Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
Houston is a hub of commercial activity, including shipping, drilling and refineries, and is home to the second-largest port in the United States and one of the largest ports in the world. With Interstate 10 cutting through Houston on its way from Florida to California, and I-45 connecting Houston to Dallas and points north on I-35, commercial activity in Houston connects the world with cities throughout the United States. It’s no wonder, then, that Houston roads and highways see their fair share of commercial vehicle truck traffic at all hours of the day and night, as well as their fair share of trucking accidents.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 35,635 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes occurred in Texas in 2017. These crashes caused 8,244 injuries, 1,529 serious injuries, and took the lives of 601 people. Truck crashes in Harris County occurred far more often than in any other Texas county. Here there were 5,876 crashes in 2017, causing 1,615 injuries, 143 serious injuries and 47 deaths. The saddest fact of all is that nearly all of these accidents could have been avoided had the at-fault driver taken better care to drive carefully and attentively.
Truck accidents cause severe injuries, place extraordinary costs on the victims, and are hard-fought by insurance companies to limit their liability. You need skilled, talented lawyers on your side who have the experience and resources needed to take on giant trucking companies and their insurers and hold them accountable for the harm they have caused. The Houston truck accident lawyers at Livingston & Flowers are the team you want when you or a loved one has been harmed in a truck accident.
What makes trucking accidents so dangerous and severe?
A fully-loaded tractor-trailer weighs as much as 80,000 pounds (40 tons). In comparison, the average passenger vehicle weighs about 4,000 pounds (two tons). A single tractor-trailer is about 80 feet long, compared to about 15 feet for an average car (more than five times longer). The enormous size and weight of a semi-truck can deliver devastating destructive force to a much smaller, lighter passenger vehicle. The force of an impact increases with speed, but immense damage can occur even at relatively low non-highway speeds. The weight of 18-wheelers also greatly increases their stopping distances and requires additional reaction time on the part of the driver, and the size and shape of the big rigs put blind spots for the truck driver in front of the cab, behind the trailer for several car lengths, and for one or more lanes on either side of the truck. All of these factors combine to make trucks potentially dangerous and deadly in the case of an accident.
What causes truck accidents in Houston?
Some of the leading causes of Houston truck accidents are:
- Lack of truck driver training or experience
- Trailers that are unbalanced or overloaded
- Trucks with tires in need of replacement
- Trucks with brakes in need of repair
- Trucks with malfunctioning signal lights
- Pressure and incentives for truckers to drive faster than is safe or for more hours than is safe
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of stimulants
- Fatigued driving
Fatigued or drowsy driving is a very real problem for truck drivers, who are paid and pressured to deliver their loads as quickly as they can. Federal regulations limit the hours of service of truck drivers, but even these so-called safety rules are overly generous to the trucker and trucking company, and to the trucking company government lobbies who help write the rules. Consider the following:
- Truckers are allowed to drive for up to 11 hours before being required to take as little as ten hours off.
- Truckers can be on the clock (loading, driving, unloading) for up to 14 hours a day
- Truckers can work up to 60 hours in a seven-day workweek or up to 70 hours in an eight-day “week,” before being required to take off as little as 34 hours (less than 1 ½ days) to restart their week.
- A recently-drafted safety requirement that the 34-hour reset include two overnight periods was suspended after pressure from the trucking industry lobby
Every year safety organizations and governments conduct safety inspections of trucks on the road, and every year thousands of vehicles are immediately pulled from service because of safety violations on the trucks, licensing problems with the drivers, or violations of the already-generous hours of service rules. Inspections routinely uncover falsified logs and records intended to hide these violations. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, you need the help of skilled, knowledgeable and aggressive truck accident attorneys who can build a strong case to get you the care and compensation you need and deserve.
Call Livingston & Flowers after a Houston Truck Accident
After a truck accident, call Livingston & Flowers at 713-489-4400 for a free consultation with our team of dedicated and experienced Houston truck accident lawyers. Our goal is to help you get the care you need and the compensation you deserve.