Corpus Christi Company Vehicle Accident Law Firm
Company vehicles fill the roads: big trucks transporting goods, Uber and Lyft vehicles, taxis, food delivery drivers, and construction vehicles, all filled with drivers who may spend more hours on the road than many other drivers. In one year alone, more than 1,850,000 registered commercial trucks and 204,000 commercial cars hit the road in the private sector. In the government sector, 1,195,000 cars and 1,730,000 trucks took care of transporting goods and people—and those are just the fleet vehicles actually owned by the company, with well over 1.5 million fleet vehicles leased throughout the year.
For the average driver, that means you may find yourself surrounded by more company vehicles than you think. When an accident occurs, you may have to deal, not only with the driver of the vehicle and his insurance company, but with the company behind the vehicle. Having an experienced company car accident attorney on your side can help you seek the full compensation you deserve. Contact The Patel Firm, PLLC today at (361) 400-2036.
The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney After an Accident
When you get into an accident with a company vehicle, you will often find yourself dealing with a huge legal team—especially when your accident involves a vehicle from a large company. That means you need an attorney of your own on your side. At The Patel Firm, PLLC, we provide first-class legal representation to all of our clients, from the major accidents to the smaller ones. Many of our clients find that having an attorney on their side significantly increases the compensation they can receive, especially when dealing with a large company. Other benefits include:
Advice that will prevent you from accidentally sabotaging your own claim. Often, following an accident with serious injuries, you may not know how to handle negotiations with the insurance company or even how to deal with your personal posts on social media. An attorney will provide valuable advice about every step in that process, including:
- How to avoid inadvertently accepting responsibility for any portion of the accident.
- How to avoid minimizing the severity of your injuries when speaking with the insurance company or the owner of the company vehicle.
- How to avoid social media posts that could mistakenly depict your injuries as causing fewer problems than they really do.
- What you can safely post on social media about your accident and the associated legal claim.
Help you understand exactly what compensation you deserve for your injuries. Many insurance companies will issue you a low settlement offer immediately after the accident. This settlement offer often reflects only a small percentage of the funds you deserve for your injuries. While the funds you can receive will depend on the extent of the driver’s insurance policy and the extent of your injuries, you will find that many large companies have substantial insurance policies intended to cover all of your injuries and all the associated damages. No attorney can guarantee the funds you will receive after an accident, but they can break down the funds you deserve.
Assistance if your claim goes to court. Not only can an attorney help you better know when to accept an offer, an attorney can provide valuable insight about when to take the claim to court: typically because the insurance company will not reach a reasonable settlement that reflects the full funds you deserve for your injuries. If your claim does go to court, a car accident lawyer can help walk you through the claims process.
Determining Liability in an Accident With a Company Vehicle
When you suffer serious injuries in an accident with a company vehicle, you may wonder who bears liability for the accident—and, therefore, who you need to file a claim against to seek the compensation you deserve.
Often, in an accident with a company vehicle, you may find yourself dealing directly with the insurance company that covers the driver of the vehicle. Depending on how the company operates, this could be an individual policy or a corporate policy taken out by the company to cover an entire fleet of vehicles. In an Uber or Lyft vehicle, even though the driver drives for the company, you may deal directly with the driver’s insurance company if the driver did not have a passenger at the time of the accident. On the other hand, both Uber and Lyft offer coverage after accidents caused by their drivers when they have passengers in their vehicles.
The driver of any company vehicle may bear responsibility for the accident if:
- The driver chose to drink and drive. Choosing to drink and drive, whether in a personal vehicle or a company vehicle, can substantially raise the risks of an accident, leaving the driver of that company vehicle liable for any injuries sustained during the accident.
- The driver drove distracted. Drivers in company vehicles may deal with tight timelines or find themselves pressured to perform multiple tasks at once, from getting information about an upcoming meeting to checking their phones for emails or text messages. As a result, they may suffer more distraction than other drivers. Some company drivers may also spend many hours on the road each day, leaving them more prone to cockiness that could lead to driving distracted.
- The driver failed to follow the rules of the road. A driver who pulled out in front of your car, chose to speed, or failed to stop properly at a red light or stop sign may bear liability for the accident. Likewise, if a driver drove the wrong way down the street or swerved into your car, that driver may bear liability for the accident.
- The driver fell asleep at the wheel. Company drivers, both in big trucks and in smaller vehicles, may spend long hours on the road, leading to increased drowsiness. If the driver falls asleep at the wheel, leading to an accident, the driver may bear liability for your injuries.
- The driver lost control of the vehicle. In some cases, a driver may not end up with legal penalties for losing control of the vehicle. Wet or icy roads, for example, can cause increased accident risk even when the driver does everything right. If the other driver lost control of his vehicle and caused an accident, however, that driver’s insurance company will likely bear responsibility for paying damages from the accident.
While the driver often bears liability for the accident, in some cases, responsibility for the accident may rest with the company, rather than with the driver. In those cases, you may deal with the company’s insurance or even the company’s lawyers directly. You may also need to file a claim against both the driver’s insurance company and the company that owns the vehicle if:
- The company failed to properly maintain the vehicle, which caused the accident. Many companies put large fleets of vehicles on the road every day. Sometimes, a problem with one of those vehicles slips through the cracks, leading to a vehicle on the road that lacks the features needed to keep other drivers safe. Other times, the company chooses not to keep up with regular vehicle maintenance, from oil changes to replacing tires before they grow too worn. When this lack of maintenance causes an accident, the company may bear responsibility for any injuries that occur.
- The company required its driver to drive in spite of dangerous conditions. Most drivers know their limits when it comes to driving. This includes weather conditions in which they can comfortably drive without feeling they have placed themselves and others on the road with them at risk as well as personal conditions that could limit their ability to drive safely: illness, drunkenness, or simply exhaustion. If a company requires a driver to drive outside those conditions in spite of the driver letting the company know about any potential problems, the company may bear responsibility for the accident.
- The company required its driver to drive beyond the legal limits. Legally, truck drivers can only drive for 11 hours in a 14-hour period, after being off duty for at least 10 hours. Some companies, however, push their drivers to go beyond those limits, keeping them behind the wheel in spite of the growing risk of fatigue and distraction.
Claiming the Compensation You Deserve After a Corpus Christi Company Vehicle Accident
When it comes to company vehicle accidents, the law of averages cannot tell you how much compensation you deserve for your injuries. Most people, however, file for:
Compensation for medical expenses. Medical expenses may add up fast after an auto accident—especially an accident with a commercial company truck, which can cause substantial injuries due to its larger mass. Your medical expenses begin with treatment at the scene of the accident and ambulance transport to a hospital, but continue throughout your treatment and recovery. You may need to undergo treatment in the emergency room, tests, hospitalization, and surgeries throughout your treatment. After your injuries heal, you may need substantial therapy, potentially including both physical and occupational therapy, to return to normal functionality as much as possible. Some people may also need to make modifications to their homes and vehicles to function in spite of their injuries: wheelchair ramps, wider doorways, or specialized vehicles to carry a wheelchair may all fall under your medical expenses after an accident.
Many people choose to file car accident claims before they fully recover from their injuries. In this case, you will work with a car accident attorney and your medical care team to create a projected cost of recovery. An attorney can provide you with valuable insight as to the average cost of recovery from common injuries after a serious accident, including spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injury, and amputations.
Compensation for pain and suffering. During your recovery, you may experience substantial physical pain and suffering. Not only that, however, you may also find that your recovery causes a great deal of emotional trauma and suffering. Due to your injuries, you may not have the ability t participate in activities that once brought you joy or even to attend events that you consider very important. Often, insurance companies base compensation for pain and suffering on a scale defined by your medical expenses. By working with a car accident attorney, however, you can better define how the accident impacted your life and what suffering it caused.
Compensation for lost time at work. Lost time at work adds up fast after a serious injury. Even injuries that heal relatively quickly, including broken bones and soft tissue damage, may prevent you from working in your usual capacity for weeks or even months as they heal. More serious injuries, including spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injury, may have you out of work far longer. At a time when your medical bills accumulate quickly, you cannot afford that lost income. Thankfully, you can include the hours you could not work as part of your car accident claim. Your claim may include time spent off work due to hospitalization or recovery as well as time spent attending appointments with your doctor or physical therapist.
If you lost the ability to return to work in your previous capacity due to your injuries, you can also include lost earning potential as part of your car accident claim. By including this element, you can often claim the funds needed to return to school or training that will help you seek employment in a different industry. These funds can also help you rebuild your life or provide the money you need while recovering from your injuries.
Contact the Patel Firm
If you suffered serious injuries in an accident with a company vehicle in Corpus Christi, you need an experienced car accident attorney that can help you negotiate with the insurance company and face the challenges brought up by the company. Contact The Patel Firm, PLLC today at (361) 400-2036 to set up your free consultation. Listed below we have included some of the answers to the most common questions we receive on commercial car accidents.
FAQ’s about Corpus Christi Commercial Car Accidents
Q: What is a Company Vehicle?
A: A company vehicle can generally be understood as any vehicle that is being utilized for the furthering of a business interest at the time of the collision. The following is a short list of vehicles that would be considered a company vehicle: 18- wheeler, Box truck, van, dump truck, garbage truck, cement truck, construction truck, logo vehicles, passenger pick up vehicle, limos, food trucks, and buses.
Q: How long do I have to file a claim against a Company if I was involved in a commercial car accident in Corpus Christi?
A: The statute of limitations in Corpus Christi, or the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit for injuries after a company vehicle accident in Texas is the same, regardless of if you were hit by a company vehicle or a regular vehicle. The specific state where the accident took place, will determine the statute of limitations. In Corpus Christi, the statute of limitations for personal injury is 2 years. Click here to learn more about Texas’s statute of limitations.
Q: Should I hire a Texas Company Car Accident Attorney?
A: Yes. It is one thing to try to navigate a small injury claim by yourself during a fender bender, it is quite another to try to do the same when going up against a company and their employee. If you have been involved in a company vehicle accident in Corpus Christi, contact us a company vehicle accident lawyer in Corpus Christi now for a free consultation. A company has an endless amount of resources to try and cover up the damage they have caused and take advantage of you if they can. Don’t let them. Make sure you speak to a commercial vehicle accident attorney in Corpus Christi, Texas as soon as you can.
Q: Who is liable for my damages if I get hit by a company vehicle?
A: The company and the driver are likely both individually and collectively responsible for your damages if you have been involved in a company car accident in Corpus Christi, Dallas, or anywhere else in the State of Texas. Because the driver was performing a job duty when you were injured, ultimately his or her negligence will likely be the responsibility of the company and its insurance carrier. To figure out who is at fault, you will likely need the assistance of a qualified Texas company car accident lawyer. For more information for who is to blame in a Texas company vehicle accident or to speak to a commercial accident attorney in Corpus Christi.
Q: Will my matter take longer if I was hit by a company vehicle?
A: It is difficult say. Generally speaking, being involved in a company vehicle accident in Texas doesn’t mean your claim will take longer than if you were hit by a regular vehicle. It really depends on your specific injuries that were caused because of the company vehicle wreck in Corpus Christi and your associated recovery from those personal injuries. If you want to learn more about how long a personal injury claim normally takes.