The expression "it felt like getting hit by a truck" exists for a reason: getting in an accident with a tractor trailer will shake you up.
However, any claim or lawsuit will proceed pretty much like a standard auto accident claim in Texas. You can either settle out of court or file suit. (But you will nearly always want a personal injury lawyer from the start to handle either situation.)
Accidents involving a big rig can cause long-term physical and emotional damages, as our Guide to Texas Tractor Trailer Accidents clearly shows. They are often more serious than typical car crashes, so there are a few differences to keep in mind when pursuing a lawsuit.
Who you sue after a truck accident
In a car accident, you sue the driver who caused the crash.
However, when a commercial big rig driver is at fault, there are several options for a potential lawsuit in Texas. Receiving the highest financial compensation as possible is the priority of most victims, who may face long periods of unemployment plus financial burdens due to their injuries.
A starting point might be to sue the driver and his or her employer; however your attorney may see an opportunity for a larger financial package from entities such as:
- The truck’s owner, and/or
- The company that leased the truck to the company, and/or
- The company whose products were in the trailer
If the driver is an independent contractor, the case can get much trickier and a personal injury lawyer will be needed to find the best course of action. You might want to talk to a personal injury attorney on that one.
The commercial trucking industry is regulated by many federal and state agencies, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They have hundreds of federal and state regulations to follow. A good attorney will use that to your advantage.
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