Have you or a loved one been involved in a big rig accident in Angleton, TX? If so, you may be facing significant medical bills, lost wages, and emotional trauma. These types of accidents can be devastating, and it can be challenging to know where to turn for help. That’s where a Big Rig Accident Attorney in Angleton, TX can come in. They have the experience and knowledge needed to help you navigate the legal system and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Scott M. Brown & Associates’ experienced big rig accident attorney knows the devastating impact a collision may have on your life and the lives of a loved one.We will assist you in understanding the alternatives and determining the best next course of action in your particular scenario. Please contact us for an initial consultation.
What is a Big Rig?
A semi-truck, also known as a tractor-trailer, is a two-part truck that consists of a tractor, the truck element with the engine, and an attached trailer. The tractor or cab is occupied by the operator, and a trailer, generally loaded with cargo, is attached to the tractor.
Tractor-trailers in the United States usually consist of 3 axles: the front or steer axle and 2 rear or drive axles. The steer axle typically has two wheels, but the drive axle often has a set of double wheels on either side of the axle. For the most popular kind, this corresponds to 10 wheels altogether, with 8 wheels on the rear end. The trailer cannot move on its own since it only has wheels at the back.
In the United States, big rigs are also known as 18-wheelers and semi-trailer vehicles. They are most often known as articulated lorries, artics, or trucks and trailers in the United Kingdom. Semis are what Australians and Canadians call them. In the United Kingdom, extremely huge interconnected vehicles are referred to as juggernauts.
What are the facts about big rig accidents?
The incidence of big rig accidents has risen in recent years. Other troubling tendencies emerged as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states:
- The number of heavy truck collisions increased by 4% between 2016 and 2017, from 112,000 in 2016 to 116,000 in 2017.
- Between 2016 and 2017, the number of fatalities in heavy truck collisions climbed by 9%. In 2016, there were 4,369 fatalities, compared to 4,761 in 2017.
- In 2017, 3,450 or 72% of the 4,761 deaths were occupants of other cars.
Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted that 5,005 people were killed in heavy truck collisions in the United States in 2019, with 159,000 more wounded. Large trucks are defined by the organization as vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Approximately 538,000 heavy tractor trailer crashes occurred in the same period.
If you or a loved one was injured in a transportation accident, our Scott M. Brown & Associates attorneys can advise you on your legal options.
What Are The Causes of Angleton Truck Accidents?
Identifying the culpable parties and pinpointing the cause of your accident are critical components of every truck accident claim. The majority of truck accidents are avoidable. The collision that resulted in your injuries might have been caused by many persons or corporations. Truck drivers, transportation firms, truck manufacturers, and even road staff may all be held accountable. We have laws in Texas that control the persons and businesses that might have caused your truck accident. If the collision was caused by a breach of the law, you or someone you care about may be in pain currently. The aforementioned laws and regulations are intended to promote safety, restrict risk, and provide for rehabilitation if someone is wounded in an accident.
You may eventually be unconcerned about the “why” or “how” of your mishap. You were there when everything happened, and now you must overcome it and get back on your feet. However, the specifics of why the incident happened are critical in showing another party’s liability in court. It is critical to thoroughly comprehend the problem and collect the necessary proof. In most cases, it is not difficult to determine why the incident happened. Many trucking accidents are the result of:
- Fatigued Truck Drivers: Despite the federal Hours of Service Regulations determine stringent limitations for how long truckers and other interstate commercial drivers may stay on the highway without taking a break, a great deal of trucking businesses imposed absurd plans that compel their truckers to push, and sometimes exceed, these constraints. As a result, many truckers are just too weary and overworked to run their rigs properly.
- Driving Under the Influence: Even though laws in the United States restrict truckers along with other transportation workers from using their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, research indicates that alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines, and cocaine are commonly used by truckers, particularly those attempting to cope with extended hours or poor working conditions.
- Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is especially risky when a fifteen-ton 18-wheeler or other large truck is rushing down the highway or trying to cross urban roads with minimal maneuvering space. To keep on schedule and deliver their goods on the clock, many truckers will utilize mobile devices, laptops installed in their automobiles, and occasionally consume meals on the way.
- Poor Maintenance and Equipment Malfunctions: Despite government rules demand that 18-wheelers and other large business vehicles go through periodic service and assessments, the Large Truck Crash Causation Study estimates that 10% of all commercial operations trucking accidents are due to of issues with the automobile itself.
- Improperly Loaded Cargo: Whenever merchandise is inadequately loaded and changes during transit, a semi-truck can become unbalanced, causing the driver to go out of control and crash.
- Impatient, Reckless, or Aggressive Truckers: Tailgating, irregular lane shifting, hazardous overtaking maneuvers, and other bad driving behaviors all result in a high proportion of transport-related incidents.
- Speeding: when compared to cars for passengers, a large truck or 18-wheeler takes substantially longer to stop in a dire situation, particularly while going at a high rate of speed. Excessive speed was responsible for around 45% of fatal truck and 18-wheeler collisions in the United States in 2018.
Who Is Liable in the Event of a Big Rig Accident?
Proving culpability after a truck accident is much more difficult than establishing responsibility after a simple car-to-car collision. Following a truck accident, a variety of parties may be held legally liable for a victim’s injuries and other losses (“damages”), including:
- the driver of the truck
- the vehicle or trailer’s owner
- the freight truck
- the truck manufacturer, or even a components manufacturer
- A municipal government or contractor in charge of roadway design or maintenance.
If many parties are at fault in a truck accident, you may be able to get the most from your payout by filing numerous claims.
Truck Driver Liability
You might sue a truck driver if he or she caused an accident due to negligent behavior such as drowsy or distracted driving or speeding. Since a truck driver is normally responsible for examining the vehicle for servicing and ensuring that cargo is properly loaded, if a mechanical fault or cargo shift causes to a truck accident, the trucker may be at least partially to blame.
However, because a truck driver’s liability insurance may not be sufficient to properly pay you for your injuries, your lawyer will almost certainly hunt for other possibly liable parties, such as the trucking company.
Liability of a Trucking Company
Trucking corporations may attempt to avoid trucking accident responsibility by asking drivers to own their vehicles as standalone owner-operators. However, a trucking company’s claim that the driver of the truck is the only person accountable because of a self-employed arrangement will not necessarily hold water.
A corporation with a trucking permit is liable for any accidents involving a truck that has its own sign or name posted on the automobile, according to federal statutes. It makes no difference whether the driver is an employee or a self-employed contractor. (If a trucking business leases a truck from an owner or driver, the trucking company usually acquires the requisite licences to operate the truck, and the truck then advertises the trucking firm’s name and permit numbers.) However, not all states apply responsibility in the same way.
Liability for Cargo Shipper and Loader
When a carrier acts as a contractor to convey cargo for another firm, the package may be secured for the duration of the trucking company’s involvement. Somebody who inadequately packed or stowed the goods might be held accountable for the mishap. For instance, a loader who used the wrong straps, overburdened the trailer, or did not utilize adequate tie-downs might be held accountable.
Manufacturers’ Liability for Trucks and Parts
If one of the truck parts breaks (for example, a tire blows out, brakes fail, or a steering problem arises), the breakdown might be the result of insufficient servicing. Alternatively, if the failed component or system was faulty, you may be able to make the supplier and manufacturer accountable.
Liability of Local Governments
Local governments and their contractors may be held accountable for the accident if the highway contains flaws such as a defective layout, cracked asphalt, or a pooling area of rainfall that led to the incident. Other probable reasons of an accident that may be traced back to the local government or its contractors include a poorly designed construction zone that resulted in a collision, inadequate warning signals, and malfunctioning barriers.
What Should I Do If I Have an Accident With a Big-Rig Truck?
If you are involved in an accident with a big rig and do not require emergency medical attention, this is something you ought to do prior departing the scene of the accident:
- Make sure your passengers and the other motorists are safe.
- Then, report the event to the authorities.
- Obtain the truck driver’s details, including insurance and telephone number. Inquire whether the driver is a staff member of the trucking firm, a third-party contractor using an owned vehicle, or a leased automobile.
- Take images of any damage as well as any branding or signs on the vehicle with your phone.
- Take note of any road conditions, weather conditions, or other factors that may have played a role in the collision.
- Gather any eyewitnesses’ addresses as well as names.
What Compensation Can I Receive Following a Big Rig Accident?
The monetary reparations (legal jargon for financial compensation) you can receive following a large rig accident are determined by how badly you were hurt and the property loss you sustained. These mishaps might result in lifelong physical as well as emotional scars. In many situations, individuals are forced to skip labor for a while at a time. Depending on the occupation, the individual may never be able to return to the employment they had before to the large rig tragedy.
There is no perfect method for determining the value of a case. Major accidents involving large rigs, on the other hand, generally result in substantial compensation amounts for casualties or any next of kin. This is due to a variety of factors, including:
- Injuries to passengers in passenger cars struck by a large rig are frequently fatal. Medical expenditures for treating those injuries can run into the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.
- If the person has lasting injuries, he or she may require long-term care and home adaptations.
- Physical therapy and/or rehabilitation may be required for a lengthy period of time.
- Because of the traumatic nature of a large rig disaster, victims frequently require continuing mental health care.
- Many times, a person is unable to return to work immediately. They may not be able to return to work at all in other circumstances.
- If a large rig accident killed someone, their next of kin would be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. These claims can reach millions of dollars.
All of this does not even take into consideration property damage. Scott M. Brown & Associates’ big rig accident lawyer can compare your case to others they had previously resolved. This can enable them to give you an indication of how much your case is valued.
Why Do I Need a Big Rig Accident Attorney?
Truck accidents are often more complicated than regular automobile crashes, so it’s an excellent move to talk with a lawyer if you’re considering filing a claim for personal injuries following a trucking accident.
Here are the characteristics a personal injury lawyer should have:
- General Experience
Wherever possible, hire a legal representative with some experience. A seasoned attorney has earned the skills, experience, and competency that are only acquired by handling actual situations. Scott M. Brown & Associates have successfully assisted numerous people. Please contact us to schedule a consultation.
- Sincere Compassion and Concern
Accident is one of the most agonizing life events a person can experience; you have suffered not only bodily harm but also psychological anguish, psychological suffering, and monetary loss. You have the right to be represented by an attorney who honestly thinks about you and your relatives. A great lawyer understands that you as well as your loved ones are in distress and that your physical wellness deserves consideration first. Fortunately, at Scott M. Brown & Associates, we are focused on the client and genuinely care about you.
- Understanding of federal legislation
Everyone involved in a legal problem can benefit greatly from having a lawyer that is well-versed in state legislation. Selecting a lawyer who is well-versed in Texas legislation is a wise move because it increases the probability of an ideal result for your side. Scott M. Brown & Associates have dedicated their lives to studying state law. Reach out to us so that we may look into the specifics of your situation.
Dealing with accident trauma can be difficult, especially when they were caused as a result of someone else’s negligence. Scott M. Brown & Associates’ top personal injury lawyers can help you get recompense and comfort.
Call Our Big Rig Accident Attorney Now!
Big rig accidents result in casualties, costly healthcare expenses, missed pay, and frequently a difficult road ahead. Never speak with the shipping company’s insurance adjuster; they are not your ally. Threats, intimidation, and aggressive-arm tactics may ensue if you refuse to sign their initial lowball offer. You may hear them say, “You’ll receive nothing unless you sign.” Scott M. Brown & Associates’ top personal injury attorneys can help you preserve your rights, obtain recompense, and guide you through the process.
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