If you were injured in a San Antonio truck accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages.
Accidents involving large commercial trucks happen every day across the state, causing severe injuries and even death in some instances.
You need a skilled San Antonio truck accident lawyer who can protect your rights.
At The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., we have decades of experience helping Central Texas clients get the compensation they deserve after an accident involving an 18-wheeler truck.
San Antonio Truck Accident Statistics
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Texas was one of the top ten states for large truck and bus fatalities between 2015 and 2017. In 2017, there were 4,889 fatal crashes across the country, which was a 9% increase from 2016. Of these fatalities, 72% of the deceased parties were occupants in the other vehicle.
In 2019, the Texas Department of Transportation reported that 452 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents in Texas. Of these, 332 happened on rural roads, while 120 fatal accidents were in urban areas.
San Antonio statistics are not broken down by vehicle types, but there were 144 fatal collisions with 145 deaths in 2019.
Other notable crash statistics in San Antonio include:
- 540 suspected serious crashes;
- 618 suspected serious injuries;
- 3,456 non-incapacitating crashes;
- 4,464 non-incapacitating injuries;
- 9,341 possible injury crashes;
- 15,057 possible injuries;
- 2,489 accidents with unknown injury severity; and
- 11,603 unknown injuries.
If you are wondering what the most dangerous roads are in San Antonio, Texas Monthly reports that the 14-mile stretch of I-410 on the northwest side of the loop, which stretches from the north to the south end of I-35, was the site of 46 crashes that resulted in 50 fatalities.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Injuries in a large truck accident are usually more severe than you’ll find in a collision involving two passenger vehicles.
Some of the most common injuries we see are:
- Slipped discs in the spine;
- Broken bones;
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Internal organ damage;
- Limb amputation;
- Burn injuries; and
- Rib and torso injuries.
If you sustained injuries in a truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need a San Antonio truck accident attorney who can help you hold the responsible parties accountable for your damages.
Why You Need an 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer in San Antonio on Your Side
Pursuing a claim for injuries in an 18-wheeler accident can be complicated.
Trucking companies have their own legal teams that will deny claims or undervalue them whenever possible to save money for their client.
Instead of pursuing a claim on your own, consider hiring a truck accident lawyer in San Antonio who will fight for you.
At The Zimmerman Law Firm, our San Antonio truck accident lawyers understand how these insurance companies and defense attorneys work. We are well-versed in the tactics they use to undervalue claims. Our legal team will gather all evidence, speak with witnesses, and handle communications with the trucking company’s insurance company and lawyers. We won’t let them take advantage of your inexperience with the claims process.
If your case doesn’t resolve through negotiations, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf. Sometimes this will get the trucking company back to the negotiating table with a fair offer. In cases where they are still unwilling to entertain a reasonable settlement offer, we will prepare your case for trial. We have a proven record of success in the Texas courts. We aren’t afraid to go up against these big trucking companies.
Determining Fault After a Truck Accident in San Antonio, Texas
Determining fault against the driver in a large truck accident is necessary before you can successfully recover compensation for your injuries.
18-wheeler accidents differ from standard San Antonio car accident claims in several ways, including the fact that federal regulations apply.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the government agency that oversees the trucking industry. Federal laws determine limits on how long and far a truck driver can go each day.
You need a San Antonio truck accident attorney who knows these laws and can help you build the strongest case possible.
Some common causes of truck accidents include situations where the truck driver was:
- Distracted, which could include looking at maps or the GPS, eating, drinking, etc.;
- Fatigued from too many hours on the road;
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs; or
- Inexperienced, unlicensed, or poorly trained.
Truck drivers and the trucking companies are also responsible for making sure their trucks and cargo are safe for transport. If the truck is not properly inspected before each trip, not correctly maintained, or overloaded, the trucking company could be held liable.
To successfully recover compensation for you, we will need to gather all necessary evidence to prove negligence against the defendants.
This evidence can include:
- Trip reports,
- Bills of lading,
- Freight bills,
- Driver’s record, and
Trucking companies won’t be quick to turn this evidence over, however. They aren’t going to willingly cooperate in any way that can help us prove their driver was at fault.
In some cases, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit and send formal requests for this information during the discovery phase of litigation.
Recovering Compensation After a Truck Accident in San Antonio, Texas
After a truck accident injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to recover compensation, such as:
- Medical expenses to date,
- Future estimated medical costs,
- Current loss of earnings to date,
- Future loss of earning capacity,
- Property damage,
- Physical pain and suffering, and
- Other related expenses.
In limited situations, such as a truck driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the court may opt to award punitive damages. Punitive damages are applicable only in cases where the defendant’s actions were egregious. The financial award is to punish the wrongdoer and deter them from engaging in similar future behavior.
If a loved one passes away due to injuries sustained in the accident, certain family members may have a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim could compensate your family for your losses, such as emotional pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, loss of companionship, and more. It may also help you recover damages for the deceased’s funeral and burial costs, outstanding medical expenses, and lost wages.
Elements of a Truck Accident Lawsuit
While we can’t guarantee the outcome of any lawsuit, strong evidence can help you win your case.
Some of the most important evidence in a lawsuit includes:
- Police report and scene photos;
- Trucking company records that prove federal violations;
- Other evidence of negligence or misconduct;
- Documented medical evidence and billing;
- Documented loss of earnings records; and
- Statements from witnesses.
In some litigated cases, your attorney may need to hire industry experts.
These experts could include a medical doctor who can testify that your injuries are related to the accident and that the treatment you received was necessary. You may also need an accident reconstructionist to prove the accident happened the way you said it did.
With disputed liability cases, an accident reconstructionist can recreate the accident so the jury can have a clear picture of what happened.
San Antonio Truck Accident FAQs
Understandably, prospective clients have numerous questions before hiring a San Antonio truck accident attorney.
Some of the most common questions we receive include the following.
In general, you have two years to file a lawsuit for injuries resulting from a large truck accident in Texas. However, some circumstances can alter the amount of time you have to file, which is why you want to hire an experienced attorney.
With most personal injury law firms, including The Zimmerman Law Firm, you won’t pay any legal fees or costs upfront. Instead, we will take a percentage of your settlement to cover our expenses and court costs. That means you won’t pay anything unless we successfully recover compensation in your case.
When you retain a truck accident attorney in San Antonio, we will handle all the communications with the other driver’s insurance company. Immediately following the accident, you are likely to receive a call asking for a recorded statement. Do not give the truck driver’s insurance a statement without first speaking with an attorney. Insurance companies look for ways to use these statements against you.
Determining who is responsible for a truck accident will vary from accident to accident. In some cases, the truck driver might be responsible for violating motor vehicle laws, such as speeding or driving under the influence. Trucking companies can be held accountable for negligence related to dangerous cargo, federal trucking violations, etc., as well as for the actions of their employees. Manufacturers could also be liable if there was a defective part on the truck that contributed to the accident.
Contact a San Antonio Truck Accident Attorney
Don’t risk your potential settlement by attempting to handle a truck accident claim on your own. Let our professional legal team help.
We have over 85 years of combined experience assisting Central Texas clients to recover compensation in personal injury accidents.