Abogado de accidentes de camiones en Texas

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When an 18-wheeler collides with a passenger vehicle, that’s not a fair fight. But did you know that when you try to make a claim against a trucking company they have entire teams on staff whose job it is to minimize their liability and your damages? If you or someone you love is injured in a collision with a big rig, you need to hire a abogado de accidente de camión with the experience, skill and resources to take on a big trucking company and fight for the compensation you deserve. Level the playing field by calling the truck accident attorneys at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. today at 1-800-298-0111.

Award Winning Houston Truck Accident Attorneys

Keith M. Fletcher has been litigating truck accidents since 1979. His efforts have gained him recognition as a Texas Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuter 2013-2019, a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2013, 2018 and 2019, and a Top Lawyer by Houston Magazine 2013-2019. Christopher K. Fletcher has been named Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers Association 2016-2019. Our award-winning truck accident lawyers are here to assist you. Call us at 1-800-298-0111 right now for a free consultation.

Big Rig Business Equals Big Fight

There are over 2,000,000 tractor-trailers operating in the United States today. There is an estimated 13,500,000 additional commercial trucks in the United States. A study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration concluded that there were over half-a-million accidents involving large trucks or buses annually.

Serious truck accidents can often mean serious injuries and damages that the trucking company may be held liable for. Additionally, when a truck driver causes an accident, his commercial driver’s license and hence, his livelihood is in jeopardy. Thus, both the truck driver and the trucking company have reasons to fight responsibility. You need to be prepared for a fight when you take on a trucking company.

Por qué contratar a Simmons y Fletcher ¿ORDENADOR PERSONAL?

Between the Houston ship channel and Interstate 10 being a major artery running west through Katy, Texas to California and east through Baytown, Texas to Florida, the trucking industry is deeply rooted in Houston. With a high volume of 18-wheelers on the roads come a higher volume of semi crash accidents. With so many Houston truck accident attorneys to choose from, here are some reasons why you should trust us with your case:

Keith Fletcher and Robert SimmonsRobert Simmons has been in practice since 1966. Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. have fought trucking companies together since 1979. Come let us put our truck accident experience to work for you and learn why so many Americans have trusted Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. to represent their families at such a critical time of need.

Truck Accident Lawyer, Christopher FletcherOf the many truck accident cases we have resolved for our clients, one is most notable not for the settlement size, but for the amazing result in the face of insurmountable evidence. In 2015, Christopher Fletcher recovered a Acuerdo 1.264 millones de dólares en un caso de accidente de camión donde la policía investigadora oficial colocó a nuestro cliente en falta. The officer incorrectly reported that our client was stopped in a moving lane of travel rather than on the shoulder where he really was and put the blame on our client for an 18 wheeler rear-ending him. Our client suffered serious fractures to his knee and both forearms necessitating surgery as well as a post-surgical infection. Christoper Fletcher was able to prove that the truck driver was, in fact, the cause and that his company knew he was a dangerous driver. (Attorney fees on the $1,264,113.60 settlement were $492,644.63 and case expenses were $14,806.72.)

¡No dejes que la compañía de transportes te lleve al ferrocarril! Contratar a un bufete de abogados con un historial probado de lucha contra las empresas de transporte por carretera. Llame a Simmons y Fletcher, PC hoy.

Lea más sobre los resultados de nuestro caso aquí.

Most jurisdictions have a procedure 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 lawyers 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.

We understand the difficulty people face while recovering after a truck accident. Because of the hardship involved, we work on a purely contingency fee bases so that you pay nothing up front and only incur a fee if we win your case. Call us today for a free consultation: 800-298-0111.

¿Qué debería saber antes de seleccionar un abogado de accidentes de camiones?

equipo de respuesta a accidentes de camionesTruck accident cases are not just another car accident case. The damage an 18-wheeler can do is much greater. Additionally, trucking companies are prepared to step in and control the narrative when an accident happens. 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 an Abogado de accidente de 18-wheeler inmediatamente después de un accidente que involucre un vehículo comercial antes de que cualquier evidencia sea eliminada, destruida u obtenida únicamente para usar en su contra.

Does your case fall under Federal Motor Carrier Regulations or State Motor Carrier Regulations? The first thing you have to determine in order to even know which laws apply is whether the commercial motor vehicle was engaged in interestatal vs intraestatal trucking and commerce.

En Simmons y Fletcher, PC, nuestro bufete de abogados maneja personalmente los accidentes de camiones que involucran a 18-wheelers y otros vehículos comerciales de motor. Es importante saber esto porque algunos abogados hacen publicidad de accidentes de camiones y luego los envían a otras firmas de abogados más calificadas. Manejamos este tipo de casos nosotros mismos y por eso algunos abogados nos remiten estos casos.

Nuestros abogados viajarán a la escena para investigar el accidente del camión. También tenemos acceso a expertos e investigadores profesionales que investigan regularmente los accidentes de vehículos semi y 18 y evalúan casos de accidentes graves para llegar al fondo de lo que realmente sucedió. Llame a un abogado de accidente de camión en quien pueda confiar.

18 Wheeler Accident Causes

18-wheeler accidents are caused by a number of things. Both the trucking company and the driver have duties to maintain the truck and to ensure that the driver is fit to drive a commercial motor vehicle. Some of the most common causes of motor vehicle collisions involving 18-wheelers and other commercial motor vehicles include:

The real cause of a truck wreck is often not apparent. Thus, it is critical that you hire a qualified truck accident attorney to investigate all potential causes and determine who all may be liable.

Who is Liable in a Crash with a Commercial Truck?

Every truck accident case is different and must be analyzed based upon its own set of facts. But many times, the truck driver is one of several liable parties. However, some of the potential responsible parties include:

El otro conductor es la primera y más obvia posibilidad en cualquier accidente de vehículo de motor, ya sea que se trate de automóviles de pasajeros o grandes plataformas. Sin embargo, cuando se trata de vehículos comerciales, ese análisis es más complicado. Quien asume la responsabilidad de las acciones del conductor depende de una variedad de factores, incluso si el conductor del camión es un empleado o un propietario-operador independiente.

La compañía de transporte puede ser responsable de un accidente de vehículo comercial de muchas maneras posibles. Por ejemplo, si el conductor del camión es un empleado de la compañía, la compañía puede tener responsabilidad indirecta, es decir, la compañía puede ser responsable simplemente porque el conductor que era responsable estaba actuando en nombre de la compañía. La empresa de transporte también puede ser responsable si la capacitación es inadecuada, las políticas deficientes, el incumplimiento de la ley, el mantenimiento defectuoso del vehículo u otra negligencia creada o contribuyó al problema que causó el accidente.

Si un defecto en el diseño o la fabricación del camión causó o contribuyó al accidente, el fabricante, el vendedor y cualquier persona entre ellos en la cadena de suministro pueden ser responsables de los daños resultantes. Lo mismo es cierto para el fabricante, vendedor y otros en la cadena de suministro para cualquier pieza defectuosa que pueda haber contribuido al accidente.

Los camiones comerciales transportan productos y materiales de forma rutinaria en todo el estado y en todo el país. Si esos productos son excesivamente peligrosos o presentan un peligro debido a un embalaje inadecuado, información inadecuada proporcionada a la empresa de transporte u otra negligencia, el cliente puede asumir o compartir la responsabilidad legal por el accidente.

Las acciones de otros conductores pueden contribuir a la causa de un accidente con un camión 18.

En muchos casos, hay varias partes responsables de un accidente. Pasar por alto una de esas partes cuando se trata de un reclamo de accidente de camión puede resultar en una compensación incompleta, o incluso una pérdida total.

¿Qué regulaciones federales de seguridad de autotransportistas se aplican?

El Reglamento Federal de Seguridad de Autotransportes (FMCSR) are the rules that govern commercial vehicles. Below is a list of many of the various causes of truck accidents and the FMCSR that apply in each situation to enable you to find the FMCSR that may be applied in your case to hold the truck driver and/or trucking company responsible.

Los camiones no pierden sus cargas cuando viajan por la carretera, lo hacen los camioneros negligentes. Las cargas pueden desplazarse, asentarse o desequilibrarse en los giros y cambios de velocidad del camión. Sin embargo, se supone que los conductores deben estar capacitados para saber esto y tomar las medidas correctivas apropiadas ANTES it becomes a problem. If you are the victim of an accident due to a truck that lost its load, you should be aware that there are numerous Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that impose responsibility of truck drivers and their companies for failing to properly secure their load. The Federal laws include:

  • FMCSR 393.100 (b) ordenando que los camiones se carguen y aseguren de tal manera que eviten que la carga se derrame, gotee, sople o caiga del remolque.

  • FMCSR 393.100 (c) que requiere que la carga esté asegurada para que cualquier cambio no afecte la estabilidad o maniobrabilidad del vehículo.

  • FMCSR 393.102 exige que todos los dispositivos de amarre cumplan con la resistencia mínima a la rotura o los límites de carga de trabajo del fabricante en las presiones de aceleración y desaceleración anticipadas, inversas y laterales.

  • FMCSR 393.104 (b) que prohíbe el uso de cualquier dispositivo de sujeción de la carga que esté dañado o debilitado, incluidas las grietas o los cortes.

  • FMCSR 393.104 (c) estableciendo los requisitos estructurales mínimos del camión y del equipo de amarre. 104 (e) establece estándares mínimos de fabricación para correas de acero, cadenas, correas, cables y cordeles.

  • FMCSR 393.104 (f) que define el uso aceptado de los amarres.

  • FMCSR 393.106 (c) que requiere el uso de cuñas, cuñas, cunas u otros dispositivos preventivos si la carga es capaz de rodar.

  • FMCSR 292.108 define la carga de trabajo mínima para los amarres

  • FMCSR 393.110 establece estándares para determinar el número mínimo de ataduras requeridas para una carga.

  • FMCSR 393.116 establece estándares mínimos para troncos, madera y desechos de madera.

  • FMCSR 393.118 establece las reglas para asegurar la madera de vestir.

  • FMCSR 393.120. establecer reglas para asegurar las bobinas metálicas.

  • Reglas de configuración de FMCSR 393.122 para rollos de papel.

  • FMCSR 393.124 establece las reglas para asegurar el tubo de concreto para evitar que ruede.

  • FMCSR 393.126 establece reglas para asegurar contenedores intermodales en vehículos con chasis.

  • FMCSR 393.128 establece las reglas para asegurar el transporte de vehículos de pasajeros.

  • FMCSR 393.128 establece reglas para asegurar vehículos pesados ​​transportados.

  • Reglas de configuración de FMCSR 393.132 para asegurar vehículos triturados.

  • FMCSR 393.134 proporciona las reglas para asegurar los contenedores roll-on / roll-off y hook lift.

  • FMCSR 393.136 proporciona reglas especiales para transportar cantos rodados.

Additionally, state laws such as Texas Transportation Code Ch. 725 impose fines on truck drivers who transport loose materials without securing that the load cannot spill, blow or fall from the vehicle.

El uso de alcohol y drogas al operar un vehículo del tamaño de un vehículo 18 es imprudente. Operar un camión mientras se usan drogas o alcohol está estrictamente prohibido por el Código de Regulación Federal (CFR), Título 49, Subtítulo B, Capítulo III, Subcapítulo A que dice:

§392.4 Drugs and other substances.

(a) Ningún conductor deberá estar de servicio y poseer, estar bajo la influencia de, o usar, cualquiera de las siguientes drogas u otras sustancias:

(1) Any 21 CFR 1308.11 Schedule I substance;

(2) Una anfetamina o cualquier formulación de la misma (que incluye, pero no se limita a, "pep pills" y "bennies");

(3) Una droga narcótica o cualquier derivado de la misma; o

(4) Cualquier otra sustancia, hasta el punto de hacer que el conductor sea incapaz de operar con seguridad un vehículo de motor.

(b) Ningún autotransportista requerirá o permitirá que un conductor infrinja el párrafo (a) de esta sección.

(c) Los párrafos (a) (2), (3) y (4) no se aplican a la posesión o el uso de una sustancia administrada a un conductor por o bajo las instrucciones de un médico con licencia, como se define en §382.107 de este subcapítulo, que ha informado al conductor que la sustancia no afectará la capacidad del conductor para operar con seguridad un vehículo de motor.

(d) Como se usa en esta sección, "posesión" no incluye la posesión de una sustancia que se manifiesta y transporta como parte de un envío.

This rule, is clearly intended to be extremely broad to prohibit a truck driver from even possessing any controlled substance while on duty unless it was given to him by a medical doctor and it will not affect his ability to operate a motor vehicle. All Schedule I substances are prohibited as enumerated by CFR 1308.11. That list includes: 55 opiate drugs, 23 opium derivatives, 47 hallucinogenic substances, 3 depressants, 8 stimulants, 15 cannabimimetric agents, plus an additional unclassified substances. In addition to that exhaustive list, the rule goes on to specifically prohibit any narcotic or narcotic derivative. As if that is not enough to cover every intoxicant known to man, they rule has a catch-all phrase to snare any new substance that one might try to argue is not on the list as follows: “Any other substance, to a degree which renders the driver incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle.”

Por lo tanto, no hay excusa para un conductor que toma drogas o usa alcohol mientras está en el trabajo.

When a truck driver and/or loaders fail to distribute and balance the load properly or fail to tie it down properly, this poses great safety risks to others. Over-sized and over weight loads cause affect the truck's stopping distance, balance, and traction. 23 CFR 658.17 sets the maximum highway loads at:

  • 80,000 libras de peso bruto del vehículo,
  • 20,000 pesa el peso del eje simple, y;
  • Peso del eje en tándem 34,000.

Any vehicle wishing to exceed the above weight must seek a permit for every State the vehicle intends to travel across.

Federal law regarding length and width of a truck trailer vary by state due to grandfather clauses. The various regulations can be found under 23 CFR 658 as broken down aquí. Superar estos límites también debe ser permitido por el estado.
In addition to the above, FMCSR 393.87 mandates the use of 18 inch square fluorescent red or orange warning flags on loads extending more than 4 inches from the side or 4 feet from the rear of the trailer. If the load is over 2 feet wide and extends beyond 4 foot in the rear, it must have at least 2 warning flags.

Cuando la falla de los frenos o el mal funcionamiento del freno ha desempeñado un papel en un accidente de camión, es fundamental que un experto inspeccione el camión para determinar si la falla fue el resultado de la negligencia de la empresa o de otra persona. Algunos de los problemas comunes que contribuyen a la falla del freno incluyen:

  1. sobrecalentamiento de los frenos;
  2. llantas demasiado gastadas;
  3. pastillas / zapatos de freno desgastados;
  4. desactivación de los frenos delanteros *, y;
  5. generalmente el mantenimiento inadecuado del camión.

* De-powering of a truck’s front brakes is a practice amongst commercial truck owners and operators that can contribute to brake failure and the devastation that may result. It is believed that by de-powering the front brakes, the tires and brakes are saved from some wear and tear, which ultimately reduces replacement costs. The truck driver relies instead on the trailer brakes and downshifting to decelerate or stop the truck. However at high speeds and/or when the unexpected inevitably happens out on our roads, the truck may be unable to stop, swerve, or otherwise avoid an accident.

Las reglamentaciones de la Administración Federal de Seguridad de Autotransportes (FMCSA) exigen que las compañías de camiones comerciales se sometan a la inspección anual de sus vehículos comerciales y sistemas de frenos por parte de inspectores calificados, y deben mantener registros adecuados de dichos informes de inspección. La FMCSA también requiere que los conductores de camiones comerciales realicen inspecciones regulares del tractor y el remolque antes y después de cada viaje, lo que incluye una inspección de las pastillas / zapatos de freno y otros componentes del sistema de freno para garantizar que funcionen correctamente y que no haya señales audibles. fugas de aire que pueden indicar un problema con el sistema de frenos. El incumplimiento de estas normas federales que están diseñadas para evitar problemas de mantenimiento innecesarios y el mal funcionamiento del freno que puede conducir a accidentes de camiones se considera negligencia.

Las leyes federales adicionales aplicables a los accidentes causados ​​por la falta de mantenimiento de los frenos incluyen:

  • FMCSR 393.40 (b) requisitos de configuración para frenos de servicio, sistemas de frenos hidráulicos, sistemas de frenos de aire, sistemas de frenos de vacío, frenos eléctricos y sistemas de freno de sobretensión.
  • FMCSR 393.40 (c) que requiere que todos los vehículos automotores comerciales tengan frenos de estacionamiento.
  • FMCSR 393.40 (d) estableciendo requisitos mínimos para frenos de emergencia.
  • FMCSR 393.42 exige que haya sistemas de frenado en todas las ruedas.
  • FMCSR 393.43 (a) estableciendo requisitos mínimos de frenos para vehículos con remolques remolcados en caso de escapada o emergencia.
  • FMCSR 393.43 (b) que requiere un modo manual y automático (al momento de la desconexión) para activar los frenos de aire en un remolque equipado con frenos de aire.
  • FMCSR 393.43 (b) que requiere un modo manual y automático (al desconectarse) para activar los frenos de vacío en un remolque equipado con frenos de aire.
  • FMCSR 393.43 (c) requiere que todos los remolques tengan características de frenado automático al momento de la desconexión.
  • Los buses obligatorios FMCSR 393.44 tienen un sistema de frenado de la rueda trasera que se puede usar en caso de que fallen las líneas de freno de la rueda delantera.
  • FMCSR 393.45 regula las mangueras de frenado, tubos y equipos.
  • FMCSSR 393.74 que especifica los requisitos para actuadores de freno, ajustadores de holgura, forros, almohadillas, tambores y rotadores.
  • FMCSR 393.48 requiere que todos los sistemas de freno estén operativos.
  • FMCSR 393.49 que requiere válvulas de control de freno.
  • FMCSR 393.50 que requiere depósitos de frenos.
  • FMCSR 393.51 establece los requisitos para que los camiones tengan un dispositivo de advertencia en caso de falla del freno.
  • FMCSR 393.52 requiere que los frenos de un camión cumplan con los estándares mínimos de rendimiento.
  • FMCSR 392.7 que prohíbe que un conductor de camión conduzca un camión a menos que esté convencido de que los frenos están en buen estado de funcionamiento.

Hay numerosos Regulaciones federales para prevenir la conducción fatigada. Estos se conocen como los requisitos de horas de servicio y se pueden encontrar en FMCSR 395. Las compañías de camiones deben asegurarse de que sus conductores cumplan con las estrictas normas sobre la cantidad de tiempo que pasan manejando (en servicio) y descansando (fuera de servicio). Se requiere una documentación estricta de los tiempos de conducción y descanso en el libro de registro del conductor.

Sadly, there are still many accidents each year caused by a drowsy driver nodding off at the wheel. Something that could have been prevented by more sleep or simply pulling over to rest.

Los conductores de camiones deben obedecer los mismos requisitos de velocidad y otros conductores en todo momento. Una simple verificación del historial de manejo a menudo puede revelar cualquier historial que un conductor pueda tener de usar una velocidad excesiva para que sus cargas se entreguen antes. Una práctica rutinaria de exceso de velocidad puede ser motivo para que se otorguen daños punitivos cuando se encuentra una negligencia grave en un caso.

In addition to speeding, a truck driver must drive no faster than is safe for the existing weather conditions. By downloading the black box, it can be determined whether the truck driver was driving at a safe speed.

Además, FMCSR 392.6 prohíbe a una empresa de camiones establecer un programa de manejo que requiera que un operador de camiones apresure para cumplir con el cronograma.

Part of the reason 18 wheelers have so many tires is to prevent a catastrophy if one fails. If multiple fail, this is a sign of negligence. It is the responsibility of every truck driver to ensure that his truck has safe tires on the vehicle before embarking across country.

Las leyes federales que pueden aplicarse cuando un accidente de camión es el resultado de una falla en un neumático incluyen:

  • FMCSR 397.17 exige a los conductores de camiones inspeccionar las llantas cada vez que estaciona el vehículo e inmediatamente reemplazar las llantas que tengan fugas, estén desinfladas o estén desinfladas.
  • FMCSR 392.7 prohibiting a truck driver from operating a truck unless he is satisfied that the tires are in good working order.
  • FMCSR 393.75 (a) que prohíbe conducir neumáticos con cinturones expuestos, señales de separación de la banda de rodadura, fugas o cortes.
  • FMCSR 393.75 (b) configuración de profundidades de surco mínimo y patrones de surcos.
  • FMCSR 393.75 (b) que prohíbe el uso de tres reencauchados, recauchutados o recauchutados en autobuses.
  • FMCSR 393.75 (f) y (g) que prohíbe la sobrecarga de neumáticos.
  • FMCSR 393.75 (h) que prohíbe el uso de neumáticos con presiones de inflado demasiado bajas para la carga.

truck accident infographic

Steps to Take After an 18 Wheeler Hits You

If you have been in a wreck with an 18 wheeler or other commercial motor vehicle, time is of the essence. You need a truck accident lawyer taking action to protect your interests so the trucking company’s accident investigation team is not unchecked. Below are the steps you should take immediately to protect your rights if you have been in a truck accident:

No matter how small the wreck may be, you need to call the police and report the accident. Truck drivers can only have so many accidents before they are deemed unfit to drive. Trucking company insurance providers raise trucking company insurance rates due to “at fault” accidents. Both of these things are bad for the truck driver and his employer. This means that if you leave the scene without a report, the truck driver and his company have every incentive to change their story and deny responsibility leaving you with an uphill battle to prove you were not at fault. Call 911 and report it ASAP.

Obviously, if your injuries are serious you should go to the emergency room without hesitation. However, if you suspect you are injured as a result of an accident someone else caused, you should also seek medical care immediately for two reasons:

  1. Algunas lesiones no se manifiestan de inmediato, y;
  2. Las compañías de seguros de camiones usan retrasos y brechas en la atención en su contra.

camión vz accidente automovilísticoSi está físicamente capacitado, tome fotografías del vehículo y la escena con su teléfono celular. Las fotos de escenas son útiles cuando se trata de documentar lo que estaba allí y lo que se eliminó de la escena después del accidente. También pueden proporcionar evidencia crítica.

Usted o su abogado deberán obtener rápidamente un informe de fallas. En general, los informes de fallas de Texas están disponibles en Sitio web del Departamento de Transporte de Texas por una tarifa nominal de $ 6.00. Por lo general, están disponibles con aproximadamente 8 días a menos que haya una muerte.

Photographs speak much louder than words when it comes to proving what you have suffered through. If possible, have someone else take photos of your injuries often. Some of the best times/places to take photos include:

  • en la escena mientras las heridas están frescas
  • en la sala de emergencias mientras está bajo cuidados dolorosos
  • después de llegar a casa
  • todos los días la primera semana
  • semanalmente a partir de entonces o cuando se realiza un nuevo tratamiento o se produce una nueva curación, lo que sea más corto,

Intente tomar fotos para documentar todos y cada uno de los cambios en la condición de sus lesiones, tratamiento o proceso de curación para contar su historia. Al menos una vez a la semana, deberías tomar nuevas fotos para preservar lo que has soportado.

Trucking companies have immediate accident response teams whose job is to get out to the scene and try to shield the company from liability. Not all of those on these teams are honest people. Evidence has a funny way of disappearing and crash data can get lost. Call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. today so we can start fight for your rights immediately.

Issue Related to Specific Types of Trucks

Below are links to pages discussing the nuances of different types of truck accidents. Please visit these pages for more specifics about your truck wreck.

Injuries Caused by Big Rigs

A truck carrying a full load can outweigh a car tenfold. The passenger vehicle will always be on the losing end of the impact when it collides with an 18-wheeler, bus or other large commercial motor vehicle. As a result, some of the most serious injuries we see are a result of these crashes. These injuries are often catastrófico and result in a need for life-long care. Some of those injuries include:

If you or your loved ones have suffered from any of the above due to a truck accident, contact us. Our truck accident lawyers has fought for victims since 1979 and continues the fight today. Call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. for a free case consultation.

Preguntas Frecuentes

The Statute of Limitations to file a truck accident case varies from state-to-state and is governed by the state tort law. Some states give as little as a year while others give two or three years. Thus, your truck accident statute of limitations will depend on which states you are allowed to file a lawsuit in. When a truck accident occurs, you are allowed to file your lawsuit:

  1. in the state where the collision occurs,
  2. in the state where the negligent truck driver resides,
  3. in the state where the trucking company is incorporated, or
  4. in the state where the trucking company is domiciled—the place where it primarily does business.

Each of the above places may have separate statute of limitations. You can determine the exact statute of limitations for any state here.

There are advantages to filing in specific places, thus you should consult a truck accident lawyer about the best place to file your claim before any of the applicable statute of limitations are at risk of passing.

The amount of insurance any particular 18 wheeler may carry varies widely from truck-to-truck. Some 18 wheelers are parts of large corporations that have substantial assets and large interstate commercial motor vehicle fleets with large commercial motor vehicle policies. Others are local independent owner-operators that carry only the minimum amount of liability insurance required by law for trucks. The majority of states require local trucks to carry a minimum of $500,000 per occurrence. Federal laws require higher amounts for vehicles involved in interstate commerce that differ depending upon what they are carrying. Normal cargo may only require $750,000.00 in coverage whereas a truck transporting bulk hazardous cargo is required to carry at least $5,000,000.00. Non-bulk hazardous material transporters and busses must carry $1,000,000.00 if they travel across state lines. In addition to the minimum coverage required, large companies may carry an umbrella policy to protect the company’s assets from large verdicts.

If the truck that hit you was engaged in interstate trucking, you can find out how much truck insurance they reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from the U.S. Department of Transportation FMCSA website.

In the context of big rig trucking accidents, a Commercial Insurance Policy or Commercial Policy for short, is an insurance policy that is issued to cover many or all of the vehicles that are operated by a company’s employees for business purposes. Commercial policies vary in many ways. Typically, commercial policies provide a million dollars in coverage or more for damages caused to others by the company employees in the regular course of doing business. Some of them are commercial general liability policies that specifically only cover others for damages caused by the employee. That is, if you are an employee of the company, the policy will not cover you for bodily injuries in an accident.

Some commercial insurance policies are “withering” policies. This means that the insurance limits include the cost of defending a claim. This if the limits are 1 million dollars, but the defense cost is 70,000.00 at the time settlement costs begin, then there is only $930,000.00 left in insurance proceeds to pay to the injured victims. This is important to know not only because the longer a case drags on, the more money you lose in coverage, but it also affects the validity of any Stowers demand that your lawyer sends if he is not careful about the wording of his demand.

Absolutely nothing. We offer free consultations on truck accident cases. In fact, if we take your case, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means you only pay us if we make a recovery in your case.

You would be wise to seek the advice of an attorney with your interests in mind before speaking to the trucking company. Your attorney will likely advise you not to speak to them at all. This is because risk managers for large commercial truck operations are highly skilled in tricking and trapping people into saying things that hurt their own case. Their job is not to help you, it is to protect the company. Speak to someone who is on your side by hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer.

The answer to this question depends upon where the wreck happened, where you have a right to bring a claim and what laws apply to those jurisdictions. If you are in Texas, we go by comparative negligence. This means that the injured victim must not be found to be over 50% at fault for the collision to be able to make a recovery. Thus, being 50% at fault or less, does not bar recovery in Texas as well as other comparative negligence states. In contributory negligence states, the plaintiff cannot be any percent at fault. You should discuss the comparative/contributory negligence laws with an 18-wheeler accident attorney before filing lawsuit if you are unsure of what laws apply.

Every case must be evaluated upon its own merits. How the case should be investigated is determined on a case-by-case basis. In a serious truck accident, ideally you would want to be able to get to the scene while it is still fresh and photograph the evidence before it can disappear. You would also want to have a professional download the electronic data from the electronic data recorder (EDR) or “black box” as it is known colloquially. This information can be very valuable in establishing the location, route, driving distance, speed and other details that can be important to understanding what led to the crash.

While the above is ideal, it can also be very expensive. The expenses themselves of this investigation are often not recoverable. Thus, your attorney must make a judgment call as to whether the expense is warranted and whether there are other less-expensive investigation methods that may be employed. Obtaining driver’s longs, pre-trip and post-trip inspections, receipts, bills of lading, toll records and other documents can sometimes serve the same purpose at a lower cost.

When you hire one of our truck accident attorneys on a contingency fee basis, we front the investigation expenses and then recoup them out of any settlement we recover for you. If we are unable to make a recovery for you, then you do not have to pay us back.

Debajo Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation, 49 C.F.R. § 390.5, a truck driver is considered an employee of the company for which he drives, regardless of what they call him. This is called being a “statutory employee". The regulation specifically reads:

Empleado means any individual, other than an employer, who is employed by an employer and who in the course of his or her employment directly affects commercial motor vehicle safety. Such term includes a driver of a commercial motor vehicle (including an independent contractor while in the course of operating a commercial motor vehicle), a mechanic, and a freight handler. Such term does not include an employee of the United States, any State, any political subdivision of a State, or any agency established under a compact between States and approved by the Congress del Estados Unidos who is acting within the course of such employment.

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Revisión: 5 / 5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “Simmons and Fletcher law firm went above and beyond for me. I was in a bad wreck that requires neck surgery. They constantly called and checked on me to see how I was doing. They showed that they cared about me not just my case. I was also going through a rough divorce case at the same time. They helped me out in so many ways I couldn’t have asked for a better attorney to fight for me. Chris Fletcher made sure I got what I deserved. Stephanie Quinn was amazing, she always so caring and checked on me. If I needed anything she acted quickly and made sure things were taken care of. I didn’t have as much stress through this whole process thanks to the hard work and effort they put in. Not many attorneys care about you as a person as well take care of your case. I would recommend anyone to use Simmons and Fletcher as their attorney.” – Amber R., actual client.

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