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Experienced. Aggressive. Trial Lawyers.

Determining Fault in Houston Truck Accidents

Texas Truck Accident Lawyers with a Winning Record. Helping the Injured Nationwide.

While many trucking companies and professional truck drivers adhere to safety regulations and conduct trucking operations safely, there are unfortunately some who willfully and knowingly disregard regulations and operate their trucks with negligence. A typical passenger vehicle is no match for a massive 80,000-pound 18-wheeler truck. If the commercial truck is poorly maintained or dangerously operated, there is a high possibility that other motorists traveling nearby could be seriously injured or even killed. If you were injured in a truck accident, you need to take action and speak with an attorney about your case. A Houston truck accident attorney from Arnold & Itkin can provide you with a helpful consultation free of charge, so you understand your rights and options. We are prepared to fight for the recovery you deserve.

Who Is at Fault for the Truck Accident?

One of the most crucial elements for determining fault is the legal principle of “negligence.” Insurance companies and courts will assign fault using the idea of negligence, or a driver’s failure to exercise “duty of care.” Essentially, whichever driver was more careless will be considered more at fault. Negligence is partially determined through eyewitness accounts and citations given at the scene of the accident. The police, who will ideally arrive shortly, will interview each driver, any passengers or witnesses, and will fill out a police report that includes their professional opinion. They will also investigate any traffic violations that occurred before or during the accident, giving citations where appropriate.

It is important to remember that a police report is not a definitive document that determines fault. Some courts may consider much of a police report “hearsay,” meaning it is not admissible as evidence. However, citations do help determine which of the drivers was being more careless. For example, if a police report indicates that one driver was texting, the citation for texting may result in that driver being found more negligent. Another important part of determining fault is proof that a driver was violating the vehicle code, even if they were not cited for it at the time.

Understanding the Three Negligence Laws

There are three negligence rules practiced nationwide:

  • Pure Contributory Negligence
  • Pure Comparative Fault
  • Modified Comparative Fault.

Pure Contributory Negligence

This rule dictates that if one driver contributed even slightly to a collision, they cannot recover damages and are considered at fault. The rule can be disputed if the plaintiff can prove that the defendant was being willfully destructive or knowingly negligent. The law itself is rather tough—it requires virtually total innocence on the part of the plaintiff, but fortunately for injured drivers, only a handful of states utilize this rule.

Pure & Modified Comparative Fault

Pure comparative fault acknowledges that fault can be divided between two drivers. Pure comparative fault means that a plaintiff can sue for damages for whatever portion of fault that the defendant contributed, even if the plaintiff is 99% at fault. Damages are calculated by subtracting the percentage of fault of the plaintiff from the total damages awarded. Modified comparative fault is the same rule, except that it bars plaintiffs from suing for damages when they are more than 50% at fault (or 51%, depending on the state).

Trucking Companies Can Be Held Liable

Motorists and passengers injured by the negligence of a trucking company and / or truck driver are entitled to compensation for their injuries. If you or a family member has been seriously injured by the dangerous or negligent acts of a trucker or trucking company, a personal injury lawyer at Arnold & Itkin can help you seek compensation for your injury or loss. Trucking companies have an obligation to operate their trucks safely.

That obligation includes responsibilities for:

  • Proper maintenance of their trucks
  • Hiring and maintaining adequately skilled truck drivers
  • Ensuring that truck drivers are not fatigued by too demanding a driving schedule

Who Else Can Be Held Responsible?

If the truck accident was caused by poor truck maintenance or the trucking company's failure to thoroughly screen the driver before hiring him / her, the trucking company can be held liable for your injuries, but the trucking company is not the only party who may be responsible. If the truck itself was poorly designed, or is flawed in any way, the truck manufacturer may be responsible. The list of parties responsible for the safe design, manufacture, maintenance, and operation of commercial 18-wheeler trucks is a long one. If negligence occurs anywhere in the chain of responsibility for truck safety, the culpable parties can and should be held accountable.

How Our Team of Texas Trucking Accident Lawyers Can Help

If you have questions following the serious injury of yourself or a loved one caused by an accident with a commercial 18-wheeler or other large truck, a truck accident lawyer can help you get answers. Our firm can investigate the details of an accident, as well as the truck driver's history, the truck's maintenance history, and many more factors to determine who is at fault and where responsibility for the accident and resultant injuries lies. Then we can help you claim fair and just compensation for your loss, holding those who are responsible accountable in court.

Schedule a free case evaluation when you call Arnold & Itkin at (888) 493-1629 today.

Case Results

Check Out Our Victories

  • $12Million Massive Settlement Obtained for Truck Driver Arnold & Itkin is proud to announce that our firm has secured a $12 million settlement on behalf a truck driver who was crushed by his own cargo—which then led directly to a stroke. The driver, who was 56 years old at the time, now requires costly around-the-clock care to carry out basic tasks. The defendants argued that the stroke was his fault—but Cory Itkin was able to counter their arguments enough to compel them to settle. Our client has received everything he needs for a stable future.
  • $10Million Settlement Won for Family Against Negligent Trucking Company Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Caj Boatright, and Ces Tavares represented a family who had lost their father in a tragic 18-wheeler accident. He was driving home when a trucker made a dangerous maneuver and caused a massive collision. The trucking company ultimately settled for $10 million.
  • $10Million Settlement Obtained for Family Affected by Fatal Vehicle Accident Our firm represented the family of two people who were killed after their vehicle was hit by an 18-wheeler running a red light. We were successful in reaching an eight figure settlement on their behalf.
  • $3.2Million Settlement Reached for Injured Husband & Wife Attorney Cory Itkin represented a husband and wife who were injured after being hit by two semi-trucks. The wife sustained back injures while the husband was knocked unconscious; he needed several surgeries. Our firm was successful in reaching a settlement of $3.2 million for the couple.
  • $2.1Million Settlement Obtained for Truck Accident Victim Arnold & Itkin LLP secured a multimillion-dollar settlement for a man who suffered severe neck and back injuries in a truck accident. Our firm aggressively pursued the case until the defendant settled with our client days before trial.
  • $2Million Large Settlement Obtained for Grieving Family Arnold & Itkin is proud to have secured a massive settlement for a family who lost their loved one due to the negligence and reckless action of a commercial vehicle driver. Our work will allow our clients to live in financial stability while they grieve and heal from this tragedy.
  • $1.6Million Large Settlement Reached for Victim of Severe Truck Accident Truck accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin secured a sizable settlement for a client who was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler on the highway. Her injuries required multiple surgeries, but the defendants refused to take responsibility. Her $1.6 million settlement will get her the medical care and financial support she needs.
  • $1.5Million Big Rig Accident Victim Received Jury Verdict Arnold & Itkin LLP obtained a $1.5 million verdict on behalf of a client who suffered a torn meniscus when he was bumped by a tractor trailer. We are especially pleased with this result because the defendants accepted no responsibility for the injury and only offered to settle for $5000.
  • $1.5Million Jury Verdict Ruled in Favor of Longshoreman Arnold & Itkin obtained a $1.55 million verdict on behalf of a client who was seriously injured when a yard mule driver collided with the pickup truck in which he was standing. The defendants only offered to settle for $35,000 while denying the existence of an injury at all.
  • $1.49Million Settlement for Man Struck by a Truck Our firm helped represent a client who was severely injured after he was struck by a truck. We helped recover $1.49 million on his behalf.
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“What I feel is that he never considered me as a number, never looked at me as a number. He looked at me as a person, as an individual who needs help, who needs guidance.” - Mildred Solar Cortes