by Paula A. Wyatt | October 9, 2015 | Blog, Truck Accidents | 0 comments

Frequently Asked Questions About Trucking Accidents

​Frequently Asked Questions About Trucking Accidents In San Antonio

Truck accidents in San Antonio are harrowing and shock all motorists in the vicinity. When motorists are on the road, the last thing they expect is that they will be in a truck accident. Unfortunately, these accidents happen so fast that you may not even know what is happening until you are in severe pain. It is normal to have many questions regarding how these accidents happen and your legal options as a victim. Is This article our truck accident lawyers address many of these concerns so you can stay informed and make the right decision for your circumstances.

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Are trucking accidents common in San Antonio?

Trucks frequent San Antonio because of Interstate 35. This highway is one of the busiest for truck traffic across the nation. It goes from north to south of the city, and the heavy volume of truck traffic contributes to the prevalence of truck accidents. Additionally, there are oil fields to the south of the city, meaning trucks frequently carry frac sand. These elements are a perfect formula for higher rates of truck accidents. In Texas, there are a reported 465 fatal truck accidents and 3,406 injury cases for the latest reporting year.

What makes truck accidents so dangerous?

While truck accidents are extremely dangerous, all motor vehicle accidents have an element of danger and the possibility of being severe. What makes truck accidents more dangerous than other accidents is the truck’s size compared to other vehicles on the road. Trucks come in different shapes and sizes, weighing up to 80,000 pounds. A passenger vehicle typically weighs around 3,000 pounds. As you can tell, the difference is astronomical, making these collisions more dangerous.

What are the causes of truck accidents?

At the top of the list of common causes of truck accidents is driver inattention. Whexn a truck driver is not paying attention, they can leave their lane and swipe other vehicles. In second place is speeding. Truck drivers will often speed when they have a deadline to meet, which causes severe consequences for everyone in their path. Other common causes of truck accidents are blind spot accidents, driver fatigue, and intoxication. There are some aggressive and reckless drivers as well who increase crash risks for all motorists.

What is a commercial truck?

The classification of a commercial truck means they transport products or passengers for commercial gain. There are special licenses and regulations for the operation of these vehicles. Typical commercial vehicle examples include:
  • Tanker trucks
  • 18-wheelers
  • Big rigs
  • Tractor trucks
  • Box trucks
  • Buses

What are trucking regulations?

Truck drivers must follow additional regulations when on the road compared to other motorists. These federal regulations focus on the vehicle’s maintenance, service, and operation. They will also regulate truck cargo, trucking companies’ roles, and driver responsibilities. Awareness of these regulations is essential when investigating the circumstances of your accident. When there is a trucking violation, that can play a role in your legal claim. Some common violations are:
  • Hours of service
  • Driver licenses
  • Vehicle defects
  • Driver training
  • Cargo loading
  • Drugs and alcohol use and testing
  • Distracted driving
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Hazardous material transport

What should a victim do after a severe truck accident?

Your steps after a truck accident are vital to your financial and physical recovery. You need to take many necessary steps, and some will happen simultaneously. The most critical steps are:
  • Seek medical attention, which often happens automatically when emergency personnel respond
  • Highway patrol or the police will arrive at the sense, and you will need to later obtain their official report
  • Discuss your legal options with a San Antonio truck accident lawyer as soon as possible and start a claim
Your first step will look different depending on individual circumstances, but these are the most common. You also will need to inform your insurance company of the crash, but you should have your truck accident attorney handle this call.

Can I file a claim against the truck driver or trucking company?

Generally, you can file claims against both the driver and the trucking company if the trucking company owned the commercial vehicle in question. If a driver is solely an independent owner-operator, they might be the only party with liability. In either instance, the experience of a San Antonio truck accident lawyer will be beneficial in identifying all possible sources of compensation.

Should I give the truck’s insurance adjuster a recorded statement?

Accident victims should not speak to the insurance company without a lawyer, especially if the communication will be recorded. The insurance adjuster is looking to delay or deny your claim and will record your statement to find loopholes or inconsistencies with what you say. However, when you have a San Antonio truck accident lawyer present, they will answer all insurance questions for you and handle all communications.

Should I take the first settlement offer the insurance adjuster makes?

The first offer from the truck’s insurance company is usually far too low. They are working to settle the claim fast and for the lowest amount possible. Adjusters will use a victim’s despair and inexperience to ensure they do not get the money they deserve for their losses. It is difficult to determine how much you can recover initially because doctors must perform extensive tests and medical treatment to come to a prognosis and treatment plan. Generally speaking, you should not accept any offer until you reach maximum medical improvement. Before taking any offer, you and your lawyer must confer on whether it will be sufficient to cover past and future losses.

What is the preservation of evidence letter?

After a trucking accident, it is vital to preserve all evidence. The trucking company or driver can dispose of evidence that can benefit your case, whether intentionally or not. Your truck accident attorney will send a preservation of evidence letter explaining how and what evidence they must preserve in anticipation of future litigation efforts. The company will need to preserve any pictures, property, driving logs, maintenance records, and videos pertinent to the accident. All of this evidence will be essential to show the cause of the accident.

Is there a difference between a truck that is too heavy and one carrying too much cargo?

Trucks have weight and cargo restrictions. If a truck exceeds the 80,000-pound weight limit, it is considered overweight. An overweight truck is illegal and dangerous. Many negative consequences can occur when a truck does not meet weight restrictions. In addition to the weight of the truck, there is also the weight of the cargo. When loaders place cargo on the truck, they must ensure that the weight is evenly distributed. There cannot be one section of the truck cargo that weighs 30,000 and another section that weighs 20,000. The weight difference can make maneuvering the truck difficult and push the tandem axles to their breaking point. When the axles give, it will cause a severe accident. There is one exception to the federal truck weight limit, but it requires a special permit for a one-time trip limit and is usually for the transportation of large machinery. The trucking company must fill out a permit and seek approval before they load the cargo. Aside from this one exception, overloading a truck is not acceptable and is very dangerous.

Who is liable after a truck accident?

While the apparent at-fault party is the truck driver, there can be pushback on liability. You must consider many factors to determine who is liable and at fault for your accident, and there might be multiple parties. Evidence your attorney should consider includes:
  • Police reports
  • Medical documents
  • Statements from the driver, eyewitnesses, and you
  • Expert testimony depending on the case
Different parties can be liable for an accident, such as the truck driver, trucking company, maintenance company, and insurance company.

How long does a truck accident case take?

The length of your truck accident case will vary depending on various factors. Some cases can resolve within months, and others can take years. When you are looking for a higher settlement amount, the case will likely take longer, though it is always worth the wait. The insurance company might use tactics to delay the claim or argue about liability. Even when liability is clear, the insurer might try to challenge the severity of your injuries and how much you need to recover from the truck accident. Your attorney can help to avoid unnecessary delays in the claim process. A San Antonio truck accident lawyer cannot guarantee how long the case will take. A lawyer can only ensure they will fight for you, whether the case resolves during negotiations or after a trial. Please note that you will only have two years to file a truck accident lawsuit in Texas. After the deadline, you lose your legal rights.

What is the truck’s no zone?”

Like all vehicles, trucks have blind spots. A truck driver’s blind spot is directly behind the trailer and on the right-hand side. Truck drivers must check and triple-check these areas before making sudden maneuvers that can endanger those around them. Blind spot accidents typically occur on the interstate when truckers try to pass other vehicles.

How soon should I contact a San Antonio truck accident lawyer?

Immediately after an accident, you should seek the help of a San Antonio truck accident attorney. Trucking companies and insurers have adjusters and legal teams ready to avoid liability. They will work hard and fast to find holes in your case and protect the trucking company’s best interests. Once your medical condition is stable, you must call a lawyer and discuss your options. Some firms will offer in-home and hospital visits when victims suffer extreme injuries from accidents.

What damages can I recover from a truck accident settlement?

Truck accident cases result in high settlement claims, but each case is unique. The financial compensation available to you will differ depending on individual factors. Some factors to consider are how severe your injuries are and how much time you miss from work. If you suffer a disability, you will also need to consider the expenses and lifestyle changes you will need to make. Examples of damages you can recover include:
  • Lost wages
  • Lost benefits if you are unable to work
  • Medical expenses from the crash
  • Subsequent medical costs you will incur long-term due to the injury
  • Property damage such as to your car or any items within the vehicle
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of personal enjoyment
  • Punitive damages
Compensation will vary slightly when there is a death resulting from a truck accident because you will need to account for the loss of life and funeral expenses. Some loved ones will suffer serious injuries but succumb to them later, resulting in survival actions. The surviving family can file a wrongful death claim with a San Antonio truck accident lawyer to get justice for their loved one.

What qualities should I look for in a truck accident lawyer in San Antonio?

Truck accident claims are some of the most contentious and complex injury cases. There are often multiple defendants, and injuries are often life-altering. You will need to research before deciding which lawyer to work with. You must have a San Antonio truck accident lawyer with years of experience handling truck accident cases successfully and a track record of winning at trial. You need someone with trial experience because the magnitude of these cases means some insurance companies will try to delay the process and go to court to prevent any recovery claims. Make sure you ask questions during a consultation to quell any fears you have about moving forward. Knowing your rights after a truck accident in San Antonio is vital. Our lawyer wants you to recover physically and financially. We will work to get you the recovery you deserve for your losses. Truck accident claims are personal injury matters; therefore, you do not pay upfront fees when you consult a lawyer. Consultations are free, and attorney fees will come from the final settlement. If you are considering hiring a truck lawyer call us today if you have any further questions.


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