Rated Among the Best Truck Accident Lawyers in Houston
A truck accident can change your life in an instant. Weighing in at up to 80,000 pounds, semi-trucks can cause debilitating or fatal injuries. Each year, nearly 90,000 large trucks and buses are involved in accidents in the United States. These trucks pose a risk to even the most careful drivers on the busy Houston roadways.
I would recommend their services to anyone…
When I was rear-ended by a commercial truck, I needed an aggressive attorney to pursue the trucking company responsible for putting the driver on the road. Sutliff & Stout cared about me enough to help me find quality medical assistance for my neck injury. I would recommend their services to anyone in need of help. – Shavona W. Read and watch more client testimonials…
If you were seriously injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, you may be wondering whether you need to hire a truck accident attorney. Because of the severity of the injuries caused by truck accidents, as well as the complexity of the legal issues raised by truck accident lawsuits, you should contact an experienced lawyer right away after a truck accident. You need an aggressive commercial truck accident attorney to fully protect your legal interests and fight for you.
Sutliff & Stout’s Recent Truck Accident Case Results
Truck Accident Settlement
Sutliff & Stout took over the legal representation of a family whose former legal counsel attempted to settle their case for less than $300,000.00. The client sustained a burst fracture of the spine and a broken ankle as a result of the accident. Sutliff & Stout successfully obtained $2,750,000.00 settlement on behalf of the family against the Fortune 500 Company defendant. Net recovery to the client was $1,600,000.00.
Truck Accident Settlement
Sutliff & Stout filed a lawsuit against a driver who carelessly tried to pass a car in heavy traffic in West Texas. The actions of the driver caused a substantial head-on collision. As a result of the collision, our client suffered tears to his rotator cuffs and required shoulder surgery to his left and right shoulder. He also had to undergo ESI injections for pain in his neck. The client did not have health insurance and the at-fault insurance company refused to help so our Firm helped make arrangements for the client to get the care he needed to recover.
In order to help the at-fault insurance company and, eventually, the jury understand our client’s damages, we hired a life care planner to discuss our client’s future medical needs and a vocational expert to discuss how the client’s injuries would affect his ability to earn a living in the future. While the cost of such experts and other case related expenses were substantial (our Firm had to invest $42,955.80 into the case), it paid off because we were able to successfully resolve the case for $2,500,000.00. Net recovery to the client was $1,458,044.20.
Truck Accident Settlement
Sutliff & Stout filed a lawsuit against Russell Transport, Inc. relating to a collision that occurred on July 4, 2012. As a result of the collision, our client had to have back surgery. Russell Transport, Inc. tried to blame our client for the collision, but after extensive discovery we were able to show that our client was not at fault. Using an aggressive and proactive approach to the case, we were able to successfully resolve the case for $2,300,000.00 in less than nine months. Net recovery to the client was $1,320,000.00.
18-Wheeler Accident Settlement
Sutliff & Stout was retained to help a worker who was injured when the trailer upon which he was leaning was struck by an 18-wheeler. The client sustained injuries to his neck and lower back. Defendants argued that the impact was not sufficient to cause the client’s injuries. After investing over $89,000.00 in the case and preparing it for trial, we were able to obtain a net recovery to the client of $861,005.00 in addition to the payment of over $144,480.98 in medical expenses.
18-Wheeler Accident Settlement
Our client, Lisa, was injured after an 18-wheeler hit her from the side on the Interstate. Lisa did not go to the hospital immediately, but she began having pain a few weeks later. She hired us to sue the at-fault company, which we did. Lisa’s back was injured and she underwent physical therapy and a few steroid injections and she felt much better. After litigating the case for 6 months, the parties went to mediation and we were able to get the case resolved for $425,000.00. Attorneys’ fees and expenses were $170,000.00.
Commercial Vehicle Accident Settlement
Julie was injured after a company truck ran a stop sign and hit her on the driver’s side door. Julie did not go to the hospital, but her neck began hurting a few days later. She hired Sutliff & Stout to sue the at-fault company. We did and Julie continued her treatment for her injured neck. This treatment included doctor visits, physical therapy and injections. After 5 months of litigation, the parties went to mediation and Sutliff & Stout was able to resolve the case for almost 200 times the amount of the insurance company’s initial offer of $1,500.00. Attorneys’ fees and expenses were $128,000.00.
Commercial Truck Crashes are on the Rise in Houston
Crash data from the Texas Department of Transportation shows that crashes, injuries, and deaths involving commercial motor vehicles have increased steadily and significantly over the past five years.
Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Crashes Increases In Harris County from 2012-2016
While there was a welcome decline in CMV crashes in 2016, the trend overall is not encouraging:
CMV crashes in 2012: 3,912
CMV crashes in 2013: 4,312
CMV crashes in 2014: 5,475
CMV crashes in 2015: 5,936
CMV crashes in 2016: 5,628
Doing the math…
From 2012 to 2015 the total number of commercial truck crashes in Houston/Harris County increased each year. There were 1,716 more commercial truck crashes in 2016 than 2012, which is an increase of nearly 31%.
The remainder of this article provides some general information about Texas truck accident laws and how to recover compensation for your injuries, but it should not be used as a substitute for a free consultation with a qualified lawyer.
Do I Need to Hire a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer?
If you were involved in a minor car accident with another passenger vehicle, you may be able to handle your personal injury insurance claim without a lawyer. These types of accidents can often be resolved through negotiations with the auto insurance provider for the other driver, and may be finalized in a matter of days or weeks. Unfortunately, truck accidents are much more complicated than accidents involving passenger vehicles.
There are several reasons why you should hire a truck accident lawyer to represent you if you were hurt due to the careless driving of a commercial truck driver. First, truck accidents tend to cause more substantial injuries that may require several months of recovery or costly long-term medical treatment. In addition, interstate truck drivers and the companies that they work for are covered by commercial liability insurance policies.
These types of policies differ from those applicable to drivers of passenger vehicles, and it may be difficult to get the representatives from the commercial insurance policy to offer you a fair settlement for your injuries. Finally, since many truck drivers have interstate routes assigned to them, the commercial truck company and driver may not be residents of Texas. Even if the truck accident took place in Houston or the surrounding areas, you’ll probably need a lawyer who understands the laws in other states and how federal rules and regulations apply to your case.
After a truck accident, some people wait too long to talk to an attorney. What people don’t realize is that the trucking company and insurance company are not waiting around to gather evidence. Trucking companies and insurance companies regularly send investigators to the scene of the accident the day of the collision to gather evidence to try to diminish the value of your claim.
Common Injuries in Truck Accidents
Due to their large dimensions and heavy weight, commercial trucks may cause debilitating injuries to drivers and occupants of passenger vehicles. These are the most common types of injuries in truck accidents:
- Broken or fractured bones,
- Bruising and sprains,
- Severe lacerations and scarring,
- Spinal cord, neck, and back injuries,
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries, and
- First, second, and third degree burns.
If you are facing a long road to recovery after a truck accident, call a truck accident attorney to discuss how you can secure compensation for your injuries and other losses. It may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit if the truck driver’s commercial insurance provider is unwilling to treat you fairly.
Pain and Suffering After a Truck Accident
If you were seriously hurt in a truck accident, some of your injuries may be physical. But the most difficult injuries from which to recover may not be visible to the naked eye. If you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia, or post-traumatic stress disorder, a lawyer can help you understand your rights under Texas law to be compensated for your pain and suffering.
Truck Accident Laws
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) is a federal agency that is responsible for regulating commercial vehicles that operate on interstate highways in the United States. This includes semi-trucks, big rigs, tanker trucks, 18-wheelers, flatbeds, refrigerator trucks, buses, and more. The FMCSA has regulated the following aspects of the trucking industry in the United States:
- Licensing: The FMCSA requires interstate truck drivers to carry a commercial driver license (“CDL”). Operators of certain types of buses are also required to carry a CDL.
- Drug and Alcohol Testing: The FMCSA requires employees who drive commercial trucks and certain buses to undergo drug and alcohol testing. If you were hurt by a truck driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your Houston truck accident lawyer can use the driver’s violation of these rules to establish that he or she is legally responsible for your injuries.
- Hours of Service: The “Hours of Service” requirements mandate that commercial truck drivers get adequate rest and don’t drive when they’re exhausted. One of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents is driver fatigue.
- Insurance: The FMCSA requires commercial truck drivers and the companies they work for to carry a minimum amount of insurance. Unfortunately for truck accident victims, these minimum policy amounts may not be adequate to cover their injuries. Commercial trucking company lawyers also hire powerful attorneys who will try to deny you the compensation you deserve.
- Size and Weight: The FMCSA restricts the size and weight of large commercial trucks and buses. Overweight semi-trucks and big rigs can cause serious and even fatal accidents.
- Cargo Securement: These rules were enacted to make sure that heavy loads being carried on interstate roadways are properly secured. If you were hurt by improperly secured cargo, a truck accident lawyer can help you understand your legal rights.
- Driver Medical Requirements: The goal of these rules is to ensure that truck drivers are physically fit for the demanding job of interstate trucking. Any commercial truck driver who failed to comply with these requirements and caused an accident may be held liable for the resulting injuries.
If you were hurt in a truck accident, you should work with an attorney who is familiar with the FMCSA requirements for commercial truck drivers. As discussed below, a violation of any of these regulations can be critical evidence of negligence in a personal injury lawsuit.
Sutliff & Stout Represent Truck Accident Victims in Houston
If you live in Houston or the surrounding areas and were injured in an accident with a commercial truck or bus, call the truck accident lawyers at Sutliff & Stout today. Our experienced truck accident lawyers work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Text or call (281) 853-8446 and someone from our firm will be in touch with you to set up a free and confidential case evaluation.