Undefeated Houston Truck Accident Lawyers
Houston 18 Wheeler Lawyers With the Largest Wins in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, Houston continuously leads the state in fatal truck and 18 wheeler accidents.
After a crash with a large commercial truck or 18 wheeler, the road to recovery can be long and expensive. Victims and their families are left with mounting medical expenses, doctors visits and surgeries, and a substantial disruption to their daily lives. In addition to the physical and financial toll, truck accident victims are also left to cope with emotional trauma, anxiety, depression, and an uncertain future.
But everything changes when Zehl & Associates gets involved.
Our Undefeated Houston Truck Accident Lawyers hold negligent trucking companies and reckless truck drivers accountable, win the largest verdicts and settlements in history, and ensure that our clients see the best doctors and medical providers and have the financial resources to care and provide for themselves and their families for the rest of their lives.
Contact our Undefeated Houston Truck Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation at 1-888-603-3636
As a result of our success, trucking companies treat our clients and their cases more seriously, knowing that we won’t hesitate to take a case to trial, where our truck accident lawyers remain undefeated, unless they offer a settlement that fully compensates our clients and their families for all their injuries and losses.
If you or a loved one were injured in a Houston Truck or 18-Wheeler Accident, call 1-888-603-3636 or send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.
Commercial Trucking Accidents in Houston
The Houston Metro Region is home to more than 4,822 transportation and warehousing companies, including including more than 600 trucking companies. As the hub of the nation’s energy production industry and an important center for distribution and logistics, trucking is essential to the area’s economy.
Unfortunately, with so many 18-wheelers and other heavy commercial trucks clogging its already congested roads and highways, the Metro Region also consistently ranks as one of the worst areas in Texas for truck and 18-wheeler accidents.
Some of the most common trucking-related accidents reported in the Houston area include:
Rear-end collisions occur when an 18-wheeler or other large commercial truck crashes into the back of another vehicle, often due to distracted driving, fatigue, or insufficient braking distance. Rear-end collisions often result in severe damage and injuries, especially for the smaller vehicle’s occupants, as they bear the brunt of the impact.
Jackknifing happens when the cab of the truck and the trailer form an L or V shape. This occurs when the trailer swings out of control, typically due to slippery road conditions, sudden braking, or improper maneuvering. Jackknife accidents can be extremely dangerous, as the truck may slide across multiple lanes, potentially colliding with multiple vehicles.
Underride accidents occur when a smaller vehicle collides with the rear or side of an 18-wheeler and slides underneath the trailer. These crashes are particularly dangerous because the roof of the smaller vehicle may get crushed. Underride accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities for occupants of the smaller vehicle.
Rollover accidents involve the truck tipping onto its side or rolling over completely. These accidents may result from high-speed turns, sudden maneuvers, or overloading, according to analysis from the National Institute of Health. Rollover accidents can lead to significant damage, injuries, and sometimes hazardous cargo spills, posing risks to other motorists.
Tire blowouts occur when one or more of the truck’s tires suddenly burst. This can result from various factors, including tire defects, overloading, or road debris. Tire blowouts can cause the driver to lose control of the truck, leading to accidents that may involve other vehicles.
Blind Spot Accidents
18-wheelers, tractor-trailers and other big rigs have substantial blind spots, making it challenging for truck drivers to see smaller vehicles around them. Accidents can happen when a truck changes lanes or turns without noticing a nearby vehicle. The rig may side-swipe a smaller vehicle or push it off the road, causing severe or fatal injuries to occupants.
Large trucks need more space to make turns and often swing wide to navigate corners. Sometimes, drivers in adjacent lanes can get caught in the turning path. Smaller vehicles caught in a wide turn may be squeezed or pushed, leading to collisions and injuries.
Truck Drivers Are Held to a Higher Standard
Commercial truck drivers are expected to have more training and experience than ordinary drivers, so they are legally held to a higher standard of care. Trucking companies and their drivers are required to follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations, as well as state and company safety laws and policies designed to protect other drivers on the road.
In every case we’ve handled, however, we’ve discovered substantial violations of federal and state safety laws and violations that put other drivers and passengers on the road at extreme risk of severe injury or death.
Some of the most common violations involved in truck and 18-wheeler accidents include:
- Hours of Service (HOS) Violations: The FMCSA enforces strict driving limits, known as hours of service, that specify the number of hours truck drivers can operate within a 24-hour period. Violations of HOS rules, such as exceeding driving hours or not taking required rest breaks, is a violation of federal law and leads to driver fatigue, a significant contributor to fatal truck accidents.
- Overweight or Improperly Loaded Cargo: Trucks must adhere to weight limits and adequately distribute and secure their cargo. Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo can affect a truck’s stability and handling, increasing the risk of accidents, particularly when braking or turning.
- Maintenance and Inspection Violations: Trucks must undergo regular inspections, and maintenance issues must be promptly addressed. Failure to maintain the vehicle or address safety concerns like faulty brakes, worn tires, or malfunctioning lights can result in accidents due to equipment failure.
- Distracted Driving: Texting, talking on the phone, eating, and using in-cab devices are all dangerous activities behind the wheel. These distractions divert a driver’s attention from the road, increasing the likelihood of collisions.
- Speeding: Excessive speed is a leading factor in many truck accidents. Truck drivers who exceed speed limits or fail to adjust their speed to road and weather conditions may struggle to control their vehicles, especially when braking.
- Drug and Alcohol Use: The use of drugs or alcohol by truck drivers, while strictly prohibited. Violations of substance abuse regulations can impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time, contributing to accidents.
- Failure to Obey Traffic Signals and Signs: Running red lights, disregarding stop signs, and failing to obey other traffic signals and signs can result in serious accidents, often at intersections.
- Lack of Proper Licensing: Truck drivers must possess the appropriate commercial driver’s license (CDL) for the type of vehicle they operate. Driving without a valid CDL or a suspended or revoked license is illegal and can lead to accidents.
- Inadequate Training: Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that their drivers receive proper training. Inadequately trained drivers may struggle to handle complex situations on the road, increasing the risk of accidents.
- False or Forged Logbooks: Some drivers and carriers may falsify or forge logbooks to hide HOS violations. This deceptive practice can lead to fatigued driving and, subsequently, accidents.
These and other regulatory violations often result from a combination of factors, including pressure to meet delivery deadlines, economic incentives, and lapses in oversight. To mitigate the risk of accidents, both truck drivers and trucking companies have a legal duty to prioritize safety, adhere to regulations, and ensure proper training and maintenance practices are in place.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
A fully loaded 18-wheeler or semi-truck can weigh up to 85,000 pounds. Because of their substantial weight and size, they are much more difficult to maneuver and require between 40% and 60% more braking distance to stop on dry roads.
As a result, a crash involving a heavy truck and an ordinary passenger vehicle is far more likely to cause severe and even fatal injuries. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 97% of those killed in a two-vehicle crash involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck in 2021 were occupants of the smaller vehicle.
Some of the most common injuries sustained during an accident with a big rig include:
- Spinal Cord Injuries: A spinal cord injury could result in partial, temporary, or complete paralysis to the lower body and torso, resulting in life-long pain and suffering. Even with years of treatments, surgeries, physical therapy, and adaptive devices, many victims will remain permanently disabled for the rest of their lives. Because damage to the spinal cord isn’t always apparent, truck accident victims need to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Head and Traumatic Brain Injuries: Head injuries may range from minor bruises and mild concussions to a traumatic brain injury resulting in lifelong cognitive impairment and loss of motor function. Severe brain injury can occur even without direct trauma to the head and may not be apparent immediately after a crash.
- Internal Bleeding: Blunt force trauma can cause bleeding to vital internal organs. Because these injuries are difficult to detect and treat, you should seek immediate medical attention, even if you don’t think you’re injured at the scene.
- Burns: It only takes oxygen and a spark to ignite a fuel tank ruptured in a truck or 18-wheeler accident. If the fire spreads to other vehicles, the drivers, passengers, and everyone else near the crash are at risk of severe or fatal burns.
- Fractures: fractures are common injuries after a commercial truck collision. It’s not unusual for truck accident victims to sustain broken bones or herniated discs in the cervical or lumbar spine due to the forces and momentum involved in the crash.
- Amputations: Crushing injuries, ejections, and other traumatic crashes can result in injuries so severe they result in or require amputation. Amputees require long-term medical treatment, nursing care, and prosthetics to ambulate and function in daily life.
- Paralysis: Severe spinal cord injuries sustained in a truck accident may result in full or partial paralysis. People who experience permanent paralysis are more likely to experience other health problems, including breathing difficulties, respiratory infections, and blood clots. They also generally require extensive ongoing medical treatment, assistance with daily living, and adaptive housing and equipment for the rest of their lives.
Damages You Can Recover in a Houston 18 Wheeler Accident Lawsuit
Since truck accident victims often suffer catastrophic injuries that can affect—and commonly jeopardize—their ability to work, care for their family, and provide for themselves in the future, our Truck Accident Lawyers refuse to negotiate settlements with the trucking company unless the settlement will fully compensate our clients for all their medical expenses, lost wages and other physical and economic damages and losses.
Damages that may be recovered after a truck or 18-wheeler accident include:
- Medical Expenses: Victims can seek compensation for current and future medical bills related to injuries sustained in a truck accident. This includes costs for hospitalization, surgery, doctor’s visits, medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Property Damage: Compensation may be available to cover repairing or replacing the victim’s vehicle and any personal property damaged in the accident.
- Lost Wages: Truck accident victims can seek damages for lost income due to time away from work during recovery. This may also include compensation for reduced earning capacity if the injuries result in long-term or permanent disabilities.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages, such as physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish, may be recoverable. The amount can be more challenging to quantify but is intended to compensate victims for the intangible suffering caused by the accident and its aftermath.
- Disfigurement or Scarring: If the accident results in permanent disfigurement or scarring, victims may be eligible for compensation for these injuries’ physical and emotional impact.
- Loss of Consortium: In some cases, spouses or family members of the victim may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship, support, and services due to the victim’s injuries or death.
- Wrongful Death Damages: When a truck accident results in a fatality, surviving family members may be eligible for wrongful death damages, including funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and compensation for the emotional toll of losing a loved one.
- Punitive Damages: Known as exemplary damages in Texas, punitive damages are intended to punish an at-fault party for particularly reckless or egregious conduct and to deter similar behavior in the future. To obtain punitive or exemplary damages, a truck accident victim must typically prove that the defendant’s actions were not just negligent but involved a higher degree of culpability, such as gross negligence, willful misconduct, or intentional wrongdoing.
What to Do After a Houston Truck Accident
The actions you take in the aftermath of a truck or 18-wheeler accident will significantly impact your ability to obtain the maximum compensation possible for all of your injuries and losses. To preserve your legal rights, it’s crucial to:
- Call 911: Calling 911 is the quickest way to get police and EMS to the scene. Once police arrive, they’ll begin taking statements and collecting evidence for a police report. This official record will be essential should you decide to take legal action against the trucking company and its driver.
- Collect Evidence: If you are physically able and it’s safe to do so, take photographs of the accident scene, damages, injuries, and any other relevant details. Gather witness contact information if available.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine, go to the closest ER or Urgent Care as soon as possible. Even serious injuries may not be immediately apparent in the chaotic aftermath of a crash. Seeking immediate medical attention will ensure any injuries are documented in the event you choose to take legal action against the trucking company and its driver.
- Avoid Admitting Fault: Be careful with your words. Truck accidents are complex, and it can take weeks and even months to determine exactly what happened and who was at fault for the crash. Even if you think you were partly to blame, don’t admit fault or make other statements the trucking company and its insurer could use against you later.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: You should always notify your insurance company after any motor vehicle crash, including a truck accident. Failing to do so can result in a detail of coverage and prevent you from receiving PIP, Med-Pay and other benefits that will help you cover medical bills and other expenses.
- Don’t Speak with the Trucking Company’s Insurer: The trucking company’s insurance adjuster is only interested in paying you and your family as little as possible, even if that means downplaying your injuries and blaming you for the crash. If you speak with the adjuster, you risk making a mistake that could jeopardize your claim. You’re under no obligation to talk with them, give a recorded statement, or sign anything they provide, and it’s in your best interest not to do so.
- Keep Records: Maintain all records related to the accident, including medical bills, repair estimates, wage loss information, and any communication with insurance companies or other parties.
- Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to all medical advice and treatment plans. Failure to do so could give the insurance company an excuse to question your claim.
- Consult with an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer: To avoid costly mistakes and maximize your chances of recovering the damages you deserve, it’s CRITICAL that you hire an Experienced 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer who regularly handles cases against large trucking companies.
Truck Accident Frequently Asked Questions
How soon after a truck accident should I consult a lawyer?
The best time to consult a trucking accident lawyer is as soon after the accident as possible. Your case is proven – and won – with evidence, and trucking companies will begin losing and destroying important evidence that proves that the truck driver was at fault immediately after the accident. When you hire a truck accident lawyer, the trucking company is legally required to keep all relevant evidence, which your lawyer will then obtain and use to win your case.
How do I choose the best Houston truck accident lawyer?
We understand that choosing the right lawyer after a truck accident is critical, which is why we encourage potential clients to review our past results, read our client reviews and watch our video testimonials, and even talk to our past clients.
Our Houston Truck Accident Lawyers have recovered the largest truck and 18 wheeler accident verdicts and settlements in history against the biggest trucking companies in the world. Our team is dedicated to each and every client, ensuring that they receive the best medical care available and the maximum recovery possible. Our history of unprecedented victories is a testament to our commitment to our clients and ability to consistently set records.
How much will a truck accident lawyer cost?
Our Houston Truck Accident Lawyers take cases on contingency, which means we cover the cost of bringing the lawsuit and seeing it through to the end. When we win a settlement or verdict on your behalf, we take our fee from your recovery. If we aren’t successful, you won’t owe us a dime.
How long does it take to settle a truck accident case?
It depends on the complexity of the case, the court where the case is filed, and the severity of your injuries. A case involving minor injuries may settle within 6 months, whereas a larger case involving debilitating injuries may take 12 to 18 months to resolve.
What types of damages can I recover in a truck accident lawsuit?
The damages you’re able to recover in a truck accident lawsuit depends on the severity of your injuries, whether you hire a lawyer who regularly wins substantial verdicts and settlements in truck accident cases or someone who settles at the first opportunity, how much insurance the trucking company has, and how the accident happened. Our Houston Truck Accident Lawyers consistently recover record-breaking verdicts and settlements for our clients, including the #1 largest truck accident settlement in Texas.
We Don’t Just Win. We Set Records.
Although every case is unique, our goal is always the same: to ensure that our clients win the largest settlement or verdict possible, so that they can care and provide for themselves and their families for the rest of their lives.
We achieve this goal by working harder, longer, and smarter than our opponents, always being available to our clients, and devoting whatever time and resources are necessary to maximizing our client’s recoveries.
This approach has not only distinguished our Truck Accident Lawyers as some of the Best in the Country, but, more importantly, it’s provided our clients with the best medical care available and the independence to live the rest of their lives without having to worry about their financial future.
You can read more about some of our recent recoveries by clicking on the links below:
- #1 Largest Truck Accident Settlement in Texas for Client Injured in Head-On Crash with Commercial Truck
- #1 Largest Verdict in R&L Trucking Company’s Corporate History
- $32 Million Truck Accident Settlement
- $23.5 Million Truck Accident Settlement
- #1 Largest Settlement in Texas against the largest motor carrier in the United States
- $12.1 Million Big Rig Accident Settlement
We’re Not Just Lawyers, We’re Family.
While lots of law firms advertise themselves as the best, we think our clients should be the ones who make that decision.
Whether it’s finding and scheduling appointments with the best doctors and medical providers available, making sure you’re able to pay the bills while your case is pending or putting you in touch with financial and tax advisors to help you plan for the future, our lawyers and staff are committed to doing everything possible to be there for our clients and their families—not only when your case is pending, but long after it’s been successfully resolved.
Undefeated Houston Truck Accident Lawyers with Billions Won: Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation
Having Won Billions—including the #1 Largest Truck Accident Verdicts and Settlements in Texas—for Truck Accident Victims across the United States, our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers have the resources and experience to hold the largest trucking and transportation companies accountable and ensure that you and your family receive the maximum compensation possible.
If you or a loved one were injured or tragically killed in a truck or 18-wheeler accident, our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers can help.
Our Truck Accident Lawyers will answer your questions, explain your options, and make sure that you have the information you need to make the best decision for you and your family.
All consultations are free, and you won’t pay us a dime unless we win your case.
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