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Houston, TX 77027

Big Rig Accident Attorneys in Houston


Do You Need a Big Rig Wreck Attorney for Your Case?

big rig crash

Getting into a regular car accident is stressful enough. Big rig accidents, however, are terrifying. These massive trucks carry much more weight than the average passenger vehicle, not to mention their reduced stopping ability from all that cargo. The best decision you can make after a big rig accident is choosing one of the top big rig accident attorneys in Houston.

At Reich & Binstock, we ensure that your case has as much supporting evidence as possible. This allows us to be trial-ready if your case comes to that. When you hire Reich & Binstock as your big rig accident lawyers, you hire one of the best personal injury teams in all of Texas.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a big rig accident due to negligence, you need Reich & Binstock of Houston. We’ve handled some very large, very complicated cases over the years. Why not put our experience and knowledge to use for yourself? To schedule a free consultation with our experienced professionals, please give us a call today at 713-622-7271. No matter the details of your case, we pledge to always put our best foot forward, and fight for your rights.

How Dangerous Are Trucking Accidents in Houston?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 4,761 people died in truck crashes in 2017. These numbers don’t begin to account for the many people who survive truck accidents with serious injuries.

Houston highways are subject to heavy truck traffic. This volume of truck traffic puts Houston residents at an added risk of suffering injuries in truck accidents. Furthermore, oilfield traffic and other large trucks on the road can pose an added risk to passenger vehicles.

Many Houston truck accident lawyers already know that truck accident claims in the area are heavily associated with higher rates of personal injury and wrongful death. When the inherent dangers of big rigs mix with the dangers of a busy, crowded city, this increases the likelihood of a serious accident.

Injured victims and family members of deceased victims should speak with a qualified semi-truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Doing so will ensure you are prepared for a trucking accident claim.

What Is a Big Rig?

big rig wreck attorney

Many terms exist for this type of commercial vehicle. But does each unique term have its own specific differences? All big rigs are commercial trucks, but not all commercial trucks are big rigs. Drivers of these vehicles must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

In general, drivers and companies use these vehicles to haul large amounts of different products nationwide. Big rigs and 18-wheeler trucks are synonymous terms. However, other commercial vehicles exist as well, such as tanker trucks, cement trucks, and delivery vehicles. Each one has a different appearance and purpose.

Most big rig trucks have 18 wheels total and can carry weighing over 40,000 lbs. Their gross weights can even exceed 80,000. The high number of wheels exists to spread that massive weight over a larger area.

When negligence leads to a big rig truck crash, injured victims have the right to speak with a semi-truck accident lawyer and file a claim or compensation.

Why Are Big Rig Convoys Illegal?

Big rigs are highly dangerous vehicles all on their own. That’s why, to even drive one, you must have a special Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). However, what if multiple trucks on the road form a convoy, or chain of vehicles close together on the road? Why is this extremely frowned upon and dangerous?

Basically, convoys have a tendency to block roadways, even if unintentionally. Impeding traffic alone is enough to present some form of danger to those around you. Additionally, convoys often result in a chain of vehicles driving closely together, which impedes the ability of the drivers in the chain to stop in the event of a collision.

Big rigs need plenty of space to properly stop their vehicles, especially on high-speed highways. Therefore, driving close together, or tailgating, is extremely dangerous for both the big rigs involved and surrounding passenger vehicles.

Although many truck drivers enjoy convoys, they’re often not the safest idea. If you were injured in a truck accident caused by an illegal convoy, contact an attorney to get started on your truck accident claim as soon as possible.

What Are the Unique Dangers of Big Rig Accidents?

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Many personal vehicle drivers on the road instinctively feel the inherent danger associated with big rigs because of their massive size and weight. The average midsize vehicle weighs around 3,300, while the average unloaded big rig weighs around 35,000. This is its weight without any cargo, and it already weighs more than 10 times the average car.

Seasoned truck accident attorneys know what makes these trucks dangerous and more likely to cause wrongful death in an accident. Several risk factors are associated with big rig truck accidents, including the following.

Semi-truck blind spots are much larger than blind spots for passenger vehicles. The areas around a big rig that are considered blind spots are directly in front of the cab’s bumper, directly behind the trailer, and on either side of the trailer.

If a truck driver fails to properly check their blind spots before turning or changing lanes, this could lead to a blind spot accident.

It is very common for big rigs to haul trailers that have tens of thousands of pounds of cargo in them. After all, this is the intended purpose of a big rig. When cargo and shipping companies load these large trailers, they have a responsibility to load them evenly and secure them properly.

Having insecure or unbalanced cargo loads can decrease the stability of such large vehicles, therefore increasing the risk of an accident. Truck accident victims injured due to improperly loaded cargo may be able to sue the cargo company for damages.

Big trucks also need to make wider turns than passenger cars, often across multiple lanes of traffic. These wide turns help them avoid hitting obstacles or curbs. Even if their vehicles have signs warning other drivers of these wide turns, truck drivers still have a duty to protect others from danger. Without exercising great care during a turn, collisions may occur.

Truck drivers often work long, late hours that get very boring very quickly. These long hours often result in truck driver fatigue, which can be dangerous on busy highways. Driving while drowsy has similar effects to drunk driving in that it decreases your reaction time, makes you less alert, and hinders your judgment.

Not only do the size and weight of a big rig make it more destructive, but they also make it more difficult for these trucks to stop. Trucks carrying heavy loads need a lot more room to stop their vehicles than the average car, which is one of the many contributing factors for truck accidents.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Big Rig Accidents?

Just like car accidents, big rig accidents have many different causes. Some of these causes, however, are much more common than others. One of the goals of attorneys in truck accident cases is to identify the specific cause of the accident.

Below, the truck accident lawyers at Reich & Binstock list some of the most common causes of big rig accidents.

Human error. Let’s face it: nobody’s perfect. Every driver makes mistakes once in a while. However, at the wrong time and place, mistakes can be deadly. According to the FMCSA, around 80% of truck-related crashes occur due to driver error.

Speeding. Truck driving is a very demanding job with mileage requirements and tight time constraints. Because of this, many truck drivers might be tempted to exceed the speed limit to travel more miles or make better time.

Driver fatigue. This is an extremely serious and prevalent problem in the trucking industry. Even though the hours that truckers are allowed to drive in a certain time period are limited by law, they still experience extreme pressure to meet deadlines. Because of this, many drivers feel that they have to stay awake much longer than is healthy, all to make a deadline.

Distracted driving or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Many truckers, because of their schedules, lead solitary lives. For this reason, they might make the mistake of driving distracted or under the influence.

Lack of training. Trucking companies have a duty to properly train and prepare their employees for life on the road. If truck companies fail to do this, they open the door to potential accidents.

Poor maintenance. Many companies have their own maintenance crews. If their mechanics fail to properly repair or keep up the big rigs, it could cause a crash and lead to truck accident lawsuits.

Roadway problems. If the roads are either in poor condition or slick from rain, these factors could contribute to an accident, through no fault of anyone in particular.

Vehicle malfunction. Sometimes, parts break or fail to work properly. Even if all parties responsible for the truck and its operations do their jobs correctly, vehicle malfunctions can cause accidents.

What Happens if You’re in an Accident With a Big Rig?

big rig accident attorney houston

After your big rig accident, it is important to take certain steps as you recover. All drivers should know how to handle a collision, but not everyone understands how to handle a big rig accident. The best course of action for anyone involved in a big rig accident can include the following actions.

  • Seek medical attention. Always ensure that you do not need immediate help before checking on others at the crash scene.
  • Do not admit fault. Refuse to make a definitive decision about fault, and especially avoid signing anything.
  • Call the police to report the accident, then call your insurance company to report the accident. Give brief statements to both, but do not accept settlement offers from the insurance company. Chances are, they’re trying to lowball you.
  • Take information from all drivers involved, as well as witnesses. This information includes driver’s license numbers, phone numbers, and other relevant information.
  • Take notes and pictures of the scene. Memories fade with time, so securing written or photo evidence is essential to your case. Even take notes about weather and roadway conditions. No detail is too small in a personal injury case.
  • Document your time off. To estimate the damages for your lost wages, note the days or hours you miss work for recovery, doctor visits, and more. Also, document the wages you lost as a result of the accident.

Once you have done the above, contact an experienced truck accident attorney immediately. An attorney will guide you through the claims process and fight for full compensation on your behalf while you focus on your recovery.

What Compensation Can I Recover in a Big Rig Accident Lawsuit?

This depends largely on who we determine to be at fault for the accident. While many people would likely assume the big rig driver to be at fault, this is not always the case. Sometimes, they did everything right, but somebody else messed up along the way. In other cases, more than one party is to blame for the accident.

Depending on the specific facts of different big rig crash cases, victims may be able to seek the following forms of compensation.

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Transportation costs for medical treatment
  • Attorney fees
  • Wrongful death damages, such as funeral and burial expenses

What Is the Time Limit to File a Big Rig Accident Claim in Texas?

The Texas personal injury statute of limitations for filing a big rig accident claim is exactly two years from the crash date. Failing to meet this two-year requirement would likely get your case turned down in a civil court. We recommend filing your claim as soon as possible. Not only does it look better in the eyes of the court, but it also ensures that your information and memories of the crash are fresh in your mind.

How Can a Big Rig Accident Lawyer Help Me?

Having an attorney for any legal matter is always a good idea. However, in the event of a truck accident, big rig accident attorneys are absolutely essential. These cases are highly complicated and often involve multiple parties.

Because of this, you definitely need an attorney at your side for your case. Below, we list more reasons we recommend hiring a big rig accident lawyer.

  • Lawyers investigate the accidents themselves, using their knowledge and experience of past cases to look out for important evidence.
  • We handle all the paperwork, so you won’t have to. This eliminates the possibility of forgetting something important.
  • We ensure that you get the appropriate medical care for your injuries, and handle the insurance companies for you.
  • Our team will file the lawsuit on your behalf. The stress of filing a lawsuit is removed when we do this as your representative.
  • If necessary, we appeal your case if the verdict favors the trucking company.

How Is Big Rig Wreck Liability Determined?

The truck accident lawyers who work with you on your case will have the knowledge and training necessary to investigate your claim for evidence of negligence. To properly determine fault, your truck accident lawyer will gather evidence such as accident reports, black box data, witness testimony, and much more to show who had a hand in causing the crash.

Investigation of truck and car accident claims is one of the most important roles an attorney can play in your case. While you focus on healing from your post-crash injuries, we build a strong case to support your claim.

Liable Parties for Big Rig Accidents in Texas

Below, we list the possible responsible parties for big rig accidents in Texas:

  • The big rig driver
  • Trucking company
  • Company leasing the truck
  • Company leasing the trailer
  • The shipper who loads the supplies and cargo onto the trailer
  • Manufacturers of parts, trailers, or trucks

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Big Rig Accident?

big rig accident attorneys houston

This question is difficult to answer, as each truck crash is unique. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, as well as its severity, truck accident settlements may take anywhere from a few months to a few years. Some cases may not settle at all and instead go to trial. The only way to get an idea of how long your case might take is to speak with a skilled truck accident law firm as soon as possible.

Call a Houston Big Rig Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to a trucking accident, you need the big rig accident attorneys at Reich & Binstock. Commercial vehicle accident cases are complicated, so let us handle the hard stuff for you. To schedule your free consultation with a qualified professional, contact a big rig accident lawyer with our firm today. Give us a call at 713-622-7271, or visit our website to learn more about how we can help you.

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There is never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.
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