How We Investigate Houston Commercial Truck Accidents
1 Riverway, Suite 2325
Houston, Texas 77056
Regardless of the time of day, the highways of the Houston – Galveston
– Beaumont area are packed with commercial trucks. This also means
that accidents involving “big rigs” and personal cars and
trucks will happen more frequently than in other, less-urbanized, areas
of the state. As a law practice that represents the victims of commercial
truck accidents, we know that the “official” accident report
often does not accurately reflect the circumstances and/or causes of many
In today’s post, the commercial truck accident injury lawyer at
The Doan Law Firm explains
why the “official” police accident investigation frequently fails
to present a complete account of
all the factors that could have led to a truck accident. He will then present
an overview of how our firm investigates such accidents on behalf of our clients.
Why We Investigate Commercial Trucking Accidents
Everyone is familiar with the old adage that “There are two sides
to every story.” As a personal injury law firm, we say that “There are
at least two sides to every story, and probably many more.” When we represent
an injured client, we want to know every possible detail about their accident.
Sadly, this information is often hard to come by and usually requires
our firm to conduct our own accident investigation.
When we investigate a commercial truck accident, we focus our attention
on three types of evidence:
- Witness Evidence
- Investigation Evidence
- Physical Evidence
Every traffic accident investigator will search for anyone who witnessed
the accident and will use the statement from that witness as part of the
accident report. While witness statements can be valuable in reconstructing
the events surrounding an accident, experienced investigators and personal
injury lawyers know that such statements must also be supported by other
evidence that is directly related to an accident.
Many people are surprised to learn that many “eyewitness” accounts
of an accident are eventually shown to be incorrect, at least in part.
There have been many explanations put forward to explain why this often
the case, none of which should concern the accident victim. Since eyewitnesses
can be unreliable, the mere fact that your account of an accident is different
from that given by someone else should not keep you from discussing your
commercial truck accident with a personal injury lawyer.
By “investigation evidence,” we mean the reports of accident
investigations that are prepared by law enforcement agencies such as the
local or state police, the federal or state Department of Transportation,
or any agency whose duties involve highway safety such as the National
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
In our experience as personal injury lawyers, we have found that many local
police investigations only address whether or not a traffic law was violated
and do not consider other factors such as equipment failure, visibility,
or road conditions. When we are investigating a client’s personal
injury claim, we use the law enforcement investigations as a starting
point and then determine if the available evidence supports the conclusions
of the investigating agencies.
Unlike eyewitness accounts that are based on an observer’s memory
of what happened,
physical evidence is “real” and can be touched, measured, or tested
by another person. In a truck accident case, physical evidence can include
the damage pattern of a vehicle, photographs of the accident scene, documents
related to the maintenance history of the truck, and paper or electronic
logbooks that contain a record of the number of hours that a driver had
been “on duty” prior to an accident. A major problem with
physical evidence in any accident case is that such evidence is frequently
“lost” or called into question due to any number of reasons.
You must always remember that, in the absence of a court order, a trucking company
is not obligated to preserve any physical evidence related to an accident and
it is known that some companies will
deliberately destroy evidence that could be used to establish liability for an accident.
For this reason alone, you should talk with a personal injury lawyer as
soon as possible after an accident because once a lawsuit is filed, a
court can order that all physical evidence is to be preserved by the company
or be delivered to the custody of the court.
Contacting the Houston Truck Accident Injury Lawyer
Many truck accident victims make the mistake of trying to negotiate a settlement
with the trucking company’s insurance company. There are many reasons
that we could give to back up our claim that “going solo”
is a very bad idea, but the two most obvious reasons are 1) the trucking
company’s insurance carrier has a full staff of lawyers and claims
adjusters whose jobs are to settle injury cases for as little money as
possible and 2) the insurance company has almost unlimited financial resources
while, most likely, you are forced to live on a budget that is strained
by the extra expenses related to your injury. Thus, the insurance company
can merely do nothing until you accept what they offer.
Accidents involving large commercial trucks can cause serious injuries
to the other vehicle’s driver and passengers. In many cases, the
true extent of these injuries isn’t fully known until several weeks
(or even months) following the accident. Unfortunately, if you have accepted
a settlement from an insurance company (either yours or the trucking company’s),
you will be unable to receive additional payment for expenses related
to these chronic injuries.
The Doan Law Firm:
1 Riverway, Suite 2325
Houston, Texas 77056
If you or a member of your family were injured in a truck accident, we
invite you to contact the commercial truck accident injury lawyer at
The Doan Law Firm to arrange a free, no-obligation review of your commercial truck accident
case and a discussion of the legal options that may be available to you
before you accept any settlement offered to you by the truck owner’s
When you contact our firm to
arrange a review of your truck accident case, your first consultation with our trucking
accident injury lawyer is always free and does not require that you hire
our firm. Should you decide that we should represent you in court, we
are willing to take full responsibility for preparing your case for trial
in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement that
we will win for you.