Houston Underride Truck Accident Lawyers
If you were injured or lost a loved one in an underride accident with a large truck, contact the Houston truck accident attorneys at Gibson Hill Personal Injury. We will help you pursue the compensation you rightfully deserve from the negligent truck driver or trucking company responsible for your accident.
An underride accident, where a vehicle gets wedged underneath the carriage of a truck, is one of the most devastating types of truck accidents. This type of accident can shear off the top of the car or crush it, leaving catastrophic injuries or fatalities in its wake.
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we provide professional, compassionate, and dedicated legal representation for our clients. We know that a serious truck accident can change your life forever. Our team of Houston personal injury lawyers has the resources and skillset needed to take on the trucking company’s insurance group and teams of lawyers. We want to help you move forward from this traumatic experience and secure the money you need to cover your hospital bills, medical expenses, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more.
Our Houston underride accident lawyers will help you fight for justice. For a free consultation, call (713) 659-4000 today. You don’t have to face this alone. From the moment you hire us, we will remain by your side in the fight for justice.
What Is an Underride Truck Accident?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all commercial trucks to have rear impact guards to prevent other vehicles from sliding under during an accident or through other circumstances. If there’s a defective part or a missing guard, it could lead to more severe injuries and even death if the car ends up under the truck. In addition, sometimes the guards rip away in the collision, failing to prevent the underride accident.
There are two main types of underride accidents: side and rear.
A side underride accident is the result of a vehicle ending up under either side of a truck. This typically happens when the truck driver makes a turn or changes lanes without checking their blind spots.
A rear underride accident occurs when a car slides under the back of a commercial truck’s trailer. The most common cause is a truck driver slamming on their brakes or slowing down unnecessarily when there’s another vehicle behind.
Other common causes of underride truck accidents include:
- Damaged or insufficient rear impact guards
- Failure to use a turn signal when turning or changing lanes
- Sudden braking
- Turning quickly
- Failure to check all blind spots
- Defective reflective tape or tail lights
- Ignoring stop signs or traffic lights
Rear impact guards are supposed to stop a car from going under a large truck. However, if they aren’t installed correctly, are missing, or contain defects, they aren’t effective in preventing a vehicle from being crushed. There haven’t been any laws implemented that require the installation of side impact guards. Additionally, the FMCSA doesn’t regulate how often rear impact guards should be inspected and maintained.
If you end up in an underride crash and the truck driver was at fault, or the trucking company failed to perform adequate maintenance or didn’t ensure their vehicle fleet has rear impact guards, you could pursue compensation from them.
Handling the Aftermath of an Underride Collision
If you’ve been involved in an underride truck accident, it’s important to hire a skilled law firm as soon as possible, so their legal team can start gathering evidence and building a case. We’ll take care of the legal process while you focus on attending your doctor’s appointments.
In the aftermath of your accident, there are some things you could do that might help support your case and your right to full compensation:
Step 1 – Call or have someone call law enforcement to report the accident and wait for them to arrive at the scene. The police report they create will provide crucial evidence in your case.
Step 2 – Properly care for your injuries. Attend all of your follow-up doctor appointments, follow your doctors’ treatment plan, and attend your rehabilitation sessions. Failing to care for your injuries properly may open the window for the insurance company or defense attorney to argue that you aren’t as seriously injured as you claim.
Step 3 – Gather all of the documentation related to your accident, such as your medical expenses, medical instructions, prescription receipts, pay stubs, tax forms, and so on.
Step 4 – Bring your car to a repair shop to evaluate the damage. Keep a copy of the estimate.
Step 5 – Keep a pain journal in order to track the pain you struggle with daily as a result of your accident. Also detail any emotional anguish or distress, such as grief, depression, or anxiety. Doing so will help to show the extent of your pain and suffering.
Step 6 – Refrain from posting any updates, photos, or replies while your case is active. Even a seemingly innocuous post, so as you taking your dog for a walk, can be used against you to show that your claim may not be justified.
Step 7 – Hire an experienced Houston underride accident lawyer to represent you in your case.
Filing an Insurance Claim to Compensate for Your Losses
You may be entitled to full compensation from the at-fault truck driver’s insurance company. There’s a fault system in place in Texas that determines who is financially responsible for the injured victim’s expenses. Whoever causes an accident can be held liable for the resulting injuries and losses.
You may be able to seek compensation for losses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Out of pocket expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Physical impairment
- Loss of consortium
The settlement you could win will depend on the severity of your injuries, cost of medical treatment, amount of insurance coverage, and other factors. Truck drivers are supposed to carry liability insurance with minimum limits based on the following:
- Trucks weighing under 10,001 pounds and transporting non-hazardous materials: $300,000
- Trucks weighing at least 10,000 pounds and carrying non-hazardous freight: $750,000
- Trucks transporting oil or hazardous cargo: $1 million or $5 million
Your Houston underride accident lawyer of Gibson Hill Personal Injury can request a copy of the truck driver’s policy and determine how much coverage is available to pursue. We will protect your rights and ensure the insurance company provides an adequate settlement to cover your past and future losses. They will likely try to find a reason to deny your claim since their bottom line is always more important than their claimants’ needs. We won’t allow them to take advantage of you. If necessary, we can file a lawsuit and take your case to court.
Seeking Compensation From a Lawsuit After an Underride Truck Accident
Underride truck accidents can be deadly. When a reckless truck driver gets behind the wheel, they put other people at risk of injury and death. Gibson Hill Personal Injury will thoroughly investigate the crash to figure out what happened and whose actions contributed to your accident. We might be able to sue the truck driver for their negligent actions if their insurance company unfairly denies your claim.
There is a statute of limitations for filing lawsuits in Texas. This is a deadline that you must follow. You might not get another opportunity to sue for compensation for your losses if it passes. The statute of limitations for injury cases in Texas is two years. That means you have two years from the date of the accident to file with the civil court.
Two years might seem like enough time to prepare a lawsuit and file before the deadline, but you could encounter unexpected obstacles that delay the process. That’s why it is critical that you hire a Houston underride accident lawyer and begin working on your case immediately after the crash occurs.
Some exceptions could delay the deadline and allow more time for you to file a lawsuit:
- If you were under a legal disability, meaning under the age of 18 or of unsound mind, when the accident happened, you could pause the clock. It would not start again until you turn 18 years old or gain mental competency.
- If the defendant leaves the state, the clock will stop until they return. Their absence would not count towards the two-year statute.
Gibson Hill Personal Injury will work efficiently to ensure we meet all filing deadlines during the lawsuit. We will pursue the physical, financial, and emotional losses you suffered and could also seek a monetary award for punitive damages.
Unlike medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages, punitive damages aren’t meant to compensate accident victims for their various losses. Instead, the goal is to punish the defendant for their misconduct and deter similar future behavior. A jury will only determine that you deserve this type of financial award if there is clear and convincing evidence of gross negligence, malice, or fraud.
Contact Us Today
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, our Houston personal injury lawyers understand the shock, devastation, and stress that can follow an underride truck accident. It’s a terrifying experience for anyone to go through and leads to expensive medical treatment. If you suffer a permanent injury, you might require lifelong medical care or assistive devices, such as a wheelchair. You don’t deserve to face the consequences of someone else’s careless actions. Our Houston underride truck accident lawyers will devote time, attention, and effort to holding the truck driver or trucking company liable.
You are already forced to deal with the cost of doctor’s appointments, imaging testing, prescription drugs, and other expenses. We don’t want to overwhelm you with additional financial strain by charging to represent you in your case. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge any upfront fees or costs. You don’t have to pay any legal fees unless we win financial compensation. We don’t get paid unless you get paid.
Gibson Hill Personal Injury has extensive knowledge and experience with all types of truck accidents, including underride accidents. We know the right strategies to use to reach your legal goals. Call us at (713) 659-4000 for a free consultation with one of our Houston truck accident lawyers, and we will help you get on the road to recovery.