Representing clients who have sustained serious injuries in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other accidents is quite different from representing clients who have found themselves the victim of an 18 wheeler accident. This is due, in large part, to how the trucking companies and their insurance companies go about investigating and attempting to defend their role in causing the accident. Typical defenses made by trucking companies include the defense that the victim was partially at fault, that another driver was at fault, or that the victim’s truck accident injuries, medical bills, repair bills, and expenses are either unreasonable or unnecessary.
The trucking company and their insurance company are not on your side after an 18 wheeler accident. Their primary goal is to be dismissed from holding any liability in the accident, or in worst-case scenarios, they seek to turn the tables so the victim is deemed liable for an accident that was no fault of their own. Our Houston 18 wheeler accident attorneys understand this and that is why we are relentless when it comes to defending the victims of 18 wheeler accidents.
Before he founded Amaro Law Firm, R. James Amaro was an attorney at a large insurance defense firm. His previous work defending trucking companies in accidents which resulted in serious injuries or death gives him a unique perspective into how trucking companies and their insurance companies think, operate, and handle accident claims. Our firm uses that insight when preparing and filing claims or lawsuits brought about by 18 wheeler accidents.
5 Things to Do After An 18-Wheeler Accident
As the dust settles after an 18-wheeler wreck, the steps you take can substantially impact both your physical and financial recovery. To help you avoid any missteps that could derail or upset your recovery, below, we have uncovered the 5 most important things to do after an 18-wheeler truck crash.
- Call 911 – This is the single best way to assure that emergency responders and law enforcement officers respond to the scene to help the injured, investigate the wreck, and remove the debris. After calling 911, it’s important to:
- Remain at the scene until officers give you the green light to leave – Leaving before this can raise questions about your potential fault in the wreck and/or result in hit-and-run charges.
- Get out of the way of traffic while you wait for officers and other personnel – Move to a safe place, like the shoulder of a road. Also, it’s generally best to try to leave the vehicles and wreckage where the accident has left them so photos can be taken and police can carry out their investigation.
2. Get Medical Attention – Let emergency medical technicians (EMTs) check you out at the accident scene, and/or have your physician check you out as soon as possible after the crash. Getting medical attention after an 18-wheeler wreck is critical for a few reasons. Specifically, medical attention is critical to:
- Diagnosing and immediately treating the crash-related injuries
- Creating records of the physical injuries caused by the crash
- Preventing insurance companies (or others) from alleging that the injuries were caused by an incident other than the wreck.
3. Obtain Identifying Information for the Involved Parties – Gather the name(s), contact information, and driver/auto insurance information from all others who were a party to the crash. Also, try to collect the name(s) and contact information for any witnesses to the crash.
Here, please be aware that, if you need to be immediately transported to a hospital due to your injuries (and you are, therefore, unable to gather this information at the accident scene), you can and should request a copy of the official police report for the accident.
This report can include all types of essential information and potential evidence. In fact, in addition to containing the identifying information for the involved parties and any accident witnesses, the police accident report can include details like (but not limited to):
- Whether any involved party was cited or arrested after the crash
- The statements any witnesses made after the accident
- The nature of the damage police observed in the immediate aftermath of the wreck
- Investigators’ findings and determination regarding fault for the accident.
If your wreck occurred in Texas, here is where you can find and request the official police report for your crash.
4. Collect Photographic Evidence – If possible, try to take as many pictures as you can of the accident scene, the damage to the involved vehicles, the road conditions, and/or damage to surrounding features (like guardrails, signage, etc.). Accident scene pictures can be important pieces of evidence when it comes to determining factors like (but not exclusive to):
- The point(s) of impact
- The at-fault parties
- The extent of the damage caused by the wreck.
5. Consult an Experienced Houston 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Lawyer – An experienced truck wreck attorney can help you:
- Determine who is liable for the crash
- Hold all at-fault parties accountable
- Gather all essential evidence in order to build and present the strongest possible claim
- Position your claim for any possible recovery.
With a trusted trucking accident lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm on your side, you can focus on getting medical treatments and working on your physical recovery. You can be confident that you have exceptional, dedicated allies in your corner doing everything necessary to help you successfully resolve your claim and financially recover.
Frequently Asked Questions About 18-Wheeler Accidents in Houston
Who can be held responsible for 18-wheeler accidents?
When it comes to liability, 18-wheeler truck accidents differ from car crashes because trucking companies typically employ the truck driver involved in the collision. In these cases, an owner or operator of a trucking company may be liable for the negligent and reckless actions of the drivers it employs, as well as for the trucker’s safety. Other parties who may also be at fault for an 18-wheeler truck accident can include (and may not be limited to):
- Manufacturers of semi-trucks, trailers, and/or the equipment those vehicles use
- Contractors who provide services to the trucking company
- Shippers and brokers
- The parties responsible for designing or maintaining safe roads and highways
What evidence is needed for my 18-wheeler accident claim?
In 18-wheeler truck accident cases, the outcome depends largely on whether claimants and lawyers are able to collect enough evidence to support the claims being made. Witness and expert testimony, medical records, black box data, logbooks, truck inspection records, medical documents, and photographic evidence can all be valuable to your case. An attorney can identify other key evidence, based on the specifics of your claim.
What are the benefits of hiring a Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer?
With the help of a Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer, you can accomplish significantly more than you may alone. In fact, a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer can help you at every phase of your case, providing essential counsel by:
- Explaining your legal rights and responsibilities
- Identifying the state laws and/or federal trucking regulations that may apply to a potential claim
- Determining all parties who are liable for an 18-wheeler accident
- Communicating and negotiating with insurance companies
- Investigating the accident to gather any additional evidence
- Representing you in court, if necessary
- Utilizing internal and external resources to prove negligence
- Calculating past, present, and future losses
Why Choose Our Houston 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers To Handle Your Case?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an 18 wheeler accident, you need to consult with an 18 wheeler accident lawyer from our firm immediately. Do not speak with insurance adjusters, or discuss your physical or mental injuries with investigators or “interested parties.” Let our attorneys do the talking for you. We have your best interests in mind and we are committed to providing you with the aggressive, yet effective representation you need. We are ready, willing and able to go to trial on your behalf and we are dedicated to getting you the most positive settlement or trial verdict.