on the job). Sure enough, the past transgressions of the trucker reared their head again in the form of an intoxicated accident. Had our firm not done the proper research before trial, an obviously liable party may have skirted fault. In other words, our client’s pursuit of justice not only allowed them to receive the compensation they deserved, but also helped improve the trucking industry.
None of the above is relevant though, unless your law firm has experienced the myriad of scenarios that follow a drunk driving accident. Aggressive insurance adjusters, paired with cutthroat defense attorneys and trucking companies who put hauling in front of safety will all try to derail your case. Make no mistake, without the help of attorney who has been there, they will succeed.
In other words, you need a team of experienced personal injury attorneys to make sure your case is handled appropriately. The attorneys at Our Law Office in Houston have over twenty years of experience with cases just like yours. An experienced intoxicated truck driver accident attorney can help you secure the compensation you deserve, while noticing those responsible that their actions will not stand. So if you’ve been injured by an intoxicated trucker, know that you do not have to go at it alone. Contact an attorney at Our Law Office and let us fight for you, while you worry about recovering.
Hazardous Cargo Accidents and Spills – Houston Personal Injury Lawyers
When Commercial Vehicles Carry Hazardous or Dangerous Materials, The Consequences of an Accident can be Outstanding
According to the United States Department of Transportation, almost 3 billion tons of hazardous materials are transported in this country annually and we see them every day on every major highway here in Houston. Tanker trucks are an important part of commerce in this country, but what happens when they cause accidents and injure drivers?
If you have been injured in a tanker truck collision accident or injured as the result of a hazardous spill from a tanker truck’s cargo, you may be wondering about your ability to be compensated for your injuries. You need to know your rights as an injured person and what needs to be done to protect those rights. You need to understand what different things must be considered in a tanker accident or hazardous spill claim that if missed could negatively impact your ability to recover for your injuries. Finally, you need to know that the lawyers at Our Law Office can answer these questions and more. Handling a complex injury case can be difficult to do alone. The trucking company and their lawyers have an automatic advantage because it’s their industry, so you need someone on your side to help level the playing field.
The trucking industry and its lawyers leave nothing to chance when it comes to defending claims brought by plaintiffs for their injuries. Neither should you. The attorneys at Our Law Office have years of experience dealing with the trucking industry, their lawyers, and the serious injuries victims are left with after an accident with a tanker truck hauling dangerous chemicals. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Tanker Trucks vs. Tractor Trailers: What’s the Difference?
To understand the importance of having a firm like ours on your side handling your claim you need to first realize that a tanker truck accident or hazardous spill claim is very different from a typical tractor trailer accident claim. There are distinct differences between accidents with tanker trucks versus accidents with tractor trailers. While both types of accidents can cause devastating and catastrophic injuries and even death, how and why the injuries occur in each scenario is often different. The key differences between the two stems from the type of cargo each truck usually carries and the injuries that occur beyond the initial impact of the crash or collision.
Cargo – Why Contents Matter
Tractor Trailers haul the types of goods that we typically think of when we talk about the trucking industry. They carry things like furniture, packages, building materials, produce and other tangible items. The cargo in a tractor trailer is typically solid and as long as the truck is packed properly the load is pretty stable. Obviously there is the possibility of further injury in an accident if the contents of the tractor trailer are dislodged and fall onto the roadway. However, even if that does occur the cargo from a tractor trailer typically is not in liquid form, can usually be removed with relative ease, and is usually visible on the road way and other drivers have the opportunity to avoid colliding with the cargo in the road. Tanker truck cargo is altogether different from 18-wheeler cargo in almost every regard.
Unlike the cargo an 18-wheeler hauls, the cargo in a tanker trucks is fluid and often less stable. Tanker trucks transport fluids of all types, from something as harmless as milk to something as dangerous as corrosive chemicals or oil and gas. Because they are in liquid form, the contents of a tanker truck can slosh around causing a shift in the truck’s center of gravity. This shift can make it difficult for the driver to maintain control when making turns or maneuvering through traffic. If a tanker truck hauling liquid cargo is in an accident and the tank ruptures or is compromised the liquid cargo could spill out onto the roadway increasing the possibility of injury not only from the crash itself, but injury from the spill of the hazardous cargo as well. The spillage can injure the driver the tanker truck through exposure to toxic fumes or corrosive chemicals and can endanger other drivers and pedestrians because often spills on the roadway may not be detected before the driver can avoid them.
Seeking compensation for your injuries after an accident with an 18-wheeler or tanker truck can be a complex process by itself. The litigation process is even trickier if you have additional injuries as a result of exposure to the tanker truck’s hazardous cargo as well. There are many things to consider that could be easily overlooked if you are not careful. Misunderstanding the process or missing key details could seriously impact or limit your ability to recover for your injuries.
The Double Whammy – Injuries Beyond the Crash
Injuries from 18-wheeler accidents are usually pretty straightforward. In the majority of 18-wheeler accidents, injuries to the victim result from the impact of the crash itself either from being hit by the 18-wheeler or the 18-wheeler hitting something else which ends up hitting the victim. The victim’s injuries are almost always crash related. In these accidents broken bones, sprains, neck injuries, concussions and other such injuries are common place and are associated with the overall force in which the impact of the crash occurred.
You can be injured in a tanker truck accident in many of the same ways as in an accident with an 18-wheeler. The force of the crash and its impact is always a consideration. But beyond these common sources of injury are the injuries that result from exposure to the hazardous liquids in the tanker truck’s cargo. Not only can you have physical injuries from the impact of the collision with the tanker truck, but you can also be injured if the tanker’s cargo spills onto you or your vehicle, if the crash causes the cargo to ignite and there is an explosion, or from the noxious fumes that can escape when the cargo tank is compromised or ruptured in the accident. Injuries from hazardous spills can be especially catastrophic because they are often permanent and can prohibit you from returning to work or the lifestyle you enjoyed before the accident. Bodily contact with hazardous chemicals can cause serious skin burns, blindness if the chemicals come in contact with your eyes and organ damage or even death if the chemicals are ingested. Even if you never come in direct contact with the tanker truck you can still be injured if the cargo spills onto the roadway. Because liquids on the road can be particularly hard to see, you as the driver may not even realize you have driven into a hazardous spill until it’s too late. Further, the chemicals that are being transported are often oil based or slippery and your vehicle’s tires could lose traction with the road and cause you to crash.
Situations involving catastrophic injuries like the ones mentioned above are very difficult on the victim and their families. After a tanker truck or hazardous spill accident it is common place to feel overwhelmed by all that has happened. There will be many issues to handle related to your case on top of recovering from your injuries and going up against the trucking company and its lawyers alone may not be your best course of action. You need someone on your side protecting your rights while you focus on the most important thing – getting better. Our lawyers have over 22 years of experience handling tanker truck and hazardous spill injury cases and we will use that experience to help you prevail in your case against the trucking company.
High Stakes – Why Taking on the Trucking Industry Alone is Tough
Transporting hazardous materials in this country involves both state and federal laws and restrictions. Trucking companies have to be concerned with maintaining compliance with these laws in order to retain their ability to carry out their business as commercial truckers. There are restrictions on the highways in which these materials can be transported, the types of materials that can be transported through a certain area because of the population density, and even the time of day certain hazardous materials can be moved. The industry is heavily regulated and the drivers the trucking companies employ must be properly licensed as well. In fact, the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have adopted rules to secure the transport of hazardous materials, including explosives based on the requirements of the Patriot Act. These rules require a security threat assessment on all commercial drivers transporting hazardous materials. The process includes the collection of an individual’s fingerprints and verification of citizenship, immigration eligibility or permanent legal presence in the United States. In accordance with these guidelines, Texas will not allow a driver to obtain a commercial driver’s license with a hazardous materials endorsement unless they have first completed the security assessment and have obtained clearance from TSA.
Because of the risk involved in the transport of hazardous materials such as gasoline, corrosive chemicals and nuclear waste, trucking companies are required to have certain minimum levels of insurance coverage. Federal law requires that they carry at least $2,000,000 in accident coverage. Because these vehicles are so heavily insured, they are also very heavily defended. While it is a good thing there is a potential source of compensation from which to draw that is probably sufficiently funded to cover your claims, the consequence of such a large insurance policy is that the defendants will essential have unlimited resources in which to defend that policy.
But the reason that they defend their case goes beyond their concerns that they will have to pay you. If an accident is found to be the trucking company’s fault, not only will they have to compensate you, but the blemished record may also cost them future business. Statistical data is compiled on a yearly basis tracking the number and type of accidents trucking companies transporting hazardous materials are involved in and this data can be a determining factor in whether a trucking company is eligible to bid on or receive contracts. Handling accidents and insurance payouts can directly affect a trucking company’s bottom line and profitability so they are going to aggressively defend any accident claims brought against them.
The trucking companies have aggressive attorneys working to protect their rights and will do everything they can to limit or eliminate your ability to recover for your injuries. They have a lot at stake and will do whatever it takes to win. That means you lose. Don’t go down this road alone. You have a lot at stake as well. Your injuries and your families well-being and financial security does not matter to the trucking companies and their lawyers, but it matters to us. Our lawyers are here to help you recover for you injuries and get the compensation you deserve.
Did You Know?
We have been fighting for 18 wheeler accident victims` rights for over 20 years. Call us to discuss your case.
What’s At Stake for You
After an injury in a tanker truck or hazardous spill accident you may be unable to work for an extensive period of time or even permanently. Your medical needs will need to be met as well as practical needs for your family and household expenses. Our attorneys can help you recover everything that you are entitled to as an injured victim. We will help you and your family recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and for any permanent disabilities you may have as the result of the accident with the tanker truck. The trucking company will have its lawyers do whatever they can to limit or even eliminate the trucking company’s liability for your claims and leave you with nothing. You need someone on your side to help hold them accountable for the injuries their tanker truck or hazardous spill has caused. They took on the risk in transporting hazardous materials, not you. There is no reason you should suffer for their negligence or go at this alone. Our lawyers are here to help you and your family and will fight for your rights. Give us a call.
Truck Accidents in Construction Zones – Houston Personal Injury Lawyers
Commercial 18-Wheelers Have a Greater Responsibility to be Aware of Construction Zones & Other Traffic Hazards
Road construction is a fact of life in any city, especially in one as large as Houston. You basically cannot travel on any major highway in or around town without encountering some sort of construction zone. As necessary as new road work is, construction zones are annoying when you are sitting in traffic – especially when it’s the middle of summer and about 125 degrees on the asphalt.
But construction zones can be much more serious than a mere annoyance – when traffic is at a standstill and an 18-wheeler plows through cars that are basically parked, the consequences can obviously be devastating. The attorneys with Our Law Office provide you this article so that you know the steps you should take if you or someone close to you has suffered an injury in this sort of accident. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys in regard to the specific circumstances surrounding your case, please call us for a free and confidential consultation.
The Nature of Construction Zone Accidents
Most construction zone truck accidents result from the truck rear-ending parked cars. This is often due to truck drivers operating their vehicles while distracted. But what makes them distracted?
The driver may not have noticed he was coming upon a construction zone because he was distracted due to texting or talking on his cellular phone, changing the radio, putting in a CD, or even looking at a computer. That driver could have been fatigued after staying behind the wheel for several hours in an attempt to meet an unreasonable delivery schedule or trying to achieve a mileage bonus. He may have even been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Although the general public believes that an acceptance of liability by the defendant is a given, that is not the case. You still have to prove that the trucking company was responsible for the accident. Even if they do accept liability, that still does not mean you will obtain fair compensation.
If you were injured in this sort of accident, your vehicle was probably rear-ended, either by the truck itself or another car struck by the rig. Many times in this sort of accident, injuries are sustained to muscles rather than bones; for example, whiplash or pulled back muscles are fairly common in a rear-end accident. In terms of obtaining compensation, it can be much more difficult to do so if you suffer this type of injury than a more “obvious” injury such as a broken bone.
No matter the reason for the accident or the type of injury you sustained, if you are to have any reasonable chance of obtaining compensation for your suffering you will need the help of an experienced attorney.
Why You Need to Act Quickly in Obtaining Legal Help
There are two common scenarios in a trucking construction zone accident. The first is a stop-and-go situation, where a truck rear-ends a vehicle, resulting in a relatively minor injury to the driver of the vehicle that was struck. The other is where a truck hits several motorists at the same time. The latter scenario, obviously, not only results in more injuries (and thus more plaintiffs) but more severe injuries as well.
When this second scenario takes place, there will be several plaintiffs pursuing legal action simultaneously. While a trucking company is required in Texas to carry $1 million in liability insurance coverage, if 15 people are injured in the same construction zone accident and they cumulatively have $3 million in damages, there is “only” $1 million in insurance. You can see why this kind of case can get very competitive, very quickly. There will be a “race,” of sorts, to obtain compensation before the money evaporates.
Not only do you need to hire an experienced attorney, you have to do so as quickly as possible. Your attorney can perform a prompt and thorough investigation to determine the cause of the accident, identify the defendants in your case, and obtain the proof you will need in order to have the best possible chance of winning.
Your attorney also needs to have a solid track record of winning these kinds of cases so that he or she can compel the defendant into offering you an out-of-court settlement, and thus eliminating the need for your case to go to trial. Again, since you will more than likely be pursuing restitution at the same time as several other people, the faster you can obtain a settlement, the better off you will be. At Our Law Office we have been in practice for two decades, and during this time we have defeated many of the largest trucking companies and insurance carriers in the nation. Because these companies are well aware of our successes in these kinds of cases, they will many times offer our clients equitable settlements rather than risk losing even more money by taking on our attorneys in a trial.
What the Defendant will Likely Claim
Again, it is very likely that your vehicle was rear-ended in the construction zone accident that resulted in your injury, either from the impact of the truck itself or another vehicle. There are various strategies that the defendant in your case can, and very likely will, try to employ in an effort to escape as much liability as possible. One strategy may be to claim that the accident was unavoidable. Some accidents occur under some circumstances wherein a truck driver simply could not avoid it. In other instances, the trucking company may claim the accident was unavoidable due to some other party. In our two decades of practice we have seen many instances where a defendant, to put it mildly, stretched the boundaries of believability in claiming an accident was unavoidable. However, no matter how ludicrous a defendant’s claim may be, you will still need hard evidence in order to refute it.
The most obvious party for the trucking company to blame would be the construction company responsible for setting up the construction zone. The trucking company does not necessarily have to be right; it just needs to have a defense.
The defendant can point the finger of blame at several parties; not only the construction company, but other drivers and maybe even you. By default, the trucking company involved in your case will look for a scapegoat – it could not care less who that scapegoat might be. But again, you will have to have solid proof to defeat the defendant’s tactics and place the blame where it lies – squarely on that defendant. If you cannot provide that proof, and the defendant is successful in deflecting the blame to some other party, then you will have no reasonable chance of securing restitution for the suffering you have experienced.
How We Can Help
During our two decades in practice, the attorneys of Our Law Office have helped thousands of personal injury victims obtain fair compensation. This type of case can be exceedingly complex – especially when there are multiple plaintiffs involved – so you will have to have a lawyer who is familiar enough with this kind of litigation to plot the proper course of legal action.
That attorney not only needs to have experience and a track record of success, he or she also has to know which parties to pursue and which ones not to pursue. If, for example, your attorney sues the construction company, the trucking company could use that to help its effort to deflect blame, making your case that much weaker against the trucking company.
You may have a legitimate claim, but you still want to hire a lawyer to help you decide the correct parties to target with your legal action. As mentioned earlier, the best way of determining the right defendants to pursue in your case is by having a thorough investigation conducted into your accident by a seasoned law firm. We have been conducting such investigations at Our Law Office for the past two decades, and thus have it down to a science.
If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a trucking accident in a construction zone, please do not hesitate to call Our Law Office for a confidential consultation. We will outline the strengths and weaknesses of your case and let you know how we may be able to help.
Passengers Killed in Truck Accidents – Houston Personal Injury Lawyers
Has a Loved One Been Killed in an Accident While Riding as a Passenger in a Commercial Truck?
Did You Know?
We have been fighting for 18 wheeler accident victims` rights for over 20 years. Call us to discuss your case.
If someone you love was killed in an accident while riding as a passenger in a commercial 18-wheeler, then you and your immediate family have the right to pursue compensation from the responsible party or parties.
Here’s the challenge with pursuing compensation after a fatal 18-wheeler accident – figuring out who actually caused the accident, and therefore who should be held accountable for the death of your family member. Since your loved one was a passenger in the truck, the issue of liability and accountability come into even greater question than otherwise would be the case in an 18-wheeler accident, for the issue of the trucking company’s liability becomes more questionable. At Our Law Office, we’ve been helping Texans litigate truck accident cases for more than 20 years, so we have the understanding of the laws and procedures involved to be of assistance to you, as well. If you’d like to discuss your case with one of our lawyers, call us now for a free consultation.
When You can Hold the Trucking Company Accountable
For a number of reasons, a trucking company can be held liable for a fatal 18-wheeler accident in which it or its employees have been found to have negligently caused a death. For example, our firm recently represented the family of a woman who was killed in a truck accident when the driver of the truck in which she was riding lost control of the truck. The way we were able to argue that the trucking company was liable on the basis the trucking company was responsible for the actions of the truck driver, and their policy of allowing passengers to accompany their drivers on trips was an unsafe practice because it was entirely foreseeable that a passenger could become injured under such circumstances. Additionally, we were able to produce evidence that the company had created an incentive program to encourage its drivers to stay on the road over the 11-hour maximum they’re permitted to drive in one day by the federal service hours parameters established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The longer and farther their truck drivers went in violation of this law, the more they got paid. In the case of our client, though, the truck driver struggled to stay awake, lost control of the truck, and led to the fatal crash. Due to the trucking company’s incentive program, it had negligently contributed to the chain of events that caused her death. Presumably, had there been no incentive program, the truck driver would have pulled off the road and gone to sleep when required, leaving our client alive today.
While this is an example of how a trucking company can be liable, it’s only one example and is just the tip of the iceberg. To learn whether or not the trucking company that owned the truck in which your loved one was killed could be held liable for his or her death, you need to discuss the specific circumstances of your case with a Houston truck accident attorney.
When a Third Party is Liable
Just because an 18-wheeler gets into a fatal accident doesn’t mean that the truck driver or trucking company caused the accident. From manufacturers to other motorists, many different third parties can cause fatal 18-wheeler accidents.
In the case of a passenger in the commercial truck being killed, the trucking company cannot totally avoid its share of liability just because some other entity actually caused the wreck. Your loved one simply wouldn’t have died had he or she not been in the truck. Thus, the trucking company will likely not escape accountability entirely; even if, another party actually caused the accident.
In addressing this issue, fatal truck accident cases can become highly intricate, for how much liability should be directed to the party that caused the accident and how much to the trucking company? Answering this question fairly is exactly why you need an experienced and capable Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer working for you. With other liable parties to blame, the insurance providers will not likely agree readily to compensate you. Thus, legal action will likely be necessary. One of the jury’s tasks in a case such as this is to determine the degree of liability for each of the parties that caused the accident. All the possible defendants – the third parties whose negligence caused the wreck, the trucking company who allowed your loved one to step into harm’s way, and the insurance carriers who represent them – will present arguments attempting to defer liability onto the others as scapegoats. You will need an attorney working for you who can find the necessary evidence to prove the negligence of all the liable parties, so they can all be brought to justice. Then, the experienced attorney can call upon his extensive years of litigating similar cases to accurately divide liability equitably among all those who contributed to the cause of your loved one’s death.
Pursuable Compensation for a Wrongful Death in a Truck Accident
When someone you love has been killed while riding as a passenger in a commercial truck, your family has the right to seek two types of damages: wrongful death damages and survival damages – both of which are designed for different purposes. The death of someone close to you can be both financially and emotionally crippling, so wrongful death damages are intended to help the immediate family (spouse, children, and parents) seek compensation for the monetary and emotional harm they’ve sustained. Typical types of wrongful death damages may include compensation for loss of monetary support, psychological counseling for the surviving family members, loss of parental services for children losing parents, loss of child’s services for a parent losing a child, loss of spousal services, exemplary damages, and loss of companionship and society.
On the contrary, survival damages have an entirely different purpose – to allow the personal representative of the estate to pursue the compensation that the victim of the fatal truck accident would have been able to seek had he or she survived the wreck and only sustained injuries. Funeral expenses, compensation for the mental agony of death, medical bills charged prior to death, compensation for the physical pain of the accident, and exemplary damages are all forms of survival damages. While all of the immediate family of the deceased can receive wrongful death benefits, survival damages are intended only for his or her closest living relative – first the spouse, followed by the child, then the parents, and finally siblings.
Merely demanding the damages you think you deserve will not be sufficient enough to secure those damages. Juries can be easily convinced of the value of some forms of compensation, like funeral or medical expenses, but other damages like the monetary value of the realization of imminent death or lost monetary support are much more challenging to accurately estimate. You will need an attorney who has spent years dealing with damages, so he or she can accurately estimate the amount your family should receive. Each plaintiff gets one opportunity to prove the value of damages, and there is no reset button or do-overs. You need to find a Houston 18-wheeler accident attorney who has the experience to get this job done correctly, or you risk allowing the parties who caused your loved one’s death to avoid the full brunt of their accountability.
When it comes to truck accident fatalities, often times the only way to bring negligent parties to justice is with a wrongful death claim or lawsuit that not only defends the memory of your deceased loved one but also acts to protect others from future harm. In most truck accident cases, the negligent party faces no criminal charges. If you allow the party or parties whose negligence killed your loved one to escape monetary punishment, as well, then they will likely continue the negligent behavior and possibly kill a member of someone else’s family. By taking action and making them pay, you can encourage the negligent to think about their actions before harming others.
The Houston 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys at Our Law Office Know how to Help
Remember, the nature of the American legal system allows all sides in a legal dispute to state their case. Thus, not only will the defendant likely attempt to repudiate the assertion that it is liable at all, but the defendant also will likely challenge your attorney’s estimate of damages. In order to protect your rights and find justice for the tragic loss of your family member, you need an advocate with the experience and know-how to meet any challenge head-on. At Our Law Office, we have been litigating wrongful death and personal injury cases involving 18-wheeler accidents in the Houston area for more than two decades, so we have the experience and know-how you need in your corner. Call us now for a free consultation and you will have the chance to discuss your case with someone who can answer your questions and detail your likely legal options.