Despite a decrease from 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 36,560 people suffered fatal injuries on American roadways in 2018. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Texas had over 450 fatalities due to large truck accidents. In addition, in 2019, there were over 6,000 truck accidents in Harris County alone.
When you drive on the road, you expect that other drivers, particularly those of large trucks, will exercise caution and do everything within reason to protect your safety. However, driver error can account for some accidents, and trucks may carry an increased risk of severe injury. If you have suffered injuries or lost a family member in a semi-truck accident in Harris County, a tractor-trailer accident lawyer serving Channelview, TX can help you pursue financial recovery.
Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today at (713) 850-8600 to speak with our legal team about your case.
Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
In some instances, a driver’s negligent behavior leads to tractor-trailer accidents. This can occur in a number of ways and for different reasons, and while certain inevitable factors like weather can contribute, drivers have a responsibility to respond to conditions and adjust their driving behaviors accordingly.
Some instances of driver error that led to urban accidents in Texas in 2019 included:
- Backing up unsafely
- Using a cell phone while driving
- Improper lane usage
- Failure to maintain the vehicle’s safety features, such as lights
- Failure to yield
- Failure to secure load
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), driver fatigue plays a particularly impactful role in tractor-trailer accidents. Because of their work, truck drivers are always on the road and can get very little sleep. Their lack of sleep and the disruption of their normal sleep patterns increase fatigue and double their risk of an accident. If a truck driver who fell asleep at the wheel caused the collision that led to your injuries, a tractor-trailer accident lawyer serving Channelview, TX can help you with your case.
Tractor-Trailers Have Inherent Dangers
All motor vehicle accidents have the potential to cause harm, but the massive nature of large trucks can make them especially dangerous in the event of a collision, especially for those in other vehicles, on bicycles or motorcycles, or on foot. The IIHS points out some of the major safety concerns involving semi-trucks.
- Weight: At more than 10,000 pounds, trucks typically weigh 20 to 30 times more than a passenger car.
- High ground clearance: Cars can slip underneath in an accident, which often results in injuries and fatalities
- Longer braking time: Trucks require longer braking distances to stop safely, which can lead to accidents if the driver must slow down right away.
Trying to recover from your injuries or heal from the loss of your loved one presents enough challenges for you to manage; you do not have to manage your legal claim, either. Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, and our legal team will discuss your case with you.
Types of Evidence Used to Prove Liability in a Tractor-Trailer Accident Case
Before you file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party in a truck collision case, you must first prove that the other driver’s actions constitute legal negligence. A tractor-trailer accident lawyer serving Channelview, TX can help you do this by gathering evidence that demonstrates the other driver’s negligence or recklessness. Some types of evidence they may collect to help you build your case include:
- Photos and videos from the scene, especially of debris and skid marks
- Photos of injuries and property damage
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Medical records and bills
- Cell phone records
- Police reports
- The truck driver’s logbook
- Black box information
These types of evidence an attorney may collect depend on the circumstances of the case, but they will seek out as many resources as possible to help establish liability in your case. To do this, they will demonstrate that the driver had a duty of care to maintain your safety on the road, the driver breached that duty of care either through a reckless action or by failing to act, their breach of care caused your injuries or the loss of your loved one, and your injuries or the loss of your loved one resulted in significant damages.
Statute of Limitations on Tractor-Trailer Accident Claims in Texas
Victims of large truck accidents and their families may have a right to file a lawsuit or insurance claim to seek financial recovery for their damages, but the State of Texas has statutes of limitations regarding how long an individual has following the accident to pursue legal action.
Under Texas law, the victim has up to two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If the victim suffered fatal injuries, their family members also have up to two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, filing your lawsuit or claim right away may help you determine any exceptions to these rules and avoid preventable delays in the legal process.
Our Lawyers Can Help You with Your Tractor-Trailer Accident Case
If you or a loved one has suffered serious or fatal injuries as the result of a tractor-trailer accident in Channelview, TX, you may struggle with more than physical and emotional challenges. The financial impact caused by accidents can last years, and you do not deserve the responsibility for damages incurred at no fault of your own.
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, a tractor-trailer accident lawyer serving Channelview, TX can help you investigate your case and pursue financial recovery. Call our legal team today at (713) 850-8600 to discuss your case with us.