Houston, renowned for its expansive port operations and as a pivotal economic hub, is a hotspot for significant truck traffic. The city’s thriving economy and strategic location mean countless trucks crisscross its roads daily.
Given the scale and weight of these vehicles, truck accidents are probable and can have huge business and legal ramifications. Truck accidents are even more complicated than the average car accident, as they involve federal regulations and multiple parties who may be liable for your losses. Let’s break down the complex landscape of Houston truck accidents and explore how they differ from conventional car mishaps. A Houston truck accident lawyer can help you navigate these complex claims.
Houston Truck vs. Car Accidents
Houston truck accidents have distinct nuances when compared to car accidents.
Although there are parallels, some key differences lude:
- The potentially liable parties involved
- Applicable laws and regulations specific to the case
- The importance of engaging a Houston truck accident lawyer, who is familiar with the intricacies of truck cases
While there are similarities in handling vehicular accidents, the intricacies of Houston truck accidents necessitate a thorough understanding and specialized approach. By recognizing these distinctions, you can better navigate the legal landscape and secure the justice you deserve.
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Identifying At-Fault Parties in Houston Truck Accidents
In the complex world of truck accidents, identifying the parties responsible is one of the most daunting challenges. Truck mishaps often pull in multiple parties, unlike car accidents, which are generally more straightforward.
This could include:
- The Truck Driver: Human error, fatigue, or violation of regulations by the driver could have caused your accident.
- The Trucking Firm: The company’s policies, training programs, and safety standards may have contributed to the driver’s collision.
- Cargo Loaders: Improperly loaded or secured goods can cause the driver to crash.
- Mechanics and Maintenance Crew: The truck’s condition during the accident may have caused the crash.
- Truck Parts Manufacturers: A fault in any component, from brakes to tires, could means that manufactures are liable for your damages.
- Equipment Suppliers: If the truck’s safety equipment, GPS systems, or onboard communication tools malfunction, we could pursue equipment suppliers.
So, which can you sue after a truck accident in Houston?
That depends on your case’s specifics and who your truck accident attorney can find the strongest evidence against. In some cases, you can even sue more than one party. Your truck accident law firm can provide more information on the specifics of your truck accident case.
Regulations That Affect Houston Truck Accidents
While there are certain laws that car drivers and car part manufacturers must follow, many more laws regulate the trucking industry. This includes both state laws and federal laws. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) alone has regulations regarding:
- What kinds of loads are considered “hazardous,” and what steps a trucking company must take to protect others
- How to test truck drivers for drug and alcohol use
- What kinds of records a company must keep and when they must submit them to authorities
- Licensing standards and qualifications for truck drivers
- How much insurance the trucking company must carry to cover any damage done by their vehicles or drivers
In addition, you may have to deal with the same types of traffic laws that bind all roadway users, including the speed limit, drinking and driving laws, and distracted driving laws.
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Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer in Houston
Above all else, a truck accident lawyer must know how truck accidents are treated differently from car accidents in Houston.
Once you sign a contract with a law firm, they take on responsibility for the day-to-day aspects of your case.
- Identifying the right strategy for pursuing compensation
- Adjusting legal strategy as necessary to deal with unexpected challenges
- Identifying liable parties and which laws were broken at the time of your truck accident
- Finding enough evidence to build a strong case file
- Filling out, submitting, and receiving all paperwork
- Communicating with all other parties on your behalf
- Negotiating with the insurance companies for a fair settlement
- Taking the liable party to court if it is not possible to attain a fair settlement
Your legal team should also be readily available if you have questions or need an update. In the meantime, you would be free to pursue matters of more immediate concern, such as medical care or identifying when you can return to work.
How Long Do Truck Accident Cases Take Versus Car Accidents?
Again, this depends on the specifics of your case. Either case could take years to resolve if the liable party or their insurance company refuses to admit fault.
Given the many stakeholders in truck accidents, especially influential trucking companies, the legal process may take longer. Hence, reaching out to a trusted truck accident attorney early on is crucial for efficient case management.
Similarities Between Trucks and Car Accidents
For all of the differences between truck and car accidents, there are also key similarities in how such cases are handled in Houston.
For example, consider:
The Role of Negligence in Traffic Accidents
Like other traffic accidents, negligence often plays a pivotal role in truck accidents. Drivers may go too fast or get distracted by cell phones, or parts manufacturers may not test their products well enough before going to market. Personal injury attorneys can prove negligence in truck accidents by:
- Proving that the truck driver owed you a duty of care on the road
- Showing that the driver failed to uphold this duty of care
- Presenting proof of your injuries and that your harm occurred as a result of the truck driver’s negligence
When someone causes an accident through carelessness, the survivors and victims have the right to seek compensation.
Time Limits on Filing Houston Accident Cases
Both truck and car accidents in Texas adhere to a set timeframe for personal injury and wrongful death claims, as outlined in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. You have two years to file your lawsuit, and missing this deadline could mean giving up all rights to compensation.
Damages for Houston Truck Accident Survivors
The compensation for a truck accident is virtually identical to those you could seek for a car accident.
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Disabling injuries
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of earning capacity or income
The primary difference is that, as trucks are larger and can inflict more damage than a car, a truck accident survivor could recover more money than a car accident survivor. How much depends on how serious your losses are. We can also pursue wrongful death damages in the event that a loved one passed away after the accident.
We Accept Both Truck and Car Accident Cases in Houston
Loncar Lyon Jenkins is well-versed in the differences between truck and car accidents in Houston, and we are ready to fight for you and your right to compensation. Contact us for a free case review. No attorney fees unless we secure compensation for you.