NOTE: If you were in an accident involving a big-rig / 18-wheeler and the insurance company is calling you, STOP. Do NOT talk to the insurance carrier until you have consulted with an attorney with experience in truck accidents and commercial automotive coverage claims.
All too often, accident victims allow insurance claims reps to dictate how compensation will be handled. But a claims rep’s job is to mitigate the costs insurance companies are liable for. Their job is not to make accident victims whole again. In fact, often, their responsibilities to the insurance company they work for can come into direct conflict with what is best for you and your family.
Claim offers from insurance carriers made to people without attorney representation are typically far below adequate nor do they often meet the full extent that the law and insurance policies allow. Insurance companies know that most people are ignorant of the highly complex system of Texas laws as well as insurance technicalities involved in claims and how they may apply to each unique situation.
Even experienced insurance professionals typically are not equipped to understand the nuances of a commercial claim. So it is critical that you speak with an attorney experienced in this type of case before proceeding. Even if you decide not to work with an attorney, that initial consultation can be critical to your ability to understand issues at stake, at least from a basic standpoint.
One of the most terrifying experiences that can happen on the road is having a collision with a tractor trailer, semi-truck, or 18-wheeler. Too many of these truck accidents end in fatalities or serious, long-term physical impairments, resulting in huge financial losses, medical bills, and a hard rehabilitation process. Seeking compensation to a**uage some of the monetary burden is the least our team at the Barber Law Firm can do for victims of truck accidents and their families.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident and are considering pursuing legal action, consult the truck accident lawyers at The Barber Law Firm today for a FREE consultation.
Accidents involving large trucks occur each and every day. Each year, nearly half a million large trucks (also called tractor-trailers or “semis”) are involved in accidents in the United States.
Approximately 5,000 of these accidents involving semi-trailer trucks result in fatalities—in fact, one out of every eight traffic fatalities is caused by a collision with a large truck. Not surprisingly, most of the injuries and fatalities involved in truck accidents are pa**engers of the vehicles struck by tractor-trailers. Truck drivers typically escape unscathed, having the advantage of a much larger vehicle to protect them in an accident.
Dallas semi tractor-trailer accident lawyer Kris Barber represents 18-wheeler accident victims, their families and friends who have sustained serious bodily injuries because of the negligence of a tractor trailer, truck or other driver.
WHY CHOOSE THE BARBER LAW FIRM?
If you or someone you love is the victim of an accident involving a tractor trailer, it’s critical to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney who has plenty of experience in representing truck accident victims. Cases involving tractor trailers aren’t your run-of-the-mill personal injury claims; these cases involve a large number of extra moving parts, such as administrative regulations and the possibility of multiple defendants who may hold responsibility for your injuries.
Dallas truck accident lawyer Kris Barber has the experience it takes to represent you for accidents involving injuries such as:
1) Injuries requiring surgery, sutures, staples;
2) Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”), including those caused by oxygen deprivation;
3) Severe burns resulting in significant and permanent scarring;
4) Mental anguish and emotional distress;
5)Injuries caused by a collision with a driver that is drunk, impaired or otherwise under the influence of narcotics or drugs; and
6) In the worst case, death.
FORMS OF COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS
If you or someone you love has fallen victim to a truck accident, you likely already know that there is no amount of money that can make a person whole after such an accident. Compensation can, however, help to alleviate some of the financial chaos that a person can face after a truck accident. A personal injury claim can provide financial compensation—also known as “damages”—for the following:
- Medical expenses such as hospital bills, surgical costs, and costs of medical equipment needed after an accident;
- Rehabilitation cost and costs of long-term care if you are permanently disabled;
- Income that you have lost as a result of being unable to work after your accident, as well as lost earning capacity if you are unable to return to work permanently;
- Physical pain that you suffered during and after your accident; and
- Emotional trauma that you have endured as a result of your truck accident, such as depression, anxiety, and an inability to sleep.
DON’T TRUST AN INSURANCE COMPANY TO BE ON YOUR SIDE
After a truck accident, you’re likely to hear from an insurance company very quickly, whether it be your own or that of the truck driver. No matter how caring the person on the other end of the phone may sound, it’s important to be on guard when talking to an insurance company.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that an insurance company—even your own—has your best interests in mind. At the end of the day, an insurance company is a business, and the main goal of any business is to be as profitable as possible. When it comes to insurance companies, unfortunately, this profit is made by shorting well-deserving victims out of compensation that they are entitled to. Whenever you are dealing with an insurance company, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind:
- Know your calls are being recorded. This isn’t for “training and quality a**urance,” as some insurance representatives may tell you; rather, the point of these recorded phone calls is to use your own words against you if you were to slip up and say something that might sound incriminating.
- Don’t sign any paperwork without an attorney’s go-ahead. You’ll likely receive a stack of paperwork after an insurance company contacts you. Be sure to have an attorney review any paperwork that you sign, no matter how harmless it may look. Insurance companies love to slide harmful clauses into fine print so that disoriented victims can sign their rights away. You can be sure that if an insurance company drafted the doent, it isn’t in your favor.
ADDITIONAL RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR TRUCK DRIVERS
While on the road, truck drivers are subject to all of the ordinary laws that pertain to any driver. To increase the safety of others on the road, truck drivers are also bound by additional rules and regulations which regulate nearly every aspect of the truck driver’s job, such as:
- Requiring all large truck drivers to obtain a commercial driver’s license (“CDL);
- Setting a lower blood alcohol content level to be considered driving drunk;
- Securing cargo safely, and regulating the types of materials that a truck can carry; and
- Regular maintenance of the tractor trailer.
THE DANGER OF TRUCK DRIVER FATIGUE
All of the regulations listed above are meant to protect both truck drivers and other drivers who share the road with tractor trailers. However, many truck safety advocates question the effectiveness of these rules and regulations.
A more pressing matter, according to safety experts, is truck driver fatigue. New rules implemented by The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) allow drivers to drive 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
Also, drivers may not drive beyond the 14th hour after coming on-duty, following 10 hours off-duty. Similar to existing rules, drivers may not drive after being on-duty for 60 hours in a seven-consecutive-day period or 70 hours in an eight-consecutive-day period. This on-duty cycle may be restarted whenever a driver takes at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty.
Short-haul truck drivers–those drivers who routinely return to their place of dispatch after each duty tour and then are released from duty–may have an increased on-duty period of 16 hours once during any seven-consecutive-day period. The 16-hour exception takes into consideration legitimate business needs without jeopardizing safety. FMCSA estimates that without the extra two on-duty hours, the industry would be required to hire at least 48,000 new drivers, actually reducing crash-reduction benefits.
The current rule allows 10 hours of driving within a 15-hour on-duty period after eight hours of off-duty time. Also, drivers may not drive after their 15th hour on duty in a workday or after 60 hours on-duty in seven consecutive days or 70 hours on-duty in eight consecutive days.
With the pressure to deliver their loads, however, drivers often continue when prudence suggests otherwise. One in five long-haul truck drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel within the last month.
DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE
Whatever the cirstances of your truck accident, it’s important to seek legal help quickly, as the time to file a claim isn’t unlimited. In almost all cases, a lawsuit must be filed within a certain amount of time from the date of the accident. If you intend to pursue a claim for the injuries you sustained in your accident, you should contact an experienced truck accident attorney right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.
DON’T WIN? DON’T PAY
If you’ve been hurt in an accident involving a tractor trailer or other large truck, don’t let the fear of not being able to pay an attorney keep you from obtaining the legal representation you need and deserve to recover compensation for the injuries you never should have suffered. If our legal team agrees to take on your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means that we only get paid for our services if we are successful in obtaining compensation for your injuries.
INJURED IN A TRUCK ACCIDENT? WE’RE STANDING BY TO HELP
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or other large truck in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it is important to consider your legal options. Many truckers are employed by large corporations that may put delivery of their goods ahead of your safety.
The team of personal injury attorneys at The Barber Law Firm are standing by to ensure that your legal rights are at the forefront of any truck accident claim. Don’t wait until it is too late to obtain the justice you deserve for the accident you never should have been involved in—to set up a completely free case evaluation to discuss your accident with a member of our team,