A Houston truck accident lawyer is ready to fight for you
Texas has the dubious distinction of leading the country in both the number of truck accidents and the number of truck accident deaths. These are catastrophic, traumatizing incidents that are frightening, stressful, and life-altering. It is critical that as a victim of a truck accident in Texas, you understand your legal rights regarding what you can claim. Experienced personal injury attorney Jonathan C. Kieschnick has provided numerous victims of heavy truck accidents with compassionate, dedicated legal representation.
Most truck accidents occur in rural areas. However, Houston’s extensive freeway system and its distinction as a port of entry lead to truck accidents being a regular occurrence in the area. Even if you are the safest driver out there, you can still be a victim of a truck accident. This is due to negligence, bad habits, and bad decision-making on the part of the truck driver or trucking company. Experienced truck accident lawyers such as Jonathan can help you navigate your claim and ensure that all liable parties are held responsible.
What is considered a truck accident?
A truck accident, also known as a commercial truck accident, commercial vehicle accident, or heavy truck accident, is an incident between a large truck and a smaller vehicle and/or pedestrian. These large trucks, such as heavy-duty trucks, commercial box trucks, and tractor trailers (colloquially called “18-wheelers”), are typically vehicles that are classified to weigh over 10,000 pounds.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were over 32,000 truck accidents in Texas in 2020, resulting in nearly 600 deaths. From a numerical standpoint, both statistics lead the nation.
What leads to truck accidents?
There are quite a few reasons why truck accidents occur, but ultimately it boils down to the following:
- Speeding: Heavy truck drivers are often on deadlines. Their livelihood is determined by how well they meet those deadlines, even to the detriment of themselves and others. Many times, heavy truck drivers will end up driving faster than posted speed limits with disastrous (and at times, tragically fatal) results.
- Overloaded: Heavier weight leads to increased mass which only leads to more severe damage in the event of a collision. Oversized loads as well as too much excessive payloads can destabilize the truck, making it more difficult to maneuver, stop, and drive safely.
- Maintenance: Because of the excessive wear and tear trucks go through on a day-to-day basis, proper maintenance is necessary. When a truck is not properly maintained, it is susceptible to mechanical failures. These failures can lead to even the most experienced and safe truck drivers losing control and causing a catastrophic collision.
- Fatigue: Due to (harmful) compensation structures, truck drivers will often push their bodies to the limit, even if it means putting themselves and others at risk. Driven by a desire for a better paycheck, truck drivers will often violate hours of service rules. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency that regulates commercial truck driving in the United States, allows truckers to only drive up to 11 hours at a time. Hours-of-service violations are commonplace, and those violations unfortunately lead to horrific consequences.
- Negligence: Carelessness and recklessness is a frequent cause of truck driving accidents. Many times, truck drivers are inconsiderate of other drivers, often feeling that the massive size of their vehicle should compel other motorists to always yield to them. Unfortunately, not every motorist can, and the results can be life-altering.
Who can be held liable in truck accidents?
Commercial transport vehicles typically have heftier insurance coverage in comparison to personal auto insurance, thus changing the nature of the claim. Jonathan will work diligently to hold all parties liable to in the accident, including:
- The truck drivers themselves, who often shoulder the biggest share of the liability in most truck accidents.
- The truck owner, which can be either the truck driver or the company employing the truck driver. In the case of the latter, truck owners are responsible for ensuring that the driver is legally and professionally qualified to operate a truck.
- The trucking company, which will engage in poor hiring practices that end up leading to unqualified, dangerous truck drivers to take to the road.
- Cargo companies that load products on to trailers and are responsible for properly securing those loads. Improperly loaded trucks can affect the trucks stability and maneuverability with disastrous consequences.
- Manufacturers—if the cause of the accident is deemed to be the result of malfunctioning and/or defective parts, manufacturers can be held liable for injuries and damages.
Contact truck accident attorney Jonathan C. Kieschnick
If you have sustained injuries or if a loved one has passed away due to being involved in a truck accident in the Houston-area or anywhere in Texas, do not pursue your claim alone. Contact the Law Office of Jonathan C. Kieschnick today for compassionate and dedicated legal representation. Trucking companies will be aggressive in protecting their own interests; you need to have a legal representative that is even more aggressive about protecting your interests, getting a fair settlement, and holding liable parties responsible.