Truck drivers and the companies who employ them are often responsible for some of the most serious accidents that occur on the roads of Texas. Due to the massive size and weight of these vehicles, plus the fact that they stand a chance of spilling cargo onto the road, you are much more likely to be severely injured due to an accident involving a truck than a regular car.
Due to the way Texas law operates, it is often more complicated to designate an at-fault party for accidents involving a truck or semi-truck. This is because many different parties could hold a share of the liability, including the truck driver, trucking company, manufacturing companies, or other drivers sharing the road at the time of the accident. You will need the assistance of a skilled and experienced lawyer with thorough knowledge of Texas law to navigate your case.
In the meantime, we have put together a guide to truck accident claims in Texas to give you a rough idea of what to expect from your legal proceedings. Our truck accident guide will also give you essential tips on how to ensure you collect as much evidence as possible and warn you of potential pitfalls and tricks used by insurance companies to damage the amount of money you could be owed in compensation.
Here at Abraham Watkins, our team of lawyers has the skills, expertise, knowledge, and compassion to make your claims process as painless as possible while fighting tirelessly to achieve you the compensation you deserve.
To find out how we could help you, call us today at 713-535-9319 for a free consultation at no obligation, completely covered by the attorney-client relationship of confidentiality.
How A Truck Accident Lawyer Could Help You
Your truck accident lawyer will be able to help you from the very moment you hire them. They will talk you through the process and tell you what to expect, and inform you of how much your claim could be worth.
They will be able to help in the following ways:
- Investigating the accident and gathering evidence – Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of your accident and help to collect and collate evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and photos or videos of the scene. They will also assemble this evidence into a strong case.
- Identifying the parties responsible for the accident – Your lawyer will use the evidence gathered during the investigation to identify the parties who are responsible for the accident and your injuries, allowing you the chance to hold them financially responsible.
- Negotiating with insurance companies – Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance companies involved to help you obtain a fair settlement for your injuries and damages. They will also brief you every time you interact with insurance companies to attempt to make sure they cannot damage the value of your claim.
- Filing a lawsuit – If the parties responsible for the accident are not willing to offer a fair settlement, a lawyer will help you file a lawsuit to seek compensation through the courts.
- Representing the client in court – If the case goes to trial, your lawyer will represent you in court and present evidence and arguments to support their claim.
Your lawyer will also help you with the often overwhelming task of admin throughout the process, taking care of the paperwork and complexities so you do not have to worry about them.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Like a car accident, there are many ways that a trucking accident could result in injuries. Unfortunately, due to the devastating sizes and weights implicit in an accident involving a truck or semi-truck, injuries are more likely to be serious, catastrophic, or even fatal than in a car accident.
There are also additional factors to be considered in trucking accidents. For example, cargo may spill out onto the road, causing a larger amount of damage. The large size of a truck or semi-truck also has a higher likelihood of causing a multi-car accident.
Common truck accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries – These could include damage to the brain caused by a sudden impact or force, which can lead to cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments.
- Blunt force trauma – This includes any physical injury that is caused by a sudden impact or force to the body. In a truck accident, this could occur when a person is struck by a truck or when they are thrown from their vehicle as a result of the impact.
- Spinal cord injuries – These could include damage to the spinal cord caused by a sudden impact or force, which can lead to paralysis or loss of sensation. Whiplash is a common example of a spinal injury caused by truck and car accidents.
- Bone damage – These could include fractures or breaks to the bones caused by the impact of the accident, which can be painful and possibly result in long-term impairments or disabilities.
- Burns and scalds – These injuries could be caused by fire and steam from the wreckage of the vehicles involved. These injuries can result in permanent disfigurement and a high likelihood of dangerous infections.
- Lacerations and bruises – This could include cuts and bruises to the skin caused by the impact of the accident, as well as road rash.
- Internal organ damage – This could include damage to the liver, kidneys, spleen, or other internal organs caused by the impact of the accident, which can be life-threatening
- Psychological injuries – Not all injuries resulting from trucking accidents are physical. You may still make a personal injury claim emotional trauma, anxiety, depression, or other psychological conditions caused by the accident.
No matter whether you suffered a serious injury or a relatively minor injury, you may be entitled to compensation in a truck accident case, as long as the accident was not entirely your fault. The best way to find out what you could be owed is to talk to a truck accident attorney.
Common Causes Of A Texas Truck Accident
There are many possible causes of a Texas truck accident. These include:
- Distracted driving – This could include talking on the phone, texting, eating, or doing other activities that take the driver’s attention away from the road.
- Fatigued driving – This could include driving for long hours without adequate rest, which can impair the driver’s judgment and reaction times. There is also an increased risk of falling asleep behind the wheel associated with driver fatigue.
- Intoxicated driving – This could include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which can impair the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely.
- Reckless driving – This could include speeding, tailgating, making sudden lane changes, or engaging in other aggressive behaviors that increase the risk of an accident.
- Poor weather conditions – These could include heavy rain, snow, fog, or other adverse weather conditions that make it difficult to see or control the vehicle.
- Poor road conditions – These could include potholes, debris, construction, or other hazards that make the road unsafe for truck traffic.
- Defective equipment – This could include faulty brakes, tires, or other vehicle components that fail or malfunction while the truck is on the road.
- Inadequate training – This could include truck drivers who lack the necessary training or experience to operate the vehicle safely.
- Overloading – This could include trucks that are carrying more weight than they are designed to handle, which can make the vehicle more difficult to control and increase the risk of an accident.
There are a number of factors that make commercial truck accidents more likely than a regular car accident. We have covered the size and weight disparity of the vehicles involved, but often commercial trucking companies contribute to the likelihood of truck accidents through their operating practices. We will explore this in the following section.
How A Trucking Company Often Contributes To The Likelihood Of Truck Accidents
Often, truck accidents are directly or indirectly caused by the negligent workplace practices of the trucking company. This means that there are many circumstances where truck drivers are truck accident victims too. As such, they are also entitled to raise a personal injury claim if they feel they are not the at-fault party in the truck accident.
The following is a list of ways a trucking company may contribute to the likelihood of motor vehicle accidents:
- Negligent hiring practices – Trucking companies do not always follow the correct screening procedures. If a trucking company does not check the history of their truck driver, they may overlook a history of driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, or other relevant negligence. If this is the case, the trucking company may be proved to be the at-fault party.
- Pay-per-mile schemes – Trucking companies often pay their truck drivers per mile that they drive. This does not capture all of the time-consuming responsibilities associated with the job of a truck driver, encouraging them to cut corners on tasks that do not relate to distance covered, such as proper route planning and truck loading procedures. Pay-per mile schemes may also encourage speeding and minimizing rest periods in a way that increases the chances of fatigued driving.
- Fleet maintenance – Trucking companies have huge fleets of vehicles that must be properly maintained to reduce the chances of a Texas truck accident. If corners are cut and essential repairs and maintenance are not carried out, this may lead to accidents.
By raising a personal injury case against a negligent trucking company, you not only stand to recover compensation for your injuries and the complications they caused. You are also holding the truck company accountable for their negligence, helping to keep the roads of Texas a safer place.
A Third Party May Also Be Responsible For A Commercial Truck Accident
The often negligent practices of the trucking industry are not the only things that can contribute to the likelihood of trucking accidents. The blame can go deeper, back to the companies who provide a commercial truck company with their equipment.
The third parties who may be responsible for accidents involving commercial trucks include:
- Parts manufacturers – Even if a trucking company follows the correct procedure for fleet repair and maintenance, trucks are still at risk of defective parts. If a defective part is the cause of a truck accident, liability may lie with the part manufacturer.
- Equipment manufacturers – Similarly, a trucking company will use lots of different equipment. Any defect with this equipment may cause or contribute to the likelihood of a trucking accident. One pertinent example would be the equipment used to secure cargo – if this is defective, a cargo spill may cause a catastrophic trucking accident.
How Is Liability Determined In A Texas Truck Accident?
For a successful truck accident claim in Texas, it will need to be determined who was at fault, in order to file a claim and seek compensation for your losses.
As we have seen, the truck driver, the trucking company, or a third-party manufacturing company may be responsible for the accident. It is possible that a different third party, such as another driver on the road, may be the at-fault party.
By establishing fault, you can hold the negligent party accountable by filing an injury claim or, if necessary, a personal injury lawsuit. To determine liability in a truck accident, the evidence must identify the responsible party. A lawyer can help develop a claim based on the available evidence.
To prove that a specific party is liable for a truck accident in Texas, you must have evidence to prove that the following elements are true:
- There was a legal responsibility to avoid harming others – Truck drivers and other road users have a legal obligation to avoid behaviors that could cause an accident. Trucking companies are responsible for hiring qualified drivers and maintaining their vehicles. Manufacturers have a responsibility for ensuring their parts are not defective.
- This legal responsibility was breached by neglect – It must then be shown that the legal responsibilities discussed in the previous bullet point were breached in some way. This breach is known as negligence.
- This negligence directly caused or contributed to the accident – You must then demonstrate that the previously-identified negligence was a significant contributor to or a direct cause of the accident. For example, the truck driver collided with another vehicle because their reaction times were slowed due to intoxication, or the trucking company hired an employee with a history of reckless driving who repeated his previous behavior, causing an accident.
- The truck accident caused by this negligence caused you measurable losses – It is not enough to demonstrate all of the above. You must also show that the trucking accident directly caused your injuries, complications, or other losses. This can be done by providing evidence to demonstrate the extent of your losses.
All of this may sound like a lot, which is why it is important to have an experienced truck accident attorney by your side. They will be well-versed in truck accident law and know the correct process to follow to achieve all of the above and allow you the greatest chance to recover compensation for any consequences suffered when the accident happened.
How Texas Comparative Fault Laws Impact A Commercial Truck Accident
Trucking accident liability can often be particularly tricky to determine, especially in situations where there are multiple potentially liable parties.
In Texas, the law of comparative negligence applies to commercial truck accidents. This means that the percentage of fault for each party involved in the accident will need to be determined. This will then be used to calculate the amount of damages each party is responsible for paying.
For example, if a truck driver is found to be 70% at fault for an accident and the other driver is 30% at fault, the truck driver would be responsible for 70% of the damages, and the other driver would be responsible for 30% of the damages.
In Texas, if a person is found to be 50% or more at fault for an accident, they are not entitled to recover any damages from the other party. However, if a person is found to be less than 50% at fault, they may still be able to recover damages, but the amount will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
It is important to note that the law of comparative negligence can be complex, and it is best to consult with a truck accident lawyer if you have been involved in a truck accident in Texas. A truck accident lawyer can help you understand your rights, options and can ensure you follow the correct process to maximize the compensation you could be entitled to.
The Correct Process Truck Accident Victims Should Follow
When you have been involved in an accident with a large truck, there are a set of steps to follow in the correct order.
However, every truck accident is different and it is important to note that all of these steps cannot always be followed in the same order. For example, if you are seriously injured, you should not stop to collect evidence – always prioritize your own safety. However, the following sections will cover the best practice after truck accidents, in an ideal situation.
Ensure Your Own Safety And That Of Others
To avoid worsening any injuries you may have sustained due to the trucking accident, it is important to prioritize your own well-being and safety before tending to others involved in the crash.
First, if you are able, get yourself clear of potential danger. This could mean moving out of heavy traffic, or putting distance between yourself and any potential fire or electrical hazards.
If you are able to, check on the condition of any other individuals involved in the accident, including the truck driver. If there is an immediate danger to the safety of anyone else who was involved in the accident, you may need to help them move to a safer location. However, it is generally best not to move anyone who has sustained serious injuries, as this can cause further harm.
Contact The Emergency Services
After ensuring that everyone involved in the truck accident is safe, it is important to call the police to report the incident. If anybody has been seriously injured by the truck accident, you may also need to call an ambulance. If someone else is able to make the call for you, that is fine.
If you handle the call to the police in the correct way, the police report can make a helpful piece of evidence when it comes to determining the liability of the truck driver or the trucking company that employs them.
To ensure the police report does not work against you, it is important to provide only the facts and avoid making any statements that could be interpreted as an admission of fault. An insurance company or lawyers representing the trucking company may try to use your words against you in order to minimize their own liability for the accident.
Therefore, it is best to be clear and concise in your statements to the police. It is also helpful to avoid using language that could be misinterpreted, such as “I’m sorry” or “I didn’t see the truck.” Simply state the facts.
Collect Evidence If You Are Able
Much essential evidence for your truck accident claim may only be available at the accident scene. Therefore, if you are able, you should collect as much evidence as possible for your Texas truck accident lawyers to use at a later date.
In order to collect evidence for an accident, it is recommended to take photos or shoot a video of the scene. If you do not have your smartphone with you, it might be a good idea to ask another witness to do so on your behalf. It is best to take as many pictures as possible, including damage to all vehicles involved, tire skid marks on the road, and any environmental damage. Additionally, you should record a narrative of how the accident happened and consider getting a statement from a witness.
Make sure to capture clear evidence of license plate numbers, company markings on the vehicle, and the truck driver’s license if possible. Again, your smartphone can be a useful tool in this situation, as you can have witnesses text you their information and use voice recording to get statements. Make sure to obtain full names, physical addresses, and phone numbers for all witnesses.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you have not sustained obviously severe injuries that clearly require medical treatment, you should seek medical attention after a commercial truck accident.
This is because not all injuries are apparent immediately after a trucking accident. In particular, internal injuries are difficult for a victim to properly assess and could be potentially life-threatening. Similarly, the adrenaline rush after a trucking accident may mean you do not notice the pain associated with severe injuries until it is potentially too late.
If you do have to receive medical treatment, your truck accident lawyers may be able to help you recoup the costs – just remember to keep copies of all your bills, medical reports, and any other documentation.
Hire A Truck Accident Attorney
Once you are guaranteed to be safe and have collected all the photographic and physical evidence possible from the scene of the trucking accident, it is time to hire a truck accident attorney if you do not already have one.
They will be able to take you through your next steps. They will also be able to provide an estimate of how much your truck accident claim could be worth. Crucially, they will also be able to provide important advice on how not to devalue your truck accident claim when you speak to an insurance company. We will also give a brief overview of this important information a little further down the page.
It is important to contact a truck accident attorney as quickly as possible and begin the process of raising your truck accident claim. This is because, especially when dealing with commercial trucking companies, you are not likely to be the only party getting lawyers involved. You do not want to give these parties a head start. Evidence and witnesses also get lost over time, so it is important to begin building and solidifying your case as soon as possible.
How To Handle An Insurance Company During A Truck Accident Case
One of the biggest mistakes that personal injury victims make during truck accident cases is assuming that an insurance company is on their side. Insurance companies are for-profit enterprises, which essentially means that an insurance company makes more money if they pay out less for your truck accident claim.
Your insurance company is likely to pull a number of tricks in order to devalue your claim, this includes:
- Getting you to divulge unnecessary information about the truck accident – Often, you will be required to report your accident to the insurance company. They may take advantage of your shaken state to attempt to get unnecessary information out of you in the hopes of devaluing your claim. Only give them what is absolutely necessary – your attorney will be able to brief you on this.
- Getting you to sign documents – If an insurance company gives you a document of any kind to sign, do not do so without getting your lawyer to check over it first. Only they will be able to be positive that you are not damaging your truck accident case.
- Getting you to agree to a recorded interview – Again, this is a trick used by your insurance company in the hopes of getting you to divulge unnecessary information. Do not agree to recorded interviews.
- Lowballing you in settlement negotiations – An insurance company may offer you a figure that seems generous, or imply that they are offering you the best deal you can get. This is almost never the case, and with the help of a skilled attorney you may be able to negotiate a much higher amount.
It is vital that you remember that an insurance company is almost never on your side in a truck accident case. They will employ tricks, lawyers, and insurance adjusters to do this wherever possible. Never interact with an insurance company without seeking advice from your lawyer first, or it may impact your ability to claim full and fair compensation for your injuries.
What To Do If You Are Approached By An Insurance Adjuster
An insurance adjuster is a person who works for an insurance company and is responsible for evaluating claims made by policyholders. They assess the damage or loss that has occurred and determine how much the insurance company should pay out to the policyholder. This can involve investigating the claim, gathering evidence, and negotiating with the policyholder or their representative to reach a settlement.
If you are approached by an insurance adjuster after a truck accident, it’s important to be careful about what you say and do. The approach should be similar to the one discussed in the section above in relation to dealing with insurance companies.
Here are some things you can do to avoid lowering the amount your personal injury claim could be worth:
- Remember that the insurance adjuster’s primary goal is to pay as little as possible on your claim. Do not let them pressure you into accepting a settlement that is less than you deserve.
- Be cautious about giving a statement to the adjuster. Anything you say can be used against you, so it is important to be careful and avoid making any statements that could be misinterpreted or taken out of context.
- Do not sign any documents or agreements without fully understanding what they mean and the potential consequences. It is always a good idea to have a lawyer review any documents before you sign them.
- Do not agree to a recorded statement. You have the right to refuse to give a recorded statement, and it is generally in your best interest to do so.
- Do not accept a settlement offer until you have had a chance to consult with a lawyer. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and determine the true value of your claim.
A Checklist Of Evidence That Could Help Your Truck Accident Claim
All truck accident cases are slightly different, so the evidence that could help your case will not be the same for everyone. However, the more of the items on the following list you are able to access and collect, the greater chance you stand of being able to receive fair compensation in your truck accident claim.
- Photographs/videos from the scene – You should aim to photograph tire skid marks on the road, vehicle damage, environmental damage, registration plates, trucking industry logos on the truck, and anything else that may be valuable.
- Photographs of your injuries – It can be helpful to take photographs of your injuries in order to demonstrate their extent. You should do this at every significant step in the healing process.
- Camera footage – Depending on the circumstances of your trucking accident, it may have been caught on camera by the security cameras of nearby businesses or the dashcams of other drivers. You should seek this if possible, and your lawyer may be able to assist you.
- Eyewitness accounts – It is important to secure as many witnesses as possible after a trucking accident. Get as many contact details as you can, and consider recording statements at the scene of the accident if you are able to.
- Medical documentation – If you need to seek any medical care, it is important to retain any documentation you receive, including bills, reports, and receipts.
- Your personal medical history – If you are seeking compensation for an injury, your insurance company may try to pass it off as a pre-existing condition. Having a copy of your medical history available can help prevent these accusations from impacting your claim.
- Evidence of time spent off work while recovering – In order to claim for the income you lost while recovering from your injuries, you will need evidence. This may come in the form of pay stubs or tax returns, and should be accompanied by any correspondence you had with your employer concerning the time off you required.
- Proof of any out-of-pocket expenses – If you were forced to spend unnecessary money on transport, cleaning, childcare, or any other essential expense due to your involvement in a trucking accident, keep the bills. Your lawyer may be able to get these expenses reimbursed.
Your Truck Accident Lawyers May Be Able To Help You Access Additional Evidence
As well as assisting you with those hard-to-get evidence items, such as security or dashcam footage, your truck accident lawyers will have a number of contacts that may be useful if you need to acquire additional evidence for your case.
We will explore these in the following sections.
Accident Reconstruction Teams
Lawyers will have access to accident reconstructionists. An accident reconstructionist is a professional who uses scientific principles and analytical techniques to investigate and recreate the events leading up to and including a traffic accident.
In the case of a truck accident claim, a reconstructionist could be hired to gather and analyze evidence from the scene of the accident, such as skid marks, vehicle damage, and witness statements.
The reconstructionist could also use this information to create a detailed report or presentation that explains how the accident occurred, who was at fault, and what factors may have contributed to the accident. This information could be used by the injured person and their legal representative to help determine fault and assess the amount of damages that should be owed.
Your lawyers will also be able to help you access professional witnesses, if needed.
A professional witness is an expert who is qualified to provide testimony in court about a particular subject. Professional witnesses are typically called upon to testify in cases where their specialized knowledge or expertise is necessary to help the judge or jury understand the evidence or the issues at hand.
Professional witnesses can be found in a wide range of fields – they may be able to provide evidence about the circumstances of your accident or your injuries, provide testimony about the facts of the case, explain technical or complex information, or offer an opinion on a particular issue. Their testimony can be an important part of the evidence in a case, and can help the judge or jury to make a fair and informed decision.
The Types Of Damages You May Be Entitled To For A Truck Accident Claim
If you have been involved in a truck accident, you could be entitled to compensation for the injuries, complications, and other consequences you received through no fault of your own.
This compensation will be split into different categories, known as damages. Generally speaking, the greater the consequences you suffered, the larger the amount of compensation you could be owed in that category.
In the following sections, we will discuss the different types of damages typically available after a Texas truck accident. We will discuss these in terms of court-awarded compensation, but it is important to remember that the same decision process can be used to negotiate a settlement before your truck accident case reaches the courts.
Claiming For Property Damage After A Truck Accident
Claims for property damage are intended to compensate truck accident victims for any material goods that were damaged or destroyed due to the accident. Property damage in truck accident cases usually focuses on the victim’s vehicle.
To calculate the amount of damages for property damage after an auto accident, the court would typically consider factors such as the value of the property before the accident, the cost of repairs or replacement, and any other expenses associated with the damage.The court may also consider whether the property has sentimental value or special significance to the plaintiff.
Claiming For Lost Wages After A Truck Accident
If you have been involved in a truck accident, the sheer size and mass of the vehicles involved is likely to mean serious injury. This may mean that you are forced to spend time off from your job, not working or earning money, to recover. It may also mean that you have suffered disabilities that prevent you from working to the capacity in the future. This is where compensation for lost wages comes in.
To calculate the amount of damages for lost wages, the court would typically consider the plaintiff’s average income before the accident, the amount of time they were unable to work, and any evidence of their expected future earning capacity. This could include pay stubs, tax returns, and expert testimony from vocational specialists.
In some cases, the court may also consider the plaintiff’s age, education, and job skills when determining their expected future earning capacity. For example, if the plaintiff was a person with few job skills and limited work experience, the court may award them a lower amount of damages for lost wages.
Claiming For Medical Expenses After A Truck Accident
The cost of medical attention is one of the hidden dangers of an auto accident of any kind. Medical debt is a significant problem for many Americans, and can have serious consequences for individuals and their families. If not properly managed, medical debt can lead to financial hardship, ruined credit, and even bankruptcy.
Thankfully, with the right truck accident lawyer by your side, your full and fair compensation should include compensation for your medical expenses as a result of the accident, as well as any potential future medical costs.
To calculate the amount of damages for medical expenses, the court would typically consider the plaintiff’s medical bills, receipts, and records. This could include bills for ambulance transportation, hospitalization, surgeries, medication, and physical therapy. The court may also consider expert medical testimony to determine the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and their potential future medical needs.
In order to stand the best chance of fair compensation, you should retain all evidence relating to the medical attention and the injuries you received – including all bills, documentation, medical reports, and anything else that could help prove your medical journey since the accident happened.
Claiming For Pain And Suffering After A Truck Accident
When making a truck accident personal injury claim, you may be entitled to damages for pain and suffering. These damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff for the physical pain, emotional distress, and other non-economic losses they have suffered as a result of the accident.
They are calculated by looking at:
- The length of your recovery process
- The pain levels involved in your recovery process
- The presence of any life-altering impacts, such as disabilities, disfigurements, or other impairments
- Whether you suffered any emotional distress or psychological trauma as a result of your accident, especially if it is likely to impact your life going forward
To calculate the amount of compensation for pain and suffering, the court may use a variety of methods. They may multiply the plaintiff’s medical bills by a certain number, this is known as the multiplier method. Or they may award a specific amount for each day the plaintiff experienced pain and suffering, this is known as the per diem method. We will explore these two methods in more detail in the coming sections.
The court may also consider any evidence presented by the plaintiff, such as medical records and expert testimony, to determine the appropriate amount of damages. In some cases, the court may also use computer programs to calculate pain and suffering damages – there is no legal obligation to use any certain method.
The Multiplier Method Explained
The multiplier method is a common method used by courts in Texas to calculate damages for pain and suffering in personal injury claims after truck accidents. Under this method, the court will take the plaintiff’s total economic damages (such as medical expenses and lost wages) and multiply them by a number (the multiplier) to determine the amount of damages for pain and suffering.
The multiplier is typically a number between 1 and 5, and is based on the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries and the extent of their pain and suffering. For example, if the plaintiff’s economic damages are $15,000 and the court determines that a multiplier of 3 is appropriate, the damages for pain and suffering would be $45,000 ($15,000 x 3 = $45,000).
The court may use a variety of factors to determine the appropriate multiplier in a given case. These could include the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries, the extent of their pain and suffering, the impact of the injuries on their daily life, and their age, health, and overall life expectancy – although the extent and duration of the recovery process is usually the largest deciding factor.
The Per Diem Method Explained
One other main way that a court in Texas may calculate damages for pain and suffering is through the per diem method. This method, which is derived from the Latin “per diem” meaning “per day,” is often used in cases involving temporary injuries. Under the per diem method, the court will determine the number of days that the plaintiff experienced pain and suffering and multiply that number by a daily rate.
For example, if the court determines that the plaintiff experienced pain and suffering for 45 days and assigns a daily rate of $100, the plaintiff would be awarded $45,000 in damages. The court may determine the daily rate by considering the plaintiff’s lost wages from missed time at work, as the effort of dealing with the pain of an injury is often considered to be similar to the effort of going to work each day.
Claiming For Out-Of-Pocket Expenses After A Truck Accident
Compensation for out-of-pocket expenses is designed to reimburse the injured party for any expenses they incurred as a result of the accident that they would not have had to pay otherwise. This may include the cost of transportation, cleaning, or childcare.
The amount of compensation that an injured person can receive for out-of-pocket expenses will depend on the specific facts of the case and the nature of the expenses incurred. In general, the goal is to put the injured person in the same position they would have been in if the accident had not occurred, so they are not left having to pay for expenses that were caused by the accident.
To receive compensation for out-of-pocket expenses in Texas large truck accident cases, the injured person must typically prove that the expenses were directly related to the accident and that they were necessary and reasonable. This can be done by providing receipts, bills, and other documentation to support the claim.
Claiming For Wrongful Death After A Truck Accident
If your loved one lost their life in a Texas truck accident, you may still make a claim on their behalf. While nothing can replace that loved one in your life, a wrongful death claim can help you navigate the financial challenges involved in their loss and allow you some space to process your grief free from additional anxieties and complications.
A wrongful death claim is a legal action that is brought against a person or entity whose negligent or wrongful actions caused the death of another person. In Texas, the claim can only be brought by some of the surviving family members of the deceased person – their spouse, children, or parents.
To be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim in Texas, the surviving family members must be able to prove that the defendant’s actions were negligent or wrongful and that they directly caused the death of the deceased person. This could include evidence such as eyewitness accounts, accident reports, and expert testimony.
If the surviving family members are successful in their wrongful death claim, the court may award them damages to compensate for their losses. These damages could include compensation for medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost wages, loss of companionship, and other costs incurred as a result of the wrongful death.
Is A Wrongful Death Claim The Same As An Accusation Of Murder?
A wrongful death claim and an accusation of murder are two very different legal actions with different purposes, legal standards, and consequences. If your loved one lost their life in a trucking accident and you want to claim, you do not need to worry about the additional emotional trauma of a full criminal trial, as wrongful death claims are settled in civil court.
There are several key differences between a wrongful death claim and an accusation of murder in Texas. Some of the main differences include:
- Burden of proof – In a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions were negligent or wrongful and that they directly caused the death of the deceased person. In contrast, in an accusation of murder, the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a higher standard of proof.
- Damages – In a wrongful death claim, the court may award the plaintiff damages to compensate for their losses. In contrast, in an accusation of murder, the defendant may face criminal penalties such as imprisonment or fines if they are found guilty.
- Statute of limitations – In a wrongful death claim, there is a time limit for filing the claim, known as the statute of limitations. In Texas, the surviving family members must file their claim within two years of the date of the deceased person’s death. In contrast, there is no time limit for bringing an accusation of murder, as it is considered a serious criminal offense.
- Legal representation – In a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff is typically represented by a personal injury attorney who has experience with wrongful death cases. In contrast, in an accusation of murder, the defendant has the right to be represented by a criminal defense attorney who can help them navigate the criminal justice system and defend against the charges.
Claiming For Punitive Damages After A Truck Accident
Punitive damages are a type of compensation for gross negligence that only the court may award to a plaintiff in personal injury cases – unlike the damages mentioned above, these cannot be negotiated as part of a settlement outside of court.
Everything we have covered before this point have been compensatory damages. Punitive damages are different from compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate the plaintiff for the specific harm they have suffered as a result of the defendant’s actions. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for particularly reckless or negligent behavior, and to deter others from engaging in similar conduct.
In Texas, there are some limitations on the amount that can be awarded in this way. The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code sets forth a formula for calculating the maximum amount that may be awarded, which is generally equal to the greater of $200,000 or two times the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff.
However, the court has the discretion to award a higher amount if it determines that such an award is necessary to achieve the goals of punishment and deterrence. During a truck accident claim in Texas, the plaintiff may be entitled to both punitive and compensatory damages.
The Statute Of Limitations For Claiming For Truck Accident Injuries
The statute of limitations for truck accident claims in Texas is two years from the date of the accident. This means that you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim in court. After that time has passed, you will no longer be able to pursue a claim for compensation, even if you have a valid case.
It is a good idea to act as quickly as possible when making a claim for several reasons. First, the sooner you start the process, the sooner you can get the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses. Second, the longer you wait, the harder it can be to gather the evidence you need to support your claim. This can include witness statements, medical records, and other important information.
Hire A Texas Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Texas, it is essential that you seek the help of a skilled and experienced lawyer. The process of pursuing a claim in Texas can be complex, especially in cases involving truck accidents, where multiple parties may hold some liability.
A lawyer with knowledge of Texas personal injury law can help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and fight for the compensation you deserve. At Abraham Watkins, our team of dedicated lawyers is ready to assist you with your truck accident claim.
Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you get the justice you deserve. Your free consultation will be conducted with zero obligation, and all of the sensitive details you share will be completely protected by the attorney-client relationship of confidentiality.To speak to a lawyer about your case, call 713-535-9319 today.
Schedule A Free Consultation Today.
If you have additional questions about your accident or injuries – or if you wish to speak to one of our attorneys about your legal options – please complete our online contact form or call our Houston law office at 888-261-8831 or 713-244-5486.
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