Posted on Monday, December 5th, 2022 at 12:00 am
Being in a truck accident can be scary and the turmoil that follows even more troubling. In all likelihood, you’ll need to learn about the steps necessary to get compensation for damages and injuries.
One of the most important things to prove your claim is evidence. While you’ll likely be able to collect some proof of the accident on your own, you may have trouble collecting evidence from the trucking company involved in your accident.
Securing the support of a truck accident lawyer in Austin can prove to be the most vital step you take so that you can obtain justice. An Austin truck accident lawyer can work with you to send out a spoliation letter, which is a document that will inhibit the trucking company from acting in bad faith in providing evidence.
The team at Ramos James Law is here to explain why spoliation letters are so important for a successful case.
What Is a Spoliation Letter?
A spoliation letter is a formal request to the defendant (in this case the trucking company) to preserve any truck accident evidence related to your case. Your Austin truck accident attorney will draft one to make sure that the company, insurance, or other parties are aware that you need this evidence, and that they need to cooperate during the discovery phase.
Companies are required to keep 6 months’ worth of records, yet, some may attempt to alter or destroy evidence in order to avoid paying out on an accident they are responsible for.
The spoliation letter is intended to inhibit the destruction of evidence and there are typically legal repercussions if the company is caught doing so.
What’s Included in a Spoliation Letter?
The spoliation letter written by your Austin truck accident typically includes an in-depth request for any and all evidence in the defendant’s possession. This can include all or part of the following forms of evidence:
- permits, service records, and licenses for the truck involved in the accident
- the most recent status of the truck before the accident
- the truck itself
- records of the driver like drug test results, travel logs, daily logs, and medical evaluations
- maintenance and repair reports
- certifications, work history, and contract of the truck driver
- accident reports such as the police report and any company or third-party reports
- video and photos of the truck and accident scene
- GPS data
- emails, voicemails, and other correspondence related to the accident
- black box data from the truck
Why Are Spoliation Letters So Important?
Fighting against truck and insurance companies can be an uphill battle. You need a mountain of evidence that they can easily alter or destroy, and because they may want to avoid liability for your case, you may struggle to secure the evidence you need on your own.
A spoliation letter, however, means that they can be punished for missing or altered records.
Remember, evidence is the weapon your truck accident lawyer in Austin will need to get you the compensation you deserve. If you don’t have enough evidence, your claim will likely be denied.
Contact Ramos James Law, PLLC, To Get Your Truck Accident Case Rolling
Truck accidents can be so much more severe than car accidents because of the size of commercial trucks. Get the legal help you need so you can receive the compensation you deserve.
The Austin truck accident attorneys at Ramos James Law, PLLC, have plenty of experience in handling truck accidents with positive results. Contact our office today for a FREE consultation.
Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 at 12:00 am
It doesn’t take an expert to recognize that truck accidents can have catastrophic consequences. There are many causes of truck accidents, and everyone should be informed on what to expect after enduring one.
Being the victim of a truck accident can be overwhelming and create confusion in its aftermath, so much so, that you may be at a loss on what to do next. Your experienced Austin truck accident attorneys can assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.
Determining Truck Accident Compensation
Compensation for a truck accident will vary in every case. Your truck accident lawyer won’t be able to gauge how much you will receive without some investigation first.
The total amount of compensation you can receive ultimately depends on the gravity of the accident. Your injuries, property damage, and other damages suffered are major determining factors that affect how much you will be compensated.
When you schedule a free consultation with your Austin truck accident lawyer, they will provide you with a list of documents you’ll need to start the claims process.
How Can My Austin Truck Lawyer Attorney Help Me Get Compensated?
There are economic and non-economic damages your truck accident lawyer can help you get compensation for following an accident.
The purpose of economic damages is to reimburse the victim for any financial losses sustained in the truck accident. Some examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
It is important to save all medical records and bills, including equipment, therapy medication, etc.
- Cost of damaged property
Securing documents that detail the cost of damages to your vehicle or property is essential in building a claim and getting compensation.
- Long-term disability
Depending on the severity of your injury, future medical care may be required, and you may get compensated for the medical support you will need.
- Missed income from not working
If the result of your accident prevents you from returning to work, you may be entitled to be reimbursed for missed income.
Non-economic damages are those that aren’t visible but still affect a victim’s day-to-day life. Non-economic damages can include:
- Inability to do daily tasks due to injury from the accident
These tasks can be simple gestures such as picking up a child or walking your pet. Compensation may be provided when everyday chores become a challenge.
- Developing anxiety and depression
After an accident, you may become anxious about being in a vehicle or depressed from injuries that prevent you from going about your normal life.
- Mental trauma
Truck accidents are traumatizing. Being involved in a truck accident can cause PTSD and other tragic outcomes that cause mental injuries.
Although it is a challenge to calculate non-economic damages, Texas courts do provide compensation for pain and suffering.
If you or someone you know have been a victim of a truck accident, reach out to your Austin truck accident lawyers at Ramos James Law, PLLC, to get the compensation you deserve.
Posted on Friday, April 15th, 2022 at 12:00 am
One person was killed in the early hours of Friday, April, 15th, after a truck accident.
Details on the Fatal Accident
According to authorities, the accident occurred at the 9000 block of South I-35 in Austin, Texas.
At around 2 a.m., the driver of a pickup truck rear-ended an 18-wheeler that was parked on the right shoulder of I-35. The driver of the pickup truck was pronounced dead at the scene.
Southbound lanes where the accident happened were closed until about 7 a.m. due to the investigation.
Austin Truck Accident Lawyers Provide 5 Safety Tips for Sharing the Road With 18-Wheelers
Semi-trucks are essential for transporting goods around the country. Although they provide a vital service, sharing the road with an 18-wheeler can pose danger. The size, weight, and other leading causes of truck accidents can create disastrous outcomes.
While you don’t have control over the way others drive, you can still help make the roads safer by following these tips:
1. Be wary of 18-wheelers.
Since semi-trucks are so large, they shouldn’t be hard to spot on the road. Once you’re aware of the truck(s) driving around you, closely observe their movements and actions. This way you are aware if a driver is acting recklessly, or if the truck is stationary.
2. Allow plenty of space for semi-trucks.
Because 18-wheelers are so big, they need more space to maneuver safely. You can decrease the risk of accidents if you give the truck driver plenty of room to turn and stop.
3. Be aware of common truck blind spots.
The most common blind spots for truck drivers are:
- The sides of the truck
- Directly in front of the truck
- Behind the truck, up to 2 vehicles’ length
Refrain from driving along the sides of the truck for too long and pass the truck as quickly as possible. Remember, if you can’t see the mirrors of the truck, more than likely the driver can’t see you either.
4. Utilize your turning signals.
Always use your turn signals when switching lanes, turning, and slowing down. Truck drivers depend on your turn signals to decide their direction and actions.
5. Never tailgate an 18-wheeler.
Do not assume that because your car is smaller, it will stop fast enough to avoid a collision if the 18-wheeler has to stop abruptly. In many cases, if a car fails to stop on time, the car could slide under the trailer of the semi-truck, resulting in severe injuries.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, contact your Austin truck accident lawyers at Ramos James Law, PLLC, to help you begin on the road to recovery.
Posted on Friday, April 8th, 2022 at 12:00 am
Automobile accidents often lead to trauma, stress, and in more unfortunate cases, severe injuries or death. When an individual is involved in an accident with a commercial truck, catastrophic damages can easily take place.
Although you may be abiding by the laws and rules of the road, other drivers may not be as focused as they should be. Even though trucks are difficult to handle, sometimes the cause of a truck accident could be negligence, among other factors.
Your experienced truck accident lawyers at Ramos James Law, PLLC, can help shed some light on how to determine who is responsible for a truck accident and how to establish if the cause was due to negligence.
Proving Liability in a Truck Accident
The aftermath of a dreadful accident can leave you in a panic and not knowing what to do after a truck accident. If you have been involved in a truck accident, it is in your best interest to gather information on the driver and on the following factors to determine who is at fault:
1. Legal obligation to prevent harming others.
In Texas, truck drivers are legally obligated to abide by the road rules and abstain from behaving in a manner that can cause an accident. It is up to the trucking company to hire drivers who are qualified and to maintain the trucks.
2. Violation of legal responsibilities.
If a truck driver is speeding, distracted, inebriated, or driving irresponsibly in any way, they are breaching their legal responsibility. Truck companies are responsible for screening their drivers and assuring the trucks are serviced properly.
3. Proof that the accident was due to carelessness.
Gather evidence that proves the accident was a result of the truck driver’s or company’s carelessness, for instance, the truck driver texting while driving.
4. Immense losses were caused by the truck accident.
Provide evidence that demonstrates how your injuries and any other expenses were directly due to the truck accident. This evidence consists of medical records, medical bills, cost of damage to the vehicle, and documents showing loss of income.
It is important to provide proof of the driver’s employment at a company. In a lot of cases, the trucking companies can be liable for the actions of their employees.
Self-employed or independent truck drivers are completely liable for any accidents they caused and for the maintenance, servicing, and safety of their truck(s).
Austin Truck Accident Lawyers Show How Negligence Is Determined
Your experienced truck accident attorneys in Austin utilize their knowledge of truck accident laws to prove negligence during the legal proceedings. Evidence and witnesses are key in determining whether the accident was caused by negligence.
Frequent examples of negligence in truck accidents include:
- Driving while distracted
- Not following the speed limit
- Refraining from stopping at red lights and running stop signs
- Driving while intoxicated
- Fatigued driving
- Changing lanes without checking blind spots
- Tailgating other vehicles
If you or a loved one have fallen victim to a truck accident, contact your experienced truck accident attorneys at Ramos James Law, PLLC, for guidance in proving liability and negligence to get the compensation you deserve.
Posted on Monday, March 21st, 2022 at 12:00 am
Being involved in any sort of auto accident can cause substantial physical and emotional trauma. Although there are many common factors between truck and car accidents, there are also many differences between the two types of crashes.
Your Austin truck accident lawyer at Ramos James Law, PLLC, recommends motorists learn the difference between the two types of accidents to better understand their own circumstances should they be involved in one.
Truck Accident Statistic in Texas
Truck drivers are essential to our economy, transporting goods and materials across our state and nation. However, being involved in a collision with a truck can cause catastrophic damage to your vehicle and health.
These statistics from 2010 prove the seriousness of truck accidents:
- There were over 115,000 truck accidents in the United States
- About 12,600 of those accidents took place on Texas roadways
- There were almost 400 fatalities
- These accidents led to 6,500 severe injuries
Unfortunately, truck accidents continue to happen in Texas at a frightening rate and with calamitous consequences. If you have been involved in an accident with a truck, contact your Austin attorney to see if you can start a claim against the driver or company.
Key Differences Between Truck and Car Accidents
Below we have listed the three principal differences between truck and passenger car accidents:
1. Truck Drivers And Their Companies Must Follow Safety Regulations
Truck drivers have specific laws targeted to them on top of obeying the standard road rules. Some safety regulations truck drivers have to follow, while other drivers do not, include the following:
- Amount of hours driven
- Weight of the vehicle
- Truck inspections by the driver and company
- Maintenance requirements
- CDL licensing requirements
- Drug testing
- Background checks
A truck driver or company that fails to follow these regulations may be subject to negligence.
2. The Gravity of the Personal Injury
It doesn’t take a physicist to foresee the devastating results a truck collision can have on a passenger car. A truck’s weight can easily be double the weight of a passenger vehicle. Because of the size difference, drivers and passengers of a car involved in a truck accident can face severe injuries:
- Broken bones
- Injuries to their back and neck
3. Dealing With Trucking Companies and Their Insurance is Complicated
Most truck companies are prepared for any and all types of situations that can occur with their employees. The companies are aware of the severity of accidents their drivers can potentially cause, so their insurance companies are prepared to investigate and fight at any given moment.
This is why you must act fast, if you can, and follow the steps on what to do after a truck accident to begin building your claim with your Austin truck accident lawyer.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident, contact your Austin truck accident lawyers at Ramos James Law, PLLC, to start your personal injury claim and receive the justice you deserve.
Posted on Monday, March 7th, 2022 at 12:00 am
Being involved in a truck accident can cause significant trauma and can be challenging to overcome.
When you have fallen victim to a truck accident, it is important to take the necessary steps to help strengthen your chances of receiving the compensation you need to recover physically and mentally.
Your Austin truck accident attorneys at Ramos James Law, PLLC, implore you to follow these steps if you find yourself in the stressful situation of being in a truck accident.
Guide on How To Deal With the Aftermath of a Truck Accident
Getting into an accident can be a stressful experience. It is understandable if you’re not sure what to do after the accident, so hopefully, this guide can be of use if you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation:
1. Call Emergency Services
After a truck accident, you should immediately call 911. Ambulances will arrive to attend anyone who has been hurt. Police will make a police report that includes a statement you give about your recollection of the accident.
It is in your best interest to attain a copy of the police report because it contains important information that can be used by your Austin truck accident attorney to investigate the accident.
2. Gather as Much Evidence You Can
The evidence you collect after a truck accident is crucial to determine what occurred. If you are indisposed after the accident, have someone help you gather the evidence.
Some of the evidence you should secure includes:
- Photograph any damage to the vehicles involved
- Photograph any skid marks caused by the accident
- Get the license plate number of the truck involved
- Document your recollections of everything you remember before the accident
- Document your injuries and make sure to safely keep any medical documentation
- Obtain electronic logs of the commercial truck involved
- Your attorney can draft a spoliation letter
3. Swap Information With the Other Driver
By law, drivers must exchange contact and insurance information after an accident. Also, ask what company the truck driver works for and the truck number. Obtain proof the truck driver works for said company.
4. Get Witnesses Information
Witness testimonies are essential in building your truck accident claim.
5. Seek Medical Attention
Sometimes you don’t feel the physical consequences of an injury right away. Keep in mind, trucks are of significant size and usually cause serious injuries.
If you seek medical attention after the accident, make sure to obtain any documentation so you can get the compensation you need to recover.
Austin Truck Accident Lawyers Here for You
If you or a loved one are victims of a truck accident, contact your experienced Austin truck accident lawyers at Ramos James Law, PLLC, to help get the compensation you deserve.
Posted on Monday, February 21st, 2022 at 12:01 am
Accidents, in general, are frightening and stressful, but accidents involving trucks can be more traumatic because of their size and the damage they can cause. Truck accidents are more likely to have severe consequences.
Truck accidents are responsible for approximately 4,000 deaths a year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Sadly, there has been a nearly 31 percent increase in deaths involving commercial trucks since 2009.
Being informed on the leading reasons why truck accidents occur can help you and your families stay safe on the road. Learn more from your Austin car and truck accident attorneys at Ramos James Law, PLLC.
Common Reasons for Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, car accidents happen every day. While they may be inevitable, sometimes they can be prevented.
Some of the main causes of truck accidents include:
- Driver Mistakes – Although most drivers are guilty of making minor mistakes on the roadway, drivers who are maneuvering commercial trucks can cause more damage than those in a passenger vehicle. These serious errors can include:
- Driving while fatigued
- Neglecting blind spots
- Using a cellphone while driving
- Distracted while driving
- Inexperience in certain driving situations
- Neglecting traffic rules
- Using poor judgment
- Employer Carelessness – Commercial trucking companies are responsible for maintaining their vehicles, making repairs if necessary, and documenting inspections of the vehicles. Companies may be responsible for an accident if:
- They don’t properly train their drivers
- They put too much pressure on drivers to meet deadlines
- They neglect or fail to adequately inspect vehicles
- They refrain from repairing a damaged vehicle
- Manufacture Errors – Sometimes trucks or truck parts can be defective. A defective truck can cause catastrophic accidents if driven on the road. Manufacturers may be held accountable if:
- Tires are faulty
- Suspension is defective
- Problems occur with steering
- Brakes malfunction
- Substance Use – Drinking and driving usually have tragic outcomes. Unfortunately, some drivers use substances to keep themselves awake or calm, especially if working for an employer who expects workers to meet deadlines in unrealistic times.
- Cargo Errors – Cargo trucks have size regulations to follow, especially if carrying hazardous materials. The already immense trucks may accidentally be overloaded, causing them to be heavier and more difficult to maneuver.
Austin Truck Accident Attorneys Are Here to Assist and Guide You
Being involved in a truck accident can be traumatizing, and the aftermath can be overwhelming. With your Austin truck accident attorney, you will be assisted and guided on what steps to take afterward.
If you or a family member have fallen victim to a truck accident, we suggest you contact your Austin truck accident attorneys at Ramos James Law as soon as possible to help you start your personal injury claim.
Posted on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021 at 5:14 pm
Last year’s Texas winter storm is a testament to how brutal the season can be.
It is known that more automobile accidents occur during the winter season. Ice, rain, sleet, and snow are all weather conditions that can affect the traction of a vehicle’s tires and cause catastrophic situations. These conditions make it difficult for everyone to drive, but can make it especially difficult for truck drivers. The size and weight of the truck are a few reasons why it makes them harder to drive during the winter.
If you or someone you love have fallen victim to a truck accident this winter, contact our truck accident attorneys in Austin at Ramos James Law, PLLC, to assist you in getting compensation and justice.
Slick Roads During the Winter Can Cause Grave Truck Accidents
Ice, water, and snow can all alter the surface of a road, causing it to become slicker and harder to drive on. Driving in these conditions can make it difficult to accelerate, brake, and turn.
The stopping distance of a truck is 20-40% more than an average vehicle, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Slick roads caused by hazardous weather conditions during the winter can make stopping significantly more challenging for truck drivers.
Also, the difference in weight between a passenger car and a truck can cause devastating damage if the two collide.
When you consider all this, you can see why we implore everyone, especially truck drivers, to take caution when driving during winter weather.
Unfavorable Weather Conditions Necessitate Safe Driving Tips
During this time, all drivers need to be extra cautious to keep everyone safe. The following are a few important strategies for driving in winter weather:
- Maintain your vehicle by assuring your brakes and tires are in good condition and working properly as stopping distances increase for all vehicles on icy or wet roads.
- During winter weather, you should drive slower and leave a greater gap between vehicles. This will make it easier to create a longer stopping distance and can prevent a collision.
- Drivers need to be more attentive and observant during adverse conditions. Remember, fatigue driving is impaired driving. One must stay alert during these conditions to react with good judgment.
- During the winter holidays, there are more gatherings and more opportunities to enjoy alcoholic beverages. While it’s nice to enjoy time with friends and families, you should never drink and drive. If you’re going to imbibe at a party, make sure to have a designated driver or another plan to avoid getting behind the wheel.
Truck Accident Attorneys at Ramos James Law, PLLC, Care for Your Well-Being
Truck accident attorneys in Austin at Ramos James Law, PLLC, care about your safety while driving in winter conditions. With this guidance, we hope you understand why driving a truck during winter can cause accidents and what you can do to prevent it.
If you or your family have been involved in an accident involving a truck, contact your Austin truck accident lawyer at Ramos James Law, PLLC, so we can assist in guiding you through getting the compensation and justice you deserve.
Posted on Saturday, October 30th, 2021 at 2:26 am
It doesn’t take an auto accident expert to know that truck accidents can be incredibly dangerous. These massive machines can do a terrible amount of damage to other vehicles on the road, making it no surprise that the majority of those injured in truck accidents are the drivers and passengers of other cars.
If you’ve been injured in a semi-truck accident in Texas, getting the compensation you deserve may be difficult. Read on to learn more about how at-fault parties are held liable for truck crashes, as well as who may be liable for your accident. Learn more about your options for relief from your team of Austin car accident attorneys at Ramos James Law, PLLC.
Proving Truck Accident Liability
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by someone else, then you deserve compensation for your losses. However, proving that someone else is culpable for your injuries can be complicated. In order to prove that another person is liable for your losses, you will need to follow the steps below:
- First, you will need to prove that the at-fault party had a responsibility to act with care.
- Next, you will need to prove that the at-fault party failed to fulfill that responsibility.
- Finally, you will need to prove that the at-fault party’s failure to fulfill their responsibility directly resulted in your injuries.
In many auto accidents, following this process is relatively straightforward: all of us have a responsibility to drive carefully, and if we fail to do so, we can be held liable for any damages we cause. However, truck accidents are often far more complex due to the number of potential liable parties.
Complications in Truck Accident Cases
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a truck driver, we highly recommend seeking the advice of a knowledgeable truck accident attorney before moving forward with your claim. First of all, truck accidents often involve massive trucking companies with a lot of experience handling accident claims, putting you at a potential disadvantage.
Second of all, trucking companies aren’t the only ones who might be held partially liable. While the list below includes the parties most likely to be held liable for your claim, more parties could become involved if the accident involved multiple other vehicles.
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The truck manufacturer
- The trucking mechanic
- The loading and unloading crew
- The supplier
- Trucking regulators
- Any agencies involved in maintaining roadway safety
As you might assume, narrowing down the list of potential at-fault parties can take considerable research and documentation. An experienced truck accident attorney can help you determine and prove who was liable for your crash.
Protecting Your Rights to Compensation After an Accident
Auto accidents can be incredibly stressful, and that stress can make it difficult to know what to do to protect yourself and your rights.
Thankfully, there are a few simple steps that you can follow after an accident to keep yourself calm and safe:
- Do not exit your vehicle unless it’s on fire or flooding
- Call 911 as soon as possible, or ask a bystander to call
- Take pictures of the scene and any damage
- Get the insurance and contact information of all parties involved
- Gather contact information for any potential witnesses
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you will probably need to interact with an insurance company to get compensation. However, it’s the insurance company’s job to give you as little compensation as possible under the policy in question. Because of this, you need to be incredibly careful what you say to any insurance representatives. We recommend asking an attorney for help.
Austin Car Accident Attorneys Care
We care about keeping the residents of the Rio Grande Valley safe and informed. If you are the victim of a car or truck accident, contact car accident attorneys and truck accident attorneys at Ramos James Law.
If you or someone you know were involved in a car accident, the compassionate and dependable pedestrian accident attorneys at Ramos James Law, PLLC are here for you.
Posted on Monday, August 16th, 2021 at 9:44 pm
Hurricane season can be daunting for residents of South Texas. Not only do citizens of the Rio Grande Valley have to prepare for the unpredictable, but they also have to deal with concerns regarding flooding, lack of electricity, access to roads and limited resources.
But perhaps one of the biggest unexpected challenges is dealing with increased truck traffic. When hurricanes strike, there is generally an increase in demand for various products in the aftermath. This means more semi-trucks are on the road, which can easily lead to more road congestion, traffic delays, and traffic accidents.
The team at Ramos James Law, PLLC, understands that a serious truck accident can bring confusion, hurt, and frustration to victims. But you don’t have to face such a situation alone. The Austin truck accident attorneys are here to protect your rights and help you secure the justice you deserve.
When it comes to truck accidents and hurricane season, there are ways you can decrease the chances of an accident from occurring before, during, or even after a hurricane lands.
Know Your Evacuation Route
When a hurricane hits, it’s good to have an evacuation plan in case you need to leave your home. An evacuation plan will ensure that you and your loved ones are able to leave any potentially dangerous situation with plenty of time and – most importantly – safely.
Having a plan in place will also lessen any confusion should the need to evacuate arise, because you’ll know where you’re going and how you will get there.
Be Aware of Road Conditions and Route Changes
With a storm on its way, road conditions can quickly change. Whether it’s debris on the road, flooding, or any other situation, being aware of road conditions will allow you to drive more safely.
You can keep up with road conditions before and during a storm by visiting the Texas Department of Transportation website.
Respect Truck Drivers and Give Them the Right-of-Way
With fully loaded trailers, trucks can weigh anywhere between 10,000 to 25,000 pounds. With this much weight, it is better to give them the right-of-way and their space on the road. This will allow them to ensure safety for themselves and others.
Also, it is better to pass them quickly rather than staying in their blind spot.
Austin Truck Accidents Attorneys Ready to Protect Your Rights
If you or someone you know gets into a serious or fatal crash during a major storm, contact your
Austin truck accident lawyers at Ramos James Law. We take pride in doing what’s right for our clients and making sure they obtain the justice they deserve.