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Compensation for Truck Accidents in Texas

Houston truck accident lawyers explain how much your truck claim could be worth

Truck accidents involving tractor-trailers, tanker trucks, delivery trucks, and other large commercial vehicles often result in serious injuries and fatalities. Each year, more than 4,700 people on average die as a result of a collision involving commercial trucks, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Sadly, many of these truck accidents occur in Houston and other parts of Texas. In fact, Texas consistently has more truck accident fatalities than any other state. In 2021, 806 deaths occurred in Texas due to large truck accidents, according to the National Safety Council – almost twice as many as second-place California, with 437 deaths.

When such serious truck accidents occur, injury victims are often eligible to receive financial compensation for their accident-related expenses. But how does the process actually work? What can truck accident injury victims be compensated for? Who’s responsible for paying them? And how much money is their truck accident claim or lawsuit worth?

We take these questions very seriously at Smith & Hassler Attorneys at Law. Our Houston truck accident attorneys have dedicated their legal careers to demanding the money injury victims and their families rightfully deserve. Below, you can find the answers to many of these questions and much more information. And if you have a specific question about your Houston truck accident, simply contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation.

How much money is my truck accident claim worth?

There is no single answer to this question because every case is different. But in general, truck accident injury claims can potentially result in a settlement or verdict worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. This is because of the severity of such accidents due to the large size of many commercial vehicles. A fully loaded 18-wheeler can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, which is 20 times the weight of the average car.

However, it’s important to understand that similar cases can be worth very different amounts of money. That’s because the circumstances of every truck collision are unique. To find out how much your Houston truck accident claim could be worth, talk to an attorney at our law firm as soon as possible.

What can I be compensated for after a truck accident?

After a truck accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation for various economic damages – objectively verifiable financial losses. These include but are not limited to:

  • Medical Expenses – This covers the cost of all medical care, hospital stays, surgeries, prescription medications, rehabilitation services, and any other anticipated future medical treatments related to your injuries.
  • Lost Wages – If your truck accident injuries prevented you from being able to work, you can seek compensation for the money you would have earned during your recovery period.
  • Lost Earning Potential – If your injuries will permanently affect your ability to work and earn income, you can pursue compensation for lost future income.
  • Property Damage – If your vehicle or personal belongings were damaged in the accident, you can pursue compensation to cover the repair or replacement costs, including the cost of buying a new car if your vehicle was declared a total loss.

In addition, Texas often allows injury victims to receive non-economic damages, which are more subjective in nature. Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

If you lost a loved one in a fatal truck accident, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Some of the costs that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim include funeral and burial expenses, lost future income, and loss of companionship, care, and guidance.

Who’s responsible for paying for my truck accident?

Texas has an at-fault insurance system. This means the at-fault party is legally responsible (liable) for paying for all accident-related expenses to all injury victims. However, in a truck accident claim, there is often more than one potentially liable party. Such at-fault parties can include:

  • Commercial truck driver
  • Trucking company
  • Company that loaded the truck
  • Business that owns the truck
  • Manufacturer of the truck or components of the truck
  • Driver of another vehicle involved in the wreck

Establishing liability for a commercial vehicle accident is a complex process. There are specific state and federal laws and regulations that apply to commercial vehicles in addition to the traffic laws that all motorists are required to follow. The sooner you hire an experienced truck accident lawyer, the sooner we can start our investigation to get to the bottom of what happened.

Should I accept a truck accident settlement offer?

Soon after your accident, you may receive an offer to settle your case from the trucking company or their insurance company. Here’s what you need to know:  if you agree to accept a settlement offer, that means that your case is settled. If your expenses turn out to be higher than the settlement, you can’t go back for more money.

That’s why you should never accept a settlement for a truck accident without talking to an attorney first. Our truck accident lawyers can review the settlement and advise whether it is in your interest to take it or to negotiate for more.

Can I ask for more money for my truck accident expenses?

Yes. If you believe your settlement offer does not cover all your expenses, you can – and should – ask for more money before agreeing to accept such an offer. But again, you can only do this before you accept the settlement.

Negotiating a better settlement offer can be extremely challenging. Insurance companies and trucking companies do this every day, and they have many tricks and techniques they use to protect their own bottom line. This is where having an experienced attorney who knows how to negotiate effectively with insurance companies can make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case.

Can I file a truck accident lawsuit in Texas?

Yes. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, you have the right to take legal action and file a truck accident lawsuit seeking damages (financial compensation) for your accident-related expenses.

Often, injury victims choose to file a lawsuit because their settlement offer was too low, the at-fault party responsible for paying the settlement refuses to negotiate a better offer, or their injury claim was denied altogether.

If you decide to file a lawsuit in response to your Texas truck accident, there are many rules and regulations you must abide by under Texas law. In particular, you must file your lawsuit before the deadline to do so expires. In Texas, the deadline (known as the statute of limitations) to file a lawsuit is generally two (2) years from the date of your truck accident. However, there are other deadlines that can apply in some circumstances, especially if the truck that hit you was owned by a government agency.

You may also have a choice of which jurisdiction to file your lawsuit, depending on the location of the accident and potentially other factors as well. An attorney can explain your options and create a strategy to position you for success.

Why should I hire a Houston truck accident attorney?

Commercial truck accidents often quickly turn into complicated legal cases because there’s often a lot of money involved and more than one at-fault party. And while insurance companies, claims adjusters and others might act like they have your best interests at heart, they’re trying to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all. You need an experienced lawyer on your side to advocate for your interests.

Our truck accident attorneys at Smith & Hassler, Attorneys at Law know how to handle such complex negotiations. We know where to look and how to find evidence in support of your injury claim. That way, we can come to the negotiating table with the facts on our side.

Many insurance companies negotiate in good faith once they see we know what to do and make a fair settlement offer. If not, we are prepared to file a truck accident lawsuit and take the next step to protect your rights.

Get the Houston law firm that gets results. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation with a Houston truck accident attorney focused on your best interests. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means you only have to pay us if we secure a financial settlement or verdict for your truck accident.

Click here to download a pintable version of this article, "How Truck Accident Compensation Works in Texas."

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