Truck Accidents

With increased trucking traffic on major Texas roadways such as Interstate 35, State Highway 45 and U.S. Highway 183 and more rural roads near oil and gas drilling fields like the Eagle Ford Shale and the Barnett Shale, accidents involving trucks of all sizes are increasing.

At Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend, our Texas truck accident attorneys handle catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases involving semi trucks throughout Texas.

If you have been in involved in an 18-wheeler accident or suffered a severe injury from a tractor trailer accident in Texas, Abraham Watkins can help you. Please contact us online or call now 800-580-9121 for an immediate consultation with a trucking accident lawyer in Houston.

When You Need A Houston Truck Accident Attorney, Call Us

Our truck accident attorneys have a thorough understanding of federal and state trucking law and a strong commitment to achieving positive results for injured people in negotiations and in trial.

Firm partner Randall O. Sorrels is a member of the national advisory board for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America (AITLA), which works to help eliminate unsafe and illegal interstate trucking practices.

Causes of Truck Accidents

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A number of factors can cause trucking accidents. When investigating a Texas 18-wheeler, big rig or commercial truck accident, it is important to ask:

  • Was the driver fatigued? Did the driver have prior accidents, speeding tickets or a DUI charge?
  • Was the driver intoxicated or under the influence of drugs?
  • Was the driver using a cellphone, texting while driving or otherwise distracted?
  • Was the company negligent in the hiring and retention of drivers?
  • Was the accident a result of an unsafe or unbalanced load?
  • What were the trucking company's safety and training policies?
  • What logbook requirements did the company have? Were driver logs falsified?
  • Were defective tires or other defective equipment responsible for the accident?
  • Was the truck properly maintained?

Other Trucking Safety Issues

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Trucking safety issues in Texas and nationwide range from inadequate truck maintenance to a failure to comply with all required trucking regulations.

According to a recent study by the American Trucking Association, the transportation industry will need 110,000 more drivers by 2014.* This shortage of drivers will likely compound the challenge of truck driver safety. High turnover among drivers and inadequate training and maintenance plague the 18-wheeler and commercial trucking industries creating a moving danger for all who share the road with these massive machines.

With the oil and gas boom, commercial vehicle traffic has been increasing on the roads to and from oil fields, drilling sites and shale plays — including the Eagle Ford Shale and Barnett Shale plays. The drilling rush has only increased the shortage of oil field truck drivers, which means that drivers of large semis and commercial trucks are often inexperienced and more apt to be involved in serious truck accidents. In addition, the wear-and-tear caused by oversized vehicles on rural Texas roads has created dangerous conditions that may lead to increased car-truck accidents.

Life-Changing Injuries

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When a heavy truck — like an 18-wheeler, semi or tractor-trailer — crashes into a car, SUV or motorcycle, the result is almost always catastrophic injury or death. The cost of medical treatment and ongoing care in cases involving spinal cord injuries (including paraplegia and quadriplegia), brain injuries and loss of limbs is typically very high.

We have a medical doctor on staff to help us determine the severity of injuries and their likely long-term consequences. We want you and your family to have the compensation you need to move forward in your lives.

Cell Phone Use

With thousands of tons of cargo resting on 18 wheels, it is important for commercial truck drivers to be aware of their surroundings and in full control of their truck at all times. When they fail to uphold that responsibility, the results can be disastrous, even fatal.

Truck drivers should not be using cellphones or smartphones while on the road. It places all other drivers at risk of suffering catastrophic injuries and even death.

If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a trucking accident involving cellphone use, it is important to have one of our attorneys begin investigating the circumstances surrounding your accident as soon as possible.

We cannot stress enough the importance of early investigation after a truck accident, especially when distracted driving, texting while driving or otherwise using a handheld cellphone while trucking is involved.

Federal regulations have strictly prohibited truck drivers who travel across state lines from using a handheld mobile device while behind the wheel of a big rig. Although Texas has not passed a similar state law banning texting or talking on a cellphone while driving a truck, it is possible that, with a thorough investigation, a truck accident attorney can prove that the driver who caused your injuries in a distracted driving truck crash was breaking federal law.

Texting While Driving

Federal and state truck safety regulations - including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) - strictly govern cellphone use, texting and other distractions that can impact commercial vehicle operation. Unfortunately, truck drivers often ignore these regulations and many have become overconfident in their ability to text or talk on the phone and drive at the same time.

These distractions - both mental and physical - can result in serious accidents with catastrophic, and sometimes fatal, results.

Whether drivers are sending or receiving a text, they are not able to effectively carry out their responsibilities as drivers: paying attention to their surroundings and remaining in complete control of the vehicle. Studies have shown that sending and receiving text messages are some of the most dangerous activities to do while driving. When that person is driving a multi-ton vehicle, the consequences of his or her decision to text are all too often forced on others with whom they share the road.

Our attorneys will conduct a detailed investigation into an accident to determine how and why the crash happened. We will review the police report, cellphone records, interviews with witnesses and other important evidence. We will pursue full compensation on your behalf when a truck driver's text changes your life.

Contact Us For a Free Consultation Today

Many commercial trucking firms have an investigator at the accident site before you are even checked into your hospital room. It is important to investigate the cause of a truck accident as early as possible. Evidence of the trucking company's liability that could be found at the scene may not be preserved.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact an experienced trucking accident lawyer by calling 713-587-9668.

* Source: Houston Chronicle, 12/21/08