Truck accidents are serious events, and much different than most other traffic accidents involving passenger vehicles. Because of this, injuries and damage suffered in big rig wrecks are frequently much more significant, and settlements can be much higher than in common auto accidents. Due to the challenges that are frequently involved in these accident cases, it is very important for accident victims to work with an experienced lawyer who is experienced in big rig accidents, and can present the best accident claim.
The Challenge of Proving Fault
Proving fault in trucking accidents is not as easy as it is in other auto accidents. Because trucking companies and the drivers working for them are required to adhere to many federal rules and regulations, and the number of outside factors that can cause these accidents, determination of what happened, and why, can take a while. Many times there must be an extensive investigation into the accident, including forensic recreation of the event, before any determination of fault can be accurately made. Simply put, it can take some time for all of this to occur, and the cause - and who is to blame - may be complex.
The Challenge of Multiple Defendants
Actually proving fault in big rig accidents requires understanding the different entities related to the accident, and how they are involved. Since there are many different names associated with commercial trucks on the highway today, this commonly means multiple defendants who may be responsible for a portion of the settlement. Responsible parties may range from truck drivers, truck owners, carrier companies, and companies that hire carriers, all the way to truck manufacturers, truck part makers, and many others.
Depending on what happened and why, the defendants named in a claim resulting from a big rig wreck can vary widely, adding complexity to the entire case. When determining who is at fault, and how much they are at fault becomes unclear, agreeing on a settlement becomes more difficult, and cases often end up in court.
The Challenge of Partial Responsibility
One other important thing that those involved in trucking accidents must also consider, is that not every accident is completely the fault of a truck, or its driver. Although it is easy to place blame on the truck, especially when massive damage and injuries occur as a result of an accident, passenger car drivers are frequently at least partially at fault for causing an accident.
This idea complicates obtaining a claim settlement even further, as once cause has been determined, and passenger drivers are found partially at fault, a value be assigned to any request for settlement. A percentage of fault must be determined, and then a dollar amount applied to that percentage. All of this must be weighed when configuring the entire settlement amount being claimed. Again, when determining actual amount of responsibility, and the effect it should have on a settlement becomes a problem, cases usually end up going to trial.
Settling truck accident claims out of court may be preferable by many, but because of challenges like those referenced above, this is not always possible. Getting a fair claim settlement for injuries and damages sustained in big rig accidents requires expert representation, and lawyers skilled at building the best case against those responsible. Attorneys experienced in big rig wrecks, and dealing with multiple responsible parties - among other things - can help clients get the best settlement possible, in the best possible way!
Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webser, Manvel, Alvin, Friendswood, La Marque, Texas City, and Galveston
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190