Consult Our Austin Truck Accident Lawyers Today
The Austin truck accident lawyers at The Patel Firm have a strong track record of successfully representing victims of catastrophic 18-wheeler accidents. We are here to provide you with the legal help you need during this difficult time. Count on The Patel Firm for justice, professionalism, and diligent services.
Car accidents are often caused by the negligence of other drivers, and because your recovery likely hinges on your ability to obtain just compensation, you need an experienced auto accident lawyer in your corner.
Table of Contents
- Complex Cases
- Federal Trucking Regulations
- What Causes Truck Accidents?
- Trucking Driving Accidents and Injuries
- Truck Driving Accident Representation
- Call Our Austin Truck Accident Lawyers Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
Trucks move untold volumes of consumer goods across the United States every day. Thousands of these trucks create unpredictable hazards for the other motorists traveling on the country’s highways and roads. Large transport trucks weigh more than 80,000 pounds, while most motorists operate automobiles weighing approximately 3,000 pounds.
Truck accidents are often catastrophic due to the difference in weight between a tractor-trailer and a small automobile. Injuries that drivers and passengers experience during these truck accidents can be fatal.
Not only are these accidents physically horrendous, but they are often financially serious as well. Endless medical bills and lost wages can quickly lead to bankruptcy if you do not retain an experienced Austin truck accident lawyer to defend your legal rights.
The Patel Firm can help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. These truck accident collisions can devastate families, and we will make sure that your legal rights are protected during this difficult time in your and your loved ones’ lives.
Truck accident cases are often more complicated than other kinds of motor vehicle accident claims. Various state and federal trucking regulations govern large commercial trucks. These laws will affect your claim and how it is litigated in court.
Working with an Austin truck accident lawyer can make a significant difference to your case. Their familiarity with all relevant state and federal laws and experience in litigation will help them assess your truck accident claim, identify who may be held liable, and determine which losses require just compensation.
Proving liability in a truck accident case may prove more complicated than proving liability in a car accident case. Depending on the circumstances, the following parties may be liable for your injuries and damage when you are the injured victim in a trucking accident case:
- The driver of a third vehicle that contributed to or caused the collision
- The truck driver
- The truck manufacturer
- The trucking company
More than one of these parties may be liable for your truck accident injuries, and a seasoned truck accident attorney will be able to determine their degree of responsibility. Our attorneys have experience handling cases involving truck crashes. Their skill and knowledge allow us to make sound assessments regarding liability for each injured client.
Ensuring the safety of truck drivers and those carrying goods in interstate commerce is important to the federal government. Federal regulations are established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These regulations apply to every element of the trucking industry, including manufacturers of trucks, truck drivers, and trucking companies.
Truck drivers must be at least twenty-one years of age and speak fluent English. They must also hold a valid commercial driver’s license. These drivers must also pass a physical examination every two years. Truck drivers must also refrain from using alcohol or drugs while on duty, including any prescription drugs that may influence their ability to operate a vehicle in a safe manner.
Trucking companies must keep accurate records of every inspection and repair associated with every individual truck. The companies must also hold regularly scheduled mechanical inspections and conduct repairs before permitting a truck to travel on a long trip. The companies must also review every truck driver’s records every year as well as verify the drivers’ records and check their references.
Commercial trucks are also not allowed to hold a load of more than 20,000 pounds per axle or exceed the maximum gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds. If a company fails to follow these guidelines, its drivers may cause and be liable for accidents involving individuals, passenger vehicles, and other trucks.
Truck Driver Fatigue and Truck Accidents
Truck driver fatigue is a serious problem that can lead to catastrophic accidents. Drivers may spend too many hours operating their vehicles. The FMCSA established rules that place limits on the maximum hours that truck drivers are permitted to operate their vehicles.
Trucking companies that operate vehicles seven days a week must limit the number of hours their drivers can operate their vehicles. Drivers cannot go beyond 70 hours of driving during any 8-day period of time. Also, all truck drivers must keep an accurate log of the time spent driving their trucks.
Most companies have automated systems that will lock the ignition once a specific number of hours are reached.
If trucking companies do not operate their vehicles seven days per week, then drivers cannot go beyond a maximum of 60 hours on duty during a seven-day time period. Truck drivers also must take 10 hours off at a minimum between shifts.
Truck drivers also may not drive more than eleven hours during one single 24-hour period. The total amount of time a truck driver may spend driving must not go beyond fourteen hours.
Truck drivers may become sleepy and drive too many hours without taking a break. These drivers are likely to fall asleep while driving and shift into other lanes or cross over the dividing line. Sleep-deprived truck drivers cannot make informed, alert decisions about their surrounding situations.
Some trucking companies may ignore these regulations to earn more money. These negligent actions can cause its truck drivers to die in trucking accidents. Many fatigued truckers may take a risk and drive more hours to meet delivery deadlines that cannot be completed under the current regulatory scheme.
At The Patel Firm, we utilize forensic evidence to prove that a driver or company was negligent when lack of sleep was a factor in a trucking accident. Our truck accident attorneys evaluate the truck driving logs to discover whether the trucking accident may have occurred due to service violations or federal regulatory violations.
Our attorneys will not only use the truck driver’s logbook to determine if service violations occurred in your situation. We will explore other forms of evidence, conduct a thorough investigation, and discover other ways the trucking companies have violated Texas laws.
We can analyze a variety of differences between the truck driver logbook and other important documents. Fuel receipts, scale tickets, point-to-point mileage distance, times on bills of lading, and toll tickets are just some of the materials we check for useful information. These records can help our team understand the reason behind a trucking accident and its consequences.
Our lawyers and investigators will discover evidence of service violations that other attorneys may not be able to discover due to inadequate experience and knowledge.
Many factors such as poor lighting and dangerous weather conditions contribute to trucking accidents. In the Austin area, most trucking accidents occur because the truck driver, trucking company, or truck manufacturer was negligent.
Trucking companies and truck drivers need to make sure others on the road are safe, but the safety protocols are often ignored by both truck drivers and trucking companies.
Trucking accidents are caused by many different things. Improperly maintained trucks can lead to accidents started by fires. Truck drivers may also not possess adequate training. If a truck driver is reckless or aggressive, then this behavior is likely to cause a trucking accident.
Also, truck driver fatigue is a leading cause of trucking accidents. Those trucking companies and truck drivers who violate federal safety regulations are more likely to cause trucking accidents. Some truck drivers may abuse alcohol and drugs while operating their vehicles, and this behavior can lead to trucking accidents.
Unbalanced cargo loads and overloaded trailers can also cause trucking accidents. Truck drivers may also use their cell phones while they are driving, and this increases the risk of getting into trucking accidents.
Passenger vehicle occupants are going to suffer more severe injuries during a trucking accident. The National Institute of Traffic and Highway Safety produced a report indicating that approximately 70% of all fatalities and injuries occurring in trucking accidents are sustained by the driver and passengers in the car hit by the truck.
Many of these trucking accidents result in catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities. Trucking accidents cause:
- Limb amputations
- Internal organ injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Rib and torso injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
These types of injuries can affect a person’s life forever. They may never be able to work again due to paralysis, or they may suffer cognitive decline due to a brain injury. Some victims may require years of therapeutic rehabilitation before they recover from their injuries. Many victims will also require daily care from a nurse or other medical professional. In the worst instances, trucking accidents can even end the victim’s life.
Truck accident victims may be able to recover the following types of damages in a trucking accident claim:
- Pain and suffering
- Current and future medical expenses
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost wages
The lawyers at The Patel Firm can help you work with medical experts who will analyze the severity of your injuries and how these will affect your life years and decades down the road. Our team of attorneys will use this information to explain to a judge or jury the exact extent of the damages you suffered as a result of your injuries. These strategies will help us recover the maximum amount of financial compensation for you.
Truck driving accidents are serious, and the injuries suffered by an accident victim are often catastrophic. The complexities of these cases mean that you need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you recover the maximum amount of monetary compensation.
Insurance companies will try to limit the amount of compensation they want to pay out to you, but our Austin trucking accident lawyers can help you protect your legal rights. They can diligently counter the tactics used by insurance companies and handle negotiations for you, leaving you free to focus on your accident recovery.
Our lawyers have years of experience and knowledge needed to litigate complex truck accident cases. They also know the issues and laws involved in these cases, as well as which legal options to explore for getting fair settlements.
We will not allow the insurance companies to reduce or deny your financial compensation. You did not deserve to suffer during a truck driving accident, and you do not deserve to suffer its effects years after your truck driving accident.
Do not rest on your rights. You need to take action today to protect your legal rights and ensure that defending insurance companies cannot argue that you delayed filing your legal claims with the court.
Our attorneys will help you throughout every step of the litigation process, offering legal advice and answering any questions about your lawsuit. There’s no need to stress the intricacies of the law or procedure because this is a service we gladly handle for all our clients.
You can recover from your injuries while we work to push your suit through to settlement or trial. We can promise that we will work with integrity, compassion, and great attention to achieve the financial compensation you and your family deserve. Call our office today at (361) 400-2036 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Austin.