Speeding is always hazardous. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), close to a third of accidents in the last two decades have involved speeding. Speeding is even more dangerous when it involves a semi-truck. A speeding truck both increases the chances of an accident and the risk of severe injuries if a crash occurs.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident with a speeding truck in Houston, The Callahan Law Firm is ready to help. Truck accidents are complicated, but we have an in-depth understanding of the laws and regulations that apply to these cases. We’ll leverage our vast experience with these accidents to help you pursue full financial recovery.
Get in touch with us today to discuss your best path forward.
What Is Speeding?
Speeding involves driving over the legal speed limit or driving too fast for conditions regardless of the posted limit.
Traffic engineers consider various factors when determining an area’s speed limit, including traffic volume, setting, and sight distances. Truck speed limits, however, are sometimes lower than general speed limits since it’s more challenging to handle and stop a truck than other, smaller vehicles.
When road conditions are adverse due to traffic or weather, truck drivers must slow down to a reasonably safe speed to avoid rear-ending vehicles or sliding out of control. Unfortunately, some truck drivers feel the need to speed to make it to their destinations on time in order to avoid repercussions from their employers. Speeding can lead to accidents and injuries.
What Are the Dangers When Truckers Speed in Houston?
No matter the reason for speeding, there is no justification for putting others in harm’s way. A speeding truck is dangerous for several reasons, including:
- Loss of control – First and foremost, speeding often contributes to a loss of control over the vehicle. That is a major issue with all vehicles, and even more so for semi-trucks. Because of their massive weight and size, truck drivers should always aim to maintain a speed that allows for complete control over the truck.
- Crossing into oncoming traffic – Mostly due to a loss of control, speeding trucks have a higher chance of crossing into oncoming traffic. It is not uncommon to see trucks wavering in their lane while they are speeding. If a truck driver does cross into oncoming traffic or another lane, it can be more difficult for them to correct the truck while moving at excess speeds.
- Jackknifes – Jackknife accidents are one of the most dangerous types of semi-truck accidents. A jackknife occurs when the trailer of the truck swings out to the side, causing the truck to form a V-shape, much like a pocketknife. Jackknife accidents usually occur when a truck driver has lost control of the semi-truck.
- Longer stopping time and distance – Speeding semi-trucks require much more time and distance to come to a complete stop. A longer stop time and distance puts other drivers at high risk, especially those in front of the semi-truck.
- Momentum rollovers – Speeding gives a truck more momentum, so if a driver tries to brake suddenly or there is a collision, this momentum may result in a rollover. Because trucks are top-heavy, speeding trucks are also more likely to become unbalanced and roll over when making turns. Rollovers can result in severe injuries and extensive property damage.
How a Speeding Truck Makes Injuries Worse
Accidents involving speeding vehicles usually lead to more devastating injuries. This is especially true when a speeding semi-truck is involved. It is simply a matter of physics. A tractor-trailer can weigh from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds. That means it will hit another vehicle with immense force even at relatively low speeds. When weight is combined with speed, the force of impact substantially increases, and the results can be catastrophic.
Some of the most common injuries involving speeding trucks include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Broken bones
- Joint damage
- Crushed limbs
- Loss of limbs
In the most unfortunate circumstances, a collision with a speeding truck can result in death.
Types of Compensation in a Speeding Truck Crash Claim
Following a truck accident caused by another party, you have a right to pursue compensation to cover the expenses and losses you sustain as a result. These may include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
Your truck accident attorney will consider many factors when determining what your case is truly worth. Then they will work diligently to pursue the financial recovery you need.
Holding the Truck Driver or Trucking Company Liable for Speeding
The trucking industry in general is highly regulated. Trucking companies and truck drivers must follow certain state and federal laws and guidelines designed to keep road users safe. Truck drivers must obey speed limits, for example, and motor carriers must create schedules that take into account speed limits and hours of service requirements.
To hold a truck driver or trucking company at fault for a collision, you must establish that their negligence led to the accident and your injuries. Driving above the speed limit, driving too fast for road and weather conditions, or imposing tight delivery schedules that necessitate speeding are all forms of negligence that could cause a crash.
There are ways to help establish whether the truck driver was speeding at the time of the accident or the trucking company encouraged speeding. This may include analyzing the truck’s black box, which may show the truck’s speed at the time of the crash, measuring skid marks, analyzing damage, reviewing important documents such as the hours-of-service records, the truck driver’s logbook, GPS records, and the delivery schedule, and other evidence.
Steps to Take After a Speeding Truck Accident in Houston
The aftermath of a truck accident is overwhelming. However, you can take simple steps to help you on the path toward physical and financial recovery. These include:
- Seeking medical care promptly following the accident
- Following through on your medical treatment plan
- Gathering evidence such as photos and receipts
- Maintaining important documents, such as medical records
- Reporting your accident to your insurance company
- Refraining from discussing the accident on social media
- Tracking the pain and missed activities you suffer due to your injuries each day
- Consulting with a truck accident lawyer
Contact Our Experienced Houston Speeding Truck Accident Lawyers Today
The Callahan Law Firm has over 25 years of experience helping injured clients in the Houston area. We fully understand the struggles and complexities of truck accident cases. Our firm gives you the attention you deserve while we fight diligently for your right to fair compensation. You only have one chance at financial recovery — let us help you get there.
Contact us today to get started with a free claim review.