Injuries and property damages from truck accidents are often debilitating and catastrophic. If a vehicle collides with a truck at high speeds, the car might be totaled and unrecoverable. Likewise, the victim might experience severe physical injuries.
The following are some common injuries that happen in truck accidents in San Antonio:
- Head injuries: Commonly resulting from truck accidents, injuries to the head can sometimes go unnoticed before becoming serious. For example, whiplash, which involves rapid acceleration or deceleration, can cause a head injury that might not lead to immediate medical attention, unlike a direct hit to the head. Having a medical exam after a truck accident can help identify head injuries early on — even if you think you’re uninjured.
- Back and neck injuries: Injuries to the back and neck are often among the most serious. They can lead to chronic pain, reduced mobility, long-term rehabilitation, and decreased quality of life.
- Spinal cord injuries: These injuries can result in damage to the central nervous system, which may lead to a loss of sensation or motor functioning (paralysis), significantly impacting the injured person’s quality of life.
- Broken bones: A truck collision is more likely to cause broken bones due to its size and the high impact. Medical procedures to repair broken bones can sometimes include multiple surgeries.
- Lacerations and scarring: Large or deep lacerations can lead to permanent scarring. Courts often award compensation for “disfigurement” to help the injured party remove scarring and relieve accompanying pain that’s physical and emotional.
- Death: Data from 2019 show that 16% of truck accident deaths were truck occupants, and a significant 67% traveled in cars or other vehicles. When a negligent or reckless truck driver kills your loved one in a truck accident, family members can seek compensation for funeral costs, loss of companionship, and loss of income.
Compensation and Damages in San Antonio Truck Accidents
If you have a viable claim, you can potentially recover compensation for:
- A disability caused by a truck accident: For example, truck accidents may cause spinal cord injuries or other permanent disabilities, entitling you to compensatory damages.
- Related financial expenses and loss of income: This includes medical expenses related to hospital and emergency room visits, doctor visits, surgeries, and assistive medical devices.
- Property loss or damage: Courts can compensate victims for external financial damages, such as repairs to a vehicle or other property or structure damaged in a truck accident, loss of income, and loss of future earning potential.
- Pain and suffering: This type of compensation includes physical and emotional pain.
- Punitive damages: If the truck driver’s actions rise to the level of gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing, a court might award additional compensation called punitive damages, intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter future similar acts.
San Antonio Truck Accident Legal Issues
Litigating a truck accident case is different from other personal injury cases. For example, truck accident attorneys in San Antonio need to gather an extensive range of evidence, including the truck’s “black box” and maintenance records. Also, determining whether a vehicle is a “legal truck” depends on a detailed and specific analysis based on cargo type and vehicle weight.
Additionally, truck accidents tend to involve multiple parties in a lawsuit, and so you might seek compensation from:
- Truck drivers: They are potentially liable for resulting damages if they are negligent in driving their truck. Additionally, laws may regulate how and when a truck driver can operate a vehicle, and they might be negligent if operating their vehicle outside of their set hours.
- Truck companies: Because commercial truck drivers operate as employees, the company they work for might be liable under respondeat superior. This law is complicated and includes specific requirements that the plaintiff must prove, which can change on a case-by-case basis.
- Truck manufacturers: Seeking compensation against truck manufacturers is more common in trucking accidents than conventional car accidents. State and federal regulations provide strict requirements for truck manufacturers. If a manufacturer fails to follow these regulations, they might be liable for damages.
- Governments: Local authorities might be liable for failing to maintain roads properly if a road defect or obstruction contributes to a truck accident. Your truck accident attorney in San Antonio might seek compensation from a government or its contractors if road conditions were a factor in your truck accident.
San Antonio Truck Accident FAQs
Drivers often see a range of trucks on US highways and roadways. Commercial truck drivers use Texas highways daily to transport goods and other merchandise. The large population combined with a growing number of trucks inevitably leads to more truck accidents.
Truck drivers are more susceptible to losing control from a tire blowout or an imbalance in the truck itself. In any instance, if a negligent truck driver has injured you, you may be entitled to receive compensation.
How can a San Antonio truck accident lawyer help me?
Truck accidents are different from regular car accidents because many legal concepts may apply to your case. Commercial trucking companies must abide by both state and federal laws and regulations. Therefore, negligence and liability are two concepts that may apply to the driver, the trucking company, any inspectors, truck loaders, and other parties involved that may have caused the accident.
An experienced truck accident lawyer in San Antonio can help you navigate these complex legal issues, creating the best strategy to receive the compensation you deserve.
The strategy will involve:
- Gathering all the evidence related to your claim: This can include medical records and expenses related to the accident, any records of the accident itself, insurance transactions and claims, expert witnesses and testimonies, and anything else that may benefit your case.
- Pre-litigation research: Your truck accident attorney in San Antonio will research all the relevant statutes, laws, and previous case laws to support your claim.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: A truck company’s insurance company will likely reach out to you, offering a settlement amount. This initial offer is usually much lower than you may be entitled to. Your truck accident lawyer in San Antonio will handle all communications with the insurance company to ensure you don’t receive less than you deserve.
- Negotiating with the truck driver’s lawyers: Whether the truck driver has a lawyer or if the truck driver’s company provides them with a lawyer, having a lawyer by your side to handle those communications will significantly benefit you. An experienced San Antonio truck accident lawyer will know the applicable legal standards to use in negotiations with the opposing lawyer.
- Filing a complaint: If discussions do not lead to a successful settlement, a truck accident lawyer will draft and file a complaint in court. It will lay out the legal standards, the facts of your accident, and the amount of compensation you’re requesting for your injuries.
- Discovery: Once both parties file the initial complaints or answers, the parties will engage in discovery, which involves asking and gathering all the relevant evidence you need to use at trial to prove your case.
- Trial: Your San Antonio truck accident attorney will represent you in any trial process in court to prove your claim.
- Appeal. If either party is dissatisfied with the trial’s results, you can appeal the decision and have it reevaluated by an appeals court. Your lawyer will be there to guide you every step of the way.
Most cases end up settling out of court or before even going to court. It’s essential to have a knowledgeable San Antonio truck accident lawyer by your side to guide you through these potential scenarios and ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.
What truck accidents commonly take place in San Antonio?
Some of the most common truck accidents in San Antonio, Texas, include:
- Jackknife accidents: These occur when the truck driver breaks suddenly and the trailer swings out to the side of the truck at a 90-degree angle. A jackknife accident can cause a truck to overturn or roll over, which can lead to catastrophic injuries to the truck driver and others on the road.
- Head-on and rear-end collisions: Similar to regular car accidents, this accident is when a large truck collides with another vehicle either head-on or rear-ends another car. Both are extremely dangerous types of accidents.
- Blindspot accidents: Commercial trucks have significant blind spots. These blind spots make truck drivers lose sight of other drivers in certain places, which can cause accidents when switching lanes or going on and off exits.
- Underride accidents: These are one of the deadliest types of truck accidents. They occur when a truck stops quickly and the car behind it gets stuck under the tractor-trailer. The top part of the smaller vehicle is usually ripped off.
- Tire blowouts: Tire blowouts are common with any vehicle. However, large commercial truck tires are especially susceptible to tire failure. If the tire erupts, the driver can easily lose control of the truck, thereby causing an accident.
- Rollover accidents: In any situation where a truck driver loses control, the truck could potentially roll over, making the truck itself and any cargo that falls out a hazard to other drivers on the road.
How much compensation can I receive from my San Antonio truck accident case?
It depends. Each truck accident case is dependent on the facts of the case. Both the insurance adjuster and the lawyers analyze cases using a variety of factors, which may include:
- Medical expenses: These include any costs associated with the accident, such as ambulance costs, hospital bills, surgery and medication expenses, and any rehabilitation or follow-up treatment you need after an accident.
- Lost wages: If you can’t work due to injuries the accident caused, you can receive compensation for the income you lost.
- Lost future income: If you know you can’t work or can no longer perform your usual job functions due to your injuries, you can seek compensation for the lost income you could have earned.
- Loss of consortium or companionship: If you lost a loved one and are filing a wrongful death suit, you can receive compensation for the loss of companionship from losing your loved one.
- Pain and suffering: These expenses account for any physical or emotional damages or distress you incurred due to the accident.
- Property damage: If a truck accident caused damages to your vehicle or any of your belongings, you could receive compensation for them.
How long does a truck accident lawsuit take?
The length of time your truck accident lawsuit will take depends on how long any evidence-gathering or investigation procedures take, if you require prolonged medical treatment, and on negotiations. If your case goes to trial, it can end up lasting a few years. While accepting a quick settlement offer from an insurance company may swiftly resolve the issue, you might not receive the total amount of compensation you deserve.
When should I file my 18-wheeler accident lawsuit in San Antonio?
The statute of limitations to file a San Antonio truck accident claim is two years from the accident date. This deadline means you must bring your claim within two years from the date of the accident, though there may be some exceptions. Your San Antonio truck accident lawyer will be able to advise you further.
Should I accept an insurance settlement for my truck accident lawsuit in San Antonio?
No. The truck driver or the trucking company’s insurance company will likely offer what they consider to be the lowest reasonable amount to settle your claim. This usually doesn’t cover the total amount of expenses you will incur from your injuries. An experienced truck accident lawyer in San Antonio can help you determine the full compensation you may be entitled to. It’s crucial to consult with a lawyer before accepting any settlement offer.
Should I hire a San Antonio truck accident lawyer?
Yes. Truck accidents differ from car accidents, as they involve particular areas of the law. The accident fact patterns can be complex, and different parties’ negligence may have contributed to the accident. Due to this complexity, an experienced truck accident lawyer in San Antonio can represent you and help you get the best possible outcome.
Call Our San Antonio Truck Accident Attorneys Today
If a truck accident injured you and you have a viable claim for damages, the expert San Antonio truck accident lawyers at Patino Law Firm can help you receive fair compensation. We provide our clients with individual attention and care to properly address their questions and concerns, and we work to ease any additional stress during an already challenging time.
Call us today at 210-646-9100 for a free, no-obligation consultation, or reach out to us through our contact page.