Tragically, accidents involving commercial trucks such as 18-wheelers in Houston and other municipalities throughout the state of Texas are becoming more common. These accidents can be tragic because the victims involved are often severely injured or killed through no fault of their own.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, more than half a million truck accidents take place each year, resulting in about 5,000 fatalities. The Department of Transportation also reports that about 12 percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. are caused by truck accidents. In the majority of those accidents, the driver of the other vehicle is killed.
Here in Texas, where we have sprawling urban centers as well as long, empty stretches where it’s tempting for truck drivers to reach maximum speed, traffic accidents are increasing. According to statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation:
More than 300 accidents involving tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler trucks happened in Texas in 2014 – and there were over 100 more accidents involving other kinds of trucks.
The fatality rate on Texas roadways is rising. The rate of fatalities on Texas highways and roads in 2014 was 1.42 deaths per one hundred million vehicle miles traveled. That’s more than a 2 percent increase from the previous year.
Texas has also experienced an increase in the number of motor vehicle traffic fatalities overall. In 2014, the death toll of 3,534 was an increase of 3.7 percent over the number of deaths recorded in 2013.
It is important to note that a fatal trucking accident can be extraordinarily complex because of the potential involvement of multiple parties and intersecting state and federal laws. Cases of this type require handling by experienced trucking accident attorneys like those at The Krist Law Firm, P.C.
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C, our dedicated team of Houston fatal truck accident attorneys can help victims and their families to obtain the compensation that can help them move past a catastrophic collision with a commercial truck. Our lawyers have extensive experience with truck accident cases and are familiar with the business practices, training and safety regulations, and insurance requirements that govern commercial trucking. We have tried many of these cases and have a successful track record of getting results.
Why Contact Houston Wrongful Death Attorneys Immediately
Commercial trucking companies keep defense lawyers on standby in the event one of their 18-wheelers is involved in a catastrophic accident. That means the company that employed the driver that struck you is already working against you to deny liability — and investigate you as well.
Claims investigators hired by the trucking company travel to the scene of the accident in order to seek any evidence that may indicate their driver was not at fault. They will review the driver’s logs to determine whether the driver had enough federally mandated rest. The insurer may immediately contact the victim and their family to persuade them that they do not need an attorney and should instead consider a recovery.
The trucking company’s investigators also will retrieve GPS and satellite communications data that may indicate the truck driver was at fault. A trucking company typically won’t offer that data to an accident victim unless pressed by an attorney. Modern 18-wheelers also contain engine control systems that gather and store important information regarding the operation of the vehicle — this is the same type of device that airlines refer to as a “black box.” This data can be purged quickly by commercial trucking companies, and it can also be modified before a court order is issued to obtain it for the case.
All of this may happen while you are grieving the loss of your loved one and are in no mental condition to deal with legal matters. In the meantime, evidence that demonstrates liability on the part of the trucking company and its driver may be lost if you don’t have a wrongful death attorney acting on your behalf to preserve vital evidence and evaluate any potential recovery offers.
Fatalities in Texas Trucking Accidents
There may be a number of factors at work in a fatal trucking accident. Some common causes of preventable commercial truck accidents include:
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Faulty brake systems
Aggressive driving in dangerous road conditions
Improper safety equipment
Overloaded trucks and simple speeding
Truckers, just like anyone else on the road, have a legal obligation to operate their truck in a safe manner. When a driver kills someone because he or she was negligent, then the victim’s surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the truck driver or trucking company is liable for the victim’s death as a result of negligent or purposeful misconduct. Once liability has been determined, there are complex legal considerations regarding the appropriate level of compensation. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the surviving family members of someone killed in a commercial truck accident may receive compensation for funeral expenses, mental anguish, loss of their loved one’s financial contributions, and loss of their loved one’s companionship.
It is important to remember that Texas state laws limit the time period during which you can file a wrongful death lawsuit, so it is important to act quickly to protect your rights.
Contact Houston Fatal Truck Accident Attorneys For Legal Consult
The Houston fatal accident attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. have the skill, knowledge, and experience to handle your wrongful death claim arising from a commercial trucking accident. When you hire us, we’ll work diligently to obtain justice for your family and fair compensation for the loss of your loved one. Our lawyers perform a comprehensive factual investigation of the accident and exhaustive legal analysis of all possible claims. We also review the truck driver’s record for prior accidents, examine the driver’s traffic violations, look for drug or alcohol use, and assess any vehicle maintenance issues.
We will work closely with you throughout your case to keep you informed about the process and make sure you understand all of your options for recovery. Our compassionate truck accident lawyers will be there every step of the way to make sure your best interests are represented.
Find out more about what some of the finest and most committed attorneys in Texas can do for you when you have lost a loved one in a commercial truck accident by calling us at or contacting us online. We offer a free consultation and there are no fees unless you’re awarded compensation for your claim.