Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers in Lubbock, Texas

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Accidents involving large, commercial trucks have become increasingly common over the years. Whether you’ve been in an accident involving a garbage truck, an 18-wheeler, or anything in between, this kind of accident can be devastating. An experienced lawyer will be able to help you navigate the insurance claims process and potential lawsuit to help you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Our Lubbock commercial vehicle accident lawyers are here to help.

If you or a loved one have been hurt in a Lubbock truck accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today for a 100% free consultation with one of our Lubbock commercial vehicle accident lawyers.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,005 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2019. Seventy-one percent of those killed in large truck-accidents were passengers of other small vehicles, such as passenger vehicles or motorcycles. As for the drivers involved in those fatal crashes, the large truck drivers had a higher percentage  (22.9%) of previously recorded crashes compared to drivers of other vehicle types (motorcycles, 22.0%; passenger cars, 18.9%; and light trucks, 17.8%).

In Texas, 658 fatal large truck accidents occurred in 2019, accounting for 12.6% of the total fatal large truck accidents that occurred in the United States that year. Of the fatalities that occurred in Texas, 77 were large truck drivers and 433 were occupants of the other vehicles involved in the accidents.

WHAT IS A commercial VEHICLE?

In Texas, a “commercial vehicle” is defined as a vehicle which is used on a public highway to transport people or things, and weighs over 26,000 pounds. It may also be designed to transport more than 15 passengers, or is used to transport hazardous materials.

In addition, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published regulations which define, among other things, what a commercial vehicle is. Under the definition in these regulations, a commercial vehicle is one that’s driven or towed (meaning a trailer), transporting goods or services, and meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • It weighs more than 10,000 pounds: Either the vehicle itself weighs 10,000 pounds, or its max operating weight (i.e. when towing cargo) is over 10,000 pounds.
  • It’s transporting nine or more people for commercial purposes: If a vehicle is carrying eight people plus the driver for a commercial purpose, it’s a commercial vehicle.
  • It’s transporting more than 15 people for any purpose: Even when no one’s getting paid, if a vehicle is transporting more than 15 people, it’s considered commercial.
  • It’s moving hazardous materials: Any size vehicle is commercial if it’s transporting any material the government deems hazardous in quantities that require the vehicle to display a special placard. Even passenger cars can be commercial if they are carrying hazardous material.

Examples of commercial vehicles include delivery trucks, such as FedEx or UPS trucks. Car carriers, 18-wheeler trucks, and garbage trucks are other examples.

WHAT TO DO AFTER A COMMERCIAL TRUCK ACCIDENT

Take the following steps immediately after the accident to protect not only yourself, but also the potential success of your claim. Doing so will also ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to for your accident.

Take Care of Medical Issues First

The first thing you should do is evaluate the injuries of you and anyone else involved in the accident; next, call 911. If anyone is suffering from serious injuries, alert the 911 operator to this fact, and they will send emergency medical services to the scene along with the police. The police will investigate the scene of the accident and write up a police report.

Gather Information Next

Next, gather the contact and insurance information of anyone involved in the accident. Be sure to get names, phone numbers, and insurance information. If there were witnesses to the accident, collect their names and phone numbers as well.

After collecting information, document the scene of the accident. Take pictures of the scene, as well as of any company logos that are visible on the commercial vehicle(s) involved in the accident.

After Leaving the Accident Scene

Finally, if you were not treated for serious injuries on the scene, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you believe you have not suffered any injuries, or that your injuries are minor, it is important to see a doctor anyway because undetected latent injuries can become worse as time goes on.

Find an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

After taking care of your injuries, filing reports, and documenting the scene of the accident, try to speak with a Lubbock injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney who has handled many similar cases will be able to provide sound advice for your case and walk you through your next steps.

Why This Information is Important

Once you hire a Lubbock injury attorney, the next step in the lawsuit process is for that lawyer to conduct their own investigation into your accident. Your personal injury attorney will contact witnesses to verify or take further statements, research the company who owns the vehicle and employs the driver involved in the accident, and assess the costs related to your injuries.

Armed with this information, your attorney will then begin to negotiate on your behalf with the various insurance companies involved with the accident to try and get you the maximum compensation you are entitled to due to the accident. It is incredibly helpful, for both the  investigation and the negotiation process, for your attorney to have as much detailed information from you as possible. This will speed up both processes and enable you to receive the compensation you are entitled to as soon as possible.

CONTACT LUBBOCK COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENT LAWYERS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

Finding the right personal injury lawyer in Texas may seem difficult, but there are plenty of resources available to make the process easier. You can ask friends or family for recommendations, or even use a simple internet search using terms such as “personal injury attorney near me,” “Lubbock accident lawyers,” or “injury lawyer near me.”

Another option when looking for representation is to look for an attorney through the American Bar Association’s online directory. You can also find a lawyer through the Texas State Bar Association’s website or the bar association of Lubbock Area Bar Association’s online directory.

You should choose an accident attorney who has the experience and skill needed to handle commercial vehicle accident cases, and a track record of success in pursing personal injury claims. Zinda Law Group’s personal injury lawyers have experience with truck crash injury claims and an outstanding record of success in handling matters like these for our clients.

Texas Statute of Limitations

As with all personal injury cases, time is of the essence. If you believe that the accident was caused by another’s negligence, contact a lawyer right away, for there are time constraints, such as statutes of limitations, involved in civil cases that determine how long you will have to file your claim.

In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is found in the Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 16.003. For personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is two years; this means that you would have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim.

If you attempt to file your claim beyond that two-year limit, your claim is barred; this means that it is not allowed and will be dismissed. An experienced Lubbock truck accident attorney will be able to help you determine when you will need to file, and if you are subject to any of the exceptions that exist to “toll” or delay the statute of limitations.

HOW YOU RECOVER DAMAGES: PROVING LIABILITY

To recover damages from a person or company for the costs associated with your accident, you must prove that the person or entity is liable or negligent. To prove negligence in a personal injury case, four elements must be met: duty of care, breach of duty, damages, and causation.

Duty of Care Owed

The first element of a negligence claim is duty of care. To satisfy this element, your attorney must prove that the other party or parties involved owed a duty of care towards you.

To owe a duty of care means that the other party was required to take certain actions or precautions to prevent an accident from occurring. Large trucks usually owe this duty of care to others on the road due to the dangerous nature of the vehicles they drive. The companies that employ these drivers also generally owe a duty of care to maintain their trucks in safe operating condition.

Breach of That Duty

Once your Lubbock truck accident lawyer determines that the other party owes a duty of care, they then must prove that the other party breached, or failed to meet, that duty of care. This means that the other party failed to take certain precautions to prevent an accident from occurring or took certain actions that breached the duty of care, such as speeding or failing to signal.

Damages

After your Lubbock injury lawyer has proven that you were owed a duty of care, and that duty has been breached by the other party, they will then need to prove that you suffered damages as a result of that breach. Examples of the damages that satisfy this element include physical injuries, emotional trauma, and property damage. In claims involving wrongful death, the victim’s death usually satisfies this damages requirement.

Causation

Finally, once your Lubbock injury attorney has shown you were owed a duty of care, that the duty was breached, and that you have suffered damages as a result, he or she still must prove that the other party’s breach of their duty was the direct cause of your accident. This typically means that if not for the other party’s negligent action, you would not have suffered these damages.

WHAT YOU CAN RECOVER

You may be able to recover the costs associated with your injury and recovery through a personal injury claim. The severity of your injury and the amount of time it takes for you to recover directly affects the amount of compensation for a personal injury action.

Your injury may leave you unable to work or perform daily tasks, and you might require ongoing medical care and extensive rehabilitative therapy. You may be able to recover the costs in the form of compensatory damages; an experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you in recovering the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

Recoverable damages include both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are the actual, monetary costs of your injury. Noneconomic damages cover the mental and emotional toll the injury has taken on your life and are recovered in the form of compensation for pain and suffering. The following are common economic and noneconomic damages you may be entitled to recover:

Medical Bills

You may be able to recover the cost of medical bills you have paid out of pocket since the accident. This includes doctor’s visits, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and medication. You may also be able to recover the costs of any future appointments, medication, or treatments necessary for your recovery.

Lost Wages

If you are out of work due to your injury, you may recover what you would have earned from the time of the accident until you can return to work; these are part of your economic damages.

Diminished Earning Capacity

In addition to lost wages, you may be able to recover loss of earning capacity. Your injuries from the accident may prevent you from going back to your job or working at another job for similar compensation. As a result, you may be able to recover the difference between what you were earning before the accident and what you are earning now.

Mental Anguish

Your non-economic damages include pain and suffering that result from the accident. There are emotional and mental tolls that an accident takes on a person and their family. You may be able to recover for this mental anguish itself, and the cost of mental health treatment that may stem from the accident.

HOW ZINDA LAW GROUP CAN HELP

If you or a loved one have been involved in a commercial vehicle accident in the Lubbock area, you will want one of our expert attorneys by your side to help you navigate the difficult insurance claims process, to ensure you are protected and compensated. You are likely experiencing an immense amount of mental and financial strain after your accident, and we at Zinda Law Group will do everything we can to help you during this difficult time.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers will guide you through the often-complex legal system to help file your claim and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to. We will take care of the legal work so you can focus on yourself and your family during this time of recovery. If we do not win your case, you will not pay any fees; this is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

If you or a loved one has suffered recently from an injury after a Lubbock truck accident, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our  Lubbock commercial vehicle accident lawyers.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.