The size of an 18-wheeler is a significant threat to those in passenger cars whose average weight is less than 6,000 pounds. There are over half a million trucking accidents each year, over 5,000 deaths as a result of these accidents and many more traumatic and life-changing injuries. In fact, it is estimated that one in eight traffic deaths involve a large commercial truck. Texas in particular has seen dramatic increases in truck traffic on the roadways, resulting in an increase in trucking accidents. Texas also deals with unregulated trucks, particularly those from Mexico which enter the U.S. under the NAFTA agreement. The tragic consequences of trucking accidents can be compounded when a large commercial truck is carrying hazardous cargo which spills during the collision.
The Complexities of Trucking Accidents
Trucking lawsuits are much more complex than automobile accident lawsuits, primarily because there may be more than one defendant. It takes the knowledge and experience of a Houston personal injury lawyer to thoroughly evaluate each individual case and determine who should be held accountable. It could be the driver who was careless or negligent, the trucking company who hired the driver, the manufacturer of the truck or a particular truck part, the mechanic who performed maintenance on the truck, or a combination of these defendants who will be held responsible for a specific trucking accident. The attorneys of Sullo & Sullo, LLP have the necessary background and knowledge to effectively handle trucking accidents. Our attorneys work hard for trucking accident victims to ensure they receive an equitable settlement to cover medical expenses, lost wages and the pain and suffering which is often the aftermath of a trucking accident.
Causes of Trucking Accidents
Truckers drive incredibly long hours even though their schedules are federally governed. The income of truckers is completely dependent upon how many loads are delivered in the shortest amount of time. The trucking company who employs the truck drivers are primarily interested in their financial bottom line, causing them to overlook doctored log books and allow exhausted drivers to remain on the road. A large percentage of truckers are perpetually driving in an exhausted state, running on sheer force of will and large doses of caffeine. Further, many truck drivers get behind the wheel before they are sufficiently trained. This lack of training and education is the responsibility of the trucking company who employs the trucker, and many times they simply don’t afford this responsibility the seriousness it deserves. Many accidents are caused by unsecured or poorly secured cargo which shifts during the transport and can either slide from the trailer, likely causing multiple accidents or can make the truck top-heavy, causing it to turn offer during a turn.
Of course the drivers of passenger vehicles must take some of the responsibility for trucking accidents. Many automobile drivers are unaware that there are places on the sides and directly behind large trucks where the truck driver cannot see them and will be totally unaware of their presence. A car driving directly beside a large 18-wheeler could be sideswiped by a trucker changing lanes. In the same manner, a car driving directly behind a truck could slam into the back of the truck when the trucker makes an abrupt stop, unaware of the car behind. A good rule of thumb to follow when sharing the road with large commercial trucks is to remember that if you can’t see the driver in his side mirror, he likely cannot see you either. Finally, poor road design or adverse road conditions as well as inclement weather can all contribute to a potentially fatal truck accident.
Dealing With the Aftermath of a Trucking Accident
Those who survive a collision with an 18-wheeler are likely to be left with extreme injuries which may take weeks, months or even years to heal. In some cases lives are forever changed and dreams and hopes destroyed. Many who were in a truck accident are unable to return to work for a significant period of time—or even at all. Victims of truck accidents wonder whether their lives will ever return to anything resembling normal. There are medical bills which are mounting at a truly alarming rate and many surgeries, medical procedures or therapy in the future.
When the victim is unable to work, they may be unable to pay their normal living expenses. Further, the trauma of colliding with a huge truck can cause serious emotional issues including nightmares, PTSD, severe depression and chronic insomnia. Images of the truck accident may intrude without warning, and some people will experience difficulty breathing or their heart may feel as though it is going to leap out of their chest. Some victims even have difficulty getting behind the wheel of an automobile ever again.
Let Us Help You
The law firm of Sullo & Sullo, LLP will work with the necessary personnel to investigate your truck accident. Drivers will be deposed, log books subpoenaed, and GPS mechanisms analyzed. Our attorneys will negotiate on your behalf for a fair settlement, allowing you time to heal and put your life back together. Don’t try to deal with the legal complexities of your truck accident case—let us help you by doing what we do best. Our attorneys will offer you experience and compassion during this difficult time.
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