Austin Truck Accident Lawyer
CALL (512) 246 2224 TO SPEAK WITH AN AUSTIN TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER FOR FREE
We have all had a moment while driving on a highway where we come into close proximity with a large truck and feel fear we may be hit. Luckily, for most of us, this moment of fear does not result in anything. However, some people are not always as lucky and will get into a commercial truck accident. Truck accidents are car accidents that involve larger and heavier motor vehicles than your standard car. Typically, this refers to commercial trucks. A commercial truck is a truck used to transport products or materials for a business purpose. Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, thus causing serious damage and catastrophic injuries.
Commercial truck drivers are expected to follow a different set of rules than regular motor vehicle drivers. If you have been involved in a truck accident, an understanding of these rules is helpful when filing a legal claim against the truck driver or responsible party. Our lawyers at Zinda Law Group have experience with the laws that govern commercial truck drivers, and may be able to help you in securing the compensation you deserve after being involved in an accident.
What to do After a Truck Accident
Here are a few steps you can take after a truck accident to ensure your safety and ensure that you will be able to seek compensation:
1. Seek Medical Attention
After suffering an accident, the most important thing to do is to seek medical attention. Injuries can range from mild to severe, but even mild injuries need to be evaluated by a medical professional. A medical professional can also play an important role in documenting your injuries, which can be used as evidence in your claim.
2. Report the Accident
It is crucial that you contact law enforcement as soon as you are able. The police play an important role in getting emergency dispatch to the scene to tend to injured parties as well as play a pivotal role in documenting the accident. The police can file an official report on the accident. This report can be very helpful later on when filing a personal injury claim.
3. Document the Scene
Preserving necessary evidence is key to prevailing on your claim. Beyond speaking with the police and getting a medical professional to evaluate your injuries, do everything you can to document the scene of the crash. This can include simple tasks such as taking pictures or making quick notes of important memorable details. Memories fade as time goes on. Successfully documenting the scene of the accident as soon as possible will help you immensely in proving your claims.
4. Contact a truck accident attorney
Those filing personal injury claims can get easily taken advantage of by opposing parties and insurance companies. If a truck has hit you, the best way to ensure you are being offered fair compensation is to hire an experienced attorney. Our Austin truck accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group may be able to help.
Austin Truck Accident Statistics
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas is in the top five for recorded semi-truck accidents in the entire country for the last ten years. The most recent crash data from the Texas Department of Transportation shows that Austin had over 15,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2017 alone. Over 1,000 of those motor vehicle crashes involved commercial motor vehicles, otherwise known as large commercial trucks.
Types of Truck Accident Claims
There can be many different types of claims that result from trucking accidents. A few of these claims include, but are not limited to:
- Semi-truck accident claims
- Commercial truck accident claims
- Tractor-trailer accident claims
- Negligent hiring of truck driver claims
- Negligent operation of truck claims
Several things can lead to a commercial truck collision or another type of truck accident. Here are a few of the common causes of truck accidents in Austin:
- Distracted driving
- Improper commercial truck training
- Mechanical failure
How to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit
1. Call a Truck Accident Lawyer
If you are unable to reach an agreement with the opposing party about fault and compensation, you may want to consider consulting an attorney. Trucking companies and insurance providers that represent them are much different than the typical insurance companies you would deal with after a car accident. The insurance companies representing commercial truck drivers will act quickly and aggressively to try and avoid liability. Having an experienced attorney on your side is the best way to make sure you don't get taken advantage of. An attorney will seek the maximum compensation that you may be entitled to.
Initiating a prompt and thorough investigation into the truck accident is a crucial step to gather valuable evidence to fight your claim. Acting quickly after an accident is important in order to gather the physical evidence resulting from a truck accident while it is still fresh. In addition to documenting physical evidence, it is important to interview witnesses, file official reports of property damage and physical injury, and consider hiring an accident reconstruction expert.
3. Case Settlement
Often times the insurance provider for the trucking company will offer the victim of an accident a monetary amount if the victim agrees to cease the pursuit of further legal action. However, these settlement offers can often be minimal and inadequate. If you refuse a settlement offer from an insurance company, you have the option to pursue further legal action to receive the compensation you deserve.
Who is Liable?
Those who operate commercial trucks are expected to demonstrate reasonable care while driving on Texas roadways. A party who fails to exercise reasonable care will likely be deemed negligent, and thus are liable for the accident. When it comes to truck accidents, the truck driver can be found liable or their employer can.
The truck driver themselves may be held liable when they fail to adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by their employer and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They may also be held liable if they are operating as an independent contractor, which limits their employer’s liability of the truck driver.
Truck drivers are expected to follow certain local, state, and federal regulations, but so are their employers. A trucking company may be held liable for failing to adhere to these regulations, for negligent hiring or retention, or by engaging in practices that cause their drivers to engage in unsafe behavior.
Proving Truck Driver Negligence
As mentioned above, truck accidents are often caused by a party's negligence. This means that a truck driver, who owed a duty of care to other motorists, breached that duty and caused harm to another driver. However, sometimes, the blame can be attributed to both drivers. Courts and insurance companies will analyze this under a theory of comparative negligence. If you are found to be partially at fault for your truck accident, this may affect your ability to recover.
Under Texas law, if you are at fault in a truck accident, you cannot receive 100% compensation for your damages. Texas follows a rule known as a modified comparative fault. This rule allows a court to reduce the amount of your compensation based on your role in causing or failing to prevent the accident. If you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, then you may be barred from receiving any compensation at all.
You may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages for your truck accident injury claim. Economic damages compensate you for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other financially based injuries. Non-economic damages are damages for your pain and suffering and reduced quality of life. Calculating pain and suffering is not an exact science, but often attorneys multiply your economic damages by a number that represents the severity of your suffering.
Texas Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the legal time limit in which you are permitted to file a lawsuit for a certain type of lawsuit. Each state has a different statute of limitations for personal injury claims. In Texas, you have two years from the date of your truck accident to file a claim for compensation for your injuries. Once this date expires, you will no longer be eligible to recover any compensation. Therefore, you must act quickly.
CALL AN EXPERIENCED TRUCK ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
At Zinda Law Group, our Austin 18-wheeler accident lawyers have helped thousands of injury victims get their lives back on track after a crash. We can help you pursue maximum compensation for medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and much more.
We also believe an injury victim should never have to worry about their ability to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultation, and why you will pay nothing unless we secure a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your trucking accident case. That’s our No Fee Guarantee.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an 18-wheeler crash, call Zinda Law Group at (512) 246 2224 to receive your free consultation with our experienced Austin truck accident lawyers.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.