43 TX “Top 50” Personal Injury Settlements in the Last 3 Years Per TopVerdict
INJURED BY A COMMERCIAL DRIVER?
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- No Upfront Cost – Pay ZERO Fees Until Your Case Settles
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Not only do we offer the lowest fee, according to TopVerdict.com, our Fort Worth truck accident attorneys obtained 43 TX “Top 50” personal injury settlements in the last 3 years. We will maximize your compensation, and you will pay ZERO until after your claim settles. Just call (817) 768-6680 now to talk to an attorney who cares, or use the form or chat feature on this page to request your free consultation.
Top Fort Worth Truck Accident Lawyers Who Settle For More
YOU CAN TRUST OUR FAMILY TO FIGHT FOR YOURS™
If you were hurt in a commercial vehicle or big truck accident, our skilled Fort Worth attorneys fight tenaciously to ensure the maximum available settlement while offering you the lowest contingency fee. We handle your case the way we would want our own case handled.
Mullen & Mullen is consistently recognized by TopVerdict for obtaining some of the largest recoveries in the entire state of Texas. In the last 3 years our firm made the Texas “Top 50 Personal Injury Settlements” list 43 times. One of those years we had 19 of the “Top 50” results and all of them were for clients injured in motor vehicle accidents. Our stellar results allow us to offer a below industry standard 29% pre-suit contingency fee which means more money in your pocket.
Our experienced local team has an incredibly strong work ethic and truly cares. We’ve been privileged to serve North Texas for over 40 years. This is our backyard. Call (817) 768-6680 now for a free consultation and some excellent advice.
A Message From Our Managing Partner
“We hold commercial drivers to a higher duty of responsibility – these are supposed to be professional drivers.”
When dealing with trucking and other commercial accident cases, it’s crucial to act swiftly. Insurance companies often dispatch defense attorneys and “crisis teams” to accident scenes in an attempt to minimize their liability and influence the direction of investigations. If you’ve been injured in a commercial vehicle collision, they are already devising strategies to delay, deny, defend, or even dismiss your claims.
It’s not uncommon for vital evidence to mysteriously go missing or be lost altogether. That’s why, the moment Mullen & Mullen takes on a commercial case, we promptly send comprehensive spoliation letters and preservation demands for specific evidence.
Unlike many firms that only involve experts after a lawsuit is initiated, we routinely retain professionals such as accident reconstructionists, life care planners, and vocational rehabilitation consultants. We frequently conduct inspections and retrieve data from the electronic control modules of the vehicles involved. Our pre-litigation efforts significantly improve your chances of securing an early settlement within the limits of the insurance policy, sparing you the stress and expense of protracted legal battles.
Surprisingly, some attorneys refrain from engaging in a personal injury case until it’s ready for evaluation and presentation. By that time, the situation is usually beyond remedy. At Mullen & Mullen, our clients have direct access to their attorneys from the very beginning and at every stage of the case development process. In fact, most of our clients possess their attorney’s personal cell phone number.
You also deserve a firm with extensive medical expertise. Establishing a clear link between your injuries and the accident may appear straightforward but often proves otherwise. Some injuries don’t manifest on imaging studies. In other instances, your MRI might reveal a significant disc herniation or tendon/ligament tear, but it may also show asymptomatic spinal disc protrusions, bulges, herniations, minor joint cartilage tears, or arthritis, among other pre-existing conditions. Commercial insurance companies are likely to argue that your pain and discomfort are the result of these pre-existing conditions, rather than your actual injury, especially if there are no acute objective findings on imaging studies.
We recently represented a client whose MRI showed no abnormalities. We successfully argued that this lack of findings was expected, given her clinical diagnosis of facet joint syndrome, which isn’t reliant on imaging. Furthermore, we presented prior medical records indicating that she had never complained of similar symptoms before her accident. She underwent a rhizotomy procedure, and we retained a certified lifecare planner expert to calculate her future medical expenses since, even though her pain had temporarily resolved, there was no guarantee it wouldn’t return.
Ultimately, our client was overjoyed when we secured the full remaining liability policy limits of $968,844.03 without the need for litigation. We are extremely confident that this was one of the most substantial recoveries in Texas for facet joint injuries, made possible by our profound understanding of our client’s specific injury.
Shane Mullen, Attorney at Law
Our Results Speak For Themselves
(Gross Settlements Before Fees & Expenses)
We have achieved numerous multimillion-dollar settlements across all practice areas, but we are restricted from displaying some very large results due to settlement confidentiality. Here are a few recent results without confidentiality agreements:
- $4,000,000.00 Wrongful death involving auto accident
- $2,978,104.95 Motor vehicle accident
- $2,550,000.00 Motor vehicle accident
- $2,550,000.00 Client needed surgery after an automobile collision
- $2,024,050.73 Client hit by a drunk driver and sustained a TBI and multiple broken bones
- $1.3 million Client hit by commercial driver who sustained a TBI
- $1 million Client hit by inattentive commercial driver
- $1 million Client hit by negligent commercial motorist
- $978,569.77 Client hit by commercial driver
- $996,292.00 Client hit by truck driver
- $960,576.60 Commercial driver hit by another commercial driver
- $954,543.87 Commercial driver hit by another commercial driver
- $925,000.00 Client hit by an inattentive motorist
- $845,000.00 Client hit by truck driver
Success Story: Winning a $962,500 Settlement for a Neck Injury in a Commercial Truck Accident
To witness our legal expertise in action, delve into this concise narrative showcasing how a client secured a $962,500.00 settlement for a neck injury sustained in a commercial truck accident:
On a westward journey along US 287, a truck driver, regrettably, disregarded safety precautions and executed an unsafe lane change. This reckless maneuver resulted in a collision with another motorist who subsequently suffered a neck injury. It’s important to note that the injured party had a significant spine surgery in her medical history, potentially complicating matters, as insurance companies often exploit pre-existing conditions to reduce their liability.
However, we foresaw this potential argument and relied on the protective shield of Texas law, often referred to as “The Eggshell Doctrine.” Under this doctrine, plaintiffs are to be compensated for all injuries resulting from an accident, irrespective of whether pre-existing conditions contribute to the severity of those injuries.
In order to bolster the client’s case, our legal expert, Shane Mullen, recommended meticulous documentation of any new or exacerbated symptoms post-accident. This entailed securing medical records confirming the emergence of fresh symptoms necessitating multiple laminectomies to rectify damaged vertebrae.
When negotiations with the insurance company commenced, as anticipated, they contested that the accident’s impact couldn’t have warranted surgery. In response, Shane underscored the importance of the documented new symptoms and the fact that even a moderate accident could exacerbate pre-existing injuries.
In the end, the insurer yielded, agreeing to a settlement of $962,500.00. Furthermore, our client benefited from a reduced 29% case fee, saving $70,000, as the claim was resolved without the need for litigation.
Why Choose Mullen & Mullen?
At Mullen & Mullen, we stand out as a top choice in the DFW area for the following reasons:
- Four decades of established presence and a collective experience of over 95 years successfully handling commercial truck accident claims with situations similar to yours.
- Enjoy direct communication with your attorney through phone calls and the convenience of texting your dedicated legal team 24/7.
- Potentially secure thousands, if not tens of thousands, of additional dollars in your settlement, as we charge only a 29% contingency fee (while most firms charge 33.3%-35%) when your claim resolves outside of court—something that frequently occurs at Mullen & Mullen.
- Save money with our in-house private investigators. Unlike most firms that outsource these services, our approach is cost-effective for you.
- Access connections to medical professionals and institutions that postpone billing until after you’ve won your claim, easing your financial burden.
- Benefit from our extensive network of resources, including auto repair, financial services, counseling, and more, to assist you during this challenging period.
- Experience the compassion and approachability of our lawyers who are always ready to listen and support you.
A Little About Our Highly Skilled Attorneys
Attorney Shane V. Mullen, Managing Partner
Managing Attorney, Shane V. Mullen has been handling truck accident cases for 21 years. He is “Top Rated” by Thompson Reuters who named him as a Texas Super Lawyer 3 consecutive years. Shane is also a lifetime member of both the Million & Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums, solidifying his expertise in handling significant cases. He is also an esteemed member of Rue Ratings’ Best Attorneys of America, further attesting to his exceptional legal prowess. Shane brings hard-won, battle born knowledge to your case.
Attorney Joseph R. Morrison, Senior Associate
Medical Diagnostics & Treatment with Deferred Billing
Our extensive network provides access to state-of-the-art medical diagnostics, along with well-established relationships with a wide range of healthcare professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, and surgeons, throughout Fort Worth and the entire state of Texas. The healthcare providers we recommend specialize in the treatment of individuals injured in various accidents and are willing to postpone invoicing until your case is fully resolved. This means that you won’t have to worry about medical bills until your claim is settled. Many physicians are hesitant to treat accident victims due to concerns about potential involvement in legal proceedings.
Are Your Medical Expenses Accumulating?
Unfortunately, accidents involving large vehicles like semi-trucks often result in severe injuries, sometimes even fatalities. Consequently, substantial medical expenses can quickly pile up. The good news is that we can connect you with reputable medical professionals and healthcare institutions that are willing to defer payment until you successfully resolve your claim. This arrangement ensures that you won’t need to pay anything upfront out of your own pocket for the essential medical care you require.
Addressing Your Existing Medical Bills
If you’re concerned about your current outstanding medical bills, rest assured that we will assist you in resolving those as well. While your claim is pending, we can offer guidance on setting up manageable payment plans with healthcare providers to prevent any collection actions that might adversely affect your credit score.
Testimonials From Clients Injured by Commercial Truck Drivers
Jennifer Foster’s Review
“I have three children under the ages of 6, the youngest one is disabled. I was unable to care for my children, after I was hit by an 18-wheeler. My financial support was lost. When I hired the Mullen & Mullen Law Firm, they immediately earned my trust. They made it easy for me.”
Josie Gonzales’s Review
“I was hit by a commercial vehicle… They made sure all my medical needs and expenses were taken care of. I have recovered from my injuries. Shane is a great attorney and I was awarded the maximum. I highly recommend this law firm. They were very professional & sincerely cared about me.”
Review from Shonye B.
“I was hit by a commercial truck while stopped at a stop light. Joseph did his absolute best to get me what I deserved. Mullen and Mullen are the best.
Review from Moll M.
“Joseph Morrison did a fabulous job with handling my accident with a commercial vehicle. I was injured and required surgery. Joseph made sure all my bills were covered and handled my case with a caring attitude making sure I received a good settlement. I truly appreciated Joseph and his staff! I would recommend Mullen and Mullen to family and friends.”
Review from Mark M
“My aunt had met with an accident when a truck rammed into her car. She had suffered severe injuries and had to be kept in the hospital for a long time. Needless to say, the expenses added up to quite a bit, so I was determined to fight for adequate compensation from the other party. It was my friend who recommended your firm to me. Mullen & Mullen is certainly different from the other law firms that I have come across so far. They offered me a free consultation and the contingency charges were very lenient. The best part is that they helped me through all the procedures and ensured that we received the money that was due.”
J. Melville’s Review
“Mullen and Mullen was incredible in terms of both how understanding they were to my problems as well as in settling my case quickly and fast. A truck from a local construction company ran into my parked car and pretty much totaled it a few months back. Initially they refused to pay me a dime, and even threatened to bury me in litigation. But as soon as Mullen & Mullen took up my case up, things went so much better. I was compensated for my loss, and I didn’t even have to go to court for it. Those guys do an incredible job.”
Proven Experience and Exceptional Expertise
Our distinguished Fort Worth attorneys at Mullen & Mullen secured a noteworthy achievement in 2021, clinching a spot in the “Top 10” truck accident personal injury settlements in Texas, as reported by TopVerdict.com. Remarkably, 19 of the “Top 50” personal injury settlements in Texas for the same year were attributed to Mullen & Mullen clients. Among these accolades, one of our claims ranked in the Top 10, eight ranked in the Top 11-20, and ten claimed positions in the Top 21-50, with several related to commercial vehicle accidents. This remarkable track record fuels our unwavering confidence in our ability to secure maximum compensation for you, especially when considering our reduced contingency fee.
The attorneys at Mullen & Mullen possess the expertise and experience required to effectively handle your commercial vehicle accident case. With a comprehensive grasp of trucking laws, regulations, and industry practices, our dedicated team has successfully navigated numerous claims, consistently achieving favorable outcomes for our clients. We are well-versed in the intricate nuances of these cases, encompassing accident investigations, pinpointing responsible parties, amassing evidence, and constructing a robust legal strategy.
In Fort Worth truck accident cases, Mullen & Mullen’s accomplished lawyers bring a wealth of knowledge and extensive expertise to the forefront, ensuring your legal representation is of the highest caliber.
Our Truck Accident Claims that made the “Top 50” Highest Settlements in Texas List in the Last 3 Years
- $1,300,000; Motorist v. Commercial Driver
- $1,000,000; Motorist v. Inattentive Commercial Driver
- $1,000,000; 18-Wheeler Driver v. Commercial Motorist
- $996,292; Auto Driver v. Commercial Truck Driver
- $978,569.77; Auto Driver v. Commercial Driver
- $968,844; Motorist v. Truck Driver
- $960,576.60; Commercial Driver v. Commercial Driver
- $954,543.87; Commercial Driver v. Commercial Driver
- $845,000; Motorist v. Commercial Truck Driver
- $663,354.69; Passenger in a Vehicle v. 18-Wheeler Driver
- $600,000; Injured Driver v. Commercial Driver
- $550,000; Motorist v. Tow Truck Driver
- $542,350; Commercial Driver v. Negligent Motorist
- $500,000; Injured Driver v. Commercial Driver
- $425,000; Motorist v. Semi-Trailer Truck Driver
- $350,000; Motorist v. 18-Wheeler Driver
- $348,055; Professional Driver v. Negligent Motorist
- $325,000; Commercial Driver v. Premises Owner
Taking Responsibility for Commercial Drivers
Trucking and insurance companies often resist paying out claims, engaging in aggressive tactics and frequently delaying or denying legitimate claims. Fortunately, you have the advantage of our 95+ years of combined experience. For over four decades, we have been dedicated to assisting victims of commercial accidents. Our knowledge allows us to anticipate the insurance carrier’s moves before they make them. They are well aware of our reputation for ensuring you receive fair treatment.
Supporting Your Financial Needs During Claim Resolution
An unexpected accident can disrupt your life and leave you in need of immediate financial assistance. We have established relationships with major “law loan” companies that typically advance 5-10% of your potential final settlement value. We’ve negotiated favorable terms for Mullen & Mullen clients, offering lower interest rates. Once you retain us as your legal counsel, you can usually access a loan once liability and insurance coverage are confirmed. These law loan companies trust our case assessments due to our track record of success, making it an ideal solution if you have limited financial resources.
Prioritizing Case Quality Over Quantity
The responsibility to prove your claim falls on you, and failure to do so means no compensation for your injuries or financial losses. The compensation you receive depends on your attorney’s experience and dedication to securing maximum compensation. With over 95 years of combined experience, and because we prioritize quality over quantity, we handle fewer cases. This ensures that your case receives the time and attention necessary for you to be fully compensated for your damages.
Support for PTSD After Your Accident
Commercial truck accidents are highly stressful and can turn your life upside down. We have relationships with counselors who can help you cope with the aftermath. It’s common for injury victims to experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a motor vehicle collision. A counselor can assist you in managing stress, anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issues resulting from the accident.
Comprehensive Legal Assistance
Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Fort Worth is committed to offering comprehensive legal support throughout the entire process. From the initial consultation to the resolution of your truck accident case, we will stand by your side, providing guidance, support, and aggressive representation. Our attorneys take the time to understand the specifics of your case, assess your damages, and develop a personalized strategy tailored to your unique needs. We do not operate as a volume firm with an assembly-line approach.
Thorough Investigation and Evidence Collection
Investigating a commercial truck accident demands specialized knowledge and resources. Our experienced team will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident scene, interview witnesses, and consult accident reconstruction experts when necessary to establish liability. Mullen & Mullen Law Firm routinely collects vital evidence, including black box data if available, to build a strong case on your behalf from the outset. In litigation, we can obtain additional evidence such as logbooks and maintenance records.
Identifying All Parties Responsible
Commercial truck accidents often involve multiple parties, each potentially liable for damages. Our skilled lawyers will diligently assess your case to identify all responsible parties, which may include the truck driver, trucking company, vehicle manufacturers, maintenance providers, and others. Holding all liable parties accountable is crucial to ensure you receive full compensation.
Aggressive Negotiation and Litigation
Mullen & Mullen will vigorously negotiate with insurance companies and opposing counsel to secure a fair settlement covering your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, impairment, and other damages from the truck accident. If a fair settlement is not attainable, our top-rated lawyers are prepared to take your case to court and continue to fight tirelessly on your behalf. Mullen & Mullen Law Firm attorneys have a proven track record of success in the courtroom and strong relationships with top litigators across the State of Texas.
At our Fort Worth law firm, you are more than just a case number. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial challenges you may face after a commercial truck accident. That’s why we prioritize open and honest communication, keeping you informed about your case’s progress, and addressing any concerns or questions you may have. Mullen & Mullen Law Firm offers compassionate support and personalized attention, always putting your best interests at the forefront of our legal strategy.
Case Studies About Truck Accident Claims We’ve Settled
- $962,500 Settlement for client with neck injury requiring surgery
- $932,500 Settlement for client with a lumbar disc herniation and annular fissure
- $787,500 Settlement for client with neck injury requiring surgery
- $574,000 Settlement for client with foot injury
You Can Afford The Best Truck Accident Lawyer in Fort Worth Because You Pay Nothing Until After You Win
Rest assured that you won’t have to reach into your wallet until your settlement victory is secured. What’s more, choosing Mullen & Mullen Law Firm can put thousands more dollars in your pocket at the conclusion of your case. We charge a mere 29% contingency fee, a substantial savings compared to the industry standard of 33.3% to 35% for settlements without litigation. This 4.3% reduction can make a significant difference. For instance, on a $500,000 truck accident settlement, it translates to an extra $21,500 in your hands.
Common Types of Injuries Resulting from Trucking Accidents
Truck accidents can have catastrophic consequences due to the significant size and weight disparity between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. These incidents often lead to severe injuries that can have enduring physical, emotional, and financial ramifications for victims. Familiarizing oneself with the most prevalent types of injuries sustained in commercial truck accidents is essential for both accident survivors and their legal representatives in the pursuit of compensation and justice.
Truck accidents frequently result in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage. The sudden impact or violent jolt can cause the head to collide with objects within the vehicle, leading to cognitive impairments, memory loss, concentration difficulties, personality changes, and long-term complications. Swift diagnosis and appropriate medical intervention are imperative for managing and treating TBIs.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The forceful impact of a truck accident can damage the spinal cord, resulting in partial or complete paralysis. Spinal cord injuries often entail a loss of sensation, impaired motor function, and a substantial impact on an individual’s daily life. Recovery usually necessitates rehabilitation, adaptive equipment, and ongoing care for individuals with spinal cord injuries.
Back and Neck Injuries
Whiplash, herniated discs, spinal fractures, facet joint syndrome, and other back and neck injuries are common in truck accidents. The abrupt jerking motion during a collision can strain or damage muscles, ligaments, and vertebrae, leading to chronic pain, limited mobility, and long-term discomfort. Recovery may require physical therapy, pain management, and in some cases, surgical interventions.
Broken Bones and Fractures
The immense force involved in truck accidents can result in fractures and broken bones throughout the body, affecting limbs, ribs, pelvis, and even the skull. These injuries often demand immediate medical attention, surgical procedures, immobilization using casts or braces, and extensive rehabilitation to restore functionality.
Truck accidents may cause significant internal injuries due to the collision’s impact. Organs like the liver, spleen, kidneys, or lungs may sustain damage, resulting in internal bleeding, organ failure, and life-threatening conditions. Timely medical evaluation and treatment are critical for addressing internal injuries, which may not manifest immediately.
Cuts, Lacerations, and Bruises
The shattered glass, debris, and objects inside a vehicle can lead to cuts, lacerations, and severe bruising. These injuries can vary from minor wounds to deep lacerations requiring stitches or reconstructive surgery. In certain instances, scarring or disfigurement may occur, causing both physical and emotional distress.
Truck accidents involving fires or explosions can cause burn injuries, which can range from first-degree burns to more severe third-degree burns affecting deeper layers of the skin and underlying tissues. Burn injuries typically necessitate specialized medical treatment, including wound care, skin grafts, and extensive rehabilitation.
Truck accidents can have a profound psychological impact on individuals involved. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and phobias are common psychological consequences. Victims may experience flashbacks, nightmares, social withdrawal, and difficulty resuming daily activities. Psychological support and therapy are vital for their recovery.
It’s important to note that the severity and type of injuries can vary based on various factors, including collision speed, angle of impact, use of safety restraints, and the size of the vehicles involved. Seeking immediate medical attention after a commercial truck accident is crucial, even if injuries may not initially appear severe, as some injuries may exhibit delayed onset symptoms.
Regarding Claims for Accidents Involving Commercial Trucks
Claims involving accidents with commercial trucks are notably complex, involving significant risks. The seasoned attorneys at Mullen & Mullen possess the essential expertise, abilities, and financial resources required to confront the trucking firms and their insurance providers to secure compensation. We ensure that the responsible driver and their employer are held accountable for the harm caused.
A Trucking Company’s Private Investigator May Covertly Record You
It’s crucial to be cautious during your recovery period, as insurance firms may exploit any situation to their advantage, especially when commercial trucks like 18-wheelers are involved, due to their high insurance policy limits, typically around $1,000,000. These companies and their insurers, equipped with specialized departments for handling such claims, might go to lengths including secret surveillance to undermine your case.
Our Firm Utilizes In-House Private Investigators for Your Case
Mullen & Mullen boasts a team of two dedicated in-house accident investigators adept at securing essential evidence swiftly, including the Texas Peace Officer’s Crash Report when accessible. They proactively document the accident scene and involved vehicles through photographs and videos, and strive to identify witnesses to solidify your claim. In instances where the police report does not mention witnesses, they are skilled in searching the area to find any additional eyewitnesses.
Our Legal Team Engages in Comprehensive Witness Interaction
Our attorneys are diligent in interviewing witnesses and securing affidavits to strengthen your case. They also conduct thorough public records searches and make use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain various records related to the accident, including details on the truck driver and the employing company.
What Organizations May Have Records Related to My Truck Accident?
Depending on the facts and circumstances of your collision, the following agencies may have documents that could assist your personal injury case:
- Texas Department of Public Safety
- United States Department of Transportation
- Federal Highway Administration
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
- Federal Office of Motor Carrier and Highway Safety
- National Driver Register
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- National Transportation Safety Board
- Texas Department of Transportation
- Texas Transportation Commission
Our lawyers routinely request documents from various government entities. If you retain Mullen & Mullen Law Firm, we will quickly and efficiently secure all available documents that could be helpful in your case including police officer body worn camera footage when available.
What Texas Rules and Regulations are Commercial Drivers and Trucking Companies Subjected to?
18-wheeler drivers and the companies they work for are generally subject to a substantial number of rules and regulations. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the following could be applicable:
- Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations
- State of Texas Hazardous Materials Regulations
- State of Texas Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
- Texas Transportation Code
Our attorneys are knowledgeable regarding various rules and regulations applicable to commercial truck drivers. We will identify any possible violations by the trucking company and its driver.
Initiating Claims for Damages After a Truck Accident
When it comes to seeking compensation for injuries and damages following a collision with a commercial truck, the timing of filing insurance claims is crucial. Don’t assume that a simple apology from the truck driver at the scene guarantees liability acceptance by the trucking company or its insurer. Commercial semi-truck drivers often operate under a point system, and the fear of losing their commercial driver’s license can incentivize them to be less than truthful.
Which Claims Should You Establish with the Trucking or Your Insurance Company?
After an 18-wheeler accident, you may have multiple insurance claims to set up. Here are some potential claims we can assist you in establishing:
- A liability claim against the 18-wheeler driver for property damage and injury damages.
- A liability claim against the company the truck driver was employed by at the time of the accident, covering property damage and injury damages.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits through your own auto insurance policy, reimbursing you for medical expenses and lost income if you cannot work.
- Medical Payments (MedPay) benefits through your insurance or the at-fault party’s insurance, with the possibility of offset if you obtain a settlement.
What Are the Typical Liability Limits for Commercial Vehicle Policies?
Most policies offer coverage of at least $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident. Often, these policies have higher limits, such as $1,000,000 per person and $2,000,000 per accident.
For instance, if three individuals are injured in the same semi accident, and the at-fault driver’s policy limits are $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident, a single person could receive a maximum of $250,000, and the liability carrier’s total payout would not exceed $500,000, even if the combined damages exceeded this amount.
Exploring all potential sources of insurance coverage is crucial if you’ve suffered severe or life-altering injuries in an 18-wheeler accident. Our Dallas attorneys excel at investigating whether separate insurance policies or an umbrella policy may cover the semi-tractor-trailer, thus maximizing your potential recovery.
Does the Driver’s Employment Status Matter?
Yes, the employment status of the driver does matter. Employers are generally not held liable for the negligent actions of independent contractors. However, Texas follows the doctrine of Respondeat Superior, making companies liable for the negligent actions or omissions of employees while they are performing tasks for the company. For example, if you were injured in an 18-wheeler accident involving a Swift Transportation truck, both the driver and Swift Transportation would be suitable defendants in a lawsuit.
The amount of available insurance proceeds may depend on whether the semi-tractor-trailer driver was an independent contractor (covering the driver only) or an employee (covering both the driver and the trucking company). Our lawyers are well-versed in the criteria used to determine the driver’s status and can make legal arguments to establish employee status, even if the trucking company claims the driver was an independent contractor.
The company’s insurance policy limits may not be a concern if they have substantial assets. For instance, if you’ve suffered severe injuries due to a JB Hunt 18-wheeler, you might not need to worry about insurance limits, as JB Hunt possesses significant assets that could be subject to a judgment.
Repairing or Replacing Your Vehicle After a Commercial Truck Accident
Is it advisable to use the repair shop suggested by the trucking company’s insurance?
Absolutely not. The repair shops suggested by the insurance provider of the trucking company are chosen because they often charge less for repairs. This is advantageous for both the trucking company and its insurance provider, as it helps them argue that the damage to your vehicle indicates you were involved in a “minor” accident. It’s better to get an estimate from an auto dealership or choose a body shop yourself.
Will I Receive a Rental Car After a Commercial Truck Accident?
Yes, you typically receive a rental car if your vehicle can be repaired and is not a total loss. If your car is repairable and drivable, you’re usually entitled to a comparable rental vehicle for the duration it takes to repair your car. However, if your vehicle is considered a total loss, you’re most likely to receive only the fair market value of your car, and insurance companies generally do not cover the cost of a rental vehicle once your car is deemed a total loss.
How Can I Get a Rental Car After the Accident?
Certainly, our attorneys are available to assist in arranging a rental vehicle for you while your car is being repaired or while it’s being assessed by the trucking company’s insurance carrier as a total loss.
Am I Eligible for Compensation for My Car’s Diminished Value?
In most cases, yes. Claiming compensation for diminished value often necessitates an expert assessment. Our law firm is willing to front the cost for an expert report if the damage to your vehicle justifies such a claim.
What Compensation Can I Expect if My Vehicle is a Total Loss?
If your vehicle is totaled in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, you are entitled to the fair market value of your car. This valuation is based on the price of similar vehicles in the market, not on figures from the Kelly Blue Book or NADA Book Value.
Securing a Law Loan
Do companies exist that loan money based on securing an interest in your settlement?
Yes, but many of these law loan companies charge a ridiculous interest rate. Most law loan companies require you to be represented to qualify for a loan. Our legal team routinely help clients secure loans that charge a flat fee, as opposed to a continuously compounding loan. This sometimes saves our clients thousands of dollars.
Seeking Essential Medical Care After an Accident
Is it necessary to visit the hospital for pain and discomfort? Yes, it is. Experiencing pain or discomfort after being involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler or a commercial vehicle warrants a medical examination for your safety. Given the immense weight of large semi-tractor-trailers, it’s prudent to err on the side of caution and undergo a medical check-up. This is not only a safety measure but also crucial in dealing with the trucking company’s insurance, which may claim your injuries were minor if you refrain from seeking immediate medical attention.
Handling Medical Bills Paid by Health Insurance
In instances where your health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid covers medical expenses for injuries sustained in a truck accident, these entities typically have a right—known as subrogation—to be reimbursed from your settlement. While the reimbursement amount varies, our team at the Dallas-based Mullen & Mullen Law Firm frequently negotiates reduced claims on health insurance or workers’ compensation liens.
Finding Medical Providers for Truck Accident Injuries
Despite some doctors’ reluctance to treat truck accident injury cases due to potential legal entanglements, there are healthcare professionals who specialize in treating such injuries. Mullen & Mullen Law Firm, leveraging our four decades of experience, facilitates access to healthcare providers skilled in managing injuries from commercial truck accidents. We can guide you to local doctors who will defer their fees until the resolution of your case, working with a network of specialized physicians, therapists, and medical facilities willing to postpone payment until your claim is settled.
Recovering Lost Wages Due to the Accident
It’s possible to recover lost wages resulting from the accident. Documenting your earnings loss comprehensively is crucial as the trucking or insurance company will scrutinize this claim. Our attorneys have successfully secured lost wages for accident victims using various forms of evidence, including affidavits, correspondence, and financial documents. We have represented clients unable to meet their job’s physical demands due to injuries, assisting them until they could return to work safely.
Compensating for Loss of Earning Capacity
You may also be eligible for compensation for future loss of earning capacity, which represents the income you will lose over your lifetime adjusted for current value due to your injuries. Our legal team employs economists and vocational experts to substantiate claims for past and future earnings losses.
Additional Financial Compensation
Beyond the aforementioned damages, you might be entitled to compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses deemed reasonable and necessary
- Automobile repair and replacement costs
- Diminished value of your vehicle
Mullen & Mullen Law Firm often engages life care planners for cases involving severe, life-changing injuries to ensure comprehensive future care planning. We cover the initial costs for expert reports needed for clients facing long-term disabilities.
Compensation for Non-Economic Damages in Commercial Truck Accidents
Following a commercial truck accident, you may be eligible for compensation that addresses non-economic damages, which include:
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Past and future mental anguish
- Past and future physical impairment
- Other types of non-economic damages
Unlike economic damages, which can be quantified (e.g., lost wages), non-economic damages such as pain, suffering, and mental anguish do not have a fixed monetary value. For instance, if an accident caused you to miss work for four months, with a monthly income of $5,000, your economic loss is clearly $20,000. However, quantifying the personal experiences of pain, suffering, and mental distress requires a more nuanced approach, often determined at the discretion of a jury.
At Mullen & Mullen Law Firm, we recognize the power of personal storytelling in conveying the extent of your non-economic damages. We often prepare a “day in the life” video, leveraging our in-house videographer, to showcase the real impact of your injuries on your daily life. This approach can significantly influence the settlement value, offering a vivid illustration of your unique circumstances and the accident’s toll on your life.
It’s important to have a comprehensive evaluation of your case to identify all potential damages, as this list is not exhaustive.
Eligibility for Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are awarded to penalize particularly reckless or grossly negligent behavior. In Texas, securing these damages can be challenging and requires a thorough case evaluation. Every incident involving an 18-wheeler or commercial vehicle should be assessed for the possibility of punitive damages, especially under circumstances indicating recklessness or gross negligence, such as:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Violation of mandatory rest periods
- Failure to secure cargo properly
- Reckless speeding
Assessing Your Claim’s Value
Many attorneys might predict overly optimistic outcomes, but the true value of your claim hinges on the specifics of your injuries and factors that might influence a jury, like evidence of the driver’s negligence at the time of the accident. At Mullen & Mullen, we base our assessment of your claim’s potential value on a thorough review of all relevant case materials and the insurance adjuster’s arguments. We believe in providing realistic expectations, akin to expecting a surgeon to review medical records before offering a prognosis.
Significantly, claims involving objective injuries (e.g., fractures, herniated discs, or conditions requiring surgical intervention) are typically viewed as having greater value compared to more minor injuries like sprains or strains. Our firm is committed to a detailed and honest evaluation to guide you through understanding the potential outcomes of your case.
Addressing Partial Negligence in Truck Accident Claims
In instances where you’re found partially at fault in a commercial truck accident, the degree of your negligence impacts your compensation. Should the jury find you 20% responsible in a scenario where $50,000 in damages is awarded, your compensation would be adjusted to $40,000, reflecting your share of the fault. However, you’re not disqualified from receiving compensation unless found more than 50% at fault. Even with a 50/50 fault division, you could still recover half of the awarded damages.
Understanding “Reasonable and Necessary” Medical Expenses
Under Texas law, you’re entitled to seek reimbursement for medical expenses deemed reasonable and necessary. It’s common for trucking companies to challenge the necessity or reasonableness of medical treatments, often employing a medical expert for a peer review of the treatments.
The Significance of Pre-existing Conditions
Our practice carefully examines your medical history to leverage the “Eggshell Plaintiff” doctrine when applicable. Reviewing your medical records before the accident provides crucial evidence to support claims of pain, suffering, mental anguish, and physical impairment.
Deciding Against the Trucking Company’s Final Settlement Offer
You maintain the right to reject the final settlement offer from the trucking company, opting instead to sue both the driver and their employer.
To Settle or to Sue?
Deciding whether to settle or initiate a lawsuit is a critical decision that should be made based on the specifics of your case. It’s important to consider:
- Attorney Fees: Engaging in litigation usually results in higher legal fees.
- Case Expenses: Costs associated with commercial truck accident claims tend to spike during litigation.
- Time Commitment: Litigation can extend for 9-12 months, consuming considerable time.
- Negotiation Leverage: Health insurance or workers’ compensation providers might be more amenable to reducing liens before litigation begins.
Ultimately, an early settlement offer might net you more, even if it seems lower, once you factor in increased expenses and the time involved in litigation.
Securing Records from the Truck’s Daily Log and Driver Management System
Understanding Daily Logs and Driver Management Systems
Commercial truck drivers are subject to strict regulations regarding the number of hours they can drive consecutively, necessitating periodic rest stops. The truck’s daily log records the distance covered by the driver in a day, while the driver management system provides detailed insights including the truck’s location, hours spent driving, and details about the cargo’s weight and distribution.
The Importance of the Driver’s Qualification File
The Driver Qualification File, as outlined in Title 49 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (parts 382, 383, and 391), is crucial for verifying a driver’s eligibility and safety training. These documents, combined with the driver’s personal and professional history, are key in assessing their qualification for operating the vehicle safely.
Leveraging GPS Data for Your Claim
GPS data, if accessible, becomes a powerful tool in litigation, offering precise details on the truck’s whereabouts, timing, and the path it followed. It’s imperative to engage legal representation promptly to ensure the issuance of a spoliation letter, which mandates the preservation of essential evidence like GPS data for your claim.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Call (817) 768-6680 to talk to a Fort Worth truck accident attorney right now. We won’t put any pressure on you to hire us on the spot. Simply learn how we’ll approach your case and get some excellent free advice. Make your decision only when you feel 100% ready. Do remember though, that the Texas statute of limitations gives you just 2 years from the date of your accident to file a claim.
We’ll come to your home or hospital room if it makes it easier on you! Phone and Zoom consultations are also available. You can call us, or use the form or chat feature on this page to request a free consultation now.
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FORT WORTH OFFICE LOCATION
9500 Ray White Rd #241
Fort Worth, TX 76244
Phone (817) 768-6680
By Appointment Only
Seriously Hurt? We’ll Come to You!