Lino H. Ochoa | January 24, 2024 | Truck Accidents
Texas law dictates when you must report a traffic accident to the police. According to Texas Transportation Code §550.026, drivers must report traffic accidents by the quickest means possible when the accident results in:
- Property damage is severe enough to prevent the vehicle from being safe to drive;
- Someone is injured in the accident; or,
- The accident results in a fatality.
Generally, the quickest way to report a truck accident is by calling 911. Police officers and emergency medical services are dispatched to the accident scene. The police officers must complete a crash report when the accident causes $1,000 or more in property damage or results in the injury or death of a person.
A commercial truck accident can cause catastrophic injuries and significant property damage. An 80,000-pound semi-truck can destroy a passenger vehicle. Therefore, there is no doubt that you need to file a police report after a McAllen truck accident.
In most cases, police, fire, and EMS are dispatched to a truck accident. Therefore, you will not need to file a police report because the responding officers will file it on your behalf.
However, if a police officer does not investigate the truck accident, what should you do? Do you file a police report for a McAllen truck accident in that situation?
Filing a Police Report for a McAllen Truck Accident
Prior to September 1, 2017, Texas law required drivers to file a crash report with the Texas Department of Transportation within 10 days of the crash. However, the Texas legislature changed the requirements. Driver’s Crash Reports are no longer required.
Therefore, it is wise to report all crashes by calling 911. Even minor truck accidents will likely cause more than $1,000 in property damage, so the police should investigate and file a report. An official police report can help when you file an insurance claim for a truck accident.
You can obtain a copy of the police report through the Crash Records Information System. If you hire an accident lawyer, your attorney handles this step for you.
However, if the police do not investigate a crash for any reason, you need to gather information for your records. The information you need includes:
- The accident date
- The time and location of the crash
- The year, make, and model for each vehicle
- The owner and driver for each vehicle
- A description of the property damage
- Photographs and videos of the accident scene
- A description of the injuries
- Statements by any witnesses and the drivers
It is important not to admit fault at the accident scene. Until you talk with a McAllen truck accident lawyer, you cannot be sure who is liable for the truck crash.
Filing Claims for Commercial Truck Accidents in McAllen, TX
A semi-truck accident is not your average traffic accident. A truck’s size and weight increase the risk of catastrophic injuries. The injuries caused by a truck accident include:
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Fractures and broken bones
- Internal organ damage, including loss of bodily functions
- Disfigurement and scarring
The damages caused by the truck accident can be significant. In addition to expensive medical care, a victim may incur long-term loss of income while they recuperate. If the victim sustains a permanent impairment, they could experience a lifetime of lost wages, medical bills, personal care, and other economic damages.
Accident victims also experience severe pain and suffering. Their non-economic damages include impairments, emotional distress, disfigurement, and mental anguish. Victims may experience diminished quality of life because of their injuries.
Suing for Damages After a Commercial Truck Accident in McAllen, TX
The parties liable for a truck accident are responsible for the damages caused by the wreck. There could be several liable parties in a truck accident case, including:
- Trucking companies
- Truck drivers
- Shippers and loaders
- Maintenance and repair facilities
- Truck and parts manufacturers
- Government entities
- Other drivers
Identifying how the truck accident occurred can be challenging. A truck accident may involve multiple parties who could share liability for damages.
The police report of the truck accident lists all drivers involved in the crash. However, a McAllen truck accident could identify other parties during an independent investigation. An attorney might need to hire accident reconstructionists and other experts to identify fault.
The time to file a truck accident claim is limited by the Texas statute of limitations. Because truck accident cases are complex, it is wise to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
Contact a McAllen, TX Truck Accident Lawyer of The Law Office of Lino H. Ochoa for more help
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