Truck Accident Attorneys in Houston
Houston is a hub of trucking activity for many different industries. With the Port of Houston and the fastest-growing population in the United States, the trucking industry is thriving in the state of Texas. Truck companies usually pay by the mile, so truck drivers have an incentive to deliver the load as quickly as they possibly can. Unfortunately, this part of the trucking industry can encourage excessive hours and other unsafe activities.
What You Need to Do After a Truck Accident
When you’ve been hit by an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck, often it is difficult to know what you should do to protect yourself and your family. The following are guidelines for what to do after being hit by an 18-wheeler.
Always Get Necessary Medical Treatment
Most commercial vehicle accidents involve some form of injury, as they usually involve an 80,000-pound vehicle hitting a 5,000 pound or less passenger car or pickup truck. Even a lower speed crash can cause devastating injuries. Often, people who are in a truck accident do not realize at the scene that they have been injured, only to find out later that they need medical treatment. Unknown injuries can surface for such things as head injury, spinal cord injury, or a herniated or bulge disk, which can be a very serious injury. Sometimes, victims need to be transported immediately by ambulance for their injuries.
One critical mistake many people make after an 18 wheeler strikes their car is to attempt to “tough it out” and avoid going to the doctor. The longer someone delays getting necessary medical care, the more difficult it is for your attorney to help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries. Following up with your doctor’s orders is a very important step to take, in order to help your attorney obtain maximum compensation for your injuries and to speed your recovery.
Preserving Important Evidence
After a truck wreck, it is important that certain evidence gets preserved. This would include evidence regarding the scene of the wreck, such as damage to the vehicles, debris or skid marks on the highway, and computer data from the big rig. We maintain a quick response team for appropriate serious injury or wrongful death cases. By putting our team to work on your case, we are able to combat the insurance carriers and the trucking company on an equal footing. Many trucking companies maintain their own quick response teams that are dispatched to the scene of the crash within hours of the occurrence. Getting critical data such as measurements and preserving the big truck for inspection are very important steps in many cases.
With very serious injury or wrongful death crashes, the investigating officer will usually conduct a thorough examination of the scene itself. This would include measurements and documenting by photographs. For truck accidents where the injuries are not devastating, the investigating officer may or may not do a detailed scene analysis. If you are able to take photographs with your cell phone at the scene on your own, it is a good idea to do so. Especially important would be photographs of the vehicles in their final resting positions and also any skid marks or debris that indicates the direction of the vehicles prior to or after impact.
Usually, the defense will hire an accident reconstruction expert that will attempt to shift the blame from the trucking company and its driver onto the innocent victims or other third parties. Documenting the scene by photographs can help combat this defense technique.
Preserving your own vehicle when the injuries have been severe can be important if your vehicle may have had a defect that contributed to the accident or the injuries. Also, your own vehicle may be important to help determine how the accident occurred. You should always talk with an attorney before your vehicle is totaled out or repaired if injuries were involved.
Contact an Experienced Attorney Who Handles 18 Wheeler Truck Wrecks
Trucking companies carry commercial policies that protect the company under driver against claims for personal injury or wrongful death. These insurance policies generally carry seven-figure liability coverage amounts and so the stakes are substantial for the insurance carrier. This exposure makes the insurance carrier fight harder to try to protect their money and pay as little as possible on the claim. You are going to need an attorney who has had great success in litigating with trucking companies over the years. You do not want an attorney learning on the job on your case.
The earlier you contact an 18 wheeler accident attorney the better able he will be to fight for your case.
Always conduct a thorough investigation of the attorney you are considering hiring for your truck accident case, before you sign paperwork with that lawyer.
What Compensation is Available to Trucking Accident Victims
Legal damages for victims of a commercial vehicle crash can include the following in Texas:
- Reasonable and necessary medical expenses both past and future
- Physical pain and mental anguish, both past and future
- Lost earning capacity both past and future
- Physical Impairment
- Exemplary or punitive damages in appropriate cases
- Wrongful death and survival damages