Semi trucks can weigh up to 25 times more than a regular car, and if a big rig and a sedan happen to collide, this stark weight disparity an make for some serious - even fatal - injuries. If you've been in a semi-truck accident in Texas, you're undoubtedly feeling worried, hurt and overwhelmed.
Award-winning truck wreck attorney Mark Anderson and the Anderson Law Firm team are dedicated to helping accident victims in Texas.
We have two goals here at the Anderson Law Firm: to get you the medical treatment you need to recover fully from your injuries, and to fight the trucking company to win you the money you deserve for your damaged vehicle, medical bills, pain and suffering.
Truck Accident Attorney Mark Anderson
Attorney Mark Anderson was named a Top Attorney by Fort Worth Magazine. He has been named a 2016 Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters, is ranked by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel in the top one percent of practicing attorneys in the United States, and is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau.
Common 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Questions
- How much insurance does a truck driver carry?
- How much is my case worth?
- What's the difference between interstate and intrastate trucking?
- How do I find out if the truck driver was negligent?
- Can I handle the truck wreck case on my own?
- How do I get a value for my truck wreck case?
Featured Semi-Truck Accident Results
Attorney Mark Anderson and the Anderson Law Firm have a record of success.
- Confidential Settlement for Quadriplegic READ FULL CLIENT STORY
- $850,000 Verdict to Pedestrian Who Lost Her Leg READ FULL CLIENT STORY
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- "Thoughtful and knowledgeable." - Marc M. READ FULL REVIEW
- "Could not have asked for better representation." - Dennis W. READ FULL REVIEW
- "I would highly recommend them." - Shauntea W. READ FULL REVIEW
- "They exuded a sense of compassion and honesty." - Marteen S. READ FULL REVIEW
What Our Firm Can Do For You
We'll help prove the trucker was at-fault.
This is the first and most important step in any successful accident case - if you want the trucker's insurance to pay for your injuries, you'll have to first prove the wreck was the trucker's fault. That's the law. You will also need to prove that accident led to your injuries. Then and only then will a court award you the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, missed work days, pain and suffering.
Tractor-trailer cases can be difficult to litigate because they fall under federal regulation. An attorney who does not understand federal regulations will not know how to construct the best possible case. With our experienced team, we can gather all the details and make sure you have the full protection of the law behind you. We know how to investigate truck accidents and bus wrecks, and we will use that experience to win you the most money possible.
We'll conduct an immediate investigation.
If we're going to convince the other side to pay you full compensation for your injuries, missed work days, pain and suffering, words alone are not enough - we'll need to prove that the trucker caused your accident and that your accident caused your injuries. For this reason, a quick and thorough accident investigation is crucial. Since evidence like skid marks, surveillance recordings, cell phone data and road debris tends to disappear quickly, we understand the importance of fast action.
We'll fight the trucker's insurance company on your behalf.
Besides physical pain and injury, semi-truck accidents cause victims mental anguish and stress. It can be exhausting trying to fight a big corporation when you're in pain, missing work and watching the medical bills pile up. Our lawyers are here to do the heavy lifting for you so you can focus on what matters most: recovering.
We have offices located in Fort Worth, Dallas, Keller and Arlington, and we handle cases all across Texas. If you are unable to drive, we will gladly come to you.
Truck Wrecks: Risks, Dangers, and Injuries
The majority of deaths occur when a large truck crashes and passengers are inside of the impacted vehicle, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This is because commercial trucks can have a weight up to 30 times more than a passenger car, and the height of a truck provides them with ground clearance. What this means is that in a collision, vehicles with a lower height can get crushed or side-swiped underneath a truck.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has ranked Texas as the fifth most frequented state that has fatalities involving trucks. Analyzing crash statistics, there are even greater facts revealed. The data collected from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that large trucks have a higher chance of being involved in a fatal car accident versus just accidents involving only cars. Furthermore, 12% of all truck accidents involve the death of one person - 80% of that time, the deceased was someone who was driving a small passenger vehicle.
What Makes an 18-Wheeler Wreck, and Who's At-Fault?
The Truck's Brakes Breakdown
Hit by a big truck? You're not alone. Shockingly, broken truck brakes are a tremendous issue here in Texas, and mishaps are regularly brought on by brake issues. The reason for these breakdowns can be credited to numerous things, including poor support models and manufacturer’s imperfections. Regardless of the cause, in case you're harmed in a wreck because of the failures of a truck’s brakes, we will hold the trucking company liable for the accident.
The Truck Jackknifes
Jackknifing is the point at which the front of the truck (where the driver is) "snaps" and moves in the direction of the back of the truck (where the freight is). Jackknifing regularly happens if the front brakes are de-powered or removed, and it causes the truck to swerve wild. On the off chance that a truck jackknifes, we will hold the individual who removed the brakes liable.
The Truck Bursts Into flames
It is not rare for a truck's diesel fuel tank to interact with a battery spark during an accident, which can bring about the fuel tank to detonate and harm even more vehicles. It's too awful, since it's not hard to encase the battery in a well-protected shell and avoid fires from occurring. In the event that poor battery arrangement causes a truck fire, we will hold the truck manufacturer liable for some portion of the harm and damage.
The Truck Moves Over
Rollovers are a big cause of countless fatalities. Regularly, the truck driver is the person who brought about the rollover by taking a turn too rapidly, drinking and driving, speeding, or neglecting to get enough rest. Regardless, poor street conditions and truck glitches can likewise prompt rollovers.
The Truck Driver Makes a Mistake
This category is very broad, yet it's very significant, making it impossible to forget. Commercial truck drivers are humans as well, and they commit errors. Tragically, a driver's mistake can bring about severe, even lethal wounds. In the event that a truck driver makes on a poor decision that prompts a disaster to occur, the results are much more serious. We hold truck drivers accountable for their mistakes.
18-Wheeler Wreck Injuries and Medical Expenses
Dealing with your medical expenses after you've been harmed in any auto collision can be tedious, yet things just turn out to be more skewed when a trucking company is included. Even though insurance companies will not pay for medical care in advance, you still CAN get treated. You can bill your private health insurance company, and then request reimbursement from the truck driver’s insurance company.
Obviously, this can be a complicated task. If you have never been involved in a wreck involving injuries, you might not be aware of the expenses surrounding these injuries. This is one of the primary reasons I would recommend for contacting our Anderson Law Firm personal injury attorneys. This way, you won’t have to be strained under financial pressures and you can be sure that the insurance company will not reject your claim.
Typical costs for truck wreck injuries include:
• Approximately $1,200 for an emergency vehicle ride to the doctor's facility
• Over $10,000 for imaging tests, x-rays, and other emergency room expenses
• Roughly $50,000 for a five-day healing facility remain in a DFW clinic
• If you require surgery, $30,000 to $50,000 is anything but difficult to rack up for internal bleeding, failures to an organ or extremely broken bones
• Up to $5,000 or more for ongoing treatment with medical specialists and your primary care doctor
• Up to $10,000 for 12 weeks’ worth of therapy, twice every week
Money Granted to Victims of Truck Wreck
I you have been involved in a wreck with a commercial truck, you may be wondering, “who will pay for this?” The law in Texas allows victims of truck wrecks to fight for compensation following a car wreck, including compensation for medical bills lost wages, and the lost earning capacity. Also, if an injured person loses enjoyment of life because of the wreck, they can claim compensation for pain and suffering.
To gain compensation from your injuries, you’ll have to sue the insurance company representing the trucker and/or trucking company.
When Do I Submit a Claim?
Following an accident, there is a small amount of time that you can pursue a claim. It’s important for an investigation to be started so a personal injury attorney can send an accident investigator and examine the scene of the wreck, collect testimonies from witnesses, and so on.
I Was Injured in a Truck Wreck. What Do I Do?
If you were injured in a truck wreck and want to have a completely successful injury claim, you’ll need to know who and what you are up against. Believe it or not, it is not the company itself that you will be fighting - it is their insurance company.
Of course, you can’t expect for the trucking company to be equally friendly. Avoid speaking with either them or their insurance company, and do NOT sign anything, not until you have contacted an hired a personal injury attorney who will represent you and your legal rights. Remember, personal injury lawyers have specific training and experience in dealing with large trucking companies and their insurance companies, so they know where and how to spot a strategy from them and can prevent you from making a mistake.
Contact the Police
Even if it appears that nobody was hurt, it is important to contact the police. A police officer will gather witness testimonies and record who was at-fault for the wreck. Also, the police report will be very important in the future. If the accident was caused by the truck driver, they will most likely attempt to dissuade you from contacting the police, but do not be tempted to fall for this. You must get a police report.
Furthermore, what happens if you happen to be reading this and you have already been involved in an accident and did not contact the police? Things might be a bit trickier, but this does not mean that it is impossible. Nevertheless, I still highly encourage you to consult with a truck wreck attorney before taking any other steps forward - you will need to contact one of you want to be fully compensated fairly, especially by lacking a police report to support your claim.
Get Treatment for Your Injuries
This is a very important one. A great majority of victims from truck crashes wait a certain amount of time to be treated due to the fact that they believe the truck driver should be responsible for paying for their injuries. They refuse to see a doctor until they have money to cover for their expenses available. Taking this reasonable thought into consideration, you might actually be damaging your case by not going to a doctor.
It is important to remember that you will be pursuing a claim for medical treatment for the present and future, which is why you need to visit a doctor to get a diagnoses of how bad you have been hurt and exactly how much money the entire treatment will cost. It is one of the basis of your case.
Take Photographs and Document Information
If you are not able to get information surrounding the identification of the truck driver who hit you, what type of truck they were driving, the police officer who answered the call, the insurance providers of every driver involved, or any other relevant information surrounding the accident, you should. If there were severe injuries involved at the time of the accident and you were too hurt to collect this information, don’t worry, it is not too late.
Take photographs of the damage on your vehicle and any injuries that were sustained because of the accident. Go back to the scene of the accident and take photographs of any damage that might still be there. Photographs are very important in serious truck accidents.
Do Not Wait to Submit a Claim and Contact an Attorney
This is very serious advice for several factors. There are many reasons why waiting to hire a personal injury attorney should not be an option, but the primary reason is the following: you must be sure that your legal rights are completely protected throughout the entire claims process. The more you wait to go without an attorney, the increased likelihood that the insurance company will try to alter the accident, letting evidence disappear, or tricking you into saying pieces of information that can decrease the value of your claim.
Other than providing you with protection, an attorney will start a crash investigation to gather important information before it is removed. For example, I am very quick to prevent a semi-truck from being repaired so that we can use the dents and scratches as evidence and recreate the crash in court, if it is needed. Also, I pull the driver’s driving logs to see exactly how they were driving before the accident took place, (to demonstrate that the driver might have been driving in a drowsy way and proceeded to fall asleep while driving).
Following this, there is the task of building your defense case. It can be difficult to win a truck wreck injury claim in Texas, due to many laws and juries that have the tendency of leaning on the defendant’s favor, which means that if you want to succeed, you will need to contact an attorney that con persuade them that you are not simply trying to make money from a terrible accident.
Do Not Hurry to Settle Your Truck Wreck Claim
As you are dealing with the insurance company and adjuster of the trucking company, remember the quote, "if it seems too good to be true, it can just be." If you've been injured in a Texas trucking wreck, it is likely that an insurance agent from the trucking company will contact you. They might even show up in your hospital room. Do not be surprised - some adjusters will go through great distances to close a settlement.
During this stressful period, it can be tempting to take their offer, especially when you are off work and losing wages, in pain and suffering, and hoping to put this all behind you. However, it is imperative that you remember that insurance companies are considered for-profit organizations. It is an insurance agent's job to save their company money, and they do that by providing you with as little compensation to you as possible.
Do Not Put in Harm’s Way Your Future for Quick Money
Following a catastrophic truck wreck, insurance adjusters know that it takes period to uncover the full extent of your injuries. Unlike injury attorneys, insurance adjusters aren't prohibited by law from visiting you or your family at the hospital. They'll come and offer you a quick cash settlement, which may seem like a great idea at the period and maybe even more than enough to cover your medical care.
But what happens a couple of weeks afterwards when you find out that you are still in pain and need additional surgeries or medication? What happens when the doctor tells you that you need physical therapy or expensive prescriptions?
Once You Agree Money From the Insurance Company, It is a Finished Deal
The instant moment you agree to receive payment from the insurance company for your personal injuries from the truck wreck, that is that. Regardless of how long or severe your injuries become, there is no way to renegotiate another offer. Now, you can see why the insurance adjuster wants you to settle so soon? They want to close the file on you as quickly and cheaply as the possible can.
At the Anderson Law Firm, I' have seen truck wreck injured victims who were cheated out of thousands of dollars because they took an offer way too soon. I know $10,000 or $40,000 may sound like a lot, but I encourage you to take the facts into consideration before you agree any offer from the trucking company and their insurance company. Are you fully healed from your injuries? Do you know the exact extent of your injuries? Finally, how much it will really cost to properly heal them?
Do not put in harm’s way your family's financial future in your hurry to receive some immediate cash, even if the medical expenses are stacking up. Contact a truck wreck attorney in Texas before agreeing any insurance offers and ask them if they think that a certain amount of a settlement is fair or if it is time to file a personal injury claim.
Can I Manage My Truck Wreck Injury Claim Without Hiring a Lawyer?
The straight answer: is yes…and no.
A truck wreck, one way or the other, will change your life. If your injuries are severe, this will become immediately clear. However, even if you've only suffered minor injuries, a truck wreck can hurt your finances, your personal life and your feelings of happiness and wellbeing. I do not say this to scare you; quite the contrary. I say this to educate you on what is to come. Knowledge is very important in making big decisions, such as whether or not to contact and hire an experienced personal injury attorney who you know can successfully handle your case.
Should I Contact and Hire a Texas Attorney? First, Get Informed
Within a few days of the wreck, your phone can start to ring constantly as the commercial trucking company's representatives (or the adjustor) try to sort things out. They will want to settle the situation quickly, either by rejecting their fault in the wreck or offering you fast cash to get you get your attention off from them, so to speak. The faster they close the case, the better it is for them. As overwhelming as it can feel, you might be still hesitant to contact and hire an attorney to represent you. In order to make the right and informed decision, it is imperative that you understand your legal rights in Texas. Not every injured victim in Texas needs to contact and hire an experienced personal injury attorney and in some cases, you'll be able to manage the case on your own. On the other hand, I've seen too many people get cheated out of compensation because they didn't contact and hire an attorney and were in over their heads.
When You Definitely Should Not Manage a Truck Wreck Case Alone
In some situations, I would strongly advise you to contact and hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Mostly, this is when the case is "high worth," meaning there is a great amount of money worth of damages and injuries resulting from the wreck that you are hoping the trucking company will ideally for.
In the same way, if you are working on the behalf of a loved one who passed away in a truck wreck, I would highly recommend consulting an experienced Texas truck wreck and personal injury attorney. Making a wreck claim or a wrongful death claim against a negligent trucking company is not like making a traditional property damage claim against a car insurance company. There is simply too much at stake. In order to be successful, you will need to conduct a thorough and complete investigation against the trucking company to prove that indeed, without a doubt they caused the accident and your personal injuries. You should take full advantage of the resources a personal injury attorney can offer you.
A Couple of Things You Should Keep in Mind Following Your Commercial Truck Wreck
In the meantime, here are a couple of things to remember in those first couple of days immediately following your wreck:
- Avoid speaking with the insurance adjuster. Do not give them a recorded statement (that they can use as evidence). Also, do not give them the authorization to pull your medical files. Do not sign anything.
- If the insurance company sends you a check, do not accept it and certainly do not cash it in. Their aim is to close the case as quickly and as cheaply as possible. If you agree any money from them, you can ruin your chance to recover the compensation that you actually need.
- Listen to your doctor. Follow the orders your doctor recommends. Any automobile collision - especially those involving large commercial vehicles - can mean significant injuries. Be sure that you get the best treatment available to you. Failure to comply with your doctor's orders could be negatively used against you afterwards by the trucking company’s insurance company.
- Use your private health insurance coverage. That's what you pay your monthly premiums for. If you have certain types of protection, such as personal injury protection or MedPay, you can use that to cover the co-pay costs and the deductibles. If you do not have health insurance, consider contacting a personal injury attorney who can be certain you get the medical treatment you need by giving the doctor a letter of protection, meaning they can be paid out of any future settlement that you receive.
Truck wrecks often cause very severe injuries, so it is imperative that you expect the trucking company and their insurance provider to be aggressive in trying to reduce their losses. Even if you can manage it alone, be certain you speak to a professional and experienced attorney before you make a decision that can have great unknown results.
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