The streets and freeways surrounding Houston, TX, are some of the busiest in Texas, both for commuters and for commercial drivers. Due to the high volume of vehicles on the road at all times, commercial truck drivers must be extremely aware of their surroundings to avoid harming other drivers. Because of the heaviness, height, and overall size of commercial trucks, commercial trucks can cause a great deal of harm to standard vehicles if a collision occurs.
The average settlement for an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit can vary widely depending on the specific facts of the case. However, according to some estimates, the average settlement for these types of cases can range from $50,000 to $500,000 or more depending on the available insurance policy, jurisdiction, and injuries of the Plaintiff.
Were You Involved in an 18 Wheeler Accident Today or Within the Last Two Years? Here Are Personal Injury Damages You Can Claim in an 18 Wheeler Accident Lawsuit:
At law, a tortfeasor is required, to the extent possible, to make you whole again. As such, there is an assortment of legal remedies known as “damages” that may be recoverable if you are considering an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit, including:
- Past Medical Expenses
- Future Medical Expenses
- Past Pain and Suffering
- Future Pain and Suffering
- Past Mental Anguish
- Future Mental Anguish
- Past Physical Impairment
- Future Physical Impairment
- Past Physical Disfigurement
- Future Physical
- Loss of Consortium
- Loss of Earnings
- Lost Earning Capacity
- Property Damage
- Loss of Use
- Exemplary Damage
Each of these damage categories has specific legal requirements of proof before you can recover damages. A skilled personal injury attorney can assist you with maximizing your recovery. Contact a qualified 18-wheeler accident settlement lawyer at The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm today and let us help you recover what you deserve.
Common Reasons an Eighteen Wheeler Accident Lawsuit is Filed
Truck accidents are very common and are usually the result of truck driver negligence, distracted truck drivers, tired drivers, or trucking company negligence.
Some of the most common practices linked to truck accidents are:
- When a truck driver demonstrates negligence by changing lanes without checking for adjacent traffic.
- When a truck driver fails to maintain their vehicle.
- When a truck driver does not pay attention to traffic.
- When a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel.
- When a truck driver has used an illegal substance, that prohibits unsafe driving.
Some of the most common 18-wheeler wrecks include sideswipe, rear-end, jackknife, rollovers, and underride accidents.
What to Do After an 18-Wheeler Accident
Immediately after an 18-wheeler accident, you may be left feeling confused or disoriented—wondering which steps to take next. Although every circumstance presents unique challenges, the following are some general things that you should do after an 18-wheeler accident:
Stop at the Scene
Many states require that you immediately stop your car at the scene or as close as possible to the car crash scene without obstructing traffic.
Get out of Immediate Harm if Necessary
If any vehicles involved in the 18-wheeler accident present an immediate danger, such as a car fire or explosion, and you are physically able, you should get your body out of harm's way to prevent a more disastrous outcome.
Contact Emergency Response/Report the Car Crash.
After an 18-wheeler accident, is essential that you or someone at the scene contact a local agency responsible for emergency response, if available.
Human memory is notoriously unreliable over time. The details of an event may escape you. so it is important to document the scene of the car crash, if possible.
Identify Witnesses/Collect Evidence
The more documentation that you have to support your account of events, the stronger your claim. So, it's important, if possible, to gather witness information (name and contact) and/or record a witness's first-person account.
Seek Treatment Immediately
It cannot be overstated how important it is to seek treatment after an 18-wheeler accident. The adrenaline after a crash may mask any injuries, but as early as you begin to experience symptoms (which may be the same evening), you should see a qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your condition.
Do Not Speak with the Other Driver's Insurance Company
Statements made to an insurance company representing the person that hit you can and will be used against you if your statements hurt your case.
Speak with an 18 wheeler Injury Lawyer at The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm about Filing an Eighteen Wheeler Accident Lawsuit
To prevent having to speak with an insurance company and to protect your rights, it is best to contact an 18 wheeler injury attorney immediately following an 18-wheeler accident. An attorney will direct all communications away from you so that any misstatements cannot be used against you in later proceedings.
Personal Injury claims can often be complex and daunting. It is important to contact a skilled personal injury lawyer from the outset of your claim to ensure your rights are not jeopardized. The attorneys at the Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm are always ready and able to assist you with your personal injury lawsuit.
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Legal Remedies After an 18-Wheeler Accident Occur Include Filing an Eighteen Wheeler Accident Lawsuit
Insurance Companies are notorious for delaying, denying, and diminishing car crash claims. In the event that the at-fault driver's insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement, you will need a skilled 18-wheeler accident attorney to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Generally, following an 18-wheeler accident, there are at least two possible defendants—the driver and the driver's company. Many legal theories can be asserted against a negligent driver and their company depending on their employer-employee relationship and the facts surrounding the accident. However, recently passed Texas HB 19 has altered the way in which 18-wheeler accident lawsuits can be litigated. Therefore, you will need a skilled 18-wheeler accident lawyer to navigate your case and get you the recovery you deserve.
Were You Involved in An 18-Wheeler Accident?
Although federal trucking standards have been put in place in order to create safer driving atmospheres, many truck drivers will bypass necessary procedures producing a danger to those who might share the road. For this reason, it is important that drivers harmed by commercial truck drivers seek legal services right away. Drivers harmed in such accidents may be compensated for medical expenses and more after filing an eighteen wheeler accident lawsuit.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, contact the attorneys at The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm today. Our attorneys are aggressive and will fight to get you maximum compensation and protection.
Filing a Claim After an 18 Wheeler Wreck
Following an 18-wheeler accident, your vehicle may be in a state of disrepair. Dents, breaks, and malfunctions are all common occurrences. You may depend on your car to get around, go to work, or visit friends and family. Whatever its purpose, your damaged car may be depriving you of a necessary and essential tool.
In addition to the disrepair of your car, personal items present in the vehicle at the time of the 18-wheeler wreck may have also suffered damage (e.g. laptop, phone). The fair market value of these items may also be recoverable.
Generally, there are two viable options for pursuing a claim for property damage following a car crash:
File a Claim Under the At-Fault Driver's Insurance Policy.
The first, and most obvious is to pursue a claim under the at-fault driver's insurance policy. After filing a claim, you will need to have your vehicle inspected to get an estimate for damages. Often, insurance companies will send out an adjuster to do an initial inspection of your car. Keep in mind that you have the right to have your vehicle inspected and repaired at your preferred facility.
Generally, after an estimate is completed, an adverse insurance company will either request more information, approve the estimate for repairs, or declare your vehicle a total loss. In Texas, for a vehicle to be declared a total loss (i.e. salvage vehicle), the cost of repairs (minus repainting costs and repair sales tax) must exceed your car's pre-accident fair market value by 100%. For example, if your car's pre-accident market value was $12,000 and the costs to repair the damages to your car following the crash is $15,000, an insurance company may declare your vehicle a total loss.
If the insurance company approves your estimate for repairs, they will issue a check in the amount of the approved estimate. If they declare your vehicle a total loss, they can issue a check for the pre-accident fair market value of the vehicle but will generally require that you surrender the vehicle and its title. If you choose to keep the car following a total loss assessment, the insurance company will issue a check for the salvage value of the vehicle, which generally will be inadequate to undergo repairs.
To avoid a total loss assessment, it is always advisable to get an independent estimate of your vehicle's pre-accident fair market value. The higher the value, the less likely your car will be declared a total loss.
In addition to the foregoing, you may also have claims for loss of use or diminished value following a car crash.
File a Claim Under Your Insurance Policy.
The second option following a car crash is to file a claim under your own insurance if you have comprehensive coverage. This may be the fastest option if the at-fault driver's insurance is delaying or denying a liability determination. If your insurance company covers the cost of your vehicle, they will invariably seek to subrogate their interest (e.g. seek reimbursement) against the at-fault driver's insurance company.
As a final note, you may need a rental vehicle during the time that your car is being repaired. If you have filed a claim under your own policy's comprehensive coverage, your insurance company will generally cover the cost of a rental up to their stated policy limit.
If you filed a claim under the at-fault driver's policy, their insurer will generally delay rental coverage until there has been a determination of fault (i.e. liability). Thereafter, they have a duty to cover the reasonable costs of a rental until your car has been repaired.
The force of impact following an 18-wheeler wreck may have left you and/or your passengers with sustained injuries. Neck and back pain are common consequences of motor vehicle crashes. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, National Spine Cord Injury Statistical Center, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. In the event of injuries, you may have a claim for bodily injury.
However, physical injuries generally must be corroborated by documented medical evidence. This includes treatment from various medical specialists with documented injury in medical records. Your claimed injuries must be a result of the car crash at issue; meaning they either originated or were aggravated by the car crash. The treatment and cost for your injuries must have also been reasonable and medically necessary.
Each of these damage categories has specific legal requirements of proof before you can recover damages. A skilled personal injuries attorney can assist you with maximizing your recovery. Contact a qualified 18-wheeler accident lawyer at the Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm today and let us help you recover what you deserve.
Schedule your FREE case review here.
Our firm works on a 100% contingency fee basis for your personal injury case.
That means that when a case is taken on, we use our own money and resources to fight for clients. We will investigate, go to court, hire experts, and do whatever is necessary to win your case. We will never ask for any money upfront for contingency matters. No money is owed by the client to us if no monetary recovery is made. That is our promise.
The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm and 18-Wheeler Accident Lawsuits
The experienced personal injury attorneys at The Cedrick D. Forrest Law Firm can help you build a strong case that establishes negligence and recovers the compensation you need by conducting a thorough investigation of the 18-wheeler trucking company.
It's important that your attorney know where to look to find the evidence that will prove your case and maximize your recovery. After a traumatizing accident, our desire is to remove as much stress from you as possible, which means we will take care of all the investigation, paperwork, phone calls, insurance, and other issues so that you can recover from your injuries.
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The key factor in every personal injury case is negligence. When one or more people are negligent in the way they act, or by not acting at all, serious injury can result. Click the contact button to speak with an available personal injury attorney. It's fast, simple, and the first step to getting maximum compensation. We also offer no-contact video consultations.
Can I sue the trucking company for an accident caused by a driver who was not an employee?
Yes, in some cases, you may be able to sue the trucking company for an accident caused by a driver who was not an employee. This can include situations where the driver was an independent contractor or was working for another company that was contracted by the trucking company.
What is the role of the insurance company in an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit?
The insurance company plays a major role in 18-wheeler accident lawsuits, as they are responsible for covering any damages that the trucking company or its drivers may be liable for. The insurance company will typically conduct its own investigation of the accident and may offer a settlement to the injured party. If a lawsuit is filed, the insurance company will provide a defense and may negotiate a settlement or defend the case in court.
Can I still file an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit if the driver was not cited for the accident?
Yes, you can still file an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit even if the driver was not cited for the accident. A police report is not always necessary to prove liability in these types of cases, and other evidence such as witness statements and expert testimony may be used to establish fault.
What happens if the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident?
If the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, this can significantly impact the outcome of an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit. In addition to being subject to criminal charges, the driver and/or the trucking company may be found liable for any damages caused by the accident. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the responsible party for their actions.