Truck accidents in East Texas are rare – but often tragic – events. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that trucks account for 6 percent of the state’s total traffic crashes. However, they are involved in 15 percent of all crashes that result in death.
The typical size and weight of an 18-wheeler makes a difference. A fully loaded rig weighs up to 80,000 pounds, while a passenger car weighs around 6,000 pounds. In a collision, the smaller car – and its occupants – stands little chance of avoiding serious harm.
With more than 150 years of combined legal experience, the Longview truck accident attorneys of The Sloan Firm know the devastation that tractor-trailers cause. Our law firm has helped numerous individuals and families in East Texas and other areas who suffered injuries or the loss of a loved one due to negligent truck drivers and trucking companies.
If you recently suffered injury in a commercial vehicle crash, or if you lost a family member in one of these accidents, allow The Sloan Firm to stand up for your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. We always see the person behind the injury and focus on addressing the specific injuries and losses our clients have suffered. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation.
Why Should You Choose Our Law Firm for Your Truck Crash Case?
People who survive collisions with 18-wheelers often sustain serious physical and mental injuries. Some of the most common truck accident injuries that our attorneys encounter are:
The attorneys of The Sloan Firm know how these injuries change people’s lives. In the aftermath of a truck accident, a person may be unable to work at the same job – or work at all – due to injury. The person may be unable to do tasks around the home or enjoy activities as before. Many people can no longer live independently, which places a heavy burden on family members. Mounting medical bills only add to the stress.
The Sloan Firm focuses on how the injuries from a truck accident have uniquely affected our clients. We thoroughly review medical records to determine the nature and extent of our clients’ injuries. We also consult with doctors, nurses, life care planners and other experts. We look at a client’s entire life – including the client’s work, relationships and interests – and seek justice for harm done to that life.
In your truck accident case, you can count on our truck accident lawyers to put our legal skill and experience to work for you and pursue maximum compensation for your losses. Your case won’t be just a file number to us. We will work closely with you and:
Answer all questions you may have about your legal rights and options
Keep you regularly updated about our progress in your case.
We will handle all upfront costs, and we won’t charge you anything for our legal services unless we obtain a truck accident settlement or verdict that benefits you. While The Sloan Firm handles your case, you will not need to worry about paying for an attorney. Instead, you can focus on your physical recovery from your injury and your loved ones.
Why Should Your Lawyer Have Experience with Texas Truck Accident Claims?
Truck accidents are not like other types of motor vehicle accidents. When you hire a lawyer to handle your truck accident claim, you should make sure that the lawyer has experience with these cases. The lawyer should understand the key differences in truck accident cases and use that knowledge to your benefit. Those differences include:
Tractor-trailer accidents involve potentially high damages awards. Semi-truck accidents can cause life-changing injuries and major property damage. As a result, damages claims tend to be much higher than in other car accident cases. Trucking companies and their insurers know the stakes are high. They aggressively investigate and litigate claims and often try to resolve cases through settlements that fail to fully compensate plaintiffs. Your lawyer should be ready to stand firm for you and protect your rights, regardless of whether your case involves extensive settlement negotiations or taking your personal injury lawsuit to trial.
Your lawyer must investigate your trucking accident right away. The best way to counter trucking company and insurance company tactics is to launch an immediate investigation of the trucking accident – before evidence gets lost or destroyed. As early as possible, your lawyer should obtain evidence from the crash scene, inspect the tractor-trailer and preserve, gather and analyze key evidence such as vehicle inspection records, driver logbooks and electronic data recorder (“black box”) data.
The large truck accident could involve violations of trucking regulations. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules address nearly every aspect of the trucking industry. They cover aspects such as truck driver qualifications, vehicle inspections, tractor-trailer size and weight restrictions and how many hours a driver may be on the road during a given period of time. Your lawyer should be able to determine whether a violation of these regulations contributed to your truck crash injuries.
A truck accident lawsuit may name multiple defendants. If you get hurt in a collision with another passenger car, you typically will bring a car accident claim against that other driver and nobody else. However, when collision involves an 18-wheeler, you may be able to sue many parties besides the driver, including the trucking company. To maximize your financial recovery, your lawyer should know how to identify all parties who could be held liable in your case.
A truck crash settlement could involve numerous insurers. Because a truck accident could involve numerous responsible parties, it could also involve multiple insurance policies, including your own. Trucking companies often carry policies with higher limits than standard auto insurance policies, which could provide greater compensation to a person injured in a wreck involving a commercial vehicle. However, handling the claims process and interplay of these policies can be challenging. Your lawyer should be able to use these policies to your advantage.
The Sloan Firm can offer extensive experience with trucking accident cases. We know how to tackle the unique issues that these cases involve while, at the same time, providing clients with the care, attention and high level of service they deserve.
How Can Our Law Firm Help in Your Truck Accident Case?
After your free initial consultation, The Sloan Firm can start work right away on your truck accident claim. The many services we can provide include:
Conducting a prompt, thorough investigation of your truck crash. We will quickly preserve, collect and analyze evidence such as:
Photos of the accident scene, showing fresh skid marks and debris
The tractor-trailer (in the condition it was in at the time of crash)
The trucker’s written or electronic log, showing how many hours the trucker had been on the road prior to the crash
Bills of lading and other shipping documents
The truck’s electronic data recorder (EDR, or “black box”)
Trucking company vehicle inspection and maintenance records
Hiring, training and supervision records
The driver’s cell phone records
The driver’s breath, blood or urine test results.
At The Sloan Firm, we know how to handle thorough truck accident investigations, including accidents that involve jackknifing or underride collisions. We also work with engineers, accident reconstruction specialists and other experts who can help us to determine the cause of your crash. Some of the common causes of truck accidents include:
Speeding and aggressive driving by the truck driver
Drunk driving (or driving while impaired by drugs)
Distracted driving (including texting while driving)
Fatigued driving (often in violation of FMCSA regulations)
Inadequately maintained vehicle (due to negligent inspection or lack of repairs)
Poorly secured or unsecured cargo
Defective truck or truck parts (including brakes, tires, wheels, hitches and couplings).
Identifying all parties who should be held liable for your damages. In many truck accident cases, a claim is brought against the negligent truck driver who caused the wreck. However, the trucking company may be liable as well based on its driver’s negligence as well as its own negligence such as:
Failing to conduct a proper background check before hiring a driver
Poorly training and supervising drivers
Failing to inspect and repair trucks in its fleet
Allowing or encouraging drivers to violate trucking regulations.
Mechanics, shipping brokers, warehouse operators and others could also be named defendants in a truck accident lawsuit. In some cases, truck or truck part manufacturers, distributors and retailers may be liable.
Handling all paperwork that your insurance claim or lawsuit requires. While you worry about your recovery, our firm will ensure that all paperwork is properly filed with the insurance companies involved in your case and, if necessary, with the court that would preside over your case. Keep in mind: You must file a personal injury lawsuit in Texas within two years after a trucking accident, while you must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years after a loved one’s death. You should meet with The Sloan Firm as soon as possible in order to ensure that our lawyers have ample time to prepare your case for filing.
Seek maximum compensation for you in a settlement or verdict. Our attorneys will identify all potential sources of compensation in your case and seek the maximum amount on your behalf. The damages we may recover for you in your truck accident case could include:
Past and future medical expenses
Lost income and earning capacity
Pain and suffering
Loss of enjoyment of life
Other physical, financial and emotional harm
Wrongful death damages (if you lost a loved one).
Trucking companies often try to blame accidents on other drivers. This is because Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule. Under this rule, a person’s compensation is reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault attributed to the person. If a person is 51 percent or more at fault for an accident, he or she can be barred from recovering any damages. The Sloan Firm knows how trucking industry insurance companies work. We will aggressively challenge any attempts to blame you for a collision with a tractor-trailer. We want to ensure you recover all compensation you are due.
Work efficiently to timely disburse the funds owed to you. Regardless of whether we obtain compensation for you through a settlement or a judgment, we will need to take steps to collect and disburse the funds owed to you. We know how important it will be for you to move on with your life and recover from your injury. We will work diligently to resolve any liens attached to your recovery and provide the funds you are due.
Every case at The Sloan Firm starts with a free consultation. However, you can take care of a few items on your own in order to prepare for your consultation and get through the early stages of your truck accident case:
Get medical attention. You should undergo a thorough examination in order to determine the full extent of injuries you have suffered and to ensure that you document those injuries.
Report the accident to your insurance company. In order to preserve your right to file a claim with your own insurance company, you should comply with all of your insurer’s reporting requirements.
Refer insurance company questions to us. If your insurer or another insurance company contacts you, you can feel free to refer the insurer to our law firm. You should decline to give a recorded statement or accept a settlement offer until you meet with a lawyer first.
Gather all of your evidence. Keep and store copies of all of your medical bills and receipts of other accident-related expenses. You may also want to gather any photos of the accident and your injuries, eyewitness names and contact information and correspondence with insurance companies.
Write a summary of what happened to you. You should write down what you recall about the truck accident and how it has impacted your ability to work and enjoy life. A written summary can help to jog your memory at later stages in your case.
If you cannot take some of these steps, please do not let it stop you from seeking legal help from the accident attorneys of The Sloan Firm.
Our Longview Truck Accident Attorneys Are Ready to Help You
At The Sloan Firm, what matters to you, matters to us. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident in East Texas or elsewhere, we will tailor our representation to address your unique goals. We want to help you to move past this difficult stage in your life.
To learn more about how we can help you, call or reach us online today. We can provide a timely, confidential and free consultation from our offices in Longview, Houston or Santa Fe, New Mexico.