If you or a family member have been in a truck wreck, you probably have questions about how to get compensation for injuries, medical bills, damage to your vehicle, pain and suffering and other losses. How can a lawyer help you? How can you get help bringing a claim? How can you show who was responsible for the crash?
We have provided general answers to questions like these in the Frequently Asked Questions below. For specific answers to your individual questions, contact us now for a free consultation, claim review and advice about your best legal options. We see the person behind the truck accident injury, and we’re ready to help you. We have truck accident lawyers ready to assists you in Longview, Houston, and Santa Fe.
It is best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after a crash to ensure that important evidence doesn’t disappear and to avoid being time-barred. The time period in which you can file a claim to recover damages resulting from a truck crash is called the statute of limitations. This time period is designated by state statute. The statute of limitations in Texas for injuries and damages resulting from a truck crash is 2 years, which means you have 2 years after the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations in New Mexico is 3 years. These periods could be extended under certain circumstances. You should talk to a lawyer even if you think it may be too late.
Texas courts apply a legal concept called “comparative negligence” when looking at claims for property damage and personal injuries in a lawsuit. It frequently happens that there are several people to blame for a crash. Texas courts allow you to recover compensation for damages and injuries resulting from a truck accident even if you were somewhat at fault – as long as the judge or jury determines that you were not more than 50% responsible.
However, the amount you are able to recover will be reduced by the percentage of your responsibility for the crash. For example, if your damages total $100,000 and you are found to be 25% at fault, then the $100,000 will be reduced by 25%, or $25,000. That means you total recovery would be limited to $75,000.
If you have been injured in a wreck with a tractor-trailer or other heavy truck, you may be left with a lot of bills to pay at a time when you can’t work because of your injuries. You may be left with a serious injury or possibly a permanent disability, lost wages, medical expenses, and other losses. A lawyer can help you by gathering information and evidence, fully investigating the true cause of the crash, calculating the full extent of your losses, negotiating with insurers, and taking a case to court if necessary. Damages are often settled outside of court.
We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that you don’t pay us anything upfront for our services. We get paid only if you win. Our fee will be deducted from your recovery based on an agreed-upon percentage. This allows you to have legal representation without the expense of paying for each moment of our time – and without any risk for you. We are not paid unless we win for you.
You may be entitled to bring a claim for wrongful death if your spouse or another close relative was killed in a truck crash caused by someone other than your relative. The amount awarded, if the claim is successful, will help to pay for loss of income, medical and burial expenses, and other losses.
In Texas, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the surviving spouse, child, and/or parents of the person who died. They may file individually or together as a group. In Texas, adult children may also file wrongful death claims over the death of a parent.
Damages in a wrongful death suit may be awarded for, among other things:
- Change in earning capacity
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Loss of companionship, love, comfort and society
- Mental suffering and anguish
In a truck crash, there are often ways to prove what happened beyond the evidence that is generally available in an accident involving only cars. Many trucks have black box that records what the truck was doing right before the crash – for example, if the trucker was speeding or failed to hit the brakes. Truck drivers should also have records of maintenance and drivers’ logs as well. Drivers’ logs may reveal whether the trucker was too fatigued to drive safely due to violations of the hours of service rules.
If there were eyewitnesses to the accident, their testimony could also be important in proving fault. If you are well enough to talk to people at the scene, be sure to ask them what they saw, and get their names and contact information. Evidence may also be presented from the police report. It’s important to remember that the police do not have final say on civil liability for a wreck. Photos of the scene of the accident, if available, may also be valuable in providing support for what happened.
If you have been in a collision with a truck and have serious injuries, the first thing you should do is get emergency medical treatment. If your injuries are not life-threatening, and you are able to walk around, take pictures of the vehicles and the scene of the accident, and exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved in the collision. Also take notes about the circumstances surrounding the accident to aid your memory later. Do not give a recorded or written statement to any insurance company.
Call the police to come make an accident report, and then ask for the officer’s contact information and the report number. Also, see if there is anyone in the vicinity who observed the accident and can provide eyewitness testimony. Make sure to get the name and contact information of any potential eyewitnesses.
Even if you do not think your injuries are serious at first, you should still get a full medical evaluation as soon as possible. Some serious injuries are not immediately apparent, and the adrenaline from a wreck can mask symptoms. Keep a journal about how your injuries affect your daily life and record details about your recovery process, including photos if helpful. This may be a great asset when it comes to documenting your injuries and how they have changed your life.