Our El Paso Truck Accident Attorneys Represent Injured Victims Throughout the State of Texas
We work relentlessly on the behalf of our clients who are often facing the most difficult times of their lives.
As the population grows in Texas, so does the demand for more commercial goods, food, and products. These all require large trucks to bring them into the state.
As the trucking industry grows, more drivers and vehicles are on I-10 and other roads around El Paso, Texas. More large trucks on the road mean more congestion and traffic, and a greater risk of accidents.
Truck accidents not only lead to expenses in terms of property damage, but they can also result in injuries that are fatal or life-changing. At the law offices of Flores, Tawney & Acosta, P.C., our Texas truck accident attorneys in El Paso are passionate about representing those who have been harmed in a truck accident.
In fact, in 2020 alone, there were 32,562 commercial vehicles involved in accidents throughout the state, as reported by the Texas Department of Transportation - a number that could very well increase in the future.
We Want to Hear Your Story – and We Want to Help
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Texas
Numerous factors can lead to a large truck accident, including negligence by a driver or by the company that employs them. In some cases, another third party can share liability if there is something defective on the truck that contributed to the accident.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents we see in El Paso, Texas include the following.
Distracted driving is more than texting and driving; it is anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road.
Perhaps they are looking at a logbook, their GPS, getting something from the seat, changing the radio station, eating, etc. All it takes is a second of inattention to cause a devastating accident.
There are numerous safety rules for trucking companies and the drivers they employ.
Unfortunately, some companies disregard the rules and let very inexperienced drivers behind the wheel of a large semi-truck.
Truck drivers are typically in a hurry to make a delivery since they are almost always paid by the load. That can lead to drivers speeding, running lights or stop signs, etc. In general, large trucks are more difficult to control.
Driving too fast for conditions can have catastrophic consequences.
The other consequence of being paid by the load is that drivers are willing to push through, even when exhausted. That’s why there are regulations on how many hours and days a truck driver can work.
Not surprisingly, some trucking companies will instruct their drivers to ignore these rules or mandate they work longer than federal law allows. With exhausted drivers on the road, the risk of accidents is higher.
Truck drivers who fall asleep at the wheel risk countless lives, including their own.
Driving Under the Influence
While this is not necessarily a widespread problem everywhere, all it takes is one intoxicated large truck driver to get behind the wheel when they shouldn’t. Driving under the influence is not limited to alcohol consumption either.
It includes someone driving under the influence of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medication, and illegal drugs.
Lack of Maintenance and Safety Inspections
Drivers have an obligation to ensure their trucks are in proper working order and safe to enter the road.
Failure to do so could lead to a catastrophic accident if something stops working while the driver is transporting heavy cargo.
Failure to inspect the vehicles means a semi-truck driver runs the risk of being on the road when something malfunctions. Issues such as defective brakes or tires could lead to a blowout or another malfunction that winds up killing someone in an accident.
When a truck driver hits your vehicle and causes you injuries, you have the right to pursue a claim for reimbursement of your damages.
Types of Damages in a Truck Accident Claim in El Paso, Texas
Truck accidents often leave those within the smaller passenger vehicle involved with life-altering harm. Our lawyers understand the range and the severity of damages that you can suffer in a truck accident.
We will work hard to ensure that you get compensation for the full extent of your losses. Common damages that our lawyers see in truck accident claims in El Paso include:
Disability and disfigurement
The injuries that a person suffers in a truck accident can be positively horrific. Some of the most severe injuries include amputation injuries, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. These can leave a person with a permanent disability, as well as potential disfigurement.
Injuries not only inhibit one’s ability and future opportunities; they are also very expensive to treat. Even if you have only suffered minor injuries, it is doubtful that your healthcare expenses will be “minor.” Healthcare services in the United States cost tens of thousands of dollars.
If you stayed in the hospital, underwent surgery, or required other procedures and treatment, you may be looking at hundreds of thousands in medical expenses.
Loss of physical and cognitive abilities
Some injuries never fully heal. Residual injuries and pain can leave a person with a loss of physical abilities or/and cognitive abilities. Not only can this impair one’s day-to-day activities, but it can also serve as a barrier to working in the future and earning an income. Our truck accident lawyers in El Paso, Texas will advocate for your right to compensation for the full extent of your lost wages and future lost wages.
Loss of enjoyment of life
Injuries, especially those that do not heal fully with time, often lead to a loss of enjoyment of life. While this is intangible and more difficult to calculate as such, you certainly deserve compensation.
Property damages expenses
Finally, if a large truck strikes your vehicle, there’s a very good chance it will be totaled. This means that you have likely suffered thousands of dollars in property damage expenses in addition to your other losses.
In certain instances, you could also be entitled to a punitive damages award. Courts can award punitive damages in cases involving gross negligence or malice. Texas law caps these damages at the greater of $200,000 or twice the number of economic damages plus an equal amount of noneconomic damages, up to $750,000.
What To Do Following a El Paso, Texas Semi-Truck Accident
The steps you take immediately following an accident can impact your personal injury claim. If you are not severely injured and can do so safely, try to get photos of the scene with your cell phone.
You should take photos of the vehicles in the position immediately following the accident, including any debris or skid marks in the area. Are there any other notable elements, such as weather, road hazards, construction, etc.?
Your vehicle may be totaled after the accident, but preserving it could be crucial to your claim as well. That is one reason why we recommend speaking to a Texas semi-truck accident lawyer right away. Your attorney will know what steps to take to have your insurance company not dispose of the vehicle until an accident reconstructionist can view it.
If you are not transported from the scene by an ambulance, it’s imperative you see a doctor as soon as possible. Don’t assume your injuries are minor. You could have internal injuries that are not visible to the naked eye. Also, waiting to see a doctor gives the at-fault party’s insurance company added ammunition to use against you.
When you wait to seek medical treatment, they will make the argument that your injuries weren’t severe or that something else happened in the interim to cause your injuries.
When you report the accident to insurance, be cautious in your communications with the insurance companies. The truck driver’s insurance will ask you for a recorded statement, hoping you will say something that puts liability on you for the accident. Here’s a truck accident checklist that you can use.
You should not give a recorded statement without first speaking to a Texas truck accident attorney. Immediately hiring an attorney following a severe accident is the best way to protect your rights in the claims process.
Mr. Tawney has provided excellent services and put his excellent knowledge on full display. He is a real professional and made all legal matters a walk in the park for me. Thank you!- Jonique C.
Great experience with Mr. Tawney and his staff. I would highly recommend them for anyone needing their services. I couldn’t be more pleased.- Mike M.
I Jose Hernandez, Recognizing the lawyer James Tawney for his work, efficiency and for his compliance in cases, as a lawyer and as a person. I recommend him for paying attention to the clients and the lawsuits he defends. He is very accomplished and also his team of assistants attend the customer very well, they are very friendly and give you attention in everything.- Jose H.
How Does Insurance Work in Texas?
In order to recover the full value of the damages listed above, you will need to file a claim against the appropriate insurance party (while it is possible to file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault party, typically, damages are paid by an insurance company; most people cannot afford to pay personal injury claim damages out-of-pocket).
The state of Texas maintains an at-fault system of insurance, which holds that those who cause accidents are responsible for paying for them.
If the truck accident you were in was due to the negligent actions of the truck driver or the trucking company, then you will file a claim against the trucking company’s insurance. If the cause of the accident was a third-party driver, then file a claim against this party’s insurance.
Of course, sometimes, other third parties (besides drivers) are to blame. This includes a shipper or loader of cargo or a vehicle part manufacturer. Our lawyers can assess your claim and help you to determine who should be held liable.
Proving Fault and Damages
It is not enough to merely file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurer; you must be able to prove that the negligence of the at-fault party was the proximate cause of your injuries. Our lawyers can help you to gather the evidence to do this, including:
- Truck ‘black box’ data;
- Driver’s logs;
- Truck maintenance and inspection reports;
- Eyewitnesses’ testimonies;
- Photograph evidence;
- Police reports; and