Ten 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 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 limited and the rules also set forth the minimum standard of safe conduct for many different circumstances. Not only must the 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.
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. Another factor is that commercial vehicles carry commercial insurance policies, which are in 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 includes:
* 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.
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. 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. 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.
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 vitally important to the preservation and obtaining of important evidence concerning how the accident happened and also a violation of 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, and 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.