Commercial Trucking Accident
If you’re a victim of a commercial vehicle or trucking accident, then you already know that they are vastly different from standard automobile accidents. The sheer amount of weight and force behind an 18-wheeler or other similar commercial truck can cause significantly more bodily harm than a normal car crash. The legal strategy and claims process require experience and a thorough understanding of how to take action against companies rather than individuals.
You deserve compensation for the trauma and monetary burden that being in a commercial vehicle and trucking accident can bring. Bormaster Law has extensive experience in being your advocate through the claims process-- we go above and beyond what the average law firm will do to make sure we've pursued all the necessary damages you’re entitled to and fought for every penny of compensation on your behalf. And you don’t pay unless we win.
Here's how we help you if you've been in a commercial vehicle or trucking accident:
1. We Help You Find the Proper Medical Care
Beyond taking care of your body and making sure that you’re on the path to healing as quickly as possible, you need licensed medical professionals to document your injuries and generate the proof you need of the effects of the accident. Prompt medical attention is paramount to a successful case. Bormaster Law works closely with you to make sure you are meeting with medical professionals who are experienced in trucking accident injuries and can quickly diagnose the effects of your accident and help you with the proper treatment for those effects. Even if you feel fine shortly afterward, a trained expert can quickly identify potential impacts and treatments necessary to prevent long-term negative effects. We make sure all of these areas are documented and accounted for so that you’re compensated for any current and future impact of your accident.
2. We Send Out a Preservation Letter
The huge distinction to be made between being in a regular car accident and a commercial trucking accident is that your fight for compensation elevates beyond the other driver and their insurance company… your fight is against the trucking company and their team of lawyers as well. With a Preservation Letter, we can require these companies to park and preserve any involved vehicles, preserve the black box inside the vehicle, audit pre-drive inspection forms, acquire dash cam footage and more. The insurance company is ultimately the one footing the bill for your accident-related harms and losses, and they are in the business of paying as little as possible to protect their own profits. If you’re the victim of an accident, you’ll need every crucial piece of evidence on your side to prove the full value of your claim and facilitate a settlement.
3. We Help You Determine the Probable Value of Your Claim
There are a lot of factors that go into accurately assessing what you are entitled to financially, and with trucking companies you will be fighting experienced opposition every step of the way on those factors. Medical treatment, physical and psychological trauma and lost wages are all part of the equation, and trucking companies know that because of the corporate nature of their insurance, there are a lot more allowances for higher claim amounts that adequately pay out what your case is worth… if you know how to fight for them. Bormaster Law goes the extra mile to account for every way that your life has been negatively impacted, and we’ll help you determine and then demand what we believe to be the full value of your claim every time. Every step of the way we’ll fight for you to do our best to make sure that even after taking out our legal fees and expenses, you still walk away with more money than you were likely to receive on your own.
4. We Send a Demand Letter and Negotiate a Settlement
After a careful assessment and compilation of all the relevant evidence and information, a Demand Letter needs to be sent to the trucking company and their legal team. This will illustrate in black and white terms the fullest amount we believe you are entitled to under their insurance policies and the governing law and will hopefully force the trucking company’s insurance company to revisit any lower offers of settlement knowing the weight of the law and our experienced attorneys are on your side. Bormaster Law’s extensive experience in this area means we can come to the table prepared and in a position of strength and not walk away with a settlement amount that is less than what your case is really worth.
FAQs About Commercial Trucking Claims
Q: How much is my commercial trucking claim worth?
It’s important to understand that your case is unique, and every case will vary significantly based on the severity of the crash, the extent of your injuries, the amount of necessary medical treatment, if and how much time you miss at your job, the insurance policies of the trucking company and more. Determining the value of your claim is the strongest argument for having an experienced team of legal professionals on your side for this point in your life. Bormaster Law gets to know you personally in a way that other law firms typically won’t so that we can understand exactly how your life has been impacted on every level to make sure every area of potential compensation is accounted for, and our promise to you is that we will do our very best to accurately determine the value of your case and will not settle for anything less than a completely fair payout on your behalf.
Q: How long does the claims process take?
Most cases are resolved within 9-18 months, but the legal process can be lengthy if it’s not navigated skillfully. Appropriate and aggressive communication needs to be sent to the insurance adjusters and the company lawyers to make sure that your case remains a priority. That said, it’s important to not rush the process at the cost of affecting your potential settlement amount. Insurance companies love when they believe you are rushing because they can turn it into leverage by withholding the proper value of your case. It’s important that both the opposing lawyers and the insurance company know you are more concerned with them treating you fairly over settling early. Our team at Bormaster takes your case personally, and we make sure every communication we deem appropriate is sent and every detail we believe to be helpful is accounted for in an effort to resolve your claims to your satisfaction just as speedily and thoroughly as we believe possible under your individual circumstances.
Q: What if I want to take the trucking company to court?
The decision to file a lawsuit is motivated by a number of different factors, and much of it has to do with the cooperation of the commercial vehicle company and their insurance company. In general, taking a case to court is a costly approach, but sometimes filing an official lawsuit is necessary to give our firm access to the Discovery Process which allows us to collect more evidence. Even more so than individual people, commercial vehicle companies want to avoid appearing in Court– they don’t want their brands associated with unflattering lawsuits and they want most claims resolved quickly so there isn’t an extended drain on their resources. Both of these factors are points of leverage that we can try to use to your advantage. Bormaster Law likes to utilize that leverage and other case specific facts to try to tip the scales in your favor so that we can hopefully avoid a trial while still putting a higher and acceptable dollar amount in your pocket at the end of the process.
Q: How long after my accident do I have to file a claim?
While it’s important to file a claim as soon as you can to make sure you get the most out of your case, the Texas Statute of Limitations on personal injury and wrongful death claims is two years to settle the claim, generally calculated to the anniversary of the date of the accident. There are instances where a different start date could be legally determined based on unique factors, but these situations are rare. The general rule of thumb is that the closer to your commercial truck accident you start a claim, the more likely it is that you will receive a top-dollar settlement AND have your bills paid without a long protracted and drawn out fight… and our job is to be a constant reminder in the ear of the trucking company and insurance company that your case is important and needs to be resolved. Much of the evidence that Bormaster helps you compile and present to insurance companies is based on prompt and consistent medical treatment that provides documentation and dollar amounts of how your life has been negatively impacted. So don’t wait… get in touch with us today so we can help you get the compensation you’re entitled to!
Things To Know
If you have filed or are considering filing a claim for a commercial trucking accident case, you can familiarize yourself with the following terms, statistics and items to be better prepared for the claims process or specifics relevant to your situation:
There are three types of damages you can cite in your claim: economic, non-economic and punitive. Economic damages are direct compensation for medical expenses as a result of sustained injuries (and can apply to both past and future expenses), lost wages, an inability to earn similar or any wages in the future and more. Non-economic damages are intangible elements such as psychological suffering from pain and trauma, long-term or permanent body disfigurement, emotional distress and other mental-wellness related afflictions. Punitive damages are an additional payout on top of your previously-determined damages that are applicable if it can be definitively determined that the truck driver showed reckless/malicious behavior connected to the accident, or if fraudulent behavior is determinable in some way.
That’s the number of people who were hurt in commercial vehicle accidents in the State of Texas in 2019, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, you’re not alone… and Bormaster Law has endless experience in helping people just like you get compensation.
FMCSA & Texas Regulations:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the trucking industry with a very short leash, and the State of Texas has its own code for maintaining safety within the industry as well. These regulations control many potential-risk areas such as licensing, vehicle size and weight, vehicle maintenance, safety standards, hours of service limitations imposed on drivers, driver drug testing and more. A violation of any of these regulations is grounds for negligence, which can be enough to prove the compensation you’re entitled to. Our extensive knowledge of both Texas and Federal Law allows us to investigate with a thoroughness and efficiency that will generate answers and results for your case.
Under Texas Law, the drivers of the vehicles involved in an accident can all be partially at fault for the accident they are in. So long as you are found to be less than 50% at fault you should be able to recover something. However the amount you recover is lowered by the percentage of fault you are determined to have. So if, for example, you are found to be 10% responsible for causing the accident and the award is $10,000–the amount of the award would be lowered by 10% (or $100) because you caused 10% of your own harms in the above example. If you are determined to be more than 50% at fault you don’t get to recover anything in Texas—even if the other driver was found to be 49.9% responsible for causing the accident. So doing things early to document the cause of the accident—even while still at the scene of the accident—can be crucial. It doesn’t matter if you have to have your limbs amputated and are going to spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair where figuring out the percentage of fault for the cause of the accident is concerned. In Texas if you are found to be more than 50% at fault you get nothing. We are engaged from the moment we are hired and are there to help you document what you still can; help you make sure you are properly prepared to give a statement (when appropriate) to the Insurance Adjuster; making sure we have photos and damage estimates and materials to provide to an accident reconstruction expert when appropriate; making sure we have placed them under legal preservation requirements so that they can’t destroy or lose evidence that may be necessary to determine fault percentages and more. You don’t want to fight this battle alone. Let our experienced team get engaged early so that percentages of fault are our worry and getting better is yours.
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