With many industries in the area, Houston is a central hub for truck activity. Being the fourth largest city in the United States, along with its petrochemical industry and the Port of Houston, the trucking industry in Texas is thriving. Usually, trucking companies pay its drivers per mile. Therefore, truck drivers are motivated to deliver loads as fast as possible. Unfortunately, this aspect of the trucking industry may encourage unsafe activities, speeding and excessive hours on the road by exhausted truck drivers. Proving that a truck driver or a trucking company violated trucking safety regulations can greatly increase the value of your case and the settlement amount you can obtain. If you have been injured in an accident due to a trucker’s negligence, call Houston truck Accident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T. We are experts at obtaining the maximum compensation that our clients rightfully deserve from negligent and reckless truck drivers. Our personal injury firm offers free consultations, and you will never pay anything unless and until we win your case.
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Why Should You Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?
If you are involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, a semi-trailer or any other big commercial truck, it can often be hard to know what to do in order to keep yourself and your family protected. Following a truck accident, certain evidence needs to be preserved in order to establish who was at fault. This includes evidence about the scene of the accident, like photographs of skid marks or debris on the road that indicate the direction of the big truck prior to and following the impact, photographs of the vehicles in their last resting positions, damage to vehicles, big truck’s computer data and the driver’s log.
Numerous trucking companies have special quick response teams that they dispatch to the scene of a crash within hours of its occurrence. These teams are not on your side and often include an insurance adjuster from the big truck’s insurance company, whowill look for ways to blame the accident on you and deny your claim for damages.
A trucking company’s attorney will often hire an accident reconstruction expert, who will also try to shift the blame away from the big truck and find that the accident was your fault. Taking photos of the scene can help to combat this specific defense method.
Our 18-wheeler Accident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T have decades of experience dealing with and beating big truck insurance companies and their lawyers and adjusters. We know all of their tricks and have gotten millions of dollars for our clients injured in accidents with big trucks. Call us for your free consultation immediately after the crash. Getting our trucking accident attorneys in Houston on your case as early as possible will help get you the maximum compensation that you rightfully deserve.
It can also be very important to preserve your car when you suffer severe injuries, if a potential defect in your vehicle could have contributed to those injuries or the accident itself. Examples of such defects include, but are not limited to, failure of an airbag to deploy, defective seat belts, steering failure, tire explosion or detrending and others. Always call us at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T to speak to a personal injury attorney experienced in handling vehicle defect cases before having your vehicle repaired or totaled if you have severe or catastrophic injuries.
What Other Steps Should You Take Following a Truck Accident?
In addition to all of the advice in the previous paragraph, here are some additional actions, some obvious and some not, that you should take following a big truck accident to keep yourself and your family protected. Most of these also apply to other types of motor vehicle accidents.
Stay at the scene of the crash. If you leave, you could be accused of a hit-and-run, which is a very serious criminal offense. In addition, the accident report will be based only on the statement of the other driver, who will most likely blame you for the crash. If the case eventually goes to trial, the jury will assume that you left the scene because the accident was your fault and will rule against you. Of course, while remaining in the vicinity of the crash, you should remove yourself, as well as your passengers, from any further harm by getting out of the way of traffic.
Report the Crash by Calling 911
If you do not have a phone, ask someone to call 911 for you.
Check on the Other Individuals Who Were Involved in the Truck Accident
Assess your own and other people’s injuries.
Take Videos and Photos of the Accident Scene with Your Cell Phone or Camera
You should capture the images of the whole scene, both from a distance and close up, which include all of the vehicles that were involved in the accident from various angles, injuries to passengers and you, road conditions (like slickness due to rain), road signs, traffic control devices and the overall nature of the roadway.
If you can, collect the contact information and names of all witnesses to the crash who will be able to back up the facts.
Make sure to visit the emergency room, even if your injuries don’t appear serious.
You might be injured and not be aware of it. For example, internal bleeding and concussions do not always show symptoms immediately. Early on, they may only get discovered through a thorough medical examination. If you end up filing a lawsuit against the trucking company, and your injuries were not diagnosed until later, the jury may decide that these injuries are not related to the accident and will not compensate you for the damages you rightfully deserve.
Medical records can be critical in obtaining proper compensation for your injuries. Waiting too long to obtain a medical examination following an accident can make it look like your injury was not that bad and reduce the amount of your compensation. Documenting your injuries from the first day is a very important part of proving your injury claim.
Do not provide any details about your accident on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social network.
Making social media statements about your case WILL BE used against you by the insurance company in your injury claim. Insurance adjusters and insurance company lawyers will look for your posts, comments and photographs on social media and use them to either deny or reduce the value of your injury claim. Even posts unrelated to your accident that can be used to mischaracterize you as reckless, negligent or dishonest, or misrepresent your physical condition after the accident will be manipulated by the insurance company to keep you from getting the maximum compensation your rightfully deserve.
Call the Houston Truck Accident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T
It would be great to immediately obtain all of the information, photographs and witness statements described above to prove that the driver of the big truck was the one at fault for the crash. However, things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes, there are no witnesses to the accident, your cellphone may be broken or lost, or you may be too injured to take photographs of the scene or make a video. Don’t worry, the trucking Accident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T will find other ways to prove your case and get you the maximum compensation that you rightfully deserve. Call and speak to one of our truck accident lawyers immediately. The consultation is always free and you will never have to pay anything at all unless we win your case.
What Else May Be Needed To Prove A Big Truck Injury Case?
In addition to the elements discussed above, like medical records, videos, and photos, what else can be very useful in order to prove your case and win the maximum compensation you deserve in your truck accident injury lawsuit?
If the accident occurred in the vicinity of an intersection with red-light cameras, or next to a business with security cameras, the footage from those cameras may reveal the nature of the accident and show that you were not the one at fault.
Our Houston Truck Accident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T can also seek to obtain access to the trucking company’s records that could reveal evidence that may be very helpful in winning your case. Such evidence may include failure to properly test and hire drivers, failure to properly maintain and service the trucks, failure to terminate drivers with poor driving records or excessive driving violations, failure by the company or the driver to keep accurate logs of the driver’s hours on the road, as well as any violations of state or federal regulations by the company or the driver of the truck.
Our experienced truck accident lawyers will also seek to gain access to a large truck’s “black box.” This device may include records and data of certain driving processes, such as average speed and speed at the time of the crash, that could have contributed to the accident.
We will, of course, collect crash reports prepared by the police, as well as records and files from any other emergency responders at the accident scene.
We may also hire our own accident reconstruction specialists, who can retrace all of the steps involved in an accident. Their findings and research may be used in court as evidence on your behalf. Make sure that you consult with our truck accident attorneys before performing any repairs or disposing of your car. The condition of your vehicle after the accident may be needed as evidence in your case.
The big truck itself may also be valuable evidence that our truck accident attorneys can use. This is why trucking companies may sometimes attempt to get a damaged big rig repaired quickly. However, if you have hired a truck Accident Attorney at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T right away, we may be able to obtain a court order to preserve the big truck as evidence before it is altered by the trucking company
Make sure that you save all of your receipts and bills for any expenses related to the truck accident. These can include receipts for doctor’s bills, hospital expenses, car rental and auto repair bills. Provide all of these to your truck accident lawyer, so you can have proof of all of your losses and expenses caused by the big rig crash.
In addition, be sure to take notes of the state of your health each and every day following the accident. Has your pain stayed the same, got worse, or improved? Where did you feel pain? Has it affected your time with your family? Did you have to miss work because of it? What level of pain are you experiencing and what daily activities are you not able to perform because of it? Your doctor’s records and your own notes can all be used as evidence when your case is presented to the insurance company or the jury.
How Does A Commercial Truck Accident Settlement Work?
Like most car crash lawsuits, an accident involving a large commercial vehicle can be handled by your trucking Accident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T without a trial even being necessary. This is accomplished by skillfully and aggressively negotiating with a defendant or its insurance company to settle out of court. In fact, most personal injury cases are resolved by way of out-of-court settlements.
But you can sure that our experienced truck Accident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T will never accept a settlement that is unfair or does not offer the maximum compensation that your rightfully deserve, and we will never accept any settlement unless you approve it. And if the insurance company refuses to pay you fairly for your injuries, we will take them all the way to trial to get you the maximum compensation.
How Long Does a Trucking Lawsuit Take?
Negotiations with the insurance company in a trucking accident injury case usually, but not always, begin once the accident victim has recovered from his injuries, or, at least, completed medical treatment. At this point, the value of the case becomes easier to determine. Therefore, the duration of the case sometimes depends on the type of injury the accident victim sustained.
Also, cases that do not settle out of court and end up going to trial will usually take longer than cases, in which a settlement is reached through negotiations. However, you can rest assured that your highly experienced Houston Truck Accident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T will fight to get your case resolved within the shortest possible time, while getting you the maximum compensation that you rightfully deserve.
How Much Is The Average Settlement Amount In a Truck Accident Case?
Any honest and experienced trucking accident attorney will tell you that such a thing as an “average settlement” does not exist, as each case is unique. Of course, the most important factor in determining the value of a case is the amount of damages and types of injuries sustained by the accident victim. Trucking accidents with the more serious injuries may settle for anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in some cases. Accidents with less serious injuries, or ones where the accident victim was himself partially at fault, settle for much less.
Most trucking and delivery companies with large vehicles have commercial insurance policies, in order to protect themselves against claims for severe injuries and wrongful death following an accident. The policies often have$1,000,000 to $5,000,000 in liability coverage.
TheAccident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T are highly experienced in big truck cases and always fight to obtain the maximum compensation for our clients. This compensation may include past and future hospital and medical bills, past and future lost wages and loss of earning capacity, compensation for your physical disability or impairment, past, current and future physical and mental pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages depending on the individual case. Damages may also be obtained for heirs and family members of a victim who was killed in the crash.
In trucking cases where extreme negligence (known as gross negligence), or disregard for the safety of others, has occurred, our truck accident lawyers may be able to obtain punitive or exemplary damages for you. These payments serve as punishment for grossly negligent parties, and as an example to other trucking companies not to act with such negligence. These damages are awarded in addition to the ones that compensate you for your financial losses.
Our main goal is to obtain these payments for you by holding all responsible parties accountable for your injuries. In addition to the truck driver and the trucking company, these parties can include the manufacturer of the truck and the trucking company’s maintenance provider. A truck accident in some cases can be caused due to the mistake or negligence of the manufacturer of the truck or a repair facility. If the elements of the truck, such as its lights, gears, tires, or brakes, were defective at the time they were manufactured, or were not subsequently properly maintained or repaired, then the maker of the truck or its maintenance company may be responsible for an accident caused by such defect. Some of the leading American manufacturers of 18-wheelers include Western Star Trucks, Kenworth, International, Freightliner, Mack Trucks, Volvo, and Peterbilt.
There may also be third-parties responsible for your injuries. For example, a company that mapped out the route of the truck and did not allow for hazardous weather conditions or terrain. A loading provider that may not have properly secured the truck’s load, which led to a truck rollover, a spilled load, or other catastrophes.
You can be sure that our truck Accident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T will go after all negligent parties in order to get you the maximum compensation that you rightfully deserve.
How Long Do I Have To File My Truck Injury Claim?
All personal injury lawsuits related to trucking accidents are subject to the Statute of Limitations. The Statute of Limitations is a law that prevents people from filing a suit in a court of law after a given period of time has passed, no matter how strong their case is. The insurance companies will also refuse to pay any claim after the Statute of Limitations has passed. The Statute of Limitations in Texas, is two years for most cases. If your truck accident happened in our neighbor state of Louisiana, however, it is only one year. And, if you were involved in an accident with a government truck, it may be even shorter than that.
This does not mean that you can wait several months to file your claim. If you wait too long, the insurance company of the other driver may determine that the accident was your fault and deny payment. Witnesses in your favor may move or change their phone numbers and become impossible to locate. Important pieces of evidence may get lost and you will not be able to prove your losses to the insurance company. When you call the truck Accident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T, we will begin working on your case immediately to secure valuable evidence before it can be covered up by the trucking company and fight hard to obtain the maximum compensation you deserve.
If I Am At Fault Can I Still Hire An Attorney?
Our truck Accident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T have successfully obtained very good compensation in many big truck accident cases where our client was partially at fault. Texas law allows an accident victim who is at fault to some degree to recover damages from the other party, as long as the other party was more at fault.
The percentage you were at fault does sometimes reduce your settlement amount. For example, if it is determined that your damages were $100,000, and you were found 30% at fault, your recovery amount would be reduced by this percentage, and your award would be $70,000.
But even if you think the truck accident was completely your fault, call the big truck Accident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T anyway. In many such cases we were able to prove that the big truck was more at fault than our clients and obtained the maximum compensation that they rightfully deserved.
What Are Some Of The Most Common Causes Of Large Truck Accidents?
Truck driver behavior is one of the most common causes of big truck accidents. Some truckers might drive recklessly or tailgate, or they might drive while they are tired or fatigued and fall asleep behind the wheel. Even drivers who take medication or supplements in order to stay awake might suffer from impaired reaction times and faulty judgment due to these stimulants.
Sleep apnea can also be a factor in large truck accidents. There are many overweight truck drivers, and that can lead to a sleep apnea disorder, which may cause the trucker to become drowsy while driving. Drivers of big trucks who are behind the wheel for long a long time might also suffer from something called “highway hypnosis.” It refers to a condition caused by long hours of monotonous driving over long stretches of the highway, which causes the driver to become less attentive and engaged, and have a reduced ability to react to changing road conditions quickly.
Some truckers might even drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while they are distracted by being on their cellphone or tablet.
In addition to the drivers, trucking companies themselves can often be at fault. Driver fatigue may be due to trucking firms imposing unsafe and unrealistic delivery deadlines. Some trucking lines place profits over safety and ignore regulations that have been designed to keep other drivers safe by limiting the number of hours that a trucker can drive.
Trucking companies may also fail to train or license their drivers properly to handle big commercial trucks.
Contact A Houston Truck Accident Attorney at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T
If either you or a family member has been injured due to a large truck accident, make sure that you get experienced and aggressive legal assistance. Do not let the big truck insurance company take advantage of you. Settlements in 18-wheeler and other commercial truck accidents can be quite substantial. No matter who was at fault for the accident, make sure that you and your family do not get victimized a second time. Call the big truck Accident Attorneys at (713) L‑A‑W‑S‑U‑I‑T immediately for your free consultation and to get the maximum compensation that you rightfully deserve.