Austin Truck Accident Lawyers
The people who suffer the most severe injuries in commercial truck accidents often are not the truck drivers. Instead, they are the others involved in the crash.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that out of the nearly 4,000 people who died in the U.S. in truck accidents during one recent year:
- 69 percent were car and other passenger vehicle occupants
- 15 percent were pedestrians, motorcyclists or bicyclists.
There is a reason for this: The tractor-trailers (or “18-wheelers”) we encounter on our roads are massive. They often weigh 20 to 30 times as much as passenger vehicles. They also have greater ground clearance. Smaller vehicles can readily “underride” a semi when a crash occurs.
As we have seen at Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP, the majority of these commercial truck accidents should never happen in the first place. They result from the careless decisions made by truckers, trucking companies and others within the trucking industry.
We Protect the Rights of Austin Commercial Truck Accident Victims
Our lawyers help truck accident victims and their families in Austin and throughout Texas to hold negligent parties accountable. We are committed to aggressively pursuing all compensation that our clients are due.
Our firm offers experienced litigators who are well-versed in the many complex issues involved in commercial truck accident cases. We bring more than 50 years of personal injury and wrongful death law experience to the clients we serve and a record of delivering positive results.
Our lawyers have received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Rating (the highest peer review rating possible). They are also listed in Texas Super Lawyers® and in Best Lawyers® by U.S. News & World Report – both based on peer review. We encourage you to read their profiles and learn more about their highly professional, compassionate and ethical approach to serving clients.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a collision with a commercial truck, we want to help you. Taking immediate action is crucial. Connect with us today for a free consultation. We can discuss your case at our Austin office, by phone or at a location that is most convenient for you.
Truck Accident Case Testimonial
“I hired Don to represent my 3-year-old son who sustained a permanent brain injury resulting from a collision between an automobile and a passenger bus. In what became a rather complicated case which eventually went to trial after several years, Don displayed the knowledge, ethics and passion for which he is known. …”
– Raif C, Bus Accident Client
How Can Our Attorneys Help After an Austin Commercial Truck Accident?
Our experience with cases involving large commercial trucks makes a difference for our clients. We understand the many challenging aspects of these cases, including:
- Types of accidents – Unlike collisions that involve two passenger vehicles, underride crashes (where the car goes beneath the trailer) and jackknife accidents (where the trailer spins away from the tractor at an angle) can occur when one of the vehicles is an 18-wheeler.
- Immediate investigation – You must act quickly in order to preserve, gather and analyze evidence after a truck accident. This evidence can include photos from the accident scene, black box data, driver logbooks, inspection and maintenance records and the tractor-trailer itself. Driver drug and alcohol tests must also be preserved.
- Involvement of multiple parties – In addition to the truck driver, many other parties may be responsible for an 18-wheeler crash such as the trucking company, mechanics, warehouse operators, shipping brokers and truck manufacturers. A claim must identify all of these parties, including those based in different states or countries.
- Violations of state and federal regulations – A complex network of state and federal rules govern the trucking industry in Texas. Many of these regulations are designed to prevent accidents such as rules that require mandatory inspections or limit the number of hours that drivers can be on the road. A violation of these rules may establish negligence in a commercial truck accident claim.
- Commercial driver insurance policies – Texas law and federal law set higher minimum liability insurance requirements for commercial motor vehicles. The limits are significantly higher if a truck carries hazardous materials.
The lawyers of Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP, will use our skill, knowledge and resources to tackle these issues and pursue maximum compensation for you and your family through a truck accident settlement or verdict. We may also consult with highly qualified experts in accident reconstruction, engineering, truck industry safety and other fields.
What Causes Truck Accidents in Texas?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that, in 2015, 60 percent of fatal large truck accidents occurred on rural roads, while 25 percent occurred on interstate routes such as I-35 in Travis County.
Many factors contribute to these commercial truck crashes. However, truck driver error serves as one of the leading factors. Examples of careless or reckless truck driving include:
- Traveling above the speed limit or going too fast for conditions
- Failing to keep adequate surveillance of the roadway and surrounding traffic
- Making an illegal maneuver such as tailgating, failing to yield, or turning or changing lanes without a signal
- Driving while distracted by activities such as texting, talking on a cell phone, eating, drinking or playing with a GPS device
- Driving while impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs or over-the-counter medications
- Driving while excessively drowsy.
If a truck driver engaged in any of these negligent acts, the driver could be held responsible for the harm that he or she causes to others.
The trucking company that employed the driver could be liable, too, based on the driver’s negligence. In some cases, the trucking company’s own negligence may be a factor in a crash. For instance, the company may be liable if it:
- Hired a driver without conducting a sufficient background check
- Failed to properly train and/or supervise the driver
- Allowed a vehicle to hit the road without adequate inspection and/or maintenance
- Put pressure on a driver to violate state and federal safety regulations.
Other factors that commonly cause tractor-trailer crashes include:
- Negligent repairs by mechanics
- Careless loading of trailers by warehouse operators (causing cargo to shift or spill)
- Hiring of unqualified drivers by shipping brokers.
In some cases, a crash may be due to a defective truck or truck parts such as tires, wheels, brakes, steering mechanisms, couplings, hitches and safety chains. The manufacturer can and should be held liable.
What Compensation Can You Recover in a Texas Truck Accident Lawsuit?
Truck Accident Injuries
Because of the huge discrepancy in size and weight between large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, victims of large truck accidents can suffer serious or fatal injuries. Common truck accident injuries include:
- Rib and torso injuries
- Seat belt injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
At Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP, we understand the severe impact of these injuries on victims and their families. We want to help them to move on with their lives with a feeling of security.
Truck Accident Cases
In your truck accident case, we can seek damages that may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
We prepare cases for success in the courtroom. When the other parties in a truck accident case see that we are ready to win in court, we believe, they will be more likely to offer a settlement that justly compensates our client.
Our Austin Truck Accident Lawyers Are Ready to Help You
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a traffic crash with a large commercial truck, it is important to consult with a skilled and knowledgeable Austin truck accident lawyer as soon as possible.
When you work with Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP, you will receive personal attention directly from your attorney. You can count on our firm to work diligently in the pursuit of a favorable outcome for you and your family.
We founded our firm more than 50 years ago on the principles of honesty, integrity, hard work and professionalism. We continue that tradition today.
Contact us to discuss your case in a timely and free consultation.
Sources / More Information
- Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2015, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- Large Truck Crash Causation Study – Analysis Brief, FMCSA
- Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics – 2015, Texas Department of Transportation
- Large Trucks, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety