You can absolutely sue for being hit by a semi-truck in Texas, as long as the accident was not your fault. In cases where you were not at fault, you will be able to recover compensation for the damage done to you.
The law in Texas is based on proportionate responsibility. Those who are 50% or less at fault for an accident can recover compensation. However, the law also states that “the court shall reduce the amount of damages to be recovered by the claimant with respect to a cause of action by a percentage equal to the claimant’s percentage of responsibility.”
Basically, the percentage you are responsible for the accident is the percentage you will not get in compensation. If you are 20% responsible in a case that costs you $10,000 in damages, you can receive $8,000 in compensation.
How Do You Determine Who is Liable for Damages in a Semi Truck Accident?
Semi-trucks are commercial vehicles, and liability for truck accident damages often extends beyond the driver to several other parties. These can include the company that owns or controls the truck, maintenance and repair facilities, manufacturers of the truck, any after-market systems installed in it, and government entities responsible for road maintenance.
In Texas, your lawyer will sue the driver if there is any indication of the following:
- Was distracted or fatigued due to driving for more hours than applicable regulations allow.
- Was operating the truck under the influence of intoxicating substances.
- Caused the accident due to road rage or other emotional responses to prevailing conditions.
- Lost control of the truck while driving in conditions beyond the driver’s abilities.
If the accident happened while the driver was performing services for an employer or contracting entity, they might be vicariously liable for an accident victim’s losses and injuries. They may also be directly liable for negligence if, for example, the truck was improperly loaded, and the driver was ordered to operate it in violation of safety rules and regulations.
Further, semi trucks are complex machines that require regular inspections and maintenance for safe operation. If the truck’s manufacturer of any after-market systems failed to adhere to applicable safety standards, they might also bear some liability for damages. If the evidence from your truck accident suggests that a mechanical problem caused it, your attorney will commission an expert analysis of the truck’s systems to verify the source of the problem.
Last, a Texas accident lawyer might analyze the area where the accident occurred to determine if unrepaired road hazards or other external conditions contributed to the crash. If supported by available evidence, your lawyer will seek to impose liability on the town or municipality responsible for road maintenance and repairs. Likewise, your attorney will assess the potential liability of other motorists in or near the accident.
How Much Can You Get for a Semi-Truck Accident?
The settlement amount for a semi-truck accident depends a lot on the accident circumstances. Some cases settle for around $100,000, some settle for several hundred thousand, and some may settle for millions.
The largest cases in Texas in recent years have ranged from around $300,000 to $80 million, depending on circumstances. You can sue for many different types of damages, which might include:
- Medical expenses, from emergency room visits to ongoing therapy expenses.
- Lost wages from taking time off work to recover from injuries.
- Loss of earning capacity if you are unable to return to work.
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional trauma.
- Property damage to your vehicle.
- Loss of quality of life.
Of course, how much you get will depend on many factors. Truck drivers have to carry a large amount of insurance to pay for the sometimes catastrophic damages that truck accidents cause. Smaller trucks usually have to carry at least $300,000, while larger trucks may have to carry $1 million to $5 million.
Depending on how severe your injuries you are, how much you were at fault, whether the other driver was negligent, and whether there were any fatalities, you could get a very large settlement.
How Many Semi-Truck Accidents Happen in Texas?
Texas is a very busy state. It is also very large, so it has many roadways filled with people driving and riding towards their destinations. Texas leads the world in fatal crashes and speeding-related crashes by the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
If you are in a Texas semi-truck accident, know you are not alone. If you don’t know what steps to take next and need help figuring out your Texas truck accident case, you can reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer from Patterson Law Group. We have years of experience with big truck accidents, and we can help you!
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Semi-Truck Accident?
It usually takes one to three years to settle a semi-truck accident.
There are many factors involved in semi-truck cases. Usually, after the complaint is filed, the lawyers embark on “discovery,” or gathering evidence from witness statements, police reports, medical records, etc.
Discovery is followed by negotiations, often with a mediator, to try ad settle the case out of courts. If the case can’t settle favorably, it will be taken to court and decided by the judge and jury.
Contact an Expert Semi-Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been in a semi-truck accident in Texas, you likely need help to go through the process of a claim and to handle insurance companies. The stress of the accident is more than enough for you to deal with, which is why we are here to help you.
The expert lawyers at Patterson Law Group have years of experience dealing with semi-truck accidents. If you need help dealing with yours, give Patterson Law Group a call today!