After an accident with a commercial truck, do you sue the company or the driver? The truck accident attorneys at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, can help you understand how to pursue compensation after crash in Texas. Call 713-850-8600 today for a free consultation.
After a Truck Accident, Can I Sue the Company?
The legal doctrine of vicarious liability holds an employer liable for the actions employees take while on the clock. This doctrine applies any time the employee is working and engaged in activities that benefit their employer. This includes truck drivers who drive in a careless or reckless manner behind the wheel of a semi truck or 18 wheeler.
If we can prove the trucker acted negligently, we can hold their employer liable for your injuries. This requires us to provide evidence to show:
- The trucker had an obligation to act in a reasonably safe way, including following all rules and regulations for motorists and truck operators;
- They failed to uphold this obligation, putting you in danger;
- This led to your crash and your injuries; and
- You suffered financial damages because of the accident.
What Are the Benefits of Pursuing Compensation From the Trucking Company?
While it can be more difficult to take on a large company than an individual driver, there is a major benefit of vicarious liability. Texas auto insurance laws only require individual motorists to carry $30,000 in coverage to pay for your damages. Legally, they only need to pay $60,000 per accident, which could leave you with little coverage if several people suffered injuries in your truck crash.
Trucking companies usually have much larger corporate liability policies. This is important if you suffered a catastrophic injury, such as a traumatic brain injury. Many victims require compensation to cover significant losses above and beyond their initial medical bills and pain and suffering. These damages may include:
- Loss of future income and benefits;
- Ongoing care costs;
- Future care costs for additional surgery or therapy; and
- Wheelchairs, walkers, and other assistive tools.
By pursuing compensation based on the trucking company’s liability policy, your Houston truck accident lawyer can request a higher payout without worrying about the limits of a driver’s insurance coverage.
What Can I Expect From the Claims Process?
Texas truck accident claims are more difficult than a typical car accident case. Not only do most trucking companies have an entire team of corporate attorneys trying to minimize the money spent on your claim, but the company also has possession of important evidence in your case.
A Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer will not be afraid to face any large corporation to get the compensation you deserve. We fully investigate your accident, identifying all possible evidence and enlisting the help of accident reconstruction specialists to understand how the trucker caused your crash. This allows us to build a solid case to back your claim, which we will present to the insurance company when we demand compensation for your damages.
Much of the evidence necessary to build our case is in the hands of the trucking company. Because of state and federal regulations, there is more information available about what happened before and during a truck accident than in most crashes.
The trucking company has access to the driver’s rest logs, data from the truck’s onboard computer, and sometimes even dash cam video of the crash. To ensure the company protects this evidence and allows us access to it, we need to send a spoliation letter as quickly as possible. This letter legally obligates the trucking company to keep this evidence safe.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit in Texas?
Texas laws restrict the amount of time you have to file suit after a truck accident. Under the statute of limitations, we have two years to file a civil suit. While this deadline only applies lawsuits, it also plays a key role in our insurance claim.
Knowing you could sue provides important incentive to the trucking company and its insurer to offer a fair settlement. No business wants to face the costs and the publicity associated with a court battle. If the deadline to file suit passes, the trucking company has little motivation to pay you the money you deserve.
How Can I Talk to a Lawyer About My Case?
The Houston personal injury team from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, can help you understand your rights after a semi crash. We will explain your options and help you go after the trucking company for the money you need and deserve. Call us today at 713-850-8600 for a free case evaluation.