Katy is the heart of Texas’ trucking industry, boasting of the highest truck activity throughout the state. Katy is also among the cities with the fastest-growing population in the US. A majority of truck drivers love their jobs because of the high wages since most trucking companies pay per mile. As a result, truck drivers are highly motivated to work as much as they can, trying to make as many trips as possible.
However, this aspect of trucking companies paying per mile encourages unsafe driving caused by things like lack of sleep. If you, a family member or someone close to you has suffered injuries from a road accident caused by a truck, you should contact our experienced Katy truck accident lawyers here at Gomel & Associates. Our exceptional injury law firm offers free consultations to review the details of your crash and advise you on your legal options.
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Why Should You Consider Hiring A Truck Accident Attorney?
Sometimes, it can be tough figuring out your next move after you or a family member has involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler. The truck accident can leave you in a state of emotional upheaval, but you should deal with the incident as you would a typical road accident. That means that your first move should be to ensure that you and anyone involved in the accident are safe as you contact an emergency medical response crew and the police.
You then should reach out to the best truck collision lawyers who will take care of all the legal aspects of the incident. Here at Gomel & Associates, we highly recommend that you take the measures below after you’re injured in a truck accident.
You should ensure that crucial evidence is preserved to help with your case. Such evidence includes debris, the vehicle’s onboard computer data, skid marks, and the damage to the car. Our team of seasoned legal experts will respond fast to seek compensation for the injuries sustained, pain suffered, or wrongful death. By having our expert truck collision attorneys deal with the matter quickly, you increase your chances of getting fair compensation for your losses and injuries from the trucking company and the insurance company.
It’s important to note that companies in the tracking industry have standby response teams that they dispatch to the site within a few hours after the incident. Therefore, you must act quickly to get a head start.
If the truck-related collision results in wrongful death or traumatic injuries, the investigation crew will check out the site of the accident thoroughly, recording everything as they take pictures and measurements. In instances where there are no catastrophic consequences, the investigators will also make sure to assess the scene of the collision. Whichever the case, we recommend that you take pictures of the scene with your phone, if possible. Take photos of all the cars involved making sure to capture the last resting position of each, any debris, and skid marks on the road.
Typically, the accident reconstruction experts working for the insurance companies of the trucking company are tasked with one thing only – placing liability of the accident on you! That is why keeping records of the scene, such as taking pictures, is an effective defense and offensive mechanism. Besides, your claim against the trucker or their employer will be less stressful if you hire an experienced trucking accident attorney to take the reins of the matter immediately after the incident takes place.
The initial condition of your car before it was involved in the collision will be one of the many factors to consider during the investigation. If it had mechanical problems that may have contributed to the accident happening, then you should know this can affect the outcome of your case. Whatever the case, you should contact your attorney before fixing your vehicle or having it totaled if the damages are too extensive and expensive to fix.
What Are The Steps To Take When Involved In A Truck Accident?
While you might have access to different sources of information regarding how to react after you’re involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, much of that information might see you respond too late. Luckily, we always recommend that people equip themselves with the right information regarding the steps to follow to ensure you protect yourself and your loved ones after being part of a truck collision.
Don’t Leave The Scene
A hit-and-run is a serious offense. So, make sure you stay at the scene of the accident. When you are at the site of the incident, not only can you bring others who were part of the accident to safety, but you also avoid hit-and-run accusations. Also, you’ll have the chance to take note of everyone involved, including potential witnesses.
Call 911 to inform law enforcement officers and emergency response teams of the collision. If you don’t have your phone, please ask someone else to make the 911 call.
Check On Other Parties Involved In The Truck Accident
After you’ve made sure your injuries are not severe, check on other individuals that were involved in the truck accident.
Document The Whole Incident With Your Phone
Try to capture as many details of the accident as you can. It can be video footage or pictures of the vehicles, injuries sustained, road conditions, debris, skid marks, nearby landmarks, and road signs.
Collect The Contact Information & Names Of Witnesses
You should interview the people who saw what transpired and document their names as well as their contact information. They can be people that can be potential witnesses for your case that will support your claims by stating and backing up the facts of how the accident happened.
Go For A Medical Checkup
You should never underestimate the need to go for a medical checkup, even if you’re convinced that your injuries are minor.
There are injuries such as a bump on the head or internal bleeding that might not manifest any immediate symptoms, but they can have devastating impacts. That is why you should go to the ER for a comprehensive evaluation of your health and get treated if necessary.
Besides, medical reports and records will serve as proof of your injuries, pain, and the cost of treatment. Your attorneys will use the medical bill and statements when trying to establish the best amount to ask for when filing the claim against the truck driver and his or her employer.
Note that if you fail to go for a comprehensive medical checkup immediately after the accident, the trucking company or the insurance provider can use that information to undermine your claim and say that your injuries were not severe.
Keep Calm And Keep The Details Of The Accident To Yourself
No matter how compelled you might feel to share the details of the incident on social media, don’t – any statements or details you share can be used to undermine your claim.
Note that you don’t have to follow the steps mentioned above to prove that the truck driver was at fault. This is because you could have sustained serious injuries that rendered unconscious or temporarily incapacitated and unable to document the incident or interview witnesses. Or maybe you just didn’t have your smartphone with you at the time of the incident, or it was damaged after the collision. If that’s what happened, then you can support your claim in other ways.
What Is Needed To Prove Your Injury Case?
In addition to the items mentioned above, such as video footage, photos, and medical records, your attorney will also help you gather other crucial pieces of evidence that will be used to prove your case and play a vital role in helping you recover the compensation you deserve.
For example, we can put in a request for video footage from cameras that were located within the vicinity of the accident, such as traffic and security cameras that are positioned in road intersections.
Here at Gomel & Associates, our seasoned legal experts will ask the trucking company to provide all their records for them to check for any inconsistencies they can use to prove liability on the part of the trucking company. They will also check to make sure that their drivers are competent enough. They will dig through all their documents to confirm if the truck drivers are well-trained and qualified before being hired and whether the trucks receive proper servicing and maintenance. Materials like the driver’s logbook, shipping, and receiving records can be of great help in your case.
An experienced truck accident lawyer will also request for authorization for access to the truck’s computer data to recover information to prove your claim. Also, we will make sure to collect police reports for extra details to act as supporting evidence for your lawsuit. If necessary, we could enlist the services of accident reconstruction specialists who will bring all pieces of the puzzle together. Their investigations and findings can be used as evidence. Insurance companies and trucking companies, also enlist the services of these professionals in an attempt to shift the blame for the accident from their driver and onto you.
During the investigation, your vehicle accident attorneys will also try and uncover if the insurance company or the trucking company broke any federal or state laws.
You must remember that your car is part of the evidence required for your injury or wrongful death case. That’s why our expert legal team recommends that you contact a reputable truck accident lawyer before you fix your car or scrap it. This is because you’re expected to present the condition of your vehicle as evidence to support your claim.
The truck involved in the collision is also vital evidence in the case, and trucking companies are aware of this, and this is probably why, sometimes, they are in a hurry to repair the damages. But if you reach out to reputable and experienced truck personal accident lawyers early enough, the attorney may be in a better position to obtain an injunction from the court to bar the trucking company from interfering with the evidence before it is submitted in the court.
So, make sure you keep all reports, receipts for payment, and bills related to your treatment and recovery after the accident. These could include auto repair expenses, medication costs, hospital bills, and many others. You should keep these payment documents as proof of the costs incurred due to the accident.
You also need to keep track of your health progress before and after treatment. Did the injuries you suffered cause significant pain? Did your overall health deteriorate? Did you miss going to work due to the injuries? Your physician’s notes and other records related to your treatment are crucial and will be used to prove what you had to go through as well as the validity of your claim.
How Does A Commercial Truck Accident Settlement Work?
An auto accident involving a commercial truck is not something you leave to newbies; it’s a matter you want to leave to an experienced truck accident lawyer. Our reputable legal experts at Gomel & Associates can take care of your case without even having to go to the courtrooms. However, should settlement negotiations fall through, then we will make sure the case has its day in court, and you recover full compensation for all your losses and injuries.
When you seek our help for such legal issues, we won’t ask for payment until we’ve successfully won your case, and you receive full payment for compensation. That means our legal expert will take your case on a contingency basis. Also, they won’t accept any settlement offer from the insurance providers or the trucking company without seeking your clearance. This means you must approve of the negotiation terms as well as the amount offered.
At Gomel & Associates, we guarantee that every move we make is made with your best interests at heart. Our truck accident lawyers will work diligently and aggressively to make sure that your injury lawsuit is resolved in the most advantageous way possible. Of course, our first move will be to try the out-of-court settlement approach since it eliminates the stress of going to trial. If negotiations fall through, the case will be settled before a judge and jury.
Typically, How Long Do Trucking Accident Lawsuits Last?
In most cases, resolving the issue of compensation out of court will see the matter end within the shortest time possible. But if an out-of-court settlement is out of the question, the case will go to trial, and the time needed to end a trial can vary widely.
We, however, give you our word that your truck accident lawyer will work aggressively towards proving your case and supporting your claim to get you an advantageous outcome.
What Is The Average Settlement Amount To Expect In A Truck Accident Case?
It’s wise to mention that the settlement awarded for truck accident cases varies for each case since each accident has unique factors. Nevertheless, a majority of the truck accident cases we’ve come across tend to end with the victims going home with hundreds to thousands of dollars and some being awarded even over a million dollars.
Given the nature of the trucking industry, trucking companies are required to cover their vehicles with commercial insurance coverage to protect them from third-party claims, property damage, and wrongful death claims following a collision. Typically, these types of insurance policies have liability coverage of about $1 million.
Here at Gomel & Associates, our truck accident attorneys won’t pull their punches, and they will do everything by the book to ensure you get a significant settlement figure to cover for your loss and pain. We shall be direct and aggressive when asking for compensation to cover your lost wages, mental suffering, emotional anguish, loss of earning capacity, physical disability, present, and future medical costs. Our attorneys can even seek recovery for the wrongful death of your family member that died after being involved in a truck accident.
If the driver of the truck is found to be at fault, your attorneys can seek exemplary/punitive damages. Punitive damages are for compensation beyond the financial losses you incurred; they serve as a form of warning for other drivers that act the same way and punishment for the driver’s recklessness and negligence.
When we start our investigation, our first order of business is to determine who to hold liable for your loss and injuries. The party at fault might be the employer, the company’s fleet servicing and parts supplier, the trucker, or the manufacturer of the vehicle’s manufacturer. Our investigations will attempt to establish which party/entity acted negligently or recklessly, and their actions caused the truck accident.
Other parties that could be held accountable for the accident include those responsible for mapping the road for the driver and failed to account for unsafe weather conditions and terrain. The responsible party could also be the loading services provider who did not secure the load onto the truck properly, and their negligent actions resulted in the vehicle rolling over, or a spilled load.
In situations where the fleet servicing, maintenance, and parts supplier or the manufacturer are at fault and liable for the damages of the truck accident, we shall be looking into things like defective breaks, lights, and other physical parts of the vehicle.
How Long Does A Victim Have Before They Are Unable To File Their Truck Injury Claim?
Truck injury claims like other personal injury claims are subject to the statute of limitations that defines how long victims have to file their claims after the date of the incident. Failure to file the claim within the set deadline will bar you from seeking compensation for losses or injuries from the responsible party.
In the great state of Texas, the statute of limitations for truck accident cases is two years. After a truck accident, don’t wait for your medical bills to accrue or until your injuries get worse for you to lodge your lawsuit. Instead, you should look into hiring a trustworthy and experienced injury lawyer immediately after the accident and let them take care of the legal side of the incident on your behalf. They will proceed to lodge your claim within the specified period as per the statute of limitations in the state of Texas.
Should I Look Into Hiring An Attorney Even If I Am At Fault?
Whether your actions were half to blame for the truck accident, it’s smart to look into hiring an experienced attorney to help you seek compensation. In the state of Texas, such a scenario can be resolved using the modified comparative fault law.
Using the modified comparative fault law, we shall help you seek compensation for your losses and injuries after being involved in a truck accident. However, our truck accident lawyers may have to put in extra effort if it is determined that your fault was more than 50%.
Typically, the amount awarded as compensation will be proportional to your percentage of liability for the accident. For instance, if the damages are valued at $150,000, and your fault is found to be 30%, then the amount you get will be $105,000.
It’s important to note that in modified comparative negligence jurisdictions, including Texas, as a victim, your recovery is limited if your fault exceeds a specific percentage – and if your fault is more than 50%, then you will be barred from recovering anything. The law states that a victim is not entitled to get compensated for any damages related to an accident if their fault is more than 50%.
Contact us if you suspect that you could be liable for the commercial truck accident; let our legal experts help establish where your fault lies and if it’s possible to recover for damages.
Causes Of Commercial Truck Accidents
A majority of road accidents in Katy, TX that involve commercial trucks are often traced back to driver failures. Some hot-headed truckers drive recklessly, some have a habit of tailgating, and some want to rack in the hours only to end up falling asleep behind the wheel due to fatigue. In other incidents, some drivers are under medication and others who get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
The issue of driver fatigue can be attributed to the employer demanding that the drivers meet unrealistic delivery deadlines. Such employers push their drivers and prioritize profits over the safety of their drivers. Some of these trucking companies even ignore the industry’s regulations that outline the acceptable work hours of a truck driver.
Some trucking companies fail to train their drivers to make sure that they stay updated regarding all standards of the trucking industry. Others fail to conduct thorough background checks before hiring truck drivers. In other cases, the driver might have a clean driving record but get distracted while on the road and cause an accident. We have also seen instances where truckers were driving while on drugs or drunk.
Sleep apnea might also be a problem for some truck drivers. Sleep apnea among truckers can be associated with a lack of enough rest due to unrealistic deadlines and overweight truckers.
Highway hypnosis is also a common cause of big rig-related accidents in Katy, TX, and throughout the country. It is a problem often caused by long hours behind the wheel or monotonous driving on the freeway, causing the truck driver to pay less attention to their driving. Consequently, the driver will be too unfocused and unengaged to react adequately to emergencies.
Reach Out To Our Experienced Katy Truck Accident Lawyers Today!
If you or a spouse or family member is involved in a commercial truck accident, you should proceed to sue the party responsible and seek compensation for your loss and injuries. However, you should know that resolving these kinds of cases can be daunting, especially if you don’t have a reputable Katy truck collision lawyer in your corner.
While your role in the accident is a factor that will be considered during the case to determine the compensation to be awarded, there are still many other elements to be considered. In-depth investigations can help you avoid any fault and win you compensation. You will increase your chances of getting an advantageous outcome if you call Gomel & Associates today! Contact our Katy car crash attorneys to schedule a non-obligatory case review and get to know the best course of action after a truck accident.