Wide Turn Truck Accident Lawyer in Houston
While every driver needs to be vigilant when turning, the issue is particularly critical for truckers. Semi-truck drivers have a responsibility to use the utmost caution and maneuver their vehicles carefully when making any turn, given the massive size of their vehicles. Large blind spots also make it difficult for truck drivers to see other vehicles that may be in the path of their turn.
Although most wide turn accidents don’t happen at high speeds, they can still cause significant harm to occupants of smaller passenger vehicles.
If you were injured in a wide-turn truck accident in Houston, don’t wait for the trucking company and their insurers to contact you. Get an experienced Houston truck accident attorney on your side immediately. You deserve fair compensation for your injuries, and the trucking company and their insurers want to avoid paying what they owe.
What Are Wide Turn Truck Accidents?
Commercial trucks are large and hard-to-maneuver vehicles. Their size and shape also mean they have extensive blind spots. Turning these massive vehicles can be a challenge both because of their dimensions and the size of these blind spots, especially when making a wide right turn.
Trucks need a wide berth to be able to turn. Sometimes, this means extending the trailer portion of the truck into another lane of traffic. When there is not enough space to make a wide turn, smaller passenger vehicles can get wedged between the cab and the trailer, the side of a vehicle can be scraped, or a car may be hit from another angle. Because of the truck’s blind spots, the driver may not see the passenger vehicles until the crash has occurred.
Common Causes of Wide Turn Semi-Truck Accidents in Houston
Wide-turn truck accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. However, driver error is often the root cause. Some of the most common reasons for wide-turn truck accidents include:
- Failure to check and monitor blind spots
- Faulty turn signals
- Failing to use turn signals
- Making a turn too quickly
- Making an unsafe lane change before turning
- Lack of driver experience or training
- Distracted driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Fatigued driving
Truck drivers have a duty to operate their trucks safely. When a negligent truck driver causes an accident, an experienced wide-turn truck accident attorney can help you determine the events that led to the accident, so you can hold the at-fault parties responsible for the harm they caused.
CDL Turning Rules
Truck drivers are professionals. To earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL), individuals must go through courses that test their skills and knowledge. Wide left-turn and right-turn safety is a part of that training. Most CDL manuals specifically outline the precautions that commercial truck drivers must take before negotiating a wide right or left turn. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also offers guidance on the subject.
For wide right turns, drivers should:
- Enter the turn slowly
- Ensure the rear of the vehicle is close to the curb
- Avoid swinging out to the left
- Turn wide to complete the turn maneuver
- Watch for other vehicles if you must cross oncoming traffic
- Give all oncoming vehicles room to stop or pass
- Avoid backing up during the turn
For wide left turns, drivers must:
- Reach the center of the intersection before starting the turn
- Use the right-hand lane when there are two turning lanes
Who Is Liable for a Wide-Turn Accident?
Determining fault for a wide-turn accident isn’t always straightforward. The truck driver may be solely to blame, or the fault may lay with both the truck driver and others. A third party may even be partially liable for a wide-turn accident in some circumstances.
Following a wide-turn collision, an attorney can begin investigating to determine who is at fault. Responsible parties could include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck or trailer owner, if different from the trucking company
- A truck or parts manufacturer
Establishing liability is crucial for helping a victim maximize their compensation after a wide-turn accident.
Recovering Damages in a Wide-Turn Tractor-Trailer Accident in Houston
The compensation a victim can recover after a wide-turn accident can vary based on the severity of the person’s injuries and their role in causing the accident. Generally speaking, though, a victim can attempt to recover money for the following types of losses following an accident:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Insurers will work aggressively to diminish the value of your claim. Before you let a trucking company and their insurer place a value on your case, talk to a skilled Houston wide-turn accident attorney. An attorney can give you a fair and accurate estimate of how much your case may be worth.
What Should I Do If I Was Injured in a Wide Right Turn Truck Accident?
If you are injured in a wide right-turn truck accident, get medical attention immediately. Your health and safety come first. Your medical records may also play a vital role in establishing liability and estimating the value of your compensation. Do not skimp on follow-up appointments, and always follow your doctor’s treatment plan.
If possible, try to collect information and evidence at the accident scene, such as photos and videos of the damaged vehicles and surrounding area and eyewitness contact information. Injured victims should also keep all copies of medical bills, car repair expenses, and out-of-pocket receipts. This paperwork can also help establish the value of a claim.
In addition, avoid talking about the accident in detail with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Anything you say can be used against your case, so it’s always best to politely refer them to your attorney. Also, never sign anything the trucking company or insurer provides or accept a settlement before talking to an experienced wide-turn truck accident attorney.
Talk to an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible following the collision. Trucking companies and insurers are motivated to pay out as little as possible to claimants. An experienced attorney can lead an exhaustive investigation to build a strong case for compensation on your behalf.
Contact Our Experienced Houston Truck Accident Lawyers Today
A wide-turn truck accident can change your life. Don’t put your future in the hands of the trucking company and its insurers. Get help managing your claim and seeking full and fair compensation for your injuries. Turn to the team at The Callahan Law Firm.