Were you hurt in a commercial truck accident in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas or elsewhere in Texas? If so, you’re not alone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says more than 110,000 Americans were injured in one recent year of wrecks involving large commercial vehicles known as big rigs, semi trucks, tractor trailers, diesel trucks or 18 wheelers.
Nearly 4,000 persons died in such crashes, which tend to be the most destructive of all traffic accidents due to trucks’ enormous size and weight. Indeed, though big rigs account for just 3 percent of all vehicles on our roads, they’re involved in 12 percent of all fatal wrecks.
What should I do if I’ve been injured in a truck accident?
Were you or a family member injured in a truck accident? If so, you surely want to know what you should do about a devastating, life-changing injury.
The answer is simple: Get professional legal help with the knowledge and experience to handle your case. Get a truck accident lawyer from Jim Adler & Associates.
But first, you may have questions.
Can I sue a trucking company without a lawyer?
Yes, but it’s not recommended.
“Trucking companies often hire sophisticated, experienced lawyers to defend themselves from lawsuits, and the courts are obligated to hold you to the same legal standard even if you don’t hire a lawyer,” says Kyle Schnitzer, Senior Briefing Attorney for Jim Adler & Associates’ Houston, Channelview and Dallas offices.
“If you lose your case because you tried to represent yourself, you are not allowed then to hire a lawyer and try again,” he says. “Don’t sue a trucking company without hiring an experienced lawyer of your own first. Jim Adler & Associates has handled hundreds of big truck cases, and we know how to win.”
Why do I need a lawyer if I was hit by an 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicle?
You need a truck accident lawyer because your injuries are costly and those who are responsible will resist paying for them. Our law firm has decades of experience fighting big trucking lines and their insurance companies to claim such payments — payments our clients legally deserve after being injured in a truck accident.
Are there up-front costs to hire an 18-wheeler attorney?
Not with Jim Adler. Our law firm takes all cases on a contingency basis, including wrecks involving 18 wheelers.
That means you pay no attorney fees unless and until we recover money for you. And then you pay only a portion of the settlement you’re awarded, and nothing out of your own pocket.
How do settlements for commercial vehicle accidents work?
As with lawsuits for most car crashes, a large commercial vehicle accident may be handled by your truck crash lawyer with no need for a trial. That’s done by negotiating with defendants for a settlement out of court.
Keep in mind that Jim Adler attorneys never will accept a settlement offer without your approval. You must agree with the settlement terms we negotiate.
How long does an 18-wheeler lawsuit take?
If an out-of-court settlement isn’t feasible and your case goes to trial, the time needed to resolve it can vary.
“Every case is different,” Schnitzer says. “Some cases can be resolved in a matter of months, but others may require years of litigation.”
What is the average settlement for a truck accident?
An “average” settlement may not apply to your situation, since every case is different. But settlements tend to be for many thousands of dollars — perhaps even millions.
“Commercial motor vehicles are required by federal law to carry substantially more insurance than ordinary cars and trucks in Texas,” Schnitzer says. “But the amount actually recovered depends on the facts of each specific case.”
We can tell you this: Our truck accident lawyers will fight to get as much payments as possible for your medical and hospital bills, your lost present and future wages and your pain and suffering.
We can do this by holding accountable those responsible for an 18 wheeler or other large commercial vehicle. They include the trucking company, the driver, the manufacturer, the parts supplier and those who provided truck maintenance. Negligence by any of them may have led to your big truck accident.
What are some common injuries in a big truck accident?
Because of their size and weight, big trucks can cause terrible damage and life-changing injuries in a crash, especially at highway speeds.
An 18 wheeler or other large commercial vehicle is extremely big and heavy. Your car may weigh 4,000 pounds, but large trucks can weigh 80,000 pounds when fully loaded – or more when overloaded illegally (which can contribute to your settlement).
Victims commonly suffer broken bones; injuries to internal organs; injuries to the back, neck or spine; paralysis such as quadriplegia or paraplegia; traumatic brain injury or other neurological damage; amputation of an arm or leg; burns; disfigurement; and even death.
In short, 18-wheeler accident injuries can be life-changing, severe, debilitating and catastrophic. They often are among the worst injuries victims can suffer in any traffic accident.
Can I hire a truck accident attorney even if I’m at fault?
Generally speaking, yes. In Texas and most other states, you can recover some money even if you’re up to 50 percent at fault for a crash. That involves a concept known widely as modified comparative fault.
However, the degree to which you were at fault will reduce the amount of your settlement. For instance, if damages were deemed to be $100,000 and you were found to be 25 percent at fault, your recovery would be reduced by that percentage, and you’d be awarded $75,000.
But if you are deemed at fault by 51 percent or more, you can’t recover anything. The cause of the accident can’t be more than half your fault for you to be paid.
What are common causes of big truck accidents?
Among common causes of large truck accidents are failures by truck drivers.
Some truckers may tailgate or drive recklessly, or they may drive while fatigued and fall asleep at the wheel. Others may not have been properly trained or licensed to handle large commercial vehicles. Others may drive while distracted or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Big truck crashes also occur due to the nature of the large, lumbering vehicles. Lengthy 18 wheelers have blind spots — mostly in the rear but also to the sides — which their drivers cannot see.
Also, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “Loaded tractor-trailers take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop, and the discrepancy is greater on wet and slippery roads or with poorly maintained brakes.”
Indeed, vehicle failure often is to blame, as when a big rig swerves after a tire blows out. The blowout may have been due to improper maintenance and failure to change overly worn tires, or it may have been due to an illegally overloaded trailer.
Who pays me for injuries in a truck accident?
Most likely it’s the insurance company for the trucking line.
But insurance companies often don’t agree to pay medical bills promptly and fully. That means your 18-wheeler accident attorney must make sure the insurance company lives up to it obligations.
Whatever your injuries’ costs, we can fight to get you the settlement you deserve with an 18-wheeler lawsuit.
Contact the Texas truck accident lawyers of Jim “The Texas Hammer” Adler today and get a free legal review of your case. We have years of experience handling truck accident claims, and we can help you, too.
But first we must hear from you. So call us at 1-800-505-1414 or use the form on this page, and you’ll get a free legal review of your case.
Then let’s get started — and get results for you and your family after a truck accident injury.
Client Review: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I was in an accident in September 2017. I was hit by a dump truck driver on the left side of my vehicle which put me in the hospital. I ended up with multiple injuries to my left shoulder, neck, and my right knee, which I recently had surgery on. My case manager, Mrs. Iris Sanchez, is an absolute saint. Since my accident she has been following up with me. She calls me several times a week just to see how I’m doing. I have never in all my life had a person as sweet as her calling me and asking me how my day is going. She even called me on my birthday, on Thanksgiving, and again on Christmas and New Year’s. She’s more like a sister rather than my lawyer. She has a big heart and I can’t thank her enough for her time, support, and hospitality. I highly recommend Mrs. Iris Sanchez. Again, I am so thankful for all she has done for me. She has treated me with the utmost respect and I am very grateful for being her client.