Given the mass and size of a large truck, truck accident injuries are frequently catastrophic or fatal. Injured victims—or their families in fatal cases—may be able to file an insurance claim and recover their losses after the accident.
However, truck accident cases are complex. Insurers often dispute liability, and there is usually an intensive investigation. When you are up against a commercial trucking company, the process of gathering evidence, proving fault, and calculating future damages becomes even trickier.
A Houston truck accident lawyer at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can help. We can help you explore your legal options, navigate the entire personal injury claims process, and negotiate for financial recovery. Call us today for a free case evaluation with a team member.
Why Hire a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer?
Injuries from a truck accident are often severe. Sometimes a truck accident victim needs emergency surgery or has extensive injuries that require a lengthy recovery period. You may not be able to focus your time and attention on pursuing damages.
Your attention after a truck accident should be on your health and well-being. You do not need the additional stress and pressure of dealing with an insurance adjuster or the attorney who represents the other party.
A lawyer with D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can:
- Objectively evaluate your injuries and damages
- Identify and communicate with all parties
- Secure evidence, testimony, and documentation of the other party’s wrongdoing
- File and manage your insurance claim
- Negotiate a settlement for your economic and non-economic damages
If we cannot negotiate an acceptable settlement, D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can prepare a court case. Under Texas law, you have two years to file a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death. It takes time to build a lawsuit, and you do not want to lose the opportunity to recover damages.
Choose a Law Firm that Understands Truck Accidents
Truck accidents tend to be more complicated than other types of motor vehicle accidents. Injuries tend to be more severe or extensive, and damages tend to be higher. There may be multiple responsible parties.
That is why it is in your best interest to consider a law firm that understands truck accident cases and has recovered damages for victims in similar situations to your own.
A lawyer from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can help you after any type of truck accident, including those that involve:
- Large trucks
- Delivery vans
- 18-wheeler and semi-trucks
- Box trucks
- Construction vehicles
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident that was not your fault, you could recover damages. An attorney with our firm can help make this process easier and less stressful for you and your loved ones.
We Treat Your Case with Urgency and Compassion
Our lawyers understand that you and your loved ones have suffered because of another party’s careless or negligent action. We know that you are probably worried, angry, or upset about the physical, emotional, and financial burdens placed on you through no fault of your own.
Our personalized client services include:
- Meeting you whenever is most convenient for you
- Promptly returning your phone calls and emails
- Keeping you updated about your case
- Connecting you with medical care, even if you do not have health insurance
- Upholding the highest standards of legal conduct
You may rest easier knowing that a Houston truck accident lawyer from our firm is protecting your rights and seeking financial recovery on your behalf. We believe that you have already suffered enough. The responsible party should be held accountable for your medical bills, lost pay, and other damages.
Get a free case evaluation now.
What Steps Do I Take After a Truck Accident?
Here are the steps you should take after any motor vehicle accident to protect your safety and legal rights.
Address Your Immediate Medical Needs
Get yourself and your car to safety, seek medical attention, and give the police your information for the accident report.
Call Your Insurance Company
Report the accident, but only provide basic information. Do not agree to answer accident investigators’ questions—even those from your insurer—without an attorney’s counsel.
A truck accident lawyer from our firm can speak on your behalf to the insurance adjuster or accident investigator. We understand the immediacy of the situation and can quickly explain your options and how we can help.
Begin Collecting Information
Gather all documents and evidence that pertain to your accident and injuries. To validate your claim, we need the following:
- Proof of fault
- Medical records
- Financial records
- Medical bills
- Proof of lost wages (such as pay stubs or timesheets)
We will help you gather evidence as well. A truck accident lawyer from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can request that the trucking company preserve evidence relevant to the accident.
We can speak to witnesses, investigate the truck driver’s driving history and driving logs, and compile a comprehensive list of your monetary and non-monetary losses.
Continue with Your Medical Care
You must follow your doctor’s orders and stick to your treatment plan to protect your health and preserve your truck accident claim. Failing to follow through with medical care could invalidate your claim.
You should also keep a daily journal that documents your pain levels, treatments, response to treatments, and thoughts about how your injuries affect your life. We can use this information to illustrate the accident’s impact on the insurance company or court.
Who Is Liable for My Truck Accident Injuries?
The party responsible for the accident is liable for the victim’s damages. The first step of filing a truck accident claim and pursuing damages is determining who caused the accident.
Several parties may be liable for your truck accident injuries, including:
- The truck driver
- The truck owner
- The truck manufacturer
- A truck part manufacturer, such as the tire or brake manufacturer
- A third-party shipping company
- The inspection, safety, or maintenance service provider
Trucking companies must carry insurance policies to cover medical bills, property damages, and lost pay when one of their employees causes an accident. It may be possible to seek financial recovery from one or more parties who played a direct or vicarious role in causing your damages.
- Miller & Associates, PLLC™ has helped truck accident victims in Houston since 2002. We understand the nuances of these types of claims and can conduct a thorough investigation to identify liability. Before speaking to an insurance adjuster or filing a claim, run your case by one of our team members to clarify your options.
Get a free case evaluation now.
What Are the Laws Governing Houston Truck Accident Claims?
Several laws may apply to a truck accident claim, depending on the accident’s circumstances.
These laws could include:
- Driving while intoxicated (drunk driving)
- Driving while using marijuana or other controlled substances
- Texting while driving
- Licensing requirements (such as a commercial driver’s license)
- Rules of the road, including traffic signals
- Stopping to give aid after an accident
- Statutes involving minors
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations
- Liability and negligence laws
Liability and negligence laws in Texas require that the party seeking damages (the plaintiff) show that it is more likely than not that the other party (the defendant) caused the accident and injuries.
How We Can Show Liability
There are four required elements in a personal injury lawsuit. Your lawyer must substantiate each of these elements with evidence, testimony, or documentation.
A Houston truck accident lawyer with our firm is familiar with these requirements, which are:
- Duty of care: A lawyer can establish that the defendant owed you a duty of care with reasonable measures (that an average person would take) to avoid injuring you.
- Breach of care: A lawyer can show how the defendant breached this duty of care in some manner, either through a reckless act or failure to act.
- Cause of injuries: A lawyer can demonstrate how this breach of care caused you to suffer bodily injuries (physical, psychological, or both).
- Result in damages: A lawyer can prove that these injuries, caused by the defendant, have resulted in damages to you in the form of economic loss (such as lost wages) or non-economic loss (such as mental anguish).
We need evidence to prove the defendant caused or contributed to your injuries.
- Miller & Associates, PLLC™ has the resources to investigate your accident, obtain evidence, and communicate these findings to the accident investigator, insurance adjuster, or the court.
Types of Evidence Used in a Truck Accident Claim
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident where the other driver was legally intoxicated, we will request the blood alcohol test results. A lawyer can also ask the driver’s employer for drug or alcohol test results not administered at the time of the accident.
Other types of evidence used in a truck accident claim include:
- Police and accident reports
- Witness statements
- In-vehicle digital information
- Photos of the accident scene, damaged vehicles, injuries, and other relevant information
- Videos from closed-circuit traffic and security cameras
- Previous violations
- Maintenance and safety inspections
- Training, supervision, and licensing
- Cell phone statements
This evidence is vital to a strong insurance claim. It may also be instrumental if we can’t reach a settlement and need to take your case to court. That is when a truck accident attorney can help you navigate the complex and stringent requirements of a personal injury lawsuit.
How to Maximize Financial Recovery After a Houston Truck Accident
There are several things we can do to help maximize financial recovery for you and your loved ones.
Preserve and Secure Evidence
We can act swiftly to obtain evidence against the other party. That is why it is in your best interest to call our team as soon as possible after the accident. We do not want to risk losing valuable evidence that erodes or disappears.
A critical piece of evidence is testimony by witnesses and subject matter experts.
A Houston truck accident lawyer from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can request that involved parties give a deposition. A deposition is a sworn testimony given outside the courtroom to explain or provide facts and information.
For example, your doctor may give a deposition explaining how your injuries prevent you from returning to your previous job. This is an important piece of information when seeking damages for reduced or lost income in the future.
Fully Evaluate Your Damages
A lawyer can objectively evaluate your damages for your past, current, and future losses, such as the lost or decreased wages mentioned above. It is important to assess your entire economic and emotional losses when negotiating a settlement or seeking a judgment.
For example, a lawyer will seek recovery for how a loss of eyesight affects your work, school, relationships, and daily activities.
Finally, settlements are legal and binding agreements. There’s typically no going back to the bargaining table once you have signed and accepted financial recovery. A lawyer with our firm can help you understand exactly what you are signing and the settlement’s terms and conditions.
Beware of Lowball or Inadequate Offers
If you know anything about how insurance companies operate, you know that they make a profit by collecting premiums and paying claims isn’t in their best interest.
The first offer that an insurance company makes might be inadequate (or a lowball offer). The insurance adjuster is hoping that you let them settle as quickly and cheaply as possible.
The truck accident lawyers from our firm are familiar with lowball offers and other tactics that an insurance company may use to delay, downplay, or even deny your claim. While it is tempting to want to put the accident behind you as fast as possible, it is detrimental to accept an offer that does not cover your financial losses.
If you choose D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ to represent you, your lawyer will fight for you. Everything you discuss with your lawyer is confidential.
How Much Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
It is difficult to put an exact value on a truck accident case. Several factors influence how much your truck accident case may be worth, including:
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- Your anticipated prognosis
- Length of your rehabilitation or recovery
- If you will be temporarily or permanently disabled
- If your injuries leave you disfigured
- If your injuries prevent you from marital relations
Your truck accident case’s worth may also be affected by the circumstances of the accident. A Houston truck accident lawyer from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can help you understand the conditions that may impact your case’s worth and how to counter these conditions whenever possible.
Serious Injuries in Truck Accident Cases
A truck accident case’s worth is often heavily influenced by the severity and extent of injuries suffered by you or your loved one. While we encourage you to call our team for help after any traffic accident, truck accidents often result in what the court considers a “serious” injury.
The most serious injuries associated with a truck accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TBIs are a major cause of death and disability. These injuries can leave individuals with long-term cognitive and physical impairments that require expensive lifelong care.
- Internal bleeding: Internal bleeding may render an individual disabled or without the use of one or more bodily systems.
- Broken or crushed bones: A truck accident victim could suffer the pain and potentially disabling injury of multiple broken or crushed bones.
- Amputation: Some truck accident victims are trapped or pinned beneath their vehicle or debris, which can necessitate an amputation either at the scene or soon after the accident.
- Paralysis: An individual who suffers a head, neck, or spine injury may lose the ability to walk or lose the ability to move legs and arms.
In general, the greater the injuries, the higher your truck accident claim’s worth. Our lawyers have recovered significant damages for our clients through settlements and judgments. Although past results do not promise future outcomes, you have our word that a truck accident lawyer from our firm will fight for a settlement in your case.
Build the Best Possible Case
One of the most important factors affecting how much your case is worth is building the best possible claim. Our truck accident lawyers have a deep understanding of the legal and medical requirements in this type of personal injury case.
Get a free case evaluation from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today. To find out what your truck accident case may be worth, call today.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover?
You may qualify to collect damages for both financial and emotional losses. When we value your claim, we will include current and future damages associated with your injuries, such as:
- Emergency care
- Specialized care
- Follow-up treatment
- Loss of wages, loss of work benefits, or the loss of a promotion
- Reduced capacity to work
- Disability, disfigurement, and scarring
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
If you suffered the loss of a loved one from truck accident injuries, a lawyer with our firm can help you recover damages through a wrongful death claim. This will help you and your loved ones with economic losses such as final expenses, medical bills, and lost income.
Please Keep All Receipts and Records
Damages for truck accident cases can be tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. To ensure the insurance company or courts factor in the totality of your losses, start collecting all your receipts, medical documents, and information about your injuries. Store these documents in a folder for safekeeping and share them with your lawyer.
What Are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Houston?
There are four main classifications of truck accident causes, according to the FMCSA:
- Failure to perform: Examples of non-performance accidents include the driver falling asleep, having a stroke, or experiencing a low blood sugar event that causes disorientation.
- Failure to pay attention: Accidents caused by inattention include texting while driving, adjusting the radio or climate, or some other internal or external distraction.
- Poor decision: Accidents caused by a driver making a poor or improper decision include driving too fast, following other vehicles too closely, or failing to stop for mandatory rest breaks.
- Poor performance: A driver who fails to perform properly, such as turning the truck too wide at a corner or intersection, overcompensating at starts and stops, or failing to follow cargo or weight requirements can cause an accident.
Driver error accounts for 87 percent of truck accidents, according to the FMCSA. Ten percent of truck accidents are vehicle-related, and environmental factors cause 3 percent of these collisions.
Sleep-Deprived Truck Drivers Are a Threat
Drowsy driving is as much a threat as drunk driving to motorists, pedestrians, and others on the road. Truck drivers are more likely to drive drowsy since they face pressure to make deadlines that often push them to stay on the road longer than it is safe.
According to the CDC, individuals who drive when they are sleepy are more likely to have:
- Reduced attention span
- Slower reaction time
- Poor judgment
Some prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines cause drowsiness. People do not always read the warning label and can fall asleep at the wheel as a result.
Truck Accidents Are Different from Car Accidents
Depending on their size and type, trucks are usually the largest, heaviest, and longest vehicle on the road. In a collision between a truck and a passenger car, it is often the smaller vehicle occupants who suffer the worst injuries.
Here are other reasons why truck accidents are different from other types of traffic accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):
- Trucks are often tall with high ground clearance, making it more likely for a small car to drive underneath.
- Loss of life from a truck accident is more likely to happen to other motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycle riders, and motorcycle passengers.
- Rollover accidents are more likely to occur in a collision between a truck and a passenger car.
A Houston truck accident lawyer with D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can help you or a family member recover damages if you were hurt and have accident-related losses.
Get a free case evaluation today with a team member at (713) 850-8600.
Should I File a Police Report After My Houston Truck Accident?
Filing a police report after a truck accident (or any other kind of motor vehicle accident) is usually required by Texas law.
The investigating officer must file a police report after a truck accident that results in an injury, loss of life, or property damage of $1,000 or more.
You should include the following information in the accident report:
- Name, address, and driver’s license number for all drivers involved in the accident
- Make, model, and license plate number
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) if possible
- Accident location using mile markers, street address, or the nearest intersection
- Date and time of the accident
- Driver’s statement
- List of injuries and fatalities
- Brief description of property damage
You generally have 10 days from the accident to file an accident report. A Houston truck accident lawyer from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ will use this accident report as evidence in your case.
Other Things You Should Do After a Truck Accident
Texas motorists have other responsibilities after an accident in addition to filing a police report:
- Never leave the scene of an accident.
- Never attempt to pursue a driver who flees the scene of an accident (hit and run).
- If possible, move your car out of traffic and put on your emergency flashers.
- Give first aid to those who need it and call 911 for police and ambulance.
- Exchange insurance information with other drivers.
- Take pictures or videos of your damaged car and the accident scene if it is safe for you to do so.
- Avoid discussing blame or responsibility at the accident scene. It is best to avoid liability issues until after you have a chance to hire
You should politely decline to make any statement to the investigator, adjuster, or anyone representing the other party until you have a chance to talk to our legal team. You do not want to make an innocent or innocuous comment that the other party or insurance company can misconstrue. It is your right to make a written statement after you have time to calm down and think more clearly.
Police Reports Are Evidence
The more supporting evidence you have to build a claim, the greater your chance of recovering damages from the liable party. A police report can be a valuable piece of evidence that you and your attorney can use to show liability.
This is particularly true if the other party was intoxicated. A blood alcohol test result on a police report is often sufficient evidence we can use in your pursuit of financial recovery.
How Can D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ Help with My Truck Accident Case?
Our team of truck accident lawyers can help with all aspects of your case, from investigating and collecting evidence to negotiating with the insurance company or representing you in court.
In the chaotic aftermath of a serious accident, it helps to have an attorney from our team advocating for your best interests and managing the confusing legal matters. You certainly do not want to mishandle your claim and miss out on financial recovery.
We can explain your options so you can make informed decisions about your case. Our lawyers can facilitate all types of truck accident claims, including personal injury claims, product liability claims, and wrongful death claims. We will assess liability, calculate the value of your claim, and work with the truck company’s insurer to reach an acceptable settlement.
If you and the insurer cannot agree on the terms of a settlement, our team can take your case to trial. A Houston truck accident lawyer from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ will fight for you to recover damages and justice from all liable parties.
Why Is It Important to Act Quickly After a Truck Accident?
Truck accidents are complex and urgent cases. We need to document serious injuries from the very beginning, collect vital information from the trucking company before it loses or destroys evidence, and begin compiling all the evidence to substantiate your claim.
We also need time to obtain a complete damage assessment, so you receive a fair settlement.
Plus, the statute of limitations restricts how long we have to file your claim before losing your right to take legal action. Any legal complaint filed after the statute of limitations passed will be dismissed.
We Can Help You Recover Damages After a Truck Accident in Houston
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, call the office of a Houston truck accident lawyer today. You deserve to know your legal options and to have a fighter who will protect your rights.
Call for a free case evaluation so that D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can get started on your case today.