San Antonio Truck Accident Lawyers : Semi-Truck Wreck Attorneys in Texas
Do You Understand Liability Issues When You are Hurt in a Trucking Accident?
We have a lot of modern highways and multi-lane freeways in and around San Antonio and all along the Gulf coast. And a lot of tractor trailer rigs use those highways, tens of thousands of them at least. They haul all types of goods to all parts of the state and country. And because San Antonio has the highest concentration of refineries in the U.S. a large percentage of them are filled with all kinds of highly flammable petrochemicals and fuels.
And though nine out of ten of them are never a problem for Texas drivers, what about the remaining 10 percent? Just how good is that driver? How safe is the load they carry? How safe is the 18-wheeler itself? Does it even belong on the road? It’s no wonder you feel a bit uneasy when an 18-wheeler pulls alongside you at 70 miles an hour on a crowded freeway. This is why accidents, injuries and even deaths are a statistical inevitability when 18-wheelers are on the road in and around San Antonio and other communities along the Gulf coast.
If you have been injured in a big rig accident or if a loved one was injured or killed in one, a San Antonio truck accident lawyers at our Law Office is always ready to help you. We have won numerous judgments and litigated hundreds of trucking accidents cases for our clients during our 20-plus years of service to these injury victims. We understand all-too-well the pain you suffer and the financial distress that is now a part of your life after suffering in one of these horrible accidents.
But aside from your ability recover from your injuries, your troubles probably continue. This is because your mission to seek fair compensation for your injuries is often just as challenging as the physical injuries and pain you have suffered from the accident itself. You must fight for a fair settlement. You might even have to file a lawsuit to secure a fair injury award that you deserve. And this creates even more emotional stress as you fight for fiscal justice. We believe it is very important for you to understand every legal avenue available to you, so you can take the proper action to win the most fair restitution for your injuries, pain and suffering, and the income you have lost (and might continue to lose) from a big rig accident that is not your fault.The Damages For Your Injuries and Pain From an 18-Wheeler Wreck Can be immense.
Are your hurt in an 18n Wheeler Accident
If you have been hurt in an 18-wheeler accident, the first thing you must find out is whose fault it is in order to determine who is legally liable for the terrible injuries you suffered and your property damage. In a lot of big rig accidents, many parties could well be liable for damages. In many cases, there is more than one defendant. An applicable legal precedent in Texas personal injury law is called “respondeat superior.” It states that employers of those are liable for the wreck their employee causes are by legal-definition, every bit as responsible for the action or inaction of their employee.
In an accident injury claim involving an 18-wheeler, a combination of a number of different parties can be responsible, and subsequently held liable for the wreck. This includes the trucker, the company he or she works for, the company that loaded the trailer, the person who planned the truck’s route, and (by connection to any of the responsible parties) the insurance company who insured those who are liable.
Another source of liability is relatively new. The past few years, what with the state outsourcing a lot of road maintenance duties and other highway construction projects to private companies, a privately-owned company that is performing road construction or maintenance and creates hazardous road conditions that cause a big rig accident in which you are the victim, the company may also be held liable for a portion, or maybe all, of the liability arising from the accident. And in order to secure these lucrative road construction and maintenance contracts, all private companies retained by the state must document that they are properly insured, or provide a very large liability a bond.
To win your claim among a surplus of potential defendants, you need an experienced San Antonio truck accident lawyer on your side that also has the ability to investigate the scene of an accident to discover who is liable. Now you certainly know that local or state law enforcement agencies also investigate big rig accidents. And in some instances, so does the US Department of Transportation (DOT). This is especially true if a repeat offender of federal statutes and laws governing interstate transportation is involved.
Many times those agency investigations only reveal the primary responsible party such as the driver, or maybe the company that owns the rig if the 18-wheeler has bad brakes or some other safety violation. But agency investigations often fall short of identifying every underlying cause for accident, which could reveal more liable culprits who may escape criminal detection. Experienced tractor trailer rig accident lawyers and their investigators conduct these much more stringent investigations to identify everyone who is liable. Our Law Office and its’ panel of veteran investigators know how to determine the degree of each responsible party in every big rig accident. At times our investigations reveal additional criminal facts of the accident that public investigation officials miss. When that happens, we pass this information along to the appropriate agencies for further discretionary action.
When you are injured in a tractor trailer rig accident your attorney must determine whether the negligent truck driver caused the wreck, or if someone else played an important part, or if a mechanical malfunction or some other defect had a hand in the accident.
What if the company that owned the cargo failed to correctly load it or didn’t safely secure the load which caused it to shift or break free during transport and topple the trailer? Or, did the route planner negligently send the truck into an area not properly zoned for 18-wheelers? Or maybe flammable chemicals were loaded inside a tanker not rated to carry such dangerous materials and suddenly, unexpectedly exploded, seriously injuring you as you drove alongside it on an inner San Antonio freeway.
It is seldom easy to determine immediate fault in a big rig accident. This is why you stand to gain in many ways through the expertise of San Antonio truck accident lawyers who will make sure that every liable party who is responsible for an 18 wheeler accident along the Gulf coast is held responsible for your injuries, in addition to the damage to your vehicle, its passengers and other contents.What Happens if I Represent Myself Against an Insurance Company Without an Experienced Attorney?
You need a competent Attorney
A non-attorney is going to have a very difficult time accumulating all the knowledge in a short time that is necessary to effectively negotiate a fair settlement with insurance companies, or successfully represent you in court. And representing yourself is an option. But actually winning is a very long shot. Litigating big rig accident-related injury case is extremely intricate. Inexperienced attorneys have only a slightly better chance than you have by yourself to recover any reasonable compensation. So why would you even entertain either of these misguided ideas, especially when huge amounts of money are on the table? Why would you consider hiring anything short of a successful personal injury lawyer with the expertise and investigative power to represent your claim against those who caused a tractor trailer rig accident that injures or disables you, or causes the death of a loved one?
We all know the old saying that. “Those who legally represent themselves have a fool for a client.” But it’s doubly disastrous in any personal injury case, especially one involving an 18-wheeler. The laws and procedures involved are so complex, and the playing field is clearly tilted against you. The trucking companies, their insurance providers and attorneys have deep pockets and years of experience at winning these kinds of cases. You need the biggest “legal gun” you can find in order to succeed in trucking accident litigation.
Legal knowledge in-and-of itself accounts for maybe a third of all the necessary elements for success in personal injury cases. Successful litigation requires thorough knowledge of civil procedure and the ability to develop the tailor-made strategy that is so necessary to battle the insurance companies and their defense lawyers. Inexperienced personal injury attorneys, or worse, you yourself, don’t have that. Having your opponents respect is also an important element to victory. This is why an experienced, highly regarded and respected San Antonio truck accident lawyers who have spent years taking on the insurance companies and their lawyers, and beaten them, are a most-powerful weapon in your fight for just 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 your rights when an 18-wheeler accident has befallen you, often, that person might have a difficult time disassociating him or herself emotionally from issues surrounding your case. Personal injury law is often quite intense. A specialized truck accident lawyer must be pragmatic, focus solely on the facts of a case and be very cool under fire if you are to be successful. 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? Keep your family members and friends out of your legal business. You will be very wise to remember this when deciding who will represent your 18 wheeler liability lawsuit to your greatest benefit.Insurance Companies Make Their Money by Saying “No” to Folks Like You
The federal government requires that trucking companies purchase sizable insurance policies to protect against accidents when they occur. And many of you are probably under the impression that trucking insurance compensation is quick and relative free of surprises. So all you have to do is file a claim and wait for that expected, and bighearted, compensatory check.
If you believe that, someone has some swamp land they want to sell you. All insurance companies are in the business of taking-in premiums and paying out claims with an eyedropper, if that. Since insurance policies for big rig trucking companies involve huge sums of money, the insurance company’s sole mission is to keep from paying you fairly. In so doing, they increase their already high profits and pay out those big dividends to their investors. So it comes as no surprise that insurance companies deny every claim they can, whenever possible and for as long as possible. They do this simply because they can. Without the right attorney on your side, collecting a fair settlement from an insurance company is virtually impossible.
While the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Codes grant the right for anyone who has been injured in an 18 wheeler accident, or the family of one who was killed to be compensated for the harm done, that doesn’t mean reimbursement is automatically granted when a victim claims an injury. Insurance companies want you to think they’re on your side, until it’s time to pay. Then you find out the hard way by having to deal with an out-of-hand denial by an insurer.
You must proof that the involved parties a liable
You, as plaintiff, must first prove the liability of all responsible parties for the accident and the injuries you suffered from it. What’s more, in any liability case, the plaintiff holds the burden of proof. You must clearly show that the money you’re asking for fairly reflects the loss you’ve experienced from those damages and injuries, after you prove liability, which isn’t always easy. The insurance company and the lawyers who represent them, does everything possible deny a plaintiffs claim, or argue that the level of restitution you seek is excessive and unreasonable, or that the accident was caused by you. And often, they’ll try and prove all three, because if they can prove only one, they’re off the hook. And you get stuck. Insurance Adjusters Who are Not to be Trusted are a Powerful Weapon Against You
Insurance adjusters are just as dangerous to an accident victim as the defense lawyers who represent their companies. They help their employer, not you: plain and simple. They do this by saving their companies money by denying your claim or underestimating the cost of the accident, by any means necessary. An adjuster behaves like a long-lost best friend and bends over backwards to convince you that all of your needs are met. Then they turn around and stab you in the back. Insurance adjusters are very clever. They act like your “good neighbor” auto insurance agent and create a very false sense of security. Often they innocently try and record you saying something that is later twisted into sounding like your admitting liability and destroy your chance to receive fair, or any, compensation. The trucking company’s insurance adjuster and the insurance companies they work for are in business for themselves, not you. Some unscrupulous adjusters will even try to deceptively convince uninformed big rig accident victims to sign away the legal right to sue in exchange by flashing a small settlement that would never come anywhere close to compensating them for injuries or other losses from an 18 wheeler accident.
Corporate insurance adjusters and defense lawyers love nothing more than to find a victim who tries to represent his or herself. They easily lead a novice down the primrose path of ultimate defeat. The underhanded behavior of most insurance adjusters alone should be proof-enough of why you need an aggressive personal injury attorney who knows how to combat the tactics of the insurance companies and win your fair settlement. Only the history of success of an experienced the San Antonio truck accident lawyers with our Law Office will combat unscrupulous insurance adjusters and frighten their insurance company employers into a fair settlement, or beat them in court if they don’t.
Insurance companies are even prepared to fight injury claims before the accidents even occur. Their attorneys are either on staff, or permanent retainer. They’re good, and just waiting to take on personal injury claims. 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 a case against you while you are still trying to figure things out. This is why you mustn’t hesitate in finding a Texas 18 wheeler accident law firm to help you. You only get one bite at the apple. Once it’s lost, there are no do-over’s. Trusting a Trucker to Tell the Truth in a Big Rig Accident is a Grave Mistake
With so much at stake, you cannot always trust the trucker to tell the truth if he or she causes an expensive accident. If truck drivers are found to be liable for an accident, not only can they be fired, it could become very difficult for them to land a new job after costing his or her previous employer enormous damages due to his or her negligence. Sometimes trucking companies will fire him outright and make the driver the “fall guy.” Then they try to cover themselves of respondeat superior, or their direct negligence that caused the accident.
And if this 18 wheeler driver has been in previous accidents, it’s possible to lose either his state trucking drivers license, or his DOT certification, which means this now former trucker has to 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 can be too great to ignore since that driver risks losing the paycheck that supports his or her family.
After suffering an injury in an 18 wheeler accident in which the driver of the 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 its parking lot and the accident scene behind it. The video clearly showed our client’s headlights shining brightly. We proved that the truck driver boldly lied. Witnesses and defendants can lie and or callously misrepresent critical facts in trucking accident cases. The lawyer at the Ford and Laurel Law Office 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 18-wheeler accident investigations to get to the bottom of the case, and won for our clients’ fair and just compensation by shining the light on the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Self-Insured Truck Companies Represent a Sinister Threat to Your Just Compensation
Some trucking companies protect against personal injuries from accidents by setting aside a percentage of their assets to pay accident claims, rather than purchase a coverage policy from an insurance carrier. And though federal and state governments monitor the insurance industry, license adjusters and hold insurance companies to ethical standards as best it can, no regulations exist for self-insured trucking companies. Seeking compensation from these “self-insured” firms, or self-insured independent truckers, can be far more difficult, extremely chaotic.
You most-likely will be forced to attempt to settle your claim with an officer of the company instead. Typically, this company officer’s salary is tied directly to company profits. Any amount paid to you for an injury comes directly out of the company coffers, which means that when the company’s officer decides on your compensation he or she is literally taking money out of their own pocket. So we’re never surprised at how low a self-insured company officer might stoop to deny your claim and protect the company’s assets. Self-insured companies (and independent truckers) have been known to willfully destroy evidence that proves your claim, bribe witnesses, and even intimidate their victims, sometimes physically. Before they hired us, some intimidation attempts were directed at our clients. This is why every time our attorneys are hired against a liable self-insured party; the first action we take is to prevent anyone with the company from behaving unsuitably toward our clients. Often, we are forced to demand that they completely refrain from communicating with our clients unless one of our attorneys is present. As a Big Rig Accident Victim, Your Best Chance is With Experience on Your Side?
Only after trying hundreds of cases can a lawyer understand, and use the intricacies of personal injury law to develop the perfect battle plan for success in negotiations or at trial against insurance companies in an 18 wheeler 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. Experienced attorneys know how to conduct complicated accident investigations and respond to lists of admissions. Somebody who knows how to do all of this knows how to forcefully represent your interests.
Insurance companies only agree to fair settlements if you are protected by an attorney with a history of success in court. While insurance companies and their lawyers are eager to take on non-lawyers and inexperienced attorneys, they fear us. When we step-in the insurance companies often see the wisdom of settling with our clients for a fair amount. They want to avoid a trial, especially if they know you have a strong case. And from a fair settlement, you can resume living your life again after we’ve secured that compensation on your behalf. OK, What Do I Do Now?
You need to take steps to preserve the evidence in your case now, and to act quickly. You must hire a lawyer to investigate the accident scene immediately. Every moment that you wait, evidence is becoming compromised, witness memories fade, or their stories’ “mysteriously” change. The accident scene also becomes altered either by the passing of time or maybe your opponents do it themselves. Physical evidence that proves your case can also begin to “mysteriously” disappear. As soon as we are hired, we begin a thorough investigation of the accident scene to uncover the right evidence that proves liability of the truck driver, the trucking company and any other third-parties. We inspect all the vehicles involved, clearly survey the accident scene, measure distances, hunt for photographic and video evidence and amass it all to clearly prove your case. No stone is unturned to uncover 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, killing the driver and critically injuring the passenger. The next day we were hired, 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 by the time we arrived. After examining the vehicle, we noted its strange lack of headlights. Finding this odd, our investigators spotted a security camera on the premises and we 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. But what you don’t know is that both law enforcement officials and the U.S. Department of Transportation found this video very interesting. And you get a better idea of what we mean when we say that evidence can sometimes “mysteriously disappear.”
If the love ones of these two men 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 tractor-trailer accidents need to find the right San Antonio truck accident lawyers 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 an 18-wheeler accident from the moment it happens only if, by inaction, you allow it.We Can Help You Recover Your Life After an 18-Wheeler AccidentDid You Know?
Our San Antonio Texas attorneys have won hundreds of 18 wheeler accident cases. Call us today to discuss your case.
The best way for a victim in a big rig accident to ensure full compensation is to find assistance from an experienced San Antonio truck accident lawyers who knows how to clearly prove the defendant’s undeniable liability, and then win equitable damages
Law Office has over 20 years experience handling personal injury litigation in 18-wheeler accident cases. If you or a loved one has been in a trucking accident, we use every bit of our expertise to assure that you receive fair compensation for the injuries and pain you have suffered. We’ve helped deliver millions of dollars to hundreds of accident victims in Texas. So if you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident in San Antonio or anywhere in the Gulf coast let an experienced accident lawyer win the best compensation possible for you.