San Antonio Truck Accident Lawyer
Every year, there are around 500,000 truck accidents across the United States. About 5,000 of them result in at least one fatality. Many of these crashes leave those involved with serious or life-threatening injuries.
If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a trucking accident caused by the negligence of another, our San Antonio truck accident lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. There are no upfront fees, and our attorneys are not paid unless our clients receive compensation.
For 20 years, our firm has been helping Texas crash victims recover compensation. Founder and co-owner Ted Lorenz was named to Super Lawyers five years in a row. The attorneys on this list have achieved a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
How Can Lorenz & Lorenz Help Me?
For two decades, the attorneys at Lorenz & Lorenz have been dedicated to helping injury victims secure compensation from negligent parties. This includes many motor vehicle crash victims.
We know you have many questions about what to do after an accident. We are here to help, and there are no upfront fees.
You may have a case against the driver, or another party, and if we validate your case, we can handle every step of the legal process on your behalf. This includes investigating the scene, interviewing witnesses, negotiating for compensation, and preparing for trial, if we need to file a lawsuit.
We offer a free consultation where we can discuss your claim and determine potential legal options. If we validate your claim, you decide if you want to move forward. We only get paid if we recover compensation on your behalf, so there is no risk to you.
Taking on powerful trucking companies, attorneys and insurance companies is often too much for injury victims to handle on their own. Those who hire experienced attorneys often recover more compensation compared to those who do not.
Am I Eligible to Seek Compensation?
There are several factors that must be reviewed to determine if a truck crash victim may be eligible to seek compensation. One of the most important factors is how the accident happened, specifically, if the negligence of the truck driver or another party contributed to the crash.
There are four elements of negligence your attorney must prove to seek compensation for your damages:
- You were owed a duty of care – For example, truck drivers are expected to act responsibly to reduce the risk of a crash.
- There was a breach of the duty of care owed to you – The party that owed you a duty of care failed to uphold that duty. For example, maybe a truck driver was speeding or not paying attention. The trucking company may have failed to perform routine maintenance on the truck that hit your vehicle.
- The breach is directly connected to your accident – Your San Antonio truck accident lawyer must show the breach caused the accident, and the accident would not have happened otherwise.
- You suffered damages – You must show the accident caused your damages, such as medical costs to treat your injuries, lost wages, property damage, and more.
It is important to discuss your claim with a licensed attorney, as he or she can determine if negligence may have been involved in your accident. Unlike the insurance company, an experienced truck accident lawyer should be focused on your best interests.
Unlike other Texas law firms, at Lorenz & Lorenz, accidents are our only business. This means we only work with clients who have suffered an injury due to the negligence of another.
There are many questions your attorney may ask you to help determine if you may have a viable claim:
- Have you sought treatment?
- What is your diagnosis?
- Have you missed work?
- What do you remember about the accident?
- Were you able to gather any evidence at the scene?
- And more
How Much is a Truck Accident Case Worth?
Because many truck accidents cause serious, sometimes fatal, injuries, truck crash cases are often worth more than injury claims for other types of accidents.
You should strongly consider discussing your claim with an attorney with significant experience in motor vehicle accident cases. The lawyers at Lorenz & Lorenz have been helping crash victims for 20 years and are prepared to pursue full compensation for your damages, which may include:
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Past and future medical costs
- Past and future lost income
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- And more
Every case is different, so it would be in your best interest to discuss your claim with one of our licensed attorneys as soon as possible. In a free consultation, we can give you a better idea of the value of your claim.
How Long do I Have to File a Claim?
There is limited time for injury victims to file a claim after a truck accident in Texas. According to Texas Statute of Limitations Sec. 16.003, personal injury claims must be filed no later than two years after the date of the accident.
If you file a claim after that, it is likely to be dismissed in court. However, there are exceptions to this two-year deadline in certain situations. You should discuss your claim with a lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer needs time to investigate and build a case.
Who May be Liable for my Injuries?
Many truck accidents are caused by negligent drivers. However, other parties may also share liability for a crash.
When assessing liability, it is important to determine who owns the truck, sometimes the truck is owned by the driver and other times it is owned by a trucking company. There are three common classifications of truck drivers when it comes to ownership of the truck:
- Owner-operator – The driver owns the truck but likely leases it out to a trucking company or is an independent contractor.
- Company driver – The truck driver works for a company that has hired him or her to drive a company-owned truck.
- Independent owner-operator – This is an independent driver who may own one or more trucks for transporting goods.
Depending on their relationship with drivers, trucking companies may share some amount of fault for a crash. Other liable parties may include:
- Company that owns the trailer
- Cargo-loading company
- Company responsible for maintenance of the trailer or cab
Another factor to consider when determining liability is if the accident was caused by a manufacturer malfunction such as brake failure, power steering errors or another mechanical error.
The San Antonio truck accident lawyers at Lorenz & Lorenz are committed to holding all liable parties accountable and securing maximum compensation for victims.
Insurance Policies for Commercial Vehicles in Texas
Commercial truck crashes are often extremely dangerous, which is why trucking companies are required to carry large insurance policies to pay for damages. Often, victims of these crashes seek compensation from liability insurance policies.
Texas has the following liability insurance requirements for commercial trucks transporting goods inside state lines:
- $300,000 if transporting household goods and the truck weighs 26,000 pounds or less
- $500,000 if transporting household goods and the truck weighs more than 26,000 pounds
- $1,000,000 if transporting oil
- $5,000,000 if transporting hazardous materials and the vehicle weighs more than 10,001 pounds
Federal liability insurance requirements, set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), are slightly different. These apply when a truck crosses state lines to transport goods:
- $300,000 for vehicles that weigh less than 10,001 pounds and carry non-hazardous freight
- $750,000-$5,000,000 for vehicles that weigh more than 10,001 pounds; the required amount varies based on what the truck is carrying
Liability insurance is not the only type of insurance that may come into play. Other types of insurance that may be involved in a truck crash claim include:
- Bobtail insurance
- Trailer interchange
- Umbrella policies
What do you do if the Insurance Company Contacts You?
After a truck accident, the insurance company will likely attempt to contact you and offer a settlement or ask for a statement.
You need to be cautious about what you tell the insurance company. They are looking for reasons to devalue or even deny your claim. They may ask probing questions designed to get you to downplay the severity of your injuries. You could inadvertently say something that sounds like an admission of fault.
That is why, when it comes to the insurance company, the less said by the victim, the better. You can decline to answer questions until you have spoken with your attorney. If you hire a lawyer, he or she can deal with the insurance company on your behalf to protect your claim. The attorneys at Lorenz & Lorenz have dealt with many insurance companies and know how to protect the full value of a claim.
Chances are the insurance company’s initial offer to you is nowhere near the full value of your claim. That is why talking to a licensed attorney is so important.
Trucking Regulations That May Impact Your Case
There are both state and federal laws regulating the commercial vehicle industry. The regulations are meant to help prevent accidents that could result in serious injuries, extensive property damage and fatalities.
Some of the rules include requiring drivers to possess a commercial driver license and obtain permits for transporting certain materials. Other regulations cover:
- Drug and alcohol testing, including pre-employment testing and post-accident testing
- Limits on driving time
- Fitness standards
- Vehicle maintenance requirements
- Cargo inspections
- And more
Trucking companies and drivers who violate these regulations could greatly increase the risk of a crash. The San Antonio truck accident lawyers at Lorenz & Lorenz have extensive knowledge of the regulations that are often violated. We know how to prove regulations were violated and how to link those violations to a crash.
Preserving Your Claim After an Accident
Once you call 9-1-1 after a truck accident, it is important to try to gather evidence at the scene. For example, taking pictures of the scene could help your attorney determine how the crash happened. Talking to witnesses can also be helpful. However, you should only do these things if it is safe and you will not be aggravating your injuries.
You should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. You do not want there to be a significant gap in time between the crash and when you saw a doctor. The at-fault party could use this against you to attack your credibility.
Make sure to keep track of any medical reports or bills associated with your injuries, including those associated with physical therapy and chiropractic visits.
It is important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Truck accident cases are often complex, and you need experienced legal help to recover the compensation you need for current and future damages.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Despite laws against reckless driving, it still causes many trucking accidents. Examples of reckless driving that may result in truck crashes include:
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Sometimes, accidents happen because cargo was loaded improperly. Overloading a truck or failing to properly secure cargo can make trucks more difficult to maneuver. This can increase the risk of an accident.
If negligence was involved, you may have a case.
Call the Attorneys You Can Trust
The attorneys at Lorenz & Lorenz have many years of combined experience negotiating with insurance companies and have helped numerous victims recover compensation. We are prepared to guide you through the legal process, working to build a strong case as we pursue maximum compensation.
Our experienced San Antonio car accident lawyers know compensation cannot change what happened. However, we have seen how important recovering compensation can be as victims look to move forward.
We offer a free consultation with no obligation to take legal action and do not get paid unless we recover compensation on your behalf.