Austin 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer
Eighteen-wheeler accidents are an unfortunate reality of Austin’s highways. Across the country, hundreds of thousands of drivers are injured each year in accidents with commercial vehicles, often due to the poor judgment and recklessness of 18-wheeler drivers.
These accidents are different from other types of truck or car accidents because they frequently result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Injuries from 18-wheeler accidents may be life-altering, resulting in significant financial losses such as medical costs and lost income.
Additionally, motor carriers and 18-wheeler drivers may have a history of negligence and regulation violations, which can be a factor in a commercial vehicle accident case. Because these accidents can be more serious, financially damaging and legally complex, victims may struggle to understand how best to proceed with their case.
Additionally, motor vehicle carriers and insurance providers may make it difficult for victims to get adequate compensation and may hide the ball about the amount of insurance coverage actually available.
In some instances, the 18-wheeler truck drivers or their carriers might try to hide or destroy evidence that is important to your case. A personal injury firm that is committed to education, transparency, and advocacy, like FVF Law in Austin, can help you fully understand your rights and options so you make good decisions moving forward with your case. Contact our truck accident lawyers in Austin today to discuss your case.
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Truck accidents in general are disruptive, stressful, and confusing. However, when your accident involves an 18-wheeler, this can be an especially frustrating and draining time. Eighteen-wheeler accidents are typically much more severe than accidents between two smaller vehicles.
These collision cases are often more complex and may require more diligence and persistence to obtain compensation since the injuries are usually significant and it takes time and resources to fully understand all the people and companies who need to be held accountable.
Driver fatigue and motor carrier negligence.
Commercial drivers are frequently encouraged to work long hours without adequate rest. Although the government mandates rest periods through Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, many carriers bend or even break these rules, encouraging drivers to falsify records about their rest periods and continue driving while fatigued. This practice is well documented, and in fact, 18-wheeler drivers have some of the highest on-the-job mortality and accident rates in the country. By ignoring rules that require rest, 18-wheeler motor carriers are acting negligently and can be held responsible for their behavior. However, proving potential negligence takes more time to investigate and more willingness to fight on the part of your lawyer — which is why it’s important to hire the right legal representation in these cases.
Alcohol and drug use.
Due to the demanding nature of their work, many 18-wheeler drivers abuse drugs and alcohol, and they may be driving under the influence of these substances. If alcohol or drug use is a factor in your case, police will generally initiate a criminal investigation, which can extend the length of your case by limiting access to important evidence. Pending criminal charges can also complicate your case, since it will involve both criminal proceedings and a separate civil suit for damages.
Along with driver fatigue and alcohol and drug use, many 18-wheeler commercial drivers engage in dangerous behaviors behind the wheel. For example, drivers may be eating, using their phones, or otherwise distracted while driving. Since drivers spend much of their lives on the road, it’s not uncommon for them to engage in distracting behaviors like these while they drive. They may also drive recklessly, speeding, tailgating, and unsafely changing lanes in order to reach their destination faster. Proving that these behaviors caused your injuries often takes the expertise of a skilled 18-wheeler accident attorney, and the specific facts leading up to your accident can have an impact on the value of your case.
Severity of injuries.
The injuries sustained by victims of Austin 18-wheeler accidents are often quite serious, simply due to the size and weight of these large vehicles. Serious injuries bring high and long-term medical costs, other financial losses, and changes to the victim’s quality of life. Generally speaking, these types of losses, especially when permanent, demand a need for higher compensation. Anytime an insurance company faces potential liability for large damages, you can expect a harder fight before resolution. Without the counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer that understands how to build a case, you can expect an insurance company will try to take advantage of you and pay you as little as possible.
Multiple insurance policies.
Drivers and motor carriers often carry their own separate insurance policies, which can complicate your case. You will need to identify all parties who might be legally accountable for your harms and losses to make sure you have a clear picture about what proceeds might be available to recover. In addition, your own auto insurance provider might be liable to pay a claim for injuries you sustain in an 18-wheeler accident. Navigating this aspect of an 18-wheeler accident case is one of the most valuable roles of a personal injury lawyer.
Wrongful death cases.
When an 18-wheeler accident results in a fatality, the surviving spouse, children and parents have the legal right to assert a claim for wrongful death. Because of the magnitude of this loss, it is critically important to fully understand your rights and what remedies are available under Texas law for a fatal 18-wheeler accident in Austin. Moreover, surviving family members may need to understand and handle the details of the deceased’s estate, which is a confusing and complicated process. A qualified 18-wheeler accident lawyer can help you understand the role of the probate process in a fatal accident case and make sure the estate is handled appropriately.
Beyond the claims available to the surviving spouse, children and parents, Texas law also allows the deceased’s estate to bring its own legal claim based on what the deceased went through from the time of the accident until their death. This is called a “survival” action, and losses include medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and physical impairment.
For these and other reasons, it makes sense to consult with an Austin 18-wheeler accident lawyer who can help you understand what needs to be done to help you start putting your life back together after a fatal 18-wheeler accident.
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Although hiring a lawyer is not necessarily the right choice for every accident victim, it’s always a good idea to at least speak to an attorney so you can understand your rights and make the most informed choices about your case.
More specifically, an attorney can provide the following benefits for the accident victims they consult with:
FVF Law has an exceptional history of providing expert guidance and compassionate support to injury victims in Austin . Every FVF Law lawyer strives to give semi-truck accident victims as much information as possible in a pressure-free environment so they can make the best choice for their case, starting at the very beginning. More specifically, here’s what our law firm brings to the table:
Regardless of how you decide to proceed with your 18-wheeler accident case, we invite you to speak with one of our legal experts. Our goal for these consultations is to help accident victims understand which actions make the most sense for their case. Contact us today for a free case consultation with an FVF Law lawyer. Our experienced attorneys will offer support and guidance during this difficult phase so you can begin to put your accident behind you.
There are many common causes of 18-wheeler collisions, including driver distraction, driver fatigue, driver intoxication, driver negligence, and failing to meet 18-wheeler regulations. A trucking accident can be a jarring, life-altering event, so it can be difficult for the victim of such an accident to assess the cause on the scene. An experienced attorney may be able to help identify the cause by seeking out evidence and evaluating it while you focus on your recovery.
Following an 18-wheeler truck accident in Austin, victims can seek damages for things such as medical expenses, lost wages, wrongful death, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering. However, that can be rather difficult to do when you’re dealing with injuries, loss of your car, etc. An experienced attorney can help establish what damages you may be owed.
Simply because of their sheer size, 18-wheelers can do a lot more damage than your average vehicle. As a result, accidents involving 18-wheelers typically result in higher damages than standard passenger vehicle accidents, both to those involved and to their vehicles.
Insurance companies for trucking companies often try to minimize responsibility, liability, and damages. After all, they are in the business of protecting their bottom lines. If you’ve been offered a settlement, it may be helpful to discuss your case with an attorney who can evaluate whether the settlement is sufficient or not. Remember, even if you walk away from an accident with a truck, internal injuries may become apparent later on, so it’s rather important to ensure that the responsible party provides enough coverage to help you fully recover.
In Texas, which is a comparative negligence state, even if a victim is somewhat responsible for their accident, they can still recover damages as long as they are less than 50% responsible. An experienced attorney like those at FVF Law can help with that calculation.
If you were injured in a 18 wheeler accident, our experienced attorneys at FVF Law can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us now to schedule a free initial consultation, or contact us online.
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