South Texas, Laredo Truck Accident Lawyers
Laredo Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyers. Laredo 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney : Commercial Truck Accidents in Laredo TX. Our Texas 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys Have the Experience Needed to Help You Seek Justice Following a Serious Truck Accident
There are several lawyers in and around Laredo and South Texas who would quickly take your 18-wheeler accident case, but you won’t find a lot with loads of experience litigating 18-wheeler and other types of commercial vehicle accident cases.
One firm, though, is an exception. The 18-wheeler accident lawyers at The Snow Law Firm have been working 18-wheeler accident cases for the past two decades and have won several cases, many for clients living in Laredo and South Texas.
What you may not realize is that commercial vehicles are found in many various types. We have won in personal injury and/or wrongful death claims involving a variety of vehicles. Some include rock haulers, dump trucks, all kinds of construction vehicles, moving vans, buses, tankers, and other kinds and shapes of commercial vehicles. So many types of commercial vehicles exist, but these types of cases share some things in common:
They’re usually bigger in scope and create way more damage than regular cars.
Different laws pertain to them than those of regular vehicles.
The last, but most essential part is they’re owned by major corporations that will build a strong defense focused on making sure plaintiffs don’t obtain proper compensation.
If you’re wanting to fight fire with fire, that’s perfect for our firm. If you’re hoping to give your Laredo 18-wheeler accident case the best shot at success, you’ve got to obtain a lawyer that combines experience, skills, smarts, and a lengthy, consistent track record at beating the opposition in trial or causing them to seek a fair settlement that they typically would have invested loads of effort in not paying.
If you decided to go with The Snow Law Firm to handle your Laredo 18-wheeler accident case, you are getting 20 years worth of expertise from talented lawyers who have won several 18-wheeler accident cases (and way more personal injury cases overall) during our firm’s existence.
We’re providing this information so you’ll gain more insight into how the case-flow process works in a commercial vehicle accident case, and see some of the key challenges you’ll encounter in getting a successful recovery.Cow Commercial Vehicle Accidents Work
Handling any accident isn’t easy, but nothing compares with the overwhelming damage that’s caused by 18-wheeler accidents. Commercial trucks in Laredo and South Texas can have a weight limit of up to 80,000 pounds, so serious damage takes place when they’re involved in accidents. Since truckers receive an hourly salary, they usually work backbreaking schedules with very few breaks, creating even more problems with concentration and remaining awake, along with additional accidents, injuries, property damage and occasional fatalities.
Throughout our firm’s 20 years of existence, the Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawyers at The Snow Law Firm have been litigating personal injury cases involving big rigs, and we know from experience that will have plenty of medical and legal questions they’re seeking answers for after they’ve been hurt or lost a loved one from an 18-wheeler accident in Laredo. What’s important here is making sure you’re examined by a doctor following your accident. You don’t just need to receive medical care for your injuries, but also need to have them officially recorded. If you have no medical insurance, or have just enough, we can make sure you get connected to a doctor who will factor in your financial situation and develop a payment plan that’s best suited for you.
Once your injuries have been examined, you need to begin thinking about your legal options so you can get compensation for the harm you’ve sustained. The law doesn’t demand that negligent parties immediately pay you for the injuries you’ve incurred. The victim, also referred to as the plaintiff, has the obligation to show they need help. Only a veteran Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawyer can provide you with the best ability to get the compensation you’re seeking. Our attorneys want to first make sure you’re aware of your legal options so you can make the best choices for your family. Before that, however, we want to make you aware of the different components of 18-wheeler accident law:
Reasons to file a lawsuit
People who most often are responsible for 18-wheeler accidents
Reasons for conducting a swift, detailed investigation.
Issues that will destroy claims of those trying to go with self-representation for their cases.
How a Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawyer can be of assistance.
This article is meant to give you extra awareness into this particular subject. It shouldn’t be used as a replacement for the legal guidance you’d get from a veteran attorney when it concerns the particular matters of your case. To discover more about how the law pertains to the specifics of your case, contact us today at 210-820-0020 to get the answers for your particular questions.Why You Should File an 18-Wheeler Accident Injury Lawsuit
Our attorneys have first-hand experience at seeing the incredible emotional and physical pain created by Laredo 18-wheeler accidents. Because of our years of experience we’ve developed, we’ve recognized how most 18-wheeler accident victims are nervous about pursuing legal action because they don’t like the whole idea of determining a price for their injuries and the issue then forces them to relive this experience in their mind. While filing a claim isn’t the best experience, we’ll see later in this piece that fast action is important to your claim’s success so you have to take action quickly after the accident happens.
There are two goals that can be achieved when you seek a lawsuit to help you with the injuries caused by a Laredo 18-wheeler accident: the first is that it lets the injured victim bounce back from the financial and emotional trauma caused by the accident and it also makes sure those liable for the accident face justice for their behavior. No amount of money can remove the trauma created by your wreck or take away the harm in your mind, but the fact is that you are still dealing with serious financial burdens. The only way to make sure your family is directed on the right path after these incidents is to get compensation from whoever is responsible. Odds are you’ve probably already missed tons of work due to your injuries, so dealing with medical bills for your injuries and repair bills for your vehicle can be impossible unless you pinpoint the people or parties responsible for your injuries.
The other goal is that an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit in Laredo provides the opportunity to lessen the chance of further negligence happening by punishing those individuals responsible for your accident. People who have lost serious amounts of money in Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawsuits usually don’t make the same choices again. If you want to get a person’s attention, you’ve got to go after their wallet.Common Negligent Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
If you’re trying to figure out who to sue, the first step is determining how the accident happened and who was at fault. Lots of people get involved in transporting goods via an 18-wheeler, so in several Laredo 18-wheeler cases for example, more than one party may have displayed some manner of negligence that led to or contributed in a Laredo 18-wheeler accident. An experienced Laredo 18-wheeler accident attorney can look back at previous experiences gained over years of trying big rig accident claims to properly determine how your accident happened and all of the responsible parties who played a role. Any amount of negligent parties could have been involved in your 18-wheeler accident: the trucker, the trucking company they’re working for, the truck manufacturer, the company that mapped the route, the business that loaded the 18-wheeler and other third parties. For instance:Truckers – Truckers spend an extended amount of time, day after day, traveling along our highways and interstates, and in many 18-wheeler accident cases, they are found responsible either partially or totally for the injuries that occur. Truckers can create wrecks with such negligence as driving under the influence, disregarding the speed limit, ignoring stop signs or dangerous swerving. In other instances, 18-wheeler accidents in Laredo occur because the driver is just exhausted. Federal laws have been established that state truckers have to take required rest breaks, but lots of them disregard these rules so they can meet company deadlines. Studies reveal that the chances of a trucker winding up in an accident grow after eight straight hours of driving, and 20 percent of truckers confess to falling asleep more than once in the month before they were surveyed. It may have been accidental or intentional, but if a trucker’s negligence resulted in an accident that caused you to be injured, then you can pursue a lawsuit against that person.
– Texas follows what’s known as respondeat superior, which means that employers could be punished and held accountable for the behavior of its employees. If the trucker’s negligence caused your accident, for instance, then the trucking company could face some manner of punishment. If a trucker, for instance, had a string of prior DUI arrests, and was found responsible for causing another accident while drunk, then the trucking company could be deemed responsible as well for the injuries stemming from the accident.
What also must be explained here is that the trucking company doesn’t have to act negligent on its own to be deemed responsible for the negligence of its workers. As long as the trucker acts in a negligent manner, then a lawsuit can be sought for damages from the trucking company. Lots of times, the trucking company is the preferred defendant to seek damages from anyway, since they have access to far more resources than truckers do.
Manufacturers – Truckers and trailers are all made up of many wires, bolts and other materials, each constructed and fastened together just right to make sure the vehicle operates in a proper and safe fashion. If any of these parts doesn’t work properly like they’re supposed to when the truck is moving, then an accident can unfold. If this error was due to a design error or manufacturing flaw and a wreck happens, then anyone hurt in the Laredo 18-wheeler accident has the option to pursue compensation from the manufacturer.
The Company that Planned the Route – Many roads and neighborhoods weren’t built to handle 18 wheelers and other types of commercial vehicles. There are also bridges that have height and weight restrictions set in place. To make sure that safety exists, busy trucking companies will often turn to other businesses to develop safe routes for trucks to travel on. If this business maps a route that is ruled dangerous or unsafe for trucks, then there’s a chance that a lawsuit can be pursued against this business.
The Company that Loaded the Cargo – There are instances when the company responsible for the cargo is able to load it without any hassles, but there are other times when they turn to another business for this issue. If the company that put the cargo on did so in an improper, unsafe manner, this can result in a wreck that creates countless injuries the company would be held liable for. Cargo in trucks can reach a weight limit of 80,000 pounds, but lots of companies try to subvert this by putting on even more goods at a smaller cost, thereby ignoring the rule. Weight limits have been established for a reason because a truck that’s become overloaded has the ability to overturn, and then cause further damage when an accident occurs.
When the company that puts the cargo on does so in a sloppy, unsafe manner, the cargo can eventually loosen during travel, creating a load shift that will send the 18-wheeler toppling over and creating a horrendous accident with other vehicles. When you throw flatbeds into the mix, cargo that isn’t loaded right can spill onto the road and create terrible problems for all the cars and spooked drivers traveling right behind.
Other Drivers – An 18-wheeler may wind up in a wreck, but you need to be careful and not immediately believe it was the fault of the big rig or its driver. Many times what happens is other drivers ignore their role to keep other drivers safe on the highways and roads, and an 18-wheeler accident happens, which creates additional damage and injuries for more motorists. When this occurs, victims can pursue damages from third parties like these.
Any amount of parties or combinations of them could have somewhat or completely been the cause behind the Laredo 18-wheeler accident that harmed you. You need the assistance of a veteran Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawyer who can pinpoint the cause and all of the potential defendants, so you can get the compensation you’re seeking from all the people who hurt you with their negligent behavior.
Prompt Investigation is Essential
If you’re attempting to gather all the credible evidence, determine who’s responsible and still be able to prove your case properly in a Laredo 18 wheeler accident, then it will be critical to have a fast, thorough investigation conducted. Since many parties have acted in a negligent fashion and played a part in the accident that injured you, a top notch investigation is needed to discover all the important parties and their level of negligence. It will be huge to have evidence to get the jury to rule on your behalf and evidence can start to disappear promptly after any wreck. You need to hire a Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawyer and allow them to start searching for evidence as soon as possible. Every day you wait and not get a lawyer you find trustworthy, you’re doing immense damage to your case because the proof you’re seeking is disappearing – witnesses will relocated or have issues remembering certain details, videos get altered and sometimes taped over and the accident scene will physically evolve as well.
Our Laredo 18-wheeler accident attorneys at The Snow Law Firm have devoted 20 years to learning how to properly investigate accident scenes. The moment we’re retained we quickly travel to the accident scene, at no charge to you, so we can discover any key evidence that assists us with our client’s case. We’ll do what’s necessary to discover the truth – obtaining any key vehicles involved, taking photos, looking for key video evidence, searching through police reports, taking measurements between skid marks and points of impact, doing forensic tests, finding key witnesses and any getting any other pertinent evidence that will later help us in trial.
In this case, you’re probably trailing the efforts and investigation that’s been undertaken by the defense. A lot of times what happens is the trucking or insurance company will have its investigators race to the accident scene shortly after the trucker calls it in. The defense investigators aren’t concerned at all with determining how the accident unfolded; they’re just trying to get evidence to support the notion that your injuries were a result of your own ignorance. If you don’t have any representation there conducting their own investigation, you’ll have no idea if there was any evidence tampering done, of if the defense conducted an ethical investigation. If they find any evidence that proves your supposed negligent behavior, then they can get your insurance claim thrown out if they can show you were completely at fault. Or your damages will be decreased if they can prove your negligence was a key part in the accident.
One case we became involved in Laredo proves how key it is to do a speedy, detailed investigation. What occurred in this case was that our firm had been hired by the driver of a passenger car after he ended up in a nighttime accident with an 18-wheeler. Immediately, the trucking company claimed our client had been driving with no headlights in his car when the accident unfolded. Once we were hired on as the victim’s attorneys, our client’s totaled car had already been taken from the accident scene and to a junkyard close by. Once our Laredo attorneys found the car at the junkyard, they quickly discovered it was missing headlights. Our biggest fear immediately became being able to provide our client with proper compensation, but our investigators quickly observed there was a surveillance camera set up in the salvage yard, so they obtained some of the footage. In this case, the equipment was set to tape over its memory every 48 hours and luckily got to it before it was taped over. Once we saw it, we noticed how a trucking company employee illegally took out the headlights and left from there with them in tow. Once the trial started, the trucking company’s defense was trying to say our client’s car had no headlights. At that second, we had the physical proof (in the form of video footage) to reveal the trucker’s lies and get compensated from a client. If our client had hesitated any longer to retain us as their attorney, the video would have been meaningless, any chance at some form of restitution would have been stopped and the trucking company could have managed to get away with felonious evidence tampering and not get caught.
Our Laredo attorneys have to deal with lies and deception surrounding 18-wheeler cases on a regular basis, so you need to retain a lawyer and allow them to start forming a quickly and thorough investigation as quick as possible. In some instances, our investigators can discover the burden of proof well after an accident took place, but the quicker we begin investigating the better odds we have of finding proof needed to get the assistance that belongs to you. Don’t hesitate any longer in talking over your case with a Laredo 18-wheeler accident attorney. Common Obstacles that Plaintiffs Must Overcome
You may have had to file an insurance claim after a typical car accident, but that doesn’t mean you’re instantly able to work an 18-wheeler accident claim on your own. Trucking insurance policies can be as much as 50 times more expensive than your typical auto insurance policy. Because of the enormity of the 18-wheeler insurance policies, litigation to settle 18-wheeler accidents is way more difficult than your everyday car case. Plaintiffs who have attempted to save additional money on lawyer’s fees by working their own case just end up causing more problems with compensation that’s either decreased or totally denied. People who have no legal experience, and lawyers who recently graduated become frustrated when they try to file lawsuits after 18-wheeler accidents because of countless challenges: showing the burden of proof, the enormity of insurance policies, self-insured trucking companies and truckers who turn to lying.Burden of Proof
The law doesn’t demand that the defendant or defendants pay you anything after you’ve been hurt in an 18-wheeler accident unless you, being the plaintiff, are able to show they should. If your goal is to get proper restitution for your injuries, you’ll have to show serious, credible evidence to support your case. Other ways of negotiation may be used to handle a claim, but evidence must be brought forth to prompt the defense or insurance to negotiate in good faith. You’ll need to prove each of these four elements in an 18-wheeler accident case:Duty – The first component in this process is showing the defendant owed you a duty to ensure your safety by behaving in an appropriate manner. The law has set in specific legal duties for certain situations and for each particular party, all dependent on their relationships. When it concerns 18-wheeler accident cases, accomplishing this is fairly easy, since every driver has to handle their vehicle in a way that ensures the safety of other drivers, pedestrians and passengers on the road.
Breach – If you’re trying to prove your case, the next part is being able to show the defendant or defendants ignored the duty of care you deserved. This usually occurs when the defendant put others in harm’s way, or by choosing not to act when most people would be expected to take action in some manner. You’ll have to obtain evidence that shows a defendant ignored his or her legal duty of care through action or inaction if you want to show this breach of duty. You’ll have to retain a Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawyer who can take that evidence and use it in a way to persuade a jury to see the defendant or defendants behaved in an improper manner.
Causation – Besides showing the defendant or defendant’s violation of a legal duty that harmed you, you also have to prove your injuries were a direct result of this duty being broken. Since numerous parties could have played a part or been involved in the cause of any 18-wheeler accident, it takes seriously credible evidence to help a jury see a causal relationship existed between the defendant’s violation of his or her duty to you and the ensuing harm that was created. If not, then the defendant can pick your case apart by shifting the blame elsewhere for your injuries. A lot of times, the defendant or defendant’s best option to dodge blame is put it directly on the victim for creating their own injuries through their bad choices.
Damages – Once you’ve proven the first three parties in an 18-wheeler accident, you then need to prove the damages the defendant owes you for the injuries you’ve sustained. Legally, when damages are referenced, this doesn’t mean your injuries or property damage, but instead are concerning the compensation the defendant owes for the harm they’re responsible for. The plaintiff can pursue damages for such matters as medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, property damage and other losses that were included in the accident.
The most challenging part is that you can’t just demand the court immediately give you the compensation that you rightfully deserve and think you’ll get it. You’ve got to provide evidence that illustrates not only the losses you’ve incurred but also how you’ve come up with the monetary value for those damages. A lot of the time defendants contest this total for compensation requested by the plaintiff and will come back with their own amount for damages owed that will likely shrink the overall monetary amount of harm for the plaintiff. If you’re trying to show the defendant intentionally short-changed you, you’ve got to submit rock-solid proof that shows your totals are absolutely dead on.
What is the true value of my case? Because damages like pain and suffering, or loss of earning capacity tend to be quite subjective and up for debate, totaling damages can be tough for anyone who doesn’t normally deal with this. It’s complicated to figure out a price for pain and suffering or try to figure lost earning capacity by adding up the overall total for potential raises and inflation. In court, you’ve got one opportunity to total the amount of compensation you’re seeking. For the past two decades, our Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawyers have been totaling damages, and we have become familiar enough with cases such as yours to know how to factor in all your losses and reach an estimation on compensation that properly assist you for the restitution you’re wanting.
If you can’t show any of these four components, you’re not going to be able to get compensated for the harm you’ve sustained. You need the assistance of a Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawyer – especially if you’re headed to trial. Our many years of trying 18-wheeler accident cases has let our lawyers develop the ability to form a substantial legal game-plan that meets the burden of proof and prompts the juries to rule for you.Enormous Insurance Policies
Federal regulations require trucking companies buy huge insurance policies to protect against potential accidents, injuries and fatalities that happen when being involved in business with big rigs. Because of this, many incorrectly assume they’ll get swift compensation and not face any issues. Most of the time that’s just false. Since insurance policies can reach 50 times the cost of regular passenger cars, the insurance companies typically devote 50 times the energy and resources to protect their 18-wheeler policies.
With everything that’s on the line, insurance companies tend to turn to their most talented adjusters to work these settlement negotiations. You probably haven’t dealt with lots of 18-wheeler accident claims, but these adjusters are at the top of their field and handle these claims on a consistent basis. They know how to bond with accident victims, who are still dealing all the shock involved but who are apt to trust their friendly local insurance agents. They eventually will use all the details gathered against them to get their claims tossed. Before then, they’ll present a friendship that seems authentic but is flaw and persuade the victim into thinking they want to help them get their compensation – first, though; they need to answer some simple questions. When you break it down, the fact is they don’t want to help you; they’re just trying to help company profits and get your claim rejected. Following that, they’ll bombard you with endless questions that simply reword the same statements over and over in an attempt to get you to make a mistake and accidentally admit the accident was your fault. Once they get you to mess up and say you were responsible, your claim will be turned down. The best option here is to have no interaction with insurance adjusters, so retain a veteran Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawyer and let your legal counsel handle the nonstop harassment that’s evident from the insurance adjusters. In fact, we always recommend to our clients they don’t communicate with anyone from insurance companies unless a lawyer is present to ensure your well-being. If you retain our firm, our lawyers will take control over all the conversations including the insurance company and shield you from potentially admitting responsibility.
Lots of times aggressive insurance adjusters will attempt to get accident victims to waive their rights to sue, and then give them a small settlement in return. It’s good to not want to deal with the stress and uncertainty involved in a jury trial, but you don’t want to take a settlement that doesn’t properly help you with the harm you’ve incurred. Only an attorney with a consistent track record of victories can get the insurance company to take a fair settlement, since they’re already worried about losing additional money in the trial.
The insurance company will also attempt to avoid liability for your injuries by relying on a talented defense team that can benefit from the legal loopholes and procedural hurdles that will cause some plaintiffs to hurt their chances at getting compensated. You need the help of a veteran Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawyer who can counter some of the attacks mounted by defense specialists. Our attorneys have won millions from every big-time insurance company in America, and we’ve learned how to anticipate every possible trick they may use.Self-Insured Companies Can Be More Treacherous
Instead of buying a regular insurance policy, many trucking companies will set aside an amount of assets to use for insurance purposes whenever accidents happen. While the insurance agency field is regulated by the federal government – which requires all companies be registered, adjusters are licensed and ethical standards are followed – self-insured businesses don’t have to worry about these ethical guidelines and stipulations. Because of that, self-insured companies have gained a reputation for behaving in an unethical manner and being difficult to work with in negotiations. Lots of times, when you’re attempting to negotiate with a self-insured company, you have to deal with a worker from the company’s headquarters. Because this individual likely gets some of their income from some kind of profit sharing, they have plenty of incentive to make sure your claim is tossed. This officer would be basically handing over some of their income if they let you get the restitution you’re after. With their income at stake, self-insured companies will usually think about their own well-being before the victim’s and turn to such improper behavior like bullying, evidence tampering and possibly threatening victims.
If a self-insured company has acted this way, then you can get this to stop with the help of a Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawyer. Once we’re retained, our lawyers can make sure self-insured companies act in a proper manner, and even threaten legal action if it’s necessary.Truckers Can’t Be Trusted
It’s natural to want to believe people are decent and honest, but the trucker who harmed you with their negligence has plenty of motivation to lie. If the trucker is found to have injured others while driving in a negligent manner, then that individual is going to get pink-slipped shortly, if they haven’t been fired already. Along with that, a trucker who’s been found negligent will discover it’s virtually impossible to get another job like that with such a mark on their record. When you factor in the job market and today’s economy, lots of typically honest and good truckers will turn to lying so they can protect their jobs and manage to still provide for their families. To get the compensation you’re after, you’ve got to properly prove the trucker was involved in lying.
Our Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawyers have improved in their ability to investigation and find key facts that show the trucker was lying. We’ll pick away at their credibility with all the key facts at our disposal and reveal their lies.
In the same way that insurance adjusters try to get victims to admit their negligence with tons of questions, our attorneys will develop a series of questions for the deposition with the intent of getting the trucker into admitting their own lie. The Laredo 18-wheeler accident lawyers at The Snow Law Firm have deposed countless witnesses throughout our 20 years, and we’re able to develop questions that show the truckers were trying to lie.How we Can Help
If you’ve been harmed or lost a loved one in an 18-wheeler accident in Laredo or South Texas, then you need to hire an 18-wheeler accident lawyer to protect your legal rights and help you get the restitution you’re seeking. From our first documents we file to the court’s final verdict, our attorneys deal with every part of your case and see to it you’re given regular updates. Other services we provide include:
More than likely the defense has already wrapped up its investigation and case against you. The longer you hesitate in getting a lawyer, the more damage you cause in your ability to get the restitution you’re seeking. Call us quickly at 210-820-0020 for a free consultation and learn how we can help you like so many others throughout this state.