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Rear-Ended by a Truck in Houston? What Every Driver Should Know

Houston rear-end truck collision in stop and go traffic. Undefeated rear-end 18-wheeler accident lawyers.

Undefeated Houston Truck Accident Lawyers 

A truck or 18-wheeler rear-end collision is nothing like a car accident. If you were rear-ended by a truck, it will never simply be a matter of “let’s exchange information.”  Rear-end truck wrecks account for over 19% of all fatal truck accidents, according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data, claiming 1,090 lives and injuring 29,000 more last year — including at least nine fatalities and thousands of injuries in Houston.

If a truck crashes into the back of your vehicle, protecting your legal rights is critical to securing your future. Read on to learn more about how an experienced Houston Truck Accident Attorney can help.

1,500+ Rear-End Truck Accidents in Houston in 2022

In Houston, which sees more large truck accidents than other Texas cities, drivers are far more likely to be rear-ended by a large truck or 18-wheeler than anywhere else in the state — and possibly even the country.

Harris County saw more than 6,200 accidents involving large trucks, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial vehicles in 2022, according to Texas Department of Transportation crash statistics, leading to more than 1,543 injuries and 48 fatalities.

With rear-end collisions accounting for one in every four truck accidents, an estimated 1,550 rear-end truck accidents likely occurred in Houston in 2022. 

That’s the equivalent of four rear-end truck collisions in Houston every day.

Common Causes of Houston Rear-End Truck Collisions

A rear-end truck collision can happen anytime, anywhere, and for any number of reasons — it’s not always as simple as someone stopping short or not paying attention. And while most truck and 18-wheeler drivers strive to operate their vehicles in a safe manner, the federal government’s Large Truck Causation Study found that driver error, mistakes, and negligence caused or contributed to the majority of serious and deadly accidents.

Some of the most common causes of rear-end truck accidents include:

Distracted Driving

In 2022, nearly one in six crashes on Texas roads were caused by a distracted driver, according to TxDOT, claiming 487 lives and seriously injuring 2,824. While distracted driving (such as texting) has become an epidemic on Houston roadways, when a trucker takes their eyes and mind off of operating their massive 80,000 lb. vehicle, the result can — and typically will — be far more catastrophic. And yet, a recent study found that 70% of all large truck crashes occurred while an operator was focused on something other than driving. 


The Large Truck Causation Study found that an estimated 5% of truck crashes occur when an 18-wheeler is following too closely. Truck drivers must maintain the correct following distance on the road, per state and federal commercial motor vehicle regulations. If they’re driving below 40 mph, they need to leave at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. Over 40 mph, they need to leave an additional second. When drivers fail to follow the rules, they put everyone’s lives in danger. Additionally, ​​tailgating can often be a sign of impaired driving (i.e. driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol).

Bad Brakes

Brake problems contribute to roughly 29% of all truck and 18-wheeler accidents.  Many of the preventable crashes that result from failing brakes are a result of improper and deficient brake maintenance. Commercial truck drivers who speed or lack proper training, applying excessive force to their brakes, can also cause brakes to overheat and become damaged. In either case, both the truck driver and truck company can — and should — be held responsible for the injuries suffered by other motorists in the collision if they failed to take action to prevent a catastrophic brake failure. 

Trucks Needing More Time to Stop

Even if a semi’s brakes function properly, big rigs still require up to 40% more time to stop compared to a typical automobile.  That makes stopping short nearly impossible and often extremely dangerous as fully-loaded semis can weigh up to 20 times more than the average passenger vehicle, increasing the likelihood of severe injuries and property damage, especially in a city like Houston where speeding traffic can come to an abrupt halt in an instant.

Other common causes of truck accidents, such as speeding, reckless driving, improper training, improperly loaded cargo, unsafe roadways, poor weather conditions, or equipment malfunctions may also contribute to a rear-end collision. 

Common Rear-End Truck Accident Injuries

Injuries sustained during a rear-end truck collision are often severe due to the sheer weight and size of 18-wheelers alone.  Large trucks sit higher up than passenger vehicles, and they are more likely to cause an override event during a rear-end collision, in which the truck collides with and then drives over the passenger vehicle, often leading to catastrophic crushing injuries for the passengers inside.

Additionally, a chain reaction rear-ending event involving a truck and multiple cars (also called a “pile up”) significantly increases the risk of severe injury for everyone involved. Sadly, it is often the people in passenger vehicles who bear the brunt of these impacts.

Rear-end truck accidents in Houston may cause severe injuries including:

  • Neck and back injuries 
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Herniated disc
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Cuts, lacerations, and bruising
  • Internal injuries such as bleeding or organ injuries
  • Death

Some injuries, such as herniated discs, are not readily apparent after an accident, which is why it’s imperative to get checked out at the emergency room immediately after the crash, even if you don’t think you’re hurt. 

What to Do if You’re Rear-Ended by a Truck in Houston

After a truck accident, time is not on your side — and neither is the trucking company. 

Follow these steps as fast as you can to secure your future:

  1. Call 911. At the scene, police will take statements from the truck driver, review the damage to the vehicles, and create a crash report that may very well serve as valuable evidence in your truck accident case down the line.
  1. Seek medical attention.  Yes, even if you think you aren’t injured. Here’s the thing: injuries are not always easily detectable in the minutes or even days after an accident, so it’s important to get medical treatment as soon as possible. Injuries that seem minor may be a sign of something much worse. 
  1. Gather evidence. If you’re physically able and it’s safe to do so, here are a few ways you can collect evidence at the scene:
    • take photographs of the accident scene,  vehicles involved and any visible damages
    • collect contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident 
    • write down the truck driver’s details, license plate number, and insurance information

Keep this and any other evidence related to the crash, such as medical records, repair bills, and correspondence from insurance companies in a safe place until you can turn it over to your attorney.

  1. Contant an experienced Houston truck accident attorney. There’s almost nothing a trucking company won’t do to avoid responsibility for injuring or killing someone on the road. From the moment of impact, the trucking company will already be working overtime to place the blame on you and pay as little as possible for injuries and damage they caused. That’s not okay — it’s why you need the best legal team you can get, one that understands how trucking companies operate and how to hold them accountable. At Zehl & Associates, we have repeatedly taken on the biggest names in the trucking industry and specialize in recovering the full compensation our clients deserve. We don’t just win — we set records.
  1. Avoid speaking to the trucking company’s insurers.  Expect a call from the trucking company’s “claims rep” or insurance adjuster soon after the crash. They’ll pretend to be on your side. But no matter how much they promise to “make things right” or “take care of you,” they won’t. Their priority is to avoid responsibility while minimizing your injuries and blaming you for the crash. Don’t speak to them, and never provide a written or recorded statement for them. Additionally, never sign anything they send your way.

Remember, it’s critical that you take action immediately. Otherwise, you may jeopardize your ability to recover the full compensation that you and your family deserve, leaving you with substantially less — and probably not enough — to cover your injuries and damages. 

Largest Recoveries in History for Houston Truck Accident Victims

Zehl & Associates recently secured a $5.1 Million settlement for our client, who was rear-ended by a 90,000 lb. semi while driving to work on I-10.  We obtained the truck driver’s cell phone records and certified driving history to show that the driver was distracted at the time of the crash and the trucking company was negligent and grossly negligent for failing to train and allowing him to use a cell phone in violation of federal law.

When you hire our team, we will fight just as hard for you. We quickly get to work gathering evidence and do everything it takes to hold the truck driver, trucking company, and anyone else responsible for your injuries fully accountable. We consistently recover the largest accident verdicts and settlements in history.

Our record-setting victories for rear-end truck accident victims include :

  • The #1 Largest Verdict in R&L’s corporate history — the first and only time the trucking company was ordered to pay punitive damages
  • $4.8 Million won for our client who was rear-ended by a semi at over 65 mph
  • $4.6 Million won for our client who was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler at 60 mph 

Undefeated Houston Truck Crash Attorneys: Call 1-888-603-3636 Today

With Billions won, our Undefeated Houston Truck Accident Lawyers have helped thousands of clients in the greater Houston area secure the largest settlements and record-setting victories in Texas.

If you or a loved one were injured or tragically killed in a truck or 18-wheeler accident, call 1-888-603-3636 or click here to send us a confidential email through our “Contact Us” form. 

We’ll answer your questions, explain your rights, and provide you with the information you need to decide what’s best for you and your family. 

All consultations are free, and because we work on a contingency fee, you won’t owe us a dime unless we win your case.