Who is Liable for A Big Rig Truck Accident in Houston, TX?

Intimidation of Big Rig Trucks on Houston, TX Roadways

There is no doubt about it that most drivers on America’s roadways must share the roads with big rig truckers, and a good share of these drivers do not appreciate their presence.

These trucks are a necessary and vital part of keeping America going. However, these big rigs can be intimidating when you meet a slew of them on the road. These big rigs have much more weight and power behind them, and smaller vehicles have little chance of survival should a big rig crash into them.

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We see these big rigs possibly going too fast, dangerously swerving from lane to lane, fish-tailing, and coming too close to crashing into other vehicles they share on the road. The general consensus of everyday drivers on the road is to steer clear of these big rigs. Let these rigs have their space and stay out of their way.

Many people do not stop to realize that the drivers of these big rigs must endure many hours of training and testing before they are allowed a specialized license to drive a big rig on the road. However, no matter how much training a trucker receives, they can get reckless and careless, putting other drivers at risk for accidents, injuries, and death.

Just as the general public has good and bad drivers, big rig trucking firms strive for only top-notch truck drivers, only to discover that one of their drivers takes too many risks and is not as cautious as they need to be to prevent a serious accident.

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Some of these drivers drive too many hours and become overtired. Some take risks that they should not take, putting other drivers in harm’s way.

The Long Tedious Process of Placing Liability for a Big Rig Accident

Accidents caused by smaller vehicles are costly enough, let alone accidents involving big rigs. These accidents are much more significant due to the weight and size of these trucks. If you are involved in a big rig accident, you are fortunate indeed to survive the accident.

Surviving a big rig accident means you will undoubtedly have ongoing huge medical costs, and some questions you may ask are,

“How am I to afford all the extra expenses that come with an accident of this nature?” 

“Who will pay all of my extra costs caused by a negligent truck driver?”

Any type of negligent roadway accident can be complicated and complex. However, when there are big rig accidents, the complexity of these accident cases is much more involved.

It takes seasoned expertise to determine who is at fault in a big rig accident. Once this determination is made, attorneys and insurance companies may try to place blame on the victims of this accident.

Insurance companies avoid paying the victims what they deserve because the bottom line is money and they do not like losing their money.

State laws, while basically the same, do have differences, and it is a wise decision to hire an attorney in that state to represent you in these accidents. Your negligent accident attorney makes sure that your rights are protected and that you are compensated fairly.

All drivers on the roadways, including big rig truck drivers, have a duty to keep those they share the road with safe and out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, this is not reality, and many of these drivers breach their duty to keep others safe around them.

Common sense says that anyone who breaches their duty to keep other drivers safe would be liable should they be the one who caused an accident and injuries or death to another person (s). If you are involved in a big rig accident, you need the services of a negligent accident attorney to fight for your rights and fair compensation.

It will be unclear who is at fault and held liable for a big rig accident until investigations are completed. There are many entities who must investigate the accident before liability blame is placed on any driver, an in-depth investigation by the police is done first. The police must,

  • Diagram the accident
  • Take pictures and videos
  • Get witness statements
  • Get statements from those involved in the accident
  • Get statements from medical personnel and doctors attending to the victims

Other entities, such as all insurance companies involved with each vehicle, assigned attorneys for all those involved in the accident, and the trucking company does their private internal investigation.

The Texas Department of Public Safety conducts an accident reconstruction investigation if the accident occurs on a Texas highway or interstate. To do this, Texas state troopers may or may not shut down the road where the accident occurred unless the accident happened on a rural road, then the local police may investigate. This entails an individual investigation including many variables such as,

  • Calculation of speed
  • Angle of impacts
  • Contributing factors

Once all pertinent information is completed and closely reviewed, the police make the determination of where the fault lies. Sometimes these authorities are hard-pressed to take the time needed to determine where liability actually lies due to coming to too fast of a conclusion.

It is for these reasons that our attorneys conduct their own investigation and we will either come to the same conclusion as the authorities or a different conclusion which we must work hard to prove. The sad truth is, that it is always the victims and their attorneys who prove that they are free from any liability for the big rig accident.

“Is the accident due to your negligence?”

“Is the accident due to the negligence of a big rig trucker?”

What Should You Do if Involved in a Big Rig Accident?

  • Call 911 and report the accident, requesting medical assistance.
  • Give your statement of what happened to the police. Chose your words carefully, and do not inadvertently place blame on yourself, the victim.

Never say you are sorry this accident happened or say that you could have caused the accident but are not sure. Let the authorities decide who is at fault.

  • Please, never refuse to have a doctor examine you for injuries, even if you believe you are okay. Oftentimes, injuries appear days, weeks, and sometimes months after being in a truck accident.
  • When a person is involved in a roadway accident, it is sometimes impossible to think about what to do. Your thinking can become mixed up and confusing about what just happened.

You should keep these necessary essentials about what to do directly following a roadway accident, along with our phone number, and your negligent accident/injury attorney, in your glove compartment.

Sometimes we are able to come immediately to the accident site and start our own investigation.

  • The authorities will take videos and pictures of the accident. However, it never hurts to take pictures.
  • When you are able, please document everything that you can possibly remember about the accident.
  • Call your insurance company and notify them about the accident.

Where Does Liability Fall When There is a Big Rig Truck Accident in Houston?

It takes the expertise of police investigators to determine who is to blame for a big rig truck accident in Houston. When these accidents happen, there can undoubtedly be many people involved, such as but not limited to,

  • Drivers
  • Companies
  • Mechanics
  • Cities and the maintenance department of their roadways
  • Possible third parties
  • Truck manufacturers
  • The trucking company
  • The cargo companies
  • The distribution plant
  • Third-party cargo companies and truck owners
  • Other drivers on the road

It takes the expertise of your team of attorneys and their investigations to prove or disprove the police determination for liability.

There will naturally be questions entering your mind, such as, but not limited to,

  • Where do I file a claim?
  • Who do I file a claim with?
  • Who pays for all of my unexpected costs?
  • Who is liable for my accident?

Why is There an Increase in Big Rig Truck Accidents in Houston, TX?

  • Increased populations in the Houston area
  • Business surges in Houston
  • A significant mixture of big rigs and passenger vehicles
  • Mechanical failure of the truck
  • Failure to secure cargo appropriately
  • Incorrect loading and securing of the cargo.
  • Failure of traffic lights
  • Omission of street signs
  • Potholes in roads

What Makes Big Rig Accidents Significantly More Serious?

Park a car of any size next to a big rig, and you can answer this question. While a larger-sized car can weigh two tons, a big rig can weigh more than 17 tons and more depending on the cargo they carry.

That is a lot of weight crashing into a smaller two-ton vehicle, and the vehicle occupants would be fortunate indeed to survive this big rig accident.

The majority of crash victims involved in big rig accidents either do not survive or have life-changing injuries that take months of rehabilitation, and many victims never experience the quality of life they once had.

Trucking companies are known for settling claims quickly. However, these settlements are found to be less than adequate for the victims. These settlements do not carry victims into the future to pay for ongoing medical and living expenses. Trucking companies and vendors attempt to stay out of the way to avoid huge settlements.

What is Investigated in a Big Rig Accident? 

  • Statements from drivers and witnesses
  • Maintenance records for the truck
  • The black box from the truck
  • Accident reconstruction report
  • Interview with the owner of the cargo and loading docks
  • Maintenance records for the road
  • Review of recalls from the truck manufacturer
  • Additional statements from interested parties
  • Speed

Receive Special Support When You Are Involved in a Big Rig Accident

Our negligent accident/injury/death attorneys have many years of experience uncovering the truth about who is held at fault in big rig accidents. We know Texas laws, and we can sort out the many complicated facts of these accidents.

We are Houston’s leading truck accident lawyers at Terry Bryant, and we make sure that our victims are not held liable for these accidents when it is some other driver’s fault. We assure our clients that we will win a settlement for them that pays for all their unexpected costs associated with an accident they did not cause.

It is impossible for any victim to fight against these entities and win a settlement of any kind. We caution victims not to accept any spur-of-the-moment meager settlement by anyone because these small settlements do not begin to pay all the costs associated with these accidents. The victims who are not at fault deserve fair and just compensation, and we can help this happen.

If you are a resident of Houston or surrounding areas and were the victim of a big rig accident, call our office immediately so we can get to work for you. We always uncover who should be held liable, and we leave nothing to chance.

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