Our Truck Accident Lawyer Explains Why You Should Never Trust the Insurance Company After an Accident
It’s simple advice that’s been proven time and time again in the many cases our Law Office has seen over our twenty years of practicing law: Don’t trust the insurance company. You may have already gone through a negative experience with an insurance agent or insurance company.
On the other hand, maybe you’ve never had to deal with an insurance agent and aren’t aware of the possible pitfalls that can occur when seeking compensation for a claim. In either case, there are many instances where the interests of the insurance company often outweigh your best interests. In other words, some insurance agents might not be quite like a good neighbors. Because insurance agencies are still for-profit businesses, this often means that, if an insurance agent can deny or greatly lessen your claim, they stand to save their company the most amount possible. In other words, your loss is often their gain. Our Texas truck accident law firm provides the following story as proof that you shouldn’t automatically trust the insurance company.
As an example of the statement, "Don't trust the insurance company," a woman once contacted our Law Office after her husband and the father of her children were killed while changing a flat tire on the side of the road by a reckless 18-wheeler driver. Because the truck driver knew he was at fault, he contacted his company, and his company subsequently contacted their insurance company. This insurance company then quickly deployed a team of highly trained professionals, involving accident recreation specialists, defense attorneys, and top-notch insurance agents to the field in order to pursue all possible routes towards vindicating the negligent driver. However, this team was unsuccessful at disproving the driver’s fault at the scene of the accident. More on this website
Insurance agencies, especially in the case of accidents involving 18-wheelers where large sums of money are on the line, seldom give up so easily. Employing an oft-used tactic that preys on the emotional vulnerability of those in the initial stages of the grief process, this particular insurance agency sent an agent to visit the recently bereaved woman while she was at the morgue identifying her husband’s body. Hoping to catch her during this understandably difficult time, the insurance agent was attempting to get her to agree to a settlement offer that was far less than fair. Fortunately for the woman, her brother was also there and was able to escort the offensive insurance agent away from his sister. This is a common tactic that often results in an aggrieved party agreeing to a less than fair settlement because they were not in the right emotional or mental state to make a rational decision regarding their legal rights. If you ever happen to be in the same circumstances, it’s in your best interests to contact competent legal help before agreeing to any settlement offered by an insurance agent. As a reminder, it’s best to have a healthy skepticism when it comes to what an insurance agent may be offering you, or, in other words, don’t trust the insurance company.
The sage continues. The lady who lost her husband because of a negligent truck driver simply wanted fair compensation in order to take care of herself and her three children in light of her husband’s death. Assuming that this was quite fairgrounds for compensation, she agreed to later meet face-to-face with an insurance adjuster. This seemingly innocuous meeting would eventually be the undoing of any possible legal remedies she could have sought in a wrongful death lawsuit.
For starters, the insurance agent blatantly lied to her that she would only receive compensation for her husband’s lost wages if she chose to sue the insurance company. The agent was fully aware of his lie, but the woman believed he was telling the truth. The truth was that many different types of damages could be sought in such a case, including loss of future earnings, which would have likely greatly increased the amount of compensation this lady could have received. Because she believed the insurance agent honestly had her best interests at heart and was telling her the truth, she stood to lose a sizable, and justly due, amount of compensation because of her innocent and trusting nature. Since she was under the impression that this was the only way she would ever receive any type of compensation, and that this would be the only way in which she’d be able to take care of herself and her family, she was on the brink of signing the insurance agent’s prepared papers in order to agree to the settlement.
However, she still had some misgivings about the situation and asked if she could speak with a lawyer before signing the papers. Rather quickly after that moment, an attorney arrived at her door, looked over the papers, and agreed that the settlement was fair and likely all she would receive. Because of this "outside" source of knowledge, she signed the papers, agreeing to a paltry settlement that was far less than what was fair or necessary for her to be able to provide for herself or her family. What she was not aware of in this particular situation was the fact that the lawyer who happened to appear at her house at the right time was in fact hired by the insurance company to do exactly what he did. In other words, the "outside" attorney was in fact "on the inside" and was going to always agree that the settlement was just and all she could hope for. Her innocence in dealing with insurance companies was taken advantage of, and she wound up losing immense amounts of possible compensation because of it.
Unfortunately, by the time the wrongful death attorneys at our Law Office had been contacted by this woman and told about her case, we were unable to assist her as she’d already signed proper documentation. By accepting a settlement, she was then legally prevented from bringing a lawsuit against the negligent driver’s insurance company. Had she contacted us at anytime prior to signing the dotted line, we would have likely been able to help her see all of her possibly legal remedies, and she would have known that she should have likely been compensated for her husband’s loss of future earnings, her own pain and suffering, and funeral expenses. She could have stood the chance to have received over a million dollars in compensation for everything she had been through. However, because of the often unscrupulous and unethical tactics of some insurance companies, and because she believed the lie that her best interests were being looked after by these insurance companies, she wound up with a settlement that included only a few years of her husband’s lost wages that eventually devolved to a measly $600 per month once her children became independents. The sad but true conclusion to this story isn’t that she lost so much, but that the insurance adjuster involved likely received a raise, a bonus, or a promotion for what they did.
Don’t let what happened in the story above happen to you. By contacting our Law Office quickly in the aftermath of a personal injury, auto accident, or wrongful death case, you can be sure that will work assiduously to protect you from the sometimes unethical treatment and tactics used by some insurance companies. Especially as the stakes of an accident case escalate, such as in the event of wrongful death, it’s vitally important to have experienced legal help on your side to ensure that insurance companies are held liable for the policies they provide to their clients and for their client's negligence. Our Law Office has two decades’ worth of experience in personal injury and wrongful death law, as well as a proven track record of success in seeking full and fair compensation for our clients. Call us for a free consultation, especially if you think you might be in over your head dealing with an insurance company. We will listen to the details of your case and inform you as to your possible legal remedies for compensation. Above all, remember one thing: Don’t trust the insurance company. They may not always be on your side, but our Texas personal injury law firm is.
In our thirty years as fatal truck accident attorneys, we have seen that many of the accidents occurred due to carelessness on the part of the vehicle driver. Your first thought is that the driver is the responsible party and they are. However, there is more to this than that. There are several firms that go into getting commercial trucks on the road – the trucking firm, the loading firm, the routing firm, and the fleet maintenance contractor. All of these may have had a hand in the details that lead to the fatal truck accident in your lawsuit. Depending on the details surrounding your scenario, construction firms in charge of traffic zones, vehicle manufacturers, and government entities are just some of the other available responsible parties.
As is true in most personal injury lawsuits involving vehicle accidents, the primary legal theory of responsibility in fatal truck accident lawsuits is "negligence." What that means is a party or business entity (the defendant) is negligent if they failed in their duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances, and the plaintiff's injuries resulted from that failure. So, a party hurt in a commercial truck accident must show that a defendant (driver, a trucking firm, or other parties) owed the plaintiff the duty to exercise a reasonable degree of care to avoid injury, under the circumstances. This element is almost always automatically met, by virtue of the fact that all drivers on the road owe a legal duty of reasonable care to fellow drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. You must also show that the defendant failed to exercise such reasonable care, or in legal terms "breached" the duty of reasonable care. You have to show in a court of law that the defendant's failure to exercise reasonable care was the cause of the injury suffered by the plaintiff.
There are two smart reasons to file a lawsuit after a fatal truck accident. Most importantly, you deserve justice and the parties that took your family member from you must be held accountable. Through a successful lawsuit, you may send a message to negligent vehicle drivers and trucking firms. You may punish the guilty parties and give them the right incentive to take steps to make sure that no one else has to suffer from their carelessness or callousness. Your loss won’t be suffered in vain because at least you’ll be holding them accountable. You’ll be protecting others by making an example of the responsible parties.
Secondly, our firm knows that coping with the death of a family member is never easy. Besides the absence of that party from your life, there is all that is lost along with that: their companionship, a life together, loss of a mother, father, son, or daughter. There are also monetary losses. There is the loss of income, benefits, retirement funds, the cost of health care fees for survivors if their passing was not immediate. There are also the monetary gains your family member would have earned if his/her life had not been cut off so abruptly. There are your own pain and anguish, depression, and the cost of all the counseling or therapy needed to get you through this. There are also your own health care fees if you were in the accident or that of other surviving family members.
A successful wrongful death lawsuit gives the survivors the potential to recover financially for their losses. Nothing will ever compensate you for the loss of a family member. Obtaining the damages for your loss may assuage some of the costs and damages while allowing you to hold the negligent party responsible. It doesn’t matter whether the responsible party is held responsible in criminal court. Your civil lawsuit would be completely separate in terms of the legal process and its outcome.
If you are involved in an accident where a commercial truck driver was responsible, you may be entitled to receive legal compensation for any physical, emotional, and monetary losses that resulted from the accident. If the accident causes the death of a family member, there are other damages. This is a complicated area of the law because it is always hard to place a dollar value on injuries that include death, paralysis, disfigurement, emotional distress, pain and anguish, costs of health care treatment, lost income, and loss of earning capacity. In assessing and presenting your legal claim, a skilled attorney will consider all aspects of the harm and loss you have suffered as a result of your accident to make sure that you receive proper compensation for your injuries. More on this website
You’re entitled to seek compensation for two different types of damages specific to the death of your family member. These are known as wrongful death damages and survival damages. The deceased’s family – costs, pain and anguish, and the like, incurs wrongful death damages. Survival damages are what would have been incurred by the deceased had they survived the accident. Also, if you were hurt in the accident there are damages for your own injuries and pain.
Some cases don't settle out of court, for any number of reasons. Therefore, these cases typically need to go to trial for you to win full compensation. Because commercial vehicle accident victims have the burden of proof in a lawsuit, you'll face a challenging task at your trial. To win, you have to present evidence for four different elements of your 18-wheeler accident claim. These elements are duty, breach, causation, and damages.
Proving duty means you have to show that the defendant in your lawsuit owed you the duty to act with enough caution to keep you from getting harmed. Proving duty is often a straightforward task since most people owe each other the duty to behave as a reasonable person would act so as not to harm others. This duty of care might involve refraining from doing unreasonably dangerous things, or it might involve taking affirmative precautions to prevent others from being harmed.
Second, you have to show the defendant's behavior was a breach of the owed duty of care. If the "reasonable person" duty of care applies in your case, for example, proving breach involves demonstrating that the defendant did something a reasonable person would have refrained from doing. To prove breach, you need to bring evidence into the courtroom that shows the jurors exactly what the defendant in your lawsuit did or failed to do. The jurors will think about all of the circumstances surrounding your big rig accident and will decide whether or not the defendant's actions counted as a breach of the relevant duty of care.
Third, you have to prove causation. It isn't sufficient just to show that the defendant breached the duty of care you were owed; you must continue by proving the defendant's breach of the care caused your injuries. In other words, you must prove the breach and your injuries were definitely linked. This requires extensive evidence. Many parties play a role in getting a commercial vehicle ready to undertake a haul, and any one of these multiple parties might have made a mistake that contributed to your crash. Because so many individuals or organizations could potentially be at fault, defendants named in the lawsuit will frequently try to shift blame for the big rig wreck onto someone else, or even onto you. Without enough evidence that pins the blame on the defendant, your lawsuit will fail.
Fourth and finally, you have to prove damages. The word "damages" means the money you are to collect from the defendant if you successfully prove the above three elements of your 18-wheeler accident claim. Damages are able to compensate plaintiffs for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of earning capacity, repair bills, and other types of losses they've suffered due to the 18-wheeler accident. To receive damages, you have to not only calculate how much you are owed, but you must bring evidence to the court to show your calculation of damages is reasonable and supported by the evidence. It's probable that the defendant in your case will also calculate their own figure for the damages, a number that's sure to be smaller than yours. It takes powerful evidence to convince a jury that you're not looking for a handout and the defendant is just trying to escape legal responsibility.
Calculating damages is usually a complex task. If your medical treatment is ongoing, for instance, it can be difficult to figure out by yourself an estimation for how much your bills will ultimately cost. Placing a price tag on ambiguous losses such as pain and suffering can be really challenging for non-lawyers, and reasoning out the damage amounts for loss of earning capacity can be very intricate once you start thinking about the time value of money and other factors such as potential raises. The experienced personal injury attorneys at our firm understand what it takes to calculate the damages for all kinds of losses. We've been figuring out damages for twenty years and counting. We can tell you what a jury is probably going to decide about the value of your case.
Whether your claim winds up settled out of court or decided upon in the courtroom, our 18-wheeler accident attorneys are here to help. We know how to pressure defendants on behalf of our clients who need fair settlements, and we know how to build a bullet-proof trail strategy for winning your claim in the courtroom.
Any litigation, early on, requires you to identify which defendants are blameworthy and liable in your case. This is a particularly complex task since, as mentioned above, the work of multiple parties goes into getting a commercial vehicle ready to make a delivery. Any one of these individuals or organizations, or a combination of them, can make a mistake behind the scenes that wound up leading to the wreck. If more than one individual or organization caused your collision, all of them can be named as defendants in your lawsuit.
In 18-wheeler accident cases, there are certain parties that are typically to blame for the errors that lead to wrecks. These parties are truck drivers, trucking companies, cargo-loading companies, and route-planning companies. In the following section, we'll talk about the role these parties frequently play in causing tractor-trailer accidents.TruckersDid You Know?
Our San Antonio 18-wheeler accident attorneys have won thousands of cases. Call us today to discuss your case.
Truck drivers are commonly among the defense parties most directly liable for causing an 18-wheeler accident. It's not uncommon for a truck driver to make a mistake on the roadway. They speed recklessly, roll through stop signs, make illegal turns, and make other careless driving mistakes that put others in harm's way. Also, truck drivers might skip their mandatory rest breaks to meet unrealistic delivery schedules. Skipping rest breaks means truckers are more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel and get involved in a wreck. No matter whether the truck driver in your 18-wheeler accident made a careless mistake or prioritized his delivery schedule above your safety, a reckless truck driver can be named as a defendant in your lawsuit.
Our experienced 18-wheeler accident attorneys have strategies for getting the truth out even in the face of lying truckers. Often, we're able to gather so much evidence that the trucker is discredited. When witness statements, video surveillance footage, and forensic testing all back up your version of the events, it's not likely that a jury or judge will think of the trucker as credible. In other situations, we take depositions to root out the truth. In a deposition, a lawyer can ask questions to the defendant's witnesses. The attorneys at our firm have conducted thousands of depositions in the past twenty years. We have perfected our questioning techniques, and we can use them to get lying truckers to tell the truth far in advance of the actual trial.
As previously stated, an 18-wheeler accident is likely going to involve the trucking company’s insurer. Texas commercial trucking companies are required to purchase insurance coverage for their fleets and drivers. However, unlike insurance policies that cover passenger vehicles, trucking insurance policies are quite large. In fact, such policies can often be worth 50 times more than an insurance policy that covers a passenger vehicle. Trucking insurance policies must be valued so high due to the amount of damage that 18-wheelers can accomplish in a wreck. Property damage, personal injury, and death are all-too-common results of semi-truck accidents in Texas. Consequently, a trucking insurance policy must be able to cover the expenses of even the most costly of accidents.
Such a high-dollar insurance policy may inadvertently lead an injured victim to assume that their expenses will be fully taken care of in a short amount of time. In other words, since the insurance policy is capable of covering the victim’s incurred financial losses, then the insurance company, a victim might assume, will gladly award them just compensation for their injury or loss. Unfortunately for the victim, this scenario seldom occurs. It is actually due to the high-dollar nature of these insurance claims that an insurance company will work as hard as possible in order to not be held ultimately liable for the payoff of the claim. Despite some appearances, an insurance company is a business that exists to turn a profit. Such progress can often be made by seeing large-sum claims denied or severely diminished, regardless of an aggrieved party’s real need for proper compensation for their injury or loss.
When an insurance company is on the line to resolve a claim brought by a victim of an 18-wheeler accident, they will likely send their most veteran insurance adjuster to work the claim. Such an adjuster is seldom if ever anything similar to your own neighborhood auto insurance agent. With years of hardening experience on their side, such an insurance adjuster’s goal is often single-minded: to save their company as much money as possible. To this end, they will employ certain tactics meant to see a claim wholly dismissed or greatly decreased. For example, an aggressive insurance adjuster may interrogate a victim of an 18-wheeler accident, asking repeated questions in slightly varying ways. While it may appear that they’re simply trying to dig to the truth of an accident scene, such interrogation is often used as a means for an insurance adjuster to use a victim’s words against the victim. Through such inquisitive prodding, an adjuster may be able to get a victim to inadvertently admit to a degree of liability for an accident. If even a small degree of liability can be passed from their client to the victim, a substantial decrease in the amount of possible compensation awarded to a victim can be incurred. If more than half of the liability for a semi-truck wreck can be found to have existed with a victim, a victim’s claim can be completely denied. In such instances, it can be vital for a victim’s rights that they have proper legal counsel, like our San Antonio Texas truck accident lawyers, that can ensure that they’re not being taken advantage of by an aggressive insurance adjuster.
When a trucking insurance adjuster is not able to stake liability onto another party, they may attempt to offer a victim an unmediated settlement. Such a settlement is often woefully short of the true value of a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit. In other words, this type of unmediated offer is seldom commensurate with the actual incurred financial losses of a victim of an 18-wheeler accident. It is a shrewdly calculated move on behalf of the insurance company to make quick and cost-efficient work of a trucking accident insurance claim that could result in their company losing millions of dollars. Such an offer is meant as an enticement of sure, quick money to an injured victim or a grieving family. It may even be offered in the immediate aftermath of an 18-wheeler collision, when an aggrieved party may still be in shock or otherwise emotionally distracted so that an adjuster can catch a victim off-guard. These types of settlements are often offered in return for a victim signing away their rights to pursue any legal action. When such an offer is accepted and a victim has voluntarily signed away their rights, there is little to nothing that any attorney can do to help that victim seek further legal action. If you have been approached by an insurance adjuster with a settlement offer, enlisting the help of an experienced Texas trucking accident attorney is in your best interests, as such a truck wreck lawyer can look over any offer and inform you as to whether or not it is a fair offer for your incurred financial losses.
In addition to the challenges that insurance adjusters can pose to 18-wheeler accident cases, such adjusters and trucking companies will likely have experienced defense attorneys on-call that are ready to descend onto a semi-truck accident site. Such defense attorneys may be able to respond to an 18-wheeler accident site quite quickly, so quickly, in fact, that an injured victim may not have even had time to consider contacting their own legal representation. One of the ways to ensure that your rights are being protected is to contact a truck accident lawyer in San Antonio following the immediate aftermath of a wreck so that someone on your side can conduct a thorough investigation into the accident scene. Furthermore, experienced defense attorneys that work 18-wheeler accident cases will often be quite aggressive in the pursuit of winning a case. You will likewise need a legal ally on your side that can argue just as aggressively, on your behalf, against such defense lawyers.
Difficult Truck Drivers and San Antonio Trucking Accidents
Another common challenge in seeking legal action against a negligent truck driver for an injury truck accident or a fatal truck accident in Texas is the fact that some truck drivers when faced with the possibility of losing their job, will lie about their involvement in a wreck. In our two decades of experience in helping victims of Texas 18-wheeler accidents, we’ve heard nearly every truck driver story imaginable. Through careful depositions and thorough investigations, we’re often able to get to the truth of an accident scene in order to verify a truck driver’s story. Our firm works hard to ensure that relevant evidence and eyewitness testimony is obtained so that a strong and robust case can be constructed against any and all negligent parties.
While all Texas trucking companies must carry some form of insurance, truck companies in Texas are not required to purchase such insurance from an insurance company. Some trucking companies choose to set aside a portion of their assets to be used as insurance in the event of a truck accident resulting in injury or death. However, these self-insured truck companies can sometimes resort to rather unethical behavior due to the fact that they do not have to maintain the standards that are in place for traditional insurance companies. Such unethical behavior can occur when a victim suffers from threats, a witness to an accident is badgered, or evidence is deleted, removed, or otherwise altered in order to skirt liability. Our firm has assisted victims in the past who have been mistreated in these ways by a self-insured trucking company. When such mistreatment occurs and our Texas trucking accident attorneys get involved, we will pursue legal measures in order to get the negligent trucking company to begin acting ethically so that our client no longer has to suffer from the unfair advantages a self-insured trucking company often creates for itself. Had these past clients contacted us before attempting to seek action against these companies on their own, we likely could have saved them from much wasted time and frustration.
After reading this article, we hope that the answer to this question is self-evident. There is often an incredible number of fluctuating variables involved in a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death civil suit in connection to an 18-wheeler accident that results in injury or death. Who’s liable? How many liable parties are there? To what degree is each party liable for the results of the accident? How will an investigation on my behalf be conducted? What are my damages? Is the insurance adjuster telling me the truth? Should I accept this settlement? What have defense attorneys found? Is the truck driver lying? What happens if I go to court? These are just a few of the many questions that must be answered in order for effective legal action to be taken against a liable party. Inexperienced lawyers and non-attorneys simply do not have the proper experience and knowledge to be able to purposefully pursue legal action against those responsible for their injury or loss. Furthermore, proper trial experience and an attorney’s earned reputation are two factors that can be instrumental toward the success of a civil suit. Our truck accident lawyers have a respected reputation after working for the last 20 years to help victims of 18-wheeler accidents in Texas and throughout the country. While the team at our firm works to secure fair out-of-court settlements for their clients so as to save them from the added expense of time and money that is associated with the trial process, we also have an extensive history of courtroom experience that makes us a formidable foe to any defense attorney.
First, preserve evidence. Semi-truck accident sites are often some of the most wreckage-strewn and complex accident sites imaginable. Preserving evidence means contacting a truck accident lawyer that can work to investigate an accident site in order to ensure that no relevant evidence is lost due to the passage of time or the unethical behavior of a liable party. Consequently, the sooner that you’re able to contact a San Antonio truck accident attorney, the more likely it often is that such evidence can be located so that a robust case can be constructed against any and all liable parties. When our firm is hired to assist a victim of a tractor-trailer wreck in San Antonio, we will inspect each vehicle involved in the accident, take accident scene measurements, search for surveillance video or photographic evidence, take depositions, find witnesses, and extract information from data-logging devices. Essentially, we will do what is necessary in order to fully investigate an accident site so that each liable party can be discovered and held accountable for their negligent behavior.
The importance of quickly contacting our firm following an 18-wheeler wreck cannot be overstated, as the following story shows. A past client was involved in a tragic 18-wheeler wreck that caused him severe personal injury and also resulted in the death of a passenger in his car. Our client was the driver of a passenger vehicle that suffered an underride accident when his car was forced underneath the trailer of an 18-wheeler that was attempting an unusual and hazardous turn at night. We were contacted to lend our help shortly after this devastating accident occurred. We flew to the scene of the accident to inspect our client’s car, which had been towed to a local junkyard. Once there, we noticed that his headlights were completely missing. We were able to secure surveillance video footage that showed a representative from the negligent trucking company visiting the junkyard and removing our client’s headlights. With this evidence, we were able to help our client when the defense attempted to press liability onto him due to his car’s lack of headlights. We later learned that the surveillance video that had been so instrumental in connection to this devastating 18-wheeler accident case was set to delete itself shortly after we had viewed it. Had our client not contacted us quickly, and had we not been able to respond in kind, vital evidence may have been lost. This is but one story of many that we could share in regards to the necessity for quick movement in the aftermath of an injury trucking accident or fatal 18-wheeler accident.
If you have been injured due to a commercial trucking accident in San Antonio, you likely have merit in seeking compensation for your injury, which can assist you with issues like past and future medical bills, pain, and suffering, and lost wages, through a personal injury lawsuit. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one due to a fatal commercial truck wreck, you likely have merit in seeking compensation and pursuing justice for your loss through a wrongful death lawsuit. While certain challenges will exist that are unique to each type of civil lawsuit, the issues presented in this article are likely to be present in any legal action sought against a negligent party responsible for an 18-wheeler collision in Texas. Consequently, an aggrieved party can likely stand to benefit from the legal help of an experienced San Antonio truck accident lawyer. Should you have further questions about your legal options, contact our firm toll-free. A legal professional is available to talk to you at any time of the day, on any day of the week. Through our free legal consultations, we can help inform you about your possible legal next steps. If you’re able to proceed with seeking legal action, we can help you start that process so that you may be able to receive fair compensation for your injury or loss. With 20 years of relevant experience in Texas trucking accident cases, we know we can help.
In the case of truck accidents, the issue of poor maintenance is almost always present in every commercial vehicle accident, and truckers driving 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, big rigs, or tractor-trailers must be vigilant that they maintain a safe and properly functioning truck. The maintenance of a commercial vehicle rests with both the trucking company and with the truck driver, but the truck driver has the final say with regard to the maintenance of the vehicle before embarking on a trip along streets and freeways.
San Antonio is the one of the largest cities in Texas. It is a sprawling metropolis and certainly has more than its share of truck accidents. But also has a number of truck repair shops where maintenance issues can be anticipated and corrected before they create a disastrous truck collision. As mentioned, it is the semi-truck driver’s responsibility to maintain his commercial vehicle as defined under the federal and truck regulations. If an accident occurs due to the trucker’s failure to properly maintain the tractor-trailer or semi-truck, both the trucking company and the driver can be found negligent and held liable. More on this website
Areas of maintenance for a big rig or 18-wheeler truck driver that frequently arise involve brakes, proper lubrication (grease), steering and suspension, hydraulic fluid, air pressure, and loads. The trucker must do a pre-trip inspection to make sure that any maintenance issues that could be detected upon a reasonable inspection will be detected before getting on the road. These pre-trip inspections are intended to prevent accidents, overturned trucks, and other types of vehicle malfunctions before they ever arise, and if a trucker fails to properly inspect the truck before embarking on a drive, he or she has breached a duty of care and will be held negligent.
Some trucking companies have a maintenance program. A trucking company or any company that uses vehicles to transport passengers or property along major highways should have a maintenance program in place. As explained, improper maintenance is often a major cause of accidents and both the driver and a trucking company have a duty to ensure the safety of their vehicles.
If you’re on an interstate and you become involved in an auto accident, it can easily become a multiple vehicle car accident or pile up due to the sheer traffic in the area. This is unfortunate and often occurs due to improperly maintained trucks owned by small businesses. For example, improper truck maintenance is often found in owner-operator situations where one driver owns a single truck, like a cement truck or a dump truck. Because the owner-operator owns a small business and may not have the time or money to do proper maintenance and inspections, they may let their truck’s condition fall by the wayside as long as it is still able to get the job done. This is unacceptable regardless of a company’s size, and the vehicle owner will be liable for failing to properly maintain the vehicle if it later causes an accident.
Truck Drivers are always required to keep their semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers in good working condition!
Federal regulations mandate that trucking companies properly maintain commercial vehicles. Examples of some of the regulations affecting trucking companies and the maintenance of semi-trucks, big rigs, or 18-wheelers are:
Truck drivers must “systematically inspect, repair, and maintain” all motor vehicles under their control.
All truck parts and accessories must be maintained in a “safe and proper operating condition at all times.”
Maintenance records must be retained for at least one year as long as the vehicle remains under the truck company’s control, or six months after the vehicle is sold or leaves its control.
Truck drivers are required to inspect their commercial vehicles prior to going out on the road. A semi-truck or big rig is a complex vehicle with many moving parts and can become a deadly weapon if it is not properly maintained. All aspects of the truck must be in good working order. Some of the things that the trucker should inspect prior to any trip are:
Fluid levels (oil, coolant, power steering fluid, etc.)
Hoses and drive belts
Fluid leaks (motor oil, hydraulic fluid, brake fluid, etc.)
Mirrors, lights, defroster, and wipers
Truck Accident Attorneys are experienced in handling truck accident cases of all kinds. Make sure you get a quality accident attorney to represent you in your truck accident case.
Public transportation buses, whether operated in San Antonio or wherever are mostly non-profits. They can count on only about one-third of their needed revenue coming from fares, with the remainder often from taxes.
Operating within the city limits, they are usually controlled by the city government and some other overseeing entity. The San Antonio Regional Transit Authority controls the Metro busses in the city limits. These companies define the specific routes and determine the charges, schedules and maintenance. They also are charged with the most important function – hiring the drivers who have great responsibility for the commuters relying upon them.
Passengers transported by municipal buses amount to only one-half the number of school children using bus service. As a general rule, city bus service is fairly safe. This is true in terms of the number of passengers per day, as compared to the number injured or killed. Buses are huge and heavy and must be navigated in tight, urban confines. When there is a collision, the passengers have no real internal protection. Public transit lacks airbags and seat belts, so the jolt of impact is felt directly by the victim. This amount of force can be devastating.
Interstate motorcoach companies include Greyhound and Trailways, although today there are over 4,000 such businesses. Many of them concentrate primarily within a specific geographical region.
All the companies in this industry account for nearly a billion traveling miles a year for passengers. These swift-moving behemoths are responsible for relatively few of the roadway mishaps in the United States. However, when there are wrecks, they tend to be catastrophic for all the commercial passengers.
Most private interstate drivers are hired by the bus company and are direct employees. Some contract out to other firms or hire independent contractors. In any case, the owner of the bus in responsible for any negligent driving misconduct. Buses are known in the law as common carriers. This is a shorthand way of stating that they have a very high legal responsibility. Many of the legal presumptions are against them because of the serious duty owed by the bus company to protect passengers and pedestrians.
Charter buses are privately retained forms of transportation, by a specific group for a specific destination. These particular-purpose forms of travel are hired to take a group of like-minded individuals to shows, concerts, sporting events, and other programs. Sometimes they are tour buses, which carry specific-interest travelers from out of town. However, except for major corporations bringing in tourists from South America and Asia, they are infrequent in the South Texas area.
Charter buses are almost always owned and managed by private companies. This usually makes it easier to identify who has control over the hiring, training and conduct of the drivers. When filing lawsuits, there often are fewer named defendants.
Theories of liability can focus upon the driver’s operational negligence. Sometimes the fault is poor maintenance – especially of the tires. If there has been noncompliance with specific safety regulations imposed by the government, this could be a meritorious claim as well.
Each year about 150 people are killed in the US as a result of larger-size vans, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of these, almost a quarter of the deaths are the result of these vehicles rolling over before crashing. When a heavily-loaded van quickly changes direction, even a slight amount, there is a danger of control loss. The center of gravity with these vehicles can shift to the side or rear and pull the van or access vehicle out of its lane.
Van accidents are common in South Texas. They offer an ideal form of transportation for smaller groups that do not require the expense of a bus. Of the larger sizes of vans, many are rented vehicles that may carry with them a number of hidden corporate defendants. Each one must be identified through careful detective work, as well as analysis of incorporation articles and other Texas state filings.
Commonly used for mid-sized groups are 15-passenger vans. All varieties of social groups can achieve geographic mobility - sports teams, religious groups, daycare centers, social and youth organizations and senior citizen programs. Rowdy individuals within groups, going to games and tournaments, can sometimes cause a wreck which injuries other group members who were in no way negligent.
Interestingly, nearly one-half of all fatal van involve one-vehicle crashes. Transportation experts have studied this significant number and debated the cause. It is believed that many groups are traveling long distances and the driver falls asleep. Others believe it is more the result of distractions inherent when a number of bored riders cause high-spirited, dangerous diversions.
Attention must be paid to investigating who in Texas hired the bus company and what is the corporate structure of that business entity. It is not uncommon for negotiated contracts to involve various side deals between certain businesses along the route. They benefit from patronage that is brought to them. This is standard practice for non-school bus hiring that involves commercial destinations.
Commissions are often derived from the bus company which promotes and encourages Texas customers to be funneled into an arranged destination. This is especially true if the Texas tour bus was retained by a contracted arrangement with another tour company, a hotel or a travel agency.
Sometimes a third party could be involved, and therefore subject to civil judgment for compensatory damages. This is almost always true if there is a subsidized benefit as part of the bargain. Fraternal associations, schools, civic associations, and retirement facilities are the most common variety found in tour bus accidents. For more information please visit this website
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If you have been in a truck accident, you know how devastating such an accident can be. Big rigs, tractor-trailers, commercial vehicles and semis are heavy, powerful machines. When they crash into a car , the people in the car are almost always injured. When the injury is severe or when a loved one dies because of truck accident injuries, you need an experienced trucking accident attorney on your side.
The truck crash lawyers at our Law Firm use all their experience and resources for one purpose – to help injured people.
At most law firms, the only focus is to recover as much as possible from the insurance companies and any third parties involved in the truck crash. At our Law Firm the truck accident lawyers go beyond the obvious goal of seeking the funds you need for a full recovery. The personal injury attorneys and the staff take a case management approach to every accident and every victim. The Law Firm will manage your case from the beginning to help you obtain full personal, medical and vocational recovery as well as the financial compensation you have a right to expect.
The San Antonio, South Texas, trucking accidents law firm will document every aspect of your injury, investigate your case, keep you fully informed of the progress on your behalf, communicate with insurance companies, and work closely with your medical providers, and others responsible for compensating you for your injuries or for a relative’s wrongful death.
Call us day or night, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Someone will always be available to answer your call and ask questions about your injury or your relative’s wrongful death. Or send an e-mail about your case and our Law Firm will respond quickly.
Because of our statewide network of experienced attorneys, we are able to represent clients nationwide. Regardless of where you are located, we can help.
In a major motor vehicle accident involving big rigs or 18-wheeler trucks, the injuries are nearly always catastrophic. Those injuries can range from serious back and neck injuries to brain injuries, spinal cord injuries or even death.
Often the full impact of those truck accident injuries will not be known for a long time. Insurance companies pressure people to settle quickly. When families are being deluged with medical bills at a time when there may also be a loss of wages, there is a temptation to settle.
When you contact the personal injury attorneys at our Law Firm, they will bring together a wide range of resources to help you and your family cope with the immediate pressures of limited finances and a prolonged recovery.
If a loved one has died as a result of a truck accident, the wrongful death attorneys at our Law Firm will bring in experts who can help determine the extent of your loss. While no amount of money can bring your relative back to life, a fair settlement can assure that your family has the resources to deal with a devastating loss.
Our South Texas truck crash lawyers who care about you, your full recovery and your family’s future. Call the experienced personal injury attorneys at from our Law Firm at any hour, on any day.
Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicated that it was hosting a public listening session to solicit ideas and information on the issues of entry-level training for commercial vehicle drivers.
Entry-level driver training, or ELDT, is essential to ensure that drivers have the experience and information they need to safely drive a commercial vehicle. FMCSA will be implementing new provisions on ELDT in order to comply with the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).
Our San Antonio truck accident attorneys know that proper driver training can significantly reduce the risk of accidents while poor or insufficient training can make a crash far more likely to occur. FMCSA rules on driver training need to be designed to allow new drivers to get the experience they need to build careers in the commercial trucking industry while at the same time keeping the public safe from the risks presented by an inexperienced driver.
Entry-level driver training has become an issue of increasing importance in recent years as a result of the serious truck driver shortage that is occurring throughout the United States. As CNN reported in 2012, there are an estimated 200,000 truck driving jobs open nationwide for long-haul drivers that cannot be filled because there aren't drivers to fill them.
Further, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated a significant increase in the number of drivers needed. In the next few years, demand for trucking professionals is projected to increase 20 percent with 330,100 jobs added over the course of the decade. The shortage, therefore, is likely to just keep getting worse.
CNN identified the biggest hurdle for those interested in filing these jobs as getting a commercial driver’s license. However, the time and costs of completing the initial course are not the only issues that a driver needs to face.
Many commercial trucking companies have traditionally required two years of experience before hiring a commercial driver for large trucks. The expensive and difficult certification process coupled with the experience requirements, leave many finding it too difficult to get started.
The proposed FMCSA rules on ELDT are said to potentially make this whole problem worse. The new guidelines include, among other things, a requirement that truck drivers not only graduate from an approved/accredited CDL school but also that the program include both classroom training and road training. If you have been hit by an inexperienced truck driver and have suffered serious injuries call our Personal Injury Lawyer today!
According to Trucking Info, Commercial Driver’s License Schools (CDL schools) have reported that a number of problems will arise because of the new mandate. Issues include:
-Difficulty in determining how much practice time should be devoted to each skill since some drivers are better at different aspects of commercial driving than others.
-Small schools being unable to bear the additional expense of new training that wasn’t previously required.
-Large schools facing increased costs and thus becoming unable to grow and train more drivers.
Because of these and other problems, the new standards and driver training requirements may restrict U.S. job growth and make it even harder still for employers to find qualified candidates.
Yet, of course, there is also the issue of safety. Drivers of a large commercial truck have many things to learn and even a single mistake or error could result in a deadly crash. More on-the-road training could hopefully help to reduce these risks, saving lives in the process.
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Texas law allows injured drivers and passengers, and the families of the loved ones who have died or were injured in car accidents, to file a lawsuit against those responsible for the accident.
Legal responsibility, called “liability,” for a car accident often depends upon proof that another driver was at fault. The other driver, however, does not have to intentionally cause the crash. Proving the other driver operated the vehicle in an unsafe and unreasonable manner under the circumstances, known as negligence, is sufficient evidence to demonstrate liability.
In certain cases, non-driver factors lead to a car accident. These factors can include roadway hazards, poorly-marked construction sites, construction site debris, sand, or gravel on roadways, and other dangerous road conditions. Keep in mind, the deadline under Texas to bring a lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations, can be as short as six months for claims against governmental agencies.
When should you contact a car accident lawyer?
If you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile accident, you should discuss your case with an experienced auto accident attorney immediately. If too much time goes by before an injury lawyer takes on your case, certain evidence in your case may become impossible to acquire, witnesses may become out of reach, and insurance companies may disadvantage you. Our law firm handles exclusively personal injury claims and wrongful death claims.
Once we accept your automobile accident injury claim, we immediately begin working to obtain for you the maximum compensation allowed by law. We will:
Conduct a thorough investigation
Acquire all available evidence needed to prove and maximize your claim
Work with auto accident reconstruction experts to prove that the other party is at fault
Utilize medical experts to support your claim for the full extent of your injuries
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents can be extremely traumatic. While some of the more fortunate accident victims are able to walk away from crashes without injuries, the sad truth is that many people don’t. In fact, too many car crashes that occur on Texas roadways are catastrophic—some of which result in death.
Because car crashes are usually violent, injuries are common. In fact, across the United States, there are about 1.6 million injury-causing car crashes every year. Whatever your injury and whatever the resulting cost, a San Antonio car accident lawyer from our firm can help you seek compensation to pay for your recovery.
Some of the most serious injuries resulting from car accidents are traumatic brain injuries. Symptoms of a brain injury can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on several factors involved in the accident.
Unfortunately, brain injuries don’t always show symptoms immediately. If left untreated, even a minor brain injury can cause permanent damage; this can happen when the brain swells and creates too much pressure inside the head.
Spine and Back Injuries
Spine injuries can leave victims paralyzed. Typically, these types of injuries are caused in conjunction with injuries to the vertebrae, discs, or the spinal cord itself. In fact, broken bone fragments and disc material can damage the spinal cord, which carries signals between the brain and the rest of the body.
These injuries often lead to a severely decreased quality of life. This—in addition to your medical expenses—should be factored into your final settlement. With the help of a San Antonio car accident lawyer from our firm, it will be.
Neck Injuries and Whiplash
Neck injuries are some of the most common injuries that happen in car accidents. In many cases, whiplash, injury to the soft tissues of the neck, is unavoidable and results from the head’s forward momentum during a crash.
Other neck injuries include cervical dislocation, disc injury, and neck strain.
Seat belts, airbags, and other parts of the interior of a vehicle can all cause internal injuries during a wreck. The most at-risk organs include the bowels, kidneys, liver, lungs, and spleen.
Internal bleeding and injuries to your internal organs are all but certain to carry a heavy financial burden and long-term medical implications. Your San Antonio car accident lawyer will ensure that your medical needs, both current and future, are fully factored into your financial award.
For more information , Please have a Click on car accident attorney in San Antonio