If you have been injured in an accident with a tractor trailer, contact an attorney to guide you through the process of insurance claims and litigation when necessary.
Collisions between 18 wheelers and passenger vehicles are widespread in the United States, with data revealing over 500,000 truck accidents every year with most of those occurring in multi-vehicle crash situations. Because of the increased size and weight of a truck, the damages are higher with an increased likelihood of catastrophic injury and death. Federal laws are in place to protect passengers from illegal truck activities that would make roadways more dangerous including loads and sizes above legal limits for safe maneuverability in traffic situations. Other activities include common violations such as:
- Improper Maintenance
- Driver Fatigue
- Distracted Driving
- Reckless Driving
- Overweight Cargo
- Commercial Company Negligence
- Unsecured Loads
- Driving in Extreme Weather
- DUI Violations
Texas is a “fault state” which means that a party found to be responsible for an accident will have to compensate the other party(ies) involved in a truck accident. Depending on the extent of damage to property, or injuries sustained by a person in an accident, the insurance limits on driver policies may not cover the whole recovery amount leading to civil action in court. Texas utilizes the 51% rule, whereby an injured person can be up to 50% responsible for an accident and still collect damages in a Texas personal injury claim, but if a driver is more than 51% responsible for the accident, they may not able to recover compensation for accident expenses.
Litigation and fault.
If litigation ensues, fault for the accident will be an important factor for legal teams to consider and negligence will have to be proven. The elements of negligence include:
- An owed duty of care between parties;
- a breach of duty;
- causal connection between the defendant’s conduct resulting in the harm;
- proximate cause;
- measurable damages due to defendant’s conduct.
Damages will include compensation for permanent disability, injury and death to address the financial burden placed on accident victims, and their families. Property damage, medical and related bills, loss of income and wages will also be considered in the settlement equation and supporting documentation includes:
Visual evidence: photographs taken at the scene and pictures of injuries.
Witness testimony: If there were any people at the scene, including passengers, their testimony can be valuable.
Police reports: When police arrive at the scene or when you file a police report, officers will be taking notes. They have an objective perspective and will document the events of the accident more precisely than the drivers after a collision. Their version of events could help your case.
Medical bills: The amount of your settlement is largely contingent on the extent of your injuries. If you were severely injured, go to the doctor and keep records of the treatment, tests, prescriptions, and bills you receive.
When Should the Police be Called?
Always call the police when an injury or fatality occurs, the vehicle cannot move, a driver has no insurance, a driver leaves the scene, or a driver is operating vehicle under the influence.
Seek legal counsel.
After a truck accident, legal expertise may save you a lot of time and trouble, call a professional attorney at the Robson Law Firm for a free consultation. They will be able to research specifics of the case and work toward a remedy for damages and injuries caused by the truck accident.
Robson Law Firm
1114 Lost Creek Boulevard
Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 345-8200
Fax: (512) 345-8209