Trucking accidents are one of the most deadly types of accidents that can occur on the road. Due to their sheer weight and size, these collisions often result in catastrophic injuries and numerous fatalities. Those who survive not only face extreme pain and skyrocketing medical expenses, they also have no idea what they are supposed to do next.
In this blog post, our San Antonio truck accident lawyers will delve into these trucking accident issues, discussing what legal actions you need to take and how much time you have to file a truck accident claim.
Truck Accident Common Causes
Operating a large truck is not an easy feat and needs the utmost focus and care. Yet, regardless of how much experience a truck driver has, deadly accidents can still result.
Many times these accidents occur for the following reasons:
- Fatigued driving: Truck drivers are under a lot of pressure to deliver goods on time. As a result, even though there are mandatory regulations in place to monitor how much these drivers spend on the road. Many times truck drivers work longer and sleep less to make their delivery on time. Sadly, these actions can result in tired driving and deadly accidents.
- Driving under the influence: Driving under the influence of drugs, prescription medications, or alcohol is a terrible combination. Not only can this reduce your ability to drive safely, but it can also affect concentration, eyesight, and coordination resulting in much slower reaction times.
- Inexperienced drivers: Not everyone can drive a giant rig. That is why the federal government mandates driver training. However, even if the schooling is completed. It takes many years of practice to fully grasp what it takes to drive these large trucks. As a result, those new to semi-truck driving may not have the knowledge and skills to handle the difficult situations that truck driving may pose.
- Driving too fast: When a large truck goes over the speed limit due to their stopping restrictions. It can result in devastating injuries.
- Improper cargo loading: If cargo is not appropriately loaded on a truck, it can lead to uneven weight distribution and shifting, resulting in dangerous situations for those on the road.
- Bad roads: In certain accidents, the crash is not all driver-error. Sometimes it can be the result of a poorly maintained road, such as an open pothole.
- Maintenance issues: There are many moving parts in a semi-truck, and all it takes is one faulty piece of equipment to result in a devastating crash. Truck drivers and trucking companies need to continually check that their trucks are operating safely on the road.
As you can see, numerous scenarios can result in a trucking accident. However, with the help of your truck accident injury attorney, you can figure out exactly what happened and who was at fault for your injuries.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Trucking Accident Claim in Texas?
In Texas, you are limited to how long you can wait to file an accident claim following a truck accident. This period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and typically under Texas law, you have two years from the accident date to file an injury claim.
However, exceptions can either shorten or extend this deadline, including:
- Not discovering injuries until later
- Claims against the government
- Actively being misled by the defendant
Does the Whole Case Need to Be Resolved Within the Two Years?
This statute of limitations does not mean you need to have your case resolved within these two years. Rather it just means you need to have your paperwork filed. To satisfy the statute of limitations time frame, you need to inform all the parties involved in the claim of your intent to sue them and why.
Do Not Wait Too Long to File
Even though you have two years to file a truck accident claim, typically, you should never wait too long. Not only can settlement negotiations take a substantial amount of time, which can hurt your ability to pursue legal action against the wrongful parties for damages not covered by insurance, but the longer you wait to file a claim, the increased risk there is of evidence disappearing, witnesses no longer being available to testify, and memories of the accident fading.
For these reasons, it is in your best interest to talk to a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. They can quickly get to work gathering crucial and relevant evidence and figuring out when the best time to file your claim is.
If the Insurance Company Wants to Settle Before Filing a Claim, Should I Settle?
If you were involved in a trucking accident, the insurance company may want to settle with you. Even though this decision is yours to make, you should still speak with an experienced truck accident attorney before deciding. Trucking accidents often result in major injuries leading to significant medical expenses and long-term care. As a result, you want to make sure that the settlement amount covers not only your current bills, but your future treatments and costs.
However, these initial settlement offers rarely accomplish this objective. The insurance company is a business that wants to make a profit. Offering you a low settlement offer, denying your claim altogether, or delaying the settlement process helps them accomplish their goal and lose as little money as possible. Speaking with your attorney can help you determine if the settlement amount is fair to you or if you should decline the offer and pursue negotiations where your lawyer can fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Trucking Accidents: The Bottom Line
If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident, you may have numerous questions about the legal complexities involved with your case. An experienced truck accident lawyer can help you understand your options, and what to do next.
For more information about what to do after an auto accident you can also review our “what to do after a car accident” blog, or speak with an skilled attorney today.