Being injured in a truck wreck can cause serious problems. The Texas Truck Accident Guide was created by Austin injury lawyer Daniel R. Smith to help residents earn maximum compensation from the insurance companies.
Too often when someone makes a mistake, it ends up resulting in consequences they never imagined. When it comes to getting hurt, it’s not different. A driver might think that a quick text won’t do much damage. These mistakes can cost innocent people their safety, health, and well being. That distracted driver now has to face the fact that they’ve not only caused someone injury, but also damaged their vehicle. These types of serious consequences happen all the time because people make foolish mistakes without considering the impact that they might have.
Our Texas truck accident attorney knows that the victims of these accidents need protection and we offer our services to you when you are faced with life-altering injury that could have been avoided. Our job is to represent you in your pursuit to get fair and just compensation. We want to be your champion. You deserve to get every penny you are entitled to. No one deserves to have their life turned on its head because of another person’s foolish errors.
Types of Texas Truck Accident Injury
We understand that there are many different scenarios that could cause another person harm. People lose concentration, speed, are reckless, and generally can have a total lack of safety. There are several different types of truck accident injuries that we will represent you for. When our clients are in truck accidents, mostly commonly, we see these injuries:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Nerve damage
- Tendon damage
- Muscle tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Head or neck injuries
- Scarring or disfigurement
Each truck accident carries its own set of potential injuries. They range from minor to highly severe. You could be suffering from something with an easy fix or you could be afflicted with an injury that might never heal. It is an unthinkable horror that is a reality to some people. When tragedy strikes, what we can help you with is getting compensation for your injuries.
Basic Compensation Laws in Texas
For all truck accidents that caused enough damage to where your no fault doesn’t cover all of it, you can pursue a personal injury claim. For a claim, you will be going after monetary compensation. Texas follows modified comparative negligence standards which allows you to receive compensation even if you are found to be at fault for your accident. The first issue is that you cannot collect a reward if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault. The other issue is that, when you are found at fault up to 50 percent, you will get docked for however much you are at fault. For instance, if you’re found to be at fault for 20 percent and you’ve been awarded $100,000 for your injuries, you will be docked 20 percent leaving you with $80,000 to collect that accounts for the fault you shared in your accident.
It is very important that you get the right attorney to support you through this journey so that you don’t lose out on compensation that you should be getting. You will have insurance adjusters on your case trying to get statements from you that will make you seem at fault even if you were not. Your attorney will take on that communication and protect your right to full and fair compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions | Texas Truck Accident Guide
What Do I Do After My Truck Accident?
The first thing you need to do after a truck accident is follow the doctor’s orders. That gives you the best chance to recover as much as you are able to.
The next thing you need to do is hire an attorney. It’s critical to hire an attorney as quickly as possible. Evidence gets lost and witnesses forget things, and that attorney’s job is to gather all of the evidence that can be gathered to strengthen your case.
Lastly, you need to hire the right attorney. The right attorney is a personal injury attorney who does trucking cases. Trucking cases are different than other cases, they’re unique. It’s important that your attorney has experience and is a trial attorney. Trial attorneys are treated differently by the insurance companies. Insurance companies don’t want to go to trial. If they know that the other attorney is willing to go to trial, it gives you a better chance of getting a better result. Also, if you end up going to trial, your attorney will be ready.
How Do I Find the Right Attorney?
The other day I had someone call into our office who had just been in a wreck with a tractor trailer, and they asked me, “How do I choose the right attorney for me in this trucking wreck?” The first thing is you have to establish a level of comfort with your attorney. Attorney-client relationships are based on comfort and trust, and we should be able to establish that in that first phone call or meeting.
Next, you need to hire someone who has experience in trucking wrecks. Trucking wrecks are different than other wrecks. You don’t want to hire someone that just dabbles in personal injury law or dabbles in trucking wrecks. You need someone who has experience and understands how to work those cases so you can get the best result.
Next, you need to hire someone who is a trial attorney because those attorneys will work a case from the beginning as if we’re going to trial, and that gets you the best result. Beyond that, insurance companies on the other side know who the trial attorneys are, so they’re more likely to give a fair settlement offer. Worst case, if we can’t get a fair settlement offer, we’re ready to go to trial and get you the best result that we can.
Should I Talk to the Insurance Company?
You may be wondering, “What are some of the common mistakes that people make when dealing with insurance companies?” The first mistake that people commonly make is they give a recorded statement. Insurance companies and their adjusters are trained to try and trick you during those statements. We will never tell you not to tell the truth, but it’s important that, before you give any statement, you’re prepared.
The next mistake that people make is they take the first offer. The first offer is almost always a lowball offer, and they’re just trying to see if, by chance, they can get it done quickly and cheaply for that amount.
What Mistakes Should I Avoid Making?
Recently, I was contacted by someone who had been seriously injured by a truck, and they asked, “What are some of the common mistakes that people make?” The first mistake people make is they don’t seek medical treatment right away. Closely related to that is they don’t follow the doctor’s orders after seeking medical treatment. Lawyers understand that you have lots of other responsibilities in your life, but insurance adjusters do not understand that. If you don’t seek treatment, or don’t follow up with your treatment, they’re going to say that you weren’t actually hurt.
Another common mistake people make is they give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster is there to limit the exposure of the insurance company. The insurance company is not there to fairly compensate people for their claims.
Another mistake people make is they delay in hiring an attorney. It’s very important to hire an attorney as soon as possible so that your attorney can investigate your claim. There might be a recording that gets lost or deleted, and an attorney can help try to prevent that from happening.
Lastly, it’s important to hire the right attorney. The right attorney is someone who devotes a large part of their practice to personal injury claims and trucking accidents specifically. Trucking accidents are different than other cases. You want your attorney to be a trial lawyer. When you hire a trial attorney, that means the insurance company is going to know who they are, and the insurance company will more fairly compensate you when you have a trial attorney representing you because they don’t want to go to trial. If you’re unable to settle that case, a good thing is that you’re represented by someone who is ready to go to trial.
What if I Have a Preexisting Condition?
A person who was in a trucking accident and wanted to know how their preexisting condition would affect their claim. The answer is complicated. For example, if they had a back injury that bothered them and they suffered pain between a two and a four in their back before the truck accident, but after the trucking accident they’re pain got to as high as an eight, then the truck would be responsible for the change in their condition, but it would not be responsible for anything that had already existed. Preexisting conditions are very complicated and vary a lot on a case-by-case basis.
How Much is My Case Worth?
One of the first questions people usually have for me is, “How much is my case worth?” Unfortunately, early on, there isn’t a good answer to that question. We won’t know the answer to that question until you’re done with your medical treatment. Generally as a good rule of thumb, the more serious the injury, the more your case is worth.
There are a lot of different types of compensation that you can receive. A few of them include past and future lost wages, past and future medical costs, and past and future pain and suffering.
How Long Will My Case Take?
We got a call from someone who was in the hospital after they’d been in a trucking wreck, and they asked how long it was going to take for their case to be resolved. Unfortunately, early on, there isn’t a crystal clear answer.
The first step is you have to complete your medical treatment or get to a point in your medical treatment where we know the extent of your injuries. Once that is known, then can we submit a demand to the insurance company asking for fair and just compensation for your injuries. If we ask before, then we don’t know what the extent of your injuries are and they could be worse than we thought. If they’re worse, then you won’t be fairly compensated.
After the demand is submitted, the insurance company has a deadline in which they have to respond. If they respond with something that we can work with, then we negotiate and we try to resolve your case then. Unfortunately, most of the time that doesn’t happen and we have to file a lawsuit. If we can’t negotiate, we file the lawsuit and serve the defendants. Normally, serving the defendants isn’t a problem, but occasionally people run away from being served lawsuits.
Once the defendant is served, they have 30 days to respond to the lawsuit. When they respond to the lawsuit, they’re almost always represented by an attorney. At that point, we work with that attorney to get a trial date, and then there’s an end in sight. If, for whatever reason, we’re unable to negotiate a fair settlement, we know when we’re going to trial.
Will My Truck Accident Case Go to Trial?
Most cases do not go to trial. However, some cases have to. What I assure all my clients, is you are always the person who gets to decide whether or not we accept a settlement offer or we go to trial. I will advise you, in my role, if I believe a settlement offer is fair or just, but you are always the boss and get to make that final decision.
I can also assure you that if we do go to trial, you’ll be very well-prepared and there’s nothing to worry about. Truly, it’s an opportunity to tell your story to a jury of your peers and a judge.
Call Our Texas Office Today
If you are looking for a skilled, caring, and experienced Austin truck accident attorney, please call our office today to set up a free consultation. We will treat you as a priority from the first phone call. It is important to us that we get you the compensation you deserve. We will fight tirelessly against the tactics used by the insurance companies who are only interesting in protecting their bottom line. We will be your champion against that injustice and do everything we can to ensure you are fully compensated for injuries we are sure have cause you and your family a lot of unneeded and unwanted grief. Please contact skilled Austin truck accident attorney Daniel Smith today to find out more.