Beaumont TX Truck Accident Lawyer
When truck accidents occur, the parties involved can benefit from the advice of a Beaumont truck accident lawyer. It is the best way to assess their situation and find out what options they have. The truck accident attorney will analyze the details of their case and advise them accordingly.
If you were in a truck accident in Beaumont, TX, you should consult a truck accident lawyer. This way, you will find out for sure if you are entitled to compensation. The truck accident lawyer will also advise you on the steps to follow in order to recover your losses. Truck accidents cause severe injuries and huge damages, so their victims need all the help they can get.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports an increasing number of truck accidents nationwide. According to them, 475,000 large truck accidents occurred in 2016, up from 415,000 in 2015. Out of these, 3,864 resulted in fatalities, compared to 3,598 in 2015. The number of crashes resulting in injuries grew from 83,000 to 104,000.
The same tendency is obvious in Texas. Our state ranks first nationwide when it comes to fatal accidents involving trucks. At Brent Coon & Associates, our Beaumont, Texas truck accident attorneys have been handling an increasing number of cases. The most common causes of the truck accident cases we have handled are the ones listed below.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Here are the most common truck accident causes in Texas:
Truck drivers have to meet tight deadlines. In order to succeed, they often exceed speed limits. High speed makes large vehicles more difficult to stop and maneuver. It goes without saying that accidents are sometimes impossible to avoid.
Trucks sometimes carry heavy loads, over the maximum limit allowed. The heavier the cargo, the more difficult to maneuver and stop the truck becomes. Moreover, the additional weight leads to more severe damages in case of an accident.
Trucks cover thousands of miles on a weekly basis. This leads to considerable wear and tear. Without proper maintenance, they break down or become hazards on wheels. An experienced truck accident lawyer will easily recognize a poorly maintained truck.
Covering long distances in short periods of time, truck drivers get tired. Even if they get the minimum hours of rest, it is not the same restful sleep they would enjoy at home. Fatigue takes its toll on a driver’s attention and reaction speed.
This is a condition drivers’ develop after seeing the same scenery for thousands of miles. They get into a trance-like state that inhibits their reaction speed. It should be easy for an experienced truck accident attorney to recognize highway hypnosis symptoms.
The mirrors on most trucks do not allow a full view of the area behind the truck. Inexperienced drivers often forget about this aspect. They often sideswipe other vehicles.
Some truckers feel they rule the roads due to the imposing size of the vehicles they drive. They often change lanes without notice, tailgate other cars, or make dangerous maneuvers.
All truckers know that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. However, they sometimes give in to temptation and have a beer, a glass of wine, or more. Those who do will be at least partly at fault for any accidents they are involved in.
Identifying the cause of the accident is the first step to identifying the party at fault. This is very important for accident victims and their truck accident lawyer. It will help them decide whom to sue or with whom to file their compensation claim, as there are several options.
Who is to Blame for My Truck Accident?
The Truck Driver
According to FMCSA, truck drivers cause more than 50% of the accidents they get in. However, knowing that the truck driver was at fault is not enough. In order to obtain compensation, the accident victim will have to prove it.
This takes the knowledge and experience of a truck accident lawyer. The latter may need to check the driver’s work diary, driving records, the police accident report. They will look for video recordings, witnesses, and anything they could use as evidence.
When the truck driver is at fault for the accident, the victims can seek compensation from them or their insurer. The first option involves filing a civil lawsuit. The second one involves filing a compensation claim with the driver’s insurer. The experience of a truck accident attorney is invaluable in both cases.
If the driver is uninsured, the victim can file a civil lawsuit or seek compensation from their own insurer. When they are underinsured, victims can seek available compensation from the insurer. If necessary, they can then sue the driver for the difference. Depending on their own coverage, they may be able to seek compensation from their own insurer.
The Trucking Company
Truck drivers are not always responsible for accidents. Sometimes, the fault belongs to the trucking company they work for. They hire inexperienced drivers or they force them to drive without taking the minimum rest periods. Some companies neglect to maintain their trucks or overload them.
When the trucking company is at fault, the victims can sue them or file a claim with their insurer. The process is long and difficult, better left to an experienced Beaumont truck accident lawyer. In order to prove the fault of the trucking company, the latter will check any or all of the following:
- Records regarding truck inspections, maintenance, and repairs scheduled and performed
- The qualifications and experience of the driver
- The lighting devices and reflectors on the truck involved in the accident
- The markings on the vehicle
- The emergency equipment available in the truck
- The tie-downs and the available systems for securing the cargo
- The covers of the tires
- The dimensions and weight of the cargo compared to the truck’s capacity
It goes without saying that the truck accident attorney will need specific knowledge, experience, and skills. The trucking company or their insurer will do everything in their power to avoid paying. Proving their fault will take solid evidence and excellent knowledge of Texas laws and FMCSA regulations.
Sometimes, accidents occur even though trucking companies and their drivers take all precautions. Their service providers or the owners of the cargo they carry can be at fault. Some truck repair companies use old, unreliable parts. Others charge their clients for work they never perform, or they do a poor job.
There are also cases when the fault belongs to the cargo owners the trucking company works with. They overload the truck or fail to secure the cargo properly. When the driver takes a close turn or tries to stop the truck, the additional weight steps in. It is not uncommon to see trucks get off the road or turn over and hit other cars in the process.
Obviously, the fault of a third party is even more difficult to prove. It takes detective skills, and knowledge of legal procedures only truck accident lawyers possess. They will investigate how the accident occurred and what may have caused it. A truck accident attorney will subpoena the trucking company to present service contracts. They will also interview the truck driver and other clients or collaborators of the party at fault. They will not rest until they identify the party at fault and obtain the due compensation.
Things are not always black or white when it comes to truck accidents. Not all cases involve one victim and one wrongdoer, and an experienced truck accident attorney knows it. Sometimes, all parties involved and even third parties share fault for the accident. When that happens, each party is responsible for the share of damages corresponding to their fault percentage. If a party is more than 51% at fault for the accident, they can no longer claim compensation.
Obviously, the parties will try to blame one another and lower their own fault percentage. The process is usually a battle of attorneys. The party with the most experienced and dedicated truck accident attorney wins. The lower a party’s fault percentage is, the more money they can obtain or avoid paying as compensation.
The best way to identify the party at fault and decide from whom to seek compensation is to consult a lawyer. They will analyze all the case details, assess the options available, and recommend the best strategy. Their help will come in handy throughout the claim process as well.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me File a Claim?
18 wheeler truck accidents often result in serious injuries. Their victims need months, sometimes even years to fully recover. Ideally, they can seek compensation when they are fully recovered and aware of all costs. In practice, they need the money as soon as possible.
Moreover, the Texas statute of limitations only allows two years for filing 18 wheeler truck accident claims or lawsuits. The clock starts running on the day of the accident. Proving and justifying a truck accident claim is not easy and takes time. The sooner a Beaumont truck accident lawyer starts working on the case, the higher their success chances are.
At Brent Coon & Associates, clients call us right from the accident scene. They are aware of the stakes, worried that they may make mistakes, and looking for advice. If our Beaumont 18 wheeler accident attorney cannot get to them immediately, they advise them on how to proceed.
Mistakes to Avoid after a Truck Accident in Beaumont TX
Leaving the accident scene
No matter how the accident occurred or who was at fault, all drivers have to stop at the scene. Those who cannot stop safely at the scene should pull over as close as possible and return. Any truck accident attorney knows that leaving the scene is a serious offense. It may weigh as an admission of fault.
Leaving the car in the middle of the road
After an accident, drivers should pull their cars over to the road shoulder to avoid obstructing traffic. The only exceptions to the rule are accidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities. Cars that are dangerous to move can remain on the roadway as well. In such cases, the drivers should notify the police.
Not requesting medical assistance
The adrenaline rush following an accident tricks many people into thinking they are alright. They refuse medical assistance only to discover injuries that aggravated later. Insurers usually reject claims for injuries that aggravated because of late or inadequate treatment. It is better to undergo an unnecessary medical exam than to refuse it and risk complications.
Not gathering important information
It is impossible to seek compensation after an accident without identifying the parties involved. Yet, many accident victims neglect to obtain driver contact information, vehicle registration numbers, or insurance coverage details. They also neglect to identify and obtain the contact information of potential witnesses. Without this information, even the best truck accident lawyer will have a hard time obtaining compensation.
Not gathering evidence
Once the cars leave the accident scene, the evidence is almost impossible to obtain. Obvious details, like an overloaded truck, improperly secured cargo, or broken truck lights remain unnoticed. Nearby surveillance cameras recordings could be destroyed.
Apologizing or admitting fault
Some people feel the need to express their regrets for what happened. They should not, as others may mistake their words for apologies and admission of fault. It is best to remain silent and record or write down anything the other parties involved say.
Waiting too long before contacting a truck accident lawyer
Many accident victims wait until they recover to consult a truck accident attorney. Others try to handle everything on their own and look for help when things get tough. The more time a lawyer has, the higher their chances of winning the case are.
Accepting the first settlement offer
Some insurance companies try to settle immediately after an accident. They offer low compensations to confused accident victims to avoid paying more later. Anyone receiving a settlement offer should take the time to analyze it. One way to assess whether an offer is worth accepting is to discuss it with a truck accident lawyer.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer with Brent Coon & Associates for Your Risk-Free Case-Review!
If you were in a Beaumont, Texas, truck accident, you probably need advice and help with the claim process. You surely want to know how much money you can obtain and how to approach your case. We can help. Call Brent Coon & Associates now and schedule a risk-free consultation with our truck accident lawyers in Beaumont! You will receive all the answers and advice you need.