Austin Inclement Weather Conditions Truck Accident Lawyer
Driving in inclement weather can be dangerous for anyone, but it’s especially risky for commercial truck drivers. Commercial truckers work on tight deadlines and are often pressured by trucking companies, either explicitly or indirectly, to ignore the safety regulations designed to keep them and other motorists safe. When truck drivers fail to account for inclement weather conditions, they can cause catastrophic injuries to motorists and their passengers.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a negligent truck driver during inclement weather, you might be entitled to compensation to cover expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. At Loewy Law Firm, our Austin inclement weather truck accident lawyers are ready to fight for your best interests. Find out how we can help you collect the compensation you need to recover by contacting us for a free consultation.
Federal Regulations for Trucks Driving in Inclement Weather
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established regulations that dictate how truck drivers should adjust their driving in inclement weather conditions. In Article § 392.14, the FMCSA requires all truck drivers to exercise “extreme caution” while driving in hazardous weather conditions, such as rain, ice, snow, sleet, mist, fog, rain, dust, or smoke. Federal law also requires drivers to stop driving when weather conditions become too severe to operate the vehicle safely.
Unfortunately, truck drivers sometimes violate the FMCSA regulations, often in response to their strict deadlines or pressure from the trucking company. Many truck drivers worry about losing their jobs if they fail to make deliveries on time, causing them to make reckless decisions. Ultimately, these excuses do not excuse reckless driving or failing to exercise caution when it rains or snows. An attorney from Loewy Law Firm can help you hold the driver and their employer accountable.
Types of Inclement Weather Conditions
There are several types of inclement weather that make truck drivers more likely to cause accidents, particularly when they fail to account for hazardous conditions. These include:
- Fog and mist – Foggy and misty conditions can impede visibility, which can cause truck drivers to veer into other lanes. The low visibility can also prevent truck drivers from noticing other motorists by preventing truck drivers from seeing the other vehicles’ headlights and taillights. Truck drivers who fail to slow or stop in foggy and misty conditions can easily cause devastating accidents.
- Heavy rain and snow – Heavy rain and snow can both decrease visibility and increase the likelihood of hydroplaning, particularly when a truck driver fails to adjust their speed to account for the adverse conditions. Hydroplaning can cause a truck driver to lose control of their truck, resulting in terrible accidents.
- Wind and dust storms – Most commercial trucks are top-heavy and have a high center of gravity, making them more susceptible to wind and dust storms. Wind storms can cause trucks to tip over, resulting in devastating rollover accidents. Dust both limits visibility and can cause mechanical failures, so extreme caution and regular maintenance are necessary.
- Ice – Like heavy rain, ice can cause a truck to lose traction and spin out of control. In central Texas, winter cold snaps often cause black ice, which truckers should take into account before they get behind the wheel. When truck drivers fail to adjust their driving for icy road conditions, they can cause catastrophic, multi-vehicle accidents.
Common Injuries Caused by Inclement Weather-related Truck Accidents
Due to the enormous size and weight of many commercial trucks, truck accidents can cause severe and life-altering injuries to other motorists and their passengers.
Some of the most truck accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal injuries such as ruptured organs
- Internal bleeding
- Broken and fractured bones
- Soft-tissue damage
- Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations
Who Can Be Held Liable?
The truck driver is almost always at fault for accidents caused by a failure to account for inclement weather. However, they’re not necessarily the only responsible party. The trucking company that the driver works for could also be found partly at fault. For instance, if a trucking company pressured a driver to ignore FMCSA regulations to make more deliveries, it’s possible that the trucking company could be held liable as well.
Determining fault is not always a straightforward process, which is why it’s imperative to choose an experienced truck accident attorney. At Loewy Law Firm, we can conduct a full investigation into the accident on your behalf and help you navigate the complex claims process.
Compensation for Inclement Weather-Related Truck Accidents
If you were injured in an inclement weather truck accident caused by a driver, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation. This compensation is designed to cover the economic and non-economic losses caused by the accident.
It can include:
- Medical expenses, including emergency care, surgeries, tests, medication, physical therapy, and more
- Lost income if you were unable to work after the accident
- Vehicle damage caused by the accident
- Pain and suffering, including mental anguish and emotional trauma caused by the accident
- Loss of enjoyment of life after the accident
Although punitive damages are not common, when an investigation finds that the at-fault party or parties behaved in an excessively negligent manner, they could be ordered to pay punitive damages. These damages are designed to “punish” the at-fault party and prevent future reckless behavior.
Contact an Austin Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a truck driver who failed to account for inclement weather, contact our dedicated Austin personal injury lawyers at Loewy Law Firm right away. We’re ready to launch a comprehensive investigation into the accident, gather and preserve vital evidence to support your case, and aggressively seek a fair settlement on your behalf. Contact our firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation.