Yes, you may be entitled to a settlement after a truck accident in Texas if you can show another party caused the crash. In many cases, these accidents occur because of a careless or reckless truck driver. When this occurs, you may be able to recover money damages through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
A personal injury attorney can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation during a free consultation about your truck accident case. Most firms provide these case assessments for victims and their families.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Most truck accidents, like other collisions, occur because of human error. Carelessness or recklessness commonly leads to negligence and crashes. This may be the fault of the trucker, another driver, the truck’s owner, those who loaded the cargo, or another party.
The first step in building a case and seeking a settlement will require you to determine what happened to cause the crash. If you work with an attorney, they will likely investigate the accident and gather supporting evidence. Some common causes of truck accidents include:
- Mistakes behind the wheel, such as running a red light or failure to yield
- Speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving, sometimes including hours of service violations
- Inexperience with poor weather or road conditions
- Issues with cargo, including overloaded or improperly secured cargo
- Poor maintenance or repairs
- Brake, tire, steering, or other component defects
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Proving Who Caused a Texas Truck Collision
The goal of an investigation into a truck accident is to prove:
- What happened
- Who caused the crash
- Who is liable
- What the claim may be worth
When an attorney goes to work on a truck accident case, they often begin by gathering key documents and taking steps to preserve any evidence held by the trucking company. The documents could include the police accident report, relevant medical records, and paperwork such as receipts and bills. The evidence in the hands of the trucking company includes truck computer data, rest logs, drug and alcohol testing reports, and much more.
Next, they may analyze physical evidence and interview eyewitnesses. At the same time, they may work with experts who can conduct accident reconstruction and survey the crash scene, provide information about future care costs, and help put a value on the claim. This work should allow them to answer the questions relevant to the case, including assigning a fair settlement range to the claim. This is essential before filing the claim and demanding a payout.
Liability in a Texas Commercial Vehicle Crash
In many car accident cases, the at-fault party is also the only liable party. This is not always true with commercial vehicle collisions, though. Instead, a legal doctrine, respondeat superior, generally allows the victim to hold the trucking company vicariously liable even when the crash occurred because of the truck driver’s negligence.
According to the State Bar of Texas, to hold the trucker’s employer vicariously liable, the plaintiff—the injured party—must have evidence to prove:
- The driver was an employee of the named company; and
- They were acting in “the course and scope of his or her employment” when the crash occurred
To this end, in most truck accident cases, victims can file a claim against both the driver and their employer.
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Recoverable Damages in a Truck Accident Settlement
If you can prove another party caused your truck accident injuries, Texas law entitles you to a fair settlement based on your damages. Damages, in this sense, are the expenses and losses you incurred because of the crash. They could include:
- Medical bills, including future and ongoing costs
- Missed work income and reduced ability to earn in the future
- Property damages
- Related expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Other documented economic or non-economic losses
Your attorney will use the documentation gathered during their investigation to put a fair settlement range on your claim before they approach the insurance companies to demand an appropriate payout. They will include your estimated future expenses, bills, financial losses, and intangible damages.
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Moving Forward With Your 18-Wheeler Collision Claim
If you believe you are entitled to a settlement after your Texas truck collision, you should act as quickly as your injuries allow. Protecting evidence held by the trucking company, gaining access to evidence as soon as possible, and meeting all applicable deadlines are all essential to winning your case.
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, Texas law gives victims up to two years to begin a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in most cases.
Talk to Our Team for Free Today
The attorneys from Loncar Lyon Jenkins are prepared to handle your Texas truck accident claim. We have eight locations focused on Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and nearby areas. We work with injured accident victims and families whose loved ones passed from their injuries.
You can learn more today by calling in the Strong Arm. Dial to get started.