Our Houston truck accident lawyer, Attorney David Salazar, can help if you have been injured in a truck accident. From severe injuries and substantial property damage to the complexities of legal proceedings, the path to recovery can seem overwhelming. Call our office now for a free consultation.
This Houston personal injury lawyer focuses on the intricate realm of truck accident injury law. The Salazar Law Firm is well-versed in the unique aspects of these cases. We understand the federal regulations that govern the trucking industry and the potential for multiple liable parties in an accident. Our mission is to secure the compensation you need to recover and rebuild. Whether you’re grappling with mounting medical bills, loss of income, or the emotional aftermath of the accident, The Salazar Law Firm stands as your advocate, championing your rights at every turn.
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How Houston 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys Help
Navigating the legal landscape following an 18-wheeler accident can be a complex and daunting task. Houston 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys, like those at The Salazar Law Firm, bring their specialized knowledge and experience to bear, providing invaluable assistance during this challenging time. They can help in several crucial ways:
Firstly, they can conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, gathering crucial evidence, interviewing witnesses, and reconstructing the accident scene if necessary. This comprehensive approach helps build a strong case, pinpointing the cause of the accident and identifying all liable parties.
Secondly, they understand the intricate laws and regulations governing the trucking industry, both at the state and federal level. This knowledge is vital in holding negligent parties accountable, whether it’s the truck driver, trucking company, or a third party.
Thirdly, they can accurately estimate the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. This ensures you seek the full compensation you’re entitled to.
Lastly, they can handle all negotiations with insurance companies, who often aim to minimize their payout. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney is prepared to take your case to court, advocating for your rights and interests.
In essence, Houston 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys serve as your dedicated allies, guiding you through the legal process, and fighting for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Houston Truck Accident Statistics
Truck accidents are a significant concern in Houston, Texas, and the broader state. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were over 19,000 commercial motor vehicle crashes in Texas in 2021, resulting in 685 fatalities and 3,820 serious injuries. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also reports that Texas had the highest number of fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2020, accounting for 11% of all such incidents nationwide.
In Houston specifically, the city had over 2,835 injury accidents involving trucks in 2020. The city also leads the state in serious injury and fatal big rig crashes. In the same year, there were 41 fatal truck accidents, 46 deaths, and 121 serious injuries in Houston alone.
These statistics underscore the severity of truck accidents in Houston and the state of Texas. They highlight the need for increased safety measures, stricter regulations, and comprehensive legal support for victims of these accidents.
Should I Hire A Semi-Truck Accident Attorney?
If you’ve been involved in a semi-truck accident, you might be wondering if it’s necessary to hire an attorney. The answer is a resounding yes, and here are five compelling reasons why:
- Understanding of the Law: Semi-truck accidents are governed by complex laws and regulations, both at the state and federal level. An experienced semi-truck accident attorney understands these laws and can use them to build a strong case on your behalf.
- Investigation and Evidence Gathering: A semi-truck accident attorney can conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, gather crucial evidence, interview witnesses, and even reconstruct the accident scene if necessary. This comprehensive approach helps establish the cause of the accident and identify all liable parties.
- Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Insurance companies often aim to minimize their payout. An attorney can handle all negotiations with the insurance company, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the full compensation you’re entitled to.
- Estimating Damages: Semi-truck accidents often result in severe injuries, leading to substantial medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. An attorney can accurately estimate the full extent of your damages, ensuring that you seek the full compensation you’re entitled to.
- Representation in Court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can represent you in court, advocating for your rights and interests.
In essence, hiring a semi-truck accident attorney can significantly improve your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve, like our $33 Million Dollar Trucking Accident Settlement. They can guide you through the legal process, handle all the complexities, and fight for your rights every step of the way.
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Find The Best Truck Accident Lawyer in Houston
Finding the right truck accident lawyer in Houston can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Here are some key attributes and qualifications to look for when choosing a personal injury lawyer who specializes in 18-wheeler and commercial truck accidents:
- Experience and Specialization: Look for a lawyer who specializes in truck accident cases and has a proven track record of success. They should have extensive experience in handling cases similar to yours and a deep understanding of the laws and regulations governing the trucking industry.
- Reputation: A lawyer’s reputation can tell you a lot about their competence and integrity. Look for a lawyer who is well-respected in the legal community and has positive reviews and testimonials from past clients.
- Resources: Handling a truck accident case can be resource-intensive. The lawyer should have the necessary resources to thoroughly investigate the accident, gather evidence, hire expert witnesses, and take the case to trial if necessary.
- Communication: Your lawyer should be able to clearly explain the legal process, keep you updated on the progress of your case, and answer any questions you may have. Good communication is crucial in ensuring that you understand your rights and options.
- Contingency Fee Basis: Most truck accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case. This ensures that they have a vested interest in your case and are motivated to secure the best possible outcome for you.
- Compassion and Understanding: Lastly, look for a lawyer who shows genuine compassion and understanding. They should recognize the emotional and physical trauma you’re going through and be committed to helping you get the compensation you need to recover.
Remember, choosing the right lawyer is a personal decision, and it’s important to find someone you trust and feel comfortable with. Don’t hesitate to interview multiple lawyers and ask them about their experience, approach to your case, and how they plan to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
Compensation for Big Rig Accidents
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to various types of compensation. These are often referred to as “damages” in legal terms. Here are the main types of damages available to truck accident victims:
- Medical Expenses: This includes compensation for any medical costs related to your injuries. It can cover everything from emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and future medical expenses related to the accident. For example, if you suffered a spinal cord injury, you could be compensated for the cost of surgery, ongoing physical therapy, and any necessary medical equipment.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, either temporarily or permanently, you can be compensated for lost wages. This includes the income you would have earned had you not been injured. For instance, if you had to take a month off work to recover, you could be compensated for that month’s worth of income.
- Loss of Earning Capacity: If your injuries affect your ability to earn a living in the future, you can be compensated for this loss. For example, if you were a construction worker and a leg injury from the accident prevents you from continuing in that line of work, you could be compensated for your reduced earning capacity.
- Pain and Suffering: This refers to the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident and your injuries. It can be difficult to quantify, but it’s often calculated based on the severity of your injuries, the pain you’re experiencing, and the impact on your quality of life.
- Loss of Consortium: If your injuries affect your relationship with your spouse, you may be entitled to loss of consortium damages. This compensation is meant to address the loss of companionship, affection, and sexual relations caused by your injuries.
- Punitive Damages: These are awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious or reckless. They are meant to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future. For example, if the truck driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident, you might be awarded punitive damages.
Remember, every case is unique, and the types and amount of damages you may be entitled to will depend on the specifics of your case. An experienced big rig accident lawyer can help you understand what compensation you may be eligible for and work to secure the maximum possible settlement or verdict on your behalf.
Laws That Truck Drivers Must Follow In Texas
Truck drivers in Texas, like in all states, must adhere to a set of laws and regulations designed to ensure safety on the roads. These laws are enforced by both state and federal agencies. Here are some key laws that truck drivers must follow:
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR): These are federal laws that apply to all commercial vehicles operating interstate in the U.S. They cover a wide range of areas, including driver qualifications, hours of service, vehicle maintenance, and cargo securement. Violations of these regulations can lead to serious penalties. You can find the full list of FMCSR here.
- Commercial Driver’s License Standards: Under FMCSR Part 383, all commercial truck drivers are required to hold a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). To obtain a CDL, drivers must pass both a knowledge test and a skills test, which includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, a basic vehicle control test, and an on-road driving test.
- Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing: FMCSR Part 382 prohibits commercial drivers from operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. It also requires employers to implement random alcohol and drug testing of their drivers.
- Hours of Service Regulations: These rules, outlined in FMCSR Part 395, limit the number of consecutive hours a driver can operate a commercial vehicle to prevent fatigue-related accidents. For example, a driver carrying goods may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- Vehicle Maintenance and Inspection: Under FMCSR Part 396, commercial vehicles must be regularly inspected, repaired, and maintained to ensure they remain in safe operating condition. Drivers are also required to perform pre-trip inspections and report any defects or deficiencies discovered.
- Transportation of Hazardous Materials: FMCSR Part 397 provides rules for the transportation of hazardous materials. It includes specific driving and parking rules for vehicles transporting hazardous materials and requirements for routing plans and communication with state and local officials.
Remember, these are just a few examples of the laws that truck drivers must follow. Violations of these laws can lead to serious consequences, including fines, CDL suspension or revocation, and even jail time in severe cases.
How Much Is My Houston 18 Wheeler Accident Injury Case Worth?
Determining the value of an 18-wheeler accident injury case in Houston can be complex, as it depends on a variety of factors. Here are some key elements that can influence the worth of your case:
- Medical Expenses: This includes the cost of emergency care, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and any future medical costs related to the accident. The more severe your injuries and the longer your recovery period, the higher your medical expenses are likely to be.
- Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity: If your injuries prevent you from working, either temporarily or permanently, you can be compensated for lost wages and loss of earning capacity. This is calculated based on your income at the time of the accident and your potential future earnings.
- Pain and Suffering: This refers to the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident and your injuries. It can be difficult to quantify, but it’s often calculated based on the severity of your injuries, the pain you’re experiencing, and the impact on your quality of life.
- Property Damage: If your vehicle or other personal property was damaged in the accident, you can be compensated for the cost of repairs or replacement.
- Punitive Damages: In cases where the truck driver or trucking company acted particularly negligently or recklessly, you may be awarded punitive damages. These are meant to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future.
It’s important to note that every case is unique, and the value of your case will depend on the specifics of your situation. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you understand the potential worth of your case and work to secure the maximum possible compensation on your behalf.
Settlements and Insurance Policy Limits in Commercial Truck Wrecks
When it comes to settlements in commercial truck wrecks, there are several factors to consider. One of the most significant is the insurance policy limits of the involved parties.
Commercial trucks are typically covered by commercial insurance policies, which have much higher policy limits than standard auto insurance policies. This is due to the potential for severe damage and injuries in truck accidents. Federal law requires commercial vehicles to carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance, but many trucks carry policies of $1 million or more.
When negotiating a settlement, the insurance policy limit often serves as the upper limit of potential compensation. However, it’s important to remember that insurance companies are businesses, and their goal is often to minimize the amount they pay out in claims. They may offer a settlement that is much lower than the policy limit and far less than the actual cost of your damages.
This is where an experienced truck accident lawyer can make a significant difference. They can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, fighting for a settlement that fully compensates you for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer can take your case to court, where there is the potential for a verdict that exceeds the policy limit.
In cases where multiple parties are liable for the accident, each party’s insurance coverage comes into play. This can increase the potential compensation available, but it also adds complexity to the case. Your lawyer can navigate these complexities, ensuring all liable parties are held accountable.
Remember, while a settlement can provide a quicker resolution to your case, it’s crucial to ensure it adequately covers your current and future costs related to the accident. Your lawyer can provide guidance on whether a settlement offer is fair and in your best interest.
Most Common Truck Accident Locations in Houston
Houston, with its bustling economy and extensive transportation network, is a hub for commercial trucking. The city’s geographical location, being equally distant from the east and west coasts, and its proximity to air, rail, and shipping systems make it an ideal cargo transportation hub. This, however, also leads to a high frequency of truck accidents in the area.
High Traffic Volume
Houston ranks eighth on INRIX’s list of America’s worst cities for traffic and 57th on the list of the worst traffic locations worldwide. The Greater Houston Area, covering 9,444 square miles and housing approximately 7 million residents, sees a significant amount of traffic each day. The Texas Department of Transportation’s Houston District, which includes Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery, and Waller Counties, records over 100 million miles driven each day.
Key Transportation Statistics
Houston is home to 4,822 transportation and warehousing companies, including 90 pipeline transportation firms and 1,067 long-distance trucking firms. The Greater Houston Area employs 258,690 transportation and material moving employees. With 66,000 trucking companies in Texas and one in 16 Texans working in the trucking industry, trucks log 12 percent of the vehicle miles driven in Texas.
Accident Prone Areas
While specific locations within Houston that are most prone to truck accidents are not explicitly listed, it can be inferred that areas with high traffic volume, such as major highways and intersections, are likely hotspots for accidents. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded a total of 97,201 crashes in Harris County, with 4,915 involving commercial vehicles.
The Need for Caution
Given the high volume of commercial truck traffic and the significant number of accidents, it is crucial for all road users in Houston to exercise caution, especially when navigating high-traffic areas and sharing the road with large commercial vehicles. It’s also important for truck drivers to adhere to safety regulations and for trucking companies to ensure their drivers are well-trained and their vehicles are in good condition.
Remember, if you’re involved in a truck accident in Houston, it’s crucial to seek legal advice to understand your rights and potential compensation.
Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Cost
When you’re dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident, the last thing you want to worry about is how you’re going to afford legal representation. Fortunately, most Houston truck accident lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t have to pay any upfront costs.
Understanding Contingency Fees
A contingency fee is a payment arrangement that allows you to hire a lawyer without paying any money upfront. Instead, your lawyer will take a percentage of any settlement or court award you receive. If you don’t win your case, you don’t owe any attorney’s fees. This arrangement allows you to access high-quality legal representation, regardless of your financial situation.
What Does This Mean for You?
This arrangement means that your lawyer has a vested interest in your case. They only get paid if they successfully recover compensation on your behalf. This incentivizes your lawyer to work diligently to secure the best possible outcome for your case.
The percentage that a lawyer takes can vary, but it’s typically around one-third of the total recovery. It’s important to discuss this percentage with your lawyer before you hire them, so you understand exactly what to expect.
While a contingency fee covers the lawyer’s professional services, there may be other costs associated with your case. These can include court filing fees, costs for obtaining medical records, expert witness fees, and other expenses. In some cases, these costs are deducted from your settlement or award in addition to the contingency fee. Make sure to discuss how these costs are handled with your attorney.
The Bottom Line
Hiring a Houston truck accident lawyer on a contingency fee basis allows you to pursue justice and compensation without worrying about how to pay for your legal representation. It’s a risk-free way to ensure your rights are protected and you get the compensation you deserve. Always make sure to discuss the fee structure with your attorney before proceeding with your case.
At Fault Parties In Commercial Truck Accidents
In commercial truck accidents, determining who is at fault can be a complex process. This is because multiple parties could be involved, and Texas’ modified comparative negligence rules come into play. Understanding the concepts of blame, fault, negligence, and liability is crucial in these cases.
Blame vs Fault vs Negligence vs Liability
- Blame is a general term often used to indicate who caused an accident. However, in legal terms, blame doesn’t necessarily equate to legal responsibility or liability.
- Fault refers to the party who made the mistake or omission that led to the accident. In some cases, more than one party may share fault.
- Negligence is a legal term that refers to a party’s failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would have in the same situation. If this negligence leads to an accident, the negligent party can be held liable.
- Liability refers to legal responsibility for the accident. The party who is found liable is typically the one who pays for the damages.
Modified Comparative Negligence in Texas
Texas follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule. This means that the amount of compensation you can recover will be reduced by a percentage equal to your share of fault. However, if you’re found to be more than 50% at fault, you won’t be able to recover any compensation.
Potential At-Fault Parties in Truck Accidents
In commercial truck accidents, several parties could potentially be at fault:
- Truck Driver: If the driver was speeding, distracted, fatigued, or otherwise negligent, they could be held liable.
- Trucking Company: If the company failed to properly maintain the truck, hired an unqualified driver, or encouraged unsafe driving practices, they could be held liable.
- Truck Manufacturer: If a defect in the truck or one of its parts contributed to the accident, the manufacturer could be held liable.
- Cargo Loaders: If improperly loaded or secured cargo led to the accident, the party responsible for loading the cargo could be held liable.
Determining fault in a truck accident can be complex and requires a thorough investigation. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help identify all potential at-fault parties and pursue compensation on your behalf.
Possible Injuries in a Truck Accident
Due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, accidents involving these vehicles can result in severe and often life-threatening injuries. Here are some possible injuries that can occur in a truck accident:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): These can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage. Symptoms can include headaches, confusion, dizziness, and in severe cases, loss of consciousness or memory loss.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: These can lead to partial or complete paralysis, depending on the severity and location of the injury.
- Broken Bones: The force of a truck collision can easily break bones. This can lead to long recovery times and, in some cases, permanent disability.
- Internal Injuries: These can include damage to organs, internal bleeding, and other life-threatening conditions.
- Burns: If a truck is carrying hazardous materials or if a fire breaks out after the collision, victims can suffer severe burns.
- Lacerations and Abrasions: Broken glass and metal can cause deep cuts or scrapes.
- Whiplash and Other Neck Injuries: The sudden impact of a truck collision can cause the head and neck to whip back and forth, leading to injuries.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Beyond physical injuries, a truck accident can also lead to psychological trauma. Victims may experience flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety.
- Wrongful Death: In the most tragic cases, a truck accident can result in fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Even if you don’t feel hurt, some injuries may not be immediately apparent. It’s also important to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer who can help you understand your rights and pursue compensation for your injuries.
Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Houston
Truck accidents can be devastating and are often caused by a variety of factors. Here are some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Houston:
- Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours and cover vast distances, leading to fatigue. This can impair their ability to react quickly and make safe driving decisions.
- Distracted Driving: This includes any activity that diverts attention from driving, such as talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, or fiddling with the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system.
- Speeding and Reckless Driving: Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway, extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle, and increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a dangerous situation.
- Impaired Driving: This includes driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any substance that impairs the driver’s abilities.
- Improper Loading: Overloading or improperly loading cargo can cause the truck to become unstable, leading to accidents.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance: Failure to properly maintain a truck can lead to mechanical failures, such as brake failures or tire blowouts, which can cause accidents.
- Lack of Training: Truck drivers need specialized training to handle the unique challenges of driving a large, heavy vehicle. Lack of proper training can lead to mistakes and accidents.
- Weather Conditions: Poor weather conditions, such as rain, fog, or snow, can make roads slippery and reduce visibility, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Blind Spots: Large trucks have significant blind spots where smaller vehicles can disappear from view. If a truck driver doesn’t check these blind spots before changing lanes or turning, they could collide with another vehicle.
Understanding these common causes can help in the prevention of accidents and also in determining liability in the event of a truck accident. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer who can help determine the cause and pursue compensation on your behalf.
Other Types of Truck Accidents
How Long Will It Take To Settle The Truck Accident Injury Case?
The timeline for settling a truck accident injury case can vary widely based on several factors. It’s difficult to provide a specific time frame without knowing the details of your case, but here are some general stages and factors that can influence the duration of your case:
Investigation and Gathering Evidence
The first step after a truck accident is a thorough investigation. This involves collecting evidence from the accident scene, gathering medical records, interviewing witnesses, and possibly consulting with experts. This process can take several weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of the case.
Negotiation with Insurance Companies
Once the evidence has been gathered and your injuries have been evaluated, your attorney will typically begin negotiations with the insurance company. This process can be time-consuming, as it often involves back-and-forth discussions to reach a fair settlement. This stage can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
Filing a Lawsuit
If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit. Once the lawsuit is filed, the case enters the discovery phase, where both sides exchange information. This phase can last several months. After discovery, the case may go to trial, which can take several more months.
Factors That Can Affect the Timeline
Several factors can affect how long it takes to settle a truck accident case:
- Severity of Injuries: Cases involving severe or complex injuries may take longer to resolve, as it takes time to fully understand the extent of the injuries and the long-term impact on the victim’s life.
- Disputed Liability: If the at-fault party disputes liability, it can prolong the case as additional investigation or evidence may be needed.
- Multiple Parties: If multiple parties are involved, it can complicate the case and extend the timeline.
- Insurance Company Tactics: Sometimes, insurance companies may delay the process in hopes that the victim will accept a lower settlement.
While it’s natural to want your case to be resolved quickly, it’s important to remember that the goal is to get the compensation you deserve. Sometimes, this requires patience and persistence. An experienced truck accident lawyer can guide you through the process and keep you informed about the progress of your case.
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Steps To Take After Being Injured In A Truck Accident
Being involved in a truck accident can be a traumatic experience. However, the steps you take immediately after the accident can significantly impact your ability to receive the compensation you deserve. Here’s what you should do:
- Ensure Safety: If possible, move to a safe location away from traffic. If you can’t move, stay in your vehicle with your seatbelt fastened until help arrives.
- Call 911: Report the accident to the police. They will document the scene and create an accident report, which can be crucial for your claim.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
- Document the Scene: If you’re able, take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and any other relevant details.
- Gather Information: Collect the truck driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information. Also, note the truck’s license plate number and any company logos or identifiers.
- Identify Witnesses: If there were any witnesses to the accident, try to get their contact information. They may be able to provide statements that support your claim.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. However, avoid making any statements or accepting any settlements until you’ve spoken with a lawyer.
- Consult a Lawyer: Truck accident cases can be complex. An experienced truck accident lawyer can guide you through the process, protect your rights, and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Remember, your actions in the immediate aftermath of a truck accident can have a significant impact on your ability to successfully pursue a claim. It’s important to stay calm, take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your rights, and seek professional legal help.
Hire A Big Rig Truck Accident Lawyer
When you’re involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, the stakes are high. These accidents often result in severe injuries, significant property damage, and even loss of life. Navigating the aftermath of such an accident can be overwhelming, especially when you’re trying to recover from your injuries. This is where an 18-wheeler accident attorney can make a significant difference.
The best reason to hire an 18-wheeler accident attorney is their expertise and experience in handling these complex cases. Here’s why:
Understanding of Trucking Laws and Regulations
Trucking is heavily regulated by both federal and state laws. An experienced attorney understands these laws and how they apply to your case. They can identify any violations that may have contributed to the accident, which can strengthen your claim.
Experience with Complex Investigations
Investigating a truck accident requires a thorough understanding of commercial vehicles and industry practices. An experienced attorney knows what evidence to look for, how to preserve it, and how to use it to build a strong case.
Ability to Deal with Multiple Parties
Truck accidents often involve multiple parties, including the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck manufacturer, and insurance companies. An experienced attorney knows how to handle these parties and protect your interests.
Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts. An experienced attorney knows how to negotiate with these companies to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Access to Resources
An experienced attorney has access to resources like accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, and investigators. These resources can be invaluable in building a strong case.
No Upfront Costs
Most truck accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay unless they win your case. This allows you to get high-quality legal representation without worrying about upfront costs.
In conclusion, the best reason to hire an 18-wheeler accident attorney is their expertise and experience in handling these complex cases. They can guide you through the process, protect your rights, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Can I File A Wrongful Death Claim In A Truck Accident Case?
Yes, if a loved one has tragically died as a result of a truck accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. This type of claim seeks compensation for the losses experienced by the deceased’s family members as a result of their loved one’s untimely death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Texas, the following parties can file a wrongful death claim:
- The spouse of the deceased
- The children of the deceased (including legally adopted children)
- The parents of the deceased
If these parties do not file a wrongful death claim within three months of the death, the executor or personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file the claim instead, unless a family member specifically requests that they do not.
What Wrongful Death Damages Can Be Recovered?
In a wrongful death claim, you may be able to recover damages for:
- Loss of companionship, love, and society
- Mental and emotional anguish, pain, and suffering
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost inheritance, including what the deceased would likely have saved and left to family members if they had lived a normal expected lifetime
- Certain exemplary damages, if the death was caused by a willful act or omission, or by gross negligence
Importance of a Truck Accident Attorney
Wrongful death claims can be complex, especially when they involve truck accidents. An experienced truck accident attorney can guide you through the process, help you understand your rights, and fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. They can handle the legal complexities while you focus on grieving and healing.
Remember, there are strict time limits for filing wrongful death claims in Texas, known as the statute of limitations. It’s important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your claim is filed within this time frame.
Texas Statute Of Limitations On Truck Accident Cases
The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including truck accident cases, is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the truck accident to file a lawsuit.
Exceptions to the Rule
While the two-year limit is generally strict, there are some exceptions that may extend or shorten this timeframe:
- Minor Children: If a child is injured in a truck accident, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until the child turns 18.
- Mental Incapacity: If a person is mentally incapacitated at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations may not begin until the incapacity is lifted.
- Wrongful Death: If a truck accident results in death, the family has two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.
- Government Entities: If your claim is against a government entity (for example, if a government-owned truck was involved in the accident), the timeframe to file a claim is typically much shorter.
Importance of Acting Quickly
Even though you have two years to file a lawsuit, it’s important to act quickly after a truck accident. Evidence can be lost or destroyed over time, and witnesses’ memories can fade. The sooner you consult with a truck accident attorney, the sooner they can start gathering evidence and building your case.
Remember, failing to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations typically means you lose your right to sue and recover compensation for your injuries. It’s crucial to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney to ensure you understand the deadlines that apply to your case.
Texas Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me
We have experience dealing with truck accidents. So, the most important thing we can do is tell you whether or not you have a case.
However, we may not be able to tell you that at our first consultation. Truck accident investigations are more involved than most car accident investigations. Fatalities and severe injuries increase those complexities.
We may investigate further before we tell you whether you have a case. However, we have access to the experts that can do those investigations.
To find out how we can help in your case, contact us. We can schedule a free no-obligation consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What If I Was Hit By A Drunk Truck Driver?
If you were hit by a drunk driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. Drunk driving is not only illegal, but it's also a form of negligence. This means that the drunk driver can be held liable for any harm they cause. Here are the steps you should take if you're hit by a drunk driver: Call the Police: Always report the accident to the police. They will document the scene and conduct a field sobriety test if they suspect the other driver is intoxicated. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don't feel injured, it's important to get checked out by a medical professional. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Gather Evidence: If you're able, take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any damage to your vehicle. Also, try to get contact information from any witnesses. Consult a Lawyer: A lawyer can guide you through the process of filing a claim, dealing with insurance companies, and pursuing a lawsuit if necessary. In addition to filing a claim against the drunk driver, you may also be able to file a claim against the establishment that served the driver alcohol if they were clearly intoxicated, a practice known as a dram shop claim. Remember, drunk driving accidents can have serious consequences, and you shouldn't have to bear the burden of someone else's reckless behavior. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.
How Do Truck Accident Lawyers Get Paid?
Truck accident lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they do not charge any upfront fees or hourly rates. Instead, they receive a percentage of the compensation they recover for you. If they do not win your case, they do not get paid. The exact percentage can vary, but it's usually around one-third of the total recovery. This fee arrangement allows victims to get the legal representation they need without worrying about upfront costs. In addition to the contingency fee, there may be other costs associated with your case, such as court fees, costs for obtaining medical records, and fees for expert witnesses. These costs are usually paid out of the settlement or award at the end of the case. It's important to discuss the fee structure and any potential costs with your attorney at the outset so you understand what to expect. Remember, a good truck accident attorney will be transparent about their fees and costs.
What If My Family Member Was Killed In A Truck Accident?
If your family member was tragically killed in a truck accident, you may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Texas, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the spouse, children (including legally adopted children), or parents of the deceased. This type of claim seeks compensation for the losses experienced by the family members as a result of their loved one's untimely death. In a wrongful death claim, you may be able to recover damages for loss of companionship, mental and emotional anguish, lost earning capacity, lost inheritance, and certain exemplary damages if the death was caused by a willful act or omission, or by gross negligence. It's important to consult with an experienced truck accident attorney who can guide you through this complex process and help you seek the justice and compensation you and your family deserve. Remember, there are strict time limits for filing wrongful death claims in Texas, so it's crucial to act quickly.