Amarillo Truck Accident Attorneys
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Truck Accident? Call Us Now at (806) 397-0300.
If you’ve been hit by a truck, you may be able to take the driver or their employer to court over the associated medical bills and other expenses you can’t afford. Our team at Templeton Smithee Hayes Heinrich & Russell, LLP has years of experience fighting for victims of car and truck accidents.
Even empty, semi-trucks weigh around 35,000 pounds. Truck accidents, therefore, have a high potential for serious injury and costly car damage, and the at-fault party can be held liable for all expenses. But insurers will do anything they can to avoid paying out high settlements. Our experienced team can help you negotiate fair compensation.
Who Is at Fault?
Truck accidents have different liability considerations than car accidents. Depending on the contributing factors and the relationship between the trucker and the company, three parties may be held completely or partially at fault:
- The truck driver: If the driver is an independent contractor who picks up one-off gigs, they are completely responsible for any driving mishaps. Truckers who are employed as full-time drivers are only liable if the accident happened while they were driving for non-work-related purposes or if they were knowingly broke safety guidelines.
- The trucking company: Companies that control drivers’ routes and schedules can be held liable for on-the-job accidents. Many companies contribute to risky driving conditions by scheduling drivers so tightly that they have to break speed limits or rest requirements to make deliveries on time.
- The truck manufacturer: Some accidents are unfortunately caused by equipment malfunctions that neither the driver nor the company could have foreseen. In these cases, you may be able to sue the company behind the faulty part(s).
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
The causes of truck accidents are nearly as varied as their effects. With that being said, many collisions involving commercial trucks can be traced back to some form of negligence. Our attorneys are prepared to thoroughly investigate your accident to determine the exact cause and identify all responsible parties.
Some of the many forms of negligence that can lead to trucking accidents include:
- Driving while drowsy
- Improperly loading cargo
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while intoxicated
- Inadequate vehicle maintenance
- Defective truck parts or equipment
- Truck driver inexperience
- Violating traffic laws
- Unsafe lane changes
Truck Accident Damages
Texas liability law goes beyond requiring compensation for your doctor’s visit and damage to your vehicle. Just as the effects of a truck accident can last far beyond its occurrence, you can make an argument for compensation that includes:
- Reimbursement of medical bills
- Payment for future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death (if a loved one was killed)
Truck drivers are required to carry their own insurance or operate under an employer’s; the question of where liability lies depends on the trucker’s employment status and whether they were on the clock at the time of the crash. If the company is liable, you will have to navigate their insurance—which is much different than personal car or truck coverage.
How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit?
Truck accident injury lawsuits, like all other civil claims, are subject to a legal deadline known as a "statute of limitations." Under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.003, the statute of limitations for injury claims is two years from the date of the accident that led to the injury. If this time period expires and you have not filed a claim in state court, you will lose your right to sue and will be unable to seek compensation.
Unfortunately, many truck accidents result in fatal injuries which may give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death claims related to truck accidents are subject to this same two-year time frame.
Knowing how the statute of limitations applies to your claim is critical to the success of your claim. While two years may seem like a long time, the truth is that it can truck accidents are extremely complex and can potentially take months of investigation to build a strong case. It is important to consult with an attorney early on after an accident to avoid potentially costly pitfalls and guard your interests.
A Team That’s on Your Side
Our experienced truck accident lawyers at Templeton Smithee Hayes Heinrich & Russell, LLP understand that the period after a truck accident is difficult in more ways than one. We can help you deal with the demands of filing an insurance claim and fighting back against denied claims. If you’ve been in a truck accident recently, reach out to us today to learn about your options.