Get Compensation for an Unsecured Truckload Accident
A 2012 study from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), authorized by Congress, indicated that 440 deaths and 10,000 injuries, in more than 51,000 incidents, were the result of unsecured loads and road debris. Perhaps you—like most people—have never really thought about a trucking accident caused by unsecured cargo until it happens to you. After all, we assume there is someone responsible for ensuring a truck’s cargo is securely attached to the truck.
While there are relatively few problems with unsecured cargo, when a problem does arise it is typically a large one. Innocent drivers have been injured and killed when unsecured cargo lands on the road in front of them or smashes into their windshield. Imagine what it is like to be rolling down the highway at 65 mph or more when a massive object crashes through your windshield or appears directly in front of you, leaving you no time to make an evasive maneuver.
Any cargo which falls from a tractor-trailer can lead to serious accidents, injuries, and death. Survivors can be left dealing with terrible injuries and facing mounting medical and rehabilitation bills at a time when they are unable to work. If you or a loved one was injured or someone has died in an unsecured load accident you may be entitled to compensation through insurance or a lawsuit.
While no amount of money can make up for your suffering, a settlement can relieve your financial burdens and make it easier to start rebuilding your life. However, Texas injury laws are complex, the trucking industry is regulated by a host of federal and state laws, and trucking companies and their insurers will often try to deny your claim or get you to settle for the lowest amount possible, so it can be difficult to fight for fair compensation without legal assistance.
The Houston unsecured load truck accident lawyer at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law know how to deal with the laws and multiple parties and insurance companies involved with a wide range of truck accidents. We understand the difficulties you face after a traumatic accident, and we have the knowledge and resources to build a strong case with the best chances of winning a favorable verdict or settlement.
At this difficult time, when you have so much to deal with, let us handle all legal hurdles, investigations, negotiations and court appearances involved with proving liability and winning optimum compensation, so you can focus on your recovery.
We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your accident and determine the best way to move forward. There are no fees to you unless we win, so call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law now at (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.
Our Unsecured Truckload Lawyer in Houston Works for You
Why Choose Us
Not all lawyers are the same, and it’s important to choose the one you not only feel comfortable with but the one who has the experience needed to go up against large trucking companies. Hiring the right attorney can help you receive the full amount you need to compensate for your bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses.
Here are some reasons why we believe the unsecured truckload accident lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law are your best choice:
- We have more than 35+ years of experience. Terry Bryant is a former judge who gives him a unique perspective and insight into what it takes to build a strong case for each of his clients.
- We get results, and have recovered $1 billion for our clients. Visit our client victories page to read about real cases — and real money — the dedicated attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law have won.
- We provide great customer service and are available 24/7 for client emergencies.
- Terry Bryant and two additional attorneys are Board Certified.
- We have a 98 % positive group of satisfied clients who give testimonials to our service.
- We are recognized in our field — our law firm has received the Better Business Bureau’s Winner of Distinction Award multiple times.
- We have the resources of a skilled legal team, investigators, and expert witnesses to go up against a large trucking or insurance company.
- We offer free initial consultations to get you started.
- We offer a No Fee Guarantee®, which means you pay us nothing unless you get your money.
How We Can Help
When you have our unsecured truckload attorneys on your side, we will start working for you immediately. We will:
- Meet with you to discuss how the accident happened, who the responsible parties may be, and how much your case should be worth.
- Investigate the accident and gather evidence, such as from photos and traffic videos, trucking records, and police and medical reports.
- Interview witnesses, police officers, and first responders to get all available information.
- Thoroughly assess all your damages, including current and future medical bills, lost income, damaged property and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
- Hire experts to testify as to how the accident occurred, how your injuries affect your life, and that of your family, and the costs that resulted and projected costs into the future.
- Negotiate with insurance companies and attorneys to fight for a fair settlement on your behalf.
- Build your case and present it in front of a judge or jury if your case goes to trial.
Accidents involving trucks bring challenges that go beyond those of ordinary vehicle accident, personal injury, or wrongful death cases and require knowledge, skill, and thorough investigations.
Our Houston unsecured truckload lawyers are fully prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law at (713) 973-8888.
Damage Awards Our Unsecured Truckload Attorney May Recover
In a successful lawsuit, our unsecured truckload attorney may win a monetary award, called damages, for the injuries that resulted. In Texas, damage awards should cover not only your monetary losses and costs, called “special damages,” but also your non-economic damages, called “general” damages, which compensate you for losses that do not have a specific dollar value but negatively affect your life. Typical damage awards compensate for:
- Medical and rehabilitation bills and continuing care
- Lost wages, current and projected into the future
- Property damages from the accident
- Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering
- Permanent disability, disfigurement, and scarring
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Loss of quality of life.
To qualify for non-economic damages in Texas, you must have had physical injury and costs as well as pain and suffering.
In some rare situations, where the crash was caused by actions that were wantonly reckless and negligent, you may also be awarded punitive damages. Texas law (CPRC Title 2 Subchapter C Sec. 41.008) caps the amounts of punitive damages.
Amounts of Damage Awards
There is a wide range of damage awards possible in a successful lawsuit, from the thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the circumstances of the case and factors such as the actual dollar amount of losses and the availability of insurance and assets to go toward a settlement. In general, the more permanent and severe the injury, the greater the monetary costs and impact on your life, the higher your damage award may be.
The skill and negotiating power of your attorney is also a factor, and our Houston unsecured load attorneys will examine all factors involved to determine what a fair settlement should be and do everything possible to fight for maximum compensation.
Laws Concerning Unsecured Loads
The trucking industry is highly regulated, and there are many laws that come into play when dealing with accidents involving trucks and their cargo.
Under Texas law, Transportation Code Section 725.001, it is a misdemeanor offense for a driver to fail to secure a load. The code details that cargo or loose materials should be prevented from falling from a truck or trailer onto the roadways, and that no materials which are capable of blowing or spilling (dirt, gravel, sand, etc.) shall be transported unless in a completely enclosed trailer, with a canvas or tarp securely covering the top of the load. This Texas law also relates to “regular” passenger vehicles with unsecured loads.
Federal regulations require cargo to be secured according to specific rules. These rules require the use of cargo securement systems which can withstand minimum forces. There are additional requirements for cargo such as concrete pipes, heavy machinery, hazardous materials and metal coils. The securement system must be appropriate for the cargo’s size, shape, strength, and characteristics.
There are strict statutes of limitation in Texas, as in every state, for filing a personal injury claim following a truck accident. (*Always speak directly to an attorney for the exact deadlines that apply to your potential claims.) Therefore, it is advantageous to seek legal counsel soon after the accident. The earlier you begin the legal process, the greater the chance of recovering fair compensation for your injuries.
Goal Of Trucking Companies Is their Financial Bottom Line
Trucking companies have a single-minded goal, which is to transport the greatest amount of cargo in the shortest amount of time. By doing so, the trucking company is rewarded with the highest possible profit margin. Taken together, these are the primary factors in a truck being overloaded or loaded with unsecured cargo. An overloaded truck or truck with unsecured cargo can be a danger to all the vehicles sharing the road with the truck. Some of the most common causes of unsecured cargo include:
- Cargo falling off the truck
- Imbalanced loads leading to a rollover accident
- Improper or lack of tie-downs
- Unstable stacking of the cargo
- Negligence on the part of the truck driver in failing to frequently check the load.
Dangers of Cargo Shifts
Shifting cargo resulting from improperly secured loads can also be responsible for serious accidents to others on the roadways. While all cargo shifts to some extent during transport during turns, accelerations or stops, it must be loaded in such a way that the weight is distributed to reduce cargo shift. The cargo could be overweight, making it much more likely shift and spill, or the weight could be unevenly distributed, leading to braking difficulties which can cause the truck to tip over during a turn. Some trucks also carry hazardous materials, including toxic chemicals or highly flammable liquids. These liquids, like any liquids, can begin to slosh back and forth, resulting in a truck wreck. Proper restraints are required on cargo loaded on a flatbed trailer. If it is not, the weight of the cargo can suddenly shift, causing those restraints to be rendered practically useless.
Defendants in Unsecured Load Cases
As with any trucking accident, litigation for injury or death can be very complex due to the number of potential defendants. If you were injured by unsecured cargo, you might be entitled to sue a variety of people or entities. The loading company could be at fault if they failed to properly secure the load. Perhaps the fault lies squarely on the shoulders of the truck driver. Although the driver does not personally load the truck, he or she is responsible for ensuring the load is safely strapped down.
The trucking company that employs the trucker may be responsible if they hired an inexperienced driver or neglected to perform a proper background check. In some instances, the cargo which falls off the truck could be related to a manufacturing defect in the truck or trailer. Your attorney may well find there is more than one person responsible for your accident. An experienced truck accident attorney will be well-versed in the complexities associated with unsecured cargo accidents and will gather all information pertinent to your accident, including logbooks and hiring information for the driver.
To win your case, our unsecured load truck accident attorneys must prove that the truck or cargo company (or otherwise potentially liable party who is a defendant in the case) was negligent and at fault for causing the accident in which you were injured. Proving negligence legally means showing the existence of the following elements:
- Duty: The defendant had a duty not to cause harm.
- Breach: The defendant breached this duty by actions or failure to act.
- Cause: This breach caused your injuries.
- Damages: You suffered actual damages as a result.
Rest assured that our legal team will investigate the accident thoroughly to find all negligent and responsible parties as they all may have assets and insurance that could go toward a settlement.
Get Help from Our Houston Unsecured Load Trucking Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident in Houston or anywhere in the state of Texas, it is important to know that you are not alone. Call a Board Certified personal injury attorney experienced with trucking accidents to evaluate your potential claim. The skilled and compassionate personal injury lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law are here to take the burden off you and handle all legal hurdles involved in getting you optimum compensation, so you can focus on rebuilding your life.
Don’t delay, as there are time limits for filing. According to Texas law (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code, Title 2 section 16.003), you typically only have two years after an accident to file an injury claim, or the courts are likely to refuse to hear your case. (*Always speak directly to an attorney for the exact deadlines that apply to your potential claims.)
Call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law now at (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 for a free case evaluation. There are no costs or fees to you unless and until you win your case.