People who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol wreak havoc on our roads and highways every year. Some of the most devastating crashes occur when a commercial truck driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you’ve been hurt by an intoxicated truck driver, you have the right to expect fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repairs or replacement, and more. If this has happened to you, contact a Beaumont truck accident lawyer at Portner Bond, PLLC right away for help.
From 2016-2018, the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration reports that over 260 fatal trucking accidents were caused by truck drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Victims of these accidents or surviving family members have the right to seek compensation if a truck driver or the company that employed them failed to observe the strict limitations on the use of alcohol or drugs before driving.
At Portner Bond, PLLC, we have 20 years of experience helping victims of drunk or drugged truck drivers get justice, and we’re ready to put our skills and experience to work for you. Don’t wait until it is too late to take action. Call us at (409) 838-4444 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation.
What Should I Do After an Accident?
If you are able, you need to take the following steps:
- Call the police. Getting law enforcement on the scene ensures that everyone acts lawfully, helps get traffic redirected, and creates an accident report. This report is vital. It’s where we begin the process of collecting all of the paperwork needed to build an air-tight case.
- Get as much information as possible. Start first with the driver and make sure to get their insurance and contact information. Then look for any other witnesses, and make sure to get their contact information, as well. In addition, take pictures of everything related to the scene that you can. Take photos of every vehicle involved, from every angle, as well as the road and any evidence of weather conditions. Even take pictures of your injuries, if you can. The pictures can be used as an aid in the investigation of the accident and may help bolster your case at trial.
- Get to a hospital, treatment center, or doctor ASAP. This does two things. First, it gets you the care you desperately need and brings you closer to recovery. And second, it starts the process of documentation. The sooner you get medical care, the less opportunity you give insurance companies to deny your claim. If you choose to wait, it may appear as though your injuries did not actually arise from the accident. You could lose your opportunity to get the fullest compensation you need to move forward.
- Track your medical receipts and records. Keep thorough track of every bill, receipt, prescription, copay, or any other costs related to your care. Also, make sure you have copies of your medical records and any documentation that you receive from a doctor. Keeping this collection of important documents establishes a firm foundation for your case.
- Gather estimates for vehicle/property damages. Make sure to get your vehicle to a repair shop and document every receipt. It is crucial that you keep these receipts so that your costs can be compensated. If you have had any other property that was destroyed by the accident, also keep any receipts for repair costs or replacements. Doing this will help calculate the value of what was lost so it can be included when we calculate your appropriate compensation.
Who Is Liable?
Trucking accidents are different from other accidents because of the number of people involved. There are inspectors, government agencies, drivers, parts manufacturers, owners of the trucking and the freight companies, and even other drivers.
That is why you need an experienced lawyer. At Portner Bond, PLLC, we will conduct our own investigation into the wreck so that we can determine the appropriate parties who should be compensating you for your injuries.
Texas is an at-fault state, meaning that whoever is responsible for the accident is obligated to pay the resulting damages. Texas is also a modified comparative negligence state, which means that even if you are found to have some level of culpability for the accident, as long as your part in the accident was less than 50% of the cause, you can still be eligible for compensation.
Is There a Time Limit?
In Texas, you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. After that, your case will fall outside the statute of limitations. If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has run, your case will likely be dismissed and you will lose your opportunity to be compensated for your injuries permanently.
The only instances when the two-year window does not apply are if you were under 18 at the time of the accident, if you have since been deployed for active military service, or if you had a legal disability that left you of unsound mind. The clock would start after your 18 birthday; your time served could potentially not be counted, and your clock would start when you were able to legally recover from your disability and regain your sound mind.
What is My Compensation?
Insurance companies exist to make money. When they come to the table with a settlement offer, they are likely to start with quite a low offer. They may fail to account for pain and suffering and your long-term financial needs. Call Portner Bond, PLLC to help you. We know how to negotiate and present your claim in the best possible way.
Compensation is determined by how much your money and emotional and mental health were impacted. The components that are considered in calculating your compensation are economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include any lost wages from missed work due to the accident, as well as potential long-term, missed work if the accident resulted in your disability. It also includes the costs of your medical care. This is why it is so important to document expenses. Tracking your medical bills, medicine, and office visits can show exactly how the accident impacted your finances. If your vehicle was damaged in the accident, documentation of repair estimates or receipts for the actual repair or replacement of your car may be considered as well.
Non-economic damages are what most people recognize as “pain and suffering.” You may experience trauma, fear, and perhaps the grief of losing someone you love. Your pain matters to us and in the eyes of the law. While these damages are not as easy to value, an effective tool is to track your thoughts and feelings in a daily journal. Doing so gives a detailed view of how your injuries affect your life on a daily basis. At trial, your journal can be a window into your life that will enhance your fight for the compensation you deserve.
Talk to a Beaumont DWI Truck Accident Attorney
The Beaumont truck accident attorneys of Portner Bond, PLLC are ready to help you get justice if an intoxicated truck driver hits you. We are here to ensure that the responsible parties pay for the harm they’ve caused. Schedule a free consultation with us by calling (409) 838-4444 or reach out to us online. When you hire us, we’ll represent you on a contingency-fee-basis, which means you won’t owe us anything until we win your case.