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Being involved in an 18-wheeler accident is a scary situation for a driver. A passenger vehicle will always incur more damage than an 18-wheeler or semi-truck simply due to differences in size and force on impact. In 2021, 117,300 large trucks (defined by the National Safety Council as any large or medium truck, excluding buses or motor homes, weighing greater than 10,000 lbs.) were involved in a crash. Of those, 5700 resulted in death.

Some of the largest trucking companies in the United States include UPS, J.B. Hunt, and XPO Logistics.

Which party is liable if I am in an 18-wheeler accident?

There are a host of parties that can be held liable:

The truck driver can also be responsible for maintaining their rig and performing inspections on the truck prior to hitting the road. If they failed to perform their checks or did not maintain their truck, the individual could have additional responsibility attributed to them.

Due to a national truck driver shortage, companies may feel pressured to hire under qualified drivers, push drivers to continue to drive past their physical limitations, or fail to provide adequate training. Carriers can also financially incentivize their drivers with unrealistic metrics, which in turn causes drivers to engage in risky driving practices to meet their goals.

More so than the individual driver, the carrier is responsible for the maintenance, inspection and repair of their fleet. Motor carriers can also engage in practices such as improperly loading cargo or not safely securing loads.

Who else can be found liable?

Other parties involved in a commercial vehicle accident can include:

Insurance coverage is very different for 18-wheelers than it is for your personal car. There are multiple coverages available to properly compensate you for things like medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.

A Houston 18-wheeler accident attorney can help!

If you are in an 18-wheeler accident, you should consult with an experienced, board-certified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will develop a strategy to give you the most compensation to recover and move forward with your life.

Scott Callahan is a board-certified Katy personal injury lawyer by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has been in practice for 25 years. Give us a call today – we are available 24/7 at 713-888-9000.

Over the last decade, rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft gained mass popularity for a multitude of reasons. These companies allow users to easily request an on-demand ride to their destination for often a cheaper fare than taxi cabs or personal drivers. Additionally, they provide many Americans with a flexible second income stream so people can drive on their own time, schedule and vehicle. With these companies are a great benefit, they also present many legal challenges when both riders and drivers become involved in a rideshare accident.

While these companies provide many benefits to travelers and drivers alike, Uber has made media attention in the last several years about the downsides and potential danger associated with rideshare companies. Questions are asked such as: Which insurance company is liable in an Uber accident? Or: What happens if an Uber driver is attacked by a passenger?

Let’s look at the protections in place for both passengers and drivers for rideshare companies should an unfortunate accident or injury occur during a ride.

Which insurance company is liable if I am in a rideshare accident?

Thankfully for both riders and drivers, Uber maintains auto insurance coverage on behalf of their drivers. This covers drivers while they are available or waiting for a ride request, as well as while a driver is enroute to pick up a passenger or during the actual trip. Lyft maintains a similar policy.

While the driver apps are turned off or the driver is not actively engaged in work as a driver, their own personal insurance policy applies. As independent contractors, drivers are generally not eligible for workers’ compensation.

As with any car accident, there are actions you should take to ensure you receive the maximum compensation available to you. You can receive compensation for things like:

Our Houston car accident lawyers are well-versed in what to do, and you can find answers to frequently asked questions about car accidents here.

What happens if I am assaulted or injured while in an Uber?

Last year, Uber was the subject of a lawsuit from 550 passengers over its failure to protect female passengers from kidnapping and sexual assault from ride share drivers. Inadequate background checks on drivers, and a lack of willingness for victims to disclose sexual assault, can create a breeding ground for this type of injury to occur.

Passengers are not the only people at risk during an Uber ride. There have been numerous news stories around the drivers themselves being the victims of assault, robbery or car-jacking.

What protections are in place for both drivers and passengers during a ride? Here, the legal protections can be difficult to decipher. An experienced Houston rideshare accident attorney is well-equipped to advise on your options to obtain justice for your injury.

A Houston rideshare accident attorney can help!

If you are in an accident in an Uber or Lyft, you should not take the next steps alone. Give us a call, and our Katy car accident lawyer will discuss your claim with you and the best options for moving forward with your case. We are available 24/7 at 713-888-9000.

A contingency fee is frequently used by many personal injury law firms, but what is it exactly? Do you really not pay anything out-of-pocket? What happens if you do not win your case? Read on for answers to these questions and more.

How Are Lawyers Paid for Their Services? Hourly, Flat Fee, and Contingency Explained:

There are different ways lawyers can be paid for their services. The first way is to pay an hourly rate and the client will be charged the total amount of time worked on a case. This type of fee agreement is often used by larger law firms. The lawyers and various support staff, like paralegals, bill for their hours worked on a case.

Lawyers can also work on a fixed fee. This is when the attorney charges a flat rate for specific legal services they will perform for you. This type of arrangement is common for estate planning attorneys who may be setting up a will or offering a package of estate planning services.

A contingency fee is structured differently from hourly or fixed fees. Clients do not pay any money upfront or out-of-pocket to the attorney. Instead, the lawyer only gets paid if there is a settlement, judgment, or verdict. When the case is completed and your attorney has successfully secured a recovery, they receive a percentage of that recovery as their attorney’s fees. However, if no recovery is made, then you do not owe anything to the law firm. So, the lawyer only gets paid if he or she gets you compensation.

The percentage of recovery paid to the lawyer can vary anywhere from 33% to 45%. The percentage and an explanation of the contingency fee must be clearly outlined in the agreement you receive at the outset of your case.

How Are Expenses in My Case Paid?

Throughout the course of your case, there will be various expenses incurred. Examples of expenses include:

In a contingency fee agreement, the attorney will front the expense money necessary to pursue the case. The client does not pay any expenses out-of-pocket. The agreement will disclose  that these expenses paid for by the lawyer will be reimbursed to their firm when there is a recovery for the client (via settlement, judgment, or verdict). However, it is important to note that these case expenses are typically not owed to the law firm by the client in the event there is no successful recovery.

What Are the Advantages of a Contingency Fee Agreement?

The advantages of a contingency fee agreement are numerous. The first, and most obvious, advantage is that a client does not have to pay any fees upfront to hire their attorney. This takes financial stress off the client so they can focus on getting better and recovering from their injury.

Because a lawyer will not make any money if they do not win the case, it gives them a large incentive to do everything they can to secure the maximum amount of money possible for you. This can also make them selective in which cases they will accept. If your lawyer takes on your case, they likely think you have a reasonable chance at winning a recovery.

The last advantage is that if you do not win your case, then you do not owe any money to your attorney – either for fees or case expenses. It is important, however, to be sure to review your specific fee agreement, make sure it specifies these terms, and discuss it with your attorney at the beginning of your case so there are no surprises in the end.

Should I Hire a Lawyer on a Contingency Fee Basis?

Here at Scott Callahan & Associates, this is the only fee structure we offer and believe strongly in the advantages and flexibility it gives our clients. If you have been injured, give us a call today. Our Katy personal injury lawyers are here 24/7 to review your claim and answer all your questions.