If you have questions about an accident or filing a truck accident claim, Kherkher Garcia, LLP is here to help. Below, our truck accident lawyers provide information on truck accidents, truck accident claims, and how our lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Types of Truck Accident Cases do You Handle?
At Kherkher Garcia, we help clients with all manner of truck accidents. We have successfully recovered compensation in accidents involving commercial trucks, box trucks, delivery trucks, and more. Some of the types of accidents that we can help with include:
- Jackknife Accidents
- Tanker Truck Crashes
- Flatbed Truck Accidents
- Underride Accident
- Tow Truck Collisions
If you have questions about a truck accident you were involved in, we are happy to assess your situation and determine if you have a claim.
What are the Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Commercial truck accidents can be caused by various factors, including:
- Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours and may not get adequate rest, leading to fatigue and decreased alertness behind the wheel.
- Distracted Driving: Any form of distraction, such as using mobile phones, eating, adjusting the radio, or reading maps, can divert a truck driver’s attention from the road and increase the risk of accidents.
- Speeding: Excessive speeding reduces a truck driver’s ability to react to unexpected situations, increases stopping distances, and makes it difficult to maintain control of the vehicle.
- Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or certain medications can impair a truck driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction times.
- Failure to Obey Traffic Laws: Violations such as running red lights, disregarding stop signs, improper lane changes, and failure to yield right of way are common causes of truck accidents.
- Equipment Failure: Poorly maintained or defective truck components, such as brakes, tires, or steering systems, can fail while the truck is in motion, leading to accidents.
- Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Cargo: Improperly loaded cargo can shift during transit, causing the truck to become unstable and potentially leading to accidents. Overloaded trucks can also experience difficulties with braking and maneuvering.
- Inexperience or Inadequate Training: Lack of experience or insufficient training can result in poor decision-making, improper handling of the vehicle, and an increased likelihood of accidents.
- Aggressive Driving: Aggressive behaviors like tailgating, weaving through traffic, and sudden lane changes by truck drivers can lead to accidents, especially when other drivers are caught off guard.
It is important to note that these factors can often interact and contribute to accidents. Additionally, road conditions, other drivers’ behavior, and unexpected events can also play a role in commercial truck accidents.
Who is Liable for Truck Accidents?
Liability for truck accidents can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. However, there are some general parties who may be held liable, including:
- The Truck Driver: The truck driver is typically the first person who is considered to be liable for a truck accident. This is because the truck driver is responsible for operating the truck safely. If the truck driver was negligent, such as by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may be held liable for the accident.
- The Trucking Company: The trucking company may also be held liable for a truck accident if the truck driver was an employee of the company. This is because the trucking company is responsible for hiring and training its drivers. If the trucking company failed to properly hire or train the driver, they may be held liable for the accident.
- The Truck Owner: The truck owner may also be held liable for a truck accident if they were not the driver of the truck. This is because the truck owner is responsible for maintaining the truck in a safe condition. If the truck was not properly maintained, they may be held liable for the accident.
- Cargo Loaders: If the cargo was improperly loaded, it could cause the truck to become unbalanced or unstable, which could lead to an accident. In this case, the cargo loaders may be held liable for the accident.
- Road Designers or Maintenance: If the road was defective, it could contribute to a truck accident. In this case, the road designers or maintainers may be held liable for the accident.
It is important to note that the liability for truck accidents can be complex and may involve multiple parties.
When is a Company Liable for Truck Accidents?
A trucking company can be held liable for a truck crash if it contributed to the cause of the accident or if it allowed the driver to operate the truck while knowing or having reason to know that the driver was unfit to do so.
Here are some of the ways in which a trucking company can be liable for a truck crash:
- If the trucking company hired a driver who was not qualified or who did not receive adequate training, it could be held liable for any accidents caused by that driver.
- the trucking company failed to properly maintain its trucks, it could be held liable for any accidents caused by mechanical problems.
- If the trucking company did not properly supervise its drivers, it could be held liable for any accidents caused by driver error.
- If the trucking company violated federal or state safety regulations, it could be held liable for any accidents caused by those violations.
In addition to these factors, a trucking company can also be held liable for a truck crash if it knew or had reason to know that the driver was unfit to operate the truck. This could include drivers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, who were fatigued, or who had a history of reckless driving.
Do I Have a Truck Accident Claim?
Whether or not you have a truck accident claim depends on the specific circumstances of your accident. However, there are some general factors that can help you determine whether you have an actionable claim:
- Was the truck driver negligent? This means that the truck driver failed to take reasonable care to avoid the accident. Some examples of negligence in truck accidents include:
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Texting while driving
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Were you injured? In order to have a claim, you must have suffered some type of injury as a result of the accident. This can include physical injuries, such as broken bones or head injuries, as well as emotional injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Was the truck driver’s negligence the cause of your injuries? This means that the truck driver’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing your injuries. In other words, your injuries would not have occurred if the truck driver had not been negligent.
If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then you may have a truck accident claim. However, it is important to speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer to discuss your specific case. A lawyer can help you determine whether you have a claim and can help you file a claim for compensation.
Should I Accept an Insurance Settlement Offer?
Deciding whether to accept a settlement from an insurance company after a truck accident is a personal decision that depends on various factors. It is important to consult with an lawyer who specializes in personal injury law to get advice tailored to your specific situation. Here are some factors to consider when assessing an insurance offer:
- Extent of Injuries: Assess the severity of your injuries, both immediate and long-term. If you have significant injuries that require ongoing medical treatment or may result in future complications, accepting a settlement without fully understanding the extent of your damages may not be in your best interest.
- Medical Expenses and Future Costs: Evaluate your medical bills and estimated future medical expenses. Ensure that the settlement offer adequately covers your current and anticipated medical costs, including rehabilitation, therapy, and any required assistive devices.
- Lost Wages and Future Earning Capacity: If the accident caused you to miss work or will affect your ability to work in the future, consider the financial impact. Assess whether the settlement offer compensates you for lost wages and the potential reduction in earning capacity caused by your injuries.
- Non-Economic Damages: Consider the impact of the accident on your quality of life, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of activities. These non-economic damages may be more challenging to quantify but are still essential factors to consider when evaluating a settlement offer.
If you have any doubts about an insurance settlement offer, it is wise to contact a truck accident lawyer. An lawyer can help you make an informed decision about accepting or rejecting a settlement offer.
What Compensation is Available in Truck Accident Claims?
The amount of money you can recover after a truck crash will depend on the severity of your injuries, the extent of your damages, and the fault of the other driver. In general, you can recover for both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are the costs that you have incurred as a result of the accident, such as:
- Medical expenses: This includes the cost of your hospital bills, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, and any other medical treatment you have received.
- Lost wages: If you have been unable to work due to your injuries, you can recover for the wages you have lost.
- Property damage: If your car was damaged in the accident, you can recover for the cost of repairs or the cost of a replacement vehicle.
Non-economic damages are the losses that are more difficult to quantify, such as:
- Pain and suffering: This includes the physical and emotional pain you have experienced as a result of the accident.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: This includes the things you can no longer do because of your injuries, such as hobbies, activities, or spending time with your loved ones.
- Loss of consortium: This includes the loss of companionship and support from your spouse or partner.
In some cases, you may also be able to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the other driver for their reckless or intentional conduct. However, punitive damages are rarely awarded in truck accident cases. The amount of money you can recover will also depend on the fault of the other driver.
What if I am Partly at Fault for the Accident?
If you are partly at fault for a truck accident, you may still be able to recover compensation, but the amount you are eligible to receive will be less. So long as the court determines that you were less than 50% at fault, you will be able to recover damages minus the percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for an accident, you will only be able to recover 80% of your damages.
How Long do I Have to File a Truck Accident Claim?
Texas observes a statute of limitations, or a deadline, for all personal injury claims. This deadline is two years from the date of the accident. If the statute of limitations expires and you have not taken legal action, you may be barred from doing so in the future.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Truck Accident Claim?
While it is not a legal requirement to hire a lawyer to file a truck accident claim, it is generally recommended to seek legal representation, especially in complex cases. Here are some reasons why having a lawyer can be beneficial:
Truck accident cases can be legally complex, involving various laws and regulations specific to the trucking industry. A lawyer with experience in personal injury and truck accident cases can navigate these complexities, understand the applicable laws, and provide guidance based on their expertise.
Building a strong case requires a thorough investigation and gathering of evidence. Lawyers have the resources and knowledge to conduct a detailed investigation, obtain accident reports, gather witness statements, collect medical records, and analyze other relevant evidence to support your claim.
Determining liability in a truck accident can be challenging. Multiple parties could potentially be held responsible, such as the truck driver, trucking company, maintenance provider, or the manufacturer of defective truck parts. A lawyer can help identify all potentially liable parties and hold them accountable for their negligence.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies often try to minimize their liability and settle claims for the lowest possible amount. Lawyers who have experience dealing with insurance companies understand their tactics and can negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair settlement that covers your damages.
Evaluating the full extent of your damages can be complex. Lawyers can help assess your medical expenses, lost wages, future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages to ensure that you pursue a comprehensive claim that accurately reflects your losses.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your case may need to proceed to trial. In such situations, having a skilled attorney who can represent you in court, present your case effectively, and advocate for your rights becomes crucial.
Contact the Truck Accident Lawyers at Kherkher Garcia
When you are injured due to the negligence or recklessness of someone else, you deserve the opportunity to hold the at-fault party accountable. Furthermore, you deserve compensation for the injuries and losses you suffer due to the actions of someone else.
At Kherkher Garcia, we help victims of truck accidents fight back against the negligence of truck drivers, trucking companies, and insurance companies. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact us to find out how we can help you. Call 713-333-1030 to get started with a free consultation of your potential case.