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How to Handle the Uncertainty of an Accident with a Semi Truck

Table of Contents

What to do Following an Accident with a Semi-Truck

After the accident, never admit fault. Make sure you are in a safe place and call the police immediately. If you are able to, take pictures of the scene and of any injuries you have. The police will document a report, but do not plan on using their report as your personal photographic evidence for your case. You will need your own records. Be attentive and make sure the semi-truck driver maintains the integrity of the black box. Exchange insurance information with all the involved parties in the accident, exchange information with all witnesses, and give a statement to the police. Most importantly, let the emergency medical technicians examine you and if they don’t take you to a hospital, you should still go see a doctor. Regardless of how minor your injuries may seem, they will be able to tell if there are more serious injuries that otherwise wouldn’t be prevalent for a few days or even weeks. The adrenaline release from the accident may inhibit you from feeling the pain of your injuries which can greatly increase later on and become significantly worse.

Though 18-wheelers are a huge part of the nation’s economy, especially here in Texas, their substantial size and power create the potential for serious auto accidents.

Semi-Truck Insurance Requirements

Federal and State law requires semi-trucks to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, varying on the size of the semi-truck and the cargo it transports. With several parties liable, such as the semi-truck driver, semi-truck owner or leaser, trailer owner/leaser, as well as the people responsible for loading the trailer, there can be numerous parties and insurance policies involved, meaning the sum of all insurance valued is likely in the millions. Insurance adjusters will try to scam for what appears to be a just settlement when in reality your case deserves much greater compensation. To learn more, read about semi-truck insurance requirements based on their weight and cargo type.

Causes for a Semi-Truck Accident

According to the NHTSA, semi-trucks are responsible for approximately eight percent of the deadly crashes in the U.S. This means, in just one year, more than 4,000 people died, and another 116,000 suffer serious injuries from semi-truck accidents. There can be many reasons for a semi-truck accident. Whether it was the driver, lack of truck or trailer maintenance, or even improperly loaded cargo, one or all of the mentioned reasons could have led to an accident. It is important to educate yourself on how each party is responsible for a semi-truck accident in order to receive the compensation and settlement you deserve.

Important Differences of a Semi-Truck Accident

Semi-truck accidents vary from an accident with a car for multiple reasons. First, there is almost always more than one party at fault, and they each have individual insurance policies. Second, each party that is responsible has more insurance coverage than they want you think. As 18-wheeler accidents are considerably larger and heavier than your car, the damage inflicted upon your property will be increased. The possibility of severe injury, and even death, drastically increase as well. Learn more about the important differences of a semi-truck accident.

Numerous Responsible Parties

When it comes down to deciding who is at fault for a semi-truck accident, there are many places to point fingers. The party/parties responsible will do their best to deny and delay taking ownership for as long as possible. In order to receive just compensation, it is paramount all the individuals and entities liable admit to their faults. It most likely is not just one person or company, but a number of different people and businesses.

Common Semi-Truck Accident Injuries

Back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis — A spinal cord injury can result in partial, temporary, or complete loss of function or paralysis in one or more limbs, or even larger portions of the victim’s body. Less severe damages to the vertebrae, spinal disks, or spinal cord can result in chronic pain and other debilitating problems. It can involve many months or years of treatments, surgeries, physical therapy, adaptive devices, or the victim may be permanently disabled.

Types of Semi-Truck Accident Lawsuits

There are several lawsuits that can be taken to trial for a semi-truck accident. The most common are going to be negligence, product liability, personal injury, and wrongful death. Each lawsuit will take a tremendous amount of effort and evidence to hold up in court. Learn about how our team of professionals makes a case for each lawsuit.

Stages of the Claim and Litigation Process: Acquiring Information

The first part to the claim and litigation process is acquiring the needed information to make your case. This is when our attorney will evaluate your case and get to learn about your unique situation. Our attorney will figure out what you need and assess the damage to both your body and your property. Read more about how we acquire information for your case.

Second Stage: Investigating Your Case

Once the required information has been acquired, we will be ready to investigate your case. This is when our team will reach out to the responsible party/parties to make sure they do not sabotage any evidence needed to prove your case. Before we file a lawsuit, we will perform the detective work of investigating your case and hiring the needed professionals to represent you and your case to the best of our abilities. Read on about how we investigate your case.

Third Stage: Litigation, Negotiation, and Settling

Following the investigation of your case, our attorneys will determine which lawsuit(s) to file against the party/parties liable. Now is when we can fight for your just settlement and argue the losses that you have suffered.

Fourth Stage: Trial and Judgment

Should a settlement not be reached upon litigation and negotiation, only then will your case go to trial. The responsible parties will try to prevent a trial as they are usually high-profile and will bring negative attention to them. Luckily for you, Steve Hollingsworth from Hollingsworth Law Firm has fought more cases in court than the average lawyer fights in their whole career. 

Statute of Limitations

A “statute of limitations” is a state law that puts a timeframe on how long you have to file a lawsuit. This means each state has their own. Here you can dive deeper into civil court and statute of limitations.

Allotted Hours for Semi-truck Drivers

The allowed driving hours for commercial drivers is set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA regulates hours for both interstate and intrastate commerce, meaning they set the rules for driving within multiple states and driving within one state. This is another variable that makes deciphering a semi-truck accident difficult as now you are not only contending with the regulations of the FMCSA but you also have to figure out if you are working with state statutes as well. Educate yourself about rules of the FMCSA.

Fatality Facts

The truth about semi-truck accidents is that many people die every year, usually those driving smaller cars, but even pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycles. Many factors need to be taken into account, such as the amount of experience of the commercial driver, the weather and driving conditions, all the way down to the type of roadway the semi-truck was driving on. When working with an attorney who has been in this situation before, they will be able to supply you with the truth about the fatality facts.

The History of Semi-Trucks

In 1898, Alexander Winton made his first sale for The Winton Motor Carriage Company in Cleveland, Ohio. The need to deliver twenty-two automobiles to customers around the United States without adding mileage on them was created. In 1899, Winton invented what he called an “automobile hauler” that would carry vehicles on a trailer. This invention became known as the first semi-truck in the world. If interested, you can learn more about today’s semi-trucks here.

Free Commercial Vehicle Accident Legal Consultation

The attorney you choose does make a difference; don’t get hurt twice. Our expert legal team has proven to be dedicated, compassionate, and most importantly, effective fighters for our clients. We have handled thousands of personal injury cases and recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We are with you every step of the way. Our Houston truck accident attorney handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, and we never charge a fee unless we win.

Hollingsworth Law Firm is located at 1415 North Loop West, Suite 200, Houston, Texas 77008. You can call our Houston personal injury attorney at 713.637.4560 or fax at 713.474.9017. Our office is open Monday through Friday from seven in the morning until seven at night, closed on Saturday and Sunday. You can always send us a message on our website. 

About Hollingsworth Law Firm

Our aggressive personal injury trial attorneys at the Hollingsworth Law Firm are committed to fighting for the compensation you deserve. If you are the victim of an automobile accidentairplane accidentworkplace injury or other catastrophic injury, you need legal advice from a personal injury attorney with proven results you can trust. Our dedicated legal team is proud to represent clients across the state of Texas. WE WILL START FIGHTING FOR YOUR RIGHTS TODAY!

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