Anyone who pays attention to local Houston-area news reports, or even just commutes to/from the city for work each day, understands the danger of a truck accident is very real.
And the rate of serious injury or death in truck accidents is much higher than for passenger car only collisions – with the non-truck driver almost always sustaining the brunt of the personal injury and property damage.
Being a good defensive driver will reduce your risks of getting into a truck accident, but it can’t eliminate those risks entirely.
What do you do to recover, not only physically and emotionally, but financially in the aftermath of a truck-on-car collision?
Act Fast to Get Maximum Reimbursement
After the immediate medical care needs have been addressed, the very next thing you should be doing is contacting a reputable Houston truck accident lawyer for advice and legal representation.
The quicker you make the call to an injury lawyer, to better chances you have of winning your case. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to gather the evidence and witnesses you may need.
Furthermore, you only have a 2-year statute of limitations from the date of injury in Texas, and the process of filing a lawsuit takes time – so you can’t wait till the last minute.
Make Sure All Accident-related Expenses Are Included
The flurry of expenses that rush upon you following a truck accident injury can be difficult to keep track of and be able to prove when it’s time to file your claim. A good lawyer will guide you in what can be legally included and in what kind of paperwork you need for each expense.
And not only medical bills, but also transport to/from a hospital or doctor’s office, vehicle repairs, loss of income and earning capacity, costs for household services, and more count as economic damages.
And your claim should also include non-economic (pain and suffering) damages. Your lawyer will be familiar with how to calculate such losses and in what amounts can legally be collected or are likely to stand up in court.
Don’t Get Surprised By Texas Injury Laws
Not all injury compensation laws are “common sense,” and many of them vary from state to state. Without a local, Texas injury-law legal expert fighting on your side, it’s easy to get “blindsided” by unexpected “rules.”
First, beware of the other party or his/her insurer trying to put some of the fault onto you. Texas’ modified comparative negligence law says that your claim is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. And, if over 50% of the fault is deemed your own, nothing can be collected at all.
Second, if a government employee or agency was at fault in the accident, you have to file a complaint rather than a normal suit. And you have to do it within 6 months (not 2 years) or lose your right to file forever.
Third, there are stricter limits on how much you can get in compensation ($300,000 max) if a community service program worker caused the accident and injury.
Fourth and finally, don’t neglect to collect “exemplary” (punitive) damages IF the other driver’s willful or grossly negligent action or lack of action was the cause of the accident. Exemplary damages can potentially add anywhere from $200,000 to $1 million or more to your claim, but they only apply in a very select number of cases.
Unless you take the necessary steps to ensure you get full and fair compensation for all losses caused by a truck accident injury, you could end up hopelessly buried in debt. The earlier you get an experienced injury lawyer involved, the better your chances are of a fast economic recovery.