What should I do after an 18-wheeler truck accident?

Following a semi-truck crash, you will undoubtedly have questions. Moreover, you will have concerns about your physical, psychological, and financial health. When you are in a truck accident, health and safety are your top priority.

  1. Call 911 immediately.
    Commercial vehicle collisions are significant events that must be thoroughly investigated. Sometimes individuals do not believe that they have suffered a physical injury following such a collision.  Then, they wake up the next day, when the adrenaline is gone, and find themselves in excruciating pain.Even if your injuries appear minor at first, it is important to have a police officer complete an incident report to document what happened.You should also seek medical assistance.  A doctor may be able to make a diagnosis early on, which will aid in your physical health down the road. Moreover, a medical professional will document your injuries, which will assist in a lawsuit against a trucking company.
  2. Submit an Accident Report.
    After a Houston semi-truck collision, it is crucial to provide information to the police and to document your side of the story. Doing so will assist the police in completing an accident report, which is a helpful document in a lawsuit.Once the authorities have arrived at the accident scene, be honest about what happened. If the police ask you a question, do not guess at the answer. It is okay if you do not know the answer to a question. Often in the aftermath of a collision, memories can be hazy. However, guessing at an answer will unnecessarily complicate your lawsuit.Do not apologize or make comments that indicate you are to blame. Sometimes, car accident victims unintentionally indicate behavior that places them at fault. Avoid statements such as “I only looked away for a second” or “should have seen them coming.”Such statements might seem harmless at first. However, the truck driver and their company can and will use these statements against you. Please do not allow the trucking companies and their lawyers to avoid liability or claim that you were at fault for an incident they caused.
  3. Document and Take Pictures.
    If possible, take lots of pictures and document the scene as best you can. If you have a functional cell phone with a camera, take pictures to show the following.

    • Road conditions 
    • Tire marks 
    • Damage to your vehicle
    • Damage to the semi-truck 
    • Any injuries sustained

    Other drivers may have stopped to aid. If so, you should get the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of any witnesses. These details do not always make it into accident reports, and without their contact information, witnesses become more difficult to track down.

  4. Contact an 18 wheeler truck accident lawyer. 
    Once you can leave the accident and have finished your initial medical treatment, contact the experienced Houston truck accident attorney team at The Cobos Law Firm. Our legal team will set up a FREE case evaluation and consultation to lay out your options and determine whether you should pursue legal action.Commercial truck accident lawsuits can quickly become complicated, and numerous trucking companies have been shown to alter or destroy evidence. Such actions put your rights in jeopardy. You have already suffered enough.A complex legal battle using an inexperienced lawyer only leads to further pain and suffering. Our Houston commercial truck accident attorneys are here to advocate for you against the trucking company and their insurance companies.If you are a truck accident victim who has never been in an accident before, it is a difficult situation to navigate. Trust your medical professionals as well as your lawyer. Know that they have your best interests in mind.When you work with our legal team, you can rest assured that we will examine every detail and guide you in the right direction. Let us alleviate your concerns by taking action on your behalf.

Do I need an attorney after a truck accident?

As experienced Houston truck accident lawyers, we highly recommend hiring legal representation for your case.  While a trucking accident case might seem similar to a car accident case, truck accident claims are vastly more complex.

Here are a few reasons we recommend working with a law firm that specifically specializes in truck accidents:

  • Truck accident injuries are often more extensive than your average car wreck given the size and speed at which commercial vehicles travel.  As such, the damages in these cases tend to be much higher. This means that the defendants’ legal team fights harder not to pay.
  • Typically, truck drivers are subject to laws and regulations at the local, state, and federal levels.  This means truck accident cases often involve multiple agencies. Each of these agencies has its own legislation, rules, and procedures to follow.
  • A truck accident lawyer understands how to prove liability.  Our attorneys investigate whether or not a truck was properly maintained and immediately obtain the driver’s logbook as well as the records from their ECM and black box.  With this evidence, our legal team is able to determine the speed at which the driver hit at the time of impact, if and when they hit the brakes, whether the commercial driver may have been fatigued or distracted, and whether the company or driver violated federal safety regulations and state transportation laws.
  • Some cases involve multiple defendants. This includes the driver, their employer, a manufacturer of parts of the rig, and more. Every case is different, and there are endless possibilities as to who might have caused your injuries.
  • Oftentimes, cases with multiple defendants involve multiple insurance companies. Each of these companies wants to pass liability to someone else. Moreover, they all want to pay out as little as possible.

Together, these factors create a complex and high-stakes environment.  To obtain the compensation you deserve after a commercial truck accident, you need an advocate to pursue your best interests. The Cobos Law Firm has an exceptional track record in Texas truck accident cases.

Do I have grounds for a lawsuit?

Oftentimes, people don’t want to file a lawsuit against anyone.  However, victims of 18-wheeler wrecks in Houston and across the United States often have no other option.  From expensive medical treatments to repairs to your vehicle or lost income, attorneys often help people recover the funds they need to move on with life. The financial strain of the situation tends to prove to be too great for people to handle on their own.

Still, others prefer to keep it simple and sue without hiring an experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyer. While this is your legal right, it is not a good idea to represent yourself in these cases.

To begin, when it comes to lawsuits, lawyers understand the complex nature of these cases. There are many special and specific rules that govern lawsuits. When you want to sue a company on your own, you have to follow the same rules that any other attorney follows. Should you violate these rules even by accident, you might permanently lose your case.

Most importantly, you should remember that the driver and their company will have legal representation. Typically, trucking companies have protection from large insurance companies that hire skilled legal teams. Their defense lawyers never think twice about targeting every weakness in your case to ensure you lose.

When you hire The Cobos Law Firm, you hire an experienced advocate who represents your best interests. Our legal team stands up against large companies on a regular basis and has the knowledge and skill required to fight for you. Additionally, we work on a contingency-fee-basis. This means that you pay nothing unless we win your case.

You can get a free online case evaluation .

Do I still have a case even if I'm at fault for the accident?

If you’ve been declared at fault or partially at fault for an accident and were issued a police citation, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a valid legal claim. 

Under Texas law, you can recover some compensation so long as you are not more than 49% responsible.  A citation alone will not be enough to determine the totality of fault.

That’s because in commercial truck accident cases, there are potentially multiple parties at fault such as:

The Trucking Company

For a trucking company in a city like Houston, cargo delivery is a business with tight deadlines. From supervisors and managers to executives, the delivery timing is key. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that Trucking companies prioritize profit over the wellbeing of their drivers, putting the public at risk.

For example, many trucking companies put inexperienced or poorly trained drivers on the road without proper supervision. Such discoveries can only be made by hiring an aggressive and knowledgeable legal team to represent your interests.

Maintenance Crews

Who maintains the trucks plays a significant role in any truck accident case. When the trailer is the property of a specific company, this often means an in-house maintenance crew or third-party crew is responsible for essential upkeep. Failure to properly maintain a vehicle puts people on the road at great risk.

Shipping and Logistics Companies

Throughout the course of a haul, trucks tend to visit multiple businesses, sites, and distribution centers. This means that multiple crews work to load and unload cargo. It is vital that they work with caution because weight distribution is a key factor in the safety of a commercial truck out on the road.

Part Manufacturers

Defective vehicle parts can play a significant role in 18-wheeler truck accidents. When a part fails on a truck or its trailer, it can cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle. In turn, this puts everyone on the road at risk.

So, to understand your claim, we need to know more about your situation. Here are a few questions to expect that will help us guide you through the process.

  • What caused the truck accident?
  • Did your airbags deploy?
  • Did your tires explode before or during the accident?
  • Were the police involved at the scene?
  • Did you sustain any injuries from the truck accident?
  • Were there any fatalities caused by the accident?
  • How substantial is the property damage?
  • Do you have medical or insurance costs to pay?
  • Did your injuries cause you to miss work?

Everyone who suffers an injury in a commercial truck accident should know their rights. Oftentimes, it surprises people that they can seek recovery for losses related to injuries, especially if they feel at least partially responsible for the crash. 

Get a free online case evaluation .

Why should I trust The Cobos Law Firm to represent me?

  • At the Cobos Law Firm, everything begins with trust between our attorneys and clients.  The firm’s founding partner, Andrew Cobos, is a US Army combat veteran and West Point graduate who believes that trust and integrity are foundational to being a good lawyer and citizen.
  • We understand the nuances of 18-wheeler truck accidents and advocate for victims who need help in recovery. We take truck accident cases very seriously and have experience handling truck accident cases that resulted in wrongful deaths.
  • Our consultations are always free. This allows you to evaluate our team as you explain your situation. Let us show you the strategic mindset and winning mentality that sets us apart.
  • We offer legal contingency agreements. This means that we only get paid if you win your case. Call us today or get a to begin the process of filing your personal injury claim.

Are 18 wheeler truck accidents different than other types of vehicle accidents?

Collisions involving 18-wheelers are more complex and frequently more deadly than car accidents.  It is not always easy to determine who caused a commercial truck accident or whether other individuals or companies are partially responsible. This is because commercial vehicles must abide by numerous trucking laws, called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which govern how eighteen-wheelers can operate. For example, these regulations specify how much sleep the drivers must get before driving, how long a truck can be on the road, how the truck’s contents must be packed, and even how much air a commercial vehicle must have in its tires.  These regulations serve an important purpose, which is to protect individual commuters and pedestrians.

An accident involving a commercial semi-truck has the potential to lead to severe personal injury. Oftentimes, they also lead to the wrongful deaths of our loved ones. These complex cases require an accident lawyer with a great deal of experience taking on large logistics and trucking companies.

When you or a loved one suffers injuries from an 18-wheeler accident, the first step towards recovery is to ask for help. At our Houston personal injury law firm, we offer free consultations and case evaluations after commercial truck accidents.

Our personal injury attorneys have spent years helping truck accident victims to obtain compensation following an incident caused by a trucking company. We are passionate about helping people who need it most. When you work with us, we strive to ensure you obtain the complete amount of compensation that Texas law provides.

It is important to recognize that a commercial truck accident is a devastating event that can turn your life upside down – which is even more reason to hire a knowledgeable and aggressive attorney. 

After a truck accident, you will likely feel vulnerable. You are probably in pain and, if you are like most people, you are afraid that the medical treatment will leave you with insurmountable debt.

The Cobos Law Firm specializes in 18 wheeler truck accident cases.  We have a team of experienced 18-wheeler accident lawyers who will fight for you to obtain the compensation you deserve.

What are the most common causes of truck accidents?

Numerous factors lead to accidents on the road. However, a particular set of causes tend to come into play in 18-wheeler truck accidents.  Trucking and logistics companies are often liable in these situations:

  • Hiring unqualified, inexperienced drivers
  • Failing to properly train drivers
  • Requiring drivers to operate vehicles in excess of the hours permitted by law
  • Driver drug use and/or intoxication
  • Driver fatigue or hours of service violations
  • Failing to perform proper inspections before and after trips
  • Speeding, unsafe behavior, and other traffic violations
  • Any violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

How long will a truck accident lawsuit take?

When an out-of-court settlement isn’t in your best interests, the case goes to trial.  However, the time required for each 18-wheeler accident lawsuit varies.  No matter how similar cases might seem, each case is different. While some take weeks or a few months, other lawsuits require years of litigation.

You can feel peace of mind knowing that your Houston truck accident lawyer, Andrew Cobos, will fight to resolve your case as quickly as possible, so long as it is in your best interests.

What are typical settlement amounts for truck accident lawsuits?

Settlements amounts vary in truck accident cases, but are typically quite substantial.  After a truck accident, your attorney advocates for you to seek compensation for your injuries.

In the State of Texas, potential damages include the following.

  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Necessary medical expenses – past and future
  • Physical disability resulting from the accident
  • Loss of income and earning capacity
  • Wrongful death or survival damages
  • Punitive damages or exemplary damages

At the Cobos Law Firm, our Houston commercial truck accident lawyers also explore medical records to determine the severity of your injuries sustained in the accident. This allows us to determine the potential frequency and cost of medical care you require currently and in the future as a result of the accident.

Once we obtain evidence to prove how the crash happened and the impact on your health and earning potential, we work to determine the proper course of action. This helps to show alternative outcomes had the driver followed proper procedures.

Much like lawsuits following car wrecks, an 18-wheeler truck accident attorney might handle your case without going to trial. We accomplish this through negotiations with the defendants and/or their legal representation.

However, it’s important to remember that we do not accept settlements without your approval. Moreover, we do not recommend settlements when they don’t feel appropriate. While many of these cases settle out of court without a trial, our team is not afraid to take the case to court.

When a settlement isn’t in your best interests, we can fight for you whenever and wherever we need to.

When working with our 18-wheeler truck accident lawyers, Houston drivers know they have an advocate who won’t settle for less than they deserve. When a trucking company refuses to offer an appropriate settlement to our clients, we take them to court. Our Houston commercial truck accident attorneys have the trial experience to face down large companies and obtain the compensation you deserve.