San Antonio Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyers – San Antonio Truck Attorney Sandra D. Laurel : Law Firm for Trucking Accidents in San Antonio, TX
Do You Understand What Must Be Done To Compensate You When You’re Hurt in a Trucking Accident?
A lot of commercial trucks use the thousands of miles of modern highways and multi-lane freeways in and around San Antonio and all along the Gulf coast. They haul every conceivable type of good to and from all parts of the state and country. And because San Antonio has a concentration of petroleum refineries, a very large number of those big trucks are filled with all varieties of highly flammable petrochemicals and fuels.
And though 90 percent of them are never a problem for Texas drivers, but what about the remaining 10 percent? Does the driver know what he or she is doing? How safe is the cargo truck’s load or the truck itself? Does the truck even belong on the road? Accidents, injuries and even deaths are a statistical inevitability when large trucks are on the road in and around San Antonio and other communities along the Gulf coast.
If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident or if a loved one was injured or killed in one, a San Antonio truck attorney at Sandra D. Laurel will help you win the compensation you deserve. We have negotiated numerous fair settlements and won hundreds of trucking accidents cases in court for our clients during our 20-plus years of service to these injury victims. We know the pain and financial distress that you suffer after being injured in one of these horrible accidents.
And as you fight to recover from your injuries, you must also have an experienced lawyer who will fight just as hard for fair reimbursement that’s owed to you by those connected to your commercial truck accident. You may even need to file a lawsuit to secure the fair injury award that you deserve. We believe it is very important that you understand every legal avenue available to you, and choose the right course of action to win fair restitution for your injuries, pain and suffering, not to mention the income you have lost (and might continue to lose) from a commercial trucking accident for which others’ are responsible.Almost Every Big Truck Accident Causes Enormous Damages and Injuries to its Victims
If you have been hurt in a commercial truck accident, the first thing that must be learned is who is legally liable for the terrible damage and injuries you suffered. In many such accidents, more than one party may have contributed to it, which means there could be more than one defendant.
In an accident injury claim involving a large commercial truck, this combination of different parties can include the trucker, the company he or she works for, the company that loaded the trailer, the person who planned the truck’s route just to name a few. An applicable legal precedent in Texas personal injury law is called “respondeat superior.” In this case it means that employers of driver who causes the wreck are by legal-definition, every bit as liable for the action or inaction of their employee.
And there’s another source of liability. The state of Texas and many counties now outsource a lot of road maintenance and highway construction projects to private companies. The work performed by these firms can sometimes lead to a big truck accident in which you are the victim, thereby also making the road construction contributor liable for the wreck.
To win your claim among a variety of potential defendants, you need an experienced lawyer who can investigate the scene of the collision and identify all who are responsible. Local or state law enforcement agencies investigate commercial trucking accidents, though their role is to get to the bottom of the primary cause and determine if any laws that may have been broken. Rarely do they determine the underlying contributors to the wreck. Law enforcement investigations often fall short of identifying every element behind the accident. Experienced trucking accident lawyers and their investigators conduct much more stringent investigations to identify everyone who is liable. Sandra D. Laurel and its’ team of veteran investigators know how to determine the degree of each responsible party in every commercial truck accident. At times our investigations even uncover additional criminal facts of the accident that law enforcement investigations miss. When that happens, we pass this information along to the appropriate agencies for further discretionary action.
Our Diligent Attorneys
It is not easy to identify all who are responsible for a big truck accident. This is why you stand to gain in many ways through the investigative skill of San Antonio truck attorneys who determine every liable party responsible for a cargo truck accident along the Gulf coast, the damage to your vehicle and its contents, as well as injuries to you and the passengers in your vehicle.Why Can’t I Represent Myself Against an Insurance Company Without an Experienced Attorney?
Here are a couple of facts. Inexperienced attorneys just don’t have the depth of knowledge to properly investigate these complicated accidents, or effectively negotiate a fair settlement with insurance companies, or successfully argue such complicated cases in court. And you have even less chance of winning if you decide to represent yourself.
Litigating a commercial truck accident-related injury case is extremely complex due to the likelihood of multiple liable defendants and the degree of their responsibility. Inexperienced attorneys have only a slightly better chance than you on your own to recover any reasonable compensation. So why would you even consider hiring anything short of a successful truck accident injury lawyer with the expertise and investigative power to represent your claim against those who caused a big commercial truck or some other similar accident that injures or disables you, or causes the death of a loved one?
Do not do it by yourself
“Having a fool for a client” when the lawyer and injured party are one in-the-same is doubly disastrous in any big commercial truck accident injury case, especially against a commercial trucking company. The laws and procedures involved are so complex, and the deck is clearly stacked against you. The transport companies, their insurance providers and their attorneys have deep pockets and years of experience at winning these kinds of cases. If you hire an unproven lawyer, or worse, represent yourself, you have about as much chance at collecting as you do winning the lottery.
Simply having the legal knowledge in such matters represents no more than a third of all the crucial elements to win personal injury cases against trucking companies. Successful negotiation and, if-necessary, litigation requires thorough knowledge of civil procedure and the ability to develop the right strategy that is needed to battle the commercial trucking and insurance companies and their lawyers. Having your opponents respect is also a critical factor. This is why highly regarded San Antonio truck attorneys who have spent years taking on, and beating the insurance companies and their attorneys are the most-powerful weapon in your fight for compensation.
Also, if you have a relative or friend who is a lawyer, even though he or she might be looking out for your best interests and might be inspired to fight hard for you in a claim against a commercial transport company, often, that person might have a difficult time disassociating him or herself emotionally from your case. Personal injury law can get very intense at times. A specialized big truck accident injury attorney must be pragmatic, focus solely on the facts of a case and be cool under fire in order to succeed on your behalf. What happens if that friend or relative attorney doesn’t win the case, or accepts a less-than-fair settlement because he knows how badly you need the money now? How will you feel about your friend of relative then? Consider this word to the wise and keep family members and friends out of your legal business.The Insurance Companies Make Their Profits with Three Little Words: “No, No, No”
Federal law requires commercial transport companies to purchase sizable insurance policies to cover them against accident liability claims. And many of you faithfully believe that trucking insurance compensation is quick and fair. All you need to do is file a claim for that fair compensation and the check from that kindhearted, insurance company will be “in the mail” in no time, right? Here’s a news flash, if it was really that simple there would be no need for truck accident attorneys like us. All insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums every day and not paying out claims. It’s a fact.
Since insurance policies for commercial trucking companies involve huge sums of money, the insurance company’s mission is to avoid paying you fairly. By denying your claim they increase their already high profits and generate those big dividends to their investors (not to mention those seven-figure bonus checks for their corporate officers). So it comes as no surprise that insurance companies deny every claim they can, whenever possible and for as long as they can get away with it. They do this simply because that’s how they stay in business. And without the right trucking accident attorney on your side, collecting a fair settlement from an insurance company is indeed a fool’s errand.
Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Codes grant anyone injured in a commercial trucking accident the right to bring suit for damages, or the family of one who was killed to be compensated for their loss. But asking for restitution is a very far cry from getting that reimbursement when a victim files that claim or lawsuit. Insurance companies want you to think they’re on your side, until it’s time for them to pay-up. Then you learn the hard way when you have to deal with denial after denial by an insurer, just how much of a revolving door it is to get an insurance company to do the right thing.
ou, as plaintiff, must first prove the liability of all responsible parties for the accident and the injuries you suffered. What’s more, you must clearly show that the money you’re asking for is a fair amount for damages you’ve experienced from those injuries once you prove that liability, neither of which is easy. The insurance company and their lawyers, do everything possible to deny a plaintiffs claim, just by sitting back and saying “prove it,” or argue that the amount you seek is excessive and unreasonable, or even that the accident was caused by you. And most of the time they’ll shoot-for-the-moon and try to claim all three, because if they can succeed in turning back only one of these charges you make, then they’re off the hook and you’re on it.Insurance Adjusters are the Shock Troops in Their Fight Against Your Accident Claim
Insurance adjusters are the first line of defense against you. And they are very effective. They help their employer by creating the illusion that they’re on your side. But their real job is to save their companies untold millions by denying your claim or underestimating the cost of the accident by any (and all) means necessary.
An adjuster behaves like your long-lost friend and goes to great lengths to convince you that everything’s all right and all of your needs are being met. But most of the time they drag their feet with all kinds of excuses until they finally turn around and cut you off at the knees. Insurance adjusters cleverly act like your “good neighbor” auto insurance agent. They say the sweetest things when they try and record you saying something that can be later twisted into sounding like your admitting liability and cripple your chance to receive fair compensation. The trucking companies and their insurance adjusters conspire to further their own interests at your expense. Some unscrupulous adjusters will even try to deceptively convince their uninformed truck accident victims to sign away their legal right to sue in exchange for a quick, shoddy settlement that never fairly compensates them for injuries or other losses from a big cargo truck accident.
The insurance industry and their defense lawyers love nothing more than to find a victim who tries to represent his or herself, or when they hire a greenhorn lawyer who is not equipped to fight them. It’s a stroll in the park for them to lead legal novices down the primrose path of disappointment and defeat. The underhanded behavior of most insurance adjusters alone should be proof-enough of why you need aggressive San Antonio truck attorneys who know how to combat the tactics of the insurance companies and their adjusters to win the fairest injury compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering. Only the history of success and experience of firms like Sandra D. Laurel will foil these unscrupulous insurance adjusters and alarm their insurance company employers into either fair settlement negotiation, or defeat them in court if they insist on a trial.
Insurance companies even fight injury claims before you even appear on their radar. Their attorneys are either on staff, or permanent retainer. They’re good, and just waiting to take on your personal injury claim. They specialize in cases like yours and know every trick in the book. Insurance lawyers race to the scene of an accident and begin investigating to build their case against you before the dust settles. This is why you only hurt yourself by not quickly finding a Texas truck accident law firm to help you, because you only get one bite at the apple. It’s Not a Good Idea to Trust a Commercial Trucker to Tell the Truth in an Accident
With so much at stake, it’s no better than 50/50 that you can trust the trucker to tell the truth after an expensive accident. If cargo truck drivers are found to be liable for an wreck, not only can they be fired, it could become very difficult for them to get another driving job after costing his or her previous employer enormous damages due to negligence. Sometimes the trucking company will fire them outright and throw the driver “under the bus” in a manner of speaking by trying to distance themselves from respondeat superior or cover up their direct negligence if it caused the accident. The truck driver knows this and does everything possible to deflect the blame in any other direction they can find. And in a pinch, anyone looks like a pretty good candidate to them, especially you.
If this driver has been in previous accidents, it’s possible to lose either his state trucking drivers license, or his DOT certification. If that happens, this now (former) trucker must find a new line-of work. And with high unemployment in the U.S., the temptation for that driver to lie, cheat or behave dishonestly to save their job is just too powerful since that driver risks losing the paycheck that supports his or her family.
After suffering an injury in a trucking accident in which the driver of the large truck claimed that our client was driving with his lights off at night, our investigators quickly examined the scene. They discovered a security camera outside a convenience store that was pointed directly at its parking lot and the accident scene behind it. The video clearly showed our client’s headlights shining brightly. We proved that the driver boldly lied. Witnesses and defendants can lie and or callously misrepresent critical facts in trucking accident cases. We see it all the time. The San Antonio truck attorneys with Sandra D. Laurel know how to uncover the lies, and counter them with the truth to stop witness misrepresentations. Over the past 20 years, we have conducted thousands of commercial trucking accident investigations, gotten to the bottom of them, and won fair and just compensation for our clients’ by shining the light on the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth of the accident. Self-Insured Truck Companies and Independent Truckers: a Huge Threat to Your Case
Some trucking companies protect against personal injury claims from accidents by setting aside a percentage of their assets to pay them instead of purchasing coverage from an insurance carrier. And though federal and state governments monitor the commercial insurance industry and their license adjusters, as well as try to hold insurance companies to ethical standards as best it can, no regulations exist for self-insured trucking companies or independent truckers. Seeking compensation from either of these liable parties can be far more difficult, chaotic, dangerous to your legitimate compensation claims, and occasionally pose a real threat to you or your family.
You will likely be forced to try and settle that claim with an officer of the self-insured company. This company officer’s salary is most likely tied directly to company profits. Any monies paid to you for an injury comes directly out of the company funds, which means that when this company officer compensates you for damages, he or she is literally taking money out of their own pocket. So we’re never surprised at some of the things a self-insured company officer will stoop to in denying your claim in order to protect the transport company’s (and the company officer’s) assets.
Self-insured companies (and independent truckers who are self-insured or have no insurance) have been known to deliberately destroy evidence that proves your claim, bribe witnesses, and even intimidate their victims, sometimes physically. We’ve learned of intimidation attempts directed at our clients before they hired us. This is why every time our San Antonio truck attorneys are hired, the first thing we usually do is to prevent anyone with the self-insured company from behaving unsuitably toward our clients. Often, we are forced to file motions in court against these liable parties that demand they completely refrain from communicating with our clients, or their families, in any way unless one of our attorneys is present. Commercial Trucking Accident Victims Fare Best With Experience on Their Side
Only after trying hundreds of cases can an experienced lawyer understand, and use every tool of personal injury law to produce success in negotiations, or at trial against insurance companies in a commercial truck accident. Most people, and many inexperienced attorneys, don’t know the proper way to answer interrogatories, prepare demand packages, and conduct sophisticated depositions to get to the bottom of liability for the trucking accident that caused your injuries and pain. Our experienced San Antonio truck attorneys know how to carry out complicated investigations and respond to lists of admissions and forcefully represent your interests.
Rarely do insurance companies agree to fair settlements unless you are protected by an attorney with a history of success in court. While insurance companies and their attorneys are eager to take on non-lawyers and inexperienced attorneys, they fear us. When our lawyers’ step-in, the insurance companies often settle with our clients for a fair amount just because they want to avoid a trial, especially if they recognize that we have built a very strong case. And a fair settlement, allows you to resume living your life again sooner than later, once we’ve won that compensation on your behalf. How Do We Get Started in Building our Trucker-Liability Legal Case Together?
We must immediately preserve the evidence in your case now, and move quickly in order to do that. The accident must be thoroughly investigated without delay. For every moment that you wait to hire legal counsel, more evidence is being compromised, more witness memories fade (or their stories’ “mysteriously” change). The accident scene itself becomes altered either by the passing of time, or maybe your opponents do it themselves. Physical evidence that proves your case begins to “mysteriously” disappear. The moment we are hired, Sandra D. Laurel begins a thorough investigation of the accident scene to uncover the right evidence that proves liability of the truck driver, the commercial trucking company and any other third-parties. We inspect all the vehicles involved, meticulously survey the accident scene, measure distances, hunt for photographic and video evidence. No stone is left unturned to gather all the evidence that proves your claim beyond a shadow of a doubt.
In one example, we were once hired by the families of two men who were involved in a terrible accident with a big rig. After the initial accident, the truck’s trailer was stretched across the unlit road on a moonless night. Only the taillights of the trailer hear the shoulder of the highway were visible to oncoming drivers. Our clients rounded a curve and unknowingly smashed into the trailer. One man died at the scene. The other was left fighting for his life.
The force of the collision ripped off the roof of the vehicle, killed the driver and critically injured the passenger. The next day we were hired, immediately flew to the scene of the accident and begin investigating that same day. Our client’s car had already been towed to a salvage yard, which was our first stop. After examining the vehicle, we noted its strange lack of headlights. Our suspicious investigators spotted a security camera on the premises and asked to view the video. It showed an official of the trucking company illegally removing the headlights. When the company tried to claim our client had been driving a car without headlights, we produced the video that caught them red-handed. You can guess who won this case. Maybe now you get a better idea of what we mean when we say that evidence can “mysteriously disappear.” This is not isolated behavior either.
If the love ones of these two men who drove down the road, minding their own business when tragedy found them, had waited any longer to hire us, this crucial evidence would have been gone forever, because the salvage yard’s surveillance system didn’t save its video for more than two days. And you can’t think of a better reason why Gulf coast victims of commercial truck accidents need to find the right trucking accident lawyer now, so the investigation can begin while the case, and evidence, is still fresh. Lies and missing evidence will certainly cripple your legal right to fair compensation for a trucking accident from the moment it happens, but only if you allow it by not acting quickly.We Can Help You Recover Your Life After a Commercial Trucking Accident
The best way for a victim in a commercial trucking accident to be fairly compensated is to quickly retain a lawyer who knows how to clearly prove every defendant’s undeniable liability, and then win equitable damages.
The San Antonio truck attorneys of Ford and Laurel have decades of experience handling personal injury litigation in truck accident cases. If you or a loved one is the victim of an accident involving a large cargo or some other big commercial truck, we use every bit of our expertise to fight for the fair compensation for the injuries and pain you have suffered. We’ve helped win millions of dollars to hundreds of Texas truck accident victims. So if you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident in or around San Antonio, or anywhere along the Gulf coast, let an experienced San Antonio truck attorney win the best compensation possible for you.
Give our competent Attorneys a call today, or fill out the form at the top of this page for a free consultation to continue your road to total recovery and resume your life.