Truck Accident Attorneys Brownsville
No matter where you travel on the highways in and around Texas, you will encounter big rigs; they are constantly on the road. And even though they can be annoying to some fellow motorists and intimidating to others, they perform the vital function of transporting goods to all points of the state of Texas and across the country. Therefore, they are ever present, day and night.
Behind the wheel of each 18-wheeler is a trucker who spends hours at a time behind the wheel and logs thousands of miles. Multiply the immense number of commercial trucks on the road by the number of potentially exhausted drivers piloting them. It is easy to see why accidents, injuries, and deaths are relatively common occurrences.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed due to an 18-wheeler accident, the truck accident lawyers with our Brownsville Law Office of Carabin Shaw are here to help you understand what kinds of legal avenues you may be able to pursue. We empathize with the emotional trauma you have experienced. However, your problems may only be beginning. Dealing with the litigation you will have to undertake to obtain the fair restitution you deserve can be a cause for even more suffering and distress - should you try and take on this incredible responsibility by yourself. In this article, we will provide information designed to explain truck accident litigation's intricate and complex nature and how you can win just compensation for everything you have had to go through.Who Is to Blame for the Accident?
The first thing that should happen if you are involved in a Brownsville trucking accident is accurately determining who is to blame. There are many cases involving trucks where there is more than one defendant. The legal concept known as respondeat superior mandates that all employers in Texas are liable for their employees' job-related actions or inactions. In the case of a commercial truck accident, multiple defendants can be held responsible for various forms of negligent acts that result in an accident occurring.
For example, in most commercial truck accidents, the driver is the first party to which blame will be attached. However, he or she could have been driving under the influence of some drug. If that proves to be the case, then that driver's employer can also be held liable for negligently testing the driver for narcotics. In another example, the company responsible for planning a truck's route can also be held liable if that truck, for example, collides with a bridge that has too low of clearance for the rig. Or the company could have sent that rig into an area not zoned for trucking and be liable for any accident involving the rig in that area. Still another example is that of a company that is charged with loading a truck's cargo but improperly secures the cargo and causes an accident. We bring you these examples to illustrate how easily there could be multiple parties against which you can take legal action in the event of an accident. And each of them could be independently liable.
But to have any chance of obtaining the just restitution you have coming to you from all the potentially liable parties involved in your accident, you need the skill and experience of a prominent personal injury lawyer who will protect your rights. Such an attorney is well-seasoned in investigating the cause of a big rig accident and helping you accurately assess blame. The driver of the 18-wheeler seems to be one responsible party, but was his or her negligence the true cause of the accident, or did a critical mechanical part malfunction? Was the truck's cargo correctly secured, or did it come loose and cause the accident? Did the truck hit a low bridge because the company planning the truck's route did an inadequate job? It is very rare to quickly and easily determine all the parties to blame in a big rig accident case. That is why you need our experienced trucking accident attorneys who can ensure everyone to blame for the accident is held accountable and accurately determine the degree to which each party is to blame so that damages can be assessed appropriately.Can a Brownsville Accident Victim Self-Represent?
It is entirely legal, of course, for the victim of a trucking accident to represent himself or herself in the ensuing litigation - but it is never recommended. We're sure you've heard of the old saying, "Someone who represents himself in court has a fool for a client." That saying has survived all of these decades because it is true. The road to either settling an 18-wheeler accident case out of court or successfully taking it to a trial is fraught with complexity and, in some cases, treachery. Would you perform knee surgery on your son? Would you try and build a Ferrari by yourself in your garage? Of course, you would not; you do not have the required skills, which take many years to develop and hone. The same is true for trying to litigate a truck accident case. You will see several illustrations in this article of why you must enlist the assistance of a skilled and seasoned big rig accident lawyer to get the just compensation you deserve.Dealing With a Large Corporation
Trucking companies are mandated by federal law to purchase costly insurance policies to protect themselves from the inevitable litigation resulting from unavoidable accidents. A lot of people are under the erroneous belief that since the trucking company is insured, getting compensation will be a quick and easy process. In reality, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Insurance companies could not care less about how badly you are hurt or how much you have lost financially and otherwise due to the Brownsville accident. They care only about their bottom line, and their interests will always be opposed to yours. In fact, the worse you are injured, the harder they will fight to defeat your claim. The reason is that the monetary amounts associated with severe injury and death claims can reach astronomical heights and significantly damage an insurance company's bottom line. If the insurance company capitulates to your demands, it is setting a precedent and will have to do the same in the following case, the following case after that, and so on. So they will do everything in their power to defeat your case.
Texas personal injury law flows from the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, which allows the victim or loved ones of a victim of a personal injury or wrongful death claim due to a truck accident to try and obtain restitution for the harm that has befallen the victim. But that victim, known as the plaintiff in legal parlance, has to bear the burden of proof and establish that the defendant truck driver was responsible for the accident. The victim must also prove that the amount of restitution being sought is equitable. On the other hand, the insurance company will either attempt to have the claim denied flat-out or argue that the amount of compensation sought is too high. The best chance you have at getting the just compensation you deserve is by hiring our skilled and seasoned Brownsville 18-wheeler accident attorney, who is adept in the fine art of dealing with colossal trucking and insurance companies.The High-Powered Insurance Professional
Before your accident, the insurance company was already prepared for your case. Insurances carriers maintain a staff of legal specialists, and these well-trained and highly paid professionals are devoted to helping that insurer protect its profit margins. These specialists are experts in personal injury litigation, and they have a huge bag of tricks they can use to sway a judge or jury to the insurance company's side. These defense lawyers will typically speed to the scene of an accident almost immediately after launching an investigation. The primary purpose of the investigation is to gather critical evidence the defense will need to prove that the injury victim was the cause of the accident so that the insurer can build a case before that victim even hires a lawyer. The longer you wait to get an injury attorney on your side, the more difficult it will be to win your case because our injury lawyers will be in the position of having to play catch-up with the opposition. It's just that simple; as much pain or emotional trauma you may be experiencing, it is imperative that you act quickly and decisively in procuring legal representation from our Brownsville injury law firm.Never Trust an Insurance Adjuster
The second component of the insurance company's two-pronged attack on your case will be the insurance adjuster assigned to it. And he or she is just as much your enemy as is the defense lawyer. Shortly after the accident, the adjuster will get in touch with you and act almost as your friend; he or she will give the impression of being much like the adjuster you may encounter after a minor fender-bender. But do not be fooled - this person is another highly skilled professional bound and determined to see to it that your case fails. In fact, he or she may have a very substantial bonus riding on it. After gaining your trust, the adjuster will suddenly change course and pepper you with confusing and misleading questions designed to make you trip up and say something that can be construed as an admission of blame in the accident. Once you make that mistake, they will use your words against you and see that your claim is denied. Even if you don't flat-out say that you were to blame, they will still record the conversation and twist your words in a way that could, conceivably, make it sound like you are accepting responsibility.
Some adjusters are especially adept at convincing an injury victim or bereaved loved one to accept a settlement offer without the advice of an attorney. They will ask you to sign a form stating that you agree, in exchange for the settlement, never to try and get more money from the defendant later. Not only will the settlement likely be laughably inadequate in relation to the expenses you are incurring, and will incur in the future, you will be forfeiting your rights by accepting it.
The bottom line is NEVER to agree to talk to the defendant's insurance company adjuster. Often these adjusters will come down from Chicago or New York, and when they see an unrepresented injury victim sitting alone at the negotiating table, they know right then and there that they have won. They know that there is no chance a non-lawyer will ever beat them. This is yet another reason you need an assertive, passionate and skilled trucking accident injury attorney by your side. Such a lawyer will protect you from the unscrupulous tactics of an insurance adjuster and work to compel the insurance carrier to offer you a fair out-of-court settlement. Insurance company professionals will only respond to the threat that an experienced lawyer with a track record of success presents. The attorneys at our Law Offices have defeated nearly every major insurance company in the United States over the past 20 years, so insurers know we are a real threat to them. As a result, they will be much more likely to offer one of our clients a fair settlement rather than risk much more money by trying to tangle with us in a courtroom.Never Trust Truck Drivers, Either
There is no way you can ever expect the driver of the truck that caused your accident to admit his or her responsibility. And when you think about it, you can see why. A truck driver found to be at-fault for an accident that results in an injury will more than likely be fired. Not only that but with a black mark that severe, he or she will probably not be hired by any other trucking company. So that driver will basically have to lie to have a chance at keeping his or her job and providing for his or her family. When you think about the state of the economy at this time, you can see why otherwise honorable and reliable people would stoop to lying to protect their way of life.
Here's an illustration of a truck accident case that involved a lying truck driver. A client who had been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler hired us, and during our investigation, the driver of the rig said that our client had been driving with his headlights off at the time of the accident; the accident occurred in the evening. Our investigators promptly arrived at the accident scene, and while gathering evidence they noted that a nearby store had a security camera pointing directly at the scene. We were able to procure the video, and it showed that our client had his headlights on at the time of the accident. We had just caught the driver of the rig in a blatant lie. But, again, this kind of thing is typical in cases involving an 18-wheeler accident. If you have our experienced trucking accident lawyers working for you, he or she will be able to ask the right questions of the driver and expose the lies that driver tries to tell to keep a job. We have questioned thousands of witnesses during our two decades of handling personal injury litigation. As a result, we know how to uncover the truth and help our clients get the just compensation they deserve for the injuries they've suffered.Why You Need Legal Help
As we stated previously, it is permissible under the law for an injury victim to represent themselves in litigation involving a commercial truck accident, but it is never advisable. You have basically zero chance of winning your case, and if you lose it could devastate you financially for the rest of your life, since you will be on the hook for all medical expenses and other expenses that you have incurred. It takes more than knowledge of the law in order for you to win a case; you need years of experience in devising successful courtroom strategies and years of experience negotiating fair settlements so a case doesn't need to go to trial. You need to know how to answer an interrogatory, prepare a demand packet, respond to a list of admissions, and know all the other steps required to follow courtroom procedures to the letter. You don't know how to do all of that; otherwise you probably wouldn't be reading this article. You must have the help of a seasoned and skilled big rig accident lawyer who knows all the complexities and intricacies involved with personal injury litigation in order to have the best chance possible of obtaining the fair restitution that you have coming.
We noted earlier that insurance company representatives only respect lawsuits brought against them by attorneys who have a track record of success. The attorneys at our Law Offices have taken on and defeated nearly every major insurance carrier in the nation, winning thousands of cases for our clients. The big insurers know us, they respect us, and will, as stated earlier, often make a fair settlement offer to our clients rather than gamble on losing much more money by tangling with us in a courtroom.What You Need to Do First
We understand you are going through an incredibly trying time. However, you have to try and clear your head and act decisively to stand the best chance of getting the fair restitution you deserve. The first thing we strongly urge you to do is to hire an attorney who can act quickly and preserve the integrity of the accident scene to gather evidence. The faster your lawyer can start an investigation, the better chance he or she will have of proving the validity of your claim. The longer you wait, the more evidence will be lost. Witnesses' memories can become cloudy or they decide they no longer want to get involved. Physical evidence, such as skid marks, can fade due to weather and other factors. Any existing video evidence can be taped over or otherwise disappear. The attorneys with our Law Offices begin every single accident case by launching a detailed investigation into the accident scene and gathering evidence that will prove the negligence of the trucking company and the truck driver. We measure the skid marks and the distance between those skid marks and the impact point. We depose witnesses, sequester and inspect all the vehicles involved in the accident, seek photographic and video evidence, and then preserve and catalog all that evidence in a manner that will be admissible in court. We will spare no investigatory resources to prove your case and help you win fair restitution.
An example illustrates the critical need for a quickly launched investigation. We once represented two men in a big rig accident case, one man, the driver, was killed, and the other was severely injured when riding as the passenger in the car. The big rig driver who caused the accident had left his trailer stretched across the road, making it impossible for anyone to pass the rig safely; unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. It was dark at the time of the accident, and our client, rounding a bend, could only see the truck's taillights by the side of the road. The driver of the car could not see the trailer and as a result crashed into it. The impact sheared the roof off of his car, immediately killing the driver and leaving the passenger in a fight for his life. We were hired the next day and quickly rushed to the accident site in order to start our investigation. Our client's car had been sent to a salvage yard when we arrived, so we went there to inspect the wreckage and take pictures. As we looked at the car we noticed it had no headlights. We spotted a security camera in the salvage yard and procured the video. And on that video, we saw a trucking company operative actually removing the car's headlights. Thanks to the video, we were able to expose the trucking company's disgusting attempt at altering evidence to make it look like our client had been driving without headlights.
If we had not discovered that video evidence, winning the case would have been exceedingly difficult. And that video evidence was slated to disappear soon because the salvage yard cameras erase their footage every 48 hours. If we had not been hired at the time we were, the case would have more than likely been lost. But since we uncovered that video footage, we made the trucking company pay dearly for its disgusting attempt to alter that evidence.We Can Help You
The truck accident lawyers with Carabin Shaw have put their skill and experience to work and helped thousands of clients win millions of dollars in personal injury compensation.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to an accident caused by the negligence of a truck driver and other potentially responsible parties, we can help you get the just compensation you deserve. Please call Carabin Shaw as soon as possible for a confidential and free consultation. We will listen to the specific circumstances surrounding your accident, gladly answer any questions you may have, and discuss with you the strength of your case.