Georgetown Truck Accident Attorney
Injured in a Truck Accident in Georgetown, TX?
Truck accidents in Georgetown can be devastating. The sheer size and weight of commercial trucks can cause significant damage and injuries to other vehicles and their occupants. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Georgetown, you need experienced legal representation to help you navigate the complexities of your case.
At Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP, we have a team of dedicated personal injury attorneys who specialize in truck accident cases. We understand the unique challenges that come with these types of accidents, and we have the skills and resources needed to fight for your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
A truck accident refers to any collision or incident involving a commercial truck, such as a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, big rig, or other large freight-carrying vehicle. These accidents can occur on highways, city streets, or any road where trucks travel. Truck accidents can vary in severity and may result in property damage, injuries, or fatalities.
Common types of truck accidents include:
- Rear-End Collisions: These occur when a truck strikes the vehicle in front of it. Trucks have longer stopping distances than passenger cars, and factors like distracted driving or sudden braking can lead to rear-end collisions.
- Jackknife Accidents: A jackknife accident happens when the truck's trailer swings out to the side, forming an L or V shape with the cab. This often occurs when the truck's wheels lock up due to braking too hard or losing traction, causing the trailer to skid.
- Rollover Accidents: Trucks are prone to rollovers because of their high center of gravity. Sharp turns at high speeds, abrupt lane changes, and overloading can lead to rollovers. These accidents can be particularly devastating.
- Underride Accidents: An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle gets trapped underneath the rear or side of a truck's trailer. These accidents are often fatal for occupants of the smaller vehicle, as their passenger compartment can be severely crushed.
- Wide Turns: Trucks make wide turns to accommodate their length. However, this can lead to collisions with vehicles in adjacent lanes, especially if the truck driver doesn't check their blind spots properly.
- Blind Spot Accidents: Large trucks have significant blind spots where smaller vehicles can disappear from the truck driver's view. If a truck changes lanes or makes a turn without checking these blind spots, it can lead to collisions.
- Tire Blowouts: Blowouts of a truck's tires can result in loss of control and accidents. The debris from a blown tire can also pose a hazard to other vehicles on the road.
- Fatigue-Related Accidents: Truck drivers often work long hours and may experience fatigue, which can impair their judgment and reaction times. Fatigue-related accidents can be caused by falling asleep at the wheel or reduced alertness.
- Brake Failures: Brake failures in trucks can result from inadequate maintenance or issues with the braking system. This can lead to rear-end collisions, jackknife accidents, or other dangerous situations.
- Hazardous Materials Accidents: Trucks carrying hazardous materials pose an additional risk. Accidents involving these materials can lead to explosions, fires, and environmental damage.
- Load Shifts and Spills: If cargo inside a truck is not properly secured, it can shift during transit, causing the truck to become unstable or leading to cargo spills. This can result in accidents and road hazards.
- Weather-Related Accidents: Adverse weather conditions, such as rain, snow, ice, or fog, can make driving a truck more challenging and increase the risk of accidents.
Determining Truck Accident Liability
Determining liability in a truck accident can be complex because multiple parties may share responsibility for the accident.
The potential liable parties in a truck accident can include:
- Truck Driver: The most common party held responsible for a truck accident is the truck driver. If the driver's actions or negligence, such as speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence, or violating traffic laws, contributed to the accident, they may be held liable.
- Trucking Company: The trucking company that employs the driver can also be liable. If the company encouraged or forced the driver to violate regulations, failed to adequately train the driver, or neglected vehicle maintenance, it may share liability for the accident.
- Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Companies: If the accident was caused by a mechanical failure or defect in the truck, the companies responsible for maintaining or repairing the vehicle may be held liable for negligence in maintaining or repairing the truck properly.
- Truck Manufacturer: In some cases, a defect in the truck's design or manufacturing can contribute to an accident. If this is the case, the truck manufacturer may be held liable for product liability.
- Cargo Loaders and Shippers: If the cargo in the truck was improperly loaded, unsecured, or exceeded weight limits, the companies responsible for loading and shipping the cargo may share liability for the accident.
- Government Entities: If the accident was caused by hazardous road conditions, poor road maintenance, or inadequate signage, government entities responsible for the road's safety may be held liable.
- Contractors and Subcontractors: In cases where the trucking company subcontracted certain aspects of their operations, such as maintenance or cargo loading, the subcontractors may share liability if their actions or negligence contributed to the accident.
- Third-Party Drivers: If another vehicle on the road played a role in causing the accident, the driver of that vehicle may be held liable for their actions or negligence.
- Insurance Companies: Insurance companies may be involved in determining liability and settling claims. Depending on the circumstances, they may also be held accountable if they act in bad faith by not fulfilling their obligations.
Establishing liability often requires a thorough investigation of the accident, including examining evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, vehicle data recorders (black boxes), and surveillance footage. Legal professionals, insurance adjusters, and accident reconstruction experts may be involved in determining the responsible parties.