If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck crash, you may be worried about how you will get adequate compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. The road to compensation is not always an easy one, but a skilled truck accident lawyer can fight for you and your family to get the compensation you deserve. The assistance of an attorney is essential, because truck companies will do whatever they can to avoid liability after a crash. You need someone on your side to fight back.
After an accident, it is likely that you will receive a settlement offer from the trucking company or its insurer. Do not accept this offer before speaking with an attorney, because the responsible party may try to avoid liability and is probably willing to pay more. If you’ve been injured by a truck, call The Krist Law Firm, P.C. today at (281) 283-8500, or reach out online to schedule a free case consultation.
Truck Companies and Insurers Will Fight to Pay You as Little as Possible
In Texas, there are specific rules that deal with liability after an accident. These rules apply whether your case goes to court, or whether it gets settled through the insurance claims process. The most important of these rules determines how liability is determined after an accident, and to what extent it will affect damages. Texas follows the modified comparative fault rule. Under this regulation, you can only recover damages after an accident if you were less than 51% responsible.
Imagine it’s a rainy day, and you are driving five mph over the speed limit. A truck suddenly pulls out in front of you, and you are unable to stop in time. The police report establishes that you were traveling slightly above the speed limit based on the length of your skid marks. In this scenario, the truck company’s insurer would argue that your carelessness contributed to the accident. The truck was primarily at fault, but the accident would not have been that bad if you had reduced your speed in the rainy conditions. Here, you might be considered 20% responsible for the accident, so the insurance company would pay you 80% of the damages to you are claiming.
Now let’s imagine those skid marks show that you were traveling 20 mph over the speed limit. In this case, the insurance company might be in a position to argue that you were closer to 51% responsible for the accident, which is the point at which you are no longer entitled to any damages at all. The exact circumstances of the accident and the evidence that is available to prove those circumstances will determine your proportion of fault. The truck company’s insurer will do everything they can to highlight evidence showing your fault, and minimize the evidence showing their client’s responsibility.
Truck companies can also avoid liability for an accident by showing that another party was primarily at fault for the accident. The more vehicles are involved, the easier it becomes for the truck company or their insurer to argue that someone else’s negligence contributed more to the accident than their driver’s.
Showing that the trucking company was primarily at fault for the accident – despite the contributions of other vehicles – is an essential part of truck accident cases, because their insurance policies offer more coverage than those of the average driver. The settlement you receive from a truck insurance company will likely be better than one offered by a private vehicle owner, assuming they even have insurance.
How a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
Assigning percentages of fault is not an exact science, and there is a lot of room for advocacy. At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we thoroughly review all of the evidence of our clients’ accidents. In some cases, we even conduct our own investigation and hire our own expert witnesses to figure out exactly what happened. If the insurance company refuses to offer a settlement that adequately compensates you and your family, we will not hesitate to bring the matter to court. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today at (281) 283-8500 for a free, initial evaluation of your case.