If you were injured in a truck accident, we can help you file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the trucking company to help you hold the carrier responsible for your injuries. When a truck driver acts negligently and causes other motorists to suffer injuries, their employer—usually a trucking company or other large corporation—is legally liable to cover these losses.
If you were in an accident and want a free case review to better understand your rights after a collision, the Houston personal injury attorneys at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, are here to help.
Are Truck Accident Cases the Same as Other Vehicle Accidents?
Many variables in truck accident cases do not arise in other auto injury claims, making the legal process of financial recovery more complex.
Due to their size, collisions involving large trucks may be more likely to cause severe injuries.
Cases involving complex or significant injuries may lead to longer recovery, higher medical bills, ongoing treatment costs, and other expenses. Some people may be unable to return to work.
A trucking company may be liable for your damages, even if the truck company was not directly responsible for your accident. Employers may be vicariously liable for their employees’ negligence, so if a truck driver caused your injuries, then the truck carrier may be liable.
Additionally, the trucking industry is comprised of many different people and organizations who could share liability for the accident. While this provides more avenues from which to seek financial recovery, it adds complexity to the legal process.
Types of Evidence
Further, the evidence required to prove liability for a truck accident may differ from other types of vehicle accident cases. Some supporting evidence is stored on the truck itself or with the truck company. For example:
- ‘Black box’ data
- Fleet maintenance reports
- Hours-of-service logs
- Truck company hiring or screening records
- Driver training records
- Driver delivery or work schedules
A truck accident lawyer can help you gather and request evidence to support your case. This includes formal requests for information from the trucking company. While these are just a few examples, they highlight why truck accident injury cases can be challenging.
What Damages Are Recoverable in a Lawsuit Against a Trucking Company?
It probably comes as no surprise to you how much an 18-wheeler accident can cost. Serious injuries lead to massive hospital bills, inpatient rehabilitation, and outpatient therapy. If you cannot work, you will miss your regular wages, as well. This is before we even consider other expenses, such as repairing or replacing your car.
We can often recover all these damages and more from the trucking company. While a large payout cannot take away how much you struggle to overcome your injuries, it can ease your stress throughout the process.
Some of the most common damages we collect include money for:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing care
- Future medical care needs
- Current and future lost wages
- Mobility equipment, wheelchairs, and other assistive devices
- Equipment to allow greater accessibility in your house
- Property damage, including repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Other accident-related expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
Do I Need to File a Lawsuit Against the Truck Carrier?
In most cases, a Houston 18-wheeler accident attorney can obtain a recovery on your behalf without taking a claim to court. Our lawyers follow a process to build a strong claim and pursue the financial settlement our clients deserve.
Fully Investigate Every Accident
Your truck accident attorney in Houston will interview witnesses, visit the accident site, and even work with accident reconstruction specialists to better understand how and why and how the collision occurred.
Build a Strong Case
Our goal is to build a strong case proving the truck driver acted negligently. Then, we need to show they were on the clock at the time of the accident, and we can hold the trucking company liable.
File a Third-Party Liability Insurance Claim
Once we have all the evidence, we need to prove negligence and liability—and we estimate the value of your damages—we can file an insurance claim with the trucking company’s insurer. Usually, this comes in the form of a demand letter outlining our evidence and your damages. We send this to the insurance company or the trucking company’s legal team.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement
Trucking companies almost never pay the first demand amount we request, instead offering us a much lower counter-offer. This launches settlement negotiations, where we aggressively fight for the full value of your case. We will not settle for less than a fair settlement for you, including the payout you need for ongoing or future care for your injuries.
File a Lawsuit Against The Trucking Company
Only rarely do we need to litigate a trucking accident case. However, when we do, we usually have to take on a team of corporate attorneys who will do anything they can to reduce the payout you receive for your injuries. We represent you through the legal process, filing all paperwork, going before the judge on your behalf, and asking the court to award you a fair recovery.
How Do I Prove Who Was Responsible For The Collision I Was Injured In?
More evidence is available in a trucking accident than in most car accidents. Much of this evidence comes from state and federal laws requiring truck companies to record and report their operations. For this reason, much of the evidence we need is in the possession of the trucker’s employer.
When we accept your case, we take quick action to ensure the trucking company collects and preserves vital evidence, such as:
- Driver rest logs
- Digital data from the truck’s onboard computer
- Driver drug and alcohol test results required after the accident
- Driver personnel and medical records
- Truck maintenance records and checklists
- Truck dashcam video
- Documentation of the damage to the truck
In addition, we will uncover any other available evidence of negligence and liability through our comprehensive investigation, including:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Video of the accident from a local business
- Pictures from the scene
- Documentation of the damage to vehicles
- Your medical records
Working With a Truck Accident Injury Attorney
There are many ways an injury lawyer can help you with your case. Here are some of the things we do to help our clients pursue recovery for their injuries:
- Conducting a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident
- Identifying liable parties
- Proving your injuries were caused by the negligence of another party or parties
- Assessing the financial extent of your injuries, including any expenses you may incur in the future
- Managing communication with all parties
- Negotiating for a fair settlement on your behalf
- Representing you in court, where necessary
While there are many valuable services a lawyer can provide, there are equally as many reasons why that support may be necessary.
How Long Do I Have To File A Lawsuit?
After a truck accident, you have limited time to file suit. Under the statute of limitations, you have two years from the date of the accident or the discovery of your injuries to sue the trucking company.
If we do not file an insurance claim and request recovery for your accident damages during this time period, it becomes much more difficult to get the fair payout you deserve.
Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident in or around the Houston area, D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, can help you understand your options for recovery and fight for the payout you deserve. Call us today for your complimentary case evaluation.