When a large and heavy 18-wheeler truck hits a smaller vehicle – such as a sedan, pick-up truck, or SUV – it is typically the occupants of the smaller vehicle who suffer serious injuries. When truck drivers speed up and violate other rules of the road, they greatly increase their chances of causing an accident that leads to devastating injuries.
Truck accident victims who suffer injuries due to another driver’s negligence may be eligible to recover various monetary damages. However, the final damages that accident victims receive can vary greatly, depending upon the circumstances surrounding the accident, the speeds of the vehicles, the force of the collision, the physical injuries involved, and the medical treatment received. Therefore, there is no such thing as an “average payout” in a truck accident case.
However, there are certain steps that you can take to increase your chances of maximizing the monetary compensation you recover. First, you should seek prompt medical treatment right after your truck accident – at a hospital emergency room or another emergency medical facility. Next, you should talk with an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney to learn about your legal options.
The experienced Texas 18-wheeler accident lawyers at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law can help you during every stage of your personal injury claim or lawsuit. Upon entering an appearance in your case, our legal team can thoroughly investigate your accident circumstances, file a claim on your behalf, negotiate with the truck driver or trucking company’s insurer, and pursue a favorable settlement offer from them. If the insurance company is unwilling to settle your case for a reasonable amount of money, we can promptly file a lawsuit in the Texas court system, litigate your case, and bring it to an efficient resolution.
For a free legal consultation and case evaluation with a skilled Texas 18-wheeler accident lawyer, please give us a call or contact us online today to learn more.
Types of 18-wheeler Truck Accidents in Texas
Several different types of 18-wheeler truck accidents can result from driver carelessness and negligence. Some of the most common 18-wheeler accidents that occur on roadways throughout Texas include:
- Rear end crashes
- Overturn accidents that lead to multi-vehicle pile-ups on busy highways
- Jackknife accidents, where the tractor and trailer fold in on one another and hit other vehicles
- T-bone – or broadside – accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
- Head-on collisions
If you sustained injuries in any of these accidents that resulted from a truck driver’s negligence, the skilled legal team at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law can help you pursue and recover the monetary compensation you deserve. Our legal team will immediately investigate the circumstances of your accident, obtain copies of police reports and other potential evidence to use in your case, and help you file a claim with the responsible truck driver or trucking company’s insurer.
Common Injuries in 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
When a large and heavy 18-wheeler truck hits a smaller vehicle, the driver and occupants of the smaller vehicle may sustain debilitating injuries. Some truck accident victims suffer more serious injuries than others, depending upon the speeds of the vehicles, the force of the collision, and whether the accident victim’s body hits something in the vehicle – like the steering wheel or headrest – during the collision.
Common truck accident injuries that Texas accident victims suffer include traumatic head and brain damage, soft tissue contusions, fractures, broken bones, paralysis injuries, spinal cord damage, internal organ injuries, bruises, and open lacerations.
If you suffered any of these debilitating injuries in your recent truck accident, you should seek medical care right away and allow a doctor or other healthcare provider to physically examine you. If you require additional treatment, you may undergo that treatment while the skilled attorneys at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law start advocating for you. Our legal team can assist you every step of the way and help you maximize your monetary recovery for the accident-related injuries you suffered.
What Must I Prove to Receive a Payout Following an 18-wheeler Accident?
To receive monetary damages for your truck accident injuries, you will need to satisfy the legal burden applicable to personal injury claims and lawsuits in Texas. First, you must demonstrate that the at-fault truck driver did something wrong or behaved unreasonably under the circumstances. For example, the driver might have violated a traffic law, engaged in fatigued or distracted driving, or operated their vehicle while under the illegal influence of alcohol or drugs.
How do 18-wheeler accident Cases Resolve?
Motor vehicle crashes involving 18-wheelers may resolve in one of several ways. First, the parties may agree to settle their case out of court for an appropriate monetary amount. For a settlement offer to be a “good” offer, it should fully compensate the accident victim for all of their injuries and other losses, including their pain and suffering, inconvenience, and mental distress stemming from their injuries.
Most truck accident claims do not settle right away since insurance companies routinely do everything possible to delay settlements and pay as little monetary compensation as possible. It may take a truck accident lawyer several rounds of negotiations – or even filing a lawsuit – for the claim to resolve in a manner that’s favorable to the truck accident victim.
At other times, truck accident claims resolve at a civil jury trial. Truck accident cases usually only go to trial when the parties are unable to settle their case amicably. At a trial, the jury listens to the evidence and decides what, if any, compensation to award the truck accident victim.
As an alternative to trial, the parties may consider alternative dispute resolution, such as a binding arbitration hearing, where an arbitrator decides the amount of monetary damages, or a mediation hearing, where a mediator helps the parties settle their case.
What Factors Affect the Monetary Payout I Receive in my Truck Accident Case?
The final payout that a truck accident victim receives will depend upon several factors. Since every truck accident claim or lawsuit is different, not all accident victims will recover the same types and amounts of monetary damages. These damages are very much case-specific and will depend on the following:
- The circumstances surrounding the accident, including the speeds of the vehicles and the type of accident that occurred – such as a rear-end collision, T-bone crash, or head-on collision
- The specific injuries that the accident victim suffered, including whether or not those injuries are permanent, as determined by an experienced medical provider
- The type of medical treatment of the accident victim received and the cost of that medical treatment
- Whether the accident victim had to miss time from work as a result of their injuries, including the number of days missed and the total compensation that the accident victim lost
- The extent of the accident victim’s past and anticipated suffering, pain, and inconvenience
- Whether the accident victim may need to undergo a medical procedure, such as surgery, at some point in the future, as determined by an experienced medical provider
- Whether the accident victim had to switch to a less strenuous job – and take a pay cut – due to the injuries they suffered in their truck accident
- The specific venue where your case is pending and the independent decisions of the judge or jury evaluating your case at trial
Generally speaking, the more serious a truck accident victim’s injuries, the higher the monetary compensation they may recover in their personal injury claim or lawsuit. At Cesar Ornelas Injury Law, we will thoroughly evaluate your case and help you come to a realistic expectation about your potential monetary damages. We could then help you file the appropriate injury claim with the at-fault truck driver’s insurer – or a lawsuit against the responsible truck driver or trucking company in the Texas Court System.
Talk to a Knowledgeable 18-wheeler Accident Lawyer in Texas Today
If you or a person you care about suffered injuries in a truck accident, time is of the essence. This is because truck accident victims in Texas only have two years from the date of their accident in which to file a claim or lawsuit that seeks the monetary recovery they deserve. If an accident victim misses the personal injury statute of limitations deadline by just one day, the Texas courts will prevent them from pursuing and recovering monetary damages of any kind. Therefore, if you suffered injuries in a recent truck crash, the time to take legal action is now.
At Cesar Ornelas Injury Law, our legal team has the knowledge, experience, and skills to negotiate a favorable settlement offer in your case and, if necessary, take your case to trial or binding arbitration and obtain a favorable result. Our team will be able to answer all of your legal questions and help you make informed, intelligent decisions while your case is pending.
Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies have skilled and experienced lawyers advocating for them at every stage of the game. You should, too. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Texas 18-wheeler accident attorney, please call us or contact us online to learn more.
Originally from Kyle, Texas, Mr. Ornelas is a first-generation college graduate and a first-generation attorney.
Licensed in Texas, Cesar Ornelas’s nationwide practice is entirely contingency fee-based and consists of a wide variety of catastrophic personal injury and death cases. He has represented countless victims of catastrophic accidents across the United States.