Houston Truck Rollover Accident Attorneys
When you’re hurt by a heavy truck, get hard-hitting representation
When an 18-wheeler rolls over, the consequences can be devastating for everyone else on the road. Rollovers can cause devastating damage to people in smaller vehicles as the massive bulk of a tractor-trailer blocks multiple lanes of traffic. You may be dealing with life-altering injuries, or even the loss of a loved one. You have rights under Texas law, and you need the right truck accident attorney to protect them.
Smith & Hassler, Attorneys at Law has the experience, knowledge, and resources to take on the trucking companies, their insurance companies, and anyone else responsible for your truck rollover accident. If you’ve been hurt in a truck rollover in Texas, take immediate action to protect your rights and rebuild your life. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced truck rollover accident lawyer in Houston.
Usually, truck rollovers are a result of negligence
Heavy trucks are dangerous not just because of their size, but also because of their high center of gravity. It’s quite easy for a truck to become destabilized and roll over or jackknife. That’s why truck drivers are required to hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which includes training and experience in safe maneuvering to avoid rollovers.
Unfortunately, truck drivers do not always meet the high legal standards set for commercial vehicles, and serious truck accidents result. Rollovers can happen due to:
- Driving too fast around curves. When maneuvering around a curve or using a ramp to enter or exit the highway, a truck driver must take into account the configuration of the curve, the overall road conditions, and the height and load of the truck itself. If a trucker takes the curve too fast, the force of acceleration can cause the truck to lose stability and roll over.
- Abrupt changes in steering. If a trucker has to swerve to avoid a collision, the centrifugal force of the swerve may push the truck’s high center of gravity to the side and cause the truck to tip over. Oversteering more generally can also cause a rollover, for instance if the trucker overcompensates for a loss of traction.
- Improperly secured cargo. When a truck is loaded, the cargo has to be centered and kept from shifting during travel. If the cargo shifts to the side when the truck rounds a corner, the weight of the cargo can cause a rollover. This also applies to partially full tanker trucks as the liquid sloshes from side to side during turns.
In other words, the cause of a truck rollover usually comes down to the truck driver going too fast or not paying attention. A trucker who is distracted, tired, or driving under the influence may not notice a hazard until it’s too late to avoid without swerving, causing a sudden maneuver and thus a rollover. Likewise, a driver who is going too fast for the conditions may cause a rollover when negotiating a curve at that high speed. Often, this isn’t entirely the trucker’s fault; it’s a result of pressure from the trucking company to make an unrealistic delivery schedule.
Occasionally, negligence of a party other than the truck driver can cause a rollover. If another vehicle cut in front of the truck or slammed on its brakes, for instance, the trucker may have had no choice but to swerve to avoid a rear-end accident. If the truck is carrying a sealed load, the trucker can still determine the overall weight but may not be aware that the load is top-heavy.
We know how to investigate and get to the bottom of a rollover
Finding out why and how a semi-truck rolled over requires an exhaustive investigation. We pore over accident reports, interview witnesses, and review physical evidence from the scene to get a sense of what happened. Sometimes, we need to go beyond what’s in the police report, especially if the rollover involved a “phantom vehicle” that the truck had to swerve to avoid. We’ll also secure key pieces of evidence, such as the hours of service (HOS) log and the “black box” navigation data, which may help us understand how fast the truck was going and whether the trucker was taking mandatory rest breaks.
Once we know what happened and who was responsible, we will take prompt legal action against the responsible parties – whether that’s the trucking company, manufacturer, shipper of the cargo, driver of another vehicle, or anyone else who contributed to the accident. We know Texas law, and we know how to build compelling cases that the trucking companies and their insurance companies can’t ignore. Usually, we can get them to offer a fair settlement. If not, we will take the next step.
Taking on the trucking companies is difficult, but we have the experience and resources to meet that challenge. We can match the trucking companies shot for shot, and we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay us a cent out of pocket. If we win, our fee is a percentage of the money we recover for you; if we don’t win, you don’t pay us at all. In short, you can afford to level the playing field. What you can’t afford is to go it alone.
Take immediate action after a truck rollover accident
Time is of the essence in rollover cases. We need to start our investigation right away before important evidence disappears – or is destroyed by the trucking company. You need an attorney on your side to intervene and make sure the information you need is preserved. Moreover, the sooner you get us involved, the sooner we can start dealing with the trucking company and their insurance companies on your behalf, protecting your rights while you focus on healing.
If you were hurt in a truck rollover accident, get an attorney on your side who knows how to win big cases. Schedule your free consultation with Smith & Hassler today.