Texas Truck Accident FAQs
Personal Injury Attorney Answers Questions About 18-Wheeler Wrecks in Collin County
Crashes involving 18-wheelers or other commercial vehicles often result in serious injuries or death because of their size and weight as well as the cargo they carry.
Large commercial vehicles require much higher amounts of liability insurance than cars and other personal vehicles – typically between $750,000 – $5,000,000 depending upon the type of cargo being hauled. Consequently, trucking companies and their insurers have large teams of attorneys as well as investigators, accident reconstruction experts and other professionals whose job is to minimize payouts to crash victims and surviving family members even when the truck driver and/or the trucking company was at fault. Remember, an insurance company’s basic business model is to collect more in insurance premiums than it pays out in claims. At Burress Personal Injury Law, we represent large commercial vehicle / 18-wheeler accident victims to ensure the playing field is leveled so that our clients can recover the full financial compensation for their losses as allowed under the law.
Past and future medical bills and lost wages can accumulate quickly, leaving even the most responsible individuals in a very difficult financial position. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or you have lost a loved one due to a crash with a commercial vehicle / 18-wheeler, you may have many questions about what you should do and where you can turn for help.
We are committed to answering any questions you have as we work to protect the interests of you and your family. Take a look at our answers to frequently asked questions about Texas truck accidents to get a better idea of what you can expect.
What should I do after a truck accident?
If you are able, call 911 immediately and exchange information with the other driver if you believe doing so is safe. If the truck wreck is more severe and you are incapacitated, someone else (or perhaps a vehicle safety system such as OnStar) will call for emergency medical personnel and police to come to the accident scene to render aid.
How do I receive necessary medical treatment after a truck wreck if I cannot afford it?
You will find that obtaining medical treatment after a serious truck accident is very difficult, as many non-emergency medical providers (as many as 60%) will not treat motor vehicle accident victims.
Burress Injury Law has excellent relationships with medical providers of all specialties (primary care physicians, orthopedists, imaging, physical therapists, neurologists, etc.) who will help personal injury victims and structure the cost of treatment so that payment is not required up front. We help clients obtain necessary treatment from quality medical providers to relieve stress and maximize the physical and mental healing process. At the conclusion of the case, we expertly negotiate these bills down so that the net settlement proceeds going into our clients’ pockets are maximized.
Do I need a lawyer for my truck accident claim?
The simple answer is yes. Here are several reasons why you should quickly retain excellent personal injury counsel after a serious commercial vehicle / 18-wheeler crash for which you were not at fault:
- Evidence from the crash scene needs to be preserved. Often times, a tollway authority or business will have video of the crash. Gouge and tire marks on and off the roadway can tell an incredible story to an accident reconstruction expert in a truck wreck involving disputed liability. If the victim or his/her family does not quickly retain a qualified personal injury law firm, evidence from the scene will disappear.
- Evidence from the vehicles involved in the truck wreck need to be captured. Vehicles have crash data retrieval tools known as “black boxes” that can reveal speeds, braking, steering inputs and many other data points that can prove liability and even gross negligence. Victims who do not hire qualified personal injury attorneys have no way of downloading the black boxes or interpreting the data. Moreover, experienced truck accident attorneys can send thorough spoliation (preservation of evidence) letters to ensure trucking companies and their insurers maintain evidence or else pay a high price in the courtroom. Without taking steps to preserve this type of evidence, vehicles and thus black boxes are destroyed.
- Testimony from eyewitnesses need to be recorded soon after the crash to help prove liability. The plain fact of the matter is that the memories of eyewitnesses fade over time. Additionally, eyewitnesses die, disappear or move beyond subpoena power. Hiring qualified truck wreck lawyers who can obtain witness statements in admissible format is extremely important.
- Victims almost always need legal help obtaining necessary medical treatment. The insurance companies have made medical providers resistant to providing treatment when there is an insurance claim or lawsuit. A qualified personal injury law firm can help a victim of a commercial vehicle / 18-wheeler wreck by helping victims receive necessary medical treatment even when they cannot
afford it on their own.
- The statistics are clear that insurance companies undervalue claimants who are not represented by qualified legal counsel.
- Help with many other issues of a personal injury claim including hospital liens, medical bills, health insurance subrogation, Medicare/Medicaid, and ensuring the victim’s credit score is not negatively affected. There are many hands out at the conclusion of a personal injury claim. Insurance companies typically do not disburse settlement proceeds until all of the above-referenced interests are resolved. A qualified personal injury law firm will proactively handle these interests. In some cases, hospital liens and health insurance subrogation can be defeated outright. In other cases, there are applicable federal and state statutes that allow these interests to be minimized, which will maximize the net monetary proceeds in the claimants’ pockets.
What causes a truck wreck in Texas?
Many commercial vehicle / 18-wheeler wrecks are caused by truck driver negligence. The driver may be fatigued due to long work hours, distracted by the use of a cell phone, driving at an unsafe speed for the conditions, or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some truck accidents are caused by other factors, including insufficient maintenance or the improper loading and securing of cargo, which may lead to a driver losing control of their vehicle.
Who is liable for my truck accident injuries?
A negligent truck driver is liable for any injuries that occur as a result of his/her negligence. However, in many cases, the trucking company that employs the driver is also liable for allowing, encouraging, or failing to prevent the driver’s actions or the vehicle conditions that led to the accident. These claims can include negligent hiring, supervision or training of the drivers. Other trucking company vendors or employees, like maintenance professionals and loading crews, could also bear partial liability.
What evidence do I need for my Injury claim?
It is imperative to start collecting evidence as soon as possible after the accident before it becomes unavailable. Our team travels to the crash site to collect evidence from the scene and identify eyewitnesses who can provide valuable testimony. We also send spoliation letters to the trucking company and insurance companies requiring them to preserve other many categories of evidence, including the driver’s employment file, training and qualification file, driver logs, wireless telephone/electronic device records, fuel/toll receipts, inspection reports, vehicle inspections, black box data from the commercial vehicle and many other company documents.
Should I talk to the trucking company or insurance companies?
After your accident, you may be contacted by the trucking company or their insurance company offering you a settlement or asking you to provide information or make recorded statements. You are not obligated to agree to their requests, and it is in your best interest to avoid communicating with the company except through your attorney.
How much is my case worth?
Compensation for commercial truck wreck injuries typically comes from the trucking company’s liability insurance, which often has much higher limits than an average car insurance policy. The value of your claim depends largely on the severity of your injuries and other damages, as well as other factors involved in your case. That said, compensation can be substantial, and we have secured many multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for our clients in truck accident cases.
What damages can I recover?
If you were injured due to truck driver or trucking company negligence, you are entitled to compensation for all medical expenses related to your injuries. Your claim can also include damages for lost wages and earning ability related to your recovery or a long-term disability, as well as non-economic damages for physical pain, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement and loss of consortium. In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded. If you have lost a family member in a fatal truck accident, you can recover damages for their wrongful death, including their medical expenses, pain and suffering, the loss of their financial support and companionship, and their funeral and burial expenses.
Contact Our McKinney, TX Truck Crash Attorney
If you have more questions about your truck accident injury claim, contact us today at 214.726.0016 and schedule a free consultation. If we take your case, we charge no fees unless we win through a settlement or verdict. We serve injury victims in McKinney and throughout Collin County and the surrounding areas, including Plano, Frisco, Prosper, Princeton, Allen, Melissa and Celina. In fact, we actively represent select serious injury and wrongful death clients in many Texas counties and also in other states.