Truck and Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Big rig accidents are a bit different from car accidents. To properly manage your claim and ensure that you get the full compensation you deserve, it is essential to work with a skilled attorney who has experience handling truck accident cases. We know your rights, and we know how to deal with commercial insurance and business owners.
Why Do I Need a Truck Accident Attorney?
Commercial vehicle accidents involve both state and federal laws. Your case will differ depending on whether the truck operates interstate or intrastate, and whether all guidelines of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) were properly followed. You need an attorney who knows these guidelines and how to find out about any violations.
In addition, truck accidents are often more devastating than car accidents. A skilled truck accident lawyer understands how to evaluate these claims, taking into account future costs such as ongoing rehabilitation and loss of earning capacity.
Finally, truck accident claims often involve numerous parties, from insurance companies to trucking companies to truck manufacturers. We know how to determine who is liable and how to negotiate with multiple parties. If we do not get a satisfactory answer through negotiations, we are prepared to take your case to trial.
Who Should I Talk to About the Accident?
Call your own insurance company within 24 hours. Provide a basic accounting of the facts without veering into offering your opinions. Your insurance company will likely open a claim and request time to investigate.
Do not speak to the trucking company’s insurer except under the advice of your attorney. Texas law is based on comparative negligence, in which any award you receive is reduced by the percentage that you are found to be at fault. If you are 51% or more at fault, you are not entitled to damages at all. Naturally, the insurance company will attempt to increase your at fault percentage to limit your award. Therefore, it is best to let your attorney handle these negotiations.
What Should I Expect?
While you focus on your recovery, your attorney, your insurer, the trucking company or its lawyers, and the trucking company’s insurer will all conduct independent investigations. We may look at the police report, gather forensic evidence, and take statements from witnesses. We will then work through process of negotiating a settlement. If you are contacted by or receive paperwork from an insurance company, call your lawyer. Never make a recorded statement or sign anything without your lawyer’s approval.
If negotiations are successful, we will let you know when to expect a settlement check. Otherwise, we will let you know that we are ready to proceed to trial. If your case goes to trial, we will be by your side every step of the way.
What Kinds of Compensation Are Available?
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be eligible for different types of compensation. These include:
Economic damages: Economic damages are quantifiable expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, ongoing costs of rehabilitation, and loss of earning capacity. A key to gaining full and fair compensation is the ability to determine future medical costs.
General damages: These damages are harder to quantify, but are nonetheless very real. They include pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress, and loss of quality of life.
Punitive damages: In cases of intentional misconduct or gross negligence only, you may be eligible for punitive damages. One of the most common examples is a drunk driver.
Truck accident claims are highly complex, and may involve numerous parties. If you have such a claim, do not attempt to pursue it by yourself. A skilled and experienced truck accident lawyer has the specialized knowledge you need to protect your rights.
If you were hit by a commercial truck in Houston, contact Roberts Markland LLP today at 713-630-0900 for a free case review and consultation.