As Houston residents, we travel alongside large trucks every day on highways and city streets. 18-wheel vehicles are much larger than our passenger cars, and this is especially true with oversize or extra wide loads. Some of these trucks begin their journeys in Houston’s industrial and manufacturing industries, and others use our highways as they pass through Texas. Commercial drivers who operate these large vehicles need special training to deal with the risks of their jobs. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of truck accidents every year in the Houston area. You can suffer horrific and even deadly harm if you are in one of these wrecks. While you have the right to recover damages against a negligent truck company, these cases can be very hard fought.
Contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. to speak with an experienced Houston truck accident lawyer. We have years of experience fighting for clients to recover compensation from careless truck drivers or companies. To schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case, contact us today at (281) 283-8500.
Safety Requirements for Oversized and Wide Load Trucks
Oversized and wide load trucks must have appropriate signs and flags to make them easily visible by others. It can also be difficult for the drivers of these large vehicles to see their surroundings. Furthermore, the cargo that they are hauling must be placed on the truck with particular care. If the load is not properly put in place, the truck can tip over and cause an accident or harm drivers and pedestrians.
The Texas Department of Transportation requires a special permit for vehicles that are hauling oversized or extra wide loads. This is in addition to special rules and regulations that the state and federal government require for trucking companies and their drivers. Requirements for an oversize or extra wide pull permit include:
- Performing a route study – Before these vehicles are on the road, someone from the trucking company must physically inspect the route to make sure that it’s safe for the large truck. This study must be shared with the state.
- Submit travel date(s) – The state of Texas must be informed of the date(s) during which the truck will be on the road. This is to ensure that road maintenance or other large trucks do not cause danger for the vehicle.
- Submitting weight and size information – The specific size and weight of the vehicle must be submitted to authorities. In part, this can help officials make sure that the truck is not too heavy for its planned route.
Dangers Posed By Oversize or Wide Truck Loads
However, truckers operating large trucks must constantly be prepared to deal with dangers and hazards while on the road. A sudden distraction, loose object, or bad weather can make things very dangerous around an oversize or wide load truck.
Every truck accident is different, and there are countless ways a careless driver can cause a serious wreck. However, many oversize and wide truck load accidents that we have seen are caused by the following:
- Inability to clear an overhead obstacle – If not properly calculated, a bridge or other obstacle can be struck by the top of these extra-large vehicles. This can cause the truck to tip over or lose its cargo which can result in an accident.
- Failure to stop in time – The weight of an oversize truck is generally much more than for a regular 18-wheeler. If the driver fails to slow down in time, they can be surprised at how quickly they will run into another vehicle, building, or pedestrian.
- Jackknifing – Coming to a sudden stop can be a serious problem for a truck that is hauling a heavy trailer. Sometimes the trailer will slide to the side where it can strike other vehicles and cause considerable damage.
- Blown tires – A truck’s tires must be able to withstand a load, but unfortunately, this is not always the case with oversize truck cargo. These vehicles are extremely heavy, and careless drivers or owners sometimes do not have tires that can make the voyage.
How a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Our team has years of experience representing clients in negotiations against large companies. If we cannot secure an acceptable settlement offer, we know how to take your case to court to fight for you to recover the damages you need. After an accident with an oversized or wide load truck, you can seek damages for the following:
- Medical costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Physical limitations
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we have investigated many truck accidents in Houston and throughout Texas. To speak with one of our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers call (281) 283-8500 today, or reach out through the online form.