Getting into a semi truck accident is a possibility whenever you drive for a living. About 130,000 people get hurt in truck accidents each year.
Each case that you deal with is different. You will have a special set of circumstances if you happen to have been driving without insurance when the accident took place. So, how should you proceed?
These tips will help you handle your semi truck case in Houston Texas.
Understand What the Law Says About Insurance
First, you need to learn and understand the laws pertaining to semi truck insurance requirements. You are required to at a minimum have liability insurance to help you pay for any damages that you caused in a trucking accident.
The trucking industry has some universal standards for the type and how much insurance you must have. This includes:
- Between $500,000 and $750,000 in liability insurance
- Cargo insurance between $5,000 and $10,000 per haul
- Surety bond coverage of $70,000
Your state might also have additional standards for semi-truck drivers that hold a license there. Drivers that are uninsured or underinsured can be held accountable if they are cited or they are involved in a wreck.
You need to maintain your insurance so that it’s active and paid in full. Keep proof of insurance with you, along with your registration, whenever you drive.
If you didn’t have insurance at the time of the accident, you’re going to need professional assistance with your case.
Get a Consultation From an Attorney
Shortly after the vehicle accident, take time to consult with a lawyer who handles these cases. Many personal injury and accident lawyers specialize in semi-truck accident cases.
During the consultation, let the lawyer know that you were uninsured or underinsured. The attorney will go through the details of your case to help you make sound decisions when defending yourself or pursuing damages.
Your lawyer will assess the details of what happened and what you’re up against and chart out a plan of action that you can follow. They’ll let you know about the obstacles you’ll need to overcome since you were driving without trucking insurance. Depending on the circumstances of the case, uninsured or underinsured drivers can get sued, cited with charges, or lose their truck driving license.
Handle the Rebound From the Car Accident
When you want success in your case, you need to be sure you’re handling all of the details. You’re already facing adversity since the courts won’t look at your driving without trucking insurance favorably.
Having every other part of your case in order helps you navigate your case more successfully. Here are some steps that you’ll need to consider:
Examine the Facts of What Happened
Explore every detail you remember about what happened in your semi truck accident. Start with assessing the reasons you were driving without insurance coverage. Find out the date of the last time you had insurance, and whether it’s possible for you to get coverage retroactively that can pay for the accident.
Remember where you were driving, your speed and direction, your lane of travel, and how the accident occurred. Explore who was at fault and commit your narrative of events to memory. Type out a document that explains what took place so you can preserve all of the details.
Get a Copy of the Accident Report
Obtain a copy of the accident report once it’s available. The jurisdiction of the responding officer will typically make copies available within a few days of the accident. These reports contain the officer’s notes from interviewing both drivers, along with information about the elements and time of the accident, and an assessment of who they believe caused the wreck.
The report will also contain any public property damage estimates, along with notes on the damages done to your semi truck and the other driver’s vehicle.
Your lawyer will need these details to help you build your case.
Seek Medical Help if You Need It
Even in the midst of a legal case, you must take care of your medical needs. People suffer significant injuries in these sorts of accidents. Examples of common injuries in a truck accident include:
- Lower back swelling and injuries
- Concussions and head trauma
- Treatment for cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones and fractures
- Physical therapy to treat injuries and regain range of motion
- Emotional distress and mental health damages
- Punitive damages if the other driver was reckless or careless
It’s easier to prove all of these damages when you have copies of medical opinions and a clear accounting of the bills you have accrued. Handling these injuries is also essential for your peace of mind and ability to earn a living.
A lawyer can communicate with medical professionals on your behalf. They can bill you for the long-term knowing that you have a legal case pending.
Find the best professionals to make sure you’re getting the best injury treatment possible.
Make Sure You Have Contact Information
Communication is crucial in truck accident cases. A settlement is a big possibility whether you or other drivers are at fault. It’s easier to get a settlement when you’re able to have professional communication with the other parties.
Exchange contact information at the scene of the accident, but avoid contact without going through your lawyer. You should also get the contact information of any witnesses who can back your narrative of events.
Take Inventory of Your Vehicle or Personal Damages
Consider what’s in store for your case in the long term. Hire adjusters that can appraise your truck to determine its worth in today’s market, compared to the cost of the damages it sustained.
This will let you know whether to treat your semi truck as a total loss that you’ll need to replace, or whether repairs are possible. The same applies to any damages you caused to someone else’s vehicle.
Keep track of these documents so that you know how much your case is worth in court.
Work to Collect Evidence That Supports Your Case
You can solidify your narrative by gathering evidence that supports it. In addition to the accident report, make sure to take plenty of photos and videos of the accident scene and damages.
A semi truck accident lawyer will also advise you on what kind of evidence you need. They might take samples of the wreckage or work with accident reenactment engineers. The more evidence you have in your favor, the better outcome you can hope for in court or in a settlement.
How to Hire the Best Semi Truck Accident Lawyer
Now that you know what you’re facing in court, you need the help of a semi truck accident lawyer that you can trust. They will steer the process and can help you manage all of the details of your case.
Here are some points to consider when you’re looking for an attorney:
Gauge the Advice and Guidance They Offer
Study the advice that the lawyer offers during the consultation. This conversation will help you judge their grasp of your case and the strength of the legal knowledge they need to win it for you.
Consult with three different law firms so you can compare and contrast the guidance they gave you. Compare these meetings with your research and their answers to your questions, and gauge which lawyers are best for your case.
Find Some Reviews and Recommendations
Do some background research before hiring a law firm. Check around for client testimonials from people who have hired the law firm before.
Find out the results they delivered and ask about the experience they had as a client. Check around for some reviews to see what their many other clients have said about working with them.
Weed out law firms based on their scores and choose the highest regarded. You can reach out to American Bar Association (ABA) resources and leads on the best certified lawyers in your area.
Ask About Their Legal Fees
The cost is always something to consider when hiring a law firm. If your case is a fit for the law firm, they will offer you a contract at the end of the consultation. Take the contract with you to read independently before signing an agreement.
Pay special attention to their legal fees and assess whether they are fair compared to the rest of the market. Lawyers in these cases work under a contingency fee. This should be explained in the contract, along with any other fees.
Dealing With Your Semi Truck Case in Houston Texas
Driving without insurance coverage doesn’t have to spell failure in your legal case. These points will help with your semi truck case in Houston Texas. Get the best representation that you can find.
O’Hara Law Firm can help you with your legal needs if you’re dealing with a personal injury case. Reach out now using our contact form or give us a call at (832)956-1138.