Any accident involving a large commercial truck can be dangerous, and flatbed truck accidents are no exception. With their open design, flatbed trucks are designed to carry larger and heavier cargo that wouldn’t ordinarily fit into an enclosed trailer. The increased size and weight of flatbed trucks means that they can cause severe accidents that result in catastrophic injuries to motorists.
If you have been involved in a flatbed truck accident in the Austin area, you may be entitled to compensation to cover the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The Austin personal injury lawyers of Loewy Law Firm have been serving the people of Austin since 2005, and our team has the necessary knowledge and experience to help you obtain the compensation you need to recover financially after an accident. Contact us today at (512) 280-0800 for a free consultation.
Types of Flatbed Trucks
There is a broad variety of flatbed trucks, but their distinguishing characteristic is that they are not enclosed trailers. Most large commercial tractor-trailers will carry their cargo inside a large, enclosed trailer, which protects cargo and helps prevent cargo from shifting or falling in transit. Some items, such as bridge barriers or large windmill parts, are too large to be carried inside a conventional enclosed trailer. Flatbed trucks are useful in these cases.
Some of the most common types of flatbed trucks include:
- Lowboy Flatbed Trailers
- Removable Gooseneck Flatbed Trailers (RGN)
- Step Deck Flatbed Trailers
- Double Drop Flatbed Trailers
Types and Causes of Flatbed Truck Accidents
Due to their large size, large flatbed trucks are limited in terms of where they can travel. They are generally forced to transport goods along routes with heavy traffic, such as interstates like I-35. This can lead to frequent accidents.
Some of the most common types of accidents involving flatbed trucks include:
- Overloading/weight distribution accidents
- Oversized load accidents
- Rear-end accidents
- Unsecured load accidents
- Underride accidents
- Jackknife accidents
As is the case with large commercial trucks of any kind, flatbed truck accidents can be caused by a number of factors. Some of the most common causes include:
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Speeding or traveling too fast for conditions
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Driver inexperience
- Improper cargo loading/unsecured cargo
- Mechanical failures and defective parts
By consulting with an experienced truck accident attorney in Austin, you can hold the at-fault party or parties accountable for negligence and obtain the compensation you need to recover financially after the accident.
Who Is Liable?
While truck drivers are often at fault for flatbed truck accidents, liability is not always that straightforward. Truck accidents can be incredibly complex to investigate simply because of the sheer number of potentially liable parties. Some possibly liable entities include:
- The truck driver – Truck drivers are the most common liable party. Truck drivers may cause accidents through negligent behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating, distracted driving, drunk or drugged driving, drowsy driving, and more. If the truck driver’s negligence caused the accident, they could potentially be held liable although, generally, the trucking company will carry insurance that covers their drivers.
- The trucking company – There are some instances where the trucking company might also share liability. If the trucking company failed in their maintenance and inspection duties, for instance, and that led to the accident, then the trucking company could be held liable. If an investigation finds that the trucking company pressured the truck driver to work longer hours than permitted, and then the truck driver became drowsy and caused a crash, then the trucking company could also be held liable.
- The truck owner – Sometimes, trucks are privately owned rather than owned by a trucking company. In some cases, it is possible that the truck’s owner may be held liable.
- Cargo loaders – If the cargo is not properly secured on the flatbed truck, comes loose, and falls onto the road, then cargo loaders could potentially be held responsible for improper securement. They could also be held responsible if they misrepresent the cargo’s weight and neglect to inform the truck driver of certain safety concerns.
- Defective parts manufacturers – Defective parts and mechanical failures can sometimes cause an accident. If an accident occurs due to a design or manufacturing flaw in a certain truck part, then the manufacturer could carry responsibility for the crash.
In order to prove that someone else was responsible for your injuries, you’ll need to be able to show, with evidence, that they should have acted in a way that keeps others safe from harm and that they didn’t act in that way. Next, you’ll need to show that their failure to keep others safe led to the accident, and then you must show that the accident caused your injuries.
If you have been injured in a flatbed truck accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Compensation is designed to help cover certain costs related to the accident, including:
- Medical expenses resulting from the accident
- Lost wages if you are unable to return to work after the accident
- Pain and suffering caused by the accident, including mental distress and emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you deserve to be compensated. Your best bet at getting the compensation you actually deserve is to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer.
How Loewy Law Could Help
Attempting to handle a truck accident investigation on your own, especially while you are recovering from your injuries, is never a good idea. Let us take that burden off your shoulders by handling your case for you.
The experienced truck accident attorneys at Loewy Law Firm have the necessary knowledge and resources to conduct a full and independent investigation of the circumstances surrounding the truck accident, gather evidence to support your claim, identify the at-fault parties, calculate damages, and aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation at (512) 280-0800.