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Why You Need Truck Accident Lawyers To Help You With Your 18-Wheeler Accident
Why You Need Truck Accident Lawyers To Help You With Your 18-Wheeler Accident
All you have to do is drive down an interstate to know that tractor trailers comprise a major portion of the traffic in this gateway to Texas.
Everywhere motorists look, there are massive 18-wheelers hauling freight and construction materials to destinations all over the American south. With all this big rig traffic, it is a statistical inevitability that there will be commercial vehicles involved in major accidents in which there will be serious injuries, heavy property damage, and fatalities. It is only a matter of when and a matter of who will be involved in the truck wreck.
If you or a family member has been injured or if a loved one has been killed in a tractor-trailer mishap, our Law Offices can help you recover compensation for your injuries and losses. We have litigated and won hundreds of 18-wheeler cases and recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. We understand the physical pain and emotional damage you are going through, and we are also quite sensitive to the fact that your struggles have only just begun. Attempting to recover adequate and fair compensation can cause even more worry and frustration, and we’d like to ease your stress by helping you to better know the legal and other options you have at your disposal, we’d as well like to inform you of the likely obstacles you will face as you attempt to seek justice and fair compensation.
Who Is At Fault for Your Austin Truck Accident?
The trucking accident attorneys at our Law Offices have been using their deep knowledge and experience of personal injury and wrongful death law involving tractor trailer accidents in Texas for over twenty years. If you have been harmed in a big rig mishap, we can help you recover fair and adequate compensation for your injuries and losses, and we can help you seek justice as well.
If you or a family member has been involved in an 18 wheeler accident in Texas, call us toll free for a free consultation to discuss your legal or other alternatives.
Who is to Blame?
If you would like to recover compensation for the injuries and losses you have endured after an accident with a big rig, you must first pinpoint who is responsible for your mishap. In most tractor trailer accidents, numerous parties may share liability for your accident. Texas law abides by the legal principle known as respondeat superior. Respondeat superior simply means that employers are responsible for the actions or inaction of their employees while they are on the job. In the case of a tractor-trailer mishap, multiple parties can share liability for the accident in question.
In an 18 wheeler accident personal injury or wrongful death legal action, the truck driver, the trucking company, the route planners, the freight loaders, truck and truck parts designers and manufacturers among other parties all or a combination of these can be held responsible for a big rig accident. You need the help of a skilled and experienced truck accident law firm to represent you. Our attorneys have over twenty years of experience in investigating 18-wheeler accidents, and we know how to find every party who may have had a hand in the cause of your accident. When a truck driver is involved in a big rig mishap, our lawyers know how to determine if the truck driver’s negligence or a mechanical failure caused the wreck. In certain cases, the freight was not fastened properly or the brakes were poorly maintained, and this could cause the trailer to jackknife. Determining blame in an 18-wheeler mishap is a complex and intricate process, and our trucking accident law firm can ensure that all negligent parties are held responsible for your accident and that you are compensated accordingly.
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It is legal for you to represent yourself in a court of law when pursuing a claim against a negligent truck driver, trucking company or its insurance carrier, but choosing to self-represent is seldom a wise choice. Lawsuits to recover compensation for a tractor-trailer accident can be extremely complex and challenging–even inexperienced attorneys have very little chance of success, and the chances of winning are incredibly small for nonlawyers. You will be facing some of the most skilled, experienced and aggressive legal defense attorneys in the United States, and these attorneys have devoted their lives to winning lawsuits for trucking companies and their insurance carriers. They know how to win. For you to be successful in seeking the recovery of compensation for your 18-wheeler mishap, you will need the aid of an equally skilled, experienced and aggressive attorney, and a big rig accident law firm can help you in your time of need.
The Trucking Industry is Big Business
Federal law mandates that all trucking companies must be insured to protect themselves and the public against the inevitable accidents, injuries, property damage and fatalities that are a daily fact of life in the trucking transportation industry. Many people believe the myth that since trucking companies must carry insurance, it is then a relatively easy matter to recover compensation for one’s injuries and losses. Nothing could be further from the truth. Trucking company insurance carriers have little to no interest in helping you receive compensation. Like all businesses, insurance carriers are out to turn a profit and to make money, and we don’t begrudge them that. Insurance policies for 18 wheelers however, are extremely valuable and are worth much more than your standard automobile policies; insurance carriers will do what they can to deny or minimize your claim so as to save themselves considerable sums of money–their interest lies in their bottom line, and that means paying out as little as possible in compensation claims. The insurance adjusters will to all they can to deny your claim or evade paying its true value.
Of course, Texas law provides that a truck accident victim or the family of a loved one killed in an 18 wheeler mishap has the right to recover full and fair compensation from the trucking company, but require that the burden of proof rests squarely on the shoulders of the victim or his or her family to prove the negligence of the trucking company or other parties. That is, it is up to you to provide substantial and irrefutable proof of the truck driver or trucking company’s negligence in a court of law. You must also prove with evidence that the sought compensation is a fair amount and is legitimate. Of course, the trucking company or its insurance carrier will contest that amount of compensation and will instead offer a much lower of recompense for your injuries and losses if they are not trying to deny your claim outright. The best way to recover full and fair compensation is to retain a skilled and experienced trucking accident law firm whose attorneys know who to take on and win against trucking companies and their insurance carriers.
Insurance Company Legal Defense Teams
As we noted above, insurance companies employ extremely skilled and specialized defense lawyers to defend their policies and company assets. They have legal specialists who are expert in manipulating judges and juries to view the case as they see it–which is in favor of their employers. In most instances, the insurance legal defense attorneys arrive to investigate the accident scene mere moments after the truck driver calls in the wreck, and they begin to build a case against the victim before he or she has had time to even remotely consider what course of action he or she should take. They take advantage of those moments where you are seeking medical treatment and are confused by just what exactly is going on. If you delay in retaining legal counsel, your ability to investigate all available evidence falls much further behind that of the defense attorneys.
Insurance Adjusters’ Interest Lies With Their Employers, Not With You
Trucking company insurance carrier insurance adjusters have little care in whether you recover compensation, and in fact, it is in their interest that you not recover anything for your injuries and losses. These insurance adjusters are the best in their field and they earn high incomes because of it; they got to where they are by saving their employer significant amounts of money in protecting company assets by denying compensation claims. These adjusters will befriend you and attempt to get you to believe they are your average claims adjuster by saying that they desire to help you and that they will get you full compensation for the injuries sustained in the 18 wheeler accident. The difference between these adjusters and your typical automobile adjusters is this: Car insurance companies need to keep your business, so these adjusters are trying to save money for their employer. Adjusters will try to get you to contradict your statements in regard to how the big rig accident happened, and then they will use your own words against you in a court of law to deny or minimize your claim. In other instances, adjusters will coerce victims into signing away their legal rights by offering cash-strapped victims a woefully inadequate settlement offer in exchange for the victim promising not to sue the company at a future date.
When insurance adjusters fly in from New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and see a victim representing himself or herself alone at the negotiating table, they know in their hearts that they are going to win one for their employer. They know that a novice will be unable to take a victory against them, which is why you need a skilled, experienced and aggressive truck accident law firm with its own deep resources and team of attorneys ready to compel the insurance company to offer a fair and adequate settlement. Insurance carriers only respond if they fear losing even greater amounts of assets in a court ordered compensation award.
Truck Drivers Can Be Deceitful
Even if the truck driver in question was undoubtedly at fault for the mishap that caused your injuries and losses, he or she will have little incentive to tell the truth either in negotiations or on the witness stand. Most truckers who are found liable for causing 18 wheeler accidents will likely be fired, and he or she stands little chance of finding employment in their livelihood of choice–what company is going to hire a driver with a history of causing his employer to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars? Like you, truck drivers have to provide for families and loved ones, and if they lose their jobs, they will be unable to adequately feed their families. Even honest and decent people may find themselves saying lies they otherwise would never say in order to save their livelihood.
Our Law Offices once had for a client a victim who endured an injury in a mishap with a tractor trailer, and our client found himself being accused by the truck driver for causing the accident by driving at night with his headlights turned off. During the accident scene investigation, our attorneys noticed a surveillance camera at a nearby business that was pointed directly at the accident site. After obtaining a copy of the surveillance video, our lawyers reviewed the tape and found with crystal clear clarity that our client was driving with his headlights on. We caught the trucker in a bold-faced lie. In many instances trucking accident cases involve deception and deceit, and an experienced trucking accident law firm can properly interview and depose the truck driver in order to ask those questions that will reveal his or her lies. Our attorneys have conducted thousands of interviews and depositions, and we know how get truck drivers to reveal the truth and recover compensation for our clients.
Self-insured Trucking Companies Are a Problem
Though federal law requires trucking companies to carry insurance, the law does not require these companies to purchase insurance through traditional carriers; some companies opt to self insure. What this means is that these companies set aside a certain percentage of their assets to cover compensation claims that inevitably will happen as a result of doing business in the trucking industry. These companies can be very difficult to negotiate or work with. Regular insurance carriers are not only subject to federal regulation, insurance adjusters are also compelled to abide by federal ethical codes and standards, and if an adjuster should violate these codes, he or she could lose their license or job. This is not the case with self insured trucking companies, since their company officers are not subject to any ethical codes or standards, and as a result, these trucking company officials are not bound to act in good faith. On the contrary, these officials have a well deserved reputation for acting in unscrupulous ways, and they are known to bully, intimidate, witness and evidence tamper and act in a nearly criminal manner. The reason for their unethical behavior is simple– their salaries and bonuses are tied to company profitability, and the more they approve in compensation claims, the less money they make to provide for their families and support their standard of living. They have every incentive to try to deny or minimize your rightful compensation claim in order to save what amounts to essentially their own money. If you hire our big rig accident law firm, we take all necessary measures, including legal action, to compel these self insured trucking company officials to negotiate and act in good faith.
Beware of Self Representation
Representing yourself before these legal defense teams and skilled insurance adjusters is rarely a wise idea. As the old saying goes, any lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. This saying is even more appropriate for 18 wheeler mishap claims where the law is more complex and more difficult to successfully negotiate than in the average passenger vehicle lawsuit.
Knowledge of the law is only a tiny portion of the necessary tools in order to be victorious in a trucking accident case. You need a skilled and experienced big rig accident law firm who attorneys have over twenty years of experience in taking on the strategies of skilled defense lawyers. Like anything, it requires years and years of practice to obtain the necessary skills and experience to be successful in a court of law or at the negotiating table. Are you familiar with answering interrogatories? Can you prepare a demand pocket? Respond to a list of admissions? You will need to know these if you want even the slimmest chance of winning in court.
You need a truck accident law firm with a considerable record of success so that insurance carriers will negotiate with you in good faith and offer a full and fair compensation settlement then risk going to trial with one of the nation’s premier truck accident law firms and losing a large compensation award. Our attorneys have taken on and defeated every single major insurance company in the United States, and we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. These companies and their defense attorneys have no fear of non lawyers and novice attorneys because they know that they will defeat inexperienced parties. They do however, fear our Law Offices. When our attorneys threaten a lawsuit, these companies prepare to settle–they do not wish to face us in a court of law.
What Can You Do?
The first thing you need to do is take the actions necessary to preserve the evidence in your case. You need to hire legal representation as soon as possible, so that your lawyer can begin investigating the accident before it is too late. Every second you delay, is a second where evidence is degraded or disappears, for example, accident sites get cleaned up or weather destroys subtle but crucial evidence. Our Law Offices thoroughly and meticulously investigate the scene of the mishap to collect the substantial evidence necessary to prove the truck driver, trucking company, etc., negligent and responsible for your injuries and losses. We will measure skid marks to points of impact, we will review any surveillance video, we will examine police and fire department records, we will inspect the involved vehicles, in short, we will do what it takes to gather the evidence to win your case.
In one case we handled, we had two clients, one who was severely injured, and the family of another victim who was killed in the same accident with an 18 wheeler at night. The truck driver left his trailer completely lying across the road, with his trailer acting as a complete barrier to any oncoming traffic. As noted, this accident happened at night and the trailer involved did not have any lights on its side to indicate its presence, in effect, the trailer was invisible to any traveling motorist. Our client drove around a corner and smashed directly into the trailer and the top of the automobile was completely shorn off and killed the driver instantly while the passenger was severely injured. The next day our services were retained and we rushed our attorneys to the accident scene to begin our investigation, but by the time we got there, the passenger vehicle had already been towed to the junk yard. After we arrived at the salvage yard, oddly, we found that the destroyed car was missing its headlights. As with the case mentioned above, our attorneys noticed a surveillance video at the junk yard and they asked to review the video. On the tape, our lawyers found an employee of the trucking company trespassing and stealing the cars headlamps. Later, at trial, the trucking company tried to argue our clients were at fault for driving at night without headlights installed on their car. Not only did we embarrass them and win at trial, we exposed criminal wrongdoing and now the trucking company will be held liable for that behavior.
It was a good thing our clients contacted us when they did. The surveillance video was set to automatically erase and begin rerecording every 48 hours. Had our clients delayed, chances are that this crucial evidence would have been destroyed and the chances of our clients recovering fair compensation would have been diminished. Investigating immediately is the best chance you will have of recovering the necessary evidence you need in order to receive full and fair compensation.
Contact Our Austin Law Offices and Let Us Take Care of the Rest
If you or someone you love has been injured in a personal injury accident, then you need the help of an experienced lawyer. Statutes of limitations exist for filing personal injury claims, so it’s essential that you act quickly to determine the best course of action.
Call our Austin personal injury attorneys today for a free case evaluation – we want to help so you can focus on your recovery. Put our lawyers to work so you can get the compensation you and your family are entitled to.