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WHY YOU NEED A TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Truck wrecks are different than those with other vehicles. Severe injuries and fatalities are more likely with semi-truck collisions, and the insurance companies and policies from which you’ll be seeking compensation will be very different. You need a compassionate truck accident attorney who understands the challenges and who has the resources to fight back against powerful companies.
Speaking with an experienced truck accident attorney who has worked on cases involving commercial truck accidents is the best way to preserve your rights, as well as to gather evidence in a timely fashion.
A qualified truck accident lawyer can advocate that you receive medical care, such as diagnostic tests and consultations with specialists that you might not have obtained on your own. Additionally, an attorney with experience handling truck accident knows the inner workings of the trucking industry. This can significantly benefit your case. An attorney can investigate the truck crash, document your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and even file a lawsuit in court if necessary.
At the Krist Law Firm, P.C., our Houston truck accident lawyers has been fighting for the rights of those injured in big truck wrecks for decades. In fact, we obtained the largest commercial trucking verdict in Texas in 2014 with a $6,028,000 jury verdict after a motorcycle and tractor trailer collision resulted in a below-the-knee amputation.
HOW TO FIND A QUALIFIED TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY IN HOUSTON, TX
Here are some of the questions you should consider asking during your search for the right truck accident attorney to handle your truck accident lawsuit in Texas:
WHAT IS THEIR FOCUS?
An attorney who focuses on truck accident cases has specific knowledge about liability, faults in maintenance and inspections, mechanical issues that may have influenced the accident, and the inclusion of multiple liable parties in a lawsuit. An attorney can only gain this knowledge by trying real-world cases that result in significant compensation for the victims of commercial truck accidents.
HAVE THEY HANDLED CASES LIKE THIS BEFORE?
Every case is unique, but a Houston personal injury attorney with significant experience in managing cases involving truck accidents is familiar not only with Texas state laws governing the operation of commercial big rigs but also with the federal laws that mandate maintenance, inspections, operation and other facets of the commercial trucking industry.
DO THEY HAVE EXPERIENCE NEGOTIATING WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES?
Many truck accident lawsuits never go to trial. They are settled through negotiation or arbitration. This is why it’s critical to engage a Houston personal injury attorney who has experience dealing with insurance companies and obtaining fair compensation for injuries.
DO THEY HAVE TRIAL EXPERIENCE?
Truck accident cases often involve serious, life-changing injuries. If your truck accident lawsuit goes to trial here in Texas, you will want a truck accident attorney attorney who is confident and has the skills to fight for your best interests.
With more than 40 years of legal experience, The Krist Law Firm, P.C. knows how devastating an accident with a semi-truck can be. If you’ve been involved in a Houston trucking accident, you may be unsure of how you will continue after a serious and life-changing collision. Contact our knowledgeable Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at 281-283-8500 to find out how we can help you.
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COMPENSATION IN TEXAS TRUCK ACCIDENTS
The goal of many truck crash lawyers is to reach a settlement with those responsible for injuries; however, we will always seek to obtain the most compensation possible. If we determine that we need to pursue a truck accident lawsuit to get you what you deserve, we have the resources to do so. We have taken many cases to court and will not hesitate to seek a jury verdict in your favor to get you what you need to cover the following damages after a truck accident:
- Medical costs
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Physical Limitations
- Loss of earning capacity
In an accident with a personal motor vehicle, you may not be able to recover fully for your losses. Insurance policies and the financial restrictions of the person responsible limit your ability to recover. However, commercial vehicles have much larger insurance policy limits and the trucking companies may have additional funds available. Depending on the type of vehicle, they may even have federal requirements for insurance coverage. Instead of covering part of your losses, we can help you obtain the compensation that will completely cover your past and future losses as well as legal expenses.
FATAL TRUCK CRASHES
Unfortunately, collisions with large commercial vehicles can have results that are far worse than medical bills. Because of their large size and extreme weight, accidents with these vehicles may result in death. If your loved one was involved in a fatal truck wreck, you are likely experiencing emotional distress and are unsure of how to handle the financial loss.
You may be able to recover the following through a wrongful death claim:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Loss of financial contributions
- Loss of care, support, maintenance, advice, and counsel
- Loss of love, companionship, comfort, and society
- Loss of inheritance you may have received if your family member had lived a normal expected lifetime.
You may also be able to recover for medical expenses, physical pain, and mental anguish that your loved one suffered prior to passing away because of the truck accident.
Our Houston truck accident attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. understand your concerns. We will compassionately listen to your story, determine your needs, and work with insurance companies and third parties to obtain the financial compensation that you deserve.
UNDERSTANDING TRUCK ACCIDENT INJURIES
If you are injured in a truck wreck, the driver of the truck or the company he or she works for may be liable for damages related to your injuries. Here are some of the most common truck accident injuries and their effects on the human body.
- Head and Brain Injuries — A head or brain injury can have long-lasting effects depending on the severity of the accident. Head injuries can be as mild as a concussion that fades in a day or two or as serious as mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which are conditions that can result in a variety of negative effects ranging from changes in personality to death. Truck accidents can cause severe injury to the head and brain of victims and these injuries are likely to be life-altering when they are incurred.
- Broken Bones — The amount of blunt force trauma involved in truck accidents can shatter bones and leave drivers and passengers with multiple traumas that are likely to be severe.
- Amputated Limbs or Extremities — Arms, legs, hands, or feet may be severed in a catastrophic impact, or have to be amputated after being crushed or severely burned.
- Burns — Unfortunately, burns are more common in collisions with commercial trucks than in accidents involving passenger vehicles. Because trucks are larger and usually cause more damage in an impact, there is a greater risk of fuel tanks rupturing and causing vehicle fires. Not only may a fire destroy a motor vehicle, it can also cause extremely painful and disfiguring injuries from which victims may never be able to fully recover.
- Spinal Cord Injuries — The impact in a commercial trucking accident may injure or damage the bones, muscles or nerves in the spinal cord. This can lead to partial, temporary or complete paralysis of various parts of the body. Even if the injuries are not permanent, they may cause severe pain and often require complex rehabilitation to achieve recovery. These types of injuries usually require sophisticated imaging such as an MRI scan in order to diagnose properly, and may require surgery to treat.
- Neck and Back Injuries — These types of injuries are terribly common in most vehicle accidents because of the jarring force that affects drivers and passengers at the moment of impact. The structural systems that make up the neck and back are extraordinarily complex and injuries to these parts of the body can lead to debilitating pain and even paralysis if they are severely damaged.
- Internal Injuries — The sheer blunt force trauma of a collision with a semi-truck combined with the physical stresses incurred by the body’s interaction with safety equipment such as a deployed airbag can cause blunt abdominal trauma. These types of internal injuries can involve the bladder, spleen, liver, pancreas or kidneys, and can be very difficult to treat and lead to life-long physical limitation.
- Torso and Rib Injuries — These types of injuries are particularly dangerous not only because blunt force trauma to the abdomen can be painful, but because these structures also surround vital organs. Broken ribs that are not identified and properly treated can puncture lungs or cause other severe damage to the human body.
- Cuts and Lacerations — Although they may seem minor in comparison to internal injuries or head trauma, cuts can cause a lasting impact. Shattered glass, severed metal, or unrestrained objects within a vehicle can all cause cuts and wounds, ranging from minor slices to permanent injury to the eyes, head or body. Cuts can cause disfiguring scars or become infected and result in serious illness or death.
- Seatbelt and Airbag Injuries — Seatbelts and other safety measures are important tools to save the lives of people involved in truck accidents, but they can also cause some injuries during the accident. Seatbelts by definition confine the chest and abdomen while airbags can deploy with enough speed to strip the skin off of a driver’s hands, as well as causing blunt force trauma to the head. These types of accidents can also cause or contribute to injuries sustained to the chest, neck or back.
- Wrongful Death — Unfortunately, the severity of damage involved in an accident with a commercial truck means that not everyone may survive a catastrophic crash. This is described in the legal system as “wrongful death,” and may necessitate a claim on behalf of the victim’s family.
HOW KRIST GETS THE COMPENSATION YOU DESERVE
Why should you hire an experienced Houston semi-truck accident attorney to represent you in a personal injury case? Here are just a few:
With so many parties involved in a single roadside or highway collision involving a truck, it can be challenging to determine who is the responsible party and how to approach a multifaceted case.
Accident investigations involving trucks and other vehicles in Texas are extraordinarily complex. Very often, commercial transport companies deploy their own team of investigators to respond to every incident. The investigator is paid by the commercial trucking company, so they have no interest in the well-being or fair compensation to the victim. Any evidence gathered by investigators working for the trucking companies is likely to implicate the victim, and commercial transport companies will unapologetically use that evidence against the victim during recovery negotiations or a trial.
In many semi-truck accident cases, the actual collisions are caused by negligence on the part of the truck driver, whose behaviors may include:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs
- Driving while extremely fatigued
- Speeding or driving too aggressively for the road conditions
- Road rage
- Eating, texting or engaging in other distracting activities while driving
On the flipside, there are many ways in which the trucking company can be negligent:
- Setting unworkable delivery times that undermine safe driving behaviors
- Delaying part replacements, including tires, and key mechanical items
- Postponing or failing to perform diagnostic vehicle inspections
- Pressuring truck drivers to drive longer than federal law permits
Keep in mind that determining liability is far more difficult in truck accident cases than in simple passenger collisions because of the number of parties that may be involved.
- Recovery Negotiations — In a typical car accident, your attorney is really only negotiating with the insurance company of the other driver. Because there are multiple parties involved in a truck accident case, a Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer must be skilled in negotiating with multiple parties including insurance companies, the driver of the truck, his or her employer, and vehicle and parts manufacturers.
- Understanding State and Federal Law — If you are involved in a truck crash, it is vital that you engage an Texas truck accident lawyer who is familiar with both Texas state law and Federal regulations because both of these sets of laws may impact your case significantly. Texas law, for example, imposes some restrictions on your ability to raise a cause of action for personal injury or wrongful death.
The Texas statute of limitations states that you must file a lawsuit not later than two years after the date of your trucking accident. For instances of wrongful death, the statute of limitations is still 2 years, but the date the time limit begins is not the date of the trucking accident and is rather 2 years after the death occurred.
Simultaneously, there are laws and regulations that are specific to the trucking industry across the United States, including Texas. The trucking industry in this country is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA oversees laws and regulations that apply to the commercial trucking industry but do not apply to passenger vehicles.
The driver must have met certain qualifications before operating a commercial 18-wheeler, for example. Other FMCSA laws govern the number of hours a truck driver can work as well as other conditions specific to operating a commercial truck. The qualified Houston commercial vehicle accident attorneys at The Krist Law Firm P.C. are intimately familiar with both Texas state laws and federal regulation and will know which laws and regulations apply in your specific case — and how to use them to build a strong argument in favor of your receiving compensation.
WORK WITH A HOUSTON TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER THAT WINS
An accident on this scale can take a terrible toll. We understand the Texas legal landscape as well as how federal regulations come into play when it comes to accident liability involving a large, commercial truck.
We will work closely with you and your family to keep you informed about the details of your case and communicate to a judge or jury why you deserve compensation for your past and future medical costs, loss of earning capacity, physical pain, mental anguish, physical limitations, and disfigurement.
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our semi-truck accident lawyers have tackled a wide range of trucking accident cases throughout Texas. We understand state law, federal trucking regulations, and the investigative techniques necessary to successfully handle a truck accident – in or out of court.
In addition, we work closely with experts, including accident reconstruction specialists, life care planners, engineers, medical professionals, and forensic electronics specialists who can capture and analyze data from a truck’s data recorder or “black box.” With these experts on our side, we can present a strong case to prove the cause of the crash and your injuries, as well as the extent of your mental and physical damage.
Find out more about what some of the finest attorneys in Texas can do for you after a Houston truck accident by calling 281-283-8500 or contact us online.
TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWS
Laws addressing the commercial trucking industry are different than those for most passenger vehicles. Both federal and state agencies issue rules that must be followed by truckers and their employers. Your truck crash lawyer can explain the laws that apply to your case. Our experienced commercial vehicle accident attorneys know how to use these laws to develop the strongest case possible.