Houston, Texas boasts a high population and is a heavily-trafficked area. Unfortunately, it has some of the highest rates of 18 wheeler accidents in the country. Every year, there are over 500 serious trucking accidents in Texas. Many people who’ve been involved in a trucking accident will sustain serious injuries or tragically die because of a crash. So, what do drivers need to know about 18 wheeler accident laws in Houston? If you’re involved in a collision, it’s crucial that you know your rights so you can get just compensation for your injuries.
Most fatal truck accidents occur in the rural areas of Texas. The most common types of roads where an 18 wheeler accident will occur are non-interstate roads, and most accidents will happen Monday through Friday during daylight hours. Statistics show that the truck drivers who are most likely to be involved in a serious 18 wheeler crash possess some of the following characteristics and driving history:
- 15% have been in an accident before
- 16% have speeding convictions
- 9% have recorded suspensions of their licenses
- .3% will have a DWI on their record
What should you do if you’ve been hurt in an accident?
18 wheelers will generate a tremendous amount of force in an accident. It’s not always apparent what injuries you’ve sustained immediately after the crash. It’s crucial that you get immediate medical attention even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured. Always tell the paramedics and your doctor exactly what hurts and where. Let them know if you’re feeling any dizziness or disorientation. For a personal injury case, it’s also critical that you have a record of your injuries and what medical attention you’ve received.
Call the police. The responding officer will be able to write a report of the accident. They will be able to get witness statements and be able to indicate in the report how the accident occurred. The police report and your medical records are critical pieces of evidence in your personal injury case.
If you’re able to, you’ll want to take pictures and document evidence at the accident scene. Evidence, photos, and reports will help determine who is at fault for the accident and how much compensation you can receive.
- Take photos of any street signs, lights, and pictures that can demonstrate the weather conditions and terrain of the area where the crash occurred.
- Photograph and document the damage to your vehicle and the truck
- Photograph your injuries and the injuries of other passengers
What shouldn’t you do after an 18 wheeler accident?
For the sake of your personal injury case, you do not want to admit fault in any way at the scene of the accident. You’ll be required to render aid and offer your insurance and contact information, but you do not have to state that the crash, in any way, was because of your negligence. The truck driver must be at fault for the accident for you to collect a settlement for your pain, suffering, medical bills, and property damage. If you admit fault, you’re jeopardizing your personal injury claim.
Also, after an accident, the insurance company will try to either dismiss your claim outright or try to offer you a pittance that won’t even begin to compensate you fairly. It’s crucial that you do not agree to the insurance company’s initial settlement offer. Their goal is to get your claim to go away for as little money as possible. Remember, insurance companies make their money by collecting premiums. They have a lot of money to lose in a personal injury case involving a trucking accident.
After you’ve been injured in an 18 wheeler accident, it’s essential that you call an experienced 18 wheeler accident attorney in Houston. Personal injury laws in Texas are complex. You’ll want to hire a lawyer that is familiar with trucking accident laws in Houston so you can be fairly compensated for your pain and suffering.