Did you know that 7,559 crashes involving large trucks occurred in Texas between January 1 and May 31, 2023? These accidents resulted in 4,212 injuries and 241 fatalities in the span of only five months. If you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident in the Houston area, contacting a Houston truck accident lawyer at Steinger, Greene & Feiner can be a step to getting the justice and compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Steinger, Greene & Feiner?
Our Houston truck accident lawyers have over 25 years of experience winning cases for victims statewide. With a track record like that, you can count on us to achieve the results you want. We’ll do whatever it takes to hold the liable party accountable and fight for your rights every step of the way.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in Houston
Getting in an accident on the road is a stressful experience. Don’t wait until an accident occurs to figure out how you should respond. Knowing what steps to take before an accident happens will help you secure maximum compensation down the line. Here are the seven steps you should take immediately after getting in an accident with a semi-truck or 18-wheeler.
1. Get to Safety
Nothing matters more than your safety. Check yourself for injuries, and call 911 if you need emergency medical attention. If you’re able to, move your vehicle to the shoulder or a nearby parking lot to get out of oncoming traffic.
2. Contact the Police
Texas requires drivers to report any and all vehicle accidents, no matter how minor. If you don’t, you could end up having your license suspended. All you need to do is call the local police department and tell them what happened and where. Depending on the accident’s severity, officers might arrive at the scene to file a police report. If the accident is minor and officers don’t respond to the scene, file an accident report through the local DMV. Request a copy of whichever report is filed.
3. Take Photos and Videos
Evidence is everything when it comes to truck accident claims. You can’t prove a driver acted negligently without sufficient evidence, and you can’t seek compensation without establishing negligence. Get plenty of photos and videos of the crash scene for later use.
4. Gather Witness Statements
Eyewitnesses have a unique perspective on truck accidents. When you’re driving, you have a limited view of your surroundings. Eyewitnesses—whether they be other drivers or bystanders—can see what you don’t. Documenting what they saw can help prove your case.
5. Exchange Information
Your lawyer and insurance company will need to contact other drivers involved in the accident along with any eyewitnesses when handling your case. Be sure to exchange contact, vehicle, and insurance information with other drivers involved before leaving the accident scene.
6. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
A Houston personal injury lawyer who specializes in truck accidents will help you navigate the complexities of your case from start to finish. You can rest easy knowing you’re in good hands.
7. Notify Your Insurance Company
Don’t forget to let your insurance provider know about the accident. They can’t start the claims process until you notify them. Be prepared to speak with an adjuster about what happened in the days following your case.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Houston
A truck accident can occur for various reasons. These are the ten most common ones we see in Houston.
- Driver Fatigue: Prolonged periods behind the wheel can induce driver fatigue, diminishing a driver’s response time. Fatigued truck operators are at a heightened risk of committing errors, including instances of falling asleep at the wheel.
- Speeding: The greater the vehicle’s size, the greater the stopping distance required when applying brakes. Given the dimensions of semi-trucks and 18-wheelers, they exhibit significant deceleration. Traveling beyond the speed limit makes it more difficult to reduce speed or halt the vehicle in traffic or amid treacherous road conditions.
- Distracted Driving: When a truck driver diverts their attention from the road—even momentarily—by engaging in activities like texting, eating, adjusting music, or inputting directions, they increase their risk of causing an accident.
- Impaired Driving: Operating a large truck while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely hazardous, both to the truck driver and other drivers on the road. These substances compromise the driver’s discernment, coordination, and response times, which is especially hazardous when handling a large vehicle.
- Insufficient Training: Semi-trucks and 18-wheelers have distinct equipment and procedures that mandate specialized training for navigation. Without the knowledge needed to operate the vehicle safely, truck drivers are more susceptible to causing accidents.
- Adverse Weather Conditions: Whether it’s rain, fog, ice, or snow, inclement weather conditions compromise road safety. They constrain visibility and make road surfaces slippery, placing every driver at risk.
- Mechanical Failures: Brake systems malfunction, tires blow out, and steering mechanisms lock unexpectedly. All these issues impair a truck driver’s ability to maintain control of their vehicle. Neglecting routine maintenance only escalates the likelihood of these issues occurring.
- Improper Cargo Loading: Semi-trucks and 18-wheelers have specified load capacities to prevent overloading by trucking companies. An overloaded truck is more prone to swerving off course or tipping due to excessive weight. Cargo can also fall off the truck if not secured properly.
- Aggressive Driving: Engaging in aggressive driving tactics like tailgating and weaving between lanes endangers both truck drivers and other drivers on the road, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
- Inadequate Following Distance: Since large trucks need a longer braking distance compared to smaller vehicles in emergency scenarios, it’s imperative for truck drivers to maintain a safe following distance. Proximity to the vehicle ahead can result in a collision if traffic suddenly slows or comes to a halt.
The Complexities of Truck Accident Cases
Accidents involving large trucks have additional complexities compared to accidents involving cars only. These are some factors unique to truck accidents in Texas.
- Involvement of Multiple Parties: Truck accidents typically involve numerous parties, including the truck operator, the truck-owning company, cargo-hauling businesses, vehicle manufacturers, and maintenance service providers. Determining liability can be difficult.
- Adherence to Regulatory Requirements: Trucking enterprises must adhere to specific federal and state statutes governing service hours, vehicle upkeep, and cargo loading. Non-compliance with these regulations heightens the probability of accidents.
- Monitoring Driver Logs: Truck drivers must uphold and submit comprehensive records detailing their driving hours and breaks. These records serve as essential evidence to substantiate claims of driver fatigue or violations of hour-of-service regulations.
- Verification of Witness Accounts: Collecting eyewitness statements can be challenging due to the high-speed nature of these collisions. Witness testimony can vary and be unreliable, underscoring the importance of corroborating statements with additional evidence.
- Safeguarding Evidence: Trucking companies may expedite the removal or repair of evidence from the accident site. That’s why it’s crucial to act promptly to preserve key evidence, including vehicle conditions, skid marks, and debris patterns.
- Involvement of Expert Witnesses: Discerning liability may necessitate help from specialists like accident reconstruction experts, mechanical engineers, or medical professionals. They’ll analyze the accident’s cause, contributing factors, and resulting injuries.
- Application of Modified Comparative Negligence: Responsibility may be distributed among the truck driver and other parties involved, including drivers and passengers of other vehicles.
- Complexities of Insurance Coverage: Truck accident insurance coverage can be complex, with multiple policies potentially applying to different aspects of the incident.
How Our Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help
Steinger, Greene & Feiner is committed to helping truck accident victims receive the care, justice, and compensation they deserve. We’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you’re taken care of and treated fairly. Here are just some of the ways we simplify the claims process for you.
Initial Case Assessment
Whether you prefer a face-to-face meeting or a phone consultation, we’ll dive into the specifics of your case. Our aim is to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of your legal rights and available options. This preliminary assessment is provided at no cost to you. That way, you can focus on what matters most.
In-Depth Case Investigation
Our priority is to uncover the circumstances surrounding your injuries and how you sustained them. Our team will compile evidence and seek expert opinions to determine liability and calculate damages accurately.
Engage in Negotiations
We manage all correspondence with insurance providers to guarantee a fair settlement is achieved. While insurance companies might attempt to offer inadequate settlements or resort to unethical practices, our team is dedicated to securing the compensation you’re entitled to.
Representation in Court
Should a settlement not be reached, we’ll take your case to court. Your Houston truck accident lawyer will present a robust case to enhance your chances of getting justice and maximum financial compensation for your injuries and damages.
“I had the best experience with my attorney, Josh. He was always available to answer any questions I had. He is kind and thoughtful even if a question I had was silly. He always reassured me everything was going to be alright, and it was. I will be referring him and your Law Firm to anyone who needs an excellent Personal Injury Attorney.”
“Steinger, Greene & Feiner is the firm you will truly be happy with. They kept me informed of my case every step of the way & in a very timely manner. They made me feel confident and treated me with such kindness. I am a very happy & satisfied customer.”
“From beginning to end my attorney Alison Davis was so attentive and on top of every detail of the process. It isn’t something that you can do on your own, and Steinger, Greene, and Feiner is a great option. I hope I don’t need to, but would definitely use them again. Very happy with my settlement!”
“This is one of the best attorneys I have ever used. They kept me informed on what they were doing and how they did it. To all who are looking for a good attorney, this is the one to use. You won’t regret it. They are the best. He will be my attorney from now on when I need him.”
“I went to one attorney with my case and I didn’t hear anything from them via text, phone, or email—nothing. Within a couple of hours, I got a text letting me know the lawyers were working on my case and would be in touch with me. I love that because you need to know what’s going on with your case without you having to call them and see what’s going on.”
“They all really exceeded all my expectations! They handled my case in a very professional and timely manner. I never had to worry or handle anything! If it wasn’t for this team of professionals, I fear the insurance company would’ve beaten me out of the care and money I deserved. I highly recommend this law office. They’re dedicated to getting you the money and care you deserve after a life-changing experience like the car accident I was in. Thanks so much!!”
“I was hurt and scared at the beginning of my ordeal. Mostly confused and didn’t know where to turn for a lawyer to help me navigate my case. My attorneys have been an absolute pleasure! I couldn’t have asked for a less painless process. They worked so hard and took all the guesswork out of my case. What truly stood out above everything was how nice, sweet, polite, and understanding they both were. If I ever need representation in the future, I will definitely be reaching out to the SGF team. Thank you for everything! It has been a pleasure to get to work with you. I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out.”
Consult a Trusted Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Today
When it comes to seeking legal representation for your truck accident case, Steinger, Greene & Feiner is the name you can trust to get the results you want. Our Houston truck accident lawyers have the skills and experience required to bring the responsible party to justice and secure maximum compensation on your behalf. Don’t wait to take the first step. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. We’re ready to get to work.