Commercial vehicles, like big trucks and buses, are common on the roads. While these vehicles are essential for transporting goods and people, they can also pose a significant risk to other drivers and passengers. If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you may be wondering what your rights are and what steps you should take. Houston injury lawyer Greg Baumgartner discusses your rights in Harris County, TX, after getting hurt in an accident with a commercial vehicle and how you can protect yourself.
Understanding Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Before we dive into your rights, it’s important to understand what constitutes a commercial vehicle accident. A commercial vehicle is any vehicle used for business, such as delivery trucks, semi-trucks, buses, and taxis.
Commercial vehicles are larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, making them more dangerous in the event of an accident.
Commercial vehicle accidents can occur for various reasons, including driver error, malfunctions, and poor road conditions. Regardless of the cause, these accidents can result in serious injuries and even death.
Your Rights After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
If you have been injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. Compensation can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.
To receive compensation, you must prove that the commercial vehicle driver was at fault for the accident.
Proving cause can be done by gathering evidence, such as witness statements, police reports, and accident scene photos. Getting this evidence ASAP after an accident is vital, as it can be difficult to obtain later.
Who is Liable in a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
Determining liability in a commercial vehicle accident is something that a truck accident attorney should evaluate, as multiple parties may be involved. In most cases, the commercial vehicle’s driver will be held responsible for any damages or injuries caused by the accident. However, other parties may also be held liable, such as the company that owns the vehicle or the manufacturer of the vehicle.
In some cases, the driver may not be an employee of the company but rather an independent contractor. The company may still be liable for negligent hiring or supervising the driver.
Steps to Take After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, it’s important to take the following steps to protect your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve:
- Seek medical attention: Your health must be your top priority after an accident. Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional to rule out any hidden injuries.
- Call the police: It’s important to have a police report documenting the accident. This report can be used as evidence in your case.
- Gather evidence: As mentioned earlier, gather as much evidence as possible at the accident scene. Evidence can include photos, witness statements, and any other relevant information.
- Contact a lawyer: It’s important to seek legal representation as soon as possible after the accident. A truck accident lawyer in Houston, TX, can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.
Protecting Your Rights in a Commercial Vehicle Accident
To protect your rights after a commercial vehicle accident, it’s important to take the following steps:
Know Your Rights
The first step in protecting your rights is to know what they are. Contact an attorney to know your rights and options. Ask about the laws and regulations surrounding commercial vehicle accidents in your state. A consultation will help you understand what you are entitled to and what steps you need to take.
Record everything related to the accident, including medical bills, police reports, and correspondence with insurance companies or other parties involved. Keeping records will help you keep track of your expenses and provide evidence for your case.
Don’t Accept a Settlement Without Legal Advice
Insurance companies may come with a quick settlement offer after an accident. However, consulting with a lawyer before accepting any settlement is important. Trucking companies must carry commercial insurance coverage. A skilled lawyer can help you determine if the offer is fair and ensure you receive the full compensation you are entitled to.
Seek Legal Representation
When dealing with your injuries, navigating the legal process after a commercial vehicle accident can be hard. Hiring the best lawyer specializing in personal injury cases can ease the burden and protect your rights.
Also, a trucking law firm can start an investigation of the accident to prove your case.
Examples of Commercial Vehicle Accident Cases
In recent years, many high-profile commercial vehicle accident cases have highlighted the importance of understanding your rights and seeking legal representation. Here are a few examples:
Tracy Morgan vs. Walmart
Comedian Tracy Morgan was involved in a commercial vehicle accident with a Walmart truck. The accident resulted in the death of one passenger and serious injuries to Morgan and two others. Morgan filed a lawsuit against Walmart, claiming that the company was negligent in allowing the driver to operate the vehicle despite being awake for over 24 hours. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount.
Fatal Truck Accident in Texas
A truck driver lost control of the big rig and jackknifed across the roadway, killing a woman headed to work. The family hired Greg Baumgartner of Baumgartner Law Firm to sue the truck driver and trucking company. Our truck accident attorney proved that the driver was not qualified to drive and that the company was negligent in hiring the driver. The case was settled before trial for a confidential amount.
Who Can Help Me With My Commercial Vehicle Collision?
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, it’s important to seek legal representation from a top lawyer specializing in personal injury cases. They can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.
Being involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle can be a traumatic experience. Still, knowing your rights and taking the necessary steps to protect yourself is important. By understanding your rights, documenting everything, and seeking legal representation, you can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Remember, don’t hesitate to seek help from an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the process and fight for your rights.
Contact a Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer at Baumgartner Law Firm for Help!
We have practiced personal injury trial law at Baumgartner Law Firm for over 35 years and handled hundreds of commercial vehicle accident cases. Obtaining outstanding results and, in some cases, the highest compensation ever paid by the trucking company. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your rights and options. All cases we accept are on a contingency fee basis, meaning no money is paid upfront, and our fee gets paid only if you get money.
6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069