Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

A Texas truck accident can be devastating to an innocent motorist and his or her family. Medical bills can quickly mount, and finances can quickly spiral out of control with little or no money coming in due to the accident victim’s inability to work, either temporarily or permanently.

Fortunately, truck drivers and trucking companies can be held liable for the harm they cause. These types of cases must be pursued promptly, skillfully, and aggressively, however. The insurance companies and law firms that represent careless truckers and trucking outfits have their own interests at heart, not those of the people who are injured or the families of those that are killed by negligent truckers.

The good news is that most trucking companies do have a reasonable amount of insurance coverage (which, unfortunately is not always the case with regular drivers, who may only carry the minimum coverage required by the state). Still, it is likely that the plaintiff will have to fight hard for the recovery that he or she deserves because insurance companies try to keep payouts as low as possible, even when policy limits are high.

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In a Texas truck accident case, it is not unusual for one or both parties to send certain requests for information and/or documentation to the other. This process is known as “discovery” and is intended to assist the parties in preparing for trial and, if possible, facilitating a settlement.

Sometimes, disputes arise during discovery, with one party or the other objecting to requests propounded by their opponent. Some grounds for objection include over-breadth of the request(s) or irrelevance of the information sought. Certain privileges may also come into play (such as the attorney-client privilege or the attorney work product doctrine). These disputes are usually settled by the trial court judge, but sometimes there is involvement from the court of appeals, as well.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the original plaintiffs were individuals who had been involved in a multi-car accident and/or had relatives who had perished in the accident. They filed suit in the 4th District Court of Rusk County, Texas, asserting claims against the truck driver whose negligence allegedly caused the crash and the delivery company that employed him. During the course of litigation, the plaintiffs sent the defendants interrogatories and requests for production. Included in these were a) requests for information concerning the identity of all commercial truck drivers dispatched out of the same facility as the defendant truck driver from 2006 to 2017 and the time in which those drivers were employed, and b) copies of documentation of all alcohol, drug, and controlled substance tests of the commercial truck drivers identified in the previous request.

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An east Texas car, truck, or motorcycle accident can happen any time of the night or day and under many different types of weather conditions. However, some kinds of weather tend to make an accident more likely. Snow, ice, rain, sleet, and fog can all interfere with a driver’s ability to control his or her vehicle and interact safely with those in other vehicles. When an accident does occur under such conditions, it is the job of the jury to determine which driver was at fault.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a recently decided case (Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas; No. 01-17-00509-CV) was the representative of the estate of a man who died in a motor vehicle accident in late January 2014. The plaintiff’s suit alleged both negligence and gross negligence against the defendants, the driver and owner of the 18-wheeler with which the motorcycle of the plaintiff’s decedent collided. Several witnesses testified, offering conflicting testimony as to who was to blame for the crash. The one thing that everyone agreed upon was that there was a heavy fog on the morning of the accident, limiting visibility. Continue Reading

Immigration is a hot-button issue these days. From the feasibility of building a wall to the propriety of separating parents and children at the border, it seems there is a story in the news pertaining to immigration nearly every day.

The subject of immigration can even arise in an east Texas car or truck accident case, causing complications and, sometimes, the need for a new trial when potentially prejudicial information is presented to the jury.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case (Court of Appeals for the Thirteenth District; No. 13-17-00006-CV), the plaintiff was a woman who filed suit against the defendants, a truck driver and a trucking company, seeking compensation for injuries the plaintiff allegedly suffered in a 2013 motor vehicle accident. According to the plaintiff, the accident was caused by the negligence of the truck driver, who made an unsafe lane change and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle as the two were traveling along I-10. At trial, both the plaintiff and the truck driver testified with the aid of an interpreter. Continue Reading

We have said it before, and we will probably say it again. When it comes to litigation related to an east Texas automobile accident, time is of the essence. This means that a person who is hurt in a car crash should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible so that a prompt investigation can be made and all filing deadlines can be met.

Timeliness is also very important when a case is “over” – that is, when the judge has entered an order adjudicating the parties’ respective rights in the case. While both sides to a judgment have a right to ask an appellate court to review the matter, this can only happen if a timely notice of appeal is filed.

Facts of the Case

There are many issues that must be taken into consideration in an east Texas truck accident case. Who are the proper defendants? What are the claims against each? Which court has jurisdiction and venue over the defendants and/or the claims?

Sometimes, issues of venue (i.e., the appropriate court in which a given case should be heard) can complicate an otherwise straightforward case. This is especially true in cases involving corporate defendants.

Facts of the Case

Most east Texas truck accident cases are ultimately settled out of court, although this sometimes happens literally “on the steps of the courthouse.” When an agreement cannot be reached, however, it is a jury that usually decides the case.

When a jury trial is required in an automobile accident case, a party aggrieved by the jury’s findings has a right to appeal the trial court’s judgment entered thereon. While most jury verdicts are affirmed on appeal, the higher courts do sometimes rule that a reversible error occurred in the court below.

Facts of the Case

Insurance is a good thing. In a Texas auto accident case, the settlement or judgment ultimately received by an injured person usually comes from the negligent driver’s liability insurance company. If the defendant did not have insurance (or didn’t have enough coverage to fully compensate the injured person for his or her losses), the injured person may seek compensation from his or her own uninsured/underinsured motorist carrier.

Usually, this involves a single insurance company – the one to which the plaintiff himself has paid premiums. Sometimes, however, there may be another possible source of monetary compensation. When multiple insurance companies are involved, a “simple” case can quickly become complicated.

Facts of the Case

In a Texas truck accident or car crash, it is possible that the negligence of two or more individuals may be found to have contributed to the wreck. Under the principles of proportionate responsibility and comparative fault, the plaintiff may receive less than his or her total damages in such situations if part of the blame for the accident is assigned to him or her.

Likewise, the amount that a particular defendant must pay toward the plaintiff’s damages award can vary depending on the amount of negligence assigned to that defendant. Cases involving multiple defendants can further complicate matters.

Facts of the Case

Most Texas car accident cases settle out of court, but some do go to trial. Usually, this is because the parties have vastly different opinions as to issues such as liability, comparative fault, and damages.

Sometimes, the jury’s verdict will reflect a middle ground between the parties’ respective positions, but it is also possible that the defendant will have to pay a much larger judgment than anticipated or that the plaintiff will receive only a very modest judgment despite allegations of serious injuries and large medical expenses.

Facts of the Case

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