COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENT LAWYER IN HOUSTON
Houston Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Commercial vehicle drivers are held to a much higher standard of safety than other drivers are. However, that doesn’t mean that a car accident with a commercial vehicle won’t happen. Wherever there is traffic, car accidents are bound to occur. If you’ve found yourself the victim of one of these accidents, call a Houston commercial vehicle accident lawyer.
Knowing what your rights are after a car accident and determining how much your car accident claim is worthwhile dealing with your own insurance company as well as the other driver’s insurance company can be overwhelming for those recovering from a motor vehicle accident. Insurance adjusters aren’t on your side. They will always consider the bottom line to be the top priority.
At Reich & Binstock, our personal injury law firm offers caring and compassionate counsel to victims of motor vehicle collisions and other personal injuries. Our Houston car accident lawyers offer a free consultation. Contact us today to see if you are eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.
What Is a Commercial Vehicle?
A commercial vehicle is a type of motor vehicle used for the purpose of transporting goods. property, or paying passengers. If a vehicle is designed to carry 15 or more people, it will be automatically classified as commercial. Instead of driving for personal reasons, someone who operates a commercial vehicle is doing so for business reasons.
A commercial vehicle can be anything from a bus to a semi-truck, to even a pickup truck. Drivers of these vehicles are met with stricter safety standards than the average driver. This is because they are responsible for operating large, often dangerous vehicles and representing their company while doing so. If you were involved in a commercial truck accident, you need the truck accident lawyers at Reich & Binstock on your case.
Types of Commercial Vehicles
Many different commercial vehicle types exist, as do many types of commercial vehicle accidents. The Houston truck accident attorneys at our law firm have experience handling a wide array of commercial vehicle crash cases, including the following.
Semi-trucks, also called big rigs, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers, are probably the most common commercial truck we see on roadways today. These large trucks are made up of a cab or tractor portion that is attached to a bed or trailer with a fifth-wheel connection. Their primary purpose is to transport different types of cargo from distribution centers to other locations. Due to their incredible size and weight, truck accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries or even death. If you were involved in a truck accident, you need an experienced truck accident attorney on your side.
A pickup truck can also be classified as a commercial motor vehicle, depending on its intended use. Although they can’t carry as much as a large commercial truck, they can haul trailers behind them in order to transport goods and equipment.
Box trucks are another type of commercial vehicle. Many people who see these commercial motor vehicles assume they are semi-trucks because of their appearance. However, a box truck has its trailer directly attached to the cab or tractor without a fifth-wheel connection between them. Anyone involved in a box truck crash should contact an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Another type of commercial vehicle accident involves commercial transit buses. Unlike passenger cars, public and private buses often don’t have the same range of safety features. In fact, many school buses and public buses don’t have seat belts. For this reason, these commercial motor vehicle accident claims tend to involve severe injuries.
Motor coaches are very similar to buses, except they tend to have a more comfortable and expensive interior. They also have spaces underneath the passenger seating for luggage and other items. Many motor coaches are used for private tours and charter trips.
Shuttle buses can also be involved in commercial truck accident claims. We often see shuttle buses transporting small numbers of passengers to and from airports, hotels, and even amusement parks. Many college campuses and rental car companies also use these vehicles.
Vans are yet another class of vehicles that can be involved in commercial truck accident cases. Passenger vans carry people to and from their destinations, often as part of a tour or a shuttle service. They are smaller than shuttle buses, however.
Cargo vans are often used as delivery trucks, but they can also be used as company vehicles for plumbers, electricians, courier services, and other repair services. This type of commercial vehicle accident can be particularly dangerous for those in the van, as the cab is not separated from the cargo area. The attorneys at Reich & Binstock also handle Fedex accident claims.
Step vans are taller than the average commercial van, which allows the truck driver to stand up more easily in the cargo area. Examples of businesses that use step vans include bakeries, postal services, food delivery companies, and even emergency services.
Certain types of heavy equipment, such as farming equipment and other heavy vehicles, can lead to commercial truck crashes. Although they are less common than normal automobile accidents, they can still happen when negligence is involved. Accidents can be even more serious if these vehicles are carrying hazardous materials, such as herbicides and pesticides.
Cars can also be used as commercial vehicles. Taxi services and rental vehicles are classified as commercial vehicles, but ridesharing services are not.
Lastly, we have specialty vehicles. Unlike vehicles that can be used for a multitude of purposes, specialty vehicles are designed with a specific purpose in mind. Think about street sweepers, septic trucks, garbage trucks, fire trucks, trolleys, and even tow trucks when you imagine specialty commercial vehicles.
Who Sets the Rules for Commercial Vehicles?
Safety rules and regulations for commercial drivers are put in place by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These strict standards govern all commercial drivers, including truckers and bus drivers. In addition to these ordinances, each state also further implements its own additional safety rules and regulations.
Texas itself imposes a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Service to reduce commercial motor vehicle accidents through the FMCSA. The mission of this service is to weigh and check commercial vehicles that are using Texas’ public highways. They ensure that the vehicle is in compliance with all the provisions made by the FMCSA.
These provisions include the regulation of the following:
- Motor carrier safety
- Transportation of persons
- Hazardous material
These rules and regulations for commercial vehicles are put into place because, as things like semi-trucks and buses are so large, they can be exceedingly dangerous in the event of an accident. Every driver who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle has a responsibility to others on the road. Commercial vehicle drivers shoulder even more of this responsibility.
What Causes Commercial Vehicle Car Accidents?
Now more than ever, the trucking industry is crucial to society. Consumer demand drives the commercial industry, and as the demand for delivery of goods continues to skyrocket in response to COVID-19, so does the need for commercial drivers. With this increasing demand for drivers, the chance of commercial vehicle accidents also increases.
Common causes of commercial vehicle accidents include driver faults, such as distraction, fatigue, or driving while impaired. Vehicle malfunctions can also cause commercial vehicle accidents, such as mechanical malfunctions. No matter the cause of your accident, you need the help of experienced truck accident lawyers for your accident involving a commercial vehicle.
What if the Car Accident Wasn’t My Fault?
The great state of Texas is a “fault” car insurance state. This means that if you were involved in a car wreck that wasn’t your fault, the person responsible for the car crash should pay for everything: your medical expenses, future medical costs, property damage, etc.
However, if you’re involved in a car crash with a commercial truck or car, their insurance company will be better equipped with lawyers and unfair insurance adjusters, so that the business won’t have to pay as much.
Texas requires every driver to carry car insurance with at least liability coverage.
So, if you were injured from a car wreck that wasn’t your fault, you have a few options:
- File an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s car insurance company
- File a claim with your own insurance company
- Pursue a personal injury claim against the person or multiple parties who caused the accident
Our Houston car accident lawyers have the means necessary to take on big companies and fight for those who have sustained a personal injury from a motor vehicle collision.
Commercial Car Accident Injuries
The types of car accident injuries one can sustain after car accidents or truck accidents are vast. These can range from minor injuries, such as whiplash, to more serious injuries, such as spinal cord or brain damage.
While some are transported to the local emergency room via ambulance, some require an extended hospital stay. After most car accidents, victims should undergo diagnostic tests, such as an X-ray or CT scan. Treatment can include physical therapy or medications.
Medical costs associated with an auto accident can be debilitating. If you were involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t be stuck with those bills. And unfortunately, in Houston, TX, victims have a difficult time securing proper funds from their insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company.
This is where a personal injury law firm can really help. Our Houston car accident attorneys fight to get our clients the maximum compensation that’s fair for their situation.
If you were in a car accident where there were commercial vehicles involved, you might have multiple means of securing damages for your auto accident claim.
What Are Commercial Vehicle Car Accident Damages?
If you or a loved one were hurt in a commercial vehicle accident in Houston, Texas due to the negligence or neglect of another person or party, you might have the right to seek damages for your losses.
For example, you may be able to make a claim to recover your:
- Medical Costs
- Lost Wages
- Future Medical Expenses
- Future Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Property Damage
- And Other Losses
To get a better idea of what your car accident claim is work, call one of our Houston car accident lawyers for your free consultation. We’ll be able to provide you with the best way to recover compensation for your losses.
Commercial Vehicle Accident Fault
When Is a Commercial Vehicle Accident the Driver’s Fault?
Driver negligence can come in several different forms. The same things that often cause personal vehicle accidents also cause commercial vehicle accidents. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
In terms of car accidents in Houston, TX, one of the biggest issues we see is excessive speeding. Increased speeds increase the risk of the driver losing control of the vehicle and causing a car wreck.
Our Houston car wreck lawyers see how devastating car or truck accidents can be when someone chooses to disobey the law and drive negligently.
As commercial drivers are often on the road for long periods of time, it is not uncommon for them to get distracted. Anything that diverts the driver’s attention, like texting, for example, is defined as a distraction by the FMCSA.
Distractions can come in the form of almost anything-reaching in the back seat, changing the song on a playlist, or adjusting the radio. Our personal injury lawyers know this all too well. All it takes is a split second of distraction to cause a car wreck that severely injures those involved.
Because of the nature of commercial drivers’ work, they are often subject to extreme schedules, including long hours and nighttime driving. This can make it easy for drivers to get fatigued while operating their vehicles. Fatigue can decrease a driver’s alertness and attention and lengthen their reaction times, which can in turn lead to very serious accidents. While federal and state regulations try to minimize this possibility by imposing strict parameters on hours driven and mandatory rest breaks, they cannot eliminate the possibility of fatigue altogether.
While commercial drivers are in high demand, not many people may be up for the job. This is because of the unhealthy lifestyle that accompanies these types of jobs. Truckers often lead solitary and sedentary lifestyles with little room for healthy meals and exercise. It also often brings with it feelings of stress and boredom. For this reason, some drivers might turn to drugs or alcohol. This can significantly increase the chance for devastating accidents to occur. There are Texas dram shop laws to help discourage this type of behavior, but nevertheless, it still exists.
When Is the Company at Fault for Commercial Car Accidents?
Commercial vehicle accidents are different from typical car accidents because there may be multiple liable parties involved. Attorneys Reich & Binstock will look for other variables that may have contributed to the accident, including the following.
The company that is responsible for the commercial vehicle is also responsible for ensuring an experienced and qualified crew of mechanics. However, the mechanics themselves are responsible for the work that they perform on the vehicle. If the work performed on the vehicle by the mechanic proves to be faulty, they might be held partially responsible for the accident and your injuries.
Houston car accidents due to mechanical issues, whether this is transmission problems or faulty brakes, occur more often than you’d think. Faulty equipment isn’t an excuse for those driving commercial vehicles. Our Houston car accident attorneys will help ensure you recover compensation from the negligent party.
If the manufacturer of the commercial vehicle in question does not provide the company with a safe vehicle, they may also be held liable. Commercial vehicles like semi-trucks and buses are complicated machines and should be put together in a careful and exact manner to ensure safety. Flaws in the design or construction of the vehicle as well as faulty parts can certainly contribute to an accident.
It is a company’s duty to hire safe, experienced drivers who are fit to withstand the high demands that the job entails. If an inexperienced or unfit driver causes an accident, the company that hired them may be held partially responsible. In addition to this, the company must also enforce and adhere to both federal and state rules and regulations regarding commercial vehicle safety. Failure to do so may result in the company’s liability.
Why Hire a Houston Auto Accident Attorney?
It’s important to note that not every car wreck will require a car accident lawyer. Legally speaking, you don’t have an obligation to hire one of our personal injury lawyers. It all depends on the seriousness of the car accident.
However, when you have experienced Houston car accident lawyers on your side, you have advocates. Our personal injury law firm will fight to make sure that you receive fair compensation to cover medical bills and increased expenses that come with injuries, and are compensated for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
So many times, we see that injured victims don’t include everything on their car accident claims. For every expense you don’t consider, and for every future expense you leave out, especially future medical expenses, you’re robbing yourself of money that you’re rightfully owed by the insurance company.
We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency basis, which means that your car accident attorney won’t get paid unless you do.
Reasons to Hire a Houston Car Accident Lawyer
In some situations, Houston car accident lawyers are exponentially more beneficial. If any of the following describes your situation, you would greatly benefit from a free consultation with one of our auto accident attorneys:
- Your medical bills are expensive.
- The property damage was extensive.
- The car wreck involved multiple parties.
- You sustained severe injuries
- The police report doesn’t accurately represent what happened during the auto accident.
- The negligent party refuses to provide information or ran from the accident scene.
- The at-fault party doesn’t have insurance or insurance isn’t sufficient to cover the damages.
- The auto accident resulted in a wrongful death.
Car accident cases can be long and stressful, but in some situations, they are necessary to hold Houston drivers accountable for their actions.
Contact a Commercial Vehicle Accident Attorney
If you were hit by a commercial vehicle and received injuries as a result, you are likely entitled to compensation. The dedicated attorneys here at Reich & Binstock know how traumatic and catastrophic an accident of this sort can be. Things like property damage and medical bills can add up quickly, and the time you spend recovering often results in lost wages. We want to help lift that weight off your shoulders.
Reich & Binstock will work vigorously to help you recover financially while you work on your own physical and mental recovery. If you or a loved one has been involved in a commercial vehicle accident, call our experienced Houston truck accident lawyers today at 713-622-7271, or you can send us a message using the contact form below. We will evaluate the facts of your truck accident claim and gather evidence to build a strong case on your behalf.
There is a never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.