Discover Your Rights & Recovery Options After an 18-Wheeler Wreck in Texas
A tractor-trailer crash can occur instantly, changing your life forever. When that happens, your recovery and future may depend on the answers, support, and advocacy you have. That’s because what you know can help you say and do the right things to safeguard your rights and a potential truck accident case.
Whether you or someone you love has been hurt in a big rig crash, the FAQs below highlight some of the most important facts to understand about 18-wheeler accident claims. As helpful as this information is, there may be more to know about your rights and a claim — and you can get confidential, case-specific information by reaching out to an 18-wheeler accident lawyer.
What Evidence Can Prove Fault in a Truck Accident Case?
Fault can be complex to determine and prove in tractor-trailer crash cases. That’s because:
- Multiple parties may be liable.
- Several items may be needed to clearly establish fault and damages for a claim.
While an attorney can help you figure out, obtain, and leverage the evidence you may need for a big rig accident case, in general, items that can be helpful in these claims may include (and are not limited to):
The police report for the 18-wheeler accident: Police reports can detail a number of facts about the crash, the parties involved, and the road and weather conditions on the day of the wreck. These reports may also point to potential driver negligence, like impairment or traffic violations that may have contributed to a tractor-trailer crash.
- Accident photos and videos: This can include pictures and recordings taken by you, others involved in the crash, witnesses, and/or trucks’ dashcams. In some cases, nearby surveillance cameras or redlight cameras may also capture images or recordings of a crash (even though it’s illegal to use redlight cameras to ticket drivers in Texas, many of these cameras are still operational throughout Texas because of ongoing contracts with the city or county that haven’t expired yet).
- Witness statements: Anyone who saw the crash may be able to share additional critical details about what occurred right before, during, or after the collision. Sometimes, you may be able to identify potential or additional witnesses via the police report for the wreck.
- Data from a truck’s electronic logging device (ELD): This data can highlight the condition and movements of a truck (and potentially the truck driver) before a crash. Consequently, ELD data may be able to uncover potential issues with trucking equipment, as well as driver fatigue, speeding, and more.
- Various records: Motor carriers’ policies, 18-wheeler maintenance records, and trucker training records and driving histories are just some records that could be useful in an 18-wheeler crash claim, especially if the trucking company is among the liable parties.
- Expert testimony or opinions: To interpret and explain more complex evidence, like data from ELDs, regulatory issues, or mechanical issues with a truck, it may be necessary to retain certain experts. Similarly, experts like accident reconstructionists can help connect the dots regarding how a big rig crash occurred.
Some of this evidence may be readily available after a crash, and other items will take some work to track down, obtain, and analyze. Regardless, however, evidence for 18-wheeler accident cases may only be available for a limited amount of time, so it’s important to act fast after a wreck if you want the strongest possible claim.
Why Is It Important to See a Doctor After a Truck Accident?
Medical attention after a truck wreck is important for a few key reasons. Specifically, seeing a doctor after a tractor-trailer crash is essential because it can mean:
- Better possible prognoses: Getting treatment ASAP after a crash can reduce the potential for additional complications and, often, lead to better outcomes. Ultimately, that may impact your quality of life for years, if not longer, depending on the nature and severity of your truck accident injuries.
- Diagnoses and documentation of the big rig crash injuries: Your doctor will record your symptoms, test results, diagnoses, and treatment plans. All of that can create important evidence for a claim, establishing how badly you were hurt and how your injuries have impacted mobility, independence, and/or your psychological wellbeing.
- Not giving opponents leverage to weaken your claim: If you do not see a doctor after a crash — or if you visit a doctor but then ignore treatment plans or delay follow-up care — you can give insurance companies and others room to allege that you weren’t actually injured (or badly hurt) in the crash. That could make it much more challenging to recover full damages after a big rig accident.
Can I File a Case & Get Compensation If I’m Partly At Fault for a Truck Accident?
Your rights to compensation depend on the degree to which you were at fault for an 18-wheeler accident. Namely, you will NOT be entitled to truck accident compensation, under Texas law, if you were primarily at fault for causing the crash. However, if you were not mainly to blame — and, instead, some other party is mostly at fault — then:
- You may still have the right to seek financial recovery for your injuries and losses.
- Any compensation you’re entitled to would likely be reduced in proportion to your level of fault. So, if you were 10% at fault for the wreck, the available compensation would be reduced by 10% (if your case is successfully resolved).
This emphasizes just how critical fault findings are. To that point, it’s important to be aware that you cannot rely on others’ fault assessments — and that it’s usually in your best interests to retain a lawyer who can help you determine and prove liability when it’s time to recover from an 18-wheeler accident.