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Houston, TX Truck Accident Lawyer

Houston, TX Truck Accident Lawyer

texas truck accident lawyers merritt and merritt attorneys

Houston, TX Truck Accident Attorney

Have You Been in a Truck Accident in Houston, TX?

Being injured in a truck accident can be traumatic, and the aftermath can be time-consuming. Truck accidents typically have more details to work through than the average accident involving only cars. In these types of accidents, calling on a Houston truck accident lawyer can help in this often complex process.

Call the Merritt & Merritt Law Firm today at 713-535-7051. Over 2.3 million Texans call Houston home – the largest city in Texas and the fourth most populated city in the United States. Made famous as the headquarters of the NASA space program, Houston is now perhaps better known as a global leader in the energy industry. Over the last two decades, Houston has been repeatedly recognized as one of the best cities in the nation for both work and quality of life.

Being a center of commerce means that you can expect a significant amount of large truck traffic. Whether they are hauling consumer goods, construction materials, or some other vital resource, these trucks enter and exit our city via one of our many interstates and highways. And given the number of trucks that travel these roads every day, accidents are inevitable. Some of these accidents can result in severe injuries and sometimes even death. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, contact a Houston truck accident lawyer at the Merritt & Merritt Law Firm for help.

Houston, TX Truck Accident Statistics

The Texas Department of Transportation compiles all of the motor vehicle accident data from across the state and summarizes it annually. While the DOT does not track truck accidents specifically, they do compile reports for commercial vehicles, which would include several different types of trucks. Furthermore, they organize the data by county, rather than by city.

Despite these limitations, the data provides an overview of the hazards that other drivers face when sharing the roads with large trucks. For 2021, the DOT reported the following statistics:

  • There were 5,743 total accidents in Harris County involving a commercial vehicle
  • 44 people were killed in commercial vehicle accidents
  • 149 people suffered incapacitating injuries
  • 606 people suffered serious but non-incapacitating injuries

These statistics remind us that truck accidents are more common than many people realize and often result in life-changing injuries. If you have been injured in a truck accident, a Houston truck accident lawyer can help you rebuild your life.

Truck Driving Laws

Both federal and state regulations have statutes listed for truck drivers in order to protect them on the road. This is to ensure that they receive the proper rest and are not fatigued while driving. This is also to ensure that their vehicles are up to date to avoid breakdowns, mechanical failures, and accidents on the road. Some issues covered in these laws include:

  • The maximum allowed number of hours a truck driver can drive in a given period and the minimum amount of rest time that must occur in between drives.
  • The maximum number of total weekly hours a driver can drive.
  • Requirements for vehicle inspections, repairs, and maintenance, including how they are conducted and how often they must be completed.
  • Qualifications an individual must meet before becoming a truck driver.

Causes of Truck Accidents

A truck accident can happen for a variety of reasons. Knowing the common causes of such accidents can help reduce the number of accidents on the road. Some common causes of truck accidents are:

  • Driver error. Driver errors include any act that was made by the driver and not external factors. This could be from accidental behavior or intentional behavior that results in an accident, such as speeding, changing lanes without checking for other drivers, and running red lights.
  • Driver fatigue. Truck drivers are usually responsible for driving long distances for an extended period of time. If they do not take appropriate rest breaks, it increases the risk of driver drowsiness or fatigue, which can increase the risk of accidents.Driving fatigued or sleepy causes our driving sensibilities to be inhibited, resulting in reaction time being diminished. This can make it difficult for truck drivers to respond to sudden hazards appropriately.
  • Truck problems. Sometimes there are equipment problems that can contribute to trucking accidents, such as defective parts (like tires or steering). Equipment problems can be reduced with regular maintenance.
  • External problems. External problems like inclement weather and poor road conditions can contribute to accidents. Examples of these include icy roads, rain, fog, snow, potholes, construction, and road obstructions.
  • Other drivers. At times, the cause of a trucking accident is another driver who may have been driving aggressively, distracted, or without consideration of other drivers. This could include speeding, failing to yield, and unlawful lane changes.

A Houston, TX Truck Accident Lawyer Handling All Types of Truck Accidents

Understanding the nature of your accident is important – it can help identify the cause of the accident and ensure that you get fair compensation for the injuries you have suffered. At Merritt & Merritt Law Firm, we have deep experience in handling all types of truck accident cases, including the following:

  • Override accidents. These typically occur when a large truck rear-ends the vehicle in front of them and the cab of the truck rides up onto and crushes the vehicle in front of them. These accidents are often caused by speeding or tailgating, causing the truck driver to be unable to stop in time. They often lead to severe injuries and, in some cases, can be fatal.
  • Underride accidents. These accidents occur when a vehicle slams into the rear of the truck. They can be especially dangerous because of the height of the truck or the trailer, which often meets the windshield of the vehicle behind, causing the vehicle to become smashed underneath the truck. Many of these accidents are caused by the following driver’s negligence, but some are the result of malfunctioning brake lights, stopping unsafely, or being parked on the side of the road without the emergency lights on.
  • Jackknife accidents. This is when the trailer of a semi-truck swings out around the cab similar to the opening of a jackknife blade. They are often caused by sudden, hard breaking or entering a turn with too much speed. The driver often loses control of the truck when it jackknifes, leading to the truck overturning, crossing the centerline of the road, or colliding with other vehicles.
  • Cargo accidents. Trucks carry heavy loads which affect their handling and braking performance. Loads that haven’t been properly secured can cause the truck to handle in an unpredictable manner, which can lead to an accident or make it difficult for the driver to avoid an accident. In addition, cargo spilled onto the road can cause accidents or additional injuries to other drivers involved in the original accident.
  • Trailer accidents. Semi-trucks have sophisticated trailer systems that must be regularly maintained. A mechanical failure with the hitch or other trailer mechanism can cause the driver to lose control of the truck or cause the trailer to break loose.

Identifying the cause of your accident and how it led to your injuries is a critical step in your claim. More than likely, it will require extensive investigation. The sooner you contact an experienced Houston truck accident lawyer, the better your chances of receiving fair compensation.

What Makes Truck Accidents Unique

Truck accidents often follow a different series of circumstances in the aftermath of the accident than a typical accident involving cars and/or other smaller vehicles. This is because trucks are often associated with more than just the driver, so there are additional details to be worked out.

Truck accidents often have multiple defendants. This can include the truck driver, the company the truck driver works for, the city or state the accident occurred in, mechanics or anyone else who otherwise worked on the truck, and cargo loaders.

Most times, the truck driver is the obvious defendant in most cases, especially when they are at fault for the accident. If the accident was caused by another driver, multiple defendants may not be involved in the case.

The trucking company may be held responsible if it was found that its negligence in some way contributed to the accident. This could happen if it does not properly vet its employees, trains them poorly or not at all, or fails to follow rules and statutes related to transportation, such as proper drug and alcohol screening.

Those who work on a truck may be liable if the accident was caused by some sort of failure or malfunction with the truck. For example, cargo loaders may be responsible if they improperly loaded a truck and it resulted in cargo toppling over while the driver was on the highway and causing an accident.

Fault sometimes cannot be attributed to one party but may be shared in some way. This makes these kinds of cases unique and can cause the process following the accident to take longer than normal car accidents would take.

Common Injuries From Trucking Accidents

Trucks are significantly larger and weigh a great deal more than other vehicles. Because of this, those who are in an accident with a truck are much more likely to experience serious injuries than those who collide with a smaller vehicle. Common injuries from truck accidents include:

  • Whiplash. Whiplash happens when a person’s head quickly jerks in a back-and-forth motion. This can cause damage and injuries to the neck. Whiplash effects are not always sudden, so seeking medical attention is important.
  • Broken bones. Broken bones occur when a body part is injured but not necessarily pierced. Broken bones may require physical therapy, casting, and/or surgery.
  • Internal injuries. These are injuries that an injured person may not recognize immediately. It will require the examination of a medical professional to determine the injury. However, there are symptoms that can help point to a potential internal issue, such as swelling or low blood pressure. If these issues are not attended to, they can cause additional problems later.
  • Head or brain injuries. These injuries can range in severity. A person can have a simple concussion, or it can be as serious as a traumatic brain injury that has long-lasting effects. The most serious brain injuries may require treatment for the rest of the victim’s life.
  • Burns. Burns can happen for a number of reasons. If the car catches fire or if the person comes in contact with hot surfaces or chemicals from the car, it can result in burns. Colliding with trucks has an increased risk of these types of injuries because some trucks carry flammable objects and liquids that can cause fires and explosions in accidents.
  • Back injuries. Back injuries can be mild or severe. Back injuries are serious because, if untreated, they can cause problems later on. If the issues are severe enough, they can cause paralysis, permanently affecting a person’s mobility.
  • Amputations. In serious accidents, a collision can sever a person’s limbs or crush them to the point where they require amputation. This will require long-term aftercare.
  • Death. If any of these injuries are severe enough, a person can experience death, either suddenly or some time shortly after. In these cases, the families of the deceased may be entitled to receive compensation.

What to Do After a Trucking Accident

If you’re involved in a truck accident, the first thing you want to do is ensure that you and anyone else involved in the accident are safe by checking for immediate injuries. Contact emergency medical services if someone is severely injured.

Next, make sure you remain on the scene until law enforcement arrives. Give them your statement on what happened. Stick to the facts without stating fault, even if you believe you were somewhat at fault.

Gather any evidence you can and seek medical attention once you are cleared to leave, even if you believe that you do not have any injuries. Some injuries take time to recognize, and you want to ensure that you are cleared for both your safety and any future claims you make.

Damages Awarded in Truck Accident Claims

When someone suffers injury due to a trucking accident, it can have a significant impact on their lives, including physical pain, loss of income, changes in mobility, and even changes in their daily lives and how they are able to enjoy life. The purpose of these damages is to compensate them for their suffering. Some of these damages include:

  • Economic damages. Economic damages are damages that are usually easy to calculate, such as medical bills and lost wages. This also includes any future medical care that may be needed, such as physical therapy and surgeries.Economic damages also include medications that may be needed. Lost wages are not only time from work that you missed because of the accident, but it can include lost wages that will occur in the future if your injury hinders your ability to work as you did before.
  • Noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages are not as easily discernible as economic damages as they don’t have a referenceable price. These damages include pain and suffering, emotional damages, and loss of enjoyment of life.If the accident caused PTSD, stress, depression, anxiety, significant ongoing pain, or caused you to not enjoy life the same as before, such as doing recreational activities or engaging in hobbies, you may be entitled to economic damages. A lawyer can help you file a claim for an appropriate amount. The court will likely have the final say in how much you are awarded for noneconomic damages.
  • Punitive damages. Punitive damages are not as common as economic or noneconomic damages. They are usually used as a punishment against the offender for grossly negligent or egregious behavior.

How to Seek Fair Damages in a Trucking Accident

While there is no one particular chain of events that a person can follow to ensure a certain amount they could in damages, there are things that you can do to increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement.

First, you want to make sure that you know exactly what damages you are seeking and how much they will cost, especially the ones that have an easy cost. This includes any damages done to your vehicle and the cost it will take to replace it, medical bills, the cost of any treatment for your injuries, lost wages, and any pain and suffering you went through afterward.

Next, you will want to gather all the evidence you need to support your claims. This can include doctor’s notes, medical bills, bills from your mechanic, any communication with your insurance company, police reports, photos or videos of the accident scene, witness statements, and even your own statement of what happened. There are additional measures you can take to help your case, including:

  • Do not admit fault at the scene of the accident.
  • Do consult an attorney for assistance.
  • Do not hastily accept the first settlement offer, especially if the settlement is much lower than what you need or if you have long-term care in your future for your injuries.

Time is Not on Your Side

Truck accident claims are subject to a two-year statute of limitations under Texas law. This means that you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of your accident or you will lose all of your rights to compensation.

Even if you don’t intend to file a lawsuit, this is a very important deadline. The insurance company will not even consider your claim if the deadline has passed. In fact, they sometimes will delay settling your claim in the hopes that the deadline will expire without them having to pay out.

Two years may sound like a long time, but it passes rather quickly when you are struggling to recover from your accident. Furthermore, you need to act quickly to gather important evidence that you need to support your claim. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to prove your case. The bottom line is that the sooner you contact a Houston truck accident lawyer, the better your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.


Q: What Should I Do Immediately After a Truck Accident in Houston?

A: Immediately after a truck accident in Houston, you should prioritize safety by making sure no one is hurt and dialing 911. Take pictures and record the scene by interviewing witnesses. Discuss specifics with the truck driver while avoiding assigning or accepting blame. Even if injuries seem slight, get medical help and speak with a truck accident attorney to learn more about your case options and protect your legal rights.

Q: What Types of Damages Can I Recover After a Truck Accident?

A: After a truck accident, you can recover damages, including hospital bills, missed income, emotional distress, property damage, and, in certain situations, punitive damages. In order to ensure that accident victims are not financially burdened by the fault of another party, compensation attempts to pay back both current and future damages related to the accident.

Q: How Can a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?

A: A Houston truck accident lawyer can offer vital support by looking into the collision, obtaining documentation, settling claims with insurance providers, and, if required, defending you in court. They strive to prove accountability and obtain fair compensation for all their clients, which relieves the burden of legal proceedings and lets you concentrate on getting better.

Q: What Are Common Injuries In Truck Accidents?

A: Common injuries in truck accidents include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures, internal injuries, and whiplash. Because of the size and weight difference between trucks and passenger cars, truck accidents frequently cause serious casualties. It is imperative that you get urgent medical attention and legal counsel since these injuries may have long-term consequences.

Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After a Truck Accident?

A: In Texas, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury case following a truck accident. The ability to seek compensation may be lost if a filing is not made within this time frame. Seeking early legal advice will help guarantee that your case is submitted on schedule.

Injured? Talk to a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer at Merritt & Merritt Law Firm Today

Truck accident victims are entitled to be made whole. This means that you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. An experienced Houston truck accident lawyer at Merritt & Merritt Law Firm can help you rebuild your life – contact us or call us today at 713-535-7051 to schedule a free consultation.

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