Lubbock, TX Truck Accident Lawyer
Any auto accident may be very dangerous, but truck accidents are known for being extreme. If you were in such an accident, your injuries might be grievous, and you should seek help from a lawyer as soon as possible.
Distracted drivers, malfunctioning equipment, unsafe speeds, and other instances of negligence cause many truck accidents. On top of that, there are various ways the accident might happen. Jackknife accidents, rollovers, and head-on crashes are all possibilities. Our attorneys can help you navigate an insurance claim, lawsuit, or settlement to get fair compensation, depending on what you want. Your compensation is based on damages, including monetary expenses and psychological distress. Exemplary damages might also be available. Evidence to support your claims for these damages might include details from the accident scene, witness testimony, and details from the truck itself. Numerous parties, including truckers and their employers, might be responsible for the crash.
Speak to our truck accident attorneys about scheduling a free case review by calling our team at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. at (817) 476-1797.
Common Examples of Truck Driver Negligence in Truck Accident Cases
Truck accidents might happen for a variety of reasons, but some form of driver negligence is often the root cause. Our truck accident attorneys can work with the investigating authorities to determine what caused your accident. In the meantime, we may want to consider some common factors surrounding many truck accident cases.
A major factor in many accident cases is distractions behind the wheel. Truck drivers might be distracted by cell phones or communication equipment in the truck, or they might simply zone out and lose focus. Distracted driving is extremely dangerous, and distracted drivers might be liable for causing accidents.
Trucks and semi-trailers often have extensive safety equipment inside and outside the vehicle. If this equipment malfunctions, a serious accident could occur. For example, trailer couplings might come undone, causing the truck and trailer to separate. Maybe the underride bar fails, and a neighboring car gets wedged under the truck. We should investigate the equipment on the truck to determine if it played a role in your accident.
Speed is arguably one of the biggest factors in truck accident cases. Trucks are extremely heavy and cannot stop on a dime. If the trucker is going too fast and has to stop suddenly, they will likely cause a serious crash.
Truck accidents in and around Lubbock, TX tend to occur on major highways where truck routes are more common. For example, truck accidents might happen on the Texas State Highway Loop 289 that circles Lubbock. Collisions might also happen on U.S. Highway 62, which crosses right through the city. Accidents on these highways can be particularly dangerous as the legal speed limits are often higher.
Possible Truck Accidents in Luccock, TX
Not only are there numerous causes of truck accidents we should consider, but there are also various types of accidents. How your accident happened is just as important as why it happened. We might need to have your accident evaluated by a reconstruction expert to figure out this information, but below are a few common types of truck accidents.
A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer of a truck and the front cab begin moving out of sync with each other. When this happens, the cab might go one way while the trailer goes the other, or the trailer might push forward and cause the cab to swerve to the side. Often, jackknife accidents cause the entire truck and trailer to swerve around, and multiple other drivers might get hurt.
These kinds of crashes are often related to speed and sudden braking. For example, a speeding trucker might slam their brakes to avoid hitting an animal that darts into the road. When they slam the brakes, the cab might slow down faster than the trailer, and the entire vehicle might jackknife. Jackknife accidents are especially risky on wet or slick roads, where all drivers, including truckers, should be more careful about speed and braking.
A rollover accident is when the truck literally topples over on the road. A rollover accident may be very serious, considering how large and heavy trucks are. These accidents are often difficult for neighboring vehicles to escape, as they happen quickly, and the trucks are so large that getting out of the way might not be possible.
Rollover accidents might be related to multiple dangerous factors or circumstances. A rollover accident might happen because the truck and trailer jackknifed because the trucker was speeding. Alternatively, it could occur because the heavy cargo was not properly secured, and a sudden shift inside the trailer might cause the entire thing to topple.
A head-on collision is perhaps the most frightening kind of truck accident. To begin, a head-on collision often leads to other vehicles taking the full force of the truck, as there might be very little to absorb the impact. In other accidents, you might bear the full brunt of the impact if the truck hits you at a certain angle. Being struck head-on is arguably the most dangerous position to be in.
Head-on crashes might happen because truckers fail to look out for other drivers in front of them. For example, a driver might doze off at the wheel while approaching a red light and hit the stopped car in front of them head-on. A trucker might instead negligently run a red light and hit another vehicle in the intersection.
How to Obtain Fair Financial Compensation After a Truck Accident in Lubbock, TX
Accidents are dangerous, injurious, and expensive. The person or people responsible for the accident should be held accountable and made to pay you fair compensation. There might be multiple legal options available to you for compensation. A lawyer can help you decide which method is best for you.
Insurance claims frequently follow auto accidents. All drivers, including truck drivers, must have auto insurance to cover damages in the event of an accident. In Texas, drivers must file insurance claims with the other driver’s insurance company and offer proof of the other driver’s fault.
The insurance process might be quick if you can get the truck driver’s insurance information and have sufficient proof that they caused the accident. Unfortunately, this ideal scenario is not always realistic. Many injured drivers do not know where even to begin finding evidence to prove the trucker’s fault for the accident. On top of that, the insurance company might look for any excuse to reduce or deny your claim.
Our truck accident attorneys can help you navigate the insurance claim process, obtain strong evidence of the trucker’s fault, and push back against the insurance company if they try to deny you. If insurance is not enough to cover your damages, your lawyer can help you pursue other options.
A lawsuit might be a great way to get the full extent of your damages covered. On top of economic damages normally included in insurance claims, a lawsuit allows you to claim non-economic damages like pain and suffering that are often excluded from insurance policies.
Much like an insurance claim. You need evidence to prove that the other defendant is responsible for the crash. In a lawsuit, the goal is usually to prove negligence, which is comprised of the four legal elements of duty, breach, causation, and damages.
The duty element is the defendant’s duty of care owed to the plaintiff. In auto accident cases, this is the duty to drive with reasonable safety while adhering to the traffic code. The breach is whatever the defendant did or failed to do that violated their duty of care. Causation is how the defendant directly caused the collision. Finally, your damages must be real and not hypothetical or only possibilities.
While lawsuits can be very time-consuming, and the outcome is not guaranteed, they can be worth the time and effort. Plaintiffs in truck accident cases have been awarded substantial damages awards before, and your case might be worth a lot of compensation.
Rather than engage in a full-scale legal battle, many people simply want to get whatever compensation they can and move on as quickly as possible. This is understandable, as a full trial can be exhausting and very challenging. A private settlement can help you get compensation while avoiding a trial, but some compromise might be necessary.
In many settlements, defendants agree to pay for some, but not necessarily all, of the plaintiff’s damages. If the plaintiff is happy with the amount, they may accept the settlement and drop their lawsuit. Once the settlement is finalized, the plaintiff cannot change their mind and refile the case.
If you can negotiate a settlement relatively quickly, you might be able to get at least some of the compensation you need and move on. For others, the negotiation process might be more contentious, and a lawyer can help you make sure you are not railroaded with a bad deal.
Damages You May Claim and Recover in Lubbock, TX Truck Accident Cases
Damages in truck accident cases tend to be on the higher side. Your injuries, losses, and painful experiences should be met with appropriate compensation. The worse your injuries and losses, the greater your damages should be.
Much of your damages may be measured in dollars and cents. For example, medical treatment is a major source of financial trouble after a truck accident. Medical bills tend to be large, and many truck accident victims cannot afford to pay. You should claim the cost of all medical care related to the accident, including future care you have not yet incurred but likely will.
Property damage might also be significant. Your vehicle might be destroyed, and you might have lost valuable personal belongings in the accident. Your attorney can help you take stock of the things you have lost and add them to your damages.
Tell your attorney if you are unable to work because of your injuries. The longer you are out of work, the more income you might lose. You can claim lost income as part of your damages, including future income if you cannot return to work for a long time.
Emotional or Psychological Damages
Some damages are not based on money. Instead, they account for the painful experience of the accident and the impact it had on your emotionally or psychologically. Often summed up as “pain and suffering,” your non-economic damages might be quite numerous, and an attorney can help you properly evaluate them.
Some common examples of non-economic damages include physical pain, emotional trauma, and mental distress or anguish. If you lost a spouse in a truck accident, you might claim the loss of consortium or companionship. People with severe disfigurements can claim non-economic damages for the emotional pain of living with their injuries. While these damages do not come with a predetermined value, a jury may decide how much they are worth, and we must present compelling evidence and arguments supporting these damages.
Exemplary damages, also known as punitive damages, are awarded not based on the things you lost or your painful experiences, but as a punishment for the defendant’s bad behavior. Not every injury case is eligible for exemplary damages, and more than ordinary negligence is usually required.
Exemplary damages may only be awarded if the court also awards compensatory damages, such as economic or non-economic damages. Not only that, but exemplary damages are not limitless. According to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 41.008, exemplary damages may be capped in one of two ways. First, they may not exceed twice the value of economic damages plus the value of non-economic damages, not to exceed $750,000, or plus the value of $200,000, whichever is more.
If Injured in a Truck Collision, You Can Call Our Lubbock, TX Truck Accident Attorneys for Assistance
Talk to our truck accident lawyers about making an appointment for a free case evaluation by calling our legal team at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. at (817) 476-1797.