18-wheelers and commercial trucks are a common sight on the Texas roadways. With so many of these huge vehicles in tow, it stands to reason that accidents involving them are simply inevitable. Though cargo carriers are a huge part of our state’s economy, their size and prevalence create the potential for very serious 18 wheeler accidents. 

Determining fault in these cases can be difficult, and requires an experienced accident attorney.  Commercial vehicles and commercial drivers are subject to a number of state and federal regulations that must be followed to safely operate on Texas roadways.  The failure to comply with these state and federal regulations generally does not become apparent until an experienced accident attorney has an opportunity to investigate the accident.

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What Are The Most Common Types of 18-Wheeler Accidents in Houston?

The size of an 18-wheeler makes it prone to several different kinds of accidents. The most common of these accidents include:

  • Rear end accidents
  • Rollover accidents 
  • Jackknife accidents 
  • Under-ride accidents 
  • Unsecured load accidents 
  • Tire blowout accidents

What Are The Most Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents?

There are many factors that contribute to 18-wheeler accidents. Some of the most common contributing factors include:

  • Driver fatigue 
  • Driver error 
  • Distracted driving
  • Cell phone use 
  • Unsecured cargo
  • Inadequate training 
  • Improper maintenance 
  • Malfunctioning part of the equipment 
  • Dangerous weather 
  • Road defect

Unfortunately, lack of proper supervision is a huge contributing factor to 18-wheeler accidents. Many trucking companies may even encourage their drivers to drive longer than they should, even when this is illegal.

What’s the Difference Between an 18-Wheeler Accident and a Regular Car Accident?

There are two main differences between 18-wheeler accidents and more typical car accidents.

  • Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to federal and state regulations that don’t apply to other motor vehicles. 
  • Several parties that may be liable for an 18-wheeler accident aren’t normally liable in other motor vehicle accidents.  

Texas Truck Drivers Compliance

As for the first reason, let’s expand a little. Truck drivers and trucking companies in Texas must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as well as other state laws. These laws address everything from cargo weight to the number of hours a truck driver can drive per week. 

If a truck driver or trucking company violates these laws and an accident occurs, proving liability becomes much easier.

Contract Trucks

For the second reason, a truck driver doesn’t always own his own truck. There may be a contracting company that hires the driver or a cargo company that pays the driver’s employer. 

In some cases, multiple parties might be at fault for the accident. Texas follows the comparative fault rule. What this means is that the degree to which you can recover damages is limited to your own degree of fault.

For instance, if you are 30% at-fault and the truck driver is 70% at-fault, you may only be able to recover 70% of the possible damages.

What Damages Can I Recover From an 18 Wheeler Accident in Houston?

In a personal injury case, you can recover damages for your lost wages, medical bills, as well as less tangible “pain and suffering” damages. 

Recoverable damages in an oilfield or oil rig accident include:

  • Past lost wages
  • Future loss of earning capacity
  • Past and future mental anguish 
  • Past and future pain and suffering 
  • Past and future medical expenses 
  • Personal or household expenses as a result of your injuries 

How Do I Calculate Damages of 18 Wheeler Accidents?

The amount of damages you recover will be a combination of medical bills and other expenses, as well as wages you may have earned while you are recovering. However, as you can see, there are also potential damages that are more difficult to calculate. 

It’s impossible, really, to put a price tag on pain and suffering. For this reason, if you are seeking compensation in a personal injury claim, it is essential that you have an attorney experienced in personal injury. An experienced attorney like Trey Barton can use his personal experience and knowledge to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.    

For a free consultation, call 832-916-2526 or fill out the case review today!

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When the insurance company calls you, call me! The insurance company is interested in resolving your case for the smallest amount of money possible. They don’t care about you, your family, your injury, or what it will take to make you whole. They want to resolve your case before you have a chance to speak to a personal injury attorney that knows what you are entitled to recover. Act now to protect your legal rights! Contact me today for a free case evaluation.