While no one ever wants to be in any kind of automobile accident, the thought of getting in a truck accident is particularly terrifying to most drivers. When commercial trucks collide with passenger vehicles, the results can be devastating due to the sheer mass of semi-trucks.
Since trucks are heavy and sit high above the ground, it is not at all unusual for the other driver to suffer severe injuries. If the truck driver has adequate insurance coverage and is deemed the at-fault party, the insurance company will likely be responsible for compensating the accident victim for their medical bills.
However, if the at-fault parties are uninsured, accident victims may feel confused about how to seek compensation. Here’s what you need to know if you’ve been in a truck accident with an uninsured driver or trucking company.
Your Options for Compensation After an Uninsured Truck Accident
Imagine you’ve been hit by a commercial driver who doesn’t have truck insurance or works for an underinsured trucking company. You likely feel overwhelmed and wonder if you can receive compensation for the expenses the accident caused.
Just because the at-fault party who hit your vehicle is uninsured or underinsured doesn’t mean you should be responsible for the costs associated with a car accident you didn’t cause. You have options, and consulting with a personal injury lawyer can help you decide how to proceed.
Bringing a Claim Against the At-Fault Driver
If the at-fault driver doesn’t have truck insurance, and your uninsured motorist coverage isn’t high enough to cover your bills, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be an option. Depending on your situation, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle damage.
You’ll want to work with skilled personal injury lawyers to have the best chance of recovering compensation. Truck accidents often involve multiple vehicles, which can make proving the at-fault party difficult, and when one party doesn’t have truck insurance, things can get confusing quickly.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
To win your truck accident case, you will have to establish that the truck accident caused serious injuries, prove lost income, and that the truck driver was the at-fault party. Proving these aspects of your case often requires excessive legwork, such as communicating with your insurance company, reviewing the police report, contacting witnesses, and possibly the trucking company.
Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer lets you focus on healing from your injuries while your attorney works on recovering compensation. Victims of truck accidents frequently report having more successful case resolutions than those who take on uninsured drivers or the at-fault party alone.
Using Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is coverage you receive from your own insurance company. It is designed to cover your medical and car repair bills when you are in a truck accident and the at-fault party is uninsured.
Filing an uninsured motorist claim allows you to recover compensation, even if the at-fault truck driver doesn’t have insurance. When you purchase a car insurance policy in Texas, the insurance company must offer you uninsured or underinsured driver coverage.
Personal injury protection insurance must be offered to you as well. If you choose to decline this coverage, you must do so in writing.
Choose to Keep Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Declining this type of auto insurance is ill-advised. Coverage that protects you against uninsured or underinsured drivers will benefit you in a variety of situations, such as:
- If you are the victim of a hit-and-run truck accident
- If you are hit by an uninsured motorist who cannot afford to pay for your injuries
- If you are hit by underinsured motorists who cannot afford to pay for your injuries
While no one likes to believe they will need this coverage, it is best to be prepared. If a driver without insurance hits you, you will be glad you purchased it.
What Are the Minimum Insurance Requirements for Trucking Companies in Texas?
Texas law requires trucking companies to provide proof of liability coverage for all of their trucks. Unfortunately, not all trucking companies comply with this regulation, so truck accidents sometimes involve an uninsured truck driver.
Commercial truck drivers must carry truck insurance so that accident victims can receive fair compensation for the damages they suffered during a collision. Companies that choose to eschew having insurance show a disregard for their own driver’s best interests and the interests of other drivers.
Liability insurance protects the truck driver, minimizing the chance that a truck accident will impact their finances. Drivers who are adequately insured will be able to direct accident victims to file an insurance claim with their insurance provider and avoid paying for that accident out of pocket.
Trucks Under 26,000 Pounds
Trucks moving less than 26,000 pounds that are only carrying household items require a minimum of $300,000 of liability insurance. Loads being moved across state lines that exceed 10,000 pounds must have truck insurance coverage of at least $750,000.
Suppose a commercial truck driver doesn’t receive an adequate amount of auto insurance from their truck company. In that case, they should seek additional insurance coverage to ensure they aren’t ticketed for being uninsured motorists or left holding the bill after an accident.
Trucks Over 26,000 Pounds
Trucks hauling over 26,000 pounds of cargo must have a minimum of $500,000 liability insurance. This truck insurance regulation is a state and federal law and applies to vehicles transporting household goods.
Vehicles transporting hazardous materials have their own insurance requirements. Items that can cause excessive damage during an accident must have greater insurance coverage because a collision will result in more significant injuries and property damage.
What Damages Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help You Claim?
Scheduling a free consultation to discuss your case with a local truck accident lawyer will give you the information you need to decide how to react. Even if the trucking company or uninsured motorist doesn’t have liability insurance, you can still try to recover compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses from suffered injuries
- Lost income
- Property loss
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Keep in mind not every type of damage will apply to your situation. Your lawyer will assess your personal injury case, help you determine which losses should be pursued, and identify the potentially liable parties.
How Do I Begin Seeking Compensation After a Truck Accident?
If the at-fault party doesn’t carry insurance, you’ll want to discuss the details of your situation with local personal injury lawyers. At your free consultation, the truck accident lawyer will go over the details of your case with you to evaluate whether filing a personal injury lawsuit could benefit you.
When you meet to review your case, you will want to bring information about the accident. Details such as the accident report, the communication you’ve had with your own insurance company, medical documents, and the name of the truck company that employed the at-fault party will help the lawyer determine your case’s potential.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If you are pursuing justice on behalf of a deceased family member, you will want to arrange a free legal consultation with an attorney immediately. Gathering witness statements may be necessary since the victim isn’t present to speak for themselves, and it’s best to talk to witnesses while their memories are fresh.
Wrongful death cases are complex, and you should have a professional on your side. Since truck accident lawyers have handled numerous cases involving car accidents, they will be able to guide you through filing a lawsuit on a loved one’s behalf.
If I’m Partially At-Fault, Can I Still Seek Compensation?
Texas law states that drivers are responsible for paying for accidents they cause. But unfortunately, not all collisions involve one wholly guilty party and another entirely innocent party.
Often the fault will be shared between multiple drivers. When that occurs, the percentage of fault you hold in the accident will impact how much compensation you receive.
Proportionate Responsibility Law
Proportionate responsibility law dictates that you cannot recover damages if you are more than fifty percent responsible for an accident. In a situation where you hold the majority of the blame, you cannot pursue compensation from the other driver.
If you are found to be less than fifty percent to blame, you can pursue compensation. However, your compensation will be reduced proportionally to your fault in the accident.
Contact Houston, TX, Truck Accident Lawyers
Truck accidents can happen when you least expect them. Don’t be left with expenses you cannot afford if the trucking company or the at-fault party doesn’t have truck insurance.
If you’re the victim of a truck accident and your uninsured motorist coverage doesn’t provide adequate compensation for the damages you’ve suffered, don’t despair. There may be a way to receive compensation for your losses.
Contact Houston Injury Lawyers at 936-251-5246. Schedule a free consultation to review the details of your case and see how our team can fight for you.