San Antonio, TX Truck Accident Lawyer
San Antonio sees more truck accidents than most other cities in the U.S. If you were injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, we will fight to win you just compensation.
On the highway, there are few circumstances more terrifying than knowing you are about to collide with a commercial truck. With these trucks weighing as much as 80,000 pounds, and with truck drivers often having limited means to prevent accidents once something starts to go wrong, drivers and passengers can be left helpless to protect themselves from life-changing and life-threatening injuries.
After a truck accident, things will begin to happen quickly. When all you want to do is rest and recover, the trucking companies and insurance companies will want to resolve your case as quickly as possible. You will likely receive constant calls from adjusters who want to remind you that your medical bills are piling up (but not help you understand the true cost of your injuries), and who will push you to settle without telling you that settling also means waiving your right to additional compensation. When you refuse to settle for less than you deserve, they may attempt to look at your social media, follow you on your way to work and try to find any possible excuse to deny your financial recovery.
TELL US WHAT HAPPENED
The Facts on Commercial Truck Accidents
The number of 18-wheeler accidents in the United States has increased each year since 2009. More than 100,000 people are injured in truck and bus crashes annually; and, each year, trucking accidents account for thousands of unnecessary deaths. According to Department of Transportation statistics, Texas sees more truck accidents than any other state by a significant margin; and, on average, more than one person dies every single day in a Texas trucking accident.
When seeking to reconcile the high rate of serious and fatal trucking injuries, and the disproportionate number of wrecks in Texas, it is not hard to find an explanation. Commercial trucks are heavy, hard to maneuver, and hard to stop. Trucking companies and truck drivers also make costly mistakes, from failing to properly secure cargo to logging too many hours behind the wheel. With the West Texas oil fields and the Port of Houston generating and distributing cargo volumes that are unmatched anywhere else in the country, trucking is big business in Texas, and San Antonio is the gateway between some of the busiest trucking routes in the nation.
Don’t Wait – Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Immediately
In order to recover financial compensation for a trucking accident, it is important to conduct an investigation as soon as possible. Evidence can disappear quickly, memories can fade, and opportunities to secure compensation can be lost if proof of liability is not timely preserved. When you contact us, we will make arrangements to meet with you as soon as possible (usually the same day you call); and, if you choose to work with us, we will quickly conduct an investigation in order to collect the evidence needed to secure your financial recovery.
When investigating truck accidents in the San Antonio area, some of the issues we look for include:
- Truck Driver Negligence – Speeding, merging into blind spots, following too closely, driving distracted, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and other forms of driver negligence are all common factors in trucking collisions.
- Cargo Loading Errors – Cargo loading errors can impair truck drivers’ ability to maintain control and lead to spills on the road. Failing to properly secure cargo, failing to pressurize liquid cargo, uneven weight distribution, and exceeding a truck’s weight rating are all loading errors that can result in serious injuries.
- Safety Violations – In addition to the laws that apply to all motorists, truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to additional safety laws and regulations as well. Regulations that limit truck drivers’ hours, for example, are designed to help reduce the risk of accidents for everyone on the road.
- Truck Defects or Inadequate Maintenance – Defects and maintenance issues are also common factors in serious truck accidents. From faulty brake systems to tires that are long past due to be replaced, we look for all possible truck-related factors that may entitle our clients to financial compensation.
- Other Forms of Trucking Company Negligence – In addition to cargo loading errors, safety violations, and failing to maintain their trucks, trucking companies can also be held liable for mistakes such as hiring inexperienced drivers and failing to ensure that their drivers are properly licensed.
- Passenger Vehicle Liability – In the event of a truck accident, it is important not to assume that the truck driver or trucking company is the only one to blame. A car, pickup truck, or SUV driver could have also made a mistake that caused or contributed to the accident.
- Road Defects, Weather Conditions, and Other Factors – Potholes, low shoulders, pooling rainwater, and other road and weather-related factors frequently play a role in commercial truck collisions as well. If one of these factors played a role in your accident, we can hold the responsible party (or parties) fully-accountable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why makes truck accidents so deadly?
Typical passenger vehicles weigh about 3,000 pounds. A fully-loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. When you combine this weight with speeds and slower braking times truck accidents can be far more dangerous, even deadly.
What should I do after a truck accident?
Immediately after an accident your first concern should be your safety. Contact local law enforcement and report the accident. Make sure you provide as much detail for the police report as possible but avoid taking any fault for the accident.
The steps you should take include:
- Take photographs of the area including the damage to the vehicles involved
- Obtain names and contact information of witnesses to the accident
- Make a note of road conditions – if they were wet, dry, etc.
- Obtain contact information and insurance information from the truck driver
- See a doctor as soon as possible. Oftentimes, injuries are masked so this is crucial
Once you have been seen by a physician, contact a personal injury attorney. In most cases, it is a good idea to do this before you contact an insurance adjuster. Keep in mind, insurance companies are going to ask you a lot of questions and it is often better to refer them to your attorney. Insurance adjusters are responsible for making sure you get as little compensation as possible, they’re going to attempt to get you to admit fault, accept a lower settlement or claim your injuries existed before the accident.
Who can I collect from in a truck accident lawsuit?
Every accident is different and truck accidents are more complicated than most auto accidents. The driver of the 18-wheeler can be sued for your injuries if they were at fault. However, other at-fault parties could be the owner of the tractor trailer, the employer of the truck driver, the municipality for poor road conditions or the manufacturer of the truck if there was a defect in the truck.
The only way to determine who may be held financially liable is to talk to your truck accident attorney and make sure they know the extent of everything that occurred during the accident.
What compensation can be recovered following a truck accident?
In most cases, you should be entitled to reimbursement for medical expenses and wages lost while you recover from your injuries following a big rig accident. There may be other damages we can seek including future lost wages, pain and suffering and future medical bills. The severity of your injuries following a truck accident will play a factor in your final settlement.
What laws apply to truck drivers that may play a role in my case?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict regulations that apply to commercial vehicles and drivers. Some of these include weight restrictions, break times for drivers and training hours a driver must receive. There are also strict maintenance requirements for tractor trailers traveling on the roadway. Any violations could result in the driver or the driver’s employer being held accountable for injuries suffered in an 18-wheeler accident.
Determining Fault in 18-Wheeler Accident Cases
Commercial truck accidents are tricky because establishing fault, which is necessary in all personal injury cases, can be challenging. Clearly if a driver is drunk, then the bulk of the blame will be placed on the driver. But, what happens in the event the brakes fail, a tire blows out or if the truck tips over? This is where things can get very complicated. If something fails because the truck was not maintained properly then the trucking company and maintenance company can be liable for the injuries you suffer when you’re involved in an accident with a big rig. This may also apply to rollover accidents; keep in mind, there is stabilizing equipment that is designed to keep a truck from tipping – if that equipment fails because the truck is loaded incorrectly or because it was poorly maintained, the company could be liable.
In some cases, the trucking company can also be held jointly liable if a driver is dozing off behind the wheel and causes an accident. It’s not uncommon to hear a driver state they were trying to meet their delivery deadlines when they were involved in an accident. There are very strict rules in place for rest time for 18 wheeler drivers, if the company is deliberately pushing their drivers too fast, they may be jointly liable for injuries victims suffer in a big rig accident.
We Know What It Takes to Win Truck Accident Cases
Because state and federal rules and regulations apply to commercial vehicles, truck accident cases are rarely as straightforward as they seem. Often, there are numerous factors involved, and securing just compensation requires a special understanding of how trucking cases work. At Eric Ramos Law, PLLC, we have the skills and resources to win these complex cases.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a big rig, contact a trucking accident attorney Eric Ramos at (210) 404-HURT or request an appointment online as soon as possible. The sooner you have someone advocating on your behalf, the better. Insurance company representatives aren’t likely to wait until you’re fully recovered so time is of the essence. Remember, you’ll never pay a dime in fees unless we’re successful in getting a settlement.