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Should I Release My Medical Records After a Truck Accident Injury?

 

Truck accidents are often serious and may result in severe injuries. It is common for the truck driver or owner’s insurance company to contact you following the accident. The insurance adjuster will ask you about the accident and find out about your injuries. It is important to remember that the insurance company is not on your side. Their goal is to try to resolve the claim as fast as they can and for as little as possible and pay nothing if they can get away with that!

Should I give the adjuster a medical release?

If you were hurt in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact a trucking accident attorney to assist you and help you protect your rights.

What is a Medical Records Release?

A medical records release is written permission for health providers to release your medical information. The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) along with state laws require health care providers do not release medical information unless the patient gives written permission. Therefore, your doctor and hospital will not disclose patient information to the insurance company or anyone else. The HIPAA protects your privacy in regards to your health and medical records.

Why Does the Adjuster Need My Medical Records?

It is not unusual for the insurance adjuster to request your medical records. There are several reasons they want to view your records. The insurance company wants to verify your injuries and medical treatment. They want to make sure that the treatment you received for your injuries was reasonable. In addition, they may want to view your prior medical conditions and care because they may try to prove that you had prior injuries that are not related to the accident. Remember that the company will try to pay as little as possible for the damages caused by their negligent insured part.

Should I Sign a Medical Release?

It is best to review the medical release to make sure that it is correct. The insurance company may tell you that they cannot process the claim until they receive your records. However, they do not need to see all of your records but only those related to the injuries from the accident. Limiting the scope in time is also important for your privacy because you don’t want the insurance company getting unrelated medical records going back decades.

 

Therefore, it is best to have your attorney for the truck accident review the request and make sure that they amend it to include permission only for your accident-related treatments. You want to provide records, but only those that are necessary for the claim. You certainly do not need the insurance company looking at your unrelated prior treatments and trying to use those to try to reduce your current claim.

If you were hurt in a truck accident, you may be upset and overwhelmed. You need to take care of your medical needs and let a qualified truck accident attorney handle the legal issues.

Your lawyer will protect your interests and will always advise you as to your choices and options that are best for your particular case. Do your homework and select the best 18-wheeler accident attorney you can find as soon as possible after the crash.

Call us for a FREE No-Obligation consultation about an injury accident in Texas.

Call 281.893.0760   24-7!

About Texas Wrongful Death Trucking Accident Lawsuits

 

Unfortunately, it is not expected that loss of life resulting from semi-truck accidents will end in the foreseeable future. The size of a big rig almost guarantees serious injury if not death in crashes at highway speeds. I have written about a few truck drivers sent to jail after the wrongful death of an innocent victim. But, most of the time, it is up to a wrongful death 18-wheeler accident lawyer to hold the truck driver and his company accountable.

 

Many Reasons for Wrongful Death Tractor-Trailer Wrecks

 

Wrongful deaths that result from a collision with semi-truck driver are a difficult topic to discuss – yet a reality on Houston roadways. Sometimes the accidents are caused because the driver is distracted or impaired. At other times they are the consequence of poor road or weather conditions. Most of the time, a wrongful death big rig crash results from driver error.

 

The dynamics surrounding an accident are so complicated and numerous that it would not be possible to list them all here. Although the causes of a crash are always important – here are the elements of a wrongful death claim in Texas!

 

Texas Wrongful Deaths Trucking Accident Lawsuits

 

The most common redress for victims and their families is through the civil court system. Even if the truck driver is charged criminally, having the defendant in jail, does not help the family who lost a loved one. Once the initial shock of a loss has passed – civil litigation- a lawsuit, may provide the only sense of justice and return to normalcy for injured parties. Not often is a truck company held accountable criminally.

 

Texas Wrongful Death Elements

 

 

First, was the death caused in part or totality by the defendant’s actions?

 

Second, was the death a result of negligence on behalf of a defendant?

 

Finally, has the death left immediate family members, spouse, children or parents?

 

Civil laws exist to ensure accountability and to provide monetary, I reparations to those who have been traumatized by losing a loved one. The damages in a Texas wrongful death truck accident relate to the damages to the surviving family.

 

How Long do Texas Wrongful Death Cases Last?

 

The general rule for how long a case lasts is that the more serious the damages, usually the longer the case can take when a commercial vehicle is involved. Because the loss of a family member is always a serious damage case, it is not unusual for wrongful death accidents to take several years to finalize. Quick settlements for wrongful death cases usually don’t happen unless the insurance policies are low in limits. In cases of lower limit insurance policies, and clear liability, and the insurance carrier will usually prefer to save the attorney’s fees and pay the claim.

 

What Damages are Available for a Wrongful Death Case in Texas?

 

Damages in Texas multiple deaths claims relate to the individual’s loss of their loved one. Each person’s damages are measured separately. Those available to pursuing wrongful death case in Texas are “heirs of the body.” Heirs of the body include spouses, children, and parents. Brothers and sisters are not proper claimants in the state of Texas for the wrongful death of their sibling.

 

A jury or a judge will value such things as loss of companionship, love, and society. Other things like loss of household services and money the decedent would have provided for the family member are taken into account. The closer the relationship between the family member and the loved one taken from them, the higher the damages usually are.

 

If you have questions about wrongful death claim, reach out to our law firm for a no-obligation consultation. Call us at 281-893-0760.

 

 

Contact the Texas Trucking Accident Attorneys

 

While no one can bring back your loved one, sometimes, civil justice is better than no justice.

We are lucky in America to be able to make use of the court system to hold a person or company accountable.

 

If you have lost a loved one in a big rig accident in Texas, call us for a FREE no-obligation consultation.

 

Call 281-893-0760!

 

Can I get Punitive Damages After a Truck Wreck?

 

attorney for punitive damages

Given the extreme weight of 18-wheeler tractor-trailers, the aftermath of a wreck is usually pretty ugly. Those lucky enough to survive many times have severe injuries such as spinal cord fractures, traumatic brain injury, paralysis.  Many truck wreck victims require at least one surgery (if not multiple) at great expense.

 

Recovering from a tractor-trailer accident can be job enough for anyone, yet the victims are often forced to pay high medical bills or deductibles and at a time when they cannot work. Often a trucking crash can place a heavy burden on the victim or their family. Some have health insurance that pays most of the bills, others are stuck with out of pocket expenses, and sometimes the medical costs can go on indefinitely.

 

Actual Damages After a Semi-Truck Crash

 

Fortunately, trucking companies usually have significant insurance coverage to cover legal injury damages such as:

 

  • Physical pain and mental anguish
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Medical care

 

These damages are posed to a jury to answer in both the past as well as the future.

 

Many times, for permanent injuries with significant future medical expenses, a life care planner is used to calculate the total lifetime cost of medical care. These professionals are Doctors who work with a team of medical professionals to protect the victim as far as future needs.

 

In cases where the victim of a trucking accident did not survive, the family seeks damages for the wrongful death and survival claims. The wrongful death case involves damages known in law as “pecuniary loss,” which is the loss of the person and their economic contribution to the family. The human loss in a wrongful death case is called “loss of companionship and society,” and a separate question is posed for “mental anguish.”

 

About Punitive Damages After A Trucking Accident

 

In cases where the company of the driver acted with what is called “Malice” that is more than mere negligence, or thoughtlessness, exemplary damages may be appropriate.  In Texas, such losses have been capped by statute under recent “tort reform.” Nevertheless, when exemplary damages can be submitted to a jury, it can help the family recover economic justice for the bad actions of a trucker or his company.

 

Punitive or “exemplary” damages are not compensation for actual loss but rather, a deterrent to prevent others from dangerous actions that endanger our community.

The vast majority of accidents when an 18-wheeler hits an innocent family do not involve punitive or exemplary damages. The law is clear in Texas that it takes more than simple negligence to rise to the level the law requires to obtain an award of exemplary damages.

 

It is when the trucking company or the truck driver have knowingly jeopardized the public that punitive damages may be appropriate. Momentary thoughtlessness or neglect such as running a red light or speeding generally do not rise to the level necessary for a jury to consider punitive damages in Texas.

 

However, in many cases, the possibility of punitive damages can be an essential tool for an experienced punitive damage truck accident attorney. Each case must be evaluated independently.

 

Another consideration is whether the punitive damages will be collectible if they are awarded. One factor is whether or not the damages would be covered under the trucking company’s insurance policies.

 

Recent case law in Texas the slanted toward insurers and against consumers on the issue of insurance coverage for exemplary damages. However, some larger carriers bargained for and obtain insurance coverage that allows for punitive damages.

 

Application of C.P.R.C. Section 41 in Texas

 

Texas has Limited the amount recoverable when the punitive damages are awarded by statute. Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 41 defines and limits punitive damages in the state of Texas.

 

Section 41.008 guides the limitations of the number of punitive damages that can be awarded against a defendant. That section limits exemplary damages to:

1) the greater of:

A) two times the amount of economic damages plus B) an amount equal to any noneconomic damages found by the jury not to exceed $750,000; or

2) $200,000.

 

There are certain crimes exempted from the limitations of punitive damages in the state of Texas.

 

Defendants are allowed to elect to bifurcate a trial so punitive damages or decided separately from the case in chief. Often, a bifurcation election enables the defense to limit some evidence that the jury may hear in the first part of the case.

 

Choose the Trucking Accident Lawyer with Over Three Decades Experience

 

If you have questions about a truck accident in the state of Texas or punitive damages may be allowed feel free to call our office for a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney with over three decades experience in holding trucking companies and truck drivers accountable.

Call (281) 893-0760      24/7

 

What Compensation Can I Receive for My Big Rig Accident Injuries?

 

Truck accidents are a common occurrence on our Houston area roadways. As a major hub in the state, we see more than an average share of 18-wheelers on the highways. When an accident occurs between a truck and a passenger vehicle, the injuries are likely to be serious. If you were hurt in a big-rig accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Damages in a Big Rig Accident

The purpose of a truck accident claim is to obtain a settlement or award for your damages. Damages are economic and non-economic losses due to the accident. Some of the damages that you may incur as a result of the accident include such things as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Costs of medication
  • Ongoing medical care
  • Future medical treatments
  • Physical therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma

And if you have lost a loved one through a trucker’s negligence, wrongful death damages in Texas include:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of earning capacity of the decedent (if they provided for you)
  • Loss of companionship, society, and love
  • The reasonable value of household services
  • Emotional damages

You may incur one, a few or many types of damages as a result of the accident. For example, you might suffer a severe injury that requires surgery. You may need to undergo physical therapy following treatment. You may also need to have future surgery or other treatment in the future. During this time, you are likely unable to work. The injury was painful and you may even have emotional trauma because of the accident. Wrongful death from a truck accident values your relationship with the deceased.  All of these issues should be covered by the negligent party through a settlement or award.

Every Case is Different

Each accident case is different and has a unique set of circumstances. You cannot easily compare what another person received for a settlement because the factors are likely not the same. A knowledgeable 18-wheeler accident attorney understands these types of cases and will review the facts of your case. Your attorney will work with the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement that includes payment for all of your economic and non-economic losses.

Quick Settlements Without an Attorney are Rarely Fair

Many times, the insurance company will offer you a settlement quickly after the crash. They do this in order to reduce their payments and resolve the case without complication. Unfortunately, the first offer from the insurance company is often too low and may not cover all of your expenses. Do not accept a check from the insurance company until your attorney reviews the offer. Once you cash a settlement check or agree to a settlement, may not be able to take further legal action to get the full money you are owed.

Wait to Discuss Settlement Until You Know Your Injuries

In most cases, you should wait until your injury is completely healed or you have documentation from your physician detailing the future medical care you will require.

Call the best 18-wheeler accident attorney you can find as soon as possible following an accident, so you can protect your rights and seek to get the money that the negligent party owes for damages. Our legal team has extensive experience working with truck accident cases. We have obtained millions of dollars for our clients and we can fight for the money you deserve for your damages. Contact attorney Greg Baumgartner today for a free initial case evaluation.

Call (281) 893-0760!

Why are Truck Tire Blowouts Dangerous?

 

When you see a large semi-truck on the road you notice that it has many more tires than passenger vehicles. You likely assume that the extra tires will prevent it from having a problem in case one of the tires fails. While the extra tires support the truck and keep it on the road, a tire blowout is still a dangerous and potentially deadly occurrence.

accident with blown tire

If you were hurt in a truck accident due to a tire blowout, you need assistance from an experienced truck accident attorney. Our skilled team knows how to handle the many issues of truck crashes and will help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Why Truck Tire Blowouts Happen

There are a number of factors that could cause a truck tire to fail. Most accidents due to truck tire problems could be avoided if the owner and driver performed proper maintenance and adequate inspections before each trip. Improper tire pressure is one of the most common reasons for tire blowouts, yet it is one of the easiest to correct. Various load weights, outdoor temperature, and elevation may all play roles in the air pressure inside a tire. The driver should inspect the tires for proper pressure before they get on the road.

Another reason a tire may blow out is due to wear. A worn-out tire is more dangerous because it has less tread to keep it on the road and to help stop the vehicle. Tires that are worn out can blow out at any time, causing the driver to lose control of the truck. Heat is a problem with tire integrity. When a truck travels more quickly it creates more heat on the tires. Additionally, traveling in hot climates can also increase the heat of the tires. This increased heat can take its toll on tires and can cause them to unexpectedly blow out.

Truck tire compliance, safety, and accountability is administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). There are many rules in place that apply to truck tire safety. Generally, a truck should not operate when the tires are not properly inflated, when the tread is worn, or when there is damage to the tires. Tire tread must be at the minimum depth for the type of vehicle. If the tires do not meet the minimum requirements, the truck must be taken out of service until repairs are performed.

Loss of Control after a Tire Blowout

A tire blowout is not as simple as a flat tire. When you consider that a truck could weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and might be traveling at speeds of more than 55 miles per hour, the risk of losing control of the vehicle is significant. When a tire blows it causes a shift in the motion of the vehicle and it may even shift the cargo inside. The sudden change in force means that the truck suddenly lunges to one side or the other. The driver has little to no control over the trajectory of the vehicle.

Sometimes the driver is able to get the truck under control and bring it to a safe stop on the side of the road. Many times, however, a tire blowout causes the truck to veer sharply into other lanes of traffic. As the driver tries to compensate for the changes, he or she may steer the vehicle in the other direction, which continues to cause problems. In some instances, the truck smashes into other vehicles, or it may overturn, or swerve off the embankment.

Call the Tractor Trailer Accident Attorneys

Regardless of how the accident occurred, truck crashes can be dangerous and may cause severe injuries and fatalities. If you were hurt in a truck accident, we can help you get the money you deserve for your injuries. Contact the tractor-trailer accident lawyer for a no-obligation consultation-

Call (281) 893-0760! 

Why We Need Federal Maximum Speed Limits for Trucks

 

 

The National Transportation Safety Board has weighed in on the controversial topic of maximum speed limits on the nation’s highways. Using an automobile accident that occurred on a Texas highway that claimed seven lives as an example – they note that most of America’s roadways were designed for a maximum speed of 60 miles per hour.

 

The circumstances surrounding the crash may have been avoidable in hindsight. A motorcoach failed to negotiate a stop on wet pavement in foggy weather upon cresting a hill and finding traffic stopped ahead, crossed the median and collided with a van on the other side of the highway.

 

The loss of life is real and always painful. The only glimmer of hope that comes from automobile accidents such as these is that truck accident lawyers and accident reconstruction experts can usually determine the cause of the collision and make recommendations which may save lives in the future if they are incorporated into law.

 

Roads Need to be Improved

 

Such is the case here. The NTSB found that many of our roadways across the country need to be updated to provide for safer driving at higher speeds.

 

NTSB urged the Federal Highway Administration to work with the States to put together an inventory of stretches of interstate that were not designed for current speeds.

 

The next step, the NTSB said, is for the FHWA to work with the States to correct the problem. Certainly, this will take time and money – and all political parties seem to agree on the need to update the infrastructure of our nation, even if they can’t agree on how to fund it.

 

Federal Speed Rules for Truckers Held in Limbo

 

Recently, two senators have introduced a bill to limit 18-wheeler speeds to 65 miles per hour. Such rule was offered due to the failure to act on a proposed rule from the Department of Transportation which has effectively killed the reform.

 

While some may disagree on the analysis used for such rules to limit the speed of big rigs, not one disputes that reducing speed limits for semi-trucks will save lives. Safety advocates support the bill, but the trucking lobby is opposed.

 

Research Shows Increased Highway Speed Kills

 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has conducted extensive research about the consequences of speed with tractor-trailers. The larger the truck the more dangerous higher speed limits are for the motoring public. Both larger stopping distances and the forces created by a 40,000 to 80,000-pound truck increases the hazards to the public.

States Now Determine the Maximum Speed Limits

 

Ever since the 1995 repeal of the Federal law limiting speed limits, States have set the maximum speeds. Today 41 states have approved speed limits of 70 mph or more. Texas has a maximum speed of 85 on some roads. And highways, where a record number of accidents occur, like I-45 are now 70 mph in many places.

 

Experts note that big rigs and other vehicles tend to travel slightly above the posted speed limits. Traveling at speeds of 70 mph or above makes the big rigs much more difficult to maneuver in emergency situations and leads to more fatal truck accidents.

 

The need for leadership on the issue of maximum speeds for tractor-trailers is evident by the number of fatal crashes at highway speeds each year.

 

 

 

 

Can a Truck Parts Manufacturer be Held Responsible for an Accident?

 

There are thousands of trucks on our roadways every day, so it comes as no surprise that they are involved in a good number of crashes. There are more than 15 million trucks on U.S. highways, and more than 4,500 people lost their lives in large truck accidents in 2017.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Texas is ranked as one of the states with the highest number of trucks and the largest number of truck accidents. After a truck accident, the cause and contributing factors must be determined in order to assess liability in the crash. If a manufacturing defect is found, the truck parts manufacturer could be held responsible.

Common Truck Part Defects

Trucks have thousands of mechanical parts, so it is not unusual to find that one or more parts are defective.Inspection needed after truck wreck

When one of the defective parts is essential for safe operation, the truck manufacturer could be held responsible for an accident. Some of the most common defective truck parts include:

  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Lights
  • Steering mechanism

Generally, the truck driver or owner is accountable for truck accidents. However, in some instances, the manufacturer could be at fault. The cause of an accident may fall into one of three categories including human error, mechanical malfunction, and outside factors, such as road or weather conditions.

Big Rig Mechanical Malfunctions

Mechanical malfunctions can cause or contribute to serious and deadly truck crashes. There are several factors you need to consider when you determine the cause of a crash. The parts themselves could be defective. If that is the case, the manufacturer could be responsible for the accident. If the parts were installed incorrectly, the company that performed maintenance could be partly to blame.

If the truck owner does not properly maintain the parts, the truck company might be at fault. Finally, the truck driver may not have operated the vehicle in a safe manner and the parts could have failed due to human error. Commercial trucks must get inspections and must follow the federal rules and codes that pertain to vehicle maintenance.

Truck accidents can be extremely complicated and therefore require help from a qualified truck accident lawyer. Your lawyer will review the details of the case and gather information and documentation to prove if there were defective parts that caused or contributed to the accident. This information can sometimes be difficult to obtain. Remember that the trucking company holds the records for truck maintenance and they may be unwilling to provide this after an accident without being compelled to produce the information. In some instances, your attorney may need to file a motion with the court to get the records that he needs to evaluate the case.

After a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries as well as money for pain and suffering and lost wages. If you were hurt in a truck crash, it is important to seek legal guidance as quickly as possible from an experienced truck wreck attorney.

Call Our 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers for a Consultation – (281) 893-0760!

Attorney Greg Baumgartner has obtained millions of dollars in truck accident settlements for our clients. We understand how to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

Contact our skilled 18- wheeler accident lawyers today to schedule a free initial case review- 281-893-0760!

Can Using Facebook Hurt My Truck Accident Case?

 

When you are hurt in a truck accident, it is likely one of the most traumatic experiences of your life. It is natural to want to discuss the crash with friends, and you may think about posting details on social media.

Facebook can hurt your injury case

It is essential to know that the information you post online will be used against you in your case. If you were injured, it is best to refrain from posting on social media sites and instead to seek guidance from an experienced truck accident attorney.

 

Posting on Social Media Can Be Used Against You

 

While we post our daily activities and information about our lives online, the insurance company may be monitoring your social media postings.

 

The adjuster or investigator may be able to see posts, even if you have privacy settings in place. What you post could get you into trouble and make it difficult or impossible to recover fair compensation in your injury case.

 

For example, you may post details about the accident that prove that you were partly or wholly at fault for your injuries. Not only can your own words or photos hurt you, but the comments that others make could also bring some unfavorable details to light.

 

Although you might refrain from posting about the accident, it is also essential to be extremely careful about any other posts you make. It is usually sound advice to stop posting on all your social media accounts entirely after an accident. Remember that even a seemingly innocuous post could work against you. For instance, if you are off work due to a severe neck injury, do not post a photo of yourself attending a party or social event.

 

Even in pain, the fact that you attended the event can be used to imply you are exaggerating the injury and its impact on you. In effect, a post can tell the jury, “look does this look like she was suffering”?

 

This kind of thing can be sued by a skilled insurance defense attorney to show that you are not as hurt as you claim. Keep from posting on all social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and others.

 

Some insurance companies hire investigators to watch and video folks injured in an accident. While you can’t control this type of privacy violation, your posts to social media are within your control. Don’t make it easier for the insurance company to attack your credibility and claim. Stay off social media after an accident.

 

Protect Your Legal Rights and Your Privacy

 

Social media is here to stay, but you do not need to let it impact your truck accident case. If you are hurt in an accident, it is vital to ensure that you protect your legal rights.

 

You will need to prove that the other driver was negligent in the crash and that you sustained injuries. When you post on social media, you could make it harder to verify your claim or the extent of your injuries. Therefore, you could end up receiving less money than you deserve.

 

It is best to get help from a knowledgeable truck accident attorney following a crash. Your lawyer will work on your behalf to get you compensation for your injuries.

 

If you have already posted on social media, do not panic. Your attorney will review the details and determine the best way to proceed. Our truck wreck attorneys know how to get you the money you are owed for your injuries, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and more.

 

Contact the Go-To Truck Accident Lawyer– Call (281) 893-0760 or Click Here!

 

Call today to discuss the details of your truck accident injury with a free case evaluation. (281) 893-0760!

 

About Texas Wrongful Death Trucking Accident Lawsuits

Unfortunately, it is not expected that loss of life resulting from semi-truck accidents will end in the foreseeable future. There are a few news stories about truck drivers sent to jail after the wrongful death truck accident that kills an innocent victim. But, most of the time, it is up to an 18-wheeler accident lawyer to hold the truck driver and his company accountable.

Wrongful deaths that result from a collision with semi-truck driver are a modern-day dilemma – and reality on Houston roadways. Sometimes the accidents are caused because the big rig driver is distracted or maybe even impaired. At other times truck wrecks are the consequence of speed, poor road or weather conditions. Most of the time, a wrongful death big rig crash results from driver error.

The dynamics surrounding an accident are so complicated and numerous that it would not be possible to list them all here. Although the causes of a crash are always an issue in a personal injury case – here are the elements of a wrongful death lawsuit.

The most common redress for victims and their families is through the civil court system. Once the initial shock of a loss has passed – litigation may provide the only sense of justice and return to normalcy for family. Not often is a truck company or a truck driver held accountable criminally, and even when they are, it does not financially help the family.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim in Texas

Some conditions which must exist for a wrongful death lawsuit to go forward- here they are for Texas.

First, was the death caused in part or totality by the defendant’s actions?

Second, was the death a result of negligence on behalf of a defendant?

Finally, has the death left surviving immediate family members being a spouse, children or parents?

Civil laws exist to ensure accountability and to provide monetary, I reparations to those who have been traumatized by losing a loved one. The damages in a Texas wrongful death truck accident relate to the individual damages to the surviving family.

While no one can bring back your loved one, sometimes, civil justice is the only recourse a family has after losing a loved one.

It is up to the family to choose to make use of the court system to hold a person or company accountable.

What to do After a Fatal 18-Wheeler Crash

As soon as possible after a crash with a semi-truck, the family should research attorneys to find the best attorney for their case.  Often, others may have recommendations, but it is always best to do your own research about lawyers before you sign contracts with any attorney.

While you can always change attorneys, it complicates the case and you may find yourself in a situation of having to pay 2 different lawyers. If you check out the lawyer before signing up, the odds of being satisfied with the results can improve.

If you wait too long to choose an attorney, important evidence can be lost. The sooner you retain the right lawyer, the better chance of getting all the evidence to prove your case.

While every family member is free to choose their own lawyer, somtimes it reduces costs if several choose the same law firm.

 

Contact a Wrongful Death Big Rig Accident Attorney

If you have lost a loved one in a big rig accident in Texas, call us for a no-obligation consultation. We have been helping families after 18-wheeler accidents for over 35 years.

Call 281-893-0760!

How Can I Prove Federal Violations After a Truck Accident?

 

Millions of trucks travel our roadways every day. Truck operators need to obey specific laws and regulations to ensure the safety of everyone who shares the road with large commercial vehicles. As long as trucking companies and truck drivers follow the rules, in theory, everyone should remain safe from an avoidable 18-wheeler accident.

attorney for semi truck wreck

Truck accidents are caused by a variety of factors that generally fall under three main categories, which include driver error, mechanical malfunctions, and road conditions. When a mechanical malfunction causes a truck crash, it may be due to the failure to properly maintain the vehicle. If you were involved in an accident with a big rig, your attorney will need to verify proper maintenance of the vehicle and determine if the lack of maintenance contributed to the cause of the crash.

Trucking Companies are Required to Maintain Safe Vehicles

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates and oversees commercial truck safety. They enforce rules that apply to trucks that weigh over 10,000 pounds and/or contain hazardous materials. Trucking companies must maintain and inspect their trucks according to the standards set forth by law. They are also required to keep records for a period of at least one year and provide information to inspectors when requested.

The FMCSA has extensive rules that include all areas of the truck such as tires, brakes, lights, signals, reflectors, fuel system, windows, frame, wiring, cargo areas, and more. Trucks must also undergo regular inspections. Truck drivers must perform a visual inspection of various truck features before they drive the truck. The failure to inspect or properly maintain a vehicle is a violation. Some companies have many violations for failed inspections or negligent maintenance of their trucks.

Violations are Considered Acts of Negligence

When a trucking company breaks the law, they can be in some instances “negligence per se”. This means that the law presumes that the company is negligent when it violated the law, making it easier to prove your case. When you prove that the company violated the law or was negligent, it is up to the trucking company to defend their position that they were not at fault. In addition to proving negligence, you will also need to prove that your injuries were a result of the crash, and other factors. Truck accident claims can be extremely complex, so it is helpful to hire an 18 wheeler accident attorney to handle the claim process.

Your attorney will work to determine the factors involved in the case and will review the vehicle inspection report and the black box (computer data) if it may be helpful. Also, your lawyer will investigate whether the company had previous violations or a history of accidents that were due to improper maintenance. One important action that your lawyer may need to take is to file an emergency motion to prevent the company from destroying potential evidence in the case. An accident reconstruction expert or a truck maintenance expert may need to inspect the truck to see if there was an equipment failure and to find other important information about the crash.

Contact an experienced Houston truck accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident so that the evidence is still intact.

Call our truck accident team at (281) 893-0760 to tell us about your accident or click here!

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