The aftermath of any traffic accident is stressful, and trucking accidents tend to be more traumatic than typical car crashes. From medical bills for serious injuries to the damage passenger vehicles often endure, victims face many obstacles to complete healing.
Working with the right attorney can make all the difference to the process and outcome of your case by alleviating stress, supporting healing, and increasing your chance of securing the financial compensation you deserve.
Of course, the process of finding the right lawyer can be stressful on its own, which is the last thing you need right now. This post will explain how finding a truck accident lawyer is different than finding a car accident lawyer and what you should expect from the best truck accident attorney San Antonio, Texas can offer.
Commercial Truck Accident Claims vs. Car Accident Claims
A typical car accident claim, involving cars, SUVs, and their private owners, is about figuring out who broke what traffic laws. While this is an important part of any crash case, commercial truck accident claims also involve trucking companies and their insurers, complicating the process and putting more money at stake.
Your San Antonio truck accident attorney must be prepared to navigate that complexity and discuss it with you. As experts, they’ll ask questions that don’t generally come up in regular car accidents. Commercial truck accidents often differ from private car accidents in many ways.
More Severe Injuries and Property Damage
Commercial trucks, from 18-wheelers and tanker trucks to waste and tow trucks, are significantly larger than cars. When they hit cars and SUVs, the injuries and property damage tend to be far more serious than in a crash not involving commercial trucks.
As with any accident, truck crashes can cause injuries that aren’t immediately clear. Crosley Law’s client, Jerry M. was quickly diagnosed with visible injuries to his neck, shoulders, wrists, and back after being hit by a big rig. Unfortunately, his brain injury was “invisible” and took longer to manifest, complicating Jerry’s recovery and case.
Multiple Responsible Parties
While most victims focus their attention on the truck driver, many parties can contribute to a truck wreck. Your lawyer should be able to carefully investigate your claim, identifying everyone who was negligent or reckless.
When a commercial truck crashes, fault may also lie with the people employing the driver or working with the truck itself:
- Truck owners who didn’t maintain the vehicle or train their employees properly
- Trucking companies that demanded unreasonable delivery times or pressured drivers to break the rules
- Cargo company or truck loaders that packed items inappropriately
- Truck mechanic who improperly cares for the vehicle
- Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers that that created or sold defective or dangerous products
- Bars and restaurants that overserved a truck driver alcohol
Trucking-Specific Laws and Regulations
In addition to Texas’ rules of the road, trucking companies and commercial vehicle drivers must follow industry-specific state and federal regulations. For example, truck drivers must take breaks after a set number of consecutive hours of driving and must regularly be off duty long enough to get a set number of consecutive hours of sleep.
When they violate these rules, it might be considered negligence per se, which could streamline your truck wreck claim. However, if your attorney is not familiar with the patchwork of laws and rules that apply to commercial vehicles, you might miss this opportunity.
Many Potential Causes
Any driver can become distracted or enact poor judgement. Commercial truck accidents, however, are more likely to be caused by:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Shifting cargo weight
- Dangerous or defective parts and equipment
- Improper truck maintenance
- Driver unfamiliarity with the road
- Speeding, especially when the trucking company sets unattainable goals or deadlines
However, many modern trucks also have sophisticated systems that can pinpoint the exact cause of a crash. From GPS-based tracking systems to dashcams, trucking technology can monitor a vehicle’s speed, mechanical function, driver behavior, and many other factors. Your personal injury lawyer will need to act quickly to preserve this valuable evidence and work with skilled accident reconstruction experts, engineers, and others to analyze and interpret the data.
Find the Right Truck Accident Attorney in San Antonio
Commercial truck accident claims are often far more complex than regular car accident claims – enough so that many personal injury lawyers aren’t prepared to adequately prepare your case. Let’s learn what to expect from a prepared San Antonio truck accident lawyer.
You should be confident in the knowledge and ability of your San Antonio truck accident attorney. Even if you bear no fault for the crash, the defendant anticipates cases like yours and invests deeply in legal representation and the insurance company to protect its bottom line.
Be prepared for them to use this clout to intimidate you. They might already be trying to talk you into a settlement. While it’s tempting to take the quick and easy settlement (rather than moving forward with a lawsuit, it’s probably not in your best interest. The insurance company rarely (if ever) offers you a fair settlement right away, and your case might be worth more than you think.
Perhaps you’re dealing with a truck driver who keeps changing their story, as our client, Barb O. did after being hit by a loaded semi-truck. It takes a good attorney to keep track of these inconsistencies and call them out strategically.
The right truck accident lawyer will know how to find and present information that’s often unique to truck crashes. As a law firm that strives to level the playing field between large trucking companies and crash victims, we encourage you to hire a lawyer that has all the following traits.
A Five-Star Reputation
The impressions of clients and other legal professionals matter. Read online reviews and other write ups on any attorney you consider to get a sense of how they’re viewed by those they’ve worked with. Weigh their reputation for winning cases, going above and beyond, and maintaining great communication with clients.
Be sure to look beyond the testimonials on a law firm’s website. While several positive reviews are a good sign (and video testimonials are even better), they don’t necessarily give you the whole picture.
If you’d like to read Crosley Law’s reviews, you can refer to our Google My Business profile. Tom Crosley’s peers have also consistently ranked him as an AV Preeminent attorney, according to Martindale. This honor is only given to the most respected and ethical lawyers.
A History of Handling Complex Trucking Claims
Truck crash cases are best handled by lawyers with some years of practice under their belts. While more time in the industry doesn’t necessarily guarantee a better outcome, it certainly means an attorney has encountered a wider range of cases and individuals.
Your attorney should have significant truck accident experience. Now that you know how a truck crash differs from a typical car accident, you have a sense of the questions your lawyer should be asking. If they’re not concerned with the truck’s cargo load or how many hours the driver had been behind the wheel, that’s a red flag.
You can quickly rule out lawyers who don’t work in the personal injury space. Practice areas like family, criminal, property, and estate law aren’t well suited to a personal injury case, let alone a complicated truck injury case.
Strong Relationships With Experts and Other Resources
Does the attorney you’re considering have the resources necessary for a complex truck crash case? Resources include legal staff, money to hire medical experts, and time. Other needs may come up as your case becomes more involved.
A firm that’s too small may not have enough people to delve into the various kinds of work your case requires. At the same time, a very large firm may not be able to give your case the personal focus it needs.
At Crosley Law, we prepare every case like it’s going to trial. That means that we often work with nationally respected experts, including physicians, medical researchers, accident reconstruction specialists, engineers, economists, and financial planners. Just as importantly, our in-house team will treat you like family—giving you the time, information, and care you deserve.
An Impressive Success Rate
No lawyer is going to win every single case they take on. However, their record of success ought to be impressive enough to advertise if they’re going to represent you in a challenging truck accident case. The firm’s overall success rate is helpful, and a record of truck accident wins is even better. If you’d like to learn more about Crosley Law’s remarkable track record, check out our Results page.
Accessibility and an Exceptional Client Experience
You need to be able to communicate with your lawyer quickly and easily. Things can move fast in a complex case and the best legal representation will make it simple for you to keep up. Expect accessibility in terms of phone calls, email, document sharing, and meetings.
Also expect accessibility at the physical location of the law firm. It should be close enough to home that you can visit as needed and accessible to clients using walkers and wheelchairs. In addition to our accessible and welcoming office space, Crosley Law offers video consultations.
Crosley Law Brings Experience, Knowledge, and Compassion
Crosley Law maintains an exceptional track record and takes a cutting-edge approach to truck wreck clams. We’ve encountered a range of unethical behaviors from trucking companies after they’ve been responsible for a crash, and we use our experience and resources to protect our clients’ interests.
Further, we treat our clients with compassion. From in-depth investigations to being accessible 24/7, everything we do is done with genuine care for our clients’ wellbeing.
Schedule Your Free Truck Accident Consultation Today
Crosley Law is ready to be the finest truck accident attorney San Antonio can offer you and your loved ones after a crash. You’ll only pay legal fees if we secure a settlement for you. For a free consultation, call 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or complete the simple contact form on our website today!
Summary of Hours of Service Regulations (n.d.). FMCSA. Retrieved from https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death. If you’ve been injured, fill out the form for a free consultation, or call 210-LAW-3000.