Getting in an accident with a large truck can lead to serious injuries that change the way you experience life. These injuries can cause substantial physical pain, emotional distress, lost earnings and medical bills. At The Doan Law Firm, our truck accident lawyers in Houston are committed to helping clients rebuild their lives after devastating collisions. If you were recently injured or a loved one was killed in a commercial truck accident, contact us for legal assistance. We will arrange a free consultation so that you can speak to an attorney at no cost about a potential case.
Houston Truck Accident Resources
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We are a powerful law firm with offices throughout Texas. Our founding attorney, Jimmy Doan, has spent most of his life in Houston.
Our services are offered on a contingency fee basis. This means your Houston truck accident attorney won’t charge any attorney’s fees unless you receive financial compensation for your case.
Truck Accidents Are Frequently More Severe Than Car Crashes
When we examine information available from the Federal Highway Administration, we can see that commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo. When we consider the weight of these vehicles, along with the overall length, which can reach 65 to 75 feet, we can begin to see why these incidents are often much more severe than traditional car crashes.
When a smaller passenger vehicle collides with or is impacted by a commercial truck, there is often complete devastation. Passenger vehicles, on average, weigh approximately 4,000 pounds. These smaller vehicles simply do not have the capability of withstanding an impact with a much larger vehicle, particularly not one that weighs around 80,000 pounds.
Meet Truck Accident Attorney Jimmy Doan
Jimmy Doan is the founder of the Doan Law Firm, based out of Houston, Texas. Since opening his own legal practice, he has striven to secure fair compensation for injury victims who suffered harm due to the negligent actions of other people or parties. Mr. Doan is familiar with Texas roadways and understands the dangers that drivers face on their daily commutes, from distracted motorists to runaway trucks. He has a reputation as a straightforward, efficient, and diligent attorney that is entirely committed to securing justice on behalf of his clients.
Truck accident victims trust Mr. Doan to thoroughly investigate the details of their crash, hire experienced expert witnesses, negotiate with insurance companies, and build the strongest case possible on their behalf. His tireless pursuit of justice has led to countless successful settlements in favor of his clients.
Why You Need a Truck Accident Attorney
Accidents involving larger commercial trucks often become very complicated insurance claims and lawsuits. That is because truck companies typically have deep pockets they can draw from, as do their insurance carriers. This means you will be going up against well-funded insurance carriers and their legal teams.
When you have a skilled lawyer by your side, you will have an advocate that will not be intimidated by these other parties. Here attorney will match their resources in order to conduct a complete investigation into your claim. Your attorney will make sure that you are evaluated by trusted medical and economic professionals who can adequately calculate your expected losses.
Importantly, your lawyer will be responsible for all communication with the other parties involved, including the negotiations, to ensure you receive a fair settlement. If necessary, your lawyer will be the one to prepare your case for a trial by jury.
What Should You Look for in a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer?
Searching for a truck accident attorney in Houston can be challenging because, quite honestly, there are many attorneys in this area claiming to be the best at recovering compensation. As you begin your search, you will likely speak to anyone you know who has worked with a personal injury lawyer, and you may do some Internet searching.
We encourage you to seek out an attorney who has extensive experience recovering major settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of injury victims throughout Texas. If you narrow your search down, you can also look at testimonials provided by prior clients. You should examine reviews left for attorneys through various sites or search engines such as Google Reviews, Yelp, etc.
Find an attorney who handles truck accident claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you will pay no legal fees until after successfully recovering compensation for your losses. Under a contingency fee arrangement, you will not pay anything if the attorney does not win your case or recover compensation through a settlement.
Most importantly, we encourage you to seek a few in-person free consultations with attorneys you think may be the best fit for you. Make sure that you are comfortable with the person you are talking to. These cases can become incredibly complex, and you will get to know your attorney fairly well as you go through the process of recovering compensation.
Process of a Houston Truck Accident Lawsuit
There are various steps to a truck accident lawsuit, though this typically begins with the filing of the claim. Almost certainly, there will be a claim filed with the truck driver or trucking company’s insurance carrier. Sometimes, this will coincide with a civil personal injury lawsuit filed against the same party or parties. However, just filing a lawsuit does not necessarily mean the case will go all the way to a jury trial in the courtroom.
Typically, there will be negotiations with the insurance carriers and other parties involved in an effort to resolve the claim before a jury trial becomes necessary. These incidents must be fully investigated before any type of settlement can be arranged, and it is crucial to understand the injury victim’s total needs before a settlement is finalized. Under no circumstances should a claim be settled before a victim is done with their medical care or at least has a solid idea about how much medical care they will need for their injuries moving forward.
In the event the negotiations with the insurance carriers are not successful, your attorney will proceed forward with a lawsuit, which means starting the discovery process. The discovery process is when attorneys for both sides will exchange information and evidence with one another. This way, everyone is armed with the same information moving forward toward the trial. There will likely be depositions taken, including for any witnesses that will be called at a trial. Sometimes, a settlement is reached during the discovery process as more information comes forward.
If a settlement cannot be reached during this process, the case will move forward toward mediation and possibly a full jury trial.
Harris County Is a Busy Commercial Trucking Hub
With no less than 12 Interstate LTL (“Less than Truckload”) and 14 Interstate TL (“Truckload”) trucking terminals, the Houston/Harris County to Galveston/Galveston County area is “home” to a significant portion of the daily commercial trucking traffic on Interstate Highways 10 & 45 as well as on US Highways 59, 90, and 290.
When you consider that this same area is also spanned by connector routes such as I-610 and Texas 8, it should be obvious that much of Southeast Texas’ personal and recreational transportation shares the roadways with trucks that range in size from pizza delivery subcompacts to tractor-trailer combinations that may exceed 60 feet in length and weigh more than 75,000 pounds.
Metro Houston’s Highways Are Among the Most Congested in the Nation
Major Commercial Trucking Traffic Bottlenecks / Houston Metro Highways
Peak Avg Speed
Non-Peak Avg Speed
I-45 @ I-69
I-10 @ I-45
I-45 @ I-610(N)
I-10 @ I-610(W)
I-610 @ US-290
I-10 @ I-610(E)
I-610 at I-69/US-59 (West)
I-10 at I-69/US 59
I-45 at Sam Houston Tollway (N)
As is the case nationwide, commercial trucking in Texas is actually surprisingly safe. This means that, on average and per 100 million miles driven, commercial trucks are involved in fewer accidents with injuries than are privately-operated vehicles such as cars and light trucks. Unfortunately, in accidents involving a commercial truck and a private vehicle, the smaller vehicle (and, of course, its occupants) almost always suffer more damage.
Houston Roads Are Among the Most Dangerous
Unfortunately, reliable data on the number of commercial trucking accidents that result in a fatality or serious injury is difficult to locate. The more accurate information is usually uncovered by the news media, as illustrated below.
An average week on Houston roads means 11 fatality accidents and 12 deaths.
When averaged over a 16-year period, 640 people a year died on Houston-area roads, and 2,850 more were seriously injured.
The Houston region ranks second for fatal wrecks that involve speeding.
Houston trails only Dallas in crashes caused by someone slamming into stopped traffic on the freeway.
The nine-county Houston metro area leads the nation for fatal crashes involving drugs and alcohol.
To put these numbers in perspective, in full-year 2022 there were “only” 435 murders in Houston. Clearly, something is very wrong with Houston’s drivers.
Common Reasons Behind Truck Accidents in Houston
Despite federal laws that are in place to ensure the safety of the commercial trucking industry – such as fleet maintenance and driver training requirements – thousands of these accidents take place each year. According to data from the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2021, 5,700 large truck were involved in fatal collisions. Our attorneys realize that most truck accidents are preventable. They take place when a truck driver or another party is negligent or careless. The most common causes of truck accidents in Houston include:
Truck driver mistakes. This can mean speeding, following other vehicles too closely, using the wrong braking techniques, driving while tired, driving distracted and drunk driving.
Trucking company negligence. Examples are failing to properly train new truck drivers, ignoring truck maintenance requirements and breaking federal safety laws.
Truck part malfunctions. If a truck experiences brake failure, a tire blowout or another issue due to poor maintenance or a defective part, this can cause a devastating truck accident.
Unsafe cargo loading. Truck cargo in a bed or trailer should be properly loaded and secured for safe transport. Otherwise, lost cargo loads may occur.
Environmental factors. Some truck accidents are caused by issues with the road or weather, such as potholes and rainstorms.
The Doan Law Firm can provide a comprehensive investigation of your truck accident to determine causation. Then, we can help you file the required paperwork against one or more parties for causing your crash. This could be the truck driver, owner/operator, trucking company, car company, government, part manufacturer or a combination of parties. Our lawyers are passionate about holding wrongdoers accountable for their part in causing devastating truck accidents and can take over your search for justice. A distracted truck driver accident attorney in Houston is ready to take on your case today.
Were You Injured in a Truck Accident in Houston?
The injuries most commonly connected to truck accidents are serious to catastrophic, meaning they will have a future foreseeable impact on the victim. Catastrophic injuries in Houston often lead to the loss of an important bodily function, such as the ability to walk or communicate. At The Doan Law Firm, we represent clients with many different types of injuries from truck accidents in Houston, including:
Back and neck injuries
Head and brain injuries
Rib and torso injuries
Scarring and disfigurement
Losses of limbs
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Our lawyers offer personalized legal services tailored to each client’s unique needs and injuries. We can connect you to top physicians in Houston that can help you recover and restore your health as much as possible. Then, we can go up against any defendant, big or small, in pursuit of maximum financial compensation for your injuries. We know what each case needs to succeed.
Fighting Back Against Careless Commercial Trucking Companies in Houston
Regardless of what you may have been told before, the typical commercial trucking company is concerned with one thing and one thing only: making a profit on every “run!”
Commercial trucking is an expensive business. Take a look at a conservative estimate of what it costs to keep a truck on the road:
The nationwide average price per gallon of diesel fuel is about $3 per gallon and the typical over-the-road semi gets about 7 miles per gallon of fuel. The cost of fuel for a 2500-mile coast-to-coast will be about $1,000.
An experienced driver will earn around 35 cents per mile driven. On the same 2500-mile run, about $875.
Anticipated costs of allowances for routine maintenance, inspections, etc: 10 cents per mile, about $250.
Estimated cost just to stay on the road: about $2,200 per week.
So, how do you think a trucking company stays in business? You guessed it: cut costs!
Proving Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident
Some of the most important pieces of evidence that we can use in a truck accident claim are the truck driver’s personal logbook and driving record, as well as the truck’s “black box.” The logbook can reveal if the trucker has skipped any necessary breaks to rest, and the trucker’s driving record can show us if they have a history of dangerous driving behaviors. Certain models of trucks have “black box” recorders, like an airplane, which uses GPS data to track the truck’s speed at the time of a collision.
Blaming a truck accident only on a truck driver might be only partially correct, though. The trucking company that hired or contracted the trucker can be liable for the accident due to encouraging or requiring the truck driver to violate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. For example, it is common for trucking companies to schedule truck drivers for shifts that exceed the FMCSA maximum of 14 hours with at least 3 hours on break. Trucking companies can also be held vicariously liable for the mistakes of their drivers, depending on the circumstances.
In some cases, a third party is named as a defendant. A third party is someone who wasn’t at the crash site but who still contributed to the accident, such as the manufacturer of a defective truck part or the city in charge of road maintenance. Proving liability for your truck accident will require preserving and collecting key evidence of negligence or fault. A Houston personal injury attorney from The Doan Law Firm can be invaluable in collecting evidence to support your truck accident lawsuit. We can work with investigators and experts to strengthen your case and challenge inaccurate testimony.
What if I’m Partly at Fault for the Truck Accident?
One of the main tactics that insurance carriers and trucking companies will use is to try and shift some or all of the blame for the incident on to you, the injury victim.
Why would they do this?
If the other party can successfully shift liability for the incident, this could reduce how much compensation they pay. However, that does not necessarily mean a truck crash victim received no compensation. Texas operates under what is called a “modified comparative negligence” system. This means that individuals can receive compensation even if they are partially at fault for causing their own injuries, up to a certain point. If a person is 51% or more responsible for their own injuries, they will be unable to recover compensation.
If an individual is less than 51% responsible for causing their own injuries, then they can still receive compensation, but it will be reduced depending on their percentage of fault. For example, if you sustain $100,000 worth of medical bills and lost wages after a truck crash occurs but are found to be 20% responsible for the incident by a jury, you would receive $80,000 instead of the full $100,000 to account for the 20% of fault.
Filing a Wrongful Death Case After a Fatal Truck Crash
When we examine Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, we can see that family members are allowed to file a lawsuit against an alleged negligent party if their loved one loses their life due to the actions or inaction of another individual, business, or entity.
Under the law, only certain individuals are allowed to file wrongful death claims after a fatal truck accident. This includes the surviving spouse, children, parents, or one or more of those individuals on behalf of the others. If family members do not file a wrongful death claim within three months from the date the death occurred, the personal representative of the estate can file the claim instead unless all of the surviving family members who are eligible to file the claim request that the personal representative does not do that.
A successful Houston wrongful death claim can help bring some closure and compensation to family members for the wrongdoing of a truck company or truck driver. If you have any questions about whether or not you or your family members can file a wrongful death claim, please reach out to a skilled truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
How Can Negligent Truck Maintenance Contribute to Accidents?
When we examine information available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), we can see that “Every motor carrier shall systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles subject to its control.”
This can seem like a confusing definition, perhaps even repetitive. But what this means is that the motor carrier must themselves maintain each vehicle or rely on a trusted third party to do the inspection and maintenance on their behalf.
In the event trucking carriers fail to regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles, they could be held responsible for a crash if the failure to maintain the vehicle is what caused the incident. The FMCSA is very clear that commercial motor vehicles are not to be operated in a condition that is likely to cause an accident or breakdown of the vehicle.
There may be various parties who could be held liable for it a truck crash caused by negligent maintenance. This could include the truck carrier (or truck owner operator if that is how the vehicle is operated) as well as any third-party maintenance company responsible for the vehicle. There will need to be an extensive investigation into which party or parties played a role in the inspection and maintenance of a particular truck involved in a collision. A skilled Houston truck accident lawyer will understand the steps needed to take to figure out which parties to investigate and how to obtain the evidence needed to prove what happened.
How Much Is Your Case Worth?
Filing a truck accident claim against one or more parties could result in payment for several of your losses. The value of your case will depend on the severity of the accident and your injuries. If you suffered a catastrophic injury or a loved one died, for example, this will increase the value of your case. The law in Texas allows for the recovery of both economic and noneconomic damages. You may be entitled to financial compensation for both tangible and intangible losses connected to the crash. Common types of damages include:
Present and future medical expenses, including treatments and medications
Disability costs and accommodations
Vehicle damage repair or vehicle replacement
Rental car bills and other out-of-pocket costs
Lost wages and future earning capacity due to a disability
Physical pain and emotional suffering
Psychological trauma (such as PTSD)
Attorney’s fees and legal costs
Diminished enjoyment of life
Loss of consortium, or loss of a loved one’s care and attention
Wrongful death damages, if applicable
Punitive damages to punish a defendant for gross negligence
The value of your case is something that you should discuss with an attorney before you accept an insurance settlement. Your lawyer will want to maximize your settlement or verdict as your legal advocate. This means you can count on an accurate evaluation of how much your case is worth from a lawyer, regardless of an initial settlement offer you’ve received from an insurance carrier.
When Does a Truck Accident Case Result in Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are reserved for specific instances where the at-fault party was grossly negligent or intentionally caused the incident that led to the injuries. These types of damages are not awarded in every single accident case. In fact, they are rare. Some instances where these types of damages may be appropriate for a truck accident claim in Houston include where the driver was found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, when the driver or the employer intentionally violated safety regulations, or some other type of egregious safety violation.
If you believe you may be entitled to punitive damages after your truck accident occurs in Houston, speak to your attorney so you can get their opinion as well.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Texas Truck Accident Claim?
There is no set amount of time it takes for a truck accident claim to settle in Texas. However, we do need to caution you that these cases typically take longer than a traditional vehicle accident claim. In the best-case scenario, the insurance carrier will approve full compensation and send the money within a month or so after the incident occurs. However, insurance carriers can be notoriously difficult to deal with, particularly when they are backed by a well-funded trucking company and legal team.
If there is any dispute about fault for the incident or if the insurance carrier disagrees with how much compensation to pay, this could drag negotiations out for months or even more than a year. If it becomes necessary to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver, company, or maintenance team, this puts the case into the civil court system in Texas. This means that it will take longer for the claim to be resolved. If a jury trial becomes necessary, it could take several years for a case to resolve. Please understand that most cases do not go all the way to a jury.
At The Doan Law Firm, our team is fully prepared to take your case as far as necessary to ensure that you recover the compensation needed.
There Is Never a Fee Unless YOU Win
If you have been involved in a commercial trucking accident, you already know that trucking outfits and their insurance companies have what seems to be an abundant supply of “investigators,” claims adjusters and lawyers. Regardless of what they might tell you, these people are not on your side, and they could care less about your injuries and other losses. Their job is to “cut costs” by finding every possible way to deny you your right to be compensated for your injuries and other losses.
And how do you stand up to those who want to deny you what is rightfully yours? By hiring an experienced commercial truck accident lawyer.
By now, everyone has read the newspaper ads and/or seen those late-night television commercials where a “paid non-attorney spokesperson” is making promises like “No fee unless WE win!” At our firm, we say that those other paid actors (and the occasional real lawyers) get it backward. What they should be promising is what we always promise: If YOU don’t win, WE don’t win.
When you hire our commercial trucking accident lawyer, he will bring years of experience successfully pursuing commercial truck accident lawsuits to make sure that YOU receive a full and fair settlement after YOU were hurt because of an overworked or fatigued driver’s mistakes.
At The Doan Law Firm, we understand that after you have been involved in a commercial trucking accident you will probably be facing more than your share of problems such as loss of your personal vehicle, lost income, medical expenses, and possibly legal expenses that are all due to your accident and injuries. Rather than have you endure even more hardships while you fight for justice, we are always willing to advance you any funds that are necessary for us to prepare your case for trial. In the legal world, this is called a contingency fee agreement and is explained in greater detail elsewhere on our website.
What Should You Do After a Houston Truck Accident?
There are various steps that you can take following a Houston truck accident to help ensure that you recover maximum compensation.
Check for injuries. Right after an accident occurs, you need to check yourselves and any passengers for injuries. Dial 911 and let the dispatcher know where the incident occurred so they can move the appropriate resources in your direction.
Seek medical treatment. You must seek medical treatment after an accident with a larger commercial truck, even if you do not feel much pain right away. Not only does this ensure your well-being, but it establishes a strong link between the commercial truck crash and your injuries. Additionally, you need to continue all medical care until you are cleared by your doctor.
Gather evidence. You should gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the incident as well as in the days and weeks that follow. This includes taking photographs at the scene of the incident, getting the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses, getting the police report, and more. You should also keep track of any expenses you incur as a result of the crash, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage estimates, etc.
Contact an attorney. A skilled Houston truck accident lawyer can get involved in your case very quickly and begin gathering the evidence needed to prove liability. The sooner an attorney gets involved, the more likely your claim is to be successful.
Houston Truck Accident FAQs
After experiencing a truck accident, you likely have questions about the legal process and what steps you need to take in the aftermath of your crash. We answer some of the most frequently asked questions about truck accidents in Houston below. If your question is not answered in the following section, we encourage you to contact our attorney. We are happy to discuss the specific details of your unique case in greater detail.
How Do Truck Accidents Differ From Car Accidents?
Commercial trucks are many times heavier than passenger vehicles such as sedans, SUVs, or minivans. An unladen truck can weigh between 10,000 and 25,000 pounds and a vehicle with a fully loaded trailer can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds. In comparison, a typical large SUV might weigh between 5,400 and 6,000 pounds. The massive size and weight discrepancy between large trucks and passenger vehicles can make any collision particularly devastating.
In addition, commercial vehicles have a number of blind spots that make it more difficult for their drivers to have a complete view of the road. Blind spots may be found directly in front of the truck, in the rear of the vehicle, and running along the sides of its trailer. Depending on the size of its trailer, a truck may also require more room to complete turns or have a higher risk of rolling over. These factors can increase the risk to both truck drivers and other motorists on the road.
What is the Time Limit to File a Texas Truck Accident Claim?
In most cases, the statute of limitations to file a truck accident claim in the state of Texas is two years from the date of the accident. In cases where a wrongful death occurred, the statute of limitations is likewise set at two years. There may be exceptions to this rule in some cases. It’s essential to contact a truck accident attorney in Houston as soon as possible so that you do not lose your opportunity to seek compensation for the injuries you or a loved one suffered.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Truck Accident Claim?
Settling a truck accident case will likely take less time than filing a lawsuit. However, the process may still take several months. Your Houston truck accident attorney will need time to analyze the accident, interview witnesses, obtain evidence, acquire copies of medical records, and calculate expected future expenses.
It may not be possible to immediately determine the extent of the injured party’s wounds. In such a case, it is necessary to wait until an estimate of required medical expenses can be calculated. The negotiation phase of a truck accident settlement can take time, and our lawyer is fully prepared to take your case to court to seek fair damages on your behalf.
Case Results – Truck Accidents
We are proud to fight fiercely on behalf of Houston residents who have been harmed by the negligent acts of others. Our law firm has secured numerous favorable verdicts and settlements such as the following:
$3,500,000 Settlement: Our client suffered serious injuries in a semi-truck accident. We were able to successfully recover a significant settlement on their behalf as compensation for the injuries they incurred.
$2,000,000 Settlement: We were able to secure a settlement on behalf of our client after a commercial truck ran a red light and struck the victim’s car. The victim suffered serious injuries in the preventable collision.
I can't recommend the Doan Law Firm enough! Eduardo was especially wonderful and couldn't have been kinder, more knowledgeable or more patient. The entire team went above and beyond. The Doan Law Firm is exactly who you want on your side!!
I have nothing but great things to say about The Doan Law Firm. My husband got in an accident and I reached out to the firm and they immediately started working on his case and got him the medical treatment he so desperately needed. His entire staff kept me and my husband updated every step of the way. The most important thing, they got us a great result! Thank you so much for everything!
I work with senior paralegal, Logan Erickson. He was very nice and was helpful answering all my questions. Jimmy and all of his team members were excellent and answered all concerns I had. Highly recommended!
The Doan Law firm team deserves more than 5 stars. Specifically Eduardo and his team. They went above and beyond on my daughter’s case. They were always so patient with my numerous calls asking for updates and always thorough explaining to me the process and the next steps. I will highly recommend this firm to my friends and family.
After a traumatic experience being in my 1st automobile accident with my children I was lost and confused. I searched online for an attorney and The Doan Law Firm looked awesome. Having them handle my case was honestly the best decision I've ever made!! From everyone being sincere & ready to work to Mr. Eduardo Mora & his team of paralegals just calling to make sure I was ok and everything in between was A1!! Fantastic bunch of people! Professional, PROMPT, Knowledgeable, Fearless & Compassionate! After my 1st phone call with them I knew I was in good hands. Thank you for taking the time to read this review 💓
Contact a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in a commercial trucking accident, we invite you to contact the truck accident lawyer at The Doan Law Firm to arrange a free review of your potential commercial truck accident injury lawsuit and a review of the legal options that may be available to you and your family members. As always, your case review is always free and does not require you to hire us to represent you in court. If you decide that we should act as your advocate, our truck and car accident lawyers in Houston are always willing to represent you in exchange for a previously-negotiated percentage of the settlement that we will win for you.