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When a tractor trailer truck collides with a passenger car, the consequences are often devastating for those in the smaller vehicle. This type of crash frequently leads to severe, life-changing injuries. Many victims require expensive medical treatments and miss weeks or months of work, if they are able to return at all.
The financial effects of a truck accident can add up quickly for victims, and the stress of handling insurance claims as well as day-to-day financial stress is often overwhelming for victims also fighting back from severe injuries. A truck accident lawyer in Austin at Lovins Trosclair can help take the pressure off by handling your insurance claim and ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.
Call us today at 512-535-1649. We are ready to go to work for you.
What causes truck accidents?
Many truck accidents result from the commercial driver making a mistake or acting carelessly behind the wheel. Negligent actions that cause truck accidents include:
- Following too closely
- Changing lanes without looking
- Distracted driving, such as using a cell phone
- Drowsy driving
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence
In other cases, truck accidents occur because another party acted negligently.
This may include crashes due to defective truck parts, negligent service or repairs, or negligent hiring or training on the part of the trucking company.
The Austin truck accident lawyers at Lovins Trosclair can review your case and identify all possible liable parties to ensure you get the maximum payout you deserve from your claim.
Who is liable for my injuries in a Texas truck crash?
In a typical car accident case, you would file a liability claim against the negligent driver to obtain compensation. When the accident is the result of a trucker’s negligence, however, it is often the trucking company and its insurer who is primarily responsible for paying your damages.
Because of a legal concept known as vicarious liability, a trucking company is usually responsible for the actions of its drivers and other employees. Vicarious liability plays a key role in ensuring truck accident victims get all of the compensation they need to pay for prolonged hospital stays, inpatient rehabilitation, ongoing care costs, and lost wages incurred due to the severity of this type of crash.
Under vicarious liability, there is no need to show that the trucking company acted negligently. Instead, you only have to show that the truck driver’s careless actions caused the crash, that your injuries occurred as a result of the collision, and that the truck driver was working for the trucking company when the wreck happened.
A trucking company can also be held responsible for it’s own negligence, such as failing to properly maintain its trucks, failing to properly train its drivers, and forcing drivers onto the roads in dangerous weather conditions.
What laws regulate truck drivers? How do they apply in a truck accident case?
Truck drivers and trucking companies must adhere to much more stringent standards under both state and federal laws.
The intention of these laws, created and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), is to reduce the number of tractor trailer crashes on our nation’s roads. Truckers must follow the procedures outlined in these laws carefully or risk fines, sanctions, and suspensions. The documents these laws require are often crucial in proving the trucking company is liable for your injuries.
Restrictions on Hours of Service: Federal law puts limits on the number of hours truckers can drive without a break and requires regular rest periods between shifts. The purpose of these restrictions is to prevent crashes caused by fatigued drivers. Drivers must log their hours of service, and turn these logs into their employers.
If drivers exceed these limits and cause an accident, victims can hold the driver — and the driver’s employer — liable for any injuries.
Drug Testing: If a semi-truck driver is in an accident, the trucking company must perform a drug and alcohol test as soon as possible to intoxication did not play a role in the crash. Trucking companies should also test drivers randomly, and any time there is a reasonable suspicion to believe the driver is using drugs or alcohol while driving.
Maintenance Records: Drivers and operators of all commercial trucks must properly maintain their vehicles, and keep records of any repairs and maintenance.
Why is a spoliation letter important to my case?
Logs, records and other documents kept by the trucking company are frequently key pieces of evidence in a truck accident case. In order to ensure the trucking company does not destroy any documents that might support your liability claim, you need an Austin truck accident lawyer to send a spoliation letter as soon as possible after a crash.
This letter requires the trucking company preserve important evidence in your case, and paves the way for your legal team to have access to these documents. If the driver suffered from fatigue, was driving drunk, or had not performed proper maintenance, the proof will lie in these records.
Preserving evidence is key to successfully fighting trucking companies. So in addition to spoliation letters, it is important to get an accident reconstructionist to the accident scene to document the crash site and the vehicles involved. Our truck accident attorneys work with accident reconstruction experts throughout the country and have the knowledge needed to protect vital evidence.
What type of damages can I collect from a truck accident claim?
Lovins Trosclair, PLLC works with clients to help them identify all potential damages after a truck accident. We strive to identify every dollar you spent due to the crash to protect you, your family, and your financial health. The damages you may be able to recover include:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Future wages
- Ongoing healthcare costs
- Other accident-related expenses
Because truck accident victims often suffer devastating injuries, recoverable compensation is often significant. In addition to the economic costs, you can recover emotional costs such as pain and suffering. The courts may also award punitive damages in an attempt to prevent the trucking company from repeating the same behavior in the future.
How can Lovins Trosclair help me?
Having an Austin truck accident lawyer on your side after a serious crash is the best way to ensure you get the full amount of compensation you deserve. Lovins Trosclair understands truck versus passenger vehicle crashes, and how to win the biggest payout possible for our clients. We have the experience and ability you need to help you navigate the process of taking on a trucking company — and win.
Call us today at 512-535-1649 to schedule a free case review and initial consultation at our Austin office.