Then we get into the claims process and get down to brass tacks and the client quickly realizes that, had they gone into this without an attorney, what would have been considered “fair” by the insurance adjuster’s definition would have been much different and less zeros on it.
Case in point, I was speaking to a friend recently I had not seen in nearly a decade and it came up that he had been involved in an 18-wheeler accident a few years back. He told me how he had tried to go it alone for a while against the insurance company, in part because they seemed to be on his side and they accepted liability right away. He was hurt pretty bad in the accident and required shoulder surgery and weeks of rehabilitation. However, in his initial meeting with the insurance company’s adjuster, they offered him $1,500. He said he couldn’t believe it and as he said it, he seemed to think that I should be surprised too, but I wasn’t.
Time is of the essence if you or a loved one has been involved in an 18-wheeler wreck. The trucking company and the insurance company is going to take steps to eliminate evidence of wrongdoing on their part. You need to hire an attorney and get them working on protecting the evidence related to the accident because it has a very funny way of disappearing.
For instance, there was a fatal 18-wheeler accident involving Forney resident, Latonya Child, in Fate, Texas near Rockwall off of Interstate 30 just the other day. Absolutely horrific tragedy. The driver of the truck obviously did not stop. Although this information is generally applicable to all accidents, but if I were advising this family as a lawyer, or even as a friend, I would say: hire an attorney and do it now. I have handled too many 18-wheeler wreck cases involving incapacitating injuries and deaths to say any different. That family, and any other family involved in such a tragic accident needs someone to tell them that the insurance company is not their friend and does not have their best interests at heart, no matter what the insurance company says. They need someone to protect their rights and make sure that the person who decided to be negligent on that day and take away their loved one pays for what they did. Period.
It is vitally important to the injured party’s case that an attorney take certain actions to protect evidence in the days and weeks following an 18-wheeler wreck. The three main things an attorney needs to for anyone in such a situation send spoliation letters (evidence protection letter), get an accident reconstruction specialist out to the scene of the accident, and get ahold of all the witnesses and take their statements.
Let’s be honest for a minute. Car wrecks suck. They really do. They hurt our bodies. They destroy our property. We miss time from work. Insurance companies. Hospital bills. Rental cars. Rehabilitation. Did I mention insurance companies? Because they suck, too.
Hold on a second….
Sorry, I just went and asked an associate who was in an accident last August and she confirmed it. Accidents suck. See, its unanimous.
So often we hear legal terms such as “negligence” and “wrongful death” used by attorney’s and non-attorney’s alike. It is almost common place for people to use the word when describing an accident or a person’s behavior. If you listen to some of the local radio stations here in Dallas-Fort Worth you will probably hear a few commercials for attorneys asking the question “have you been injured because of someone else’s negligence?” The word is thrown around almost nonchalant. But, under the law, negligence has a very deep and complex meaning. Using the word as a broad stroke “that was negligent” does not afford the word its due, and under the law, may not actually be so, as you will see below.
For attorney’s and legal professionals, these terms have significant meaning beyond the common understanding of the words. In law, these are called “legal terms of art”. For the practitioner of law, terms of art such as negligence, wrongful death, and the thousands of other legal terms of art have a meaning beyond just a Webster’s Dictionary definition. So, in this article we ask “just what does the word ‘negligence’ mean?”
Terms of art can have different meanings in different jurisdictions. For the most part, the term “negligence” has the same legal definition in all 50 states. However, what may be different is how it is applied in certain situations. For instance in Texas, up until 2015, evidence of a plaintiff’s own negligence by failing to wear a seat belt was not admissible to show that the plaintiff was partly or wholly the cause of their own injuries. However, that all changed with the Supreme Court of Texas’ decision on Nabors Well Services, Ltd v. Romero. Now, it is admissible, so you have yet another reason, other than the obvious, to wear your seat belt. The Supreme Court now says that if you fail to wear a seat belt it can be used against you to limit your recovery in a personal injury lawsuit. Many other states allow such evidence to be used to establish a plaintiff’s own negligence, but there are others states who still do not allow this type of evidence to prove plaintiff’s negligence.
Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Stower’s Doctrine. Its got moxy. The Stowers Doctrine is as Texan as they come. From the Stowers Doctrine flows the Stowers Demand, a powerful settlement tool in personal injury practice.
But what is a Stowers Demand, exactly? Where does it come from? What does it do? Well, ask any attorney who deals with insurance companies on a regular basis and they will tell you it is a lifeblood of a personal injury practice. In our practice here in the Forney, Rockwall and Dallas area, once damages have been reasonably calculated, we always send a Stowers Demand to the insurance company. It is quite possibly the single most powerful pre-trial tool a personal injury attorney has to maximize settlement dollars for their client.
What is a Stowers Demand?
We have learned of a major Accident in Kaufman County about 5 miles east of Terrell. Multiple public safety crews have closed eastbound and westbound I20 near FM 429 due to a multiple vehicle crash, according to TxDOT. All lanes of travel are forced to exit. Folks traveling this way should expect delays in both directions.
The accident involved multiple 18-wheelers, and has resulted in a fuel spill that will need to be cleaned up by crews before the highway may be reopened. No word as to the condition of the people involved in the accident.
This is a developing story. We will update as information comes available.
Matthew Roberts, a 35-year old Decatur police officer was injured in a crash late Thursday night involving the driver of an 18-wheeler arrested on charges of drunken driving, police said.
The officer was parked on the shoulder of the southbound lanes of U.S. 287, just south of FM 51, in Wise County, which is about 40 miles northwest of Fort Worth, Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said.
Via inForney.com, a driver was injured early Friday morning when the driver’s vehicle struck the back of the 18 wheeler, causing significant damages to the driver’s vehicle. The accident happened around 3:22 am near the Kaufman-Van Zandt county line on I-20. It is not clear as to who or what caused the accident.
For more information, follow this link to the story on inforney.com.
Every now and then you may come across a semi-truck or car-hauler parked on the side of the road, or even partially in the road and think to yourself, “that is so dangerous,” or “they should not be allowed to do that.” Well, technically they aren’t supposed to do that. Section 545.301 of the Texas Transportation Code provides that an operator may not stop, park, or leave standing an attended or unattended vehicle on the main traveled part of a highway outside a business or residence district unless: