At the very heart and soul of Texas’ trucking industry, is Baytown, which boasts the highest trucking activity across the state. Also, Baytown is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. The majority of trucking companies pay their drivers on a per-mile basis. Because of the favorable wages, it has incentivized many truck drivers to take a liking to their job and work as hard as they can, and make as many trips as possible.
But, the concept of trucking companies paying wages on a per-mile basis contributes to unsafe driving conditions resulting from things such as lack of sufficient sleep. In case you, a close one, or a family member has fallen victim to injuries resulting from a truck accident, you should reach out to our Baytown truck accident lawyers here at Gomel & Associates. Our personal injury firm represents victims of all accident types.
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Why Should You Consider Hiring A Truck Accident Attorney?
There are times when it can prove challenging figuring out what to do next after you or a loved one has been involved in an 18-wheeler accident. There’s a high chance the truck accident will leave you in a state of emotional pandemonium. Still, the best way to handle the situation is by approaching the incident like a standard road accident.
This implies that your first step should be ensuring you and anybody else entangled in the incident is safe as you immediately call the police and emergency response crew. After that, you should get in touch with the top truck collision attorneys to deal with all the legal aspects of the accident. We at Gomel & Associates, recommend you should consider taking the following measures after suffering an injury in a truck accident.
You should make sure that essential proof is preserved to assist with your claim. Such evidence may include things like the car’s onboard computer data, skid marks, debris, and car damage. Our expert legal team will work fast to help you in pursuing compensation for pain suffered, injuries sustained, or wrongful death. By getting our professional truck collision lawyers to handle the issue promptly, you will be increasing your chances of receiving fair reimbursement for injuries and losses from the insurance company and trucking company.
It’s essential noting that companies in the trucking industry have their own emergency response team who are dispatched to the scene within hours of the incident occurring. So it’s crucial acting fast to gain a head start.
In case the truck-related accident results in traumatic injuries or wrongful death, the investigation crew will evaluate the scene of the accident comprehensively, as they record every detail while taking measurements and pictures. If no fatal consequences are resulting from the accident, investigators will make a point of evaluating the scene of the accident. Either way, we advise you to take as many photos of the site with your phone as you can. Take pictures of all the vehicles involved ensuring to capture any debris, the last resting position, and road skid marks.
Quintessentially, insurance providers of the trucking company in question hire accident reconstruction pros whose sole job is pinning the liability of the collision on you. That’s why having records of the accident scene like pictures can prove to be an effective offensive and defense mechanism. Furthermore, your case against the trucking company or trucker will be less taxing if you enlist the services of an experienced trucking accident lawyer to take over the reins of the issue right away after the accident has occurred.
The initial state of your vehicle before getting involved in a crash will be among the various factors to be considered while conducting the investigation. If it had underlying mechanical issues that may have played a hand in the accident occurring, then you should be aware it will significantly impact your case’s outcome. Whichever the scenario, you should reach out to your lawyer before having your vehicle fixed or totaled in the event the damages are too expensive and extensive to fix.
What Are The Steps To Take When Involved In A Truck Accident?
You may have gotten different sources of information concerning how you should react after getting involved in an 18-wheeler collision, but most of that info may see you respond too late. Fortunately, we always advise people to equip themselves with the proper information concerning what they should do to make sure they and their loved ones are protected after being involved in a truck collision.
Don’t Leave The Scene
It is a severe offense to do a hit-and-run. To ensure you remain at the site of the collision. If you stay at the scene of the incident, you will be avoiding hit-and-run accusations as well as bring safety to other parties that were a part of the incident. You will also have the opportunity of taking note of everybody that was part of the incident, including prospective witnesses.
Contact 911 immediately to inform emergency response teams and law enforcement personnel about the accident. If you can’t make the call for one reason or the other, please somebody else on-site to make the call for you.
Check On Other Parties Involved In The Truck Accident
After making sure you don’t have severe injuries, check on the welfare of other persons involved in the trucking accident.
Document The Whole Incident With Your Phone
If you can, try documenting as many details of the incident as possible. It can either be video footage, skid marks, injuries sustained, photos of the vehicles, road conditions, road signs, and nearby landmarks.
Collect Names Of Witnesses & Contact Information
You should make a point of interviewing people who witnessed what really happened as well as get their names and contact info. They may prove to be valuable witnesses for your case, especially if they are in support of your claims since they will state and back up the facts of how things really transpired.
Go For A Medical Checkup
Even if you think you have minor injuries, in no circumstances should you ever try to downplay the need for a medical check-up.
Injuries like internal bleeding and bump on the head may not necessarily manifest immediate symptoms but, at the same time, can have catastrophic effects. This is the reason why you should visit the emergency room for a thorough assessment of your health and treatment if need be. Furthermore, records and medical reports will serve as evidence of your pain, injuries, and treatment cost.
Your lawyers will utilize the medical statements and bills when establishing the maximum amount to demand when filing a suit against the trucking company and driver. Bear in mind that failing to go for a thorough medical checkup right after an accident may be undermining your case since the insurance company and/or the trucking company will use that as reasonable grounds to say injuries suffered were not that serious.
Keep Calm And Keep The Details Of The Accident To Yourself
Regardless of how inclined you may be feeling to share the details of the collision on social media, please don’t attempt it – any details and statements you share can be used against you and harm your claim.
To prove the truck driver was liable, you don’t necessarily have to follow the aforementioned steps. That’s because you may have sustained severe injuries rendering you incapacitated temporarily or unconscious, which means you’re not in a position of interviewing witnesses or documenting the scene of the accident. Or maybe at the time, you didn’t own a smartphone, or the phone was damaged after the crash. If the chain of events is in that line, then you can bolster your claim in other different ways.
What Is Required To Prove Your Injury Case?
On top of the items mentioned above, like photos, video footage, and medical records, your lawyer will also assist you in gathering other integral pieces of evidence that will be used to support your claim and play a crucial role in helping you get the reimbursement you so deserve.
For instance, we can submit a request to gain access to video footage from security cameras and traffic positioned within the vicinity’s road intersections.
We here at Gomel & Associates have legal experts who will request the trucking company to open up their books for review and check to find any irregularities they can use for proving fault on the trucking company’s part. They’ll also check to ensure drivers are competent. They will also conduct a thorough background check on all their documentation to ascertain, the truck drivers are qualified and well-trained before getting hired, and if the trucks get proper maintenance and servicing. Materials such as the driver’s logbook, receiving records, and shipping can be of significant help in your case.
A seasoned truck accident attorney will also ask to get authorization for accessing the computer data of the truck to help in recovering information to prove your case. We will also ensure you get police reports for additional information that will help in bolstering the evidence for your claim.
If need be, we can hire an accident reconstruction specialist to help in bringing the pieces of the puzzle. Their findings from the investigation are admissible in a court of law. Trucking companies and insurance providers also enroll the services of these specialists in an attempt to shift liability for the accident from them and onto you. During the inquisition, your vehicle accident lawyer will try uncovering whether the insurance service provider or the trucking company was in breach of any state or federal laws.
You should note that your vehicle is part of the evidence needed for your wrongful death or injury case. And it’s for this reason that our team of legal experts advises you to get in touch with a reputable truck accident attorney before fixing your car or scrapping it for parts. It’s because you will be required to show the state of your vehicle as evidence in supporting your claim.
The truck caught up in the crash is also crucial evidence in the claim, and trucking companies are fully aware of this, and probably why they are usually in a rush of repairing the damages. However, if you contact experienced and reputable truck personal accident attorneys early on, the lawyer will be better placed to get an injunction order from court barring the trucking company from tampering with evidence before it is submitted as an exhibit in the courts.
So ensure you have kept all receipts for payment, reports, and other bills relating to your recovery and treatment after the crash. These could include things like medication costs, auto repair expenses, hospital bills, and so on. Make a point of keeping these documents of payments as evidence of accrued expenses resulting from the accident.
You’ll also need to monitor your health progress prior to and after the treatment. Did you suffer significant pain resulting from the injuries? Did you experience a deterioration in your health? Did you miss work as a result of your injuries? If so, then your doctor’s notes and other supporting evidence relating to your treatment is vital and will be used in proving what you had to undergo as well as validate your claim.
How Does A Commercial Truck Accident Settlement Work?
An auto crash involving a commercial truck is not a case you leave to rookies; it’s something that’s best left to a seasoned truck accident attorney. Our legal team at Gomel & Associates is reputable and can deal with your claim without necessarily having to go to trial. But in the event the settlement negotiations breakdown, then we guarantee that your case will be heard in court and that you get maximum reimbursement for all your injuries and losses.
When you come to us for assistance on such legal matters, you will not be required to pay a dime until we have your case, and you have received full reimbursement for your troubles. This implies that our legal representatives will take on your case on a contingency basis. Also, no settlement offer from the trucking company or insurance companies will be accepted without getting from you first. This implies that you will be the one approving when it comes to the terms of negotiation and the amount on offer.
Here at Gomel & Associates, we assure you that each move we make is made with your interests taken into consideration. Our truck accident attorneys will work aggressively and diligently to ensure your injury suit is resolved in the most beneficial way possible for you. Our first step will be trying an out-of-court settlement agreement because it eliminates the stress of having to go to court. If negotiations happen to breakdown, then the case will be presented before a jury and judge.
How Long Do Trucking Accident Lawsuits Typically Last?
In most instances, solving the compensation issue out of court will see the whole thing end within a short period. But in case the out-of-court settlement falls through, the case will then have to go to court from where the duration the trial will end can widely vary.
However it goes, we assure you that your truck accident attorney will aggressively work towards proving and supporting your claim to get you a favorable outcome.
What Is The Average Settlement Amount To Expect In A Truck Accident Case?
Given the unique nature of accidents, it’s important to note that the settlement given for truck collisions isn’t definitive and can vary greatly. Nonetheless, many of the truck accident claims we have dealt with has seen victims of these incidences going home, having pocketed hundreds to thousands of dollars and others even getting a disbursement of over a million bucks.
Due to the underlying nature of the trucking industry, companies are required to provide coverage for their vehicles with a commercial insurance policy to help in protecting them against third-party claims, wrongful death claims, and property damage after a collision has occurred. These sort of insurance policies typically have liability coverage of around $1 million.
With us at Gomel & Associates, Our truck accident lawyers won’t hold anything back and will conduct all our affairs by the book to make sure you receive a massive settlement figure enough to compensate for your pain and loss. We will be aggressive and direct when demanding reimbursement to cover mental suffering, lost wages, physical disability, loss of earning capacity, emotional anguish, present, and future medical expenses. Our lawyers can even go a step further and pursue compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one that perished after being part of a truck collision.
In the event the truck driver is found to be responsible for the accident, your lawyers have grounds to seek punitive/exemplary damages. Punitive damages reimburse you beyond the financial losses you accrued; it’s a form of punishment for the truck driver’s negligence and recklessness as well as serve as a warning to other drivers acting in the same manner.
When we begin our inquisition, our first agenda of business will be determining who is going to be held liable for your injuries and loss. The responsible party might be the vehicle’s manufacturer, the trucker, the employer, or the parts supplier and fleet servicing provider. Our probe will be aimed at rooting out which entity or party acted recklessly or negligently, from where their actions resulted in the truck accident.
Other parties that can be brought to account for their part in the accident include those tasked with the role of mapping out the road for the trucker and failed to take into consideration treacherous terrain and weather conditions. The party at fault can also be the loading service provider who didn’t correctly secure onto the truck, and it’s from their actions that caused the vehicle to roll over or resulted in a spilled load.
In scenarios where the manufacturer or the fleet maintenance, servicing, and parts supplier are liable for the damages resulting from the truck accident, we will be evaluating things such as lights, defective breaks, and other physical aspects of the vehicle.
How Long Does A Victim Have Before They Are Unable To File Their Truck Injury Claim?
Just like any other personal injury case, truck injury claims fall under the statute of limitations, which clearly define how long accident victims have got to file their claims starting from the day the accident occurred. If you fail to file your claim within the stipulated deadline, you will be barred from pursuing reimbursement for any injuries or losses suffered from the party at fault.
The statute of limitations in the great state of Texas for truck accidents is two years. After you’ve gotten involved in a trucking accident, don’t wait around for your medical bills to pile up or until your injuries worsen for you to initiate your lawsuit. Alternatively, you should consider enlisting the services an experienced and trustworthy attorney right after the accident and let them handle the legal aspect of the incident on your stead. They will go ahead to lodge the suit with the stipulated period and in compliance with the Texas state statute of limitations.
Should I Look Into Hiring An Attorney Even If I Am At Fault?
Regardless if you bear some responsibility towards the occurrence of the truck accident, it’s prudent hiring a seasoned lawyer to assist you in pursuing compensation. In Texas, the modified comparative fault law will be used to solve such a scenario.
We shall assist you in pursuing reimbursement for your injuries and losses after getting involved in a truck collision using this modified comparative fault law. But if it is ascertained that you are responsible for over 50%, our truck accident attorneys may have to work on overtime.
Essentially, the amount given as reimbursement will be directly proportional to your liability percentage for the cash. For example, if the value for total damages suffered is $150,000 and you are responsible for 30%, then you’ll receive $105,000.
It’s crucial noting that in modified comparative negligence jurisdictions, which include Texas, your recovery as a victim is limited in the event your fault exceeds a certain percentage. And if you are found to be responsible for more than 50%, then you’ll be ineligible to seek recovery for anything. As per the law, the victim is barred for seeking compensation for any damages suffered if they were responsible for more than 50% of it. Get in touch with us today if you think you could be at fault for the commercial truck accident. Allow our expert legal team to assist you in establishing where your liability lies and, if possible, help you recover damages.
Causes Of Commercial Truck Accidents
Most of Baytown, TX road accidents involving commercial trucks are usually traced back to driver errors. Some have developed a habit of tailgating, some are just hot-headed driving recklessly, while others want to put in the hours but end up sleeping while driving as a result of fatigue. In other instances, there are drivers who are under medication and others who drive while they are intoxicated.
Driver fatigue may be attributed to the trucking company demanding unrealistic deadlines for the drivers when it comes to making deliveries. Employers like those prioritize making profits by pushing their truckers over what can be considered as safe. Other employers ignore industry regulations outlining the acceptable working hours a trucker should have.
Other trucking companies don’t train their truckers to ensure they are updated with all the trucking industry standards and regulations. Others fail to do extensive background checks before employing truckers. There are other cases where the trucker may have a clean record but get distracted for a minute and cause a crash. There are other cases where the trucker may be drunk or be on drugs.
For other truck drivers, sleep apnea may prove to be the issue. This is linked with a lack of sufficient rest as a result of setting unrealistic deadlines plus overweight truckers.
Another common cause of 18-wheeler related collisions in Baytown, TX, is highway hypnosis. It’s a problem associated with spending long hours behind the wheel or driving on the freeway monotonously, which causes the trucker to be less concentrated on their driving. Because of this, the driver will be too unengaged and unfocused to react to the emergencies adequately.
Reach Out To Our Experienced Baytown Truck Accident Lawyers Today!
If you or a loved one get into a commercial truck accident, you can go on to sue the responsible party and seek reimbursement for injuries and losses suffered. Though your role in causing the accident is a factor that will be considered to determine if the compensation will be given, there are still other things that will be looked into. In-depth inquisitions can assist you in avoiding fault and win the case. If you contact Gomel & Associates now, you will raise your likelihood of receiving a favorable outcome. Call our Baytown car accident lawyers today to get a non-obligatory case evaluation.