As the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston is an important transportation hub. The Houston area has two “ring” freeways. Three interstate freeways (I-45, I-69 and I-10) converge in the middle of town. It is no wonder that Houston sees its share of traumatic 18-wheeler accidents. The average weight of a passenger car is 3,280 pounds. A trucking company can pack an 18-wheeler to the point that it weighs 80,000 pounds. And the frequency of these accidents is on the rise. If a truck accident has hurt you, or injured or killed friends or family, the experienced truck accident attorneys at the Rose Sanders Law Firm, PLLC, can help you.
The two partners of the Rose Sanders Law Firm, PLLC, are the husband-and-wife team of Erica Rose and Charles Sanders. They have diverse experiences. Ms. Rose attended the University of Houston Law Center where she served as President of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund. She also organized and spoke at the school’s Human Rights Gala. Mr. Sanders graduated from Michigan’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School. After working as a paralegal and later as an insurance adjuster, Mr. Sanders moved back to Houston to help accident victims.
The Causes of Truck Accidents
There are many causes of truck accidents. Some of the more common ones are:
Blind Spots: One common cause of truck accidents is that the truck driver can’t see all around the truck. This lack of visibility contributes to collisions with other vehicles or things. Blind spots don’t extend just to the sides of the truck. There is also a blind spot in front of an 18-wheeler because the hood is massive. Directly behind the truck is another blind spot.
Driver Fatigue: Driving a big rig is a demanding job. Truck drivers become more fatigued than passenger drivers because they drive for extended periods of time and have to handle a huge vehicle. To help address this problem, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has made rules for trucking companies that restrict driving hours. A driver is limited to 11 hours of driving in a 14-hour period. After that, the driver must take off at least 10 hours.
Failure to Inspect or Maintain Trucks: Trucking companies must take care to inspect and maintain 18-wheelers given how much they are driven. Among the things to inspect with each load are how well the brakes are working, whether the cargo is sufficiently strapped down, the orientation of the mirrors, whether the steering is loose and, of course, the condition of the tires.
Improper Stacking: The Surface Transportation Assistance Act set the minimum length of a semi-truck trailer at 48 feet. At a width of 8.5 feet and 13.5 feet high, a trailer carries a lot of freight. This freight can be of different kinds, That requires great care in loading to balance the trailer properly. If loaded improperly, the trailer’s cargo can shift and cause an accident.
Speeding: Driving over the speed limit also contributes to trucking company accidents. A fully loaded 18-wheeler takes quite a ways to stop. If the driver brakes too aggressively, then the trailer can jackknife. Going too fast around a curve can cause a rollover.
The Trucking Company and Other Defendants
An injured person, of the estate of a deceased, may be able to hold a range of defendants liable after an accident. The trucking company and the driver of the truck first spring to mind. But LegalTrends has made a list of additional, potential defendants.
Here is a summary of their suggestions:
- The company that owns, operates or leases the truck;
- The freight company, including the one responsible for loading the truck and maintaining it;
- The company that designed and built the truck;
- The manufacturer of the truck’s tires;
- The city or county that designed or constructed the road where the accident took place, and the city or county responsible for maintaining the road.
Truck Accident Injuries
A truck accident can cause serious injuries. Among the injuries are:
- Broken bones throughout the body;
- Burns from fire but also from chemicals being transported;
- Concussions to the brain;
- Injuries to the back, which can include damaged vertebrae and paralysis;
- Loss of a crushed limb, by amputation; and
- Whiplash and other neck injuries.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident in the Houston area, or a friend or family member has been injured or killed there, you should immediately contact the experienced trucking company accident attorneys at Rose Sanders Law Firm, PLLC, at the Contact Page or by dialing 713-231-9288. In no event should you speak with an insurance adjustor before you meet with a lawyer.