Commercial vehicle accidents have the potential to result in severe injuries and fatalities. Even those who aren’t injured in a collision with these large vehicles can sustain extensive vehicle damage. Finally, the emotional trauma of an accident may make coping much more difficult. Our car accident lawyers want to alleviate some of these burdens for you.
At Domingo Garcia, we are ready to take on your case, demonstrate the responsible party’s fault, identify damages, and pursue the compensation you deserve. Our Arlington commercial vehicle accident lawyers can help you navigate the complex legal process while you heal and move forward with your life.
How Can an Arlington Commercial Vehicle Attorney Help With Your Claim?
At Domingo Garcia, our lawyers can handle the process of filing your claim and fighting for your financial award from start to finish. Specific tasks include the following:
Consulting With Expert Witnesses
Your attorney will prove the responsible party is liable based on a “preponderance of the evidence.” While this is a lower burden of proof than criminal cases, it still requires evidence, investigation, and convincing arguments from your legal representatives.
One way to help satisfy this requirement is to recruit expert witnesses, such as accident reconstructionists, to procure evidence. Their findings can significantly impact your case results and compensation by giving insurance adjusters or a judge or jury an accurate picture of the cause of your accident.
Handling Negotiations With Responsible Parties
Your attorney will handle the negotiations with responsible parties and insurers, so you don’t have to navigate this process yourself. The at-fault party or insurer will likely fight back based on their best interests to minimize their financial responsibility. We will shield you from unfair offers and use the strength of our case as leverage to fight for what you deserve.
Investigating Federal Commercial Vehicle and Trucking Violations
Companies that own and manage commercial vehicles and trucks must follow specific federal regulations. Failure to adhere to these is negligent. A thorough examination of the vehicle’s logs and black box data could prove the liable driver’s or company’s negligence and liability.
Gathering Evidence to Prove the Other Party’s Liability
Your attorney must gather and present supportive evidence to prove liability. Some of this comes from the accident scene. However, other evidence might not be easily accessible, such as black box data recorded by the commercial truck or other private information like phone records.
File a Lawsuit if Necessary
Most personal injury cases result in a settlement, but occasionally they go to trial. When this happens, it is crucial to have an attorney to represent you and present evidence in favor of your claim. They can file a lawsuit against the company, the driver, and other third parties, including maintenance shops and defective part manufacturers. Just like when they’re negotiating a settlement, they will fight for your best interests and work to secure the compensation you deserve.
How Can a Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer in Arlington Help You Recover Compensation?
Accidents involving large vehicles can result in significant financial issues for those affected. Many of the highest medical expenses are due to severe bodily injuries and long-lasting impairments or disabilities. If you’ve already received a settlement offer, a lawyer can help you determine if the proposal is fair and covers all your expenses, such as medical bills, now and in the future.
Our Arlington commercial vehicle lawyer can help you recover the following damages in a personal injury claim:
- Medical bills, such as emergency care, hospital stays, doctor’s visits, medication, etc.
- Lost wages for the time needed to recover
- Reduced future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Long-term or permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of quality and enjoyment of life
This is not a complete list of the damages you may pursue related to your accident. An Arlington commercial accident attorney can help you identify all of your losses, estimate their value, and fight for the financial award you need to recover from the harm you’ve suffered.
The Statute of Limitations for Commercial Vehicle Accident Cases
The statute of limitations in the State of Texas to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim is two years from the date of your injury or a loved one’s passing. An Arlington commercial vehicle accident attorney can ensure you file your claim correctly and before the time limit ends.
Wrongful Death Damages
Wrongful death can occur when another party is negligent, and their actions result in fatal injuries. Texas law stipulates that “the deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, and parents—or one or more of those individuals on behalf of them all—are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state’s civil courts.”
Put simply, this means that certain family members or the loved one’s personal representative may file for the benefit of the surviving family.
Damages potentially available in an Arlington wrongful death claim may compensate for several types of losses, including the following:
- Lost future earning capacity
- Loss of care, support, services, and advice the loved one would have provided
- Emotional trauma and anguish experienced by the surviving family
- Loss of love and companionship
- Lost inheritance
- Funeral, burial, or cremation expenses
Proving the Other Party Was Negligent
Four elements must be present in your case to prove the commercial vehicle’s driver was negligent. Here is an example of what this might look like:
- The driver of the commercial vehicle owed you a duty of care to drive safely.
- The driver was negligent in that they took a substance that impaired their driving ability.
- The driver’s choice to do their job while impaired resulted in your accident.
- Your accident resulted in injuries and other losses.
However the at-fault driver neglected their duty of care toward you, we will uncover the evidence we need to demonstrate their fault.
Who Is at At-Fault for a Commercial Vehicle Accident?
The attorneys at our law office will thoroughly investigate the commercial vehicle accident. In many instances, the driver was negligent in some way. However, the company they drive for may be liable if the driver worked within the scope of their employment when the accident occurred. Also, third parties, such as repair shops, can share or be solely responsible for the accident and the damage it caused.
Depending on your individual circumstances, the party responsible for your accident and injuries may include the following:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Maintenance and repair shop
- Loading or shipping company
- Cargo owner
- Vehicle or part manufacturer
- Third-party driver involved in the crash
Insurance Troubles May Occur From a Commercial Truck Accident
In most cases, the driver was the negligent party. However, their employer or trucking company will be the liable party (the entity that is financially responsible for paying your damages). Attorneys typically advise their clients to avoid talking with any insurance adjuster without legal counsel. This can prevent you from saying something the company can manipulate and use against you in a lawsuit. Any insurance issues could result in the insurer reducing or denying your claim.
It’s not uncommon for the insurance carrier, like any for-profit company, to minimize the amount of money they are responsible for paying. An attorney will identify and evaluate your losses so that you have a good idea of what you need before you enter negotiations.
Settlement Example: We Will Work to Secure the Money You Need
A former client of Domino Garcia, Abraham Guajardo, suffered injuries when his car collided with an 18-wheeler owned by United Van Lines. When approaching an intersection, the truck driver failed to yield the right-of-way and attempted to turn around, resulting in the truck hitting the client’s vehicle.
We took this case to trial, and the jury awarded Mr. Guajardo $531,151. The defendant’s lawyer appealed this verdict, but Mr. Guajardo received an even larger settlement of $573,477. After expenses, the client’s net award was $326,572.
Here are some other settlement results that may give you an idea of what’s possible for semi-truck accident victims:
- $8.75 million for an 18-wheeler accident
- $2.75 million for a commercial vehicle accident
- $1,191,560 for an 18-wheeler accident with multiple injuries
Common Arlington Commercial Vehicle Accidents
At the law offices at Domingo Garcia, our attorneys handle a wide variety of accidents involving commercial vehicles of every kind:
Types of Commercial Vehicles
- Semi-trucks or 18-wheelers
- Utility trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Moving and rental vans and trucks
- Company-owned Pick-up trucks
- Cargo vans
- Garbage trucks
- Street sweepers
- Tow trucks
Types of Accidents Involving Commercial Vehicles
- Trailer accidents
- Loose and shifting cargo accidents
- Override and underride accidents
- Jackknife accidents
- Wide turns
- Runaway truck or speeding accidents
- Hazardous chemical/material spills
- Failure to yield
There are many different kinds of commercial vehicles and commercial vehicle accidents we did not list. If you suffered injuries in a collision with a vehicle owned by a private company, a member of our team can tell you whether you’re eligible to file a commercial vehicle accident case.
How Do Truck Accidents Occur?
A wide array of circumstances can contribute to collisions involving commercial vehicles. As noted, many accidents are due to driver negligence or inexperience with maneuvering such large vehicles. However, this is not always the case. For example, problems such as improper loading, poor maintenance or repair, and defective parts sold by manufacturers can all play a role in an accident.
Common factors that cause commercial vehicle accidents in Arlington include the following:
- Driver negligence
- Distracted driving
- Failure to account for weather conditions
- Failure to account for road construction or obstacles
- Driver fatigue
- Speeding or other traffic violations
- Intoxication due to drugs or alcohol
- Inexperienced or unqualified drivers
- Overloading or unsecured load
- Vehicle defects or equipment failure
- Poor vehicle upkeep and repair
- Safety regulation violations
In the aftermath of a catastrophic commercial vehicle accident, it’s entirely possible you will have no idea how the collision occurred. Hiring a commercial vehicle lawyer is often the best way to determine what caused the accident and who (or what) was responsible. At the offices of Domingo Garcia, we will investigate the crash and collect and preserve critical evidence that may be beneficial to proving your claim.
Common Injuries in Arlington Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Commercial vehicle crashes often result in multiple injuries, some of which can be traumatic and life-threatening. The most tragic consequence of such an event is losing a loved one who sustains lethal injuries. An Arlington commercial vehicle accident attorney can consult with medical experts who can help prove the extent of your injuries to an insurer or at trial, if necessary. Some of the most severe and long-lasting injuries include the following:
- Multiple broken bones
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Crush injuries
- Mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder
Federal Commercial Vehicle and Trucking Regulations
There are many marked differences between collisions involving commercial vehicles and those involving only standard cars and trucks. If you suffered injuries in a commercial vehicle accident, a lawyer familiar with such cases can simplify the process. These claims are much more complex and are more likely to lead to severe or catastrophic injuries, property damage, and, ultimately, higher settlements or verdicts.
One substantial difference between everyday car and truck collisions pertains to federal regulations. Vehicle drivers, motor carriers, and commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks are strictly regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Some critical regulations involve the following:
- Training and licensing of drivers
- Permitted cargo, and in what way the driver or other workers load the cargo
- The overall weight, length, and width of the vehicle
- The length of time drivers can operate vehicles and when they must take breaks (hours of regulation) to avoid fatigue and the monotony of the road
- Permitted blood alcohol concentration levels (BAC)–often .04%
- How often trucks owners and users must inspect and maintain the vehicle
Ultimately, the rules and regulations that drivers of commercial vehicles and their employers must follow are reasonable and meant to ensure safety. An Arlington commercial vehicle accident attorney will investigate the crash that injured you or caused the death of a loved one. At Domingo Garcia, we will scrutinize all evidence to determine if a driver, employee, or other party violated a federal regulation. Your attorney can then use this evidence to establish liability and fight for your right to receive fair compensation.
Contact an Arlington Commercial Vehicle Attorney Today
If you were a commercial vehicle accident victim, you may be eligible for compensation. At the law offices of Domingo Garcia, we understand how challenging these circumstances can be and will work tirelessly to achieve a favorable result in your case. We pursue compensation for the many physical, emotional, and financial losses you experience after a severe collision. Contact us today if you need help filing a claim for personal injury or wrongful death case.