What is the Average Settlement for an 18-Wheeler Accident?
Being involved in an 18-wheeler truck accident can leave a person with tragic injuries and what amounts to tens of thousands of dollars in losses in the form of medical expenses, therapy costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. That is why working with a skilled truck accident attorney in Texas is important following a crash. Attorney Stephen G. Nagle knows how to investigate a truck accident case, determine fault and prove liability, evaluate a claimant’s damages, and negotiate for a settlement.
It is impossible to say what your claim is worth prior to a full review, and the value of a truck accident settlement varies on a case-by-case basis. With that in mind, here are some factors that will affect the value of your settlement if you have been in a large truck crash:
Your Economic Losses
The greater the value of your economic losses, the greater the value of your claim and the larger your settlement will likely be. Economic losses refer to actual monetary losses, and typically include medical expenses, future medical expenses, property damage costs, lost wages, and future lost wages. A claimant maintains the right to seek compensation for the full value of his or her economic losses.
The Severity of Your Injuries
In addition to the actual value of your economic losses, the severity of your injuries will also have an effect on the value of your claim. This is because more severe injuries typically yield greater award for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Often times, noneconomic damages are calculated using the multiplier method, which multiplies the value of economic damages by a “multiplier,” a number one through five. The more serious the injuries, the greater the multiplier.
Number and Value of Insurance Policies Available
Tragically, even a person who has suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and will be impaired for the remainder of his or her life due to a large truck collision will not be able to recoup the necessary settlement if there is no source of payout available. Insurance companies pay truck accident claims; if a party is not insured, they may not be able to pay a settlement out-of-pocket. Fortunately, trucking companies carry large liability insurance policies, and therefore a lack of insurance is usually not an issue in a large truck claim.
The state of Texas recognizes comparative fault, referred to as “proportionate responsibility” in Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. The rule holds that a plaintiff’s damages/settlement can be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. This means that if you were found to be partially at fault for the accident, your settlement can be reduced as such.
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Do I Need a Lawyer if I am Injured in a Truck Accident?
With the amount of products and materials being transported in Austin and throughout Texas, truck accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence. These accidents are often the result of reckless actions on the part of others and, with the massive height and weight of these vehicles, it is often other motorists on the road who suffer the most serious impact. Austin personal injury lawyer Stephen G. Nagle can help you hold these drivers accountable for the injuries you suffer. He defends your rights against trucking companies, who often have teams of attorneys working on their side in an effort to deny or downplay claims.
Determining the Cause of Truck Accidents
In any type of case involving accidental injuries, determining who is responsible is key to getting you the compensation you need to recover. When it comes to truck accidents involving motorists, there are several common causes.
Reckless behavior on the part of the driver, such as speeding, tailgating, drowsy driving, or driving under the influence;
Lack of driver experience, which can lead them to take turns too quickly or miscalculate stopping distances;
Improper loading practices, which can make trucks more likely to roll over;
Poor truck maintenance, such as failing to change brake pads regularly or change tire pressure;
Scheduling practices on the part of the trucking company, which require truckers to spend extended periods on the road and do not allow for break periods, making accidents more likely.
Defending Your Rights in a Truck Accident Claim
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT), more than 550 truck accidents were reported over the course of 2017. When a truck accident happens due to the above reasons, both the truck driver and the trucking company may be liable for your damages.
However, it is important to realize that paying out compensation to truck accident victims costs trucking companies money. As a result, they have teams of attorneys on their side working to defend them. Common ways in which they are likely to dispute your claim include:
Denying they or the driver involved was responsible for your accident;
Claiming that your own actions were partly to blame;
Disputing the nature or extent of the injuries you suffer;
Disputing your expenses and the cost of any current or future care you are likely to require.
To ensure you get the maximum amount you need to recover after a truck accident, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.
Contact Austin Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen G. Nagle
Truck accidents can result in serious and potentially disabling injuries, which can impact you and your family for years in the future. Before settling for less than you might be entitled to in a claim, reach out and contact Austin personal injury lawyer Stephen G. Nagle to request a consultation today.
Highways and Holiday Driving
If you have plans to head out on the road over the holidays, Travis County personal injury lawyer Stephen G. Nagle offers some simple safety tips.
The holidays are right around the corner, meaning many of us will be making plans for trips and visits with loved ones. Unfortunately, any type of travel at this time of the year tends to be more challenging. This is particularly true if you intend to head out on the roads. Highway traffic is likely to be heavy, making car accidents and potentially serious injuries more likely. To protect yourself, Travis County personal injury lawyer Stephen G. Nagle advises taking extra precautions and following these safety tips.
Holiday Road Travel Safety Tips
When making your plans for holiday get togethers with family and friends, give some thought to your travel plans and the dates you intend to go. If you are driving the week before or on the day of a holiday, expect traffic to be heavy. Allow room in your schedule and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. To protect yourself on the road, follow these holiday travel tips from the American Automobile Association (AAA):
Have your car thoroughly checked by a mechanic before you go;
Carefully chart your drive, allowing for alternate routes in the event of accidents or road closures;
Pack emergency supplies, including a cell phone charger, battery, flares, blankets, bottled water, and a few snacks;
If you do break down, pull over as far to the side of the road and wait for police or roadside assistance to arrive.
In the event of an accident, notify law enforcement immediately. Exchange information with other drivers and seek medical attention, even if you suspect your injuries are minor.
Prepare Yourself for Highway Driving
Whether your holiday travel plans involve going across town or across the country, there is a good chance you will find yourself on the highway. High rates of speed and an increase in out of town drivers can all increase potential car accident risks. To play it safe, follow these tips from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):
Maintain steady speeds: Watch for changes in speed limits and be aware that going either too slow or too fast on highways puts you and other drivers in jeopardy.
Keep to the right: It can be dangerous to drive in the left lane, which in Texas and other places is often designated as ‘passing only.’
Give truckers plenty of space: The larger the truck, the greater the blind spot. Avoid driving directly beside or behind large vehicles.
Move to the side: If you pass a car accident or a break down, move to the side and keep your eyes on the road to avoid getting into an accident yourself.
Let Travis County Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen G. Nagle Help You
As an experienced Travis County personal injury lawyer, Stephen G. Nagle has been providing legal representation to people in the area for 35 years. If you are involved in a car accident, reach out and contact his Travis County office to request a consultation.
There are Still Options if You Have Been in an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist
Being in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver does not mean you cannot get compensation for your injuries. Let Stephen G. Nagle help you get the compensation that you deserve.
While it is bad enough to be in a car accident, it is even worse to be in an accident in which the other driver has only miniscule insurance or no insurance at all. Hit and run accidents are also fairly common, leaving you with no idea of who the at-fault driver is, let alone whether or not he or she has insurance.
If you have been in an uninsured driver car accident, there still may be options for you. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to review your case and determine what options might be best for getting you the compensation that you deserve.
Uninsured Driver Statistics
Statistics show that 13.3% of drivers, but possibly as high as 20% of drivers, are uninsured in Texas. This is slightly higher than nationwide statistics that show the trend for uninsured motorists has been declining for the past 20 years.
How can I Receive Compensation from Uninsured Drivers?
Uninsured, or underinsured motorist coverage is not included in most basic car insurance plans, plus it only applies in specific situations, making it important to understand your own insurance coverage. Two types of underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage are:
Property Damage, which pays for rental car, auto repairs, and damage to items in your car.
Bodily Injury, which covers medical bills, lost wages, disfigurement, partial or permanent disability, and pain and suffering.
This specialty coverage will cover you, passengers, and your family in the car as well as those who are driving your car with your permission. There are a few situations in which underinsured/uninsured coverage will not pay. They include, but may not be limited to:
If you are in an accident while performing the duties of your employment, any payment for damages from your workers’ compensation will likely be subtracted from your coverage.
If you have insurance to cover medical payments and receive compensation under that policy, the amount you will recover from your underinsured/uninsured policy will be reduced by those payments.
If you are injured by an uninsured/underinsured motorist while riding in another person’s car, that person’s underinsured/uninsured coverage would be primary to your own.
Filing a Claim Against an Uninsured Driver
If you are injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, you will likely file a claim with your own insurance, and you must let your insurance agent know that you suspect the other driver may not have insurance.
Filing a claim in this situation would mean that you are technically filing against your own insurer, which means you must settle with them in arbitration if you do not agree to their settlement.
Why You Need an Attorney
If you were in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, hiring a lawyer is one of the first things you should think about doing. Unfortunately, working with your own insurance company does not guarantee a fair settlement. Attorney Stephen G. Nagle has been handling car accident cases for over 30 years. Contact his office today to schedule a consultation and make sure your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Have You Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury from an Accident?
Studies show that people who suffer from traumatic brain injury have an increased risk for dementia.
One study recently showed that people who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury, like often occurs in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident, are at a much higher risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life. The study researched 2.8 million patient records and found that those who had suffered a head injury had a 24% increased risk of dementia than their counterparts who had not suffered such injuries.
A traumatic brain injury is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that resulted from a blow, jolt, or bump to the head, or a penetrating head injury. Some 50 million people worldwide suffer from such injuries every year.
Even a single, mild concussion increases the risk of dementia by 17%, and a full-blown single, severe traumatic brain injury can increase your odds by 35%. Additionally, people who suffer four or more brain injuries have a 61% increased chance, and those who suffer five or more could see an increase as high as 183%.
Age can Play a Factor
Not only do the amount of head injuries result in an increased risk, but the age at which a person suffers from the traumatic head injury could also affect the increased likelihood. People who suffer a brain injury in their 20s are 60% more likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in their 50s.
This statistic is particularly startling because many of the people who suffer from head injuries sustain those injuries in their 20s or even younger. While not everyone who suffers a traumatic brain injury or concussion will develop dementia, the study is enough that the researchers hope that people will take a look at their lifestyles and alter other risk factors for dementia. Traumatic brain injuries alone, not even considering dementia, can result in paralysis, decreased quality of life, permanent brain damage, and even death.
What Accidents Result in Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by a variety of things, but most of them are caused by violent jerks of the neck, like whiplash, or a blow to the head. Brain and head injuries are often caused by the following:
Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries can result in costly medical bills and other life-long disabilities and struggles. Filing a personal injury claim is a way to get the compensation that you are entitled to if you have been the victim of such injuries.
In Texas, damages are divided into two categories – general and special. They can include medical expenses, loss of income, property damages, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and emotional trauma.
Stephen G. Nagle has over three decades of experience helping victims of traumatic brain injuries. Contact his office today to schedule a consultation and start the process to getting the compensation that you deserve.
Texas Has Some of the Worst Roadways in America
Traffic tie-ups and dangerous road conditions on highways throughout Texas are among the worst in the nation, putting motorists at risk for car accidents and injuries.
Car wrecks are a regular occurrence and an all too common problem in Austin and the surrounding Travis County area. While dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence are often a factor, road and traffic conditions play a significant role in car accidents, as well. Traffic tie-ups and general road decay have earned Texas the reputation for having some of the worst roadways in the country. The following outlines some of the issues that put drivers in danger locally and throughout the state.
The Facts About Texas Road Safety
In a 2018 report by WalletHub, all 50 states were ranked in terms of being the best and the worst for driving. In this annual survey, Texas ranked at the top of the list, earning high marks for our low gas prices and other automotive costs, particularly compared what some of our northern neighbors pay. However, we do fall short when it comes to general maintenance and planning regarding our highways and roads.
Poor infrastructure and a lack of regular road maintenance has a significant impact on driver safety in Texas and can create traffic dangers. The major problems our area faces include:
Road designs that are outdated and inadequate in keeping up with traffic demands;
Road surfaces that are uneven or filled with potholes due to improper maintenance and repairs;
Lack of proper traffic signs and signals, which help to regulate traffic and protect bicyclists and pedestrians;
Lack of proper lighting and failure to control trees and bushes lining the street, which impact visibility on the roads.
All of these conditions can and do make serious and potentially life threatening car accidents more likely to occur. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), nearly 4,000 people died in car wrecks throughout the state over the course of 2016, a number that is one of the highest in the nation.
Dealing With Dangerous Road Conditions in Austin
INRIX is a international company that guides cities in the planning and development of transit systems. According to their 2017 Global Traffic Scorecard, traffic congestion is one of the major issues Texas faces. Austin ranked in the top 15 nationwide, along with Dallas and Houston, in terms of being one of the most congested urban areas. This makes it all the more important for drivers to use caution to avoid collisions with other motorists. Ways you can reduce your risks include:
Slow down and allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination;
Avoid tailgating and other aggressive driving behaviors;
Pay attention and avoid driving distractions such as using cell phones or texting.
When car wrecks do occur, protect yourself by getting the professional legal representation you need. Call or contact Austin personal injury lawyer Stephen G. Nagle online and request a consultation to discuss your options in terms of getting the compensation you need to recover.
During Distracted Driving Month in April, Take the Pledge to Be More Aware
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month, which highlights potential dangers while encouraging drivers to pay more attention behind the wheel.
Most of us lead busy lives, in which we rush to get from one location to the next in order to fulfill our duties and obligations. As a result, it is easy to get into the habit of multitasking, dividing our attention between multiple items on our to-do list. This can be dangerous when behind the wheel, increasing the likelihood of serious car accidents and injuries. April is designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which encourages drivers to pay more attention to actions which could put them and other motorists in danger.
Distracted Driving Accidents in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), distracted driving was a factor in over 100,000 car wrecks that occurred over the course of 2016 in our state. To raise awareness, TxDOT initiated the Talk, Text, Crash campaign. Its aim is to highlight the potential dangers that distracted driving poses, while encouraging drivers to be more diligent in paying attention.
Distracted driving involves any activity that diverts your attention from the important task of driving or causes you to take your eyes off the road and your hands off the steering wheel. While texting and driving is prohibited in Texas, there are other distracted driving behaviors that endanger you and your passengers. These include:
Using your cellphone or other electronic devices to make calls, check emails, or post on social media;
Taking pictures and videos;
Changing GPS or car stereo settings;
Attending to personal grooming, such as fixing your hair or straightening your tie;
Eating and drinking while driving;
Talking to passengers or reaching for objects in the front or back seat.
Even if an activity diverts your attention for only a few seconds, it is long enough to decrease reaction times and make car accidents more likely to occur.
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that nationwide, distracted driving claims more than 40,000 lives each year in accidents that were largely preventable. To increase the public’s knowledge, the NSC has designated the month of April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Working with state and federal traffic safety officials, they provide a variety of tools to call attention to the dangers. These include:
Fact sheets, to educate yourself and others;
Infographics, for sharing on social media;
Posters and webinars, for use by employers, schools and community groups.
The NSC also encourages everyone to take the Distracted Driving Pledge. This is an online resource you can share with friends and family members, in which you promise to avoid those types of behaviors which put you and others at risk.
Austin Car Accident Stephen G. Nagle Is Here to Assist You
When distracted driving accidents do occur, you need experienced Austin personal injury attorney to help you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. Reach out and contact attorney Stephen G. Nagleto request a consultation to discuss your case.