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Frequently Asked Truck Accident Questions

Important Questions for Truck Accident Victims

1

The insurance adjuster is asking for a statement- should I give one?

No, after a serious truck accident, one of the first things an insurance company will do is send an adjuster out to take a recorded statement from you, the victim. No good can come from giving such a statement, and some less-than-scrupulous adjusters use the opportunity to try to defend the case and trap an unsuspecting victim with trick questions.

Always speak with a reputable truck accident attorney who handles commercial vehicle crashes before giving a statement to any insurance adjuster or lawyer representing the motor carrier.

2

Do I need a truck accident attorney?

Yes, if your damages are large! Despite assurances that you may receive from an insurance company that they are “responsible” or will “take care of you” the simple fact of the matter is insurance companies are in the business of paying as little as they possibly can on any claim.

Serious injury cases will not receive the same consideration or even market value damages without a respected lawyer involved, regardless of what the insurance company will say. There is a reason why the insurance company does not want you to hire a lawyer.

3

How are your truck accident lawyers paid?

We handle Texas 18-wheeler truck accident cases based on a contingency fee arrangement that provides for a percentage of recovery to compensate us for the attorney’s time in prosecuting the case. If we do not get money for you then you pay us nothing. In other words, we only get paid if we win your case

In addition to the percentage of the recovery for the attorney’s time, the law firm is reimbursed for actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred in prosecuting the case, or the money spent on the case back. Examples of common case expenses are deposition costs, expert witness fees, court costs, etc.

4

Do big rig accident cases produce larger settlements?

Yes, generally a commercial vehicle accident injury case is valued higher than a car-to-car crash. A tractor-trailer driver is a professional driver who must not only undergo specific training to obtain and hold a CDL but also adhere to safety regulations, which are designed to protect the public.

The number of hours that a truck driver can drive on any specific day or limit and the rules also set forth the minimum standard of safe conduct for many different circumstances. Not only must professional drivers drive more cautiously because they are behind the wheel open up to an 80,000-pound vehicle, but they also must exercise extreme caution in adverse conditions.

Investigations more detailed with big truck crashes

After a very serious injury or a wrongful death semi-truck collision, an investigation often reveals situations where the trucking company and or the truck driver did not follow the rules and placed the public at risk.

When evidence shows that a truck driver or trucking company cut corners to increase profits at the expense of community safety, jury attitudes toward the driver and the trucking company have generally not been good.

For this reason, commercial vehicle accidents usually involve higher damage awards for injury claims with the same or similar injury than a passenger car crash.

More liability insurance

Another factor is that commercial vehicles carry commercial insurance policies, which are much greater policy limits than the $30,000 Texas minimum coverage for passenger car vehicles, making more money available to fairly compensate a victim.

We find most truck companies have at least a one million dollar policy and often excess coverage as well.

5

What personal injury damages are available in Texas?

Some of the compensation available for appropriate claims from a truck accident injury include:

* Past and future medical expenses that are actually paid or incurred;

* Loss of earning capacity as a result of the injuries sustained

* Human damages – pain and suffering, incapacity, disfigurement, and damages on a personal emotional level. And wrongful death damages for fatal accidents.

 

Jury verdicts are higher with trucking accidents.

Jury verdicts tend to be larger for truck wreck lawsuits for many reasons; the main one is that the likelihood of a permanent injury is greater in a big rig accident. It is important that you choose an attorney with experience in telling your story, and damages are a big part of that.

Multiple defendants possible

There can be many different defendants in a big truck crash case, from those who maintain the trucks to the trucking company and truck drivers. In some cases, the manufacturer of a component or the truck itself may be a defendant, all of who may be responsible for damages under appropriate facts. Other cases can involve Amazon delivery van accidents.

6

Does it matter which attorney we choose?

Yes- The best 18 wheeler accident lawyer can make a significant difference in how a big rig collision case moves forward because we do it all the time. Trying to reinvent the wheel by hiring an attorney who may occasionally handle a truck crash is probably not the best path forward for a tractor-trailer injury accident.

Get a real truck accident lawyer

Some truck litigation firms handle truck crash cases on a daily basis and have been through the dance for decades. Selecting an experienced attorney who handles truck crash litigation as a center of their law practice is a good choice for your family’s financial future.

18-wheeler crashes are valued higher than car wrecks

If you are wondering what an 18-wheeler crash case may be worth, contacting the best truck accident lawyer near you is a good start.

You would not go to an ear nose and throat doctor to get spinal surgery, get the attorneys who are trucking accident specialists to protect your financial interests. If you or a family member have been involved in a serious tractor-trailer injury accident, contact us for a discussion about your rights and options. We are available 24 hours seven days a week and can arrange consultations at locations most convenient for you.

7

How important is an early investigation?

In some instances, an early investigation can be vital to preserving and obtaining important evidence concerning how the accident happened and also violating the trucking rules and regulations. Documenting the scene early can be critical to showing the court how the accident occurred which will likely be different than the at-fault truck driver’s story.

Most semi-trucks now contain onboard computer chips or “black boxes”, which can document such things as speed, braking, rpm, and even hours driven that day. Some defense interests have adopted a tactic of trying to place the truck back in service as soon as possible, thus depriving the victim of that important evidence, unless you take steps early- hiring the right attorney is a good first step.

You can be assured that if the facts are adverse to the trucking company, the insurance company will seek to protect their interest in any way they can, and many will have defense attorneys at the scene before the vehicles are even removed.

If you choose our Houston truck crash attorneys,  we have experts available to investigate a serious big rig collision on short notice.

Call us at (281) 893-0760 to put our quick response team to work for you!

8

Do you offer free consultations?

Yes, we offer free, no-obligation consultations on serious injury or Texas wrongful death truck accident cases. We will do our best to answer your questions about your situation.

Fill out the online consultation form and we will get back to you promptly or call us toll-free at 1-866-758-4529 for an initial, free no-obligation consultation concerning a commercial vehicle accident.

9

Can you come to us for a consultation?

Yes- for appropriate cases, we will travel to you anywhere in the state of Texas to discuss your rights and options after a collision with a big rig or other commercial vehicles.

Home and hospital consultations are available to accident victims by appointment.

10

Is it important to seek prompt medical treatment?

Yes-The most important thing a victim should focus on is getting well with proper medical treatment for injuries. Truck wrecks tend to involve serious injuries due to the huge difference in size between a car and a big rig. Many of the people who have the ability to walk away from a truck wreck try to “tough it out” and only end up prolonging their injuries by not seeking prompt medical treatment.

Additionally, understand that emergency rooms are designed to handle emergency situations and not ongoing diagnosis and treatment. Many people are discharged from the emergency room and mistakenly believe they are going to be ok, only to find out later they have really serious medical problems.

It is very important to follow the hospital’s recommendations and referrals and follow treating physicians’ orders. Seek treatment from quality doctors you trust and seek out specialists for serious injury.

Call us to speak with an award-winning Texas truck accident attorney- (281) 893-0760.

11

What Can I Do to Help My Case?

The most important thing you can do to help your personal injury case is to promptly seek medical treatment and follow your doctor’s instructions regarding care. Next is getting an experienced trucking accident attorney to handle your case. Followed by documenting your case and expenses.

Here is a list of what not to do:

  • Don’t communicate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.  Nothing you say can help your case, but anything you say can be used against you. Let your lawyer talk for you.
  • Avoid posting to social media while your claim is pending. Defendants go to great lengths to get and use your social media to hurt your case.
  • Consider a settlement before you’re released from a doctor’s care. All early settlements do is shift the risk of loss to you.
12

How Much Are Most Truck Accident Settlements?

The liability facts and the severity of your injuries determine injury settlements after a truck accident. A truck car injury case can settle for thousands to millions of dollars.

The amount of truck accident settlements can vary widely based on several factors, making it difficult to pinpoint an average or typical settlement amount. The severity of the injuries influences settlements, the extent of property damage, the degree of negligence involved, and the specific circumstances of the accident. Here are some key factors that affect the size of a truck accident settlement:

Severity of Injuries 

Generally, more severe injuries result in higher settlement amounts due to increased medical costs, longer recovery periods, and greater compensation for pain and suffering.

Medical Expenses

This includes past, current, and future medical treatments related to the injuries sustained in the accident. The more extensive and long-term the medical care required, the higher the settlement might be.

Lost Wages and Earning Capacity

 If the injury impacts the victim’s ability to work temporarily or permanently, the settlement can include compensation for lost wages and diminished earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering

 This non-economic damage compensates for the physical pain and emotional distress suffered by the victim. The calculation for pain and suffering varies and can significantly increase a settlement.

Liability and Contributory Negligence 

The clearness of liability can affect settlement amounts. The settlement will likely be higher if the truck driver or trucking company is clearly at fault. If you are partly at fault, a settlement will be reduced accordingly or eliminated if you are over 50% at fault in Texas.

Insurance Policy Limits

The trucking company’s insurance coverage limits can also affect the settlement amount. Trucking companies typically have larger insurance policies due to the potential for significant damage, which can result in higher settlements than typical car accident claims.

Venue

The country where the lawsuit is filed can impact the settlement amount due to differences in laws and attitudes towards litigation and compensation.

Given these variables, settlements can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. High-profile cases involving severe injuries or fatalities can result in settlements or awards in the millions, reflecting the significant impact on the victims’ lives and the higher operational and insurance coverage levels associated with commercial trucks.

12

What Should I Do If I’m a Victim of a Truck Accident?

If you’re a victim of a truck accident, there are several important steps you should take to protect your health, rights, and interests:

Safety First

If you can, move to a safe location to avoid further harm. If your vehicle is causing a hazard and can be moved, consider doing so, but only if it’s safe.

Call 911

Report the accident to the police immediately. They will document the scene and collect statements from everyone involved, which can be critical for your claim.

Get Medical Attention

Even if you do not think you are injured, it is crucial to get a medical evaluation. Some injuries are not immediately apparent, and having a medical record right after the accident can be vital evidence for your case.

Collect Information

 If you can, collect the truck driver’s information, including their name, contact information, insurance details, and the trucking company’s name. Also, try to take pictures of the accident scene, including the vehicles involved, any skid marks, road conditions, and your injuries.

Find Witnesses

If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information. Witness statements can provide valuable third-party perspectives on the crash.

Do Not Admit Fault

Be careful not to admit fault or make statements that could be interpreted as admitting fault. Even saying “I’m sorry” can be misconstrued as an admission of guilt.

Report the Accident to Your Insurance

Inform your insurance company about the accident, but be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters, and do not accept a settlement without consulting an attorney.

Keep Records

 Start a file with all accident-related documents, including the police report, medical records, bills, receipts for any expenses incurred due to the accident, and records of any time missed from work.

Consult with a Truck Accident Attorney

Consider hiring an attorney who specializes in truck accidents. They can guide you through the process, handle negotiations with insurance companies, and work to get you the compensation you deserve.

Follow Up on Medical Care

Follow your doctor’s advice and keep records of all follow-up treatments and how your injuries affect your daily life.

Truck accidents can have complex liability issues involving the truck driver, the trucking company, and other parties. An attorney can help navigate these complexities and protect your rights.

13

What Compensation is Available Following a Truck Accident?

In Texas, as in many other states, personal injury compensation can encompass several damages. These damages are typically categorized into economic, non-economic, and sometimes punitive damages. Here’s what each category may include:

Economic Damages

These are compensation for monetary losses with a specific dollar amount and are relatively easy to quantify. They can include:

Medical bills

Costs for emergency services, hospital care, surgery, medication, medical devices, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment related to the injury.

 Lost wages or reduced earning capacity

 Compensation for the income you lost while recovering from your injuries. If your injuries affect your ability to earn a living in the future, you may be compensated for this loss.

Non-Economic Damages

These compensate for losses that are not financial and are more subjective. They include:

 Pain and suffering

Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress you have suffered and will possibly continue to suffer.

 Mental anguish

Compensation for psychological effects of the injury, such as stress, anxiety, depression, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Physical impairment

Compensation for any disability or reduced quality of life resulting from the accident.

Disfigurement

If the injury has left you with scars or other permanent changes to your appearance.

Punitive Damages

Also known as exemplary damages, these are not meant to compensate the victim but to punish the wrongdoer for particularly reckless or malicious behavior and to deter similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are rare and only awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were especially harmful.

Wrongful Death and Survivor Damages

If the injury results in death, the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation for:

Loss of financial support

The income the deceased would have earned had they lived.

 Loss of companionship and love

Compensation for the emotional loss and companionship the family members will suffer.

 Mental anguish

The emotional pain and suffering the family members experience due to the loss of their loved one.

 Funeral expenses

Costs associated with the burial and funeral services.

In Texas, there’s also a concept called “proportionate responsibility,” which means that if you are found to be partially at fault for your injuries, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault.

 

To understand the full range and potential value of personal injury compensation you might be entitled to, it’s best to consult with a Texas personal injury attorney. They can offer personalized advice based on the specifics of your case.

14

Can I Still Receive Compensation if I’m Partially Responsible for the Accident?

Texas uses a comparative responsibility system, and you can still recover damages in a motor vehicle accident if you are less than 51% at fault.

15

Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit If a Family Member Is Killed in A Fatal Houston Truck Accident?

In Texas, spouses, children, and parents are all eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Also, if the deceased did not die instantly, the estate can file a survival claim for the damages of the victim.

16

Can Truck Accident Lawyers Determine Who is Responsible for the Truck Accident?

One of the primary responsibilities of an experienced tract accident attorney is to determine who may be responsible for the crash. There can be numerous potential parties besides the truck driver and the trucking company. The list of potentially responsible parties can include maintenance companies, manufacturers, entities responsible for the loading, and other motorists.

17

Do Truck Drivers have Limits on Hours they can Legally Drive?

Trucking safety regulations strictly limit the hours a truck driver can be on duty and behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler. These regulations have been largely adopted in Texas and were enacted to protect the public from fatigued truck drivers. Even with the new electronic logging devices, truck drivers are finding inventive ways of circumventing the hours-of-service regulations.

18

Does a Truck Accident Attorney Offer Free Accident Case Evaluations?

We offer free consultations on any truck accident that happened in the state of Texas. Our law firm has been helping accident victims receive maximum compensation after a truck accident for more than three decades, and we may be able to help you, too.

19

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit in Texas After a Truck Wreck?

Texas has a statute of limitation generally two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit for personal injury. However, waiting till the last minute to contact a truck accident attorney is a mistake. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, do not delay contacting the best truck accident attorney you can find immediately.

20

How Long Does It Take to Settle Your Truck Accident Claim?

Truck accidents are more complex than automobile accidents and generally take slightly longer to settle. The exception would be if the injuries are minor and liability clear. The truck accident case can take several months to two years or more, depending on the severity of the injuries and the liability factors. The more severe the injuries, the longer it will take for the case to receive maximum compensation.

21

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Top-Rated Truck Accident Attorney?

We charged no money up front to handle your case. All the cases we accept are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid if you get money. Our fees start at 1/3 of any compensation recovered. Also, we advance case costs to move your case forward, which are reimbursed from any settlement.

22

How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?

An attorney can’t accurately assess the value of a truck accident case’s value without knowing the accident’s facts and the severity of injuries sustained. Yet, with over 35 years of expertise, we can give a range of settlement values after an initial investigation of your case. Cases can be worth tens of thousands of dollars to millions.

23

How Is Compensation Determined After a Truck Accident?

The liability factors and the damage model for a specific case determine compensation. Commercial vehicle accident cases generally involve more compensation than passenger car accidents. Because truck drivers must have extra insurance coverage, insurance companies will fight tooth and nail to pay as little as possible on an injury claim. Choosing the attorney to handle your claim is vital to its success.

Damages are determined based on the seriousness of the injuries sustained by the victim and the truck driver’s negligence in the case.

24

Why Choose a Texas Law Firm Focused on Truck Crashes?

One cannot overemphasize the importance of experience with truck accident litigation. Not only is a thorough knowledge of the safety regulations a requirement, but courtroom expertise and a proven track record should be on your list when selecting the best counsel for your case.

Call us to speak with an award-winning Texas Truck Accident Attorney

Call (281) 893-0760 or Toll Free 1-866-758-4529