Keep in mind that there are no caps on economic and non-economic damages in Texas so the settlement you can get depends on the severity of your injuries as well as on the skill of your attorney.
Texas is the most dangerous state for truck accident fatalities and the area around Houston recorded the largest number of crashes involving commercial vehicles in 2020. According to statistics, in 2020 there were 4,915 crashes involving semis in Harris county. As such crashes often result in multiple victims, this means that well over 5,000 families in and around Houston have to deal with the consequences. Families destroyed by the loss of a loved one, families trying to make ends meet while one of their own is in hospital fighting for their lives. Besides the terrible emotional toll, it soon becomes a question of money. How can you get damages for a truck accident in Houston? If you were recently injured or you lost someone in such a crash, the best thing you can do is to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Houston truck accident lawyer to understand what your options are.
How do you determine liability in a Texas truck accident?
The most challenging part of the claim process is determining who is liable for damages. In a truck accident there can be more than one party liable for damages as such cases are more complex than regular car collisions.
Most truck accidents are caused by some type of driver error or traffic rules violation, such as speeding, failing to yield right of way or distracted driving. However, a knowledgeable Texas truck accident lawyer will always dig deeper, trying to see whether the trucking company can also be held accountable for what happened.
Let’s take a common accident cause, like a faulty brake system. The trucker must perform an inspection of the vehicle before taking to the road, but he cannot be held accountable for a mechanical failure. That’s the job of the trucking company which is required to perform regular maintenance of its vehicles. It is their duty to check that the vehicle is roadworthy. If the brake system fails on the highway there’s little the driver can do to prevent an accident. In such a case, a skilled lawyer will file claims against the driver’s insurance as well as against his employer’s insurer.
In some cases, you can claim damages from the manufacturer of a faulty part.
Another big problem with large trucks is the load they carry. If the truck is overloaded or the cargo is not properly secured and balanced, the vehicle can easily get out of control. A sudden shift of the load will make it impossible for the driver to maintain control over the vehicle. Some of them take desperate actions which later on might be judged as errors, but those responsible for loading the truck should also be held accountable.
How can a lawyer help?
A smart lawyer will conduct an independent investigation into the crash to determine who may be liable for damages. Also, when you hire a lawyer they will be in charge of negotiating with the insurance company and they will make sure you get all the damages you deserve. Keep in mind that there are no caps on economic and non-economic damages in Texas so the settlement you can get depends on the severity of your injuries as well as on the skill of your attorney. In gross negligence cases, you may also be awarded punitive damages, which are capped at $200,000 or two times the economic damages, plus an equal amount of non-economic damages to a maximum of $750,000.