The aftermath of a truck accident is overwhelming. Victims are often left dealing with painful injuries as they try to navigate both the healthcare system and the insurance claims process. Even then, with all of your hard work, there is no guarantee that you will recover the compensation you need or any money at all.
Working with a trucking accident attorney can greatly increase your likelihood of making a full financial recovery. Here are a few things you will want to keep in mind if you want to win your San Antonio truck accident lawsuit.
Determine the Cause of Your Truck Accident
Truck accidents have a variety of causes. Properly documenting the cause of your truck accident and how it occurred will help form your case. Among the most common causes of truck accidents in San Antonio are:
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Drunk driving
- Reckless driving
- Insufficient training
- Defective mechanical parts
- Poor truck maintenance
- Poorly loaded cargo
- Disregard for trucking safety regulations
Thomas J. Henry Law can help you properly document your crash and build your case in a way that puts you in the best position to win your truck accident lawsuit.
Determine Who Is Liable for Your Crash
There is a multitude of laws and regulations that truck drivers, trucking companies, and truck manufacturers must follow. When any of these parties fail to follow these regulations and an accident occurs, you can sue them for your injuries and damages.
In some situations, multiple parties can be responsible for the same accident. In these cases, you would file your lawsuit against all responsible parties and each would pay a percentage of the final verdict or settlement that is equal to their shared portion of liability.
Gather Critical Evidence
Following a crash with a large truck, you will want to get evidence that helps prove the truck driver or their employer was responsible for your accident. This can extend well beyond what is available at the scene of the crash.
Some information Thomas J. Henry Law can help you secure includes:
- Black box data: Similar to airplanes, most large trucks actually have built-in black box crash computers that record and preserve data around a crash. This includes impact data, data on speeds and braking before the crash, and other information that can help you win your truck accident lawsuit.
- Maintenance logs. Transportation companies are required to keep detailed records of truck maintenance. These logs will include dates the vehicle was serviced as well as any issues the truck may have had in the past. If these logs show the fleet owner failed to maintain the truck, you may be able to sue the trucking company for damages.
- Dashcam video. Dashcam video is invaluable in a truck accident case. Once on video, the defense will have a hard time disputing your claims.
- Driver logs. Similar to maintenance logs, truck drivers must keep detailed records of hours spent behind the wheel, hours of rest taken between shifts, and how many breaks were taken throughout the day. Federal laws pertaining to truck driver hours are very strict. Violation of these laws or falsification of hours by a company can carry serious consequences even in civil court.
- Driver background records. Background records like driver qualification records can provide insight into a driver’s past. If they have a history of non-compliance and safety violations, you can better show that the company that employed them was aware of the risk the driver posed.
- Witness accounts. Even in the age of technology, a good witness account carries a lot of weight in court. When corroborated by physical evidence, witness statements can provide the full story you need to convince a judge or jury of your claim.
File Your Truck Accident Lawsuit As Soon As Possible
Time is a major factor when it comes to winning a truck accident lawsuit. Wait too long and you may recover less than you deserve or even nothing at all.
The first thing to consider is the Texas statute of limitations on truck accident lawsuits. With few exceptions, a person only has two years to file a lawsuit against a truck driver or trucking company. If you do not file within this time, you are barred from seeking legal recourse in the form of a personal injury lawsuit.
The next thing to consider is evidence.
Over time, your recollection of the crash as well as the recollection of those that witnessed the collision becomes hazy and less accurate. While you are trying to accurately recall the incident to the best of your ability, lawyers for the trucking company and their insurers will accuse you of lying and use any discrepancies in your statements to challenge your claim.
Even physical evidence deteriorates over time. The truck will be repaired, the scene will be cleared, and physical indications of the injuries you suffered will heal. Photographic evidence can be lost, and the task of winning your lawsuit will become more difficult.
This is why it is best to call a truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Be Wary of the Insurance Company
You should always report a crash to your insurance company. However, you should always speak to an attorney before providing written or recorded statements to any other companies or adjusters.
The insurance company for the truck driver and trucking company is not on your side. Their goal is to limit the liability of the truck driver and trucking company, thereby limiting the amount they have to pay out.
If you have been asked to speak with the insurance company representing the other party or if you have been asked to provide a written or recorded statement, speak with your attorney first. They can help you lock down your account of the accident and advise you on potential pitfalls or trick questions that may damage your claim.
Hire the Right Truck Accident Attorney
If you want to win your San Antonio truck accident lawsuit, make sure you have the right attorney on your side.
Truck accident claims are complex and are much different than your average car accident lawsuit. They require additional expertise in trucking and commercial trucking regulations as well as experience taking on larger, more capable defendants.
Commercial trucking is big money in Texas. As such, trucking companies have the finances to hire some of the best attorneys to represent them in court. You deserve the same.
Before hiring an attorney, ask yourself:
- Does the attorney have personal injury experience?
- Has the attorney successfully handled trucking accident lawsuits in the past?
- Does this attorney have a winning reputation?
- Is the attorney in good standing?
- Do they have adequate staff and resources?
- Do they have the money necessary to litigate against a large company?
- Is the attorney ready to go to trial?
- Does the trucking company know this attorney’s name and reputation?
Speak with a Qualified Truck Accident Lawyer
For more than 25 years, Thomas J. Henry Law has helped victims of truck accidents recover fair financial compensation for their injuries and damages. We have a reputation for being a firm that gets results, and we have achieved multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements against trucking companies.
Do risk your claim by hiring a less experienced attorney. With our law firm, you can rest assured that your case is in the most capable hands. Further, because we work on a contingency fee basis, you pay us nothing unless and until we win your San Antonio truck accident lawsuit.
We are available 24/7, nights and weekends to assist you. Call now for your FREE Case Review with a truck accident lawyer.