It should be no surprise that trucking accidents involving 18-Wheeler, or semi-trucks, are more serious, and usually involve serious injuries. However, what many people fail to understand, including experienced local San Antonio truck accident lawyers, is that these types of accidents are also very complex and legally complicated compared to a regular automobile accident.
How Are 18-Wheeler Wreck Cases Different From Car Accident Cases?
There are several factors that make 18 wheeler accidents more complex, including the fact that trucks, and many commercial vehicles, are much larger, and weigh far more than smaller vehicles. This makes them harder to control, and more difficult to stop and maneuver. Regular evasive maneuvers that a small car or truck would have no problems with are nearly impossible for an 18-wheeler.
Because of their massive size, when commercial vehicles and trucks crash, injuries are far more serious, and often result in death or paralysis.
Another factor that makes these cases more complex has to do with the amount of different parties typically involved, there are likely multiple potential defendants, and multiple insurance companies involved. This is because the tractor (truck or 18 wheeler) may be operated by one company, while the trailer and cargo is the responsibility of another company, etc.
These complexities make it much more difficult to assign liability, and to get a clear picture of what really caused the accident which is why it is so important to consider hiring a 18 wheeler accident lawyer if you have been injured in an accident involving an 18 wheeler.
18-wheeler accidents accounted for 107,000 crashes in 2020, and of those crashes 4,965 resulted in a fatality. These current truck accident statistics clearly demonstrate that the likelihood of getting badly injured or killed is dramatically higher for trucking accidents, than for an ordinary car accident.
Why Are the Trucking Company Representatives So Aggressive?
Many times injured victims are surprised at how quickly representatives, investigators, or insurance adjusters for the trucking company arrive at the scene after an 18-wheeler accident. Why are these representatives so aggressive and fast at responding to trucking accidents? Because, with insurance policies that provide millions in insurance coverage, the trucking companies and their insurance carriers have a lot to lose if their driver is found at fault for a serious crash.
This is why trucking companies and their insurance carriers employ every tactic they can to protect their driver and their money. If they can manipulate the situation, remove or tamper with evidence, interview witnesses, and influence law enforcement investigators, they can often shift some (or all) of the blame to the injured person – leaving the injured person or their families with expensive medical bills, car repairs, lost wages, and other bills.
Trucking company insurance companies use these aggressive tactics to either reduce the value of an injured person’s claim or to completely deny payment at all.
That is why it is so important to get an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney on your side as quickly as possible after a trucking accident. The trucking company and their team of San Antonio personal injury lawyers and investigators start their investigation immediately after the accident, putting the injured person at an immediate disadvantage.
Another reason that you must have an aggressive trucking accident lawyer working for you quickly is because much of the evidence that you will need to prove your case must be obtained from the trucking company itself – every hour, and every day that passes increases the chance that important evidence will be altered, destroyed, or lost.
How Much is My 18-Wheeler Accident Case Worth?
As noted above an 18 wheeler or semi-truck accident case is very different than your typical automobile accident case. In a semi-truck or 18 wheeler accident, it’s likely that you will be dealing with one or more “commercial” insurance policies. These “commercial” policies, which are required by law, do not have the same rules as the typical automobile policies you may be familiar with.
For one, these policies have much higher policy limits, and are typically a minimum of $1 million dollars. These limits give you much better chances of having ample insurance coverage to pay for the medical treatment, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. of big rig accident victims. Hopefully your injuries will not require you to utilize the full extent of the insurance policy.
However, when it comes to your specific claim, in most instances, no one will be able to tell you what your semi-truck accident claim is worth until the facts have been gathered, a report has been filed with the San Antonio police department, an investigation is performed, liability has been established, and your medical treatment is completed, and the legal team at our injury law firm have reviewed and evaluated your case.
Why Not Placing A Price Tag On Your Case Right After An Accident Is A Good Thing.
It’s understandable for you to want to know how much your case is worth shortly after your semi-truck accident – especially when considering the desire for justice, and the pressure of mounting medical bills.
But, as time passes, most semi-truck accident victims are thankful that no one placed a dollar amount on their claim initially. This is because of a number of factors:
Victims may not be aware of the full extent of their injuries immediately, or shortly after an accident.
The injured party underestimated the extent and duration of their injuries.
The victim didn’t anticipate the emotional toll the accident would have on their personal life, and the lives of their family members.
The injured person failed to account for the mental and emotional distress that would occur as a result of the accident.
While these are only a few of the many things accident victims may overlook shortly after an 18 wheeler accident, they represent some of the most important aspects of your injury claim. Each of these critical considerations is much more persuasive if presented to an insurance company through documented expert opinion, and medical records rather than speculation immediately following an accident.
One thing that many injured persons fail to realize is that once they sign a release, they are prevented from any future recovery, regardless of whether or not the settlement adequately compensated them for their claims. You should NEVER sign a release before speaking to a Texas 18 wheeler accident attorney.
This is why it is essential to not place a value on your truck accident claim until AFTER the extent of your injuries have become reasonably clear.
How Long Do 18 Wheeler Accident Cases Typically Take to Settle?
When it comes to the time frame for settling an 18 wheeler accident case, there is only one thing that is certain: Patience can prove to be invaluable. Any 18 wheeler accident attorney who is honest will tell you the same thing that we tell our clients – “There is simply no way to tell how long your case will take to settle.”
It’s important to remember that building your case will take time. Trying to rush into a settlement, or “make things happen quicker” will only harm your claim, and will usually decrease your compensation.
Texas has more annual 18 wheeler crashes than any other state in the US
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Lawyer?
Our truck accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that if you were injured in an 18 wheeler accident in Bexar County, you NEVER have to pay us up front costs or hourly rates while we work on your case.
This contingent fee arrangement is especially advantageous for our persons injured in Texas 18-wheeler and big rig accidents because truck wreck claims often require outside expert analysis and special investigation, which are expensive, and usually make it cost-prohibitive for an injured person to try and handle the claim on their own.
In short, anyone who contacts our injury law firm will be able to afford our professional services.
How a San Antonio Truck Accident Attorney Can Help You
Because it’s so important to gather crucial evidence soon after the 18 wheeler accident, we start working on building a case the same day that we are contacted by an accident victim. We move quickly to preserve evidence that is critical to making sure that the true version of the accident is told, rather than the story the trucking company wants to tell.
Our Texas trucking accident attorneys have the skill and experience you need to help you recover the compensation for their injuries following a serious truck accident. One benefit of hiring a team of experience 18 wheeler lawyers is that we handle every aspect of your claim, which allows you to focus on recovering from your injuries, and protecting your family’s well being.
We investigate the accident, gather crucial evidence, negotiate with the trucking company, facilitate a settlement, and if needed, take your case all the way to trial. Our primary focus is you, the injured person, and we fight to ensure that you are treated fairly by the trucking company and their insurance provider.
Our skilled legal representatives closely manage every aspect of our clients’ cases – From the first phone call until the case is concluded; we are there for you. We pride ourselves on being available to answer questions and provide case updates to our clients so that they fully understand the claim process and what to expect.
5 Major Differences Between 18 Wheeler and Auto Accidents
One questions I get asked a lot is, whether or not “trucking or 18-Wheeler accidents are different from an ordinary car accident?” It’s a common misconception to think that all motor-vehicle accidents are the same. But this simply isn’t the case.
Because of the sheer size and weight of 18-Wheeler semi trucks, the damage to both people and property are far greater than they are in an ordinary auto accident. 5 major differences between these types of accidents are:
Greater Property Damage
More Catastrophic Injuries
Expensive Medical Bills
Increase Chance of Fatality
Complex and Multiple Insurance Policies
Greater Property Damage
An 18-wheeler truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, combine that with the weight of the load they are pulling, and that type of force can cause a significant amount of damage to anything in the truck’s path during a collision.
With the weight and size of a semi-truck being much larger than your standard vehicle the injuries sustained in an accident are also far more serious. Injuries can include back injuries, broken bones, whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, and even death.
Sadly, Texas seems to lead the nation when it comes to trucking accident deaths. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), the states with the most fatalities involving large trucks in 2020 were:
Texas – 622 deaths
California – 384 deaths
Florida – 351 deaths
Georgia – 230 deaths
Illinois – 170 deaths
More Expensive Medical Bills
Injuries from an 18-Wheeler accident can be far more serious than a typical car accident (especially if they were sustained in a head-on truck accident), meaning the medical bills are typically much higher. With severe injuries, injured people are looking at longer hospital stays, more testing and diagnostics needed, as well as longer recovery time and long periods of time off of work. All of these expenses add up and can put a huge financial strain on injured victims.
Increased Chance of Fatality
As mentioned previously, accidents involving big rigs resulted in 107,864 fatalities or severe injuries in 2017 according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It is a terrifying fact, but commercial vehicles are more likely to cause death because of the sheer size and weight of the vehicle. It is important to speak with a personal injury attorney if you have a loved one that has been killed in a semi-truck accident.
Complex & Multiple Insurance Policies
Because 18-wheeler trucks have the ability to cause a great deal of harm on the roadways, they are highly regulated by both state and federal governments. As a result, commercial trucks are required to carry much higher insurance. There are usually multiple different policies involved, and knowing which policies were in effect at the time of a crash, and the inter-play between the insurance policies is very complex.
Why You Need To Act Quickly After A Semi-Truck Accident
If you have been injured in an accident involving an 18-Wheeler (Semi-Truck), the most important thing you need to realize is that you CANNOT treat the accident like just another car crash. The main reason for this is that you must act much more quickly to investigate and document what happened during the crash.
The trucking company and their skilled insurance adjusters and investigators act quickly to get to the scene, secure evidence, and work on telling “their version” of the story. If you don’t have someone doing the same for you as soon after the crash as possible, you run a tremendous risk of being put in a bad situation.
Preserve the Facts
Meet Important Deadlines
After a crash involving a semi-truck, an injured person or their family must act quickly to protect their rights. With insurance policies that are worth millions, the trucking companies and their insurance representatives will employ their most experienced adjusters and investigators to handle the case. These insurance company investigators are fast acting and will often appear at the scene of the accident within hours to gather evidence that can be used to defend their case.
In some cases, trucking company investigators have arrived at the scene of a truck crash BEFORE law enforcement investigators. When this occurs, evidence can be removed from the scene, lost, or tampered with. Log books often disappear, truck data computers somehow get “erased” or damaged, and other important evidence can be removed, destroyed or lost.
These insurance company investigators are knowledgeable, and incredibly skilled investigators who will employ a diverse amount of tactics and tricks to try to minimize the damage done by the commercial vehicle. Their primary goal will be to shift the responsibility onto the injured party, making it look like the other person was somehow responsible for the crash instead of the truck driver. Their ONLY job is to reduce the liability of the trucking company, and prevent the insurance company from being responsible for medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repairs, etc.
Your team must also act quickly to get witness statements, including from other drivers, the tow truck driver, bystanders, and even from law enforcement that arrived on the scene first. People move, memories fade, and if you don’t act quickly after an 18-wheeler accident, these important witnesses may be forever lost.
It’s also imperative to examine the 18 wheeler tractor itself, especially with regard to the mechanical condition of the rig to see if lack of maintenance (such as poor brakes or tires), product defects, or other mechanical problems contributed to the crash. Once the truck is repaired or altered, valuable evidence can be forever lost.
Preserve the Facts
Because trucking company investigators often arrive at the scene of a trucking accident so quickly, it’s important that you have your own team of investigators that are prepared to respond rapidly to ensure that the facts surrounding the occurrence are preserved.
Failing to have your own team of skilled investigators can lead to inaccuracies in law enforcement crash reports, which often times get important facts wrong which can make it look like the injured victim contributed to the crash. There are documented occasions when trucking company investigators or their associates have even claimed to be “witnesses” to law enforcement, and have provided statements to the investigating officer that the injured person was to blame for the crash.
If these inaccuracies end up in the crash report required by Texas Transportation Code §550.062, it’s important that you have a knowledgeable team on your side to correct the record, and ensure that the investigation is accurate, and not biased towards the truck driver. Our rapid response team is composed of skilled investigators, accident reconstruction specialists, and attorneys who help to ensure that the evidence and facts are preserved after an 18-wheeler crash.
Important Deadlines & Strict Time Limits (Statute of Limitations)
Texas law dictates that there is a statute of limitation that applies to injury claims. This means that there is limited time during which you can seek compensation for your damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, etc. Also, because many trucking accidents are subject to federal laws, much shorter Statutes of Limitations and notice periods may apply. Waiting too long to bring your claim can prevent you from getting the compensation you need to put your life back to the way it was before you were injured.
You Deserve Strong Legal Representation
Commercial vehicles, like 18-wheelers, are generally owned by wealthy corporations and insured by large insurance companies who can afford to hire a team of legal representatives to fight against and try to prevent payment to injured victims. Whether the crash happened while you were visiting San Antonio, or you live here, call us to learn your rights, get answers to your questions, and discover how to protect your financial future after a truck accident.
San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, TX, is a rapidly growing metropolis with a rich history, a diverse culture, and an unending array of unique attractions.
If you are interested in the city’s roots, you should visit the San Antonio Missions. All five San Antonio Missions are worth visiting. However, you should prioritize visiting Mission San Antonio de Valero, otherwise known as The Alamo, if you are pressed for time. The Alamo has witnessed many significant events in San Antonio’s history, and no trip to the city would be complete without a stop there.
The Esquire Tavern is another must-visit destination for any San Antonio tourist. The establishment has been offering refreshing drinks, delectable food, and a relaxing atmosphere to San Antonio residents since 1933. It is an institution in the city, and you should plan at least one night out here.
Many San Antonio residents also spend their free time at the AT&T Center. The AT&T Center is best known in the city as the home of the five-time NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs. Catch some Spurs games while you are in town and get to know the team that has become synonymous with the city. If you are not a sports fan, you can still book some concert tickets and watch your favorite artists perform at the AT&T Center.
The Alamo, The Esquire Tavern, and the AT&T Center are only some of the most notable tourist destinations San Antonio has to offer. There are more places worth seeing in town. Book a ticket for one of the San Antonio sightseeing tours if you wish to see more of this wonderful city!
18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer in San Antonio, Texas
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of an 18-wheeler accident, contact our San Antonio injury law firm immediately at so we can help you protect what is important to you. Our experienced trucking accident attorneys are available to respond to 18-wheeler accidents at any time, day or night.
Our trucking accident lawyers and investigators understand acting quickly to protect and secure evidence is crucial to protecting your claim, and understanding how the accident occurred. Call us now and we will take immediate action to protect your case and your rights – (201) 910-4357.
Some of the cities in Bexar County which our Texas injury law firm serves include: San Antonio, Kirby, Leon Valley, Converse, Live Oak, Universal City, Schertz, New Braunfels, Pleasanton, Seguin, Canyon Lake, Hondo, San Marcos, Kyle, Kerryville and Lockhart.
Additional Resources For Texas 18-Wheeler Accident Victims