Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
Texas 18 Wheeler Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a truck accident, then you know first hand how devastating truck accidents can be. The magnitude of injury they can cause is much greater than the typical automobile accident. For that reason, you should retain legal counsel from a reputable personal injury law firm with experience handling truck accident claims for victims injured or killed.
What Should I Know Before Contacting a Commercial Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney?
A. They Aren’t Like Other Auto Accident Cases. Cases involving 18-wheelers and other commercial motor vehicles are drastically different than the typical run-of-the-mill automobile collision cases because the devastation is often greater and the resources available for the trucking companies and/or businesses operating the commercial vehicles are unmatched. Their “emergency response teams” will arrive quickly. They are fast talking and will seem like they genuinely care, but they are only interested in the best interests of their own business or insurance company. Tread carefully, and do not give any statements or allow them to take anything from the scene. We strongly urge you to call a lawyer immediately after an accident involving a commercial vehicle before any evidence is removed, destroyed, or obtained solely to use against you.
B. The Laws Applicable to Commercial Motor Carriers are Different. There are volumes of Federal and State laws that apply to specific types of commercial motor vehicles as well as to the trucking industry. It is absolutely critical that you hire a trusted tuck accident attorney who is familiar with the law and has experience in handling trucking and commercial vehicle collision cases specifically so that every potential violation is explored.
C. Not All Lawyers Handle 18-Wheeler Accidents In House. At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., our law firm handles accidents involving 18-wheelers and other commercial motor vehicles personally. This is important to know because some attorneys advertise for truck accidents and then refer them out to other, more qualified, law firms. We handle these types of cases ourselves which is why some lawyers refer these cases to us.
Our attorneys will travel to the scene to investigate the truck wreck. We also have access to experts and professional investigators who regularly investigate semi / 18 wheeler accidents and evaluate serious accident cases to get to the bottom of what really happened. Call an attorney you can trust.
Handling 18-Wheeler Accidents Across the United States
Accidents with commercial trucks can occur when families are traveling across country or even on vacation. You may be wondering: “Can they help me if my truck wreck was not in Texas?” The answer is “Yes.”
Most jurisdictions have a vehicle that allows a foreign state truck accident lawyer to appear for the purposes of handling a matter in the state. This procedure is called a Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice.” This is a powerful tool that enables our truck accident attorneys to appear in foreign states to prosecute a case and go to trial.
For example, in the past, Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. used this in Arizona to enable Keith M. Fletcher to handle an Arizona runaway 18-wheeler case caused by the trucking company’s failure to maintain the brakes properly. In that case, the truck driver was the victim of his own company. Keith M. Fletcher able to successfully make a recovery for the family of the victim. More commonly, the victims are the unsuspecting driver and passengers of other vehicles.
Why You Need An Experienced Lawyer Investigating and Handling Your Case
The companies who operate commercial motor vehicles vehicles and their insurance companies typically have damage control personnel on staff who are trained to respond to collisions immediately to try to minimize the potential liability exposure of the company for their negligent conduct. It can be critical to your case that your attorney acts quickly to obtain and document any evidence before it disappears. Our 18-wheeler accident lawyers will begin to investigate your case immediately. Based in a city of the size and resources as Houston, Texas, we have experts ready to go at any time.
Knowing what to look for and how to obtain the information is very important in truck accident claims. The lawyer you choose must be qualified to determine which of the following actions are required immediately after a commercial motor vehicle collision:
- Examine the “black box” that records truck speeds and brake applications
- Investigate truck driver activities recorded on GPS systems
- Review drivers’ log books and federally-required records of pre-trip and post-trip inspections.
- Obtain receipts, bills of lading, orders and other documentation of the load
- Acquire driving histories, drug and alcohol tests
- Subpoena vehicle maintenance records
- Secure photos, statements and police reports
- Obtain toll tags, records and vehicle weight tickets
- Examine pay stubs and work records
- Take measurements of skid marks, vehicle damage and the scene
What is a Commercial Motor Vehicle?
The term “Commercial Motor Vehicle” is defined by Federal law as:
“A motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle: 1) Has a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds inclusive of a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds; or 2) Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, or 3) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or 4) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR 172, subpart F). ” See49 CFR 383.
- dump trucks
- box trucks
- 18 wheelers
- freight liner
- bucket trucks
- tractor trailers
- cement mixers
and a vast array of other large vehicles.
Causes of Truck Accidents
There are many reasons truck accidents happen. Sometimes it is the driver’s fault. Other times the real responsibility lies with a company that overworks the driver, ignores or encourages rule violations, or fails to adequately inspector maintain the tractor-trailer.
Typical factors leading to commercial motor vehicle collisions include:
- Truck driver fatigue due to long hour and/or violation of Federal service hours
- The use of alcohol, over-the-counter and/or illegal drugs by the truck driver
- Failure to maintain a proper lookout by the truck driver
- Failure to secure a load by the truck driver resulting in a lost load or spillage
- Overloading the vehicle by the driver or the loading company
- Failure to properly maintain the vehicle braking system by the trucking company
- Failure to properly train drivers and/or loaders by the trucking company
- Truck driver distraction
- Speeding, reckless or grossly negligent driving by the truck driver
- Negligent hiring or negligent retention of reckless or unqualified driver
At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., we have qualified truck accident attorneys in Houston, TX ready to take immediate steps to preserve evidence and uncover the true facts. We have the resources to hire any necessary experts, file for temporary injunctions to preserve evidence and do whatever it takes to purse the case. Because we work on a contingency fee basis, we front all of the expenses and do not charge you a dime unless we make a recovery for you by settlement or judgment.
Truck Accident Blog Articles
A Texas Motor Carrier’s Guide to Highway Safety
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR 300-399)
NAFTA Requirements For Mexico-Domiciled Commercial Motor Vehicle Carriers
Eagle Ford Shale Fracking Truck Accidents
National Registry for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers
Commercial Driver’s License Requirements
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. is a Christian law firm based in Houston, Texas. While we represent injury victims of all faiths, we are committed to resolving our clients’ cases in a prompt and caring manner, maximizing their recovery while modeling Christian attitudes and behaviors. We will act with integrity to ensure your comprehensive needs are met following your truck accident. Contact us today to discuss your needs with a reputable, experienced, and trusted attorney.