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Odessa Truck Accident Lawyer

Odessa Truck Accident Lawyer

A serious truck accident can turn your life upside down–or even end the life of someone dear to you. At Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers, we realize that no amount of money can compensate for this kind of devastation. Nevertheless, adequate compensation is critically important, considering how much you have lost. 

Our Odessa truck accident lawyers understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that these accidents take on their victims in Odessa, TX. We are committed to guiding you through every step of the legal process with empathy and expertise.

The Odessa truck accident attorneys at Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers have cultivated a profound understanding of the complexities that truck accident cases generate. We work tirelessly to hold the responsible parties accountable by utilizing our vast resources to build a robust case for you. We’re not just interested in helping you win your case–we want to help you rebuild your life in Odessa, Texas. Call us today at (432) 220-0000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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How Zehl & Associates Can Help You with Your Odessa Truck Accident Claim

How Zehl & Associates Can Help You with Your Odessa Truck Accident Claim

Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers has established a formidable reputation in personal injury law. We have secured billions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for accident victims across Texas and the United States. 

Our Odessa personal injury lawyers enjoy an undefeated record at trial. We have won the largest recoveries in the history of some of our opponent law firms. We have been showered with awards from numerous major professional legal organizations.

Our Odessa truck accident lawyers can do the following for your case: 

  • Review federal motor carrier safety regulations to determine if any violations contributed to the accident.
  • Assess company liability. We can determine if the trucking company’s acts or omissions contributed to the accident.
  • Manage complex litigation involving multiple parties. Truck accidents often involve multiple parties.
  • Find and recruit experts and investigators.
  • Challenge evidence presented by the defense.
  • Ensure strict compliance with all filing deadlines.
  • Help you find resources for your medical needs. We have connections to healthcare professionals and can guide you to appropriate care.
  • Evaluate the long-term impact of your injuries.
  • Apply our knowledge of trucking industry standards and practices.

We can also fight for you in court if necessary. We’ll work with you to devise an effective strategy for your Odessa, TX truck accident case. 

How Common Are Truck Accidents in Texas?

Sadly, Texas leads the nation in the total number of fatal truck accidents. Since Texas is such a large state, it ranks only fifth in fatalities when considering total miles traveled. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, over 25,000 semi-truck accidents occurred in Texas in 2022, resulting in nearly 500 truck accident deaths. 

What Is Negligence and How Do I Prove It?

Most truck accidents in Odessa, TX, arise out of negligence. To prove negligence, you must show a duty was owed and breached, causing the truck accident, and you suffered damages. 

Some of the most important evidence used to prove negligence in a truck accident claim includes:

  • Accident reconstruction analysis
  • Accident scene photographs
  • Witness statements
  • Police accident reports
  • Truck driver’s log books
  • Medical records, such as an X-ray of a traumatic brain injury
  • Electronic logging device (ELD) data
  • Traffic camera or dashcam footage
  • Truck maintenance records
  • Cell phone records of the involved parties
  • Toxicology reports (if impairment is suspected)
  • Cargo loading and securing records
  • GPS data from the truck
  • Weather reports for the time of the accident
  • Medical records documenting injuries
  • Expert witness testimony (from medical, mechanical, or traffic safety experts)
  • Employment and driving history of the truck driver
  • Inspection reports of the truck and trailer
  • Trucking company policies and procedures
  • Black box (event data recorder) data from the truck
  • Road condition reports and photographs
  • Photographs of injuries
  • Statements from paramedics and firefighters
  • Invoices and estimates for property damage
  • Records of past violations or citations against the trucking company or the driver
  • Correspondence with insurance companies.

Negligence per se also allows you to prove that the defendant was negligent merely by showing that they violated a safety regulation. It is a shortcut to proving negligence. Since trucking is a highly regulated industry, victims frequently rely on establishing regulatory violations to prove negligence. Once you prove negligence, you must also prove that the negligence caused your injuries. If you can do that, you may win compensation. 

What if I’m Being Blamed for the Truck Accident? 

Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. This allows you to recover compensation for your injuries, even if you are partially at fault for the truck accident. However, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to the amount of your fault. You will be barred from recovering damages entirely if you are more than 50% at fault for the truck accident. 

How Can an Event Data Recorder (EDR) Help Your Case?

An event data recorder is a device that is installed in commercial trucks and sometimes other vehicles. It records certain information, such as speed and braking, for a few seconds before, during, and after an accident. Think of it like an airplane’s “black box.”  This information can be very useful in determining liability.

What Is the Pretrial Discovery Process and Why Does It Matter?

The pretrial discovery process occurs only after you file a lawsuit. In pretrial discovery, you demand evidence that is in the possession of the other side–and they can demand evidence that is in your possession. You might demand a copy of the truck’s latest inspection report, while the defendant might request that you submit to a medical examination conducted by their doctor. Either party can ask the court to sanction an uncooperative party. 

Pretrial discovery is often the only way for you to gather enough evidence to prove your claim. This could make it critical that you file a lawsuit. After reviewing the available evidence, your attorney can help you file a lawsuit and negotiate a fair settlement.  

Who Can I Sue in a Truck Accident Claim?

Your best bet is usually to sue the driver. Under the right circumstances, however, you might sue:

  • The trucking company;
  • A nightclub that sold alcohol to the driver shortly before the accident;
  • The manufacturer of a defective truck component or traffic light;
  • The truck maintenance company;
  • The owner of the truck;
  • The party responsible for loading cargo into the truck; or
  • A government entity (for defective roadways or infrastructure).

In some cases, you can sue several defendants, including both the truck driver and trucking company. Truck drivers are typically required to carry insurance, and trucking companies often have vast resources. 

What are the Major Regulations Governing Texas Truck Accidents?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA) enforces federal trucking regulations that cover everything from necessary equipment to mandatory rest breaks. Texas trucking regulations cover the same topics, with a few differences from federal regulations. In the event of a conflict between federal regulations and state regulations, federal regulations prevail. Never forget that trucking regulations frequently change.

How Much Is My Texas Truck Accident Claim Worth?

The value of each Odessa truck accident case differs based on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case. Several factors will impact the worth of your truck accident claim. An experienced Odessa truck accident attorney can evaluate your case by considering your medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and more.  

What Damages Are Available for a Truck Accident Claim?

The major components of a typical truck accident claim include the financial and emotional losses suffered. 

The following economic and non-economic damages may be available in your truck accident case: 

  • Medical expenses
  • Estimated future medical expenses
  • Lost earnings
  • Long-term diminished earning capacity (if any)
  • Out-of-pocket expenses, such as daycare expenses for your children while you are in the hospital
  • Property damage, such as damage to your automobile
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium (a claim for loss of society and companionship held by spouses, parents, and children of an injured victim) 
  • Disfigurement

Punitive damages are possible if the defendant acts with gross negligence, malice, or fraud. If the victim dies in the accident, certain close relatives can sue for wrongful death. Wrongful death claims carry their own elements of damages.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Truck Accident in Texas?

You typically have two years to file a lawsuit in Texas. You may be barred from recovering damages if you fail to bring your claim before the statute of limitations expires. 

Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers can work with you to ensure compliance with applicable deadlines in your case. 

Contact an Odessa Truck Accident Lawyer to Schedule a Free Consultation

At Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers, we are prepared to fight for your interests and will not rest until you receive the compensation you deserve. Since we work on a contingency basis, you don’t need to worry about money. You only pay us if we win, and your bill doesn’t come due until your money arrives.

If you were injured in an Odessa, TX, truck accident, you can call us 24/7 to schedule a free initial case consultation with our Odessa truck accident attorneys.