TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
We understand the challenges and difficulties you may be facing after a truck accident, and we want you to know that we’re here to help. We at Abogados de Accidentes Ahora deal exclusively with truck accidents. We fight the insurance companies’ aggressive tactics with aggressive tactics of our own.
Without the right information, truck accident victims lose out on fair compensation for themselves and their families.
Truck accidents are severe and can leave long-lasting injuries, which is why at Abogados de Accidentes Ahora, we fight to ensure that you receive the best possible medical care and settlement for your physical and emotional injuries.
As a team of experienced truck accident lawyers, we have successfully represented numerous victims in their pursuit of justice. Our dedication and in-depth knowledge of trucking regulations and industry standards make us the right choice to handle your case.
WHAT IS A
A truck accident occurs when a commercial vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, or semi-truck, collides with another vehicle or object. Sadly, most fatalities in truck accidents are individuals traveling in smaller passenger vehicles.
Due to their size (trucks can weigh up to 30 times more than a car) and ground clearance, they can cause smaller vehicles to pass underneath them. In 2019, 4,119 individuals lost their lives in truck crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Shockingly, 67% of those fatalities were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles, with only 16% being truck occupants. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists accounted for the remaining 15%. Even more concerning is that the number of fatalities in truck crashes was 31% higher in 2019 than in 2009.
COMMON CAUSES OF
Commercial truck accidents can have severe consequences, making it important to understand their common causes. By recognizing these common causes, we can raise awareness about the risks involved and work towards promoting safer practices to reduce the occurrence of truck accidents and protect the rights of truck accident victims.
Driver error: Factors like fatigue, distracted driving, speeding, reckless driving, inexperience, or impaired driving (such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol) are the leading cause of truck accidents.
Equipment failure: Mechanical failures in trucks, such as brake failure, tire blowouts, steering malfunctions, or faulty lights, can lead to accidents.
Poor maintenance: Inadequate truck maintenance and failure to inspect and repair critical components can increase the risk of trucking accidents.
Fatigue: Truck drivers often face demanding schedules and long hours on the road, leading to fatigue. Drowsy driving significantly impairs a driver’s ability to react and make sound decisions.
Improper loading or cargo issues: Incorrectly loaded cargo, overweight loads, or unsecured cargo can cause a truck to become unstable or tip over, leading to accidents.
Adverse weather conditions: Poor weather conditions such as rain, snow, ice, fog, or strong winds can make driving more challenging, increasing the risk of accidents involving trucks.
Road conditions: Hazardous road conditions, including potholes, uneven surfaces, construction zones, or inadequate signage, can contribute to truck accidents.
Tailgating and improper lane changes: Following other vehicles too closely (tailgating) and making improper lane changes can lead to collisions, primarily due to the large size and limited maneuverability of trucks.
Failure to obey traffic laws: Violations of traffic laws, include running red lights, disregarding stop signs, or speeding, resulting in truck accidents.
Other driver behaviors: Actions by other drivers on the road, such as sudden lane changes, cutting off a truck, or failing to yield right-of-way, can cause truck accidents.
FROM LIABILITY TO INSURANCE BATTLES:
THE UNIQUE HURDLES OF TRUCK ACCIDENT CASES
Truck accident cases present distinct challenges that go beyond typical car accident claims. From complex liability issues involving multiple parties to navigating the intricacies of insurance coverage, these cases require a specialized approach.
The following are some factors that personal injury lawyers and truck accident victims must navigate to seek justice and fair compensation.
The severity of injuries:
Truck accidents often result in more severe injuries and extensive property damage due to the large size and weight disparity between trucks and passenger cars. Dealing with the aftermath of catastrophic injuries and the long-term impact on the victims requires specialized attention.
Complex liability issues:
Determining the liable parties in truck accident cases can be intricate. Multiple parties may be involved, including the truck driver, trucking company, maintenance contractors, cargo loaders, or vehicle manufacturers. Identifying the responsible parties and establishing their degree of fault requires a thorough investigation by an experienced truck accident lawyer and an understanding of the trucking industry.
The trucking industry is regulated by extensive federal laws and regulations, such as those outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations govern various aspects, including driver qualifications, service hours, vehicle maintenance, and cargo securement. Navigating these regulations and determining if any violations contributed to the accident can be challenging.
Preserving critical evidence in truck accident cases is crucial. Evidence includes obtaining the truck’s black box data, driver logs, maintenance records, police reports, and surveillance footage, among other forms of evidence. Acting swiftly to secure and analyze this evidence is essential before it gets lost or destroyed.
Commercial trucking companies typically have significant insurance coverage. Dealing with multiple insurance companies, each with its own legal teams and complex policies, can be daunting. Negotiating fair compensation and ensuring that all applicable insurance policies are identified and accessed requires expertise in handling these complicated insurance matters.
Due to the complexity of truck accident cases, expert testimony often plays a crucial role. Accident reconstruction experts, trucking industry professionals, medical experts, and economists may be necessary to establish liability, assess damages, and present a strong case.
Statute of limitations:
Truck accident cases are subject to specific statutes of limitations, which vary by jurisdiction. Under these limitations, a lawsuit must be filed within the designated time limit to avoid forfeiting the legal right to recover damages. Prompt action and understanding of these deadlines are crucial in truck accident cases.
Navigating these unique challenges requires the expertise of a skilled personal injury attorney experienced in handling truck accident cases. They can help victims and their families pursue fair compensation and navigate the complexities of these types of claims.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACCIDENT:
THE TRUCKING COMPANY OR THE DRIVER?
Determining liability in truck accident cases can be a multifaceted process. The question of responsibility often revolves around whether the trucking company or the driver should be held accountable. In many cases, both parties may share some degree of fault. The driver’s actions, such as distracted driving, speeding, or fatigue, are often key contributors in an accident. However, the trucking company may also bear responsibility due to inadequate training, negligent hiring practices, improper vehicle maintenance, or pressuring drivers to violate hours-of-service regulations.
Establishing liability requires a thorough investigation of various elements. The driver’s employment status is a critical factor. If the driver is an employee of the trucking company, the company may be held vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence. Additionally, the trucking company’s actions and policies, such as failing to enforce safety protocols, can contribute to its share of responsibility.
To navigate these complex liability issues, extensive evidence gathering is essential. This may include obtaining the driving logs, reviewing the trucking company’s records, analyzing the driver’s qualifications and training, and examining the company’s compliance with federal regulations. Expert testimony from accident reconstruction specialists and industry professionals can help establish the link between negligence and the resulting accident.
It’s worth noting that liability determinations may vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case, jurisdictional laws, and contractual agreements between the trucking company and the driver. Given the complexity involved, consulting with an experienced truck accident lawyer specializing in truck accidents is crucial. They can assess the unique factors of your situation, identify responsible parties, and build a solid case to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Did you know?
You do not have to be a legal resident of the United States to receive compensation for personal injuries resulting from a truck accident. Contact a truck accident lawyer today!
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO
FILE A CLAIM AFTER A TRUCK ACCIDENT?
Understanding the applicable statutes of limitations is crucial to ensure you protect your rights and seek appropriate compensation after a truck accident. Filing a claim within a specific timeframe is essential following a truck accident. In California, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada, the statute of limitations for a truck accident case is two years from the accident date. However, in Washington, you have three years to take legal action.
It’s essential to be aware that in certain circumstances, such as if injuries are discovered weeks or months after the accident, the courts may extend the deadline. In such cases, the clock starts running from the date of injury discovery, ensuring you have ample time to pursue your claim.
If you’re pursuing compensation for wrongful death, the deadline is typically two years from the date of your loved one’s passing if it differs from the accident date. Contact our law firm if you have any questions about the statute of limitations for your particular case.
HOW IS A TRUCK ACCIDENT
SETTLEMENT VALUE DETERMINED?
Calculating the settlement value of a truck accident claim involves a comprehensive assessment of various factors. Truck accidents can result in serious injuries that may require ongoing medical treatment. Victims may also face financial hardship due to lost wages and property damage. While each case is unique, the following elements are typically considered when determining the value of a truck accident claim settlement:
Having an experienced truck accident attorney on your side is crucial to help you obtain fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Truck accident lawyers can help you estimate a fair settlement amount.
If you’ve lost a loved one in a truck accident, we understand this is a difficult time for you and your family. Our heart and condolences go out to you, and we would like to offer the services of our wrongful death attorneys. Our consultations are confidential and can be conducted in Spanish or English
Special damages are intended to compensate the victim for their financial losses resulting from the accident, and they can be a significant part of the overall compensation awarded in a successful case.
Examples of special damages include:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Emergency transportation
- Loss of income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Replacement costs (cost of paying a third party to handle tasks you would normally do but can no longer manage due to your injury)
- Property damage (cars, motorcycles, personal items)
Your truck accident attorney will determine this amount by gathering evidence, such as medical records, medical bills, receipts, bank statements, and wage statements from your employer. These will form part of your personal injury claim.
General damages are compensation for intangible losses following a trucking accident, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
When it comes to general damages, sometimes called non-economic damages, it isn’t easy to calculate the exact monetary amount that should be awarded.
Examples of general damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Loss of quality of life
- Disfigurement or impairment
Knowing the difference between the types of damages, accident victims will better understand what types of compensation they may be entitled to receive in their personal injury claims.
Call us at (800) 417-8034 to schedule a FREE consultation with a truck accident lawyer and learn more about how much compensation you may be awarded.
STEPS FOR FILING A
TRUCK ACCIDENT CLAIM
Sign A Written Agreement With A Truck Accident Lawyer
Formalize the professional relationship with your truck accident attorney. Review, negotiate, and sign a contract with clear terms.
The retainer agreement, for example, should describe the following:
- Acknowledgment that the confidential attorney-client relationship has begun.
- Contingency fee percentages
- Terms on how you and your attorney can cancel this agreement.
- Understanding waiting times
Keep in mind that every law firm may work under a different style of contract, with some being more complicated than others t. Be sure to dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
Avoid Direct Communication With The Trucking Company and their Insurance Companies
Communication should flow between your attorney and their insurance company. Commercial truck accidents are handled very differently than passenger car accidents, mainly because of the large number of parties involved.
Contact your insurance company
- Report your truck accident to your insurance company.
- Do not sign anything or answer questions you are not sure about.
If the truck company’s adjuster or other insurance companies contact you
- Refer them to your attorney. Provide them with the name and phone number of your truck accident attorney.
- Only answer questions of any kind with your attorney present.
- Only sign documents with your attorney’s approval.
Police, DMV, and Doctors
- File a police report.
- Seek medical attention immediately after the accident.
- Report the truck accident to the DMV (when required by law)
- Do not share details of your accident with anyone other than your attorney.
Collect Evidence to Strengthen Your Case
The more evidence you and your attorney can gather, the better the outcome of your case will be. Evidence may include:
- Police report
- Medical records
- Witness statements
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Expert opinions
- Employment and financial records
- Truck maintenance and inspection records
Send The Personal Injury Demand Letter
If you and your legal team have gathered and reviewed the evidence and have enough to move forward with the claim, now is the time to do so.
Your truck accident lawyer will draft and send a personal injury demand letter to the truck company.
The insurance company of the party responsible for the truck accident will receive the demand letter. Most significantly, this letter puts in writing a particular “demand,” which is the financial settlement amount.
A demand letter informs the trucking companies and their insurers that they will only be released from liability for this accident upon compliance with the terms outlined in the letter.
AFTER A CLAIM IS FILED?
If the truck insurance company agrees to the settlement terms proposed in the demand letter, the case settles without having to go to court
When the Case Is Settled in Negotiation
The next steps for the driver’s insurance company are:
However, if the insurance company disagrees with the demand or refuses to pay, negotiations may continue until a settlement is reached. If negotiations cannot achieve a settlement, the case may proceed to trial.
Filing a lawsuit occurs when negotiations do not lead to a settlement agreement. This option is always the least recommended.
When Negotiations Fail
In some cases, going to trial may be the best course of action if negotiations fail. If you and your lawyer are unable to reach an agreement with the trucking company’s insurance company, your attorney will need to take the case to court. Here’s what to expect:
A judge or jury will determine the final verdict. Personal injury trials tend to be unique events, so your legal team should be prepared to give it their all to win.
After the Settlement or Verdict
The insurance company will send the settlement check approximately 30 days after accepting a payment or winning a verdict.
The check will be deposited into an escrow account, where it must remain while the bank clears the funds.
This is done to ensure that the insurance company has the funds to pay your settlement and outstanding liens, expenses related to your case, and attorney’s fees.
Once the check clears the escrow account, your attorney can disburse your share of the settlement funds.
SHOULD I HIRE A
TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER?
Hiring a truck accident lawyer is crucial for maximizing your compensation. Truck accident cases often involve complex legal issues, multiple parties, and substantial damages. A skilled lawyer specializing in truck accidents understands the intricacies of these cases and will work diligently to build a strong claim on your behalf. They will assess the true value of your damages, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for your rights to ensure you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Why should I talk to a lawyer?
Hiring a specialized truck accident lawyer offers several benefits. They have in-depth knowledge of trucking regulations, industry standards, and common causes of truck accidents. Understanding of these specific factors allows them to identify liable parties accurately and effectively. In addition, a truck accident lawyer can:
GET HELP TODAY
Call our truck accident lawyers today. Contact Abogados de Accidentes Ahora. We have offices in California, Texas, Arizona, Washington, Colorado and Nevada. We speak English and Spanish!
If you can’t come to one of our offices, we’ll come to you.
How difficult is it to prove fault in a truck accident?
When a truck accident claim is filed, you are not up against just one insurance company but several different industries trying to protect their drivers/companies. Your attorney will help you win your case by:
- Explaining the process for filing a claim
- Gathering key evidence about your accident
- Selecting and preparing experts and witnesses
Who gets the money in a truck accident lawsuit?
The check from the insurance company will arrive at your attorney’s office. The attorney will deposit the check into an escrow account, which should remain while the bank clears the funds. One of the purposes of placing a check in an escrow account is to ensure the insurance company has the funds to pay your settlement.
Once the check clears the escrow account, your attorney will withdraw their fee.
If there is an outstanding lien, your attorney will have to hold the check until those debts are settled.
It is imperative to pay liens before receiving settlement funds. You could face legal consequences if you fail to pay a lien to the government, a vendor, or an insurance company.
Fortunately, your attorney can handle this process on your behalf.
How much is a truck accident settlement worth?
The correct answer is: it depends on the case. It also depends on the circumstances of your accident and the legal representation you hire. Here are some of the factors that may influence the final amount:
- Truck driver’s insurance company
- Truck driver’s employer
- The Truck manufacturer (if there is a defect in the truck)
- Company that loaded the truck (if the truck was improperly loaded)
- A third-party company
Why should you choose Abogados de Accidentes Ahora?
Our team of skilled attorneys is committed to listening to your needs, understanding your situation, and providing expert guidance every step of the way. With offices throughout the Southwest, we’re always nearby when you need us.
We’re proud to serve a diverse client base, including many members of the Hispanic community who prefer to communicate with us in their preferred language. That’s why our entire team is fluent in Spanish, and we have extensive experience supporting our Latino clients.
Thus, when you choose Abogados de Accidentes Ahora, you’re choosing a team dedicated to delivering compassionate and effective legal representation to every client, no matter their background or circumstances.
CONFÍA TU CASO DE ACCIDENTE DE CAMIÓN EN
ABOGADOS DE ACCIDENTES AHORA
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