At The Burkett Law Firm of Corpus Christi, we understand that trucking accidents are inherently dangerous. Because of their large size and weight, usually up to 85,000 pounds, trucks are more likely to cause serious and life-altering injuries, especially to occupants in other smaller vehicles. With that in mind, we have dedicated our legal resources to protecting the rights of Texas individuals who get injured in truck crashes. If you or someone you love has been injured – or even killed – in a trucking accident, give us a call to book a free consultation and learn how we can be of assistance.
Contributing Factors and Causes of Truck Accidents in Texas
Trucking accidents in Texas happen as a result of different things. Driver-related reasons, such as distracted driving, fatigue, driving under the influence, and disregard of road safety, are among the leading causes of truck crashes. Defective parts and trucking company’s fault, such as inadequate truck maintenance and failure to adhere to all the trucking regulations, are also known contributing factors.
It is critical that you establish what caused the trucking accident in order to seek compensation from the liable party. The good news is that the trucking accident lawyers at The Burkett Law Firm of Corpus Christi can take care of that on your behalf. Besides evaluating your case to determine whether you have a valid personal injury claim, we will go a step further to identify what damages you may be eligible to receive.
What To Do After a Corpus Christi Truck Accident
If you’re involved in an accident with a commercial truck, there are several key steps to take in the immediate aftermath. Doing so will improve your chance of making a full recovery, while also helping you take legal action in the future.
1. Examine Yourself and Passengers for Injuries
Your health and well-being take priority over everything else. As long as you’re physically able to do so, examine yourself and any passengers for injuries.
In addition to visible injuries, consider the fact that you can’t see everything. For example, if your head struck the windshield, you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury. You can’t see this injury, but it requires immediate medical attention.
2. Stay in Your Vehicle
As long as it’s safe to do so, it’s best to remain in your vehicle until help arrives. Should you attempt to step out of your vehicle into traffic, it puts you at risk of being hit by another vehicle.
Also, if you were injured in the accident, getting out of your vehicle could lead to additional concerns.
3. Call 911
With everything that’s happening around you, it’s a must that police and an ambulance arrive at the scene as quickly as possible. And that’s why you want to call 911 as soon as possible. If for any reason you’re unable to do so, ask someone else — such as another driver — to do so on your behalf.
The responding officer will take control of the scene, with paramedics providing on-site medical care.
4. Accept Medical Treatment
Don’t reject medical care at the scene of the accident. Also, don’t turn down transportation to a local hospital.
As mentioned above, you may have suffered an injury that you can’t see. Furthermore, some injuries — such as a concussion — don’t always immediately present symptoms.
If you neglect to receive timely treatment, it could harm your ability to obtain compensation from the negligent party.
5. Collect Evidence
There are many types of evidence to collect after a Corpus Christi truck accident, such as:
- Witness contact information
- Insurance details of the other driver (or drivers)
- Photos of the crash scene
- Photos of your injuries
- Medical records
- Police report
Collect this evidence as soon as possible after an accident. Also, consult with your truck accident attorney, as they want to take steps to aid in this process.
6. File an Insurance Claim
As time and your health allow, file a claim with your insurance company. When doing so, you must stick to the facts and nothing else. All you’re doing is filing a claim. This isn’t the right time to answer questions or provide a detailed statement.
It’s okay to tell any insurance company representative that you’re not comfortable speaking with them before consulting with your attorney. Not only will this back them off, but it’ll show that you’re serious about seeking all the compensation you deserve.
Who is the Liable Party in a Truck Crash?
Identifying the liable party after a truck accident can sometimes become a nightmare. There may be many different parties involved, such as the truck or part manufacturers, those responsible for loading cargo, the trucking company, and the driver.
Any of these parties may be partly or wholly responsible for the trucking crash. You will need the help of a reputable trucking accident attorney to determine who is to blame for the accident. The right attorney will not only investigate the trucking crash but also identify the potentially liable entities. On top of that, the personal injury lawyer you hire will work with you to establish the possible legal grounds to recover full compensation for your damages.
Proving Liability in a Trucking Accident
One of the important things that you need to do when pursuing compensation after a trucking crash is to prove the liability. In Texas, you may be able to recover compensation if your injuries and damages were caused by another person’s negligence or lack of proper action while operating their truck. However, you must prove every element of negligence or fault in order to obtain a settlement that covers all expenses stemming from your injury. This usually includes showing that:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of safety or care
- The negligent individual or entity breached this duty
- The breach caused you to suffer an injury
- You did suffer damages because of the injury
Shared Fault and the Texas Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
It’s important to bear in mind that the at-fault party may sometimes argue that you are partly responsible for your injuries. In such personal injury cases, you may have to share some level of liability. If the defendant proves that you are more than 50% responsible for the truck accident that caused your injury, you may lose the right to recover compensation. This is known as the modified comparative fault rule under Texas Law.
Sadly, some insurance companies use this rule to deny truck accident victims the fair settlement they rightfully deserve. But you don’t have to worry about this if you trust The Burkett Law Firm of Corpus Christi to handle your case.
Reasons to Hire a Corpus Christi Truck Accident Attorney
As you recover from a commercial truck accident, it’s natural to turn your attention to the insurance claim process. This is generally the first step in seeking compensation from the negligent party.
However, if you get ahead of yourself, you could make a mistake that hinders your ability to obtain compensation for injuries, future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
There are many reasons to hire a truck accident attorney, including the following:
1. Professional Legal Representation
Imagine trying to overcome your injuries while also negotiating with insurance companies. You don’t need this stress in your life. It’s better to have professional legal representation on your side.
Think about it this way: insurance companies have in-house legal teams working for them. You need to protect your legal rights by hiring an experienced and knowledgeable truck accident attorney.
2. Experience With Truck Accident Cases
Experience matters in something as important as a personal injury case. Commercial truck accidents are unlike any other kind, so it helps to have an experienced attorney guiding you.
Before hiring an attorney, learn more about their experience with and knowledge of commercial truck accidents. An experienced attorney is one who knows what to expect, how to protect your legal rights, and how to get you the compensation you deserve.
3. Maximize Your Compensation
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be able to file an insurance claim and receive some type of compensation. But some compensation isn’t what you want. You want to maximize your payout.
Your legal team will do whatever it takes to get you every last penny for the damages related to your accident.
4. Less Stress on You
You have enough stress and anxiety to manage post-accident. Don’t make things worse by attempting to manage your own case.
Your attorney, along with their legal team, can manage every aspect of your case. This reduces your stress level during this very difficult time of your life.
5. Someone to Answer All Your Questions
There’s no shortage of questions related to your accident, treatment, insurance claim, and other details. Here are some examples:
- How do I prove that the other driver is liable?
- How much is my case worth?
- Where’s the best place to receive treatment for my specific injuries?
- How long does the insurance claim process and subsequent negotiations take?
- Is it possible that my case could end up in court?
6. No Financial Risk
When you hire a truck accident attorney on a contingency fee basis, you don’t pay any money out of pocket. Instead, your attorney takes a fee contingent on them winning your case.
Take for example a truck accident settlement for $750,000 with a contingency fee of 33%. Your attorney would receive $247,500, with the other $502,500 going to you. If they’re unsuccessful in securing you a payout, you don’t owe anything.
Trust an Experienced Corpus Christi Truck Accident Lawyer to Fight for You
If you have been injured in a trucking accident due to someone else’s negligence, you have a right to hold the negligent party liable for their action. Talk to our Corpus Christi truck accident lawyers so we can examine the facts surrounding your case and establish how much your claim is worth. We will deal with the insurance company on your behalf so you can focus on recovery. If we find it necessary, we will take your case to trial in order to pursue the maximum compensation for your damages.