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Being hit by a truck often causes significant injuries and damages because of their size and weight. You may be entitled to compensation if the accident was caused by the truck driver. To seek this compensation, you might be able to sue the truck driver, and possibly his insurer or employing truck company, without a lawyer. However, these cases are often very complicated, and an attorney can be crucial to actually being able to potentially prove liability and potentially seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a semi-truck and want to sue, you don't have to go through the process alone. Call the attorneys at Zinda Law Group at (512) 246 2224 for a free case evaluation. If we don't reach a favorable settlement in your case, you won't owe us anything.
What to Do After Being Hit By a Truck
If you have been hit by a truck, you should take several necessary steps:
1. Immediately Seek Medical Attention
If you have been hit by a truck, you should seek immediate medical attention to treat any potential injuries. Even if you do not feel hurt, you should still seek medical treatment in case you may suffered less obvious injuries. Further, seeking immediate medical attention can help provide evidence that your injuries were caused by the truck hitting you, as well as prove the extent of those injuries. You should take care to document your injuries and any treatment for those injuries as thoroughly as possible.
2. Report Your Accident
You should also report your accident as soon as possible, generally by notifying local law enforcement. Law enforcement will arrive on the scene and investigate your accident. They may question the truck driver, interview any witnesses, and file an accident report summarizing their findings.
3. Document Your Accident
It is very important for you to document everything related to your accident. Photograph the scene of the accident, record contact information from any witnesses, and document any available evidence such as any injuries you suffered, vehicle damage, details about the accident such as the truck driver’s condition, road conditions, and other factors.
4. Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been hit by a truck in Texas, you should contact an experienced Texas truck accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options. While you can sue the truck driver or trucking company without a lawyer, it may not be a worthwhile use of your time or effort. A trucking company or insurer will employ many lawyers whose only job is to make sure the company pays victims as little compensation as possible. However, an experienced lawyer can help you seek the maximum compensation you may be entitled to for your accident. Your attorney can investigate, help determine potential liability, and work to help you potentially recover the compensation you may deserve.
What the Trucking Company Does After an Accident
After an accident, the trucking company that owns the driver’s truck or employs the truck driver may do everything in its power to avoid liability. Trucking companies and their insurers frequently employ many lawyers to save as much money as possible and ensure that trucking companies and insurers pay as little as possible to compensate victims who are hit by truck drivers.
Furthermore, trucking companies will often try to frame their truck drivers as independent contractors, so as to protect themselves from liability. These companies will attempt to isolate drivers by claiming the company does not own the trucks nor do they directly pay and employ the drivers. However, trucking companies can often still be found liable if the truck is represented as belonging to the trucking company. Thus, the trucking company’s lawyers will seek to show that the company did not have the right to control the specific manner and means through which the work must be performed, such as by requiring drivers to furnish their own gas, insurance, and repairs, while providing no employee benefits to truck drivers.
What a Trucking Lawyer Can Do for You
Your attorney can take many steps to seek compensation for your injuries. Your lawyer can thoroughly investigate your accident, gather as much evidence as possible, and work to prove the liability of the truck driver and/or the trucking company.
Most trucking accident lawyers will generally represent victims of these accidents on a contingency basis. With this arrangement, victims will not pay anything unless their lawyer obtains a favorable result in their case. If their lawyer does obtain a settlement or obtains compensation at trial, then the lawyer will be compensated by receiving a percentage of the victim’s settlement or judgment.
Who Will be Liable
If you have been hit by a truck driver, that truck driver may be liable. However, their employing trucking company may also be liable for the accident. The truck driver can be held liable if your lawyer is able to prove that the truck driver’s negligence caused the accident. The trucking company who employs the truck driver can often be held responsible, especially where it is shown that the company controls how the driver performs his assigned duties, furnishes gas, insurance, or repairs.
Your lawyer may also be able to establish the trucking company’s liability by proving that the company negligently hired the driver, such as if the truck driver had a history of prior accidents or reckless driving. The trucking company may also be liable for:
- inadequate inspection and maintenance of the truck
- failing to perform random drug tests on their truck drivers
- allowing violations of other regulations that could result in dangerous truck driver behaviors
Potential damages for which you may be able to seek compensation include:
- Medical bills
- property damage
- lost wages
- loss of earning potential
- pain and suffering
- wrongful death
Steps to File a Claim
1. Contact a Texas Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been hit by a truck, it is crucial that you immediately contact an experienced Texas truck accident attorney. Your Texas trucking injury lawyer can follow the necessary steps to file a successful claim. Your attorney can help guide you through the legal process of seeking compensation, while investigating your accident and the truck driver who hit you.
After hiring an experienced trucking attorney to help you seek compensation for your accident, a lawyer may investigate the accident and search for potential causes such as what may have caused the truck driver to hit you. At this stage, your attorney may also interview any witnesses to the accident, thoroughly examine the scene, collect any available evidence proving the truck driver’s liability for the accident, and determine whether the driver’s employer or trucking company may also be liable for the accident. This investigation by your attorney is an instrumental in being able to prove your case and potentially recovering any compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries and any other damages.
After investigating, your attorney can begin negotiations with the truck driver, the trucking company, or any insurers by presenting your claim as well as an offer to settle your claim. This settlement offer is based on compensating you for your injuries and damages caused by the truck accident. Then, the opposing party may negotiate with your attorney, making counteroffers and demands, until both parties are able to agree to a settlement.
If this negotiation is unsuccessful, your lawyer may take your case to trial to seek maximum compensation. In a trial, attorneys present any evidence proving the truck driver is liable for hitting you, as well as any evidence proving the liability of the trucking company or insurer.
Statute of Limitations
In Texas, you must file any claim for being hit by a truck within a certain time frame, known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for a personal injury case in Texas is two years from the date that the truck hit you. If you do not file your claim within this two-year timeframe, you could be prevented from seeking compensation.
However, Texas does have an exception to this two year statute of limitations for minors who are under the age of 18 when involved in the trucking accident. If a minor under the age of 18 was injured in the trucking accident, the statute of limitations on the child’s claim for compensation may not begin until the minor reaches the age of 18. When the minor reaches age 18, the statute of limitations will begin and the child will then have two years from the child’s 18th birthday within which to file a claim seeking compensation against the truck driver or trucking company and any insurers.
Trucking Accidents and Wrongful Death
Losing a loved one is always tragic and difficult to deal with, but when that loved one’s death is caused by truck driver’s negligence, the situation can be even more painful to cope with. An experienced attorney can be crucial to file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for the loss of your loved one. Your lawyer must prove that your loved one’s death was caused by the negligence of the truck driver or possibly the trucking company. You will need an attorney to prove that the victim’s death significantly impacted you emotionally, economically, or both.
Call the Trucking Attorneys at Zinda Law Group
A semi-truck accident can leave you in a financial bind. Your injury could leave you unable to work and result in lost wages. Medical bills or rehabilitation costs can add up. If the accident results in the death of a passenger, psychological distress can be devastating. The stress of dealing with all of these problems takes a toll. You don’t need to take on the additional burden of attempting to sue the trucking company on your own.
Our truck injury lawyers can investigate your accident and determine if it was due to disregard of regulations, truck driver error, or if the trucking company is at fault. If you were harmed due to some else’s negligence, we can fight aggressively to help you seek the compensation you deserve.
If you have been hurt in an 18-wheeler accident, consult with a truck injury attorney at Zinda Law Group today. Our team of experienced truck accident lawyers can advise and handle the legal work for you so you can focus on what is most important: your recovery.
Call (888) 234-7042 for a free case evaluation with an experienced attorney.
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