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Can I Have a Case If I Was in an Accident But Suffered No Injuries?

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

It may seem counterintuitive to file a personal injury claim in Texas if you do not have any personal injuries. If you consider the other potential ramifications of an accident, however, such as property damages, lost wages and emotional distress, you will understand how some clients can file claims without physical injuries. It may be possible to bring a claim to damages if you were in an accident that did not physically injure you. Consult with a Dallas personal injury attorney for more information about your specific case.

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Suit in Texas

 Emotional distress is common damage sought during personal injury claims in Texas. It refers to damages other than a physical injury that arose from a traumatic accident. Living through or witnessing an accident such as a car crash could inflict many nonphysical injuries on a victim. The defendant at fault for causing the accident may be legally responsible for a victim’s emotional distress in Texas even if the victim did not have a physical injury.

  • Mental anguish
  • Psychological trauma
  • Shock 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lost quality of life
  • Diminished enjoyment of life
  • Loss of someone’s love or companionship
  • Grief or bereavement

 If someone was negligent, reckless, or malicious in causing an accident that gave you emotional injuries or distress, that person may owe you compensation. Although most personal injury claims in Texas involve physical injuries as well as emotional distress, some claimants can recover mental anguish damages without physical injuries. If you lost a loved one in an accident, for example, you could seek damages for your emotional distress through a wrongful death lawsuit.

How to Prove Emotional Distress

 If you wish to bring a claim for your emotional injuries alone, you will need to prove that the defendant negligently or intentionally caused your emotional distress. Hiring a personal injury lawyer could help you with this burden of proof. Your attorney will know what elements are necessary to prove to obtain compensation for emotional distress, as well as what evidence to gather on your behalf.

 In a claim for emotional distress alone in Texas, it is not enough to prove the defendant was negligent. You or your lawyer will need to prove that the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious. You must prove the defendant guilty of particularly outrageous or horrific behaviors to qualify for emotional distress damages alone in Texas. Additionally, if another tort applies to your claim, such as harassment, you may only be able to recover under that claim. In other words, you cannot file a separate emotional distress claim in addition to your harassment claim.

 Although it can be difficult to fulfill the increased burden of proof during a claim only for emotional distress, it is possible. Claimants in Texas have and do successfully obtain compensation for claims that do not involve physical injuries. Evidence that could help a plaintiff prove this type of case include psychological evaluation records, letters from therapists, eyewitness reports and testimony from mental health experts. A lawyer could help you identify sources of evidence for your particular emotional distress claim.

Contact a Lawyer About an Emotional Distress Claim

 In general, hiring a personal injury attorney could increase your odds of having a successful emotional distress claim in Texas. An attorney can let you know if you qualify to bring this type of claim, as well as what it will take to win compensation. Then, your lawyer can take over the legal process on your behalf. A lawyer could also be an asset if you wish to file a claim for other damages not related to physical injuries, such as lost wages from having to miss time at work or property damage repairs. Contact an attorney as soon as possible if you suffered emotional injuries in an accident in Texas.

Posted by admin at 4:53 pm

Common Ladder Accident Injuries

Friday, May 8, 2020

The ladder is one of the most dangerous everyday pieces of equipment. Most people have ladders in their homes or at work without realizing the significant dangers they pose. Ladders are behind a large portion of hospital and emergency department visits each year. They account for more than 500,000 injuries and 300 deaths in the US annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

what are common ladder accident injuries

 Even someone well-versed in ladder safety could make a mistake that leads to tragedy, such as carrying up too heavy of a load or missing signs of a ladder defect. In other ladder accident cases, a defect with the ladder itself could cause an unforeseeable accident and injury, such as a broken rung. Ladder accidents, especially falls, can inflict life-changing injuries on victims.

What Are the Biggest Causes of Ladder Falls?

 Ladder falls cause thousands of injuries and deaths in the US each year. They are especially common accident types in the workplace. From 2011 to 2016, ladder falls caused 836 fatal injuries in the workforce based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ladders were the most common source of fatal falls in this five-year period. Ladder falls can arise from many different ladder defects or user mistakes.

  • An old or damaged ladder
  • A defective ladder
  • Rungs cracking and breaking
  • Ladders folding while in use
  • Choosing the improper type of ladder for the job
  • Using a ladder incorrectly
  • Carrying dangerous objects or heavy loads
  • Stretching too far out from a ladder
  • Failing to properly place or secure a ladder
  • Recklessness or horseplay on a ladder

 The main two causes of ladder falls are defective ladders and human error. Too many households and workplaces have old, outdated, worn or damaged ladders. Most people use the same ladder for years without inspecting it for problems before each use. They do not realize that, over time, the ladder could grow old and weak. It only takes one small defect to make a ladder unstable or unsuitable for use. This could lead to terrible accidents if the ladder breaks while in use. Misusing a ladder can also lead to harmful and deadly falls. It is up to the user to understand and obey common ladder safety techniques.

What Are the Most Common Injuries?

 

Ladder accidents can be catastrophic for those involved. Most ladder accidents cause injuries severe enough to require professional medical care. Falls in general account for more than three million emergency department visits annually in the US. Many of these visits arise from ladder accidents. About one in five fall accidents on average cause serious injuries. 

 

 Falls account for the highest number of traumatic brain injuries out of all causes. A brain injury could arise from a ladder accident if the victim falls from the ladder and hits his or her head. A victim might never fully recover from the injuries sustained in a ladder accident. Catastrophic injuries could cause permanent disabilities. Other victims do not recover at all. 

What Is the Most Common Type of Ladder Accident?

 According to injury statistics, the most common type of ladder accident is a fall. A fall from any height – even one or two feet – could cause serious injuries such as bone fractures and head injuries. A fall from a greater height on a tall ladder could cause even more catastrophic injuries. If a ladder defect from the manufacturer caused the fall accident, the victim may have grounds for a product liability claim. If poor ladder maintenance or lack of repairs/replacement from an employer is to blame, the employer could be liable. A ladder accident victim in Texas should work with a Dallas personal injury lawyer to understand the liability for his or her damages. The victim may be eligible for financial recovery.

Posted by admin at 9:27 pm

Can I Sue If I Am Partially At Fault in a Car Accident?

Monday, April 20, 2020

Many car accidents are not black and white. Even if you believe the other driver is 100% at fault for your collision, he or she might have a different opinion. It is common for the victim of a car accident to be at least partially to blame. The victim might have been speeding, for example, when another vehicle pulled out in front of him or her. This case could involve the shared liability of both the plaintiff and defendant in a car accident claim. In Texas, you can still bring a cause of action and obtain compensation when you are partially at fault for a car accident.

 Texas’ Modified Comparative Negligence Law

 Most states have transitioned from contributory to comparative negligence laws. In states that still abide by strict contributory negligence laws, even the smallest amount of fault on a plaintiff’s part will bar him or her from financial recovery. If you live in one of these states (Alabama, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and the District of Columbia) and are partially at fault in a car accident, you might be unable to sue. Speak to a Dallas car accident lawyer before assuming you do not have grounds for compensation, however.

 Luckily, Texas is a comparative negligence state. In Texas, you can still file a claim even if you contributed to the crash that injured you. Texas’ modified comparative negligence law – the law of proportionate responsibility (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code 33.001) – states that in an action with a claimant’s comparative fault, he or she may still be eligible for partial financial compensation. Under this law, you have the right to file an insurance claim or injury suit for damages even if you were at fault for the car accident.

 In a crash you contributed to, you could receive a reduced compensatory award. The courts will subtract an amount from your financial recovery that is equal to your percentage of comparative fault. Texas’ modified comparative negligence rule means the state caps the ability to recover damages at 50%. If the defendant can prove to a judge or jury that you were more than 50% at fault for the auto accident, you could lose all right to recover compensation. The defendant’s ability to prove your majority share of fault would result in $0 in a settlement or verdict for you in an auto accident claim.

 Does Insurance Pay If You’re Partially At Fault?

 On top of using a modified comparative negligence law, Texas is also a fault-based insurance state. After a car accident in a fault-based state, all victims will seek financial compensation from the insurance provider of the at-fault party. In a case involving comparative negligence, however, insurance rules can be difficult to maneuver. Bring your initial claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Start with a third-party claim for the best odds of maximizing your recovery award. Then, report the crash to your insurer as well.

 The other driver’s insurance company will investigate the crash to determine fault. Meanwhile, hire a car accident lawyer to investigate things for you. Your personal injury lawyer may find evidence that contrasts what the insurer finds. Your lawyer can also represent your rights and interests during insurance settlement negotiations, fighting against bad faith practices or allegations of comparative negligence. A lawyer can improve your odds of minimizing your percentage of fault and maximizing your financial recovery.

 In a crash you contributed to, you might seek recovery from your own insurance provider as well. In this case, you cannot recover the costs of pain and suffering. Your insurer may, however, pay for your medical bills and vehicle repairs. Since the other driver also contributed to the crash, you might be able to seek pain and suffering damages from his or her insurance provider. The rules of comparative negligence during an insurance claim or car accident lawsuit can be tricky to navigate. Contact an attorney for assistance filing your claim if you believe you are partially at fault for a car accident in Texas.

Posted by admin at 5:10 pm

What Does it Mean to Subrogate a Claim?

Sunday, April 5, 2020

As the victim of an accident in Texas, you will need to deal with many processes you might never have encountered before. Sorting through the insurance system in pursuit of compensation for your claim can be difficult as the injured party. Insurance subrogation can make things easier. Subrogation is a common process in which your insurance company gives you money for your damages upfront, then goes up against the defendant for reimbursement. A Dallas injury attorney can help you understand subrogation after a serious accident in Texas.

What Is Insurance Claim Subrogation?

 All insurance companies reserve the right to bring their own claims against at-fault parties after harmful accidents. Subrogation is the term used to describe this legal right. If someone else gave you an injury, for example, and your car insurance company fronts the costs of medical care, your insurer will then have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party to repay what it spent on your care. Since you did not cause the accident, your insurance company may not intend to pay the costs. Subrogation is the insurance company’s right to pursue repayment from the at-fault party.

 Subrogation specifically refers to the act of one party filing a lawsuit on behalf of another to collect a debt. It is the process by which an insurance company pursues recovery of the financial losses it – or its policyholder – incurred due to the carelessness or negligence or a third party. Successful subrogation could repay the insurance company for what it paid on your claim. It could also end in some reimbursement for you, such as for any deductibles you paid your insurer to receive the coverage. Subrogation is most common after auto accidents, especially when you file a claim with your own auto insurance provider for a crash you did not cause (e.g. an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim).

 How Long Does a Subrogation Claim Take?

 If your insurance company decides to subrogate your claim, you should receive payment for your vehicle repairs, medical bills and other expenses from your insurance company right away. You will file a first-party claim and receive benefits within 15 to 30 days, in most cases. Your insurance company will need to notify you if it plans to subrogate your claim. If subrogation succeeds, you can receive your deductible back. If your insurance company does not subrogate your claim, you may have the right to seek the reimbursement of your deductible from the defendant on your own.

 Your role is generally small in insurance claim subrogation. Your insurance company and the claims process will need minimal involvement from you. If the other driver or party was clearly at fault for your accident, it may be easy for your insurance company to receive reimbursement from the defendant. A simple subrogation claim can take around 30 days to a couple of months to complete from start to finish. If, however, it is difficult for the insurance company to prove the defendant’s fault, subrogation could take longer. A subrogation claim could take one to several years in complex cases.

 Some insurance policies have waivers of subrogation. This is a provision in the policy in which the insurance carrier waives its rights to subrogation. Insurance policies with these provisions often cost more, since it puts the insurer at greater financial risk. If your insurance company chooses to subrogate your claim, you cannot seek damages yourself from the third party that caused your accident. You cannot seek recovery from both your insurer and the at-fault party. It is important, therefore, to choose your recovery method wisely before you file. Speak to a Dallas injury attorney before deciding how to file your claim. A lawyer can review all your options and choose the one with the best odds of fully reimbursing you for your losses.

Posted by admin at 3:32 pm

Texas Walmart Accident Lawyers | Walmart Injury Attorneys

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Texas Walmart Accident Lawyers | Walmart Injury Attorneys

Walmart is the world’s largest retail corporation. Walmart uses low prices to attract a high volume of customers. Walmart stores are spread widely throughout the state of Texas.   Walmart’s presence in Texas includes over 500 stores. Walmart also has a high number of customer injuries reported. Many times these injuries are the result of the negligent acts or omissions of Walmart employees . Hiring experienced Texas Walmart accident lawyers soon after any injury at Walmart is critical to maximizing your recovery.

What are some of the causes of Walmart accidents in Texas?

Slip and fall accidents, otherwise known as premises liability accidents, happen every day in Walmart stores around Texas. Numerous people incur injuries from slipping, tripping or from falling merchandise.  When these negligent accidents occur, Texans often suffer serious, even life threatening injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Walmart store you need an experienced personal injury attorney to maximize the recovery in your case. Our experienced Walmart personal injury attorneys at the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert can fight to make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to under Texas law.

What to do after a Walmart accident in Texas.

Walmart has a responsibility to protect Walmart customers from dangerous conditions. When an injury occurs at a Walmart store,  report the accident to the store manager or to the customer service desk. Store management will ask the victim to fill out an accident report form. If no form is furnished, you should request one.  If there are witnesses to the accident, ask for their names and contact information. If possible, take a picture of the scene of the accident. A floor spillage, unattended pallet on the aisle or an item that fell off a store shelf can be best documented by taking pictures of it. Having these pictures will increase the probability of winning your claim.

Why hire our experienced Walmart injury law firm? 

Our Texas Walmart accident lawyers understand the seriousness of falls and other Walmart accidents that happen in Walmart stores. A sudden fall can result in broken bones, head injuries, neck injuries, brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. If you or your loved one sustained injuries in a Texas Walmart store, obtaining experienced legal help is critical to your case. Walmart store managers are trained to act quickly in limiting their exposure to liability. Evidence of an accident is often cleaned up immediately, photographs are prohibited and witnesses normally pulled away. Protect your legal rights and contact an experienced Texas Walmart accident attorney to establish fault.

Contact our Texas Walmart accident attorneys today.

It can be especially challenging to pursue claims and recover after Walmart accidents because Walmart it is such a large corporation. Walmart has the money to cover even serious injuries, but they also have teams of attorneys whose job it is to fight legal claims. Even in cases where the store’s liability seems clear, it is important to get a free consultation from an experienced Walmart injury lawyer. Our attorneys have over four decades of experience fighting for victims’ legal rights and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call our office today at (972)HELP-YOU.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 5:38 pm

What If I Was in an Accident With an Uninsured Motorist in Texas?

Monday, January 20, 2020

You might assume every driver on the road is as responsible as you are when it comes to purchasing and maintaining automobile insurance. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Hundreds of drivers in Texas operate motor vehicles while uninsured. If one of these irresponsible drivers causes your car accident, it can be difficult to obtain fair compensation for your damages. You may need to file a first-party claim, bring a lawsuit or hire a car accident attorney for assistance.

Should I Report the Accident?

In Texas, you generally do not have to report a car accident unless it causes injuries, deaths or more than $1,000 in property damages. An exception exists, however, for accidents involving broken laws – including the failure to meet the state’s insurance requirements. If the other driver involved in your crash admits to not having insurance, call the police. Dial 911 from the scene and explain that you were in a wreck with an uninsured driver. Wait at the scene until the police arrive.

The police can ticket and fine the uninsured driver, as well as suspend his or her license to force the driver to get insurance before getting back on the road. The police can also write up a report on your car accident, cataloging the most important details for an insurance claim later. Your police report can include facts such as what direction each vehicle was traveling, where the impact occurred and who might have caused the crash. You can use the police report in the future as evidence for your insurance company.

reporting an accident with an uninsured driver

Should I Call an Insurance Company?

Collisions with uninsured motorists take different insurance processes than typical car accidents in Texas. With two insured drivers, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will pay for victims’ damages. If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, however, the other driver will have to file a first-party claim instead. The other driver will seek damage recovery from his or her own insurance provider.

If you get into a car accident with an uninsured driver, start the claims process by calling your own insurance company. Call the phone number on your insurance card and state that you have been in an accident with an uninsured motorist. Your insurance agent can inform you whether or not you have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. This is an optional type of insurance in Texas that can cover your damages after a crash with someone who does not have insurance.

If you do have uninsured motorist insurance, your own company should front the costs of your medical bills and property repairs. Your company may also offer to pay part of your damages if the other driver has insurance, but not enough to cover the full costs of your losses. If you do not have uninsured motorist insurance, however, your only option for recovery may be a personal injury lawsuit.

Should I Get Legal Help?

Get legal help if you do not have uninsured motorist insurance, your insurance company has denied your claim, you suffered catastrophic injuries or you need to take your case to court. A car accident attorney in Dallas can help you through this complex type of case, pointing you in the right direction for financial compensation. Since the uninsured driver most likely does not have the funds to fulfill a judgment award, for instance, a lawyer can search for other parties who may be responsible for your losses, such as the at-fault driver’s employer.

At the Law Offices of Aaron A. Herbert, we can review your uninsured motorist accident for free at our local law firm. Then, we can use years of practice area experience to guide you to the right solution, whether that is a first-party claim, third-party claim or personal injury lawsuit. Partnering with an attorney can help you fight for fair compensation regardless of the circumstances of your accident.

Posted by admin at 7:03 pm

What If You Are the Passenger in a Rideshare Accident?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

With companies like Lyft and Uber giving taxicab companies a run for their money in the Dallas area, the options for catching an easily accessible, affordable ride are more numerous than ever. Rideshare drivers, however, are just as susceptible to accidents as the rest of us; some would even argue rideshare drivers are more prone to distracted driving due to their constant use of the rideshare app.

What happens if you are the passenger in a rideshare accident? What are your responsibilities, and next steps?

Some Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents

Just as with any other driver, rideshare drivers experience a few common causes of accidents.

  • Drunk driving, whether on the part of your driver or another driver
  • Weather-related incidents involving slippery roads or poor visibility
  • Damaged or defective street signs or traffic signals
  • Roadways in poor condition due to construction or wear
  • Reckless driving such as turning too quickly, tailgating, or rushing through intersections, either on the part of your driver or someone else
  • Road rage, whether your driver or another driver
  • Speeding on the part of your driver or someone else
  • Defective or malfunctioning vehicle
  • Drowsy driving by your driver or someone else
  • Distracted driving by your driver or someone else

Many rideshare experts are particularly concerned about distracted driving due to unruly passengers as well as the very nature of ridesharing. Drivers must access their company’s platform to accept requests and navigate to their stop. However, use of this platform should not occur while the vehicle is in motion. Notify the rideshare company if you notice this or any of the above behaviors.

What You Should Do After a Rideshare Accident

If an accident occurs while you are a passenger, follow this checklist to ensure your safety as well as any potential compensation for your injuries.

  • If he or she has not already done so, ask the driver to move the vehicle to the side of the road or away from the flow of traffic. This ensures that you and the driver will remain safe throughout the next steps.
  • Call the local authorities. Even if the accident seems minor, a police report will document the events of the accident and establish that you were a passenger in a rideshare vehicle at that time. Stay at the scene of the accident until authorities release you.
  • Obtain insurance information for all parties involved.
  • Report the accident to the rideshare company. Most companies allow you to do so within the app in which you requested the ride. Often, the company will contact you for more information.
  • Seek treatment for your injuries. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is important to have them documented as well as to screen for hidden injuries not apparent at the time of the crash. Retain all medical bills and doctor’s statements.
  • File an insurance claim.

Who Is Liable for My Injuries?

Depending on who is at fault for the accident, a number of insurance companies could be liable for your injuries. If a third-party driver with insurance caused your accident, that driver’s insurance company would compensate you for your injuries. However, if the third-party driver did not carry insurance the rideshare company’s uninsured motorist policy would likely provide coverage.

Rideshare drivers are responsible for providing their own, state-minimum liability and PIP insurance, meant to cover passengers and other parties involved in accidents. Rideshare companies maintain their own insurance, usually in effect while the rideshare driver has a passenger onboard. However, rideshare companies are notorious for maintaining that their drivers are not employees, merely contractors that use the platform. Still, most Dallas personal injury attorneys recommend filing a claim directly with the company first.

Consult with a Dallas rideshare accident attorney to determine your next steps. An attorney with experience in the area will be well versed in handling negotiations between the multiple insurance companies that often become involved in rideshare accidents.

Posted by admin at 8:49 pm

How Do Big Rig Accidents Happen in Winter?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Winter presents many challenges to drivers of all types of vehicles, but truck drivers who handle large tractor-trailers or big rigs need to be extra cautious on winter roads. Big rig accidents are some of the most damaging motor vehicle collisions possible and typically result in extensive damages for all parties involved. This winter, it’s vital for everyone to know how big rig accidents happen during the colder months. According to annual averages collected by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, about 21% of vehicle crashes logged over a 10-year period involved poor weather conditions.

Speeding

Speeding is generally dangerous for all drivers in any situation, but for big rigs the danger is exponentially greater. A tractor-trailer needs much more time and distance to come to a stop from high speed than a smaller passenger vehicle due to its heavy weight and large size. Speeding on roads with patches of ice or pools of water can be exceptionally dangerous. High winds also pose a risk to truck drivers driving tractor-trailers with empty trailers. These vehicles have high centers of gravity, and strong wind can be enough to cause a tip-over. Traveling at high speeds, especially around curves, compounds this danger.

Poor Visibility

It’s more difficult for all drivers to see in fog, rain, snow, or any other type of precipitation. Drivers should engage safety features such as lights and wipers as necessary and use extra caution during inclement weather. A study from AAA conducted over a five-year period concluded that rain contributed to more than 9% of crashes. Rain is dangerous, because it not only affects the quality of the road surface and vehicle tire traction but also impedes visibility.

During any type of limited visibility, all drivers should use extra caution and adjust their speeds as necessary. In some states, police have the power to conduct traffic stops if a driver is “traveling too fast for conditions.” For example, the posted speed limit on a stretch of road is 55 mph, and a driver is traveling at 52 mph during a severe storm. A police officer may conduct a traffic stop because it is too dangerous to travel at or near the posted speed limit.

Snow, Ice, and Sleet

One of the most prevalent dangers of driving in winter is icy or rain-slicked roads. Vehicles can lose traction with the road surface after hitting ice, snow, or water. Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle’s tires skim across water on the road instead of the road itself, and snow and ice accumulation can make it difficult for a driver to stop or make necessary maneuvers. Winter precipitation can easily cause multi-vehicle collisions, resulting in significant damages, and determining fault for these incidents can be difficult.

Road surfaces may also sustain damage over time from typical wear and tear, but winter weather conditions can compound the dangers such damage presents. Damaged road surfaces may weaken further from expanding and contracting water as it freezes, thaws, and refreezes, and this may cause chunks of asphalt to separate from the road surface. Infrastructure damage is a common cause of truck accidents, and winter weather is one of the leading causes of infrastructure damage in the country.

Holiday Traffic Congestion

Winter coincides with the holiday season, and that means many more vehicles on the road than usual. Additional traffic congestion naturally leads to a higher risk of accidents, and there are generally more private and commercial drivers on the roads. Tractor-trailers help many companies restock their products for holiday shopping and several delivery services including UPS, FedEx, and the USPS handle the vast number of holiday gifts sent through the mail. This means not only are more private individuals driving passenger cars during the winter, vastly more large trucks and commercial vehicles are on the road as well.

It’s wise for all drivers to use extra caution during holiday season travel. Plan trips before leaving and take care in unfamiliar areas. Always drive defensively, and if you don’t feel comfortable driving in inclement winter weather, wait for conditions to improve before driving, if you can.

Posted by admin at 10:49 pm

What Should I Know About Commercial Truck Black Boxes?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

While many Americans are aware of black boxes in aircraft that can record flight data to help determine the cause of a crash, few may know that many commercial trucks feature black boxes as well. Most black boxes feature fireproof materials and multiple safeguards that allow them to survive even catastrophic crashes.

Black boxes record different types of vehicle data including speed, direction of travel, electrical interference, any disturbances to the vehicle’s systems, impacts, fuel consumption, and countless other variables that may contribute to crashes. Investigators often rely on black boxes to determine how catastrophic vehicle accidents happen when no one survives to offer a statement. They can also play a significant role in litigation for a commercial truck accident.

Black Boxes Help Prove Liability for Trucking Accidents

Modern tractor-trailers manufactured since the 1990s feature electronic control modules (ECMs) built into their engines. ECMs function very similarly to the black boxes found in commercial airliners and can help determine the cause of an accident. Commercial truck black boxes typically record and store data for a specified amount of time, usually 30 days. The black boxes can track a truck’s gas mileage, average RPMs, time spent traveling at high speeds, overall speed, idling time, airbag deployment, hard stops, GPS coordinates, and many other variables.

Truck manufacturers originally designed ECMs to discourage fraudulent warranty claims but ECMs have recently been more valuable as evidence in truck accident claims to help determine liability. Trucking companies can compare ECM data to driver logs to help with these investigations, and it’s important for injured claimants in truck accidents to secure legal representation as soon as possible. An attorney can help ensure a trucking company preserves potentially crucial black box data for use in a future lawsuit.

Most states generally uphold that the data contained in an ECM is the property of the vehicle’s owner. If a trucking company owns a truck involved in an accident, the trucking company technically has the right to destroy the ECM data. However, some states have enacted laws that prevent trucking companies from destroying ECM data when clear evidence that the data could be crucial to an official investigation exists. Trucking companies may also use tracking modules for their vehicles that record and store additional types of data. An attorney may request protection of these types of recording devices if they contain hours of service logs, pick up and unload times, or other data vital to an ongoing case.

How Can a Black Box Influence My Lawsuit?

A plaintiff’s attorney in a truck accident claim can file for a court order preventing the destruction of crucial data in a truck’s black box or ECM. If the truck driver or the trucking company is liable in any way for the plaintiff’s damages, the ECM data can help establish liability for all parties involved. For example, imagine a plaintiff suing a trucking company after claiming the truck driver made an illegal lane change and crashed into the claimant’s vehicle.

The ECM data may show that the truck’s computer logged a turn signal use right before the collision, countering the claim.

ECM data from consumer vehicles may also come into play in these cases. Many auto manufacturers include systems to record travel and crash data for use in investigations. Following the previous example, the claimant’s vehicle’s ECM data may show the claimant was traveling 20 mph over the speed limit immediately before the crash, establishing the claimant is at least partially liable for the incident.

If you are unsure if or how a black box could come into play for a truck accident claim, your attorney is the best resource for additional information. Your attorney can also file subpoenas for crucial data that can improve your odds of succeeding with a truck accident injury claim and handle insurance issues. Truck accidents often result in significant damages, and a black box is likely to be one of the most crucial forms of material evidence that will come into play in a truck accident lawsuit.

Posted by admin at 10:45 pm

Common Questions After Truck Accidents

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Motor vehicle accidents involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks often cause significant damage. A person who sustains injuries or other losses from a truck accident will likely have several questions about his or her rights and legal options for recovery. Anyone injured in a truck accident should ask these questions to determine the best next steps.

Who Is at Fault?

One of the most important factors in a truck accident is fault. If one driver, several drivers, or multiple parties bear liability for a truck accident, they are responsible for the resulting damages. When a person suffers injuries in a truck accident, he or she may file an insurance claim to recover medical expenses and other losses. An injured claimant’s insurer will want to know if any other parties bear liability for the claimant’s damages, and the insurer may pursue legal action against the at-fault party to recover the amount paid toward the claimant’s compensation.

In some cases, it may be more beneficial for an injured party to file a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault driver, especially in cases in which the injured party’s damages exceed the scope of any available insurance coverage. In other cases, a claimant’s fault for a claimed event may come into play. Many states follow comparative negligence laws that limit a plaintiff’s recovery if he or she bears liability for claimed damages. A plaintiff’s comparative negligence in a truck accident claim could diminish the claim’s value, resulting in less compensation for the plaintiff, in proportion to his or her percentage of fault for the incident.

How Much Is My Claim Worth?

If your truck accident claim falls within the scope of your insurance coverage or an at-fault driver’s insurance coverage, you will need to supply evidence of the extent of your claims and their eligibility under the policy in question. If you pursue a personal injury lawsuit for your truck accident damages, you will need to provide clear evidence of not only the extent of your losses, but also proof that the defendant is directly responsible for those losses.

Insurance will generally cover a claimant’s medical expenses and property damage, and additional coverage types may also apply depending on the specifics of a claimed event. If a claimed truck accident escalates to a personal injury lawsuit, the claimant will need to offer evidence of his or her economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages can include medical expenses, lost income, and property damage. Non-economic damages generally include pain and suffering compensation, and different courts use different methods for calculating pain and suffering damages in civil claims.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

A truck accident may result from the actions of one negligent party or several. It’s also possible for a defective product or the negligence of a third party to lead to a truck accident. An injured driver may not know the best course of action for legal recovery, and a reliable truck accident attorney will be a great asset in this situation. An attorney can help with insurance issues and build a strong case for a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent defendant or group of defendants. In the case of multiple defendants, a plaintiff’s attorney can consult with experts to determine each defendant’s level of liability for the plaintiff’s damages.

An attorney in a truck accident case can help an injured client maximize his or her recovery. Trucks are some of the largest vehicles on the road, and truck accidents typically lead to serious injuries, expensive property damage, and sometimes loss of life. Victims of truck accidents should handle their immediate medical concerns after experiencing these incidents and then consult experienced attorneys about their legal options.

Posted by admin at 10:42 pm