How Accident Cases with Flatbed Trucks Work
Flatbed trailers serve a very useful purpose, mainly in the transport of several kinds of bulky, over-sized parts and products. However, sometimes the type of cargo transported can cause very serious accidents; for example, an over-sized pipe can strike a bridge that does not provide proper clearance and can cause a chain-reaction accident among the cars following a flatbed trailer. Cargo can become loose from a flatbed and scatter across a roadway, leading to an accident that involves several other motorists sharing the road. A motorcyclist can strike a flatbed trailer after the driver of the rig makes an illegal left turn.
While there are many similarities between a flatbed trailer accident and other kinds of trucking accidents that happen in Texas each year, there are many key differences as well. You will need the help of a flatbed truck accident lawyer who is familiar with Texas law so you can have the best possible chance of securing the restitution that you deserve.
Questions answered in this article:
- What kind of compensation can I get after a flatbed truck accident?
- Are accidents with flatbed trucks handled differently than accidents with tractor-trailers?
- Who is liable after an accident?
- How can an attorney help me after an accident?
How Flatbed Trailer Accidents are Similar to Other Trucking Accidents from a Legal Perspective
Just like any other trucking accident case, there is no inherent acceptance of liability in a case stemming from an accident involving a flatbed trailer. The defendant in this sort of case will not, in the eyes of the law, owe the plaintiff a dime of compensation by default. That is not how our justice system works. In Texas, a person injured in a flatbed trailer accident, or the surviving family members of someone killed, can certainly seek compensation. But the defendants also have the right to deny compensation, leaving the plaintiffs no choice but to have the court intervene. In most truck accident cases, you will have to fight very hard to obtain the restitution that you deserve. In order to have the best possible outcome, you will need the help of an experienced Texas flatbed truck accident lawyer.Truck Driver Background Checks Following a serious accident, people often want to know if the trucker involved has a clean record or not...Read More >
How Flatbed Trailer Accidents Differ Legally from Other Trucking Accidents
Flatbed trailer accidents can produce unique consequences which result in different legal ramifications than you would encounter in a conventional commercial vehicle accident. Generally, flatbed trailers are more likely to disperse their cargo in an accident, and the cargo itself can spill onto a roadway, causing an accident. Both of these scenarios can result in multiple vehicles being swept up in a single accident. This is where the complexity lies; when there are multiple vehicles involved in a single accident – as is the case in many accidents involving a flatbed trailer – then you not only have to compete with the trucking company, but other plaintiffs.
Many devastating flatbed trailer accidents take place at night, and one of the worst types takes place when a trailer makes an illegal left turn in front of a motorcyclist. The kind of motorcycle accident that results from that dangerous left turn can be catastrophic. It may seem that it would take a “perfect storm” of sorts for this kind of accident to happen, but it actually happens more than you would expect. We represented the family of a motorcyclist who was on his way to work, when a trailer made a sharp left turn in front of him. At the elevated height the man was sitting, he saw nothing but roadway as he looked across the trailer; when he the truck struck him, the impact killed the motercyclist immediately.
Additionally, flatbed trailers regularly haul bulky and/or over-sized cargo that cannot be transported by a conventional 18-wheeler. Manufactured homes, massive pipes, and blades used in huge wind turbines are a few of the kinds of cargo that flatbed trailers tend to haul. Previously stated, there are many instances where an accident involving a flatbed trailer can be caused by the cargo itself. A bulldozer can come loose from a flatbed and crush a car, for example, because a strap breaks.Accidents Caused by Unsecured Loads When trucks are overloaded or carry freight without proper balance and tie-downs, accidents can happen.Read More >
When this kind of scenario takes place, the question becomes which party was responsible for the accident? In many flatbed trailer accidents there can be several parties that could have either contributed to the accident (been a “proximate cause”), or there may be only one party responsible. It’s essential that you have the help of an attorney who can determine the exact party or parties to pursue and provide you with the best chance of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
There are many different kinds of scenarios involving a flatbed truck, and again, there are different legal strategies associated with them. If a spilled-cargo accident results in several motorists being hurt, you not only need to hire an experienced attorney to help you obtain compensation, it is best to hire that attorney as soon as possible.
Compensation for Flatbed Truck Accidents
A trucking company’s insurance policy will only pay out a finite amount of money. If nine other people were hurt in the same accident in which you sustained your injury, in essence, you will then be competing against them for compensation. If, for example, the trucking company’s insurance policy is for $1 million, yet the people involved in the accident incurred $3 million in damages, you’re going to have to get to the front of the line as fast as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting nothing for the suffering you have experienced because, quite simply, there’s no money left. You will have to enlist the assistance of a flatbed truck accident attorney who can perform a prompt and thorough accident investigation to determine the cause of the accident, identify the defendants in your case, and obtain the proof you will need in order to have the best possible chance of winning.
Your lawyer, however, also needs to have a reputation of winning these kinds of cases, thus improving the chances that you will not have to go to court. There are some trucking companies (primarily smaller ones) that purchase “eroding” insurance policies. In some cases, the defendants pay for their defense out of these policies, thus further diluting the amount of compensation available to those who have suffered an injury in an accident. If your attorney has a track record of success in this kind of case, however, then the trucking company will be more apt to settle than risk losing even more money in a trial.
It should not be surprising to anyone, least of all an accident victim, that the financial repercussions involved with a flatbed truck collision are enormous. From the financial aspects to the physical, mental, and emotional, the sum of harms dealt to you is worth monetary compensation. Compensation, also known as “damages,” is financial relief that is vital to recovering losses from a life-altering experience. These recoverable losses include:
- Medical bills: Truck accidents can instantly kill motorists, but they don’t always. Sometimes, individuals have to spend time in the hospital before they pass away or recover from injuries. These medical costs can be staggering when catastrophic truck accidents happen.
- Loss of income: This is often the most substantial compensation. The law understands that you were depending on your or a lost loved one’s income. For example, if your wife was an accountant and died at age 35 from a truck accident, we would work to prove what she would have made over the remainder of her working life. One could also be permanently disabled as a result of the accident, in which case a similar process would be involved to prove the expected costs of both ongoing care and loss of potential income due to inability to work.
- Pain and suffering: In our decades of representing injured victims or the families of those who have lost loved ones in trucking accidents, we have seen the emotional damage and devastation left. We can fight to secure you money not only for the payment for professional treatment, but also for your emotional injuries themselves.
- Funeral expenses: Funerals cost thousands of dollars and are hardly ever something you plan for.
- Loss of Companionship: Losing a loved one is obviously difficult, and the law supports individuals who will no longer have the love and support of the one who died.
How can an attorney help?
As you can see, and as we have stressed throughout this article, accidents involving a flatbed trailer have several unique aspects that must be met with unique legal strategies. In order to have the best possible chance of securing the restitution you deserve, it is imperative that you have the help of an experienced attorney in Texas. At Grossman Law Offices, we have helped scores of clients affected by this type of accident obtain compensation.
Over the past 25 years, the accident attorneys with Grossman Law Offices have won cases against many major trucking companies and their insurance providers. They know us, and they know our reputation for success. As a result, in many instances they have elected to make fair settlement offers to our clients preemptively, rather than tangling with our attorneys in a court of law. If you would like a confidential and free consultation in regard to your case, please call us as soon as you can at (855) 356-0000 (toll free) . We will give you an honest evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of your case and let you know how we may be able to help.
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