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Do I need an attorney after a trucking accident caseOn average, a fully loaded commercial heavy truck weighs about 40 tons, around 25 times the weight of an ordinary car. You can only imagine the kind of damage it does to the passengers of a regular motor vehicle during a collision.

Those unlucky enough to be involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler truck often suffer from minor to serious injuries, as well as emotional trauma caused not just by the accident itself, but the financial constraints that come from recovery and having to take time away from work. In addition, funerals have to be arranged for those who passed away from the accident.

All this puts an incredible amount of strain your physical, emotional, and mental well-being, making it difficult to recover and resume your daily life.

We at Barrus Injury Lawyers know just how difficult the road to health and recovery is for individuals injured because of trucking accidents. This is why we’re committed to helping ease the burden off our clients’ shoulders, taking care of the complex legal processes involved in making a claim for personal injury and wrongful death, getting you the financial relief needed for full recovery.

Here are some factors to consider when gathering evidence to build your case.

Understand that More than One Party May Be Liable for the Accident

Knowing the parties at fault during your accident is critical to knowing who to pursue in your case. This is important, as accidents involving 18-wheller trucks are complex, with several factors involved behind the crash. If there are multiple parties involved, insurance companies will have to work with your legal counsel to distribute equal parts of the blame. It will be tricky, but with a competent lawyer, you’ll have an easier time.

The parties liable for your injuries and loss likely won’t do anything to compensate you for what happened. Only when you take the necessary steps and file a lawsuit, all while making sure every aspect of your claim is backed with evidence, can you expect to receive the compensation you’re legally entitled to.

However, providing proof is easier said than done, as it means putting a monetary value to all your injuries, trauma, and losses. There aren’t exactly any rules on putting a figure to your injuries and grief, but we still recommend playing it safe and avoiding making over-inflated claims.

This is where the services of a skilled San Antonio 18-wheeler accident lawyer will prove useful, as only someone who understands the law can put a number to injuries and fatalities resulting from truck accidents.

But even without a lawyer, it’s possible to do a preliminary investigation of the accident. You can identify parties who could be liable for the accident. These can include cargo loaders, route planners, and the trucking companies themselves.

However, if you’re recovering from injuries incurred during the accident, it’s highly unlikely you’ll have the time to do all that on your own. Again, a skilled San Antonio truck accident lawyer will prove invaluable in this situation; otherwise, you could miss an opportunity to maximize your compensation from all responsible parties.

And do note that your opponents will also conduct their own investigations, and given their resources, theirs just might be more thorough than yours. The last thing you want is for them to shift the blame to you, which is possible. We’ve seen insurance companies get away without paying deserving injured parties anything.

Turn to the Experts

 The legal team at Barrus Injury Lawyers has several years of combined experience dealing with San Antonio heavy truck accidents. This has given us in-depth knowledge on how to find, secure, document, and present solid evidence to back your personal injury or wrongful death claims. We know the best course of action to take when investigating an accident involving you and a heavy truck, and that includes getting the necessary photos and measurements of the scene in order to establish liability. For example, the specific distances between impact points and skid marks are critical to proving whether the truck driver or the injured party applied their brakes.

Small pieces of evidence such as fragments of rubber tire can be important to establishing liability, and our lawyers know how and where to get the forensic teams to investigate the scene and pin down just who was liable for the accident. We can take care of collecting reports from first responders, witnesses to the crash scene, and any videos and photographs that might have recorded the accidence. We can also analyze and if necessary, impound vehicles involved in the accident to get the necessary evidence in the case.

Swiftness and Accuracy is Key to Collecting Evidence

Acting quickly is critical to securing and preserving any evidence found at the scene of the accident and from any vehicles involved. You don’t settle for just finding any evidence. It needs to be relevant and acceptable in the court of law, preserved, and strong enough to convince a jury to support your claims. After an accident, every second that passes risks the chance of your case changing. As time passes, authorities must work quickly to clear the accident scene and get traffic flowing, something that can alter, and even destroy evidence. And with all the chaos happening, an opportunity can present itself for liable drivers to tamper with, or remove critical evidence.

Act now. Contact Barrus Injury Lawyers to get the assistance of skilled and experience accident lawyers to win your case. Call our legal team at (210) 593-8709 to set a free, no-obligation consultation, or click here to set up a free consultation.

texas trucking accident tipsWith more and more 18-wheeler trucks on the roadways in  San Antonio, and south Texas, it comes as no surprise why road accidents involving big rigs occur almost every day. We at Barrus Injury Lawyers have put together a list of 10 facts involving truck accidents that can help keep you safe. We hope this guide helps keep you safe and alert while on the road.

  1. Statistics from the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that 12 percent of fatal traffic collisions in 2011 involved some kind of large commercial truck. It should be mentioned that more than 3,700 fatalities on U.S. roads in 2011 were attributed to tractor-trailer trucks and other similar big rigs.
  2. Between 2004 and 2008, it’s estimated that the average number of annual accidents involving tractor trailers dropped to 3,500 from a high of 5,000 average annual incidents in previous years. However, Texas still sees the highest numbers of deadly heavy truck accidents. And with Texas’ oil and gas industry continuing to grow, and San Antonio’s position as a premier port for exports and imports, it’s unlikely these accidents will decline any time soon.
  3. Big rigs hauling trailers are by far the most common type of truck behind fatal traffic incidents, accounting for more than 60 percent of collisions involving heavy trucks.
  4. Federal law mandates that heavy trucks can only carry a maximum load of 40 tons (80,000 pounds). However, we know for a fact that some trucks and the trucking companies behind them knowingly exceed this limit to deliver more goods in a single trip, all in the name of maximizing profits. However, the heavier the truck, the less maneuverable it becomes, making it hard to swerve and stop on the road. This makes it even more of a danger to motorists.
  5. The majority of deaths involving heavy trucks involve the passengers hit by trucks, and not the truck drivers and passengers. It’s estimated that at least 70 percent of fatalities are passengers and drivers in ordinary motor vehicles. Truck drivers and passengers account for 17 percent, while pedestrians and cyclists account for 11 percent of deaths.
  6. In 2011, heavy commercial trucks were involved in only 8 percent of fatal traffic collisions. However, their massive size relative to other motor vehicles has made them the culprit behind 12 percent of all traffic fatalities in the same year.
  7. For what it’s worth, big rigs rarely cause damage to property and injuries only. But that matters little, as most accidents involving them result in deaths.
  8. In 2011, over 70 percent of deadly truck accidents happened due to the truck crashed into another motor vehicle.
  9. 10 to 15 percent of tanker truck accidents involve a rollover incident
  10. While substance abuse and DUIs are rarely a factor in accidents involving heavy commercial trucks, 11 percent of wrecks are attributed to lane violations caused by reckless driving, and fatigue on the part of the driver. 6 percent of wrecks were partially caused by the driver having a lack of attention while on the road.

If you’re frequently on the road in the San Antonio, or Eagle Ford Shale area, it's important that you know your rights should you ever be involved in an accident with a large commercial truck. Know what to do when building a personal injury claim by calling the legal team at Barrus Injury Lawyers. Call us now at (210) 593-8709 to set an appointment for a free, no-obligation consultation, or click here to contact us.

References:

  • Trucks Involved in Fatal Accidents (TIFA) report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute
  • Trucks involved in Fatal Accidents Factbook 2008, published by the Center for National Truck and Bus Statistics in March 2014

San Antonio personal injury attorneys discuss getting compensation.After being injured in an accident, one of the things that should be high on your list of priorities is to learn about your rights. Only after knowing and understanding your rights under the law, as well as the reality of your current situation, can you make an informed decision on what legal steps you can take to get compensation. If your injury has compelled you to seek a personal injury claim, our personal injury lawyers can provide assistance as you go through the legal process, making it as smooth as possible.

When filing a claim our San Antonio accident attorneys can help with the following:

  1. Ensuring your claim addresses all medical costs resulting from your accident. As a victim of an accident, an experienced injury attorney can help determine what expenses you’re eligible to receive compensation for. This can include hospital bills, medication costs, rehabilitation and physical therapy costs, future medical bills, doctor’s fees, caretaker’s fees, surgery, and more.
  2. Ensuring your settlement includes all monetary damages. If your injuries were the result of a serious accident, it’s likely your property—car, motorcycle etc.—may have been damaged as well. If your injuries and damage to your property was caused by the negligence of the other party, there’s a good chance you can claim for compensation for such damages. Besides property damage, you can also claim lost wages and lost earnings in the future.
  3. You can also claim compensation for “non-tangibles” or non-economic damages. Following an accident, you can claim damages for the pain and suffering resulting from your injuries. Whether it’s a reduction in your quality of life or emotional trauma, our accident attorneys can help you figure out the monetary amount you can receive as compensation for your accident and injuries.

If you’re facing this situation, get the compensation you deserve with the help of Barrus Injury Lawyers. Call us at (210) 593-8709 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

 At Barrus Injury Lawyers, we always remind our clients to be cautions whenever they drive around 18-wheeler trucks in Texas, the better to protect themselves from an underride accident. Here are some crucial factors to know about underride crashes involving big rigs.

san antonio trucking accident underride injuries

1.High Ground Clearances are the Danger

Tractor-trailer trucks are designed with high ground clearances to accommodate the tremendously heavy loads (often up to 40 tons) they carry while moving across varying road conditions. However, these high clearances also allow automobiles to pass partially and even fully under the truck during a high-speed collision—an accident that can cause severe injuries, or worse, fatalities.

2. Collisions with Rear Guards

Close to 20 percent of vehicle collisions with big rigs involve impact with the rear end of the truck. Because of the potential danger of underride accidents, the federal government has required the installation rear-impact guards on all 18-wheeler trucks.

However, that hasn’t changed the incidence or severity of accidents. Several studies on automobile crashes show that rear guards do little to prevent underride incidents, simply because several rear guards don’t extend all the way to the back of the truck, while others just aren’t strong enough to prevent a car going at high speeds from slamming under the truck.

3. Side-Impact Collisions

Despite the high prevalence of side-impact collisions, many of which occur at night when drivers may find it hard to see big rigs with inadequate lights, it’s still rare to see side-impact guards on 18-wheelers. Side-impact crashes are just as dangerous and common as rear-end collisions due to the high ground clearance on large trucks.

4. Horrific Injuries

Perhaps the worst part about underride accidents involving big rigs is how they often result in the roof of an automobile being crushed or its upper compartment being completely torn away. This can lead to several different kinds of severe injuries, ranging from brain trauma, spinal and neck injuries, internal bleeding, to lacerations, amputations, and crushed limbs. And that’s if the passengers survive, as the death rate of these accidents can be very high.

5. Problems Getting Proper Compensation for Accident Injuries

The legal team at Barrus Injury Lawyers has firsthand experience dealing with trucking companies and the insurance companies that represent them, knowing how they’re actively working to reduce accident claims from injured parties. These companies employ high-profile and expensive lawyers who know how to evade the legitimate claims of injured individuals, even pinning the blame on them just to minimize the amount of money trucking and insurance companies have to award to claimants.

If you’re facing this situation, find relief by calling Barrus Legal Lawyers. Build a successful claim for wrongful death or personal injuries with the help of our legal team. Call us at (210) 593-8709 for a free, no-obligation consultation. And while you’re at it, download a FREE copy of our book, “10 Deadly Mistakes That Can Kill Your Texas Accident Claim,” to know what your rights are in these accidents.

motorcycle accident san antonioAlthough only a few things beat the freedom of riding a motorbike, It’s hard to deny that motorcycles are one of the most dangerous modes of transportation out there. Since they offer very little protection to the rider, it’s not surprising why San Antonio sees so many accidents involving motorcycles. If you’re lucky enough to walk away from a motorcycle collision only with injuries, you then have to face the task of recovery, which can take weeks—even months—depending on your condition.

In this article, we discuss the most common injuries faced by motorcycle riders in San Antonio.

Bone Fractures

Because motorcycles leave little in the way of protection, it’s common for riders to have fractures and even broken bones during a collision. Although fractures are rarely life threatening, they can be painful and may necessitate immediate surgery. These parts of the body are especially vulnerable to fractures during motorcycle crashes:

  • Lower and upper limbs
  • Pelvis
  • Skull

It’s also interesting to note that while the majority of fractures to the skull, arms, and legs are caused by blunt force trauma resulting from contact with another motor vehicle, 9 percent of fractures in the pelvis result from the bike crushing the rider. These types of injuries are especially problematic, as they can damage the organs in the abdomen, potentially causing death.

Brain Traumas

If you’ve ever questioned the value of a helmet, you should know that a 2004 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that wearing a helmet while driving a motorcycle is at least 67 percent effective in protecting you from severe brain injury. On the other hand, motorcycle riders who don’t wear a helmet are at least 40 percent more likely to suffer from fatal brain injuries during a collision.

Given the sensitivity of the brain, any injury to it can lead to severe health consequences, ranging from paralysis, loss of motor control, coma, and even complete loss of brain activity. This is precisely why motorcyclists are encouraged to wear helmets certified by the United States Department of Transportation.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The Mayo Clinic reports that motor accidents are the cause behind more than 40 percent of yearly spinal cord injuries. Depending on which part of the spine is injured, you may experience anything from difficulty breathing, lower body paralysis, a loss of sensation, and incontinence among others. In severe cases, a spinal cord injury can lead to permanent paralysis. Fortunately, breakthroughs in physical therapy and rehabilitation have helped thousands of patients to fully recover and return to their daily lives.

When Should you Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in San Antonio?

If you’re getting treatment for your injuries after going through a motorcycle accident in San Antonio caused by another driver, it’s important to know what your legal options are for getting the compensation you deserve. Contact the legal team at Barrus Injury Lawyers, and get your free, no-obligation consultation. Call us at (210) 593-8709 to speak with a motorcycle accident attorney in San Antonio.

Hiring a Trial Experienced Accident Attorney.Because many accident claims that involve insurance coverage are settled without the need for a trail, it can be easy to dismiss the advantages of hiring an injury lawyer with courtroom experience. Sure, your injury case probably won’t make it to court, but a skilled trial lawyer can still help by maximizing the value of your claim. 

Many injury lawyers run a volume practice, where they take in a bunch of cases, and settle all of the cases cheaply, and rarely file a lawsuit.  However, if you’ve been injured in an accident, having an attorney who is ready, willing, and able to file suit in your case, and take the case to trial, will almost always result in greater compensation, even if the case doesn’t go to trial.  Additionally, insurance companies keep tabs (and oftentimes a database) on injury attorneys, and will generally know which attorneys settle cases cheaply, and which attorneys take cases to trial.

Here are 3 Hire a Lawyer With Trial Experience:

  1. A trial lawyer will prep your claim as if it was going to trial. As such, you can rest assured that your lawyer will have on hand, all the necessary information, proof, and resources to obtain favorable results from your claim, even if it ends in a settlement.
  2. A lawyer can leverage a possible court case in order to obtain a favorable settlement. Insurance companies will sometimes try to delay or reject claims from injured claimants, even if they’re completely legitimate. But put them against an experienced lawyer, and the adjuster won’t take you as a pushover and will be ready to yield fair compensation.
  3. Whatever happens, you have the final option of going to court if the insurance company doesn’t play fair. There can be instances when you’re unable to reach a fair settlement. Having a lawyer willing to go to trial can help you protect your rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Our legal team is not afraid to go toe to toe with insurance companies. Our team of lawyers is more than willing to go to court on behalf of our clients if it means getting the resolution you rightfully deserve. Explore your legal options by calling our offices. And while you're at it, request a copy of our free accident book, “10 Mistakes That Can Kill Your Texas Accident Case.”  The book explains the most common mistakes that people make that can destroy their accident case.