Truck Accident Attorney Texas
Injury victims in Texas have the legal right to be compensated by negligent individuals and companies who cause their injuries. Truck accidents lead to serious injuries and financial losses, so it is important to protect your legal right to compensation after an accident.
Our experienced Texas truck accident attorneys are here to answer all your questions about your personal injury case.
Call our office for a free consultation to learn more about what your particular case is worth.
In the meantime, learn more about your legal rights after a truck accident and what an injury lawyer does to protect them.
Who Is Responsible For Paying for My Truck Accident Injuries?
The person who is legally responsible for causing a truck accident is also responsible for paying for the injuries that they caused, a legal rule called “liability.” It is important to find the right defendant (or defendants) in your truck accident case. If you do not, you could miss out on compensation to which you are legally entitled. Here are some of the most common defendants in a truck accident case:
The Truck Driver – If the truck driver was at fault for the accident, then they must pay for your injuries. Commercial trucks in the United States must carry large commercial insurance policies. These policies have high coverage limits because large, heavy trucks can cause large amounts of damage.
Independent truck drivers can also provide proof of financial responsibility in other ways (for example, by posting a bond or joining a co-op with other truck drivers). Our truck accident lawyers find all policies that cover a particular truck or driver to give you as much access as possible to the fair compensation you deserve.
The Trucking Company – A truck company can also be liable for a truck accident if it commits negligence. If, for example, a company routinely lets its drivers violate the federal rules requiring rest breaks for truck drivers, this could be considered negligence. Or maybe a company continues to let a driver work for them after they accrue multiple safety violations.
This act, too, could be negligence, and an injury could hold a trucking company liable for it. Trucking companies also carry large commercial insurance policies.
A Truck Manufacturer – Consumer products in the United States must be safe for their intended use. If they are not, the manufacturer can be held “strictly liable.” Strict liability means that injury victims do not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent, only that the product was defective.
If a truck accident occurs because the vehicle has faulty brakes, a bad electrical system, or any other defect, an injury victim can file a products liability claim against the company that made the truck. You might also have claims against other companies that made the parts of the vehicle (for example, the brakes or backup camera).
Another Driver Who Is At Fault – Just because a truck is involved in an accident does not mean that the truck driver is at fault. Other drivers can also cause truck accidents, and they can be held liable for their negligence. Texas, like other states, requires drivers to carry liability coverage on their auto insurance policies with minimum policy limits.
These policy limits are not as high as those on commercial policies, but they can pay for injuries. You might also have coverage on your own auto insurance policy (such as medical payments) that can also be applied to your medical bills. Our truck accident lawyers know how to find all insurance policies that might offer coverage in any situation.
A Construction Company – Sometimes truck accidents are caused by road construction. If a construction company leaves equipment in the path of oncoming traffic, or fails to provide warning signs, or is otherwise negligent, that construction company could be found at fault for causing a truck accident.
A City or State That Negligently Maintains the Road – Truck accidents can also be caused by poor road conditions. If a city, state, or local government fails to maintain a road in a safe condition, they can sometimes be held liable for any injuries that are caused by the poor road conditions. These claims are more difficult to win. Local governments are sometimes protected from lawsuits entirely by rules of sovereign immunity.
Even if a claim can be filed, it can be difficult to prove that the municipality was negligent. Public officials are often given latitude in the definition of what is “reasonable” to expect of them. In spite of these challenges, it is possible to file a claim against a government agency and win a lawsuit against them after a truck accident.
How a Truck Accident Can Permanently Affect Your Life
Truck accidents often cause more serious injuries than crashes involving smaller vehicles because a large, heavy truck has more force in a collision, which in turn causes more serious injuries. Often these injuries are permanent. You are entitled to be compensated for all the future losses you will suffer as a result of your truck accident injuries, including financial losses that can be documented with receipts, as well as emotional losses that are more difficult to value.
Here are some (but not all) of the losses that can be compensated:
Decreased Future Earning Capacity – After an accident, you are entitled to compensation for your lost wages. Your employer can provide documentation showing how many hours you missed and what your hourly wage is. (You are also entitled to compensation for lost bonuses, commissions, overtime, and other types of employment compensation.) But what if you are unable to go back to work after an accident?
Or what if you are only able to work part-time or with limited responsibilities (such as no heavy lifting)? In these scenarios, your future earning capacity will be limited by your injuries. So how do truck accident lawyers prove the value of your future lost wages? Often, they must hire expert witnesses to prove what you are able to earn after the accident.
Your attorney might have a vocational expert testify that you can only work part-time or in a less physically demanding setting and estimate the wages you could earn in this type of position. The defense might challenge this testimony with their own vocational expert. If the parties cannot agree on your earning capacity after the accident, a jury will be presented with both expert witnesses’ testimony and left to decide what your earning capacity really is.
Your attorney might also hire an economist to estimate the value of your future lost wages and employment benefits (such as an employer’s contributions to health insurance premiums and retirement accounts). All of this is then adjusted for inflation from the time of the accident to the time of your expected retirement. Here, too, the defense can challenge your expert’s projections with numbers from their own economist.
Pain and Suffering – Texas law requires negligent drivers to compensate injury victims for their pain and suffering. “Pain and suffering” is a general term that applies to all the intangible losses a person suffers after a truck accident. It includes your physical pain and suffering, but it also includes emotional damages. Many truck accident victims, for example, experience post-traumatic stress disorder.
You might have a fear of getting back on the road. These conditions are very real, and you might need help from a mental health professional to address them. You are entitled to compensation for any mental health provider fees and for the distress you experience. You are also entitled to compensation for your more general loss of enjoyment of life.
Perhaps you can no longer play the piano because of your injuries. Maybe you are unable to do your normal exercise routine or participate in hobbies you enjoyed before the accident. All of these limitations cause a loss in your enjoyment of life. You can also lose enjoyment in life because of the stress your injuries place on your friends and family members.
Caring for someone who has been injured is a taxing responsibility. When combined with an injury victim who cannot sleep well and is in constant pain, relationships often become strained after a truck accident. Sometimes these relationships are strained because you cannot participate in family events or other gatherings.
You might even miss major life events, such as graduations or weddings, due to your injuries. All of these losses decrease your enjoyment of life. You are entitled to compensation for them.
Permanent Disabilities – Permanent disabilities cause permanent losses in your life. If you are unable to ever work again, you have the right to be compensated for all the wages you would have earned between the time of the accident and the time of your expected retirement. If you are permanently disabled, you will have ongoing bills for medical treatments and rehabilitation services for the rest of your life.
You might also have bills for in-home care or modifications to your home (for example, a wheelchair ramp). You will also endure pain and suffering for the rest of your life. This pain and suffering is significant: imagine, for example, that an injury victim is paralyzed. Life will never be the same. The victim will suffer serious financial and emotional losses for the rest of their life.
The victim might even have a shortened life expectancy because of the paralysis, and this, too, is a compensable loss. Permanent disabilities cause permanent and costly losses. Our experienced truck accident injury lawyers know how to prove the value of these losses and fight for the compensation you deserve.
What a Truck Accident Lawyer Does to Protect Your Legal Rights
You might wonder why you should hire a truck accident lawyer. After all, some people handle their own insurance claims, so why shouldn’t you, too? You have the right to file your own injury claim after a truck accident, but this is not always a good idea. There are many things a truck accident lawyer does to protect your legal rights after a collision.
These protections are important, and they are the reason why injury victims without lawyers consistently receive lower settlements than injury victims who are represented by counsel. Here are just some of the many things our experienced truck accident injury lawyers will do for you:
Communicate With the Insurance Company – As soon as the insurance company is notified that you have a lawyer, they may no longer contact you directly about your injury claim. All communications must go through your attorney’s office. Why is this important? Anything you say to the insurance company can be used against you.
Even things you blurt out at the accident scene (like “I’m so sorry!” or “was that my fault?”) can be twisted in an attempt to blame you for the truck accident. The sooner you hire an attorney, the fewer opportunities the insurance company will have to try to use your own words against you.
Your lawyer will also protect you from lowball settlement offers and high-pressure tactics. Insurance companies know that injury victims want to settle their claims and get their money as quickly as possible. They often try to convince injury victims that their claims aren’t worth very much, or that they won’t do well at trial, or that it will take too long to resolve the case if the victim doesn’t accept a settlement offer right away.
The fact is that you have the right to consult with your own attorney about your legal rights. Your own attorney will give you an unbiased assessment of what your case is fairly worth and what your chances of success are at trial. Do not let the insurance company pressure you into accepting a settlement offer before you have had a chance to get your own legal advice.
Preserve Evidence – One of the most important things a personal injury attorney can do at the beginning of a case is to ensure that all relevant evidence is saved for trial. If you do not have an attorney to take action, physical evidence and witness information can be lost in the regular course of business. For example, business owners usually delete surveillance footage in order to free up space on their servers for new data.
If you do not have an attorney to intervene to preserve this data, it could be gone by the time your case goes to trial. You might also be unable to save it if you simply call up the business owner and ask for a copy. Often, a lawyer must issue subpoenas and take other legal actions in order to enforce an order to preserve evidence.
Negotiate a Settlement Offer – The vast majority of personal injury claims in the United States are settled out of court, meaning that your attorney’s most important job is likely to be negotiating a fair personal injury settlement on your behalf. If you do not regularly handle injury claims, you cannot be expected to know what the fair value of your claim is. Truck accident injury lawyers do.
Our experienced attorneys know what is likely to happen with your case at trial and what compensation is fair to avoid the time and expense of litigation. Insurance companies often try to take advantage of the fact that an injury victim does not know what similar claims have settled for in their area. They might say that other claims have settled for less or that a jury is not likely to award very much at trial, and you should accept their low settlement offer as soon as you can.
Never take this type of legal advice from someone who is actively working for the other side. Let your own injury lawyer protect your right to be fairly compensated by determining what fair compensation is in your unique case.
Protect Your Claim From the Statute of Limitations and Other Deadlines – Personal injury claims have a statute of limitations. This means that a lawsuit must be filed before the set deadline. If it is not, the other side can immediately have your case dismissed. Insurance companies do not pay out claims that are past the statute of limitations because they know that you cannot take the case to court.
There are also other deadlines that can affect your legal rights. For example: if your claim is against a government agency of the State, you must provide written notice to that agency within six months of the date of injury. Failure to do so can prevent you from filing a lawsuit against the State (or its government agencies). By hiring an experienced Texas truck accident lawyer, you will have a legal professional reviewing your case for any potential deadlines and ensuring that these deadlines are met.
File a Lawsuit, If Necessary – The reason that insurance companies pay to settle cases is to avoid the time and expense of litigation. Sometimes, the simple act of filing a lawsuit can be enough to get a fair settlement offer from the insurance company. But there are many requirements (both procedural and substantive) that apply to personal injury lawsuits filed in Texas.
If you do not meet these requirements, the court can dismiss your case altogether. In some cases, you may not be allowed to ever file the case again. An injury lawyer will ensure that a lawsuit is filed properly in order to protect your legal rights in court. Truck accident attorneys also know how to use a formal legal complaint effectively in settlement negotiations.
Conduct Pretrial Discovery – If filing a lawsuit is not enough to get a fair settlement offer, the attorneys will begin formally investigating a case. Each side may interview witnesses, gather physical evidence, subpoena documents, and depose the plaintiff and defendant. The goal of this process is to gather all admissible evidence that is needed to present your case to a jury. In the course of investigating a case, attorneys learn about the strengths and weaknesses of their own cases and their opponent’s case.
This knowledge can lead to more effective settlement negotiations. Personal injury cases can settle at any point before trial, so attorneys have settlement discussions throughout the discovery process. If the parties are not able to agree on a settlement, the attorneys will resolve pretrial matters and prepare to present their cases to a jury.
Present a Persuasive Case to the Jury – If your case does go to trial, the most important thing your truck accident lawyer will do for you is making a compelling case to the jury. Experienced litigators know how to help juries connect with their clients. In personal injury cases, it is important for juries to be able to understand the victim’s pain and suffering and imagine how they would feel in the same situation.
Jurors are human. They understand the frustration of being unable to work, and having to interrupt life to go to multiple doctor’s appointments, and losing sleep due to pain, and having tension with family and friends because you are in pain. Litigators help jurors connect to injury victims in order to prove the fair value of their claims.
The Right Truck Accident Attorney for All Texas Injury Cases
It can be overwhelming to deal with insurance claims and paperwork after a truck accident. You don’t have to deal with this alone, and you don’t have to spend hours searching online for “truck accident attorneys near me.” Our truck accident injury lawyers have decades of experience. We have collected over 200 million dollars for our clients.
Our legal team is close by wherever you live in Texas: from Amarillo to Brownsville, El Paso to Galveston, Odessa and Midland to Dallas and Fort Worth, Austin, Lubbock, Houston, Waco, Corpus Christi, and everywhere in between, we help injury victims throughout the Lone Star State. Don’t wait to get an experienced truck accident lawyer fighting on your side. Call (888) 398-4017 today to schedule your free consultation.