Austin Truck Accident Lawyer
Thousands of people are injured or killed on the roads each year due to truck accidents. It’s common for trucks to weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, while most cars weigh closer to 3,000 pounds. This disparity can be disastrous when it comes to truck accidents, often leading to severe or fatal injuries for those involved.
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident in Austin, Texas, caused by the other driver, you have the right to pursue compensation. An Austin truck accident lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process and seek the money you deserve. At the Loewy Law Firm, our legal team understands the difficulties faced by those involved in truck accidents. Contact us today for a free legal consultation to learn more about how we can help you. We have also compiled a truck accident faq page to answer your questions quickly.
Types of Truck Accidents in Austin
Truck accidents occur in many different ways. Each has its own unique set of circumstances and potential for severe injury or death. Here are some of the most common types of truck accidents in Austin:
- Rollover: A rollover occurs when a truck tips over onto its side or roof. It may happen due to a sudden shift in weight or excessive speed around a curve. Several factors, including improper loading, unbalanced cargo, overloaded trucks, or driver error can cause this type of accident.
- Underride: An underride is when a smaller vehicle, such as a car, slides beneath the trailer of a large truck. These accidents often result in death due to the truck’s trailer crushing the smaller vehicle.
- Jackknife: A jackknife occurs when a truck’s trailer swings out at an angle from the cab, often due to excessive speed, bad weather, or brake failure. Jackknife accidents are especially dangerous for cars traveling in the same direction as the truck, as the trailer could suddenly swing into their path.
- Tire Blowout: A tire blowout can cause a truck driver to lose control of their vehicle and veer into other lanes or off the road. Tire blowouts can result from poor maintenance or overloading the truck’s tires.
- Wide Turn: Wide turns are when a truck does not make a full 90-degree turn when it should and ends up taking up multiple lanes of traffic or running off the road. An inexperienced driver or improperly loaded trailer are the most common causes of these accidents.
- Rear-End Collision: Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another while they are both in motion.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can cause devastating harm, and it is important to understand what causes them to avoid them. The most common causes of truck accidents in Austin include:
- Unsecured Cargo: When truck drivers fail to secure their cargo correctly, it can put other drivers on the road in danger. Unsecured cargo can shift around while the truck is moving, which can lead to rollovers or cause the truck driver to lose control of the vehicle.
- Speeding: Truck drivers are often pressured to make their deliveries on time and may be tempted to speed. Speeding can reduce reaction time and increase the likelihood of an accident.
- Reckless Driving: Truck drivers may engage in reckless driving behaviors such as weaving in and out of traffic, changing lanes unsafely, or tailgating other vehicles, increasing the risk of an accident.
- Intoxication: Truck drivers who operate their vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs pose a serious risk to other motorists. Drunk or drugged drivers are more likely to make errors and cause accidents.
- Inclement Weather: Inclement weather, such as rain, sleet, snow, and fog can impair visibility for truck drivers and make it difficult to control their vehicles.
- HOS Violation: Hours-of-service regulations are in place to ensure that truck drivers do not drive too long without taking adequate rest breaks. Long periods of driving without breaks lead to fatigue, increasing the risk of an accident.
- Driver Inexperience: Truck drivers who lack experience may be more likely to make mistakes that could lead to an accident.
- Aggressive Driving: Truck drivers who engage in aggressive driving behaviors, such as sudden lane changes or cutting off other motorists are at an increased risk of a crash.
- Employer Negligence: Employers who fail to train their drivers adequately or put unsafe trucks on the road may be held liable for any accidents that result from their negligence.
- Driver Negligence: Truck drivers may also be held liable for any accidents caused by their own negligent behavior.
Federal Trucking Regulations
The US Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has regulations that govern the trucking industry and are designed to keep all motorists safe. They ensure that commercial vehicles are maintained and operated according to specific guidelines. When truck drivers or trucking companies violate these regulations, this can help prove the defendants’ negligence in an Austin truck accident claim. These regulations:
- Require thorough background checks on drivers
- Limit the number of hours a truck driver can drive
- Restrict a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle when ill or fatigued
- Require drug and alcohol testing
- Mandate regular maintenance and inspections of semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles
- Set rules about logbooks, document retention, and other procedures
If a truck driver or trucking company fails to operate within these and other trucking guidelines, they may be liable for any damages caused by the accident.
Austin Truck Accident Liability
Determining liability for a truck accident is essential to ensuring full and fair compensation for the victim. In many cases, there may be more than one defendant. The truck driver, the trucking company, and other third parties are the most common defendants.
The truck driver can be liable for their general negligence in truck operation, such as failing to obey traffic laws and safety regulations, operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or any other type of negligent behavior that caused the accident. Additionally, trucking companies can be held liable for damages caused by their employee truck drivers.
Trucking companies are often liable for truck accident damages caused by their employee truck drivers. Truck companies can also be responsible for their own negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct. This conduct might include setting unreasonable expectations and encouraging drivers to ignore safe driving practices. Trucking operations can also be liable for company violations of applicable regulations and requirements.
Other potential sources of liability can include parties responsible for maintaining the truck, truck owners, truck manufacturers, third parties involved in the accident, and anyone else whose negligent or reckless conduct caused or contributed to the truck accident.
Types of Compensation for an Austin Truck Accident Case
You may be eligible for compensation for any damages suffered as a result of a trucking accident. However, any settlement amount may depend on the accident’s severity and whether you acted negligently or did anything to put yourself in danger. Some common types of compensation in truck accident cases are:
- Medical Expenses: You may be eligible to recover any medical expenses incurred due to the accident, including hospital bills, doctor visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, and more.
- Lost Wages: If you cannot work due to your injuries, you may be eligible for compensation for any lost wages incurred, including lost wages from time off and lost income from reduced earning capacity due to the accident.
- Pain and Suffering: You may also be eligible for compensation for any pain and suffering experienced due to the accident. This includes both physical pain and mental anguish.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party for their negligence and prevent them from engaging in similar behavior.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Texas Truck Accidents?
In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a truck accident claim is generally two years. This means that if you suffered injuries in an Austin truck accident, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. It is important to note that if you fail to file a claim within this two-year period, you may lose your right to seek compensation for injuries and damages.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 38,149 accidents involving commercial vehicles happened in Texas in a recent year. In those accidents, over 700 people died, and thousands were injured. In Travis County, TxDOT reported 598 commercial truck accidents in the same year, resulting in 19 deaths and over 150 injuries. On the national level, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported over 4,000 people died due to truck accidents in another recent year, with passenger vehicle occupants making up 68 percent of deaths.
Speak With A Truck Accident Lawyer in Austin
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident caused by another driver, speak with an experienced truck accident lawyer. At Loewy Law Firm, we understand the complexities of trucking accidents and know how to achieve results. We will work diligently to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (512) 957-9858 to set up a free legal case review with an experienced Austin injury lawyer.