The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2017, occupants of other vehicles accounted for 72% of the fatalities in truck accidents. Despite the fact that large trucks account for only 4% of all registered vehicles, they account for approximately one in 10 vehicles involved in fatal accidents.
In addition to the physical and emotional toll truck accidents can take on the lives of victims and their families, they can also cause major financial difficulties that victims often struggle to resolve on their own. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a truck accident, a tractor-trailer accident lawyer serving Katy, TX can help you determine if you have a case. Call D. Miller & Associates, PLLC today at (713) 850-8600 to speak with our legal team.
Tractor-Trailer Accidents Often Cause More Severe Injuries
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) highlights the dangers associated with semi-trucks that can put those in smaller vehicles at risk.
- Large trucks weigh at least 10,000 pounds, or approximately 20 to 30 times more than passenger vehicles.
- Large trucks require 20% to 40% more room to stop than passenger vehicles, making it difficult for them to stop suddenly.
- Large trucks have higher ground clearance, so cars can slide underneath them in the event of an accident.
- Truck drivers often suffer from fatigue after spending many consecutive hours driving, and despite laws restricting how long they can drive in one stretch, some drivers may not abide by them.
Tractor-trailer drivers have a responsibility to exercise extra caution on the road, and when they fail to do so, serious accidents can result. A lawyer can help you hold a negligent driver accountable for the injuries they caused you or a loved one.
Establishing Liability for a Tractor-Trailer Accident
The State of Texas requires that the party responsible for causing an accident provides coverage for the victims’ injuries. Insurance companies typically try to investigate the accident right away and offer a settlement before determining the extent of the victim’s losses.
If you or a loved one suffered serious or fatal injuries in a truck collision, a tractor-trailer accident lawyer serving Katy, TX, can help you prove the liability of the at-fault party. In order for their behavior to meet the legal definition of negligent, they must meet four specific criteria.
- The party had a responsibility to exercise reasonable care in order to maintain your safety.
- The party breached that duty by omission or a willful act.
- Their breach of duty caused you physical and/or emotional injuries.
- Your injuries led you to suffer financial damages.
One of several parties may hold responsibility for your accident.
In most cases, a driver causes an accident. Whether they did so intentionally or by acting in a negligent manner, they still hold responsibility for providing you with financial recovery. Victims typically recover funds through the driver’s insurance company either on their own or with the assistance of a lawyer. A lawyer can help ensure you have properly assessed your damages and pursue fair financial awards on your behalf.
Local and state governments have a duty to keep roadways safe for all who use them, and if their failure to do so caused your tractor-trailer accident, you may have the option to seek financial recovery from the government agency responsible for road maintenance.
While filing a claim with the government can present a challenge due to sovereign immunity, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows citizens to file suit against the government under certain circumstances. A lawyer can help you determine if you have a case.
Vehicle or Parts Manufacturer
The law requires that all vehicles made available on the consumer market comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and have no safety-related defects. Sometimes, vehicles with faulty parts make it onto the road, and it takes a safety recall from the manufacturer to prevent further injuries. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one as the result of a poorly manufactured vehicle, you may have a case against the company.
You May Qualify for Financial Awards
The types and amounts of financial awards you may receive vary depending on the circumstances of your case. While an attorney cannot guarantee the outcome of your claim, they can help you evaluate your damages and seek the financial recovery you need to cover your losses.
In tractor-trailer accident cases, you can pursue recovery for economic awards, which have a quantifiable value. These include damages such as medical bills and lost wages. If you suffer significant physical or emotional pain as a result of the accident, you may also seek financial awards for your pain and suffering and the long-term effects your trauma has had on your life.
You Must File Your Claim Within a Certain Time Frame
In order to pursue legal action against the at-fault party in your tractor-trailer accident, you must file your claim within a certain time frame. The Texas statute of limitations allows victims of truck accidents two years from the date of the collision to file a personal injury claim, and families of victims who lost their lives in truck accidents have two years from the date of their loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death claim. These limits do have some exceptions, and a lawyer can help you determine how much time you have to file suit for your case.
A Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer Serving Katy, TX Can Help You with Your Case
If a tractor-trailer accident caused by someone else’s negligence left you or a loved one with serious or fatal injuries, you do not have to manage the claims process alone. Our lawyers can help you by investigating your case, establishing liability, and helping you pursue the financial recovery you deserve. Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC today at (713) 850-8600 to discuss your case with our legal team.
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