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.