Accidents involving larger commercial trucks can lead to devastating injuries for those inside traditional passenger vehicles. Survivors often struggle to recover the compensation they are entitled to in the aftermath.
Our Houston truck accident attorneys are standing by to help. When it comes to your accident, you want the Law Offices of Domingo Garcia on your side so that the insurance company doesn’t play around with your claim. You should never talk to the insurance company, even on your own, without a trained professional on your side.
Grounds For Houston Truck Accident Claims
Many truck accident victims in Houston find that they are unsure whether they have grounds for a claim. After all, the last thing you want is to be accused of filing a frivolous lawsuit that appears attention-seeking.
However, when you are lying in your Houston hospital bed wondering what your next steps should be, consider the following questions:
- Is someone else responsible for causing your Houston truck accident?
- Could someone else’s negligence be the cause of your collision?
- Is it possible another party is at fault for your commercial truck accident?
- Have your injuries significantly impacted your life financially?
- Have your injuries resulted in severe emotional trauma?
- Have you suffered debilitating physical injuries?
- Are your injuries likely to impact your life for years to come?
If you answered yes to one or more of the previously mentioned questions, you may very well have grounds for a truck accident claim in Houston. Someone else must be responsible for causing your injuries, whether that be intentionally or accidentally.
Your injuries must also have significantly affected your life for your injuries to warrant legal action. This does not necessarily mean you must have suffered a life-threatening or debilitating injury. But rather, your injuries must have had a substantial effect on your life in general for your case to be successful.
Common Truck Accident Injuries to Sue For
Now that you understand what the grounds for a truck accident claim are, you may be curious whether your injuries are severe enough to warrant a lawsuit. However, it is important to remember that the type of injuries you are suffering from will not determine whether you have the right to pursue a case.
It is the impact your injuries have that will give you a better idea of whether you have a truck accident lawsuit or insurance claim on your hands. With that in mind, we often see some types of truck accident injuries in the Houston civil court system more frequently than others. Some of the more common types of injuries include:
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ failure
- Third-degree burns
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Contusions and abrasions
- Depression and anxiety
- Broken and fractured bones
If you suffered another type of injury not described above, you may still have grounds for a truck accident claim in Houston. You can explore your legal options further when you contact your truck accident attorney to discuss your injuries in greater detail.
Common Types of Truck Accidents in Houston
Our Houston truck accident lawyers have represented drivers involved in all sorts of big truck accidents in the Houston area. Some examples include:
- Hazardous cargo accidents
- Abandoned trucks on the road or in traffic
- Truck backing up accidents
- 18-wheeler blind spot crashes
- Left-turn accidents at intersections
- T-bone truck crashes
- Tractor-trailer rollover
- Underride accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Blindspot accidents
- Jackknife crashes caused by a truck suddenly braking,
- Tire blowout incidents
- Load drop accidents caused by unsecured cargo
Regardless of the size of the truck involved in your accident, we can all agree that an automobile collision can potentially leave you injured and traumatized. In some cases, these incidents can even result in a fatality. However, with over 35 years of practicing personal injury law, attorney Domingo Garcia has noticed that these larger, more devastating commercial truck accidents generally include 18-wheelers.
Don’t Let the Insurance Company Take Advantage of You
We understand being a victim of any large commercial truck accident is an extremely scary and difficult time. For anyone to have to go through this without any guidance is what insurance companies want. They want to take advantage of you and downplay your injuries to pay you as little as possible.
However, Domingo Garcia firmly believes in equal justice for all and this is why we offer free consultations and medical treatment while we investigate your accident and until we win your case!
How Insurance Claims Work for Truck Accidents
One of the top ways truck accident victims recover compensation for their damages is by filing a claim with the insurance company. Texas is a fault state when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. This means when you were involved in an accident, you will need to file an insurance claim with the liable party’s insurance provider.
However, dealing with the insurance company is not going to be easy. Insurance companies are profit-focused and care far more about preserving their company’s finances than they do about making sure your family has access to the compensation they need to get through these difficult times.
Insurance adjusters have been known to take advantage of injury victims in a number of ways. Some of the more common types of insurance tactics you need to be aware of in your Houston truck accident claim include:
- Having unwarranted fault placed on you
- Being offered an insultingly low settlement
- Delays in the processing of your claim
- Bad faith insurance denials
You can expect the insurer to look for every opportunity they can find to reduce the amount of compensation they are required to pay you or deny your claim entirely.
For this reason, it will be critical that you get an experienced truck accident attorney on your side who will ensure liability is assessed accurately in your case and that the insurance company is held accountable to their financial obligation.
Truck Accident Insurance Settlements Will Not Meet Your Needs
It is important to note that while insurance settlements are one of the top ways injury victims recover compensation for their damages, insurance settlements do not typically fully cover a victim’s damages. In fact, you should not expect the insurance company to cover your damages in their entirety.
This is, in part, because Texas is a fault state. Since you are filing a claim with the liable party’s insurance provider, the amount of coverage you have available and the types of coverage protecting you will be based on the types and amounts of coverage the policyholder purchased.
This means yes, the policyholder only purchased the minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage under the law, and your medical expenses exceeded this limit, the insurance company will only be required to cover up to the highest amount of the coverage purchased. Any remaining damages will need to be sought after through your civil truck accident lawsuit.
It is far more common than you might think for injury victims to obtain compensation for only property damages and medical expenses from the insurance company. Always be prepared to bring your case to court if you hope to get the most out of your claim and hold the liable party accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
Why You Should Choose the Law Office of Domingo Garcia
Truck accident cases are undoubtedly the most complex and complicated area of practice within personal injury law. Even so, many firms who state they can help you with your accident case actually can’t handle the complex processes involved. This is because they are not properly equipped with the experience to go toe-to-toe with these large insurance companies, and they ultimately refer your case to another attorney who is.
Fortunately, by hard work, dedication, and over 35 years of experience, Attorney Domingo Garcia is well trained and prepared to handle your case from the beginning to the very end. Not only do we have years of experience, but we have been recognized and awarded through the years as a well-established and respected law firm statewide. We are here to help; you are not alone.
We don’t stop there. Our team is not afraid to go to court and take insurance companies to trial if we feel in any way that they are not offering fair compensation to you, our client. Recently the Law Office of Domingo Garcia was recognized and earned a spot in the Texas Top 50 Settlements for 2019. One of our more recent victories came from a wrongful-death accident related-crash where we recovered $4 Million dollars for our client in 2019.
Choosing Attorney Domingo Garcia will guarantee that you are surrounded by the most highly trained, qualified, and prestigious legal team that will ensure every policy limit is explored and exhausted for all of our clients. Let us help you. Call us today for your free consultation.
How to Win Your Truck Accident Claim in Houston
If you are hoping to win your truck accident insurance and civil claims, there are many steps you need to take, each equally as important as the last. Your attorney will be responsible for handling all of the major legal details of your keys while you focus on recuperating.
We will need to start off by establishing fault, as the only way you can recover compensation for your loss is by proving someone else is responsible for causing your injuries. Here is more about determining and proving liability in a Houston truck accident:
Establishing Liability for Your Injuries
Commercial truck accidents in Houston are most frequently caused by negligent driving. In many instances, truck drivers are engaging in unsafe driving practices, putting themselves and the public at risk for severe and catastrophic injuries. Some of the more common types of negligent driving known to cause truck accidents include:
- Failure to yield to the right of way
- Failure to stop at a traffic light or stop sign
- Failure to use a turn signal
- Making illegal turns
- Driving over the speed limit
- Reckless driving
- Road rage
- Aggressive driving
- Driving while fatigued
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
When a truck driver’s negligence is the cause of a collision, not only can the truck driver be held accountable, but the trucking company that employs the truck driver could also be at fault if they are found in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules and regulations.
However, it is also important to note that negligent drivers are not the only cause of commercial truck accidents in Houston. There are many instances in which hazardous road conditions and defective auto parts have also contributed to tractor-trailer accidents. Some of the parties who could share liability for dangerous roads and malfunctioning motor vehicle parts include:
- Government agencies
- Government officials
- Maintenance technicians
- Safety inspectors
- Truck part designers
- Truck part manufacturers
- Truck part distributors
- Cargo loaders
- The owner of the truck
- The trucking company
These are only a few of the more common parties found liable in commercial truck accidents in Houston. Your attorney will need to conduct an in-depth investigation into the cause of your accident to establish how the accident occurred and who is responsible for compensating you for your damages.
How Shared Fault Could Impact Your Case
Far too many truck accident victims failed to contact a lawyer for help because they believe sharing liability for their injuries prohibits them from recovering compensation for their damages. However, Texas operates under a modified comparative negligence system.
More commonly referred to as proportionate responsibility, truck accident victims can share up to 50% of the fault for the accident and still recover compensation for the portion of fault that is not theirs. You will also need to be held accountable for your portion of liability before you can collect compensation for your damages.
To do this, you can expect the Houston civil courts to reduce your injury settlement by your percentage of liability. For example, if you were not wearing your seatbelt when you were struck by a drowsy truck driver, the judge might find you 10% responsible for causing your injuries. At trial, if the jury awarded you $1,000,000 for your damages, your injury settlement would be reduced by 10%, leaving you with a $900,000 injury settlement.
If you are worried that Texas’ proportionate responsibility laws could have a negative impact on the outcome of your case, reach out to your attorney to discuss your concerns in greater detail.
The Elements of Negligence
To prove liability in a truck accident claim, your lawyer will be tasked with proving that the elements of negligence have been met. These elements are as follows:
- Duty of care – The defendant must have owed you a duty of care in some way. For example, truck drivers inherently owe other drivers on the roadways a duty of care when they are operating a commercial vehicle.
- Breach of duty – The defendant must have breached their duty of care. A truck driver who operates a vehicle under the influence would be considered in breach of their duty of care, since they are aware of the fact that drunk driving is dangerous and puts themselves and others at risk for injury or death.
- Causation – The defendant’s actions must be the direct or indirect cause of the victims’ damages.
- Damages – The truck accident victim’s life must have been significantly affected emotionally, physically, or financially due to the accident.
Evidence to Support Your Truck Accident Claim
If your case goes to court, your attorney will need to prove liability based on a preponderance of the evidence. This means your attorney must present evidence that shows the judge and jury that the defendant is more than likely responsible for causing your injuries.
Although the burden of proof may be less strict in civil claims, your lawyer will still need to introduce evidence that leaves a little down in the minds of the jury. Some of the more common types of valuable evidence used to prove fault in Houston truck accident claims include:
- Blackbox data
- Cell phone records
- Medical records
- Chemical blood alcohol test results
- Accident reconstructionist reports
- Injury reconstructionist reports
- Accident and police reports
- Safety logs
- Safety inspection reports
- Financial records
- Video footage of the accident
- Dashcam footage
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos of the accident scene
Your attorney’s in-depth analysis of the cause of your commercial truck accident will uncover the time-sensitive evidence needed to prove fault in your case.
Is There a Deadline for Truck Accident Claims in Houston?
If you are interested in moving forward with a Houston truck accident lawsuit, it is important that you take action on your case quickly. The statute of limitations for commercial truck accident claims is only two years. Two years is a limited amount of time to bring your case forward. Your lawyer needs as much time as possible to gather the evidence needed to prove liability and build a powerful case against the culpable party.
If you fail to get your truck accident claim filed before the statute of limitations runs out, you will no longer have the right to have your keys heard in the Houston civil court system. For this reason, it is essential that you get an experienced legal advocate on your side as soon as possible following your truck accident injuries.
Examining the Value of Your Houston Truck Accident Case
We work diligently to recover various types of compensation for you, including all of your economic and non-economic losses resulting from the Houston truck accident.
- Free consultations: Domingo Garcia offers free consultations to people who have just been in a wreck. We will answer all your questions, and if we can’t help you, we will point you to the right attorney who can.
- Medical treatment: We understand that every collision takes a toll on your body differently but do not take any chances. After hiring Domingo Garcia, we make sure the clients are seen by a health specialist immediately and begin their road to recovery.
- Property Damages: After your accident, your car may not be operable and in the shop for repair. We have a team of specialists who solely dedicate their time to guarantee the insurance company is held responsible for all damages, fix your car and get you into a rental.
- Pain and suffering: The majority of those who were involved in a wreck usually are hurting and need medical treatment. We make sure the insurance companies and their drivers are held accountable for any suffering that follows – not just for the physical injuries but for psychological ones as well.
Could You Be Awarded Punitive Damages?
You may also be entitled to an award of punitive damages if the judge finds the defendant’s actions grossly negligent or reprehensible. It is important to remember that punitive damages are not a loss you are entitled to recover. Instead, they are the court system’s opportunity to punish the defendant beyond your compensatory and general damages.
What to Do If You Were Injured in an 18-Wheeler Crash
In a collision between a truck and a car, there is a lot of physics at work, but you do not need to be a scientist to know the outcome. Although speed can play a major factor in any accident, an accident between two objects of such different sizes, even at low speeds, can be catastrophic for the car.
Semi-truck collisions in Houston will typically cause drivers of passenger cars to suffer increased injuries, permanent disabilities, or even death in the event of an accident. Our truck crash legal team is well-versed in the laws pertaining to truck safety, liability, and insurance negotiations, making it possible for you to focus on healing rather than on legal details.
We keep you informed throughout the entire process, helping you to understand your rights and maximize your compensation. If you have been injured in a truck crash or if you have lost a loved one in a commercial truck accident, contact the Law Office of Domingo Garcia today.
How Long a Truck Accident Case Will Take
We cannot begin processing your claim until after we have received all of the doctor’s reports stating exactly what your medical condition is and your long-term prognosis. In other words, until you have reached “maximum medical improvements.” If we try to settle your case before your medical condition is stabilized, you may lose money that you might be entitled to for a condition that did not show up until after your case was settled.
It is important to know that your case will not be settled until the damages have been determined and all investigations to determine who is liable have been completed. It generally takes several months to gather the necessary information. If a trial becomes necessary, it can take several years to complete a case. One of the most difficult requests we make of you is to have patience. We will work as hard and fast as possible to settle your case quickly.
Truck Accident Statistics You Should Know
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), is charged with collecting and analyzing data involving truck accidents in all 50 states. According to a recent report, 4,951 trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds were involved in fatal crashes in 2018, which is an increase over the previous year. Singles (truck tractors pulling a single semi-trailer) accounted for 59% of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2017.
In 2018 there were an estimated 151,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks—an increase of 2% from an estimated 148,000 in 2017. 71% of people killed in large truck crashes in 2018 were occupants of other vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 98% of all semi-truck accidents result in one or more fatalities, and tractor-trailer accidents are responsible for more than $20 billion in damages each year. When it comes to commercial trucks as a larger classification, the average truck accident results in about $59,200 in damage, and 90% of these accidents are caused or made worse by human error.
How a Houston Truck Accident Attorney Can Help with Your Claim
Filing a claim, collecting evidence of a crash, proving fault, and gaining fair compensation are the major aspects of every truck crash case. However, each of these factors can be exceedingly challenging for someone without any legal experience. By finding a skilled and experienced truck accident lawyer in Houston, you can have someone who will craft your case while you focus on recovering from injuries.
At the Law Office of Domingo Garcia, P.C., our team of accident attorneys has helped numerous victims recover from their severe losses by holding truckers and trucking companies responsible for the accidents they cause. To find out more about your potential case and how we may be able to help you, call for a no-cost consultation.