What happens when a truck driver has an accident in Texas? The answer is complicated. An accident involving a large truck or commercial vehicle can cause devastating damage and injuries, leaving lasting consequences for everyone involved in the collision. In the immediate aftermath of a Texas truck accident, many truck drivers and the companies they work for spring into action to protect themselves from liability. Who’s protecting you?
At The Benton Law Firm, our experienced personal injury attorneys have worked on many significant truck accident cases. We understand what can happen when a truck driver has an accident. By sharing our insights, we hope to help accident victims understand their position and the steps they can take to protect themselves physically and financially.
Common Causes of Large Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can occur for various reasons. However, driver error continues to be the leading cause of significant truck accidents in the United States. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that at least 87 percent of large truck collisions result from driver error. Some of the most common factors that can lead to driver error include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Following too closely
- Blind spot accidents
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Aggressive driving
Other factors can also play a role in severe truck accidents. Untrained or inexperienced drivers may be unable to react to changing road conditions or unexpected situations, leading to an accident. Improperly loaded cargo, mechanical defects, and inclement weather conditions can also contribute to commercial vehicle accidents.
Commercial Truck Accident Statistics
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates in one year, 4,998 large trucks were involved in fatal collisions on U.S. roadways. The agency also estimates that at least 415,000 police-reported crashes involve large vehicles. Local statistics also show that large truck collisions are common in Texas. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded 413 fatal/injury crashes in one year. The agency also estimates that at least 699 suspected severe injury accidents involving semi-trucks occurred on Texas roadways in the same time frame.
Unfortunately, data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also lists Texas as the home of the most 18-wheeler accidents in the United States.
What to Do When You Are Involved in a Truck Accident
Involvement in a commercial truck accident can be a frightening and traumatic experience. Although you may think you know what to do immediately after an accident, your actions in the moments, days, and weeks following a collision with a semi-truck can significantly impact your ability to build a strong compensation case. What should you do in an accident with a careless truck driver? Consider taking these steps:
- Contact law enforcement
- Seek medical attention immediately
- Exchange information with the truck driver
- Ask witnesses for their contact information
- Document the scene as thoroughly as possible by taking photographs and videos
- Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan to the letter
- Keep all bills, receipts, and documentation related to the accident
- Avoid posting anything on social media
You should also refrain from giving a recorded statement to an insurer and only sign paperwork once you secure the advice of a knowledgeable semi-truck accident lawyer. You could be signing away your legal rights to pursue valuable compensation.
What Happens When a Truck Driver Has an Accident?
What happens when a truck driver has an accident? Typically, the truck driver and the company they work for immediately spring into action to avoid liability. Trucking companies and insurers are for-profit businesses. It is in their best interest to protect their profits, keeping payouts as low as possible. That can mean actively working together to avoid liability for the accident or using tactics designed to manipulate vulnerable accident victims into settling for less than what their claim may be worth.
What Does a Truck Accident Lawyer Do?
What does an experienced Houston truck accident lawyer do? A knowledgeable truck accident attorney protects your legal rights. As the trucking company and insurer work to limit your payout, an experienced truck accident attorney can work with you to secure the evidence needed to build a compelling case for maximum compensation for your financial losses. Unfortunately, vital evidence such as safety records, cargo loading documentation, and the truck’s black box data are the trucking company’s property. Accessing this crucial data before the information is lost or destroyed can be nearly impossible without legal intervention.
An attorney can also help you navigate the time-consuming and labor-intensive process of filing a claim and negotiating with the trucking company’s insurer. If negotiations break down, your attorney is ready to file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf, mindful of all legal deadlines. Working with a seasoned semi-truck accident attorney is the best way to achieve the most favorable outcome possible for your case.
What Is the Average Settlement for Semi-Truck Accidents?
There is no “average” settlement for semi-truck accidents. Why would you want to settle for average anyway? At The Benton Law Firm, we get to know you and carefully evaluate the unique circumstances of your situation to arrive at a fair and accurate compensation estimate. We also actively work on your behalf to negotiate for maximum compensation for your financial losses. Although each case is different, often an injured individual can pursue money for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
The initial offer made by a trucking company’s insurer is rarely enough to cover all the expenses that may arise following a significant truck accident. Never accept any offer without consulting an experienced truck accident lawyer first.
Get Help from an Experienced Texas Semi-Truck Accident Attorney Today
Has a careless truck driver injured you? Do you want to recover the compensation you deserve? It is time to discuss your case with an experienced semi-truck accident attorney with The Benton Law Firm. At The Benton Law Firm, we work closely with you to protect your legal rights and recover the money you need.