In 2020, counties throughout Texas reported more than 32,000 accidents involving semi trucks and other commercial vehicles. These crashes resulted in 581 fatalities and nearly 12,000 injuries.
Generally, the victims of serious injuries and death in these accidents are the individuals who are not in the commercial vehicle. This is especially true when the commercial vehicle is a semi truck, which is many times larger and heavier than the typical passenger vehicle.
Victims and families often suffer tremendous losses in the event of a truck accident. You and your loved ones may be entitled to compensation through a claim against the commercial driver and other liable parties.
The most fundamental question after any accident is: Was somebody else at fault? If the answer to this question is “yes,” you have the right to bring a claim against the party or parties responsible.
Liability issues in truck accident claims are notoriously complex. Although the negligence of the truck driver may be the direct cause of the accident, a host of additional factors could have contributed to the crash. If this is the case, multiple parties may be liable.
In addition to someone else being at fault, you must also demonstrate that you suffered injuries and damages as a result of the truck accident.
Catastrophic injuries are the rule rather than the exception in accidents with semi trucks. The risk of death is also significantly higher compared to other types of vehicle collisions. As a result, the damages in a truck accident lawsuit tend to be extremely high.
The driver of the semi truck is the most obvious person to file a claim against in the event of an accident. However, further investigation may reveal that the negligence of more than one party was a factor.
Many truck drivers are employed by commercial trucking companies. When employees are negligent in the performance of their jobs and they harm someone else, the employer can also be held liable. This is known as vicarious liability, and it expands your options for filing suit after a truck accident.
Trucking companies are large, powerful, and have a number of resources at their disposal. They will use all of these advantages to contest claims and snuff out lawsuits, making it difficult for victims to recover fair compensation. If a trucking company is liable for the accident, you need to be represented by an experienced lawyer.
Investigation of the truck accident may also reveal that one or more third parties are liable as well. For example, the maker of a defective part on the tractor trailer could be held to account for the accident through a product liability claim.
Another common scenario involves truck accidents caused by loose cargo or overloaded trailers. If negligence in the loading of the truck led to the accident, the company responsible for loading and securing cargo can also be named as a party in the lawsuit.
The right to sue cannot be exercised indefinitely. All lawsuits are bound by a time limit known as the statute of limitations.
By law, claims for personal injury and wrongful death in Texas must be initiated within 2 years. This is not a lot of time, especially when victims and their families are typically most concerned with healing from injuries and trying to put their lives back together.
If you or a loved one has been hit by a semi truck, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Not only can a lawyer help build your case, but hiring legal counsel is the best way to ensure that you don’t miss any deadlines to file a lawsuit.
One of the most difficult questions to answer in the early stages of a truck accident claim is whether it will be necessary to file a lawsuit. It is possible to reach a settlement without filing suit. And, in some cases, filing a lawsuit will be enough to push the trucking company and other defendants into settling before the case goes to trial.
However, a number of factors make it more likely that a truck accident case will go to court than other claims involving auto accidents. These include:
Each of these issues increases the probability that you will need to sue for injuries and damages sustained in a truck accident. It is important to know that the lawyer you hire is willing and able to take your case to trial if it means pursuing the full compensation you deserve.
Whether you decide to settle a claim or file a lawsuit, achieving fair compensation after a truck accident is rarely easy. Taking a case to trial can be daunting, but it is sometimes the only way to recover the full extent of damages.
Attorney Patrick Daniel has extensive experience with truck accident litigation. He understands the unique challenges involved in these cases, as well as how to resolve them through settlement negotiations or by going to court.
Please call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 today for a free consultation. Our Texas truck accident attorney serves clients throughout Houston and other areas of the state, as well as nationwide.