Injured in a Trucking Accident?
Since trucks are bigger and heavier, accidents involving trucks have a higher probability than car accidents to result in catastrophic injuries or death. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a truck accident, you need to act quickly to protect your legal claims. Contact a San Antonio truck accident lawyer at Brylak Law today.
Types of Trucking Accidents
San Antonio and the State of Texas see a high volume of truck traffic, due to its vibrant economy and proximity to the Mexican border. This leads to a larger than average number of truck accidents. Trucking accidents may involve:
- Collision with another motor vehicle (e.g. bus, car, motorcycle)
- Striking cyclists, including bicyclists and motorcycle riders
- Striking pedestrians
- Single-vehicle accidents (only involves a truck)
Unfortunately, these crashes frequently cause severe — and sometimes fatal — injuries.
Trucking accidents also cover a wide variety of commercial vehicles, including tanker trucks, construction vehicles, and delivery vans. If you have questions about an accident claim involving a commercial vehicle of any kind, contact a truck accident lawyer at Brylak Law today. We offer free evaluations, aggressive legal representation, and practical advice.
Causes of Trucking Accidents
Compared to the average car or pickup, semi trucks and tractor-trailers are heavier, harder to maneuver, and slower to stop. They also can carry combustible and dangerous cargo. These factors, along with a driver or trucking company’s negligence, can lead to tragic results.
A trucking accident attorney is familiar with various causes of large trucking accidents, such as:
- Truck driver error, such as violation of traffic laws and trucking regulations, driver fatigue, and distracted driving (e.g. texting or talking on a cellphone)
- Improperly trained driver
- Driving while intoxicated
- Improperly inspected and/or maintained truck
- Defective or malfunctioning truck parts
- Failure to drive safely under the circumstances (e.g. unsafe road or weather condition, or roadways)
- Aggressive driver conduct or road rage
- Failure to pay special attention to the truck’s multiple blind spots where vehicles are virtually invisible to the truck driver
- Driving the truck with an unsecured load on the back
- Failure to slow the truck down in the proper manner
- Overweight trucks
- Under inflated or overworked tires
Most truck accidents are caused by driver error. However, it might be difficult to assign fault for an accident without a thorough investigation, led by a skilled truck accident lawyer.
Who Is to Blame for Truck Accidents?
After a truck accident, you’ll probably have a lot of questions. A truck accident lawyer can help you find answers and regain control. Compared to an accident claim involving a passenger car, truck accident claims are very complicated. You’ll need to carefully assess the insurance policies involved, as well as your facts and evidence. Depending on your circumstances, you might have multiple insurance claims and lawsuits, including the following:
- Liability claims against the driver and trucking company
- Personal injury protection (PIP) claims
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist claims
- Product liability claims against companies that made and sold defective truck parts and equipment
- Claims against bars and restaurants that overserved a drunk driver
Unfortunately, when multiple insurance companies are involved, they’ll typically try to avoid financial responsibility by pointing fingers at each other. When you work with an experienced truck accident lawyer, he or she will help you investigate and assess these claims — and demand fair compensation for injuries.
We’ll Investigate the Truck Company’s Compliance With Federal Laws
Due to the severity of the injuries and the frequency of trucking accidents, there are strict federal laws in place for truck drivers and trucking companies. A trucking accident attorney from Brylak Law will review the following legal restrictions for truck drivers:
- How long truck drivers may be on the job (14 hour shift)
- Drivers must take rest periods (10 hours prior to a 14 hour shift; 30 minutes after 8 hours of driving; and 34 hours once every seven days)
- How long they may drive in a given day (11 hours in a 14 hour shift)
- Drivers must be tested for drug use
- How much weight a truck can haul
- Type of cargo
- How loads must be tied down
- How often trucks and their systems must be inspected and serviced
- Retention of pre- and post-trip inspection documents
- Drivers maintaining a log of their hours and distances traveled
- Retention of truck repair and/or work orders
If the truck company or driver violated these rules, this is strong evidence in a negligence claim.
What Should I Do After a Truck Accident?
After a truck accident, you might be in severe pain and need immediate medical treatment. This should be your top priority. Call 911 as soon as possible and request assistance from law enforcement and emergency medical services. You should cooperate with the law enforcement investigation.
If possible, you should also attempt to:
- Obtain information about the truck driver’s identity, insurance coverage, and employer
- Take pictures of the accident scene, including the vehicles, skid marks, and your injuries
- Identify witnesses who saw the truck accident and the events that preceded it
- Preserve tires and other defective car parts for testing and evaluation by product liability experts
- Demand copies of the truck driver’s logs and other important data
- Get copies of your police and crash investigation reports
Finally, you should immediately contact a truck accident lawyer.
While the insurance company’s adjuster might seem very sympathetic and helpful, he or she isn’t on your side. The adjuster’s job is to review insurance claims — and deny as many as possible. In comparison, a truck accident lawyer is your advocate — educating you about your rights, demanding fair compensation, and holding negligent parties accountable for their actions.
You also need to act quickly. Texas has strict filing deadlines in truck accident claims. If you miss a deadline, you might automatically lose your legal claims. Additionally, trucking companies won’t keep your evidence forever. The longer you wait to consult with a truck accident lawyer, the more likely it will be that you’ll lose important evidence like crash data, driver logs, and damaged truck parts.
What Is My Truck Accident Case Worth?
Every truck accident is different — just like the victims. However, a series of factors will impact the value of your truck accident case. They include:
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- How quickly you return back to your normal activities and employment (if ever)
- The type of medical treatment you need
- How much income you’ve lost
- Your age
- The extent of your pain and suffering
- How the accident impacted your spouse
- The types of insurance involved and each policy’s coverage limits
- Whether you have a claim for punitive damages (an award meant to punish highly negligent drivers and trucking companies)
- Your responsibility for the accident (if any)
When you work with a truck accident lawyer at Brylak Law, we’ll investigate your claim and carefully compute your damages. Our goal is to maximize your financial recovery and demand justice for you and your family.
Can a Truck Accident Injury Take Time to Develop?
After a serious truck accident, you might not always fully understand the extent of your injuries. While some trauma-related injuries are immediately noticeable, like cuts, burns, and broken bones, others take time to develop. For example, you might not realize that you have a herniated disc that requires treatment from a neurosurgeon until days after the crash. Similarly, you might think that a concussion will go away after a day or two — only to discover that your brain injury is more severe than you previously thought.
If your symptoms worsen after a crash, seek medical care as soon as possible. You should also carefully and honestly explain the circumstances surrounding the crash to your doctors and other medical providers. This information will help them diagnose your injuries — and will also help your truck accident lawyer document the severity of your conditions and their relationship to the wreck.
Seek an Experienced San Antonio Truck Accident Lawyer
A truck accident lawyer at Brylak Law understands how overwhelming these claims can feel. Trucking accidents are complex. However, our attorneys know how to handle complicated situations like:
- Trucking companies ignoring or encouraging rule violations by demanding tight deadlines or providing inadequate driver training.
- Drivers fabricating or manipulating their logs for purposes of defrauding inspectors.
We are strong advocates for injured drivers, pedestrians, motorcycle riders, and bicyclists. If you’re ready to fight back against the insurance companies, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. Contact a San Antonio truck accident lawyer with Brylak Law today.