Filing a Lawsuit

Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit

If you were seriously injured in a truck accident, you should explore your available legal options. Under Texas law, you are entitled to bring a lawsuit against the party responsible for your harm and recover compensation for your losses. This is known as a civil lawsuit.

Filing a lawsuit is not necessary to recover compensation for your losses. The role of an insurance provider is to cover losses caused by an insured’s negligent conduct. However, in 18-wheeler accidents, commercial insurance providers rarely offer to settle a case for a fair amount. Commercial insurance providers are sophisticated corporations in the business of making money. The less money they pay out, the more money they make. This often leads to low settlement offers and a need for trained lawyers to negotiate on your behalf.

Contact us online or call us at (281) 801-5617 to learn how filing a truck accident lawsuit can help you with your right to recover compensation under the law. 

Trained Attorneys Will Negotiate With The Insurance Company

Cases involving collisions with trucks are not like typical car accidents. Commercial trucking cases are often more complicated for at least two reasons. First, truck accidents cause more serious injuries than standard motor vehicle accidents. The more serious your injuries, the more expensive the medical care and the more profound impact the injuries will have on your life. This makes it more difficult to value your injuries and recover full compensation.

Second, in a truck accident, there is a greater likelihood of having more than one responsible party. Under Texas law, all responsible parties are assigned fault according to their involvement in the accident. When damages are awarded, each liable party is responsible for their assigned percentage of fault. As a tactic to escape or reduce liability, trucking companies seek to blame any and all parties remotely connected to the crash. While this complicates the case, it also provides you, the injured motorist, with more liable defendants, often resulting in more insurance providers to recover from.

An experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney will know how to handle these complexities and maximize your recovery. A lawyer with experience handling truck crash cases will identify all parties responsible for the accident and ensure the evidence required to prove liability is secured.

An experienced attorney will also use industry experts to assess your injuries and ensure you receive full damages.  Properly identifying and proving the life-long impact of an injury requires doctors and other professionals who understand how an injury develops over a lifetime.  Without this experience, a liable defendant may not be held responsible for all your damages.

A Truck Accident Attorney Will Gather The Information To Prove Liability And Damages

After hiring a truck accident attorney, your lawyer will begin to assemble information to gain a better understanding of the crash and your injuries. This information will relate to two primary concepts, liability, and damages.

Damages is the legal term for compensation. In a lawsuit, you are entitled to recover financial compensation for all of the harm you have suffered as a result of someone else’s wrongful conduct. This includes economic harms, such as medical bills and lost wages, and noneconomic harms, such as pain and suffering. To properly assess and value these damages, your lawyer will need information about your injuries, such as medical and billing records, past employment records, and loss of income. With the help of trained experts, your attorney will use this information to create a damage model that will be used as a basis for negotiating your claim with the liable parties.

Your attorney will also begin compiling information to prove liability. Since a lawsuit has not been filed, your attorney must gather this information without the help of the defendants. Instead, your attorney will gather information such as the police report, the defendant’s FMCSA records, and prior lawsuits against the defendant. Your attorney will also inspect the vehicles involved in the crash and, if necessary, have an accident reconstruction analysis completed to better understand the cause of the crash.

Armed with this information, your attorney can assess the case’s merits and create a theory of recovery and a basis for damages that can be used to negotiate your claims and settle the case without ever filing a lawsuit. The clearer your attorney can convey to the trucking company liability and damages, the more likely your case will settle.

Our Houston truck accident lawyers are prepared to fight for you. Call us at (281) 801-5617 or contact us online for help identifying the cause of your truck crash.

If The Claim Does Not Settle, A Lawsuit Should Be Filed Against The Trucking Company

Most cases will not settle before filing a lawsuit. This is simply because the trucking company does not believe they are entirely at fault, or they do not believe your damages are as severe as you claim. When this happens, your attorney should file a lawsuit to begin a formal legal process overseen by a judge with authority over all parties involved.  The judge will act as a referee to ensure your case moves forward fairly and equitably.

Once a lawsuit has been filed, your attorney will begin the discovery process and gather information relevant to your claim that is in control of the trucking company. For instance, the trucking company may have dash cam footage of the accident, providing a clear picture of how the accident occurred and who was at fault. Likewise, your attorney may request information related to the training of the driver and the company’s policies related to driver misconduct to better understand the trucking company’s commitment to safety.

During discovery, your attorney will be given an opportunity to depose those with information related to your claim. Your lawyer, for instance, will be able to depose the negligent truck driver to determine exactly what happened. Since a deposition is a sworn statement made under oath, it can be used in a court of law to discredit the trucking company’s defense and prove your theory of liability.

The primary goal of the discovery process is for each side to fully develop their claims and defenses by gathering all the information needed to understand how the accident happened and who is at fault. Throughout this process, your attorney will look for opportunities to settle your lawsuit.

Mediation Provides A Formal Opportunity To Settle Your Lawsuit

As the discovery process progresses and your claim gains more substance, the trucking company’s incentive to settle your claim strengthens. At the appropriate time, your lawyer will arrange a mediation where both sides can come together to seek a fair and just settlement.

At mediation, you and your attorney, the defense attorneys, representatives from the insurance company, and a neutral mediator will gather in a room for a short meeting where each side is given an opportunity to present a summary of their position on the case and the amount they are willing to settle for. The parties then separate, and the mediator works with each side to reach a fair settlement.

Mediation is more intimidating in theory than actuality. The defense attorneys have no personal vendetta toward you. Their job is simply to minimize the financial obligation of the insurer to maximize the insurer’s annual revenue. For an insurance company, the value of your claim is a business decision. However, for your attorney, it is much more than that.

You and your attorney understand how the accident affected your life and the harm it has and will continue to cause in the future. Before mediation, a skilled attorney will have conveyed this reality to the trucking company and demonstrated how a jury would likely value your losses. If the trucking company and its representatives believe a jury would value the case accordingly, it becomes a financially sound decision to settle your lawsuit for a fair and just amount.

The goal of mediation is to resolve your lawsuit without a trial, and skilled attorneys work hard to fully develop your case before the mediation begins to ensure you are provided the best opportunity to settle without a trial.

Lawsuits That Do Not Settle Should Be Taken To Trial

The overwhelming majority of cases settle before going to trial. However, sometimes the parties cannot agree on liability or damages, requiring a judge or jury to determine the outcome of your lawsuit.

A jury is a body of citizens who listen to all the facts and determine who is at fault for the accident. It is important to recognize that more than one party may be at fault, and both you and the trucking company (trucker) may have some responsibility for the crash. For instance, a jury may determine that you were using your cell phone when the truck pulled in front of you, preventing you from taking evasive action. This may lead to a jury apportioning 90% of the fault to the trucking company and 10% to you. Thankfully, under Texas law, this does not mean the trucking company escapes liability for its negligent conduct. Instead, the trucking company is responsible for 90% of the damages the jury determines you have suffered due to the crash.

Trial is an art and a skill, and it is wise to keep trial in mind when hiring your truck accident lawyer. Hiring an attorney with a track record of successful trials gives you a strong advantage throughout the lawsuit. Other attorneys know the trial attorneys and do not want to go to trial against them. Because of this, trucking companies have a strong incentive to settle the case for the value you and your attorney have determined to be fair and reasonable.

The Ammons Law Firm’s Attorneys Are Skilled Truck Accident Trial Lawyers

At The Ammons Law Firm, our attorneys have decades of experience litigating truck accident cases and have taken hundreds of cases to trial. Our firm has a reputation for success throughout Texas and is routinely called upon by other lawyers to handle their cases. The skill of our attorneys has helped injured clients just like you recover over one billion dollars in damages. If you want first-class representation, call The Ammons Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Our Houston truck accident lawyers are prepared to fight for you. Call us at (281) 801-5617 or contact us online for help identifying the cause of your truck crash.

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