If you’re like many drivers, you proceed with caution around semi trucks and other large vehicles. While no one ever wants to be in a collision with any automobile, getting in a truck accident is far scarier than a crash with a commuter car.
The size and weight of semi-trucks make them formidable in a collision, and a truck accident can cause severe injuries and even death. If you have the unpleasant experience of getting in a trucking accident, you’ll likely need to file a claim to pursue compensation for your vehicle damage and medical treatment.
But what if the trucking company or truck driver disputes your claim or refuses to accept liability for the crash? You may worry that you’ll be left paying for expensive car repairs and medical treatments. To get the justice you deserve, you’ll need to work with a lawyer to file a lawsuit to attempt to receive recompense for your losses.
You may expect the insurance company covering the trucking company to pay your truck accident claim and compensate you for your medical bills and property damage if their driver is at fault. While the at-fault party should be held responsible, unfortunately, not all trucking companies behave ethically.
A trucking company or driver may try to dodge their responsibility to you by disputing your claim and stating that you hold primary fault in the truck crash or that the scope of your damage isn’t as severe as you say it is. If the accident claims you file against the company fail to secure you just compensation for the accident, you’ll need to file a lawsuit against the trucking company, truck driver, or another individual responsible for your harm.
Facing a trucking company without a lawyer representing you is a recipe for disaster. Even though federal law mandates that a trucking company must have minimum liability insurance, that doesn’t mean they want to compensate you for your injuries. Instead, most trucking companies work with aggressive insurance adjusters who will do everything possible to avoid paying out truck accident claims.
Truck accident lawyers are familiar with the tricks insurance adjusters use to attempt to shirk their responsibility for the damages you experienced. They will fight to recover compensation for your losses and secure a fair settlement, even if that requires filing a personal injury lawsuit.
If you are involved in an accident involving a semi or other large trucks, you’ll want to call the police. They will examine the truck accident scene and write a police report detailing what happened, as well as your statement and that of the other party.
The insurance company will use this information to determine who is the liable party, and it will affect how successful your personal injury claim is. Truck accident claims are often challenging to resolve since companies typically have powerful insurance carriers who are hesitant to offer an insurance settlement unless they have no other option.
After a truck wreck, the trucking company will usually have the semi-truck driver involved in the crash complete a report detailing how the crash took place. Although there are many ethical drivers, some truck drivers will inevitably not want to admit that they are fully or partially responsible for the truck crash. That means they may gloss over essential details that paint them as the at-fault driver.
When truck accidents occur, there can often be multiple at-fault parties. Therefore, a thorough investigation must be completed to establish which party holds the most fault and should be held responsible for the victim’s injuries. Since truck accidents are frequently catastrophic, truck accident claims can be expensive. All parties involved will likely try to protest their innocence to avoid their insurance policy taking the hit.
When truck drivers make a mistake, their employers are often held responsible. The law of vicarious liability holds an entity or individual liable for actions committed by other parties, such as their employees.
Vicarious liability operates on the principle that an employer has control of its employees and should take responsibility for the harm they cause to others while performing their job. However, even though the trucking company should reimburse the truck accident victim for their injuries, that isn’t always how truck accident claims work.
Companies in the trucking industry know that when semi-accidents occur, the result is often disastrous. Trucking accidents can cause enormous property damage, severe personal injury, or even fatal injuries.
Employers plan for this by hiring legal representation to prove your liability to avoid paying you full compensation for your injuries. Trying to complete the claims process against a heavy hitter in the trucking industry without your own lawyer to fight your case will leave you feeling frustrated and, if the insurance company denies your request, with nothing to show for your efforts.
While you may expect to deal with a trucking company following an accident, you may deal directly with the truck driver’s insurance company. If an independent contractor or owner-operator hits you, you would have to pursue compensation from them since they are not working for an employer.
Truck drivers are subject to numerous state laws and federal regulations. If they violate these laws and an accident occurs, they can be liable for economic damages caused by the collision. Some specific circumstances are easily identified as the truck driver’s fault, such as reckless driving, exceeding the speed limit, and distracted driving.
No matter how straightforward your legal claim may seem, you’ll still want to contact a lawyer regarding your situation. Depending on the behavior that caused the collision, your lawyer may recommend seeking punitive damages and recompense for your injuries and property damage.
Punitive damages are awarded when a defendant, in this case, the truck driver, committed egregious or exceptionally reckless behavior. These damages are awarded to punish the defendant and discourage them from engaging in inappropriate or unsafe behavior in the future.
More than one trucking accident has been caused because of improperly loaded or restrained cargo. If the team responsible for placing cargo onto the truck doesn’t balance the load properly or fails to secure items before transport, shifting freight can cause the truck driver to lose control of their vehicle.
It’s worth noting that just because cargo movement caused an accident, that doesn’t mean that the cargo loader is automatically to blame. Depending on the protocols set by the trucking company, the truck driver may be responsible for ensuring freight is secured before traveling. In that scenario, then the blame could fall back on the driver.
Since determining and proving blame is complicated, you’ll want to have an attorney handling your truck accident case. Lawyers who are familiar with the intricacies of truck accident laws will be able to offer valuable insight on evaluating responsibility and proving that you deserve compensation for the injuries you received in the crash.
Sometimes accidents occur due to a defective part on the semi-truck. Before manufacturers can be held liable for truck accidents, there must be proof that a faulty or defective part caused or significantly contributed to the accident.
In such a situation, strict liability applied to tort law would dictate that the manufacturer is responsible. Strict liability is a subcategory of the products liability branch of tort law (civil law).
Under this law, even though the manufacturer technically did nothing wrong, they can still be held liable for truck accidents due to faulty products. Accident lawyers will have their work cut out when proving a defective component caused an accident because automotive manufacturers have legal teams devoted to protecting them.
While no one likes to think their error contributed to a truck accident, it does happen. Anyone can make a mistake that exacerbates or causes a collision.
Trucking insurance companies know this, and they may try to get you to claim greater liability than you rightfully hold to get you to accept a lower settlement offer or abandon your claim altogether. Insurance company adjusters are often aggressive and unrelenting and can add tremendous stress to an already overwhelming situation.
Hiring a lawyer lets you have someone on your side when dealing with the insurance company. In addition, this representation allows you to protect your mental health while dealing with the aftermath of your truck accident.
Finally, if the insurance company fails to offer you a settlement or disputes your claim, you will already have a lawyer familiar with your case. Since truck accident lawsuits can be time-consuming, it’s wise to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible regarding your case.
Avoid being caught up in a drawn-out legal battle by working with a skilled accident attorney from the start. Let them handle settlement negotiations with insurance companies and gather evidence; their experience from years of navigating truck accident cases will enable them to fight for your rights more effectively than you can defend yourself.
Texas state law follows the doctrine of moderate comparative negligence, which means if you hold partial truck accident liability, your compensation is decreased by the percentage of blame you carry for the car accident. You cannot be responsible for 51% or more of the accident and still recover compensation for your injuries.
The driver who holds 51% or more of the trucking accident liability is the one who is responsible for providing the truck accident victim with compensation for a personal injury claim or a surviving family member with compensation in a wrongful death claim.
Whether you were recently injured in a trucking accident and haven’t filed a claim yet, or just discovered that the trucking company disputed your claim, an accident attorney can help you. Trust your case to a Texas attorney who understands what’s needed to take on a major trucking company and come out on top.
Contact Brian C. Gutierrez, PLLC, at 979-271-5338 and schedule your free case evaluation today. Our team is ready to ensure your rights are protected.
If you need a trucking accident attorney in Bryan, TX or College Station, contact Brian C. Gutierrez, PLLC for experienced representation.
Our semi truck accident lawyer in Bryan, TX can help you build a strong case. We will obtain the crash report, conduct our own investigation, gather evidence, interview witnesses, hire experts, inspect the tractor-trailer, and if necessary, file a lawsuit and subpoena records to prove the negligence of the truck driver and the carrier.
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