Who is to Liable for Your Damages and Pain after a Big Truck Accident?
If you have been hurt in a large truck accident, from a runaway tandem trailer to a speeding delivery truck, the first thing you must know is whose fault it is, which usually determines who is legally liable for your serious injuries suffered and your property damage. In a lot of serious trucking accidents, many parties may share liability for damages. Often there can be more than one defendant. A legal concept in Texas law called “respondeat superior” states that employers of those determined to be liable for the wreck are ultimately responsible for the actions or inaction of their employees.
In an injury claim involving a large truck, anyone, or a combination of several different parties can be responsible, and subsequently held liable for the wreck: the trucker, the company he or she works for, the company that improperly loaded the truck or (if applicable) the trailer, the person who planned the truck’s route, and – by association – any opponent who may have altered the accident scene or destroyed evidence that pointed to any defendant. Another source of liability is relatively new. Over the past few years, with the state outsourcing a lot of road maintenance duties, as well as highway construction to private industry, if a privately-owned company is performing road construction or maintenance creates hazardous road conditions that cause a large truck to hit and injure you (or kill a beloved family member), they may also be held liable for a portion, or maybe all, of the liability arising from the accident. And all private companies retained by the state to build and maintain Texas roads must document that they are properly insured, or provide a very large liability a bond.
To win your claim among a plethora of potential defendants you need an experienced Texas truck accident lawyer on your side that also has the ability to investigate the scene of an accident to discover who is liable. Of course, local or state law enforcement officers investigate all 18-wheeler accidents. And in many cases involving 18 wheelers, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) also investigates; especially if a repeat offender of their statutes or any federal laws governing interstate commerce is involved.
And though most of the time those investigations often reveal the primary responsible parties such as the drivers or the company that owns the rig it has bad brakes or some other safety violation, they stop-short of the level of examination that reveals every liable party who was not criminally involved. More stringent inquiries that identify everyone who is liable are conducted by experienced truck accident lawyers and their investigators; such as the experienced large trucking accident lawyers with our Law Firms. They know how to determine the degree of liability each responsible party must bear in every large trucking accident. Occasionally, our thorough investigations turn-up other facts of the accident that law officials might have missed that might warrant a further criminal investigation. We pass them along to the appropriate law enforcement or federal agencies for further discretionary action.
When you are injured in a truck wreck you, the plaintiff, and your attorney, must determine whether the negligent truck driver caused the wreck, or if a mechanical malfunction might be responsible; in which case the manufacturer of that part or the service company that maintained or repaired the truck would be liable. Or someone else in the chain of events played an important part in this disaster. What if the company that owned the cargo failed to correctly load it or didn’t properly secure it which caused it to break free during transport and topple the truck or trailer on your vehicle? Or, did the route planner negligently send the truck into an area not zoned for a large truck? Or maybe hazardous cargo was loaded inside the wrong trailer that was not approved (or marked) to carry such dangerous materials and suddenly, unexpectedly exploded, seriously injuring you as you drove alongside it. It is rarely easy to determine immediate fault in most large truck accidents. This is why you benefit in many ways through the expertise of a Texas truck accident lawyer who will make sure that all the liable parties for your injuries resulting from a truck accident in South Central Texas are held responsible for your injuries along with the damage to your vehicle, its passengers and other contents.
The Damages That Injured Large Truck Accident Victims can Win
Your tangible (or obvious) financial losses are called special or economic damages. Most of the time, examples of special damages include lost wages, loss of earning capacity for the period of time you can’t work because of the injury, and your medical bills. Sometimes, the cost of medical treatment can be easy to calculate. Other times these costs are not, especially if your medical treatment continues longer than expected, or the full extent of your injuries is unknown. Then the task of calculating special damages is more complex. Calculating the loss of earning capacity is often a complicated matter. If you’re unable to return to work, you must account for the time value of money you’ve actually lost, as well as hypothetical promotions, raises, and career changes when calculating how much you’ll demand that the defendant compensate you for income you are unable to earn in the future, regardless of whether it takes months or years for you to recover.
Intangible non-economic losses are called general damages. These damages include compensation for your emotional suffering associated with the accident. The amount of general damages that a case is worth depends almost exclusively on the circumstances surrounding the injury and the degree of pain and suffering. This is why general damages can vary greatly from case to case even if the physical injuries are very similar. After you’ve been injured a personal injury legal advice you find online is almost never sufficient to help you understand the number of general damages you may be entitled to. Because general damages are relative and subject to many different factors, call our Law Firm for a free consultation to find out what your case is really worth. After we ask you some important questions about your situation, we’ll be in a position to give you an understanding of how a jury will put a price tag on your pain and suffering and other emotional losses, or the amount that may be recovered through aggressive negotiation with those liable for your injury.