What Happens If You Are Involved In a Hit and Run With An 18-Wheeler in Texas?
No one wants to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. More importantly, no one wants to be in a collision with a massive 18-wheeler. These large commercial tractor-trailers travel every highway in Texas. Because of their size and weight, they often leave a wake of devastation and mangled smaller vehicles if they lose control and crash. Unfortunately, there are situations where an 18-wheeler will run someone off the road or collide with them without stopping. The accident victim could be left injured and with a damaged car, while the truck driver speeds away. At The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., we understand that hit and run accidents occur. Below, our Arlington, TX truck accident lawyer discusses the steps you should take if you were involved in a hit and run accident with an 18-wheeler.
Steps to Take if You Were in a Hit and Run Accident with an 18-Wheeler in Texas
Any hit and run accident is horrible. This is especially the case if you were hit by a large commercial truck. Victims of these types of accidents are often left with severe injuries, significant property damage, and believe they have no recourse against the responsible party.
However, there are options available. With the assistance of our experienced Dallas 18-wheeler accident attorney, there are things you can do to help your chances of being compensated for your injuries and financial losses.
Contact the Local Police and Seek Medical Attention
A hit and run is not only an accident scene – it is a crime scene. Under Texas law, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident. Therefore, if your injuries allow, you should remain at the scene and wait for the police to arrive. The police will help get you medical attention, investigate the crash scene, talk to witnesses, prepare an incident report, and notify the proper authorities of any information you could provide concerning the 18-wheeler that struck you.
Take Photographs, Notes, and Witness Information
If you can, you need to begin to gather as much evidence and information as possible. Memory fades quickly, so you should document everything you know about the truck that hit you. 18-wheelers are large vehicles so you should be able to recall some details. Even if you do not remember any identification numbers, such as a license plate, the color, or any words on the trailer or cab, could help identify the truck. Something as simple as the direction the 18-wheeler was heading could be useful.
After any accident, including a hit and run, you should take photographs of the scene. By documenting the damage to your car, any debris on the road, or the surrounding area, you might be able to provide additional information that helps track down the person who caused the accident.
Witness testimony is usually a key element in determining how an accident happened. They might have seen more than you did. It is essential to get contact information from anybody who saw the accident or the 18-wheeler.
Contact Our Texas Truck Accident Attorney
Even if you were unable to do anything else that was listed above, it is crucial to contact a law firm with extensive truck accident litigation experience, such as The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. Our Houston truck accident attorneys and staff will investigate the accident and try to find the responsible truck driver. By questioning witnesses, reviewing the police report, and preserving evidence that might exist on surveillance cameras in the area, we will attempt to identify the truck. Often it only takes a small bit of information to track down the 18-wheeler that caused the accident.
Uninsured Motorist Claims in for Hit and Run 18-Wheeler Accidents in Texas
Our knowledgeable Texas truck accident attorney could also assist you in pursuing an uninsured motorist claim. In the unfortunate event that the truck driver is never apprehended, you will not have a defendant to sue in civil court.
However, under Texas law, a hit and run victim is permitted to file an uninsured motorist claim to recover for their injuries or other damages. Insurance providers do not work for accident victims and will attempt to offer as small a settlement as possible. Our experienced Texas truck accident attorneys would represent your interests and deal directly with an insurance adjuster. By understanding the value of your claim, we will work to get you the highest compensation amount possible. By ensuring that all statutory requirements and deadlines are met, you could concentrate on healing while we focus on your financial recovery.
Damages Available in a Lawsuit for a Hit and Run 18-Wheeler Accident in Texas
If the truck driver is located, they will face criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident. Depending on what occurred, a truck driver could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. Any charges or conviction might help you in a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
In any personal injury lawsuit, the main goal is to get the victim compensation for their financial losses and suffering. This compensation includes easily quantifiable damages such as medical costs and lost income. In addition, our Plano truck accident attorneys will calculate a value for your mental and physical suffering or distress.
A truck driver who fled an accident could be facing additional consequences in civil court. In rare cases, a judge or jury will award an accident victim punitive damages. Punitive damages, which are designed to punish and prevent bad conduct, are only available if the defendant was malicious or if their behavior was intentionally and egregiously reckless. These damages are determined by the driver’s lack of morality and how much the court deems appropriate to punish them effectively.
Contact Our Texas Truck Accident Attorney if You Were Involved in a Hit and Run Accident Involving an 18-Wheeler
A hit and run accident is a horrible experience. If the vehicle that caused the accident is an 18-wheeler, it could be a devastating event. The injuries and damage inflicted by these massive tractor-trailers are often catastrophic. Despite how hopeless it may seem, you do have options. The Arlington, TX personal injury lawyer at The Queenan Law Firm P.C. deal extensively with complicated litigation and insurance matters arising from truck accidents. Call our Texas truck accident lawyers today at (817) 476-1797 to schedule a free appointment.