Humble Truck Accident Attorney
The Port of Houston is one of the busiest seaports in the United States. Frequently, longshoremen move large cargo carriers directly from a docked ship to a waiting semi-truck. When fully loaded, these vehicles weigh more than 80,000 pounds. And, they carry hundreds of gallons of explosive diesel fuel. So, when these trucks cause vehicle collisions, the victim’s injuries are often catastrophic.
Frequently, huge out-of-state transportation and shipping conglomerates own these trucks. These companies have almost unlimited resources, and they unabashedly use them to reduce or deny compensation to victims. But at The West Law Office, these defendants do not intimidate us. Instead, our Humble truck accident attorneys roll up our sleeves and get to work. Because we diligently build a strong claim for damages, we are generally able to settle these matters out of court. Due to the serious nature of the injuries, these settlements are usually substantial.
Duty of Care
Noncommercial drivers typically have a duty of reasonable care. These operators must drive defensively, obey the rules of the road, and avoid car accidents when possible.
Truck drivers, Uber drivers, taxi drivers, and other commercial operators typically have a duty of utmost care. Since they are professional drivers, they must go a step beyond in order to prevent accidents.
Distracted driving is a good example. If a noncommercial driver eats while driving, many Harris County jurors would not consider such behavior a breach of the duty of care. But if a truck driver eats while driving, the truck driver is probably negligent, because the duty of care is higher.
The victim/plaintiff has the burden of proof in a negligence case. A Humble truck accident attorney must establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). To meet this burden, our legal professionals usually partner with private investigators to collect evidence like:
- Event Data Recorder: A large truck’s EDR is much like a commercial jet’s black box flight data recorder. EDRs measure and store information like vehicle speed, brake application, and steering angle. This information is often critical in a vehicle collision claim.
- Safety Measurement System: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SMS database is essentially a multi-state driving record. The SMS database keeps track of things like collision history, vehicle maintenance history, and citation history.
- Electronic Logging Device: ELD data is very useful in drowsy truck driver claims. These claims are quite common. Most truckers stay on the road for dangerously long periods of time, so they can deliver their loads as quickly as possible. ELDs provide near-conclusive proof of HOS (Hours of Service) compliance or noncompliance.
Insurance company lawyers often use one of several defenses to reduce or deny compensation to the victim. Comparative fault is probably the most common insurance company defense. This legal loophole shifts blame for the accident from the tortfeasor (negligent driver) to the victim. It applies if, for example, the tortfeasor made an illegal lane change and the victim was speeding. The insurance company has the burden of proof on contributory negligence and any other defense.
Compensation in a truck accident claim usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages might be available as well, in some extreme cases.
Contact an Experienced Texas Truck Accident Attorney
Large truck accidents often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Humble, contact The West Law Office, PLLC. You have a limited amount of time to act.