Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers in San Antonio, Texas

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When most people think of vehicle accidents, they are usually thinking of accidents involving two-passenger vehicles. In recent years, however, vehicle accidents between cars and commercial vehicles have been on the rise. Being involved in either kind of accident can be devastating, but for an accident involving a commercial vehicle, the process for filing a claim can be more complicated and may cause additional suffering and confusion. Since multiple parties are involved, you may not know who can be held responsible. Our experienced San Antonio commercial vehicle accident lawyers 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.

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

Commercial VEHICLE ACCIDENTS vs. CONSUMER CAR ACCIDENTS

Commercial vehicle accidents differ from accidents between private individuals operating their own cars in a few important ways. For starters, commercial vehicle accidents usually involve a larger vehicle, such as a semi-truck, colliding with an average-sized consumer car. This results in more severe injuries and vehicle damage than an accident between two consumer cars.

Commercial Vehicle Claim Complications

Trying to receive compensation for a claim stemming from a commercial vehicle accident tends to be more difficult. The company that owns the vehicle will fight hard to ensure they will not have to compensate you for your claim. To make matters worse, usually there are multiple parties and insurance companies involved, and their lawyers will work hard to shift the blame off their clients to avoid paying damages.

The company’s own insurance company may not cover the costs associated with the accident, which means the company becomes responsible for paying out-of-pocket for your damages. You can be certain that the company will fight hard to ensure that it will not have to pay you.

Taking on these companies alone can be daunting. Rest assured, an experienced San Antonio injury lawyer, like the commercial vehicle accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group, will be able to help you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to, whether it is through insurance or having the company pay you itself.

WHAT IS A commercial VEHICLE?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published regulations which define, among other things, what a commercial vehicle is. Under the definition in the 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:

  • Big rig (18-wheeler) semi-truck
  • Delivery truck
  • Mail truck
  • Furniture delivery truck
  • Retail delivery trucks, such as Lowes or Home Depot
  • UPS or FedEx truck
  • Utility vehicle
  • Cable television installation vehicle
  • Landscaping vehicle
  • Construction vehicle
  • Garbage truck
  • Street sweeper
  • A Smart Car carrying hazardous material

WHAT should i do AFTER A Commercial VEHICLE ACCIDENT?

The steps you take after a commercial vehicle accident are nearly identical to those you would take after a car accident and, like other accidents, what you do immediately after the accident directly impacts the amount you may be entitled to recover on your claim. If you find yourself involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, follow these steps immediately afterward to not only protect yourself in the short term, but to also increase the possibility of success on your claim in the long term.

Seek Medical Attention

Immediately after the accident, you should assess your injuries. Once you assess yourself, check on the passengers in your vehicle, if any. If anyone is severely injured, call emergency medical services right away.

If you are not treated on the scene, see a doctor as soon as possible. Get your injuries evaluated even if you believe that your injuries are minor or even if you believe you are uninjured. It is possible that you could have latent injuries that you are unaware of at the time of the accident, and these injuries can have severe and long-lasting consequences.

After your visit, make sure to request documentation of your injuries and treatment from your doctor. These records will help determine the value of your claim.

Report the Accident

Call the police immediately after assessing your injuries; the police should be called regardless of whether an injury is severe or minor. If the injuries are severe, a 911 operator will send emergency services to the scene as well. The police will arrive on the scene to investigate the accident, and they will file an accident report after their assessment.

Be sure to get a copy of the police report, as this will help determine fault. Your report will typically be available within a few days of the accident. There are a few ways you can get a copy of the report; you can request a copy of your report in person, by mail, by phone, or online through the San Antonio Police Department’s website.

Document the Accident Scene

Next, you should assess the damage to your car. If your car is still operational, and its current position is hazardous to other drivers on the road, move your car to the side of the road. Take pictures of the damage to your car.

Next, take pictures of the other party’s vehicle. Be sure to include photos of any company logos, if any, on the vehicle. Take pictures of the location of the accident, including the road conditions and any intersections nearby.

In addition to company logos, check to see if there are any special placards, or signs, on the vehicle that may indicated hazardous material is on board. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) website has pictures of what these placards look like and what they mean. This information will be useful for your personal injury attorney when filing your claim.

Speak with Witnesses

Try to speak with anyone on the scene who witnessed the accident. Have them give their statement to the police for the police report. Get the witness’s contact information as well in case you need to get a statement or more information from them later.

Exchange Information

Get the contact and insurance information of anyone involved in the accident while you are at the scene. Out of all of the information you gather at the scene, this may be the most important, for without this information, it will be harder to track down other involved parties after the accident, making recovery for a claim more difficult. Aside from the drivers involved, be sure to get the name of the company that employs the commercial vehicle driver or drivers involved, and if possible, the company’s insurance information.

Contact San Antonio Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers Near You

After notifying your insurance company, treating your injuries, filing reports, and documenting the scene, you should contact a San Antonio lawyer as soon as possible; An experienced personal injury who has handled many similar cases will be able to provide sound advice for your case and walk you through your next steps. 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 conduct a simple internet search using terms such as “injury lawyer near me,” “San Antonio injury lawyer,” or “San Antonio lawyer.”

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 San Antonio Bar Association’s lawyer referral service.

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

TEXAS STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

If you believe that your commercial vehicle accident was caused by another’s negligence, contact a San Antonio injury 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 commercial vehicle accident cases 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 personal injury 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.

Whom CAN YOU SUE?

What makes commercial vehicle accidents complicated is the possibility of multiple defendants; you will likely be able to sue the driver of the vehicle personally and file a claim against their insurance company. If the driver is found to be liable, you may recover costs from the driver and his or her insurance company. Sometimes, the driver may be unable to pay your costs due to lack of their own resources.

Aside from the driver of the vehicle, the company that owns and operates the vehicle can be liable as well. If you pursue a claim against the company and they are found liable, you may be able to recover the costs associated with your injuries from the company itself or its insurance company, thereby giving you another avenue for recovering damages on your claim beyond that of just the driver.

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 the injury and recovery time directly affects the amount of recovery 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 as a 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/or 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 San Antonio commercial vehicle accident lawyers CAN HELP

We at Zinda Law Group understand the pain and confusion you may be feeling after being injured in any sort of automobile accident. If you or a loved one have been involved in a commercial vehicle accident, 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.

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 from an injury after a commercial vehicle accident, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our San Antonio commercial vehicle accident lawyers.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.