While the number of large truck accidents is small compared to passenger cars, the percentage of commercial vehicle crashes that result in serious injuries or fatalities is very high. Because of the size of a tractor–trailer which can weigh 80,000 pounds, the devastation from a collision is usually serious. Each year almost 4000 commercial vehicle crashes result in a fatality, and over 73,000 truck wrecks involve injury.
Our experienced Austin 18-wheeler lawyers have been helping Texas families get maximum compensation after a collision with a semi-truck for over three decades. Put our truck accident team to work for you! The sooner you hire us the sooner we can investigate the crash.
Texas has the largest percentage of fatal 18-wheeler crashes of any state in the country. Additionally, in the latest reported cases, Texas had over 600 fatalities and 14,000 injury truck accident victims in one year. Travis County alone had 17 deaths in commercial vehicle crashes, and almost 598 truck injury crashes last year.
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Common Causes of 18 Wheeler Truck Accidents in Austin
Comprehending the common causes of 18-wheeler truck accidents in Austin significantly aids in determining liability and seeking recompense. Driver-related factors, such as fatigue, distraction, vehicle maintenance, and equipment issues, are typically associated with 18-wheeler truck accidents in Austin.
Knowing the root causes of these trucking accidents can help you and your 18-wheeler wreck lawyer build a stronger case and pursue the compensation you deserve. Truck accidents are not like car accidents. Commercial truck drivers have special rules to follow. A truck accident victim should get an 18 wheeler wreck lawyer and not just an Austin car wreck lawyer for help.
Driver-related factors can significantly contribute to truck accidents in Austin. Fatigue, for instance, is a common factor, as truck drivers often face pressure to meet unrealistic delivery deadlines, which may lead to neglecting hours of service regulations.
Other driver-related factors include distraction, substance abuse, and negligence. Recognizing these factors can help your lawyer determine if the driver’s actions contributed to the accident and hold them accountable for their negligence.
The majority of tractor-trailer accidents are caused by driver error. This can be such things as:
- Following too close,
- not keeping a proper lookout,
- failing to maintain a safe distance,
- failing to yield the right-of-way,
- not seeing a vehicle in a blind spot,
- speeding or traveling too fast for the roadway conditions,
- driving while fatigued or after the driver was legally disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle,
- violating one of the safety rules or
- operating a dangerous vehicle.
Vehicle Maintenance and Equipment Issues
In addition to driver-related factors, poor vehicle maintenance and equipment issues can also lead to accidents involving 18 wheelers. Faulty brakes, worn tires, and other mechanical issues can all be potential contributing factors to truck accidents in Austin.
Trucking companies have a responsibility to maintain their vehicles properly, and failure to do so can result in accidents with severe consequences. Some common issues to look out for include:
- Worn-out tires
- Faulty brakes
- Malfunctioning lights
- Overloaded cargo
- Improperly secured loads
Identifying these issues can help your lawyer establish liability and pursue compensation from the responsible parties.
Trucking companies can share legal responsibility with their drivers who are operating the vehicle on the job. Additionally, trucking companies can be responsible for a crash by failing to hire qualified drivers, implementing safety policies, properly maintaining the truck and trailer or the components such as tires and brakes, and violate safety regulations.
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Why You Need an Austin Truck Accident Lawyer
The aftermath of a truck accident can be incredibly complex, involving multiple parties, extensive investigations, and a thorough understanding of specific regulations. This complexity can be even more challenging when dealing with truck accident claims, especially when a car accident is involved as well.
Victims greatly benefit from hiring an experienced Austin 18-wheeler accident lawyer, as this can pave the way to the best possible outcome. They possess the acumen to identify, acquire, evaluate, and utilize the evidence required to prevail in the case.
Knowledge of Specific Regulations
Building a strong case requires a lawyer’s expertise in comprehending the federal and state regulations governing the trucking industry. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established laws and safety regulations that regulate the operations of truck drivers and trucking companies.
If a lawyer is knowledgeable about these regulations, it enables them to use this information to ascertain if any rules were breached during the accident, thus fortifying your case.
Experience with Complex Cases
Given the complicated nature of truck accident cases that involve multiple parties and extensive investigations, the expertise of a truck accident attorney becomes indispensable to effectively maneuver through these complexities. They have dealt with numerous complex cases, such as:
- Jackknife accidents
- Wide turn accidents
- Tire blowouts
And many others.
Our expertise can guide you through the insurance claim, medical bill payments, and settlement process, providing invaluable advice and support throughout the case.
Compensation for Austin Truck Accident Victims
Compensation for Austin truck accident victims can include both economic and non-economic damages, helping you recover from your injuries and move forward with your life.
Grasping the various types of compensation and how they pertain to your situation is pivotal to ensuring the necessary support for your recovery.
Economic damages cover the financial losses resulting from the accident, such as medical bills, lost income, and property damage. These damages can help you pay for necessary medical treatments, replace lost wages, and repair or replace damaged property.
Working with an experienced lawyer can help you accurately calculate and pursue these economic damages, ensuring you receive the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
Non-economic damages compensate victims for intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. These damages can be challenging to quantify, but an experienced lawyer can help you determine a fair amount based on the extent of your injuries, the impact on your daily life, and the duration of your recovery.
Pursuing non-economic damages can be an essential part of your compensation package, helping you cope with the emotional and psychological effects of the accident.
Federal Regulation of Trucking Companies
Trucking companies are known as “Motor Carriers” and are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which provide the minimum level of safe conduct by both the truck driver and the trucking company. These federal regulations have been adopted in the state of Texas. These safety rules provide the baseline conduct for drivers and the motor carrier and cover such things as driving in adverse conditions, maintenance requirements, hours that a truck driver may legally drive, and qualifications of the truckers.
Two Frequently Violated Trucking Regulations
1. Log Book and Hours of Service Violations
Drivers must be proficient in the operation of the big rig, including:
- The total number of hours they are behind the wheel each day
- the time they are on the job or the clock for their employer
- hours driving between destinations
- rest breaks and off-duty status
Drivers must have the skills of a professional truck driver, including:
What you should do if you are injured in a commercial motor vehicle accident near Austin:
1. Call the police or wait for an investigating officer
If you can speak with the police officer investigating the crash, make sure you tell the officer your side of the story. Your only chance to talk with the officer may well be at the hospital. Truck drivers are very defensive in the protection of their commercial driver’s license and often deny responsibility when they cause a crash.
Police reports can provide evidence, particularly in serious injury accidents, because the officer may reconstruct or reenact the accident. Regardless of whether the officer’s opinions can come into evidence and a trucking accident lawsuit, the officer’s factual observations, such as the scene of the crash, debris, and markings on the highway as well as witness information, weather, etc. may well be admitted in a trial.
2. Take photographs
Use your cell phone to take photographs of the accident scene, the vehicles, and the resting position of the big rig and your vehicle. If you can, safely photograph the place where the impact took place and any skid marks or other markings on the highway.
3. Identify witnesses
Some of the most powerful evidence can come from independent witnesses to the crash. These are usually fellow motorists who were in the area at the time of the accident and saw it occur. It is important not to rely upon the officer investigating the crash to record the name and contact information of witnesses. Often, the officers are more interested in safety at the scene than they are in documenting independent witnesses.
4. Record statements by the driver
If the truck driver talks to you regarding how the accident happened, it is important that you record those statements either by video on your smartphone or by writing down what the driver said. This can be something as simple as the driver saying, “I didn’t see you. I’m sorry.”
5. Get the necessary medical treatment
Most of the time, after an 18-wheeler collision, the surviving victims are taken to the hospital by ambulance. Victims of commercial vehicle crashes must follow their physician’s instructions to the letter. Do not “tough it out” or miss appointments because your health and happiness can be on the line. Additionally, it is important to understand that emergency rooms are for emergencies. Many hospitals will not treat you for conditions that are not life-threatening, even if they require surgery. The hospital will refer you to a specialist or your primary care physician for follow-up care.
Austin Highways, Where Truck Accidents Happen Frequently
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the statute of limitations for filing a truck accident claim in Austin?
The statute of limitations for filing a truck accident claim in Austin is two years from the date of the accident.
It is important to speak with an attorney quickly to ensure your claim is submitted before the deadline.
Can I still recover compensation if I was partially at fault for the accident?
Yes, if you were partially at fault for the accident in Texas, you may still be able to recover compensation as long as your degree of responsibility is less than 50%.
Under Texas law, if you are found to be less than 50% at fault for an accident, you may still be able to recover compensation for your damages. This is known as comparative negligence.
What should I do if the insurance company offers me a settlement?
Consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer to evaluate the settlement offer from the insurance company and determine if it is fair.
How long will it take to resolve my truck accident case?
It is difficult to determine exactly how long your truck accident case will take to resolve. However, an experienced attorney can better assess the timeline based on factors such as the complexity of the case and the insurance company’s willingness to negotiate.
Can I file a wrongful death claim if a loved one was killed in a truck accident?
Yes, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim if a loved one was killed in a truck accident.
This type of claim can help you recover compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of companionship, emotional trauma, and other damages.
Do Austin truck accident claims require special expertise?
Yes, do not trust your case simply because a law firm claims to have Austin truck accident attorneys. Real Austin truck accident lawyers will have case results to prove their experience and reputation. Truck accidents require special skills and knowledge – don’t settle for less with your truck accident case.
Contact Our Truck Accident Attorney Austin, TX
While our primary law office for truck accidents is in Houston, Texas, we maintain a satellite office in Austin to serve our clients better. We take appointments at both facilities and offer home and hospital consultations by appointment only to those who cannot travel due to their injuries.
Our years of experience in trucking accident litigation have proven time and again that we are the “go-to” truck accident law firm in Texas. Our results in truck accident lawsuits are unparalleled and speak for themselves. While each case is unique and stands on its merit, our trucking litigation experience over the last three decades and you do not want an attorney learning on the job in your case. We recommend you thoroughly research the attorney you are considering for a trucking accident case.
We have the expert witnesses necessary to prove your case. Do not delay, and there are time limits to pursue cases in Texas. Get us started right away!
Do not let the insurance company handle your claim. Insurance companies for truck drivers typically contact injured persons quickly after a crash. The adjuster intends to establish rapport with the victim and infer that the victim does not need an attorney to represent them in the case.
Often, words such as “we accept responsibility” are used, and people mistake that to mean we will pay you fairly. That is not the case; insurance companies are trying to pay as little as they possibly can on each claim to maximize their profitability. If an insurance company can pay you $.10 on the dollar, they will do so without batting an eye.
The only way to maximize your compensation is to hire the best truck accident attorney for your case.
Truck Accident Resources:
What You Need to Know About Damages in Houston Trucking Accident Cases
How to Settle Your Car Accident Injury Claim Without an Attorney
What are the Possible Types of Damages in a Truck Accident Case?
Can I get Punitive Damages After a Truck Wreck?