I was traveling at speed limit on three lane highway in the middle lane. An 18 wheeler in lane 3 swerved to avoid hitting a car in front of him into my lane as I was next to him causing me to avoid his vehicle and myself hitting the retaining wall. He stopped and police got his information. I was taken to the hospital by EMS and my vehicle is totaled. Is he at fault? Again, I was in my open and clear lane going to speed limit and he was I assume not paying attention to the oncoming car and quickly merged to avoid hitting them without noticing I was right beside him.
3 Answers from Attorneys
Maybe. In Texas, we have comparative fault. Were the case to be tried to a jury, the would consider the fault of the vehicle that was ahead of the 18 wheeler, the fault of the 18 wheeler for faulty evasive action and the fault of you for faulty evasive action. The jury gets to assign a percentage of fault to each driver they find contributed to the accident. In the end, you recover the percentages from each known party that they are at fault unless you are found 51% or more at fault, then you get nothing.
Assuming the other car cannot be found, the 18 wheeler will have an empty chair defense. They will bring that party in as an unknown responsible third party and blame them. Any percentage of responsibility assigned to them will cause you to lose that percentage of your damages.
Sound unfair? Welcome to the reality of tort reform.
Based on what you have written, it appears that you may have a claim to allege against the 18 wheeler. There are some questions which would require answers to to furhter understand the circumstances. First, did anyone get the information for the thrid vehicle which the 18 wheeler was avoiding? Second, which police department investigated the incident? Third, did the officer at the scene make any indication as to who appeared to be at fault for the incident? Fourth, when did the incident happen? Fifth, what did the ER determine was the extent of your injuries? These are just some of the many questions which will need further detailed information to fully understand your case.
Additionally, there are specific laws in Texas which may influence the outcome of your case due to our current government. You may want to consider meeting with a law firm who can help you make a more informed decission after obtaining more detailed facts regarding the incident. You may review http://www.thebrashearlawfirm.com to obtain more information about 18 wheeler incidents.
The above response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an on-going duty to respond to questions. Additionally, the response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than an educated opinion. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.
It seems to me that the 18-wheeler failed to drive in a single lane and caused this wreck when he failed to maintain a proper lookout ahead of him. If you are still in pain, I would seek medical attention. There is a lot of information on my website you can read about 18-wheeler accidents and their causes.
You can see that information here: http://www.injurylawyersaustintx.com/Personal-Injury/Truck-Accidents.aspx