Crashes involving 18 wheelers and semi trucks often leave victims struggling to pay medical bills, take care of their regular expenses, and plan for ongoing and future care. If a truck driver acted recklessly or carelessly and caused your Texas crash, you may be eligible to hold them financially accountable for the damages you suffered. The truck accident team from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, can help you file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against their employer to get the money you need and deserve.
Our attorneys offer complimentary care evaluations to help you understand your legal options after a crash. We can identify the liable parties, build a strong case on your behalf, and aggressively negotiate a fair settlement with the responsible party’s insurance company. If this fails, we are not afraid to file a lawsuit against the trucking company. Call us today at 713-850-8600 to schedule your free case review with an 18 wheeler and semi truck accident lawyer in Katy.
Who Is Liable for My Semi Truck Accident Injuries?
In a typical car accident, we file a claim based on the at-fault motorist’s liability auto insurance policy. Semi truck accidents work somewhat differently. Because of a legal doctrine called vicarious liability, the truck driver is not the only liable party in a semi crash.
Under vicarious liability, employers are responsible for the actions of employees while they are on the clock. This includes negligent acts that cause a truck crash. This means we have to file our insurance claim with the trucking company or corporation who employs the truck driver.
While taking on a large corporation—and their legal team—is a much bigger challenge than filing a simple auto liability claim based on an individual’s policy, there are some advantages. Primarily, the largest advantage is that these companies usually have much larger liability policies than an individual would. This allows us to fight for the full value of your case without worrying about the limits of the policy.
How Can We Prove the Truck Driver Caused My Crash?
Proving liability in a truck accident relies on much of the same evidence we need to collect in a typical car crash case. We launch an investigation into your accident and, as a part of that investigation, we collect:
- The police report;
- Statements from eyewitnesses;
- Pictures of the accident scene and the vehicles involved;
- Video of the crash, when available; and
- Any other evidence available.
We also enlist the help of accident reconstruction experts, when necessary. These specialists can help us understand what led to your accident, how it occurred, and prove the truck driver acted negligently. Other expert witnesses may also help us build our case, depending on the details of your crash.
In addition, there is a wealth of other evidence available to us in a semi truck crash that is unique to these accidents. This evidence may include:
- The trucker’s logs;
- Data from the onboard computer;
- Dash cam video;
- Drug and alcohol testing results; and
- Maintenance records for the truck.
While this evidence can be key in winning our case, it is usually in the hands of the trucking company. To gain access, we need to send a spoliation letter to the trucking company and demand they preserve the evidence. This needs to happen as soon as possible after the crash, to ensure we recover all the evidence in your case.
How Can We Prove the Full Range of My Damages?
In addition to collecting evidence to prove negligence and liability, we will need to collect all possible evidence to document your accident-related expenses, out-of-pocket costs, estimates of your future care costs, and your pain and suffering losses. This is the only way to truly understand what a fair settlement looks like in your case. Without collecting this documentation, there is a chance you might settle for a payout that does not cover all of your expenses and accident-related losses.
The documentation we need to collect usually includes:
- Medical bills;
- Receipts for out-of-pocket expenses;
- Estimates from experts about your ongoing care costs;
- Documentation of property damage losses; and
- Journals or other documentation of your pain and suffering.
We encourage you to discuss the value of your claim with an attorney, even if you decide to file a semi truck accident claim on your own. In our experience, many people drastically underestimate their losses after a tractor trailer crash. This leads to settling for a payout that may not cover all your future or ongoing care costs.
This is especially true for victims of severe, permanent injuries. Traumatic brain injuries, for example, are common after an 18-wheeler collision. An injury like this can lead to permanent disability or even death. We will account for these losses when we file your claim.
How Does the Claims Process Work?
By building a strong case on your behalf and approaching the trucking company’s insurer with a clear demand, we can usually settle claims without going to court. The insurer counters the settlement offer in our demand letter, and we negotiate with the legal team or insurance company representative until we reach an agreement for your payout.
Occasionally, we cannot reach a fair settlement out of court and need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the trucking company. We will take on any corporation, no matter the size. We will represent you in court and ask a judge or jury to award you to money you deserve.
How Can I Talk to an 18 Wheeler and Semi Truck Accident Lawyer in Katy?
The attorneys from D. Miller & Associates, PLLC, can help you recover the compensation you need and deserve after a semi truck crash. We offer free case evaluations, and provide advice and guidance to help you navigate the claims process. Call us today at 713-850-8600 to talk with an 18 wheeler and semi truck accident attorney in Katy.