18 Wheeler Accident Attorney in Texas
Around 20% of all semi truck crashes lead to the occupants of cars getting injured. Getting struck by an 18-wheeler is often a serious accident that leads to lifelong and debilitating injuries. These accidents may even lead to the death of your loved ones.
If you or your relative have been hit by an 18-wheeler, it’s important to seek legal help right away. At Hernandez Law Group, our experienced accident attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you need after one of these terrible accidents. We’ll help you through the whole process – from filing a claim to litigation – to make sure that you receive a fair and just settlement. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.
Semi Truck Accident Causes
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tracks data relating to truck drivers and truck accidents within the United States. According to their studies, the most common causes of semi truck accidents include:
- Traveling too fast in bad weather. During rainstorms, snowstorms, or other poor weather conditions, all drivers should reduce their speed and drive carefully. Semi truck drivers who fail to do so account for around 23% of all truck accidents.
- Improper maintenance. 18-wheelers should be properly maintained to make sure that they don’t experience a mechanical failure on the roadway. When drivers or trucking companies don’t perform this maintenance, the trucks will often cause accidents. Brake and tire problems are the most common causes of semi truck accidents, accounting for 35% of all trucking accidents.
- Fatigue. If a truck driver goes too long without sleep, it slows their reaction time and may even cause them to fall asleep at the wheel. Truck driver fatigue is usually caused by pressure from their employers; in these cases, the company may be held partially or completely at fault for the accident.
- Driving under the influence. 3% of all 18-wheeler accidents are caused by drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Another 17% of semi truck accidents are caused by drivers who took legal, over-the-counter medicines that negatively impacted their ability to drive correctly.
- Following too closely. Semi trucks take longer to stop when braking than other vehicles do. For this reason, it’s imperative for truckers to maintain a very safe following distance. Following too closely accounts for around 5% of all truck accidents.
18-Wheeler Accident Statistics
According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 438,000 semi trucks were involved in accidents in 2014. Of these accidents, around 88,000 led to injuries – resulting in 111,000 injured people overall. The occupants of the trucks made up 23% of those injured, whereas the drivers and passengers of other vehicles accounted for 74% of those injured. Pedestrians, cyclists, and other nonoccupants of motor vehicles made up 3% of those injured.
3,744 18-wheelers were involved in fatal crashes, resulting in 3,903 fatalities overall. Of those killed, 17% were in the semi trucks, 73% were in other vehicles, and 10% weren’t in a vehicle at all.
Texas Semi Truck Accident Statistics
At 553, Texas saw by far the highest number of semi truck accident fatalities out of all US states. Texas accounted for 14.2% of all 18-wheeler crash fatalities, which is over 10% more than most other states.
If your loved one was one of the many killed by a tractor-trailer in Texas, our wrongful death attorneys will help you file a lawsuit against the offending party. No amount of money will make up for your terrible loss, but a successful civil lawsuit can help to relieve some of your mental and financial burdens.
After a Truck Accident, do I Sue the Driver or the Company?
Determining whether to sue the truck driver or the trucking company after an 18-wheeler accident can be tricky. The first and most important step in the process is determining the cause of the accident.
When the Trucking Company is at Fault
In an effort to increase profits, trucking companies often push drivers to drive when it is unsafe for them to do so. Employers may force truckers to drive for longer than permissible by the federal Hours of Service Regulations. In these cases, drivers may become too fatigued to drive safely. Trucking companies may also force truck drivers to drive in unsafe conditions, such as when roads are icy or visibility is poor. Another common cause of 18-wheeler accidents is when trucking companies force truckers to drive with overloaded trailers. In these cases, it’s likely the company that will be held liable for the truck accident.
When the Driver is at Fault
There are also many circumstances in which the driver may be at fault for an 18-wheeler accident. Distracted driving, driving under the influence, following too closely, and speeding can cause truck drivers to get into a wreck. In addition, if the semi truck driver is self-employed, then accidents caused by fatigue, driving in poor conditions, or overloaded trailers will be the fault of the driver rather than a company.
Sometimes, 18-wheeler accidents may be caused by a mechanical issue, such as a brake failure or leaking radiator fluid. In these cases, there are three potential parties that may be at fault for the accident: the company, the driver, or the parts manufacturer. Sometimes, fault may be shared between two of the parties or even all three. If the company or driver fails to maintain the vehicle, it can lead to mechanical problems, and one or both may be held responsible for an accident. On the other hand, if a part in the truck was faulty, the manufacturer of the part may be the party at fault.
Contact Hernandez Law Group, P.C.
If you’ve been in an accident, contact the attorneys at Hernandez Law Group, P.C. right away. As one of the few attorneys in Texas who is board-certified in personal injury law, Juan Hernandez is the expert you need on your side during your 18-wheeler accident case. He has successfully litigated many cases against truck drivers and trucking companies, and he can help you win compensation for the damages you incur after an accident. Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation with our team.