Commercial vehicles are often far larger and heavier than the average passenger vehicle on the road. Because of this, they can cause massive damage in the event of a crash. If you or a loved one has been in a commercial vehicle wreck, attorneys in El Paso, TX, at Zinda Law Group are here to help.
Our El Paso commercial vehicle accident lawyers are experienced, dedicated, and client-oriented. Furthermore, we provide 100% free consultations, and you only need to pay our attorneys if they win your case. To take advantage of your free initial consultation, complete our online contact form or call our El Paso personal injury lawyers today.
Commercial Vehicle Accident FAQs
All car accidents are scary, but they can feel especially overwhelming when you realize the person at fault for your injuries was driving their company car. You probably have many questions if you have found yourself in this position. Fortunately, an experienced El Paso company vehicle accident lawyer can provide answers.
Why does It Matter If It Was a Company Car?
Every time we buckle our seatbelts in the car, we are bound to at least pass one company car on our ride. They are everywhere, which is why it is vital that the employees driving them are doing so carefully and taking all the precautions they are obligated to take.
When an employee fails to drive the vehicle responsibly, their employer may be liable under a doctrine called “respondeat superior.” This means that if someone is injured in an accident with a company car, they can sue the company itself.
The right to sue the employer is beneficial for the plaintiff and for society at large because it makes it more likely that the plaintiff will be able to recover the compensation to which they are entitled, and it forces the company to ensure that its employees are driving company vehicles safely.
What Is a Company Car/Commercial Vehicle?
You may only think of company cars as the 18-wheelers you pass on I-10 or as the Amazon delivery truck that drops off your packages. However, the terms “company car” and “commercial vehicle” actually encompass a lot more than that.
In Texas, a vehicle is a “commercial vehicle” if it is used on a public highway to transport people or things, weighs over 26,000 pounds, is designed to transport more than 15 passengers, or is used to transport hazardous materials. Here are just a few common examples that satisfy this definition:
- Large trucks
- Large vans
- Coach buses
- Regular buses
- Box trucks
- Delivery trucks
Additionally, a “company car” includes even more types of vehicles. Figuring out whether the vehicle that negligently caused your injury is, in fact, a company car or commercial vehicle is not a job you need to take on yourself. An experienced El Paso commercial vehicle accident lawyer can capably take on this task and help you prove fault.
What Kinds of Injuries Are Common from Company Car Wrecks?
These types of moving vehicle accidents can cause all different kinds of injuries, ranging in severity. How serious the injuries are can depend on many different factors, such as the size of the company vehicle, how fast it was going, and at what angle it hit you. Some common accident injuries are:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts, lacerations, and bruises
- Internal organ injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Other mental injuries
However, it is essential to note that even if your injury isn’t on this list, you should still talk to an El Paso commercial accident lawyer. You don’t need a certain type of injury to have a successful case. You just need an injury that was caused by someone else.
What Kind of Compensation Might I Receive?
No matter how experienced our El Paso personal injury attorneys are, they cannot predict the exact amount you could receive in compensation. However, they can generally help you set your expectations. There are typically three types of damages you could be entitled to recover:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
- Punitive damages.
Economic damages refer to the costs that would be easy for you to count, like the costs to repair your car or the medical bills that you paid.
Non-economic damages refer to compensation for far more profound losses that can not easily be assigned a monetary value, such as the pain and suffering you experienced because of the accident.
Punitive damages, sometimes called “exemplary damages,” are awarded in order to punish the defendant and remind them to behave. In a case like this, punitive damages would be awarded to compel the company to ensure that its drivers are driving responsibly and that there are company protocols, policies, and measures in place to make sure they do so.
In Texas, punitive damages can be awarded in personal injury cases. However, they are capped at a certain amount depending on the other damages to which you are entitled.
How Long do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
In the state of Texas, for personal injury lawsuits, there is a two-year statute of limitations. This means that you have two years from the day of the accident to file your suit. This may feel like a long time, but when dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, time flies by quicker than you may think. It also takes quite some time to prepare for filing a lawsuit.
Thus, even though you have two years after an injury in Texas, it is crucial that you contact an attorney in El Paso as soon as you can. Doing so will allow your lawyer to get the case filing and investigation process underway with enough time to build a strong case on your behalf.
Why do I Need an Injury Lawyer in El Paso?
You may be wondering if you actually need an injury attorney. That is a valid question, but the reality is that filing and winning these cases is not easy. Generally, companies have a lot of insurance to protect them, a high-priced legal team, and a big incentive to win the case.
No company wants to be sued and pay a plaintiff for their injuries, especially when looking at the possibility of punitive damages. This is not to mention the fact that companies want to avoid bad press. Accordingly, a commercial vehicle lawyer in El Paso is necessary for you to succeed in a case like this. However, that shouldn’t worry you.
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced commercial vehicle wreck attorneys in El Paso can take care of you and walk you through every step of the complicated process. Even better, you don’t have to pay our attorneys if you lose your case, so there is no reason not to retain one to be by your side.
For a free legal consultation with a commercial truck accidents lawyer serving El Paso, call 800-863-5312
What to Do After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
The reason it feels like there is a UPS driver or an 18-wheeler beside you at all times is probably because there usually is. Commercial vehicles, for ill or good, are a common presence in our everyday lives, and just like everyone else, their operators sometimes have poor judgment and make dangerous decisions.
Although it is impossible to avoid accidents caused by the negligence of others, you can prepare yourself for what to do in the aftermath. If you or a loved one has been in a commercial vehicle accident, consider taking the following steps:
- Seek medical attention
- Gather information at the scene
- Continue to document everything
- Don’t talk to the insurer
- Hire an experienced attorney
Seek Medical Attention
Your health and safety should always be the first priority, so make sure to remember that and see a medical professional for your injuries. Sometimes you may feel fine and just want to shake it off, but it is always best practice for you to see a doctor. A lot of injuries, especially internal injuries, may not show up at first.
Furthermore, without medical attention, you can easily exacerbate your injuries. Waiting to see a doctor can also make your case difficult to prove. Sometimes, the insurance company for the defendant may try to argue that the accident wasn’t the cause of the injury because you waited so long to get checked out. Thus, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you can.
Gather Information at the Scene
If you are able to start gathering information at the scene, it will be very helpful for your El Paso commercial vehicle accident attorney down the road. If you can, take pictures of the scene to show the layout of the vehicles and the damage that was caused. You also want to take pictures of the company vehicle and any branding it may have on it.
It is extremely important that you get the contact information for the driver who caused the accident. You should collect their name, address, employer, and which location employs them, if applicable.
If there were any witnesses to the crash, you should also get their names and contact information because their testimony may be helpful down the road. While at the scene, tell the police officers who arrive what happened, and explain how the other driver caused the accident.
Continue to Document Everything
Even when the day of the accident has come and gone, it is still essential that you continue to document what you can. This means hanging on to medical bills, emails from your employer showing that you had to take off work, or other expenses you had, like out-of-pocket costs for therapy.
The more you have relating to your case to show your El Paso commercial vehicle accident lawyer, the better.
Don’t Talk to the Insurer
The insurance company may try to contact you after the accident. However, it is critical that you do not give them any information. Even if they ask kindly and say they want to help you.
At the end of the day, their goal is to ensure that you don’t sue them or, if you do, that you don’t win. Instead, you should only talk with a representative from the insurance company when your attorney is in the room and advises you to do so.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
Last but certainly not least, contact an experienced commercial vehicle accident lawyer serving El Paso. An experienced attorney can fight for you to get the maximum amount of compensation possible.
At our firm, we understand the challenges you face. We know it can feel like an overwhelming and uncomfortable process, but we are here to walk you through every step of the way.
Commercial Truck Accident in El Paso lawyers near me 800-863-5312
Proving Negligence in a Commercial Vehicle Accident
Generally, these types of cases involve a negligence cause of action. This means that you, the plaintiff, would need to prove that the other driver acted negligently. This can be proven by showing that they committed a traffic violation, were speeding or under the influence, or were texting or distracted by something else.
Negligence has four elements that need to be proven by the plaintiff: duty, breach, causation, and damages. This means you need to demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to use reasonable care, and they breached this duty, which caused your injuries which resulted in your damages.
Holding an Employer Responsible
These cases can be complicated because sometimes the employer, the company that owned the car, may try to argue that they should not be responsible because the employee was not acting in the “scope of their employment” when the accident took place.
This is because the company is only responsible when the accident took place while the employee was on the job. For example, if the accident occurred while the FedEx delivery driver was out delivering packages. Although it may seem clear-cut, this area can actually get pretty murky.
Oftentimes, employers will try to make creative arguments to avoid liability. An experienced El Paso commercial vehicle lawyer is familiar with this complexity and can help you prove in court that the other driver was, in fact, acting in the scope of his employment, and therefore, the employer is responsible to you for damages.
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Multiple Parties Could Be Liable After a Commercial Vehicle Accident
Texas uses a modified comparative negligence rule when dealing with fault after a crash. What this means is that multiple parties could share the fault for an accident. However, holding a level of liability for the accident will not bar you from pursuing compensation. As long as you were not more than 50% to blame, you still have the right to file a claim.
However, the amount of money you can recover will be reduced in proportion to your level of liability. For example, if you were 10% responsible for the collision, you will only be able to receive 90% of the full value of your claim. In this case, if your case is worth $100,000, you will only qualify to recover $90,000.
Don’t Delay Contacting an El Paso Company Vehicle Accident Lawyers Today
Dealing with an insurance company, filing a lawsuit, and gathering everything you need to show that you were unjustly injured is a huge hassle, and it is a hassle that we don’t want you to have to take on all by yourself.
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced commercial vehicle accident lawyers in El Paso are ready to take on those burdens for you and help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
We also understand that you have already struggled financially, which is why we promise not to charge you a penny unless we win your case. That means that if we, for some reason, lose the case, you would walk away without a bill from us. That is our “No Win, No Fee Guarantee.” To take advantage of this opportunity, contact us today for your initial 100% free consultation.