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What you need to know about Texas truck accident fault, claims, and settlements

Featured Texas Truck Accident Lawyers BadgeLarge truck accidents are often catastrophic, resulting in severe injuries that require costly and intensive medical treatment. Victims of these accidents are often left with a heavy financial burden. Unfortunately, many Texas truck accident victims have their claims denied or are offered settlements that are a lot less than what they need or deserve.

Truck accident victims should protect their health and right to financial compensation by contacting an experienced lawyer as soon as possible for a free consultation. A knowledgeable Texas truck accident attorney can explain how the law applies and help crash victims decide what steps to take next.

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A truck can cause an accident for a variety of reasons: trucker error, defective equipment, or cargo issues. Here are some common reasons why semi-trucks, garbage trucks, and box trucks cause serious accidents:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Lack of maintenance
  • Overloaded cargo
  • Truckers driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Trucker error or inexperience

An experienced Texas truck accident lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation that gets down to the truth of what happened – whether the insurance and trucking companies want to cooperate or not.

Where do truck accidents happen in Texas?

Most major truck accidents in Texas happen on highways, many of which are on the federal Primary Highway Freight System or PHFS. In Texas, highways where multiple truck accidents have been known to occur include:

  • Houston – I-69, I-10, US-290, TX-225
  • Dallas Fort Worth – I-635, I-820, I-35, I-45, I-20, I-30
  • Austin and San Antonio – I-410, I-35, I-10, I-37
  • Midland and Odessa – I-20

Car accidents and truck accidents may seem similar, but for crash victims, there are significant differences.

  • The size of large trucks increases injury severity and the risk of a fatal accident. Common serious truck accident injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), fractured bones, burns, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and loss of limbs.
  • Different federal and state laws apply to the trucking industry, affecting who is liable and why.
  • More than one party is often involved and may be at fault in a single truck accident. And each party has their own insurance providers and lawyers.

Experienced Texas truck accident attorneys understand the unique situation, evidence, and legal standards that apply to truck accident compensation. They know the strategies necessary to investigate out-of-state companies and collect records from the companies and drivers.

Who is at fault for a truck accident in Texas?

After a truck accident, multiple investigations are conducted to determine fault – and each one can come to a different conclusion. Official police crash reports, crash site evidence, witness statements, and expert testimony are evaluated. Then all involved parties are assigned a percentage of fault for the accident. After a truck accident, liable parties may include:

  • Trucker
  • Truck owner
  • Trucking company (employer)
  • Cargo owner
  • Cargo loaders
  • Maintenance crews
  • Defective truck parts manufacturers

There are a few factors that determine truck accident compensation in Texas - the type of injury, the severity of the injury, and liability for the wreck. In general, the more serious an injury is and the greater its impact on a person's ability to work and enjoy life, the more compensation they will receive. In general, injured truck accident victims in Texas can get financial compensation for:

  • Injury-related medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disability equipment purchase and installation
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Damaged property

If it was a fatal truck accident, the victim’s family may also be eligible to recover funeral expenses and other damages.

The average truck accident settlement can be upwards of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some truck accident claims result in multi-million dollar settlements. To get an estimate on what an individual claim is worth, a truck accident victim should schedule a free consultation with an attorney with a reputation for winning maximum compensation.

How long do I have to file a truck accident lawsuit in Texas?

With some exceptions, Texas truck accident lawsuits must be filed within two years of the crash. Sometimes, circumstances significantly reduce this window of opportunity to take legal action. Any claim filed after the two-year statute of limitations expires can be dismissed. To understand which legal deadlines apply to a specific Texas truck accident, consult an attorney.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the state establish regulations that govern the trucking industry, vehicles, and truckers operating in Texas. The following laws may apply in the event of a Texas truck accident:

  • Hours of Service (HOS)
  • Black box
  • Employee standards
  • Vehicle maintenance requirements
  • Texas CDL requirements
  • Maximum vehicle and cargo weights in Texas

A lawyer can investigate whether state or federal trucking laws were broken, which can strengthen your claim for injury compensation.

How a Texas truck accident lawyer can help injured victims

When you're in a truck accident, the trucking company and insurance companies may try to avoid responsibility and deny your claim. An experienced Texas truck accident lawyer can help even the playing field by investigating your crash, searching for evidence, and taking legal action to preserve records.

Studies show that, on average, people who consult lawyers collect more in damages than those who do not. This is true even after the attorney’s fee is paid. In Texas, truck accident attorneys typically work for a contingency fee. That means there are no upfront costs or out-of-pocket expenses for their service. And if they don’t win, you don’t pay.

Do not try to take on the insurance company and trucking industry alone. Contact a Texas truck accident lawyer with a track record of success and schedule your free case consultation today.

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