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Driving on the highway can bring up many dangers—regardless of how good of a driver you consider yourself. One of these dangers includes the big trucks that drive amongst all the other drivers. While the size of the truck is intimidating by itself, there are many factors that can influence a trucking accident.
If you are in a motor vehicle crash with an 18-wheeler, it is crucial that you are prepared for what to do in the aftermath. These crashes can leave with you significant injuries that will be difficult to recover from. Finding the right 18-wheeler crash lawyer will give you guidance in your next steps.
How does an 18-wheeler accident differ from other types of crashes?
There are three notable differences between an 18-wheeler crash and other types of motor vehicle wrecks:
- Several parties may be liable for an 18-wheeler accident that may not be liable in other motor vehicle accidents.
- A commercial truck driver and trucking companies are subject to state and federal regulations that don’t apply to other motor vehicles.
- The large size and weight of these vehicles lead to devastating injuries and death.
In addition, truck drivers and trucking companies in Texas must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration laws, including the state laws found in Title 7 of the Texas Transportation Code. These laws address issues such as the maximum cargo weight to how many consecutive hours a truck driver is allowed to drive without a break.
If a truck driver or trucking company is found violating any of these laws and they are involved in a crash, proving liability becomes easier for the injured person.
Hiring a qualified 18-wheeler accident attorney who understands these differences can ensure that you are represented to the fullest.
Who can be liable for a trucking accident?
As noted above, the second difference is that there are several entities and people that may be liable for an 18-wheeler accident depending on the circumstance, including:
- The driver: The driver may be liable if negligence caused the accident. For example, if the truck driver was driving under the influence or ran a red light.
- The trucking company: The trucking company may be at fault or partially at fault if there was a violation of a state or federal law (for example, if the truck driver was required to drive for a more extended period than legal).
- The cargo company: One of the common causes of truck accidents is overloading or improperly loading cargo. In this case, a cargo company may be liable.
- The manufacturer: There may instances in which truck accidents have resulted from a defective vehicle part. In this case, the manufacturer of the defective product may be at fault.
Why should I hire a Truck accident lawyer?
Trucking companies are corporations that employ high-powered attorneys that will immediately begin working to blame you for the wreck. Because the injuries from truck crashes can be so severe, these companies generally carry high policy limits. With more money on the line, the trucking company and their insurers will do everything they can to blame you for your injuries. You need a qualified injury lawyer who can tell your story and ensure you get the compensation that will cover:
- Medical expenses, including past and future treatment
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Vehicle repair
- Vehicle replacement
- Punitive damages
If you lost a loved one in a trucking crash, an 18 wheeler accident lawyer can help you recover the following in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Medical bills
- Lost financial support
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Funerals expenses
Trucking crashes are not your average case. You need an attorney who is knowledgeable and understands what is at stake for you and your family. The Carlson Law Firm has more than 40 compassionate trial lawyers who are ready to assist you through the complex legal system while you focus on your recovery.
6 Tips to find the best injury lawyer for an 18-wheeler crash
If you or a family member has been injured or passed away in an 18 wheeler accident, choosing the best attorney for your case is essential if you want it to be successful. The characteristics to look for in an 18-wheeler attorney include:
1. Knowledge & Experience
Handling a trucking accident is not a job you should hand off to any lawyer. You need a lawyer who has handled these cases before and has a proven record of success. The Carlson Law Firm has been around for more than 40 years. Our firm’s sustainability and success is because we have some of the leading injury attorneys on our team.
2. Trial Experience
As we mentioned before, trucking companies and their insurers will work hard to prevent you from getting the resolution you deserve. After all, these companies are businesses too. Your injuries and how you recover mean very little to them. These companies will undervalue your claim or outright deny your claim to stop you from getting the compensation you deserve. When you meet with a lawyer, ask if they’ve ever taken a case to court. You need a lawyer who is unafraid to stand up for you during negotiations and will take your case to court to fight for your rights.
With the nature of injury attorney commercials screaming at the camera or casting a smoldering look off into the distance, it may not even be clear just how important caring is in the legal field. When you speak with an attorney, you should get a sense of whether or not that attorney has the emotional IQ to handle your case with the kind of compassion you deserve. Your lawyer’s ability to empathize, mental maturity and moral qualities will reflect the kind of representation you’ll receive. Hire a lawyer with compassion and character.
Communication goes hand in hand with compassion. An attorney who cares about you will return your calls and explain every step in the legal process in a way that you will understand.
Trucking crash cases are big cases against big businesses and big-shot lawyers. These cases can go on for months or even years as the opposing party fights against everything you deserve after an injury. Because these legal battles can endure, it is important to hire a lawyer with significant in-house resources to go the distance in your case. The Carlson Law Firm has a team of in-house nurses, private investigators, 100+ legal staff and more than 40 trial attorneys.
6. Dedicated to representing personal injury victims
There are some injury firms that represent both sides of a crash—injured plaintiffs and trucking companies. In other words, these attorneys get paid by the very companies they are representing their clients against. When you meet with a lawyer, ask if they and their firm are dedicated to representing victims of crashes.
An attorney who truly cares about your recovery and the outcome of your case should meet all of your expectations. If you experience a trucking crash, there is a chance that you may suffer from mental distress and post-traumatic stress disorder in addition to your physical injuries. These cases take a while to resolve, so it is essential to get retain and hire an attorney that is passionate about helping you.
How can The Carlson Law Firm Help?
Protecting yourself and your legal rights if you are involved in a collision with a large vehicle is what drives us to do what we do. You need a lawyer on your side who will immediately begin working on your case when you hire them. The Carlson Law Firm employs more than 40 attorneys who are ready to do just that. Call us at 800-359-5690 to speak to one of our experienced 18 wheeler injury attorneys that will talk to you through your legal options.