The Texas personal injury and wrongful death team at the Cooper Law Firm represent victims who have been injured or killed in some of the most complex and serious cases arising from 18 wheeler wrecks.
We are here to help in all areas of auto accident injuries, including residential, commercial. We combine our experience with a deep commitment, dedication and compassion for our clients, a relentless drive to achieve justice, and the resources necessary to pursue such serious cases.
We see semi-trucks any time we travel; from farm to market roads to state highways, they speckle the Texas landscape and all too often cause Texas semi-truck accidents involving serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Too many Texas personal injury lawyers make the mistake of assuming that semi-truck accident cases are like car accident cases only usually with more injuries. This misconception is dangerous and may result in less than maximum compensation.
Texas semi-truck, big rig, and 18 wheeler accidents may all have different names but often times share both the serious or catastrophic injury and the method by which they must be handled. Although Texas semi-trucks are nowhere near outnumbering passenger vehicles, they leave their mark in the form of accident statistics. A review of Texas accident statistics shows that Big Rigs and semi-trucks can account for a significant portion of fatalities in Texas. The most common specific reasons noted behind these accidents are driver related. These include traveling too fast for conditions, and unfamiliarity with the roadway; not to mention, inadequate surveillance, fatigue, and feeling under pressure from motor carriers.
Texas High % of Large Truck Accidents
In the United States, trucking is the top method to move freight. The American Trucking Association estimates that over nine billion tons of freight moves through the highways every year. Texas sees the highest volume of trucking traffic, and cities along the Mexican border account for millions of annual freight crossings and billions of dollars in goods shipped between the US and Mexico. This heavy volume in 18 wheeler and tractor trailer traffic comes with dangerous consequences. The knowledge and experience of the Cooper Law Firm is necessary to navigate the strenuous, complex and confusing times after a tractor-trailer accident. The Cooper Law Firm will examine every detail around the accident, including the accuracy of the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash report, that the trucking company followed all state and federal regulations, that the trucking company driver adhered to their own company policies, and that your legal rights are fully exercised.
Major Causes of Trucking and 18 Wheeler Accidents
Besides human error, behind the wheel of an 18 wheeler, a lack of commercial vehicle maintenance can also create dangerous conditions on the road. Trucking and 18 wheeler accidents can be caused by many different equipment failures. Failing to maintain the tires, brakes, or other mechanical parts can cause a severe accident.
Failure to maintain Tires
Poorly maintained or defective tires can cause serious accidents. Federal laws require commercial trucks and their drivers to be equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems. Attached to the tire, wheel, or valve system, these systems use sensors to automatically detect and determine the tire air pressure and make sure that the tires are properly inflated at all times while driving. Failure to maintain the correct tire pressure can result in significant loss and damage to you.
Drivers can rely on the tire pressure monitoring system when they are driving for correcting the tire pressure on the fly and reducing the chances for an accident with you while in transit. The tires can lose air pressure for several reasons while the truck is in motion. One reason that commercial trucks lose tire air pressure is that the air can escape from the edge of the tire and the well. Air can also escape from improperly tightened valves, torn rubber or blocked valve cores. When tires are improperly inflated they can run hot and damage the tire casing and sidewalls. As a result, drivers are placed at risk of a serious trucking accident caused by poor handling, tire blow-out, and stranded trucks on the roadway. By properly maintaining tire pressure, commercial trucking companies and their drivers can aid you as a driver and avoid dangerous collisions.
Brakes are one of the most critical components on 18 wheeler accidents and are often overused and under-maintained. When the brakes fail or lock up on an 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer, the truck may jack-knife as it slides down the highway, especially if the road is covered by a layer of snow, ice or rain. Large numbers of cars and other vehicles can get caught in a pileup, injuring dozens. Accidents of this nature may result in severe injury or death. Trucks weigh up to 80,000 lbs. and constantly go up and down hills along with consecutive starts and stops in urban environments. Truck drivers are tasked to know about the condition of their trucks – especially brakes and tires, but sadly, some trucking companies try to save a few dollars by delaying before checking and replacing the brakes.
The most common causes for brake failure include:
- Overheating / warping
- Thinned or worn pads
- Oil coated from grease of other lubricants
- Improperly maintained tires
Truck Drivers entrust their lives to the brake mechanics. If the mechanic does not properly repair and maintain this crucial component as required and an accident and injury result, the mechanic may be negligent along with his employer.
Improper Trailer Maintenance
Commercial trucks must operate with proper alignment of the trailer. Failure to properly align the trailer can result in misalignment of the truck. When a commercial truck is misaligned, this puts the driver at a serious risk of accident because the proper alignment affects the general safety, performance, and function of the truck while it is on the road.
Commercial trucks must be routinely inspected to make sure that the trailer is in proper alignment with the truck. When a trailer is misaligned, there is a direct impact on the tires, steering, and overall performance of the truck while it is in motion. An improperly aligned trailer can result in serious wear on the tires. When this happens, the tires have excessive wear and become uneven which can cause the truck driver to have reduced control of steering. When a trailer is misaligned this can cause the engine to work harder and resistance in rolling is increased. When a trailer is misaligned this can lead to higher than normal vibration level and affect the driver’s steering and operation of the truck. A poorly aligned trailer puts you and the driver at serious risk because there is a loss of control over the truck.
At the Cooper Law Firm, we hold the truck driver, insurance company, trucking company and all other liable parties fully accountable for your losses. Whether you have endured life-altering injuries, such as a spinal cord injury, a herniated disk, brain injury, or lost a loved one to fatal injuries in an 18 wheeler wreck, we are here to help. Call the Cooper Law Firm before you speak with the trucking or insurance companies. Fill out our contact form or give us a call (855) 297-4878.
Are you or a family member suffering from an 18 wheeler accident?
Make an appointment for a free consultation at our office by calling us at 855-297-4878. The Cooper Law Firm handles 18 wheeler accident cases throughout the East Texas Area, including Tyler, Marshall, Mt. Pleasant, Pittsburg, Jefferson, Paris, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Kilgore, Tatum, White Oak, Longview, Gladewater and White House.
Disclaimer: The personal injury, wrongful death, motorcycle accident injury, dog bite injury, bus injury, truck injury, catastrophic injury, or any other legal information presented at this site should not be considered formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter. Please note that you are not considered a client until you have signed a retainer agreement and your case has been accepted by us.