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FVF Law: Austin Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers

Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyers Serving Austin

Any serious accident can leave you feeling extremely vulnerable. You may be suffering from severe physical pain and emotional trauma, and on top of it all, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost you. It’s normal to be uncertain about what steps you should be taking to make sure you are protecting yourself from being taken advantage of and to ensure that you’re getting the medical care you need to put your life back together.

When you have been hit by a commercial vehicle, however, the period immediately following can be an especially confusing and distressing time. The decisions you make, including how you communicate with insurance companies and whether you seek medical care, can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your case. It is important to have a basic understanding of what it takes to build the strongest case, and an experienced commercial truck accident lawyer will help educate you as part of an initial consultation.

What Type of Compensation Can I Pursue During a Texas Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawsuit?

Austin commercial vehicle accidents typically are much more damaging than passenger vehicle accidents. As a result, higher compensation is typically necessary to cover the victim’s damages and losses that occurred from the accident. Types of compensation victims can pursue include can include: 

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages or diminished future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Other expenses related to the accident

 

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A commercial vehicle is defined as any motor vehicle used to transport goods or paying passengers — everything from semi-trucks and trailers, to pickup trucks and vans, to delivery service trucks and rideshares, to taxis and buses. Essentially, if a vehicle is owned by a company and used mainly for business transport, it’s classified as a commercial vehicle

Collisions involving these vehicles are frequently more serious than those between two smaller vehicles, owing to the weight and size of commercial trucks and the conditions that professional drivers work under. And while every driver has the responsibility to uphold the rules of the road and operate his or her vehicle safely, there are some special considerations that may add complexity to a commercial vehicle accident case.

Here are a few things to consider as you begin thinking about how to best handle your personal injury case.

  • Multiple insurance policies. Professional drivers and the companies that employ them often maintain separate insurance policies. This can complicate truck accident cases since you will need to establish which party is responsible. Drivers may be independent contractors, or they may be direct employees of a single commercial vehicle motor carrier or business. The employee status of the driver will affect who is responsible for paying for damages.

Resolving a case like this also requires the claimant to communicate with multiple parties in order to obtain documentation detailing these relationships and the insurance policies of each party. An experienced truck accident lawyer will take the reins throughout this process, managing communication and demanding the cooperation of insurance providers, drivers, and the trucking company that hired them.

  • Loading and transporting freight. Drivers have the responsibility to load and secure freight properly. Austin drivers must comply with regulations governed by the Texas DMV and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, including weight and size restrictions, safe loading and unloading practices, and proper securing of freight. When vehicle operators fail to abide by these rules, they can be held responsible for negligence. An Austin lawyer familiar with motor carrier regulations will be able to help you determine whether improper loading and unloading was a factor in your case.

 

  • Large vehicles and high damages. Many commercial trucks are very large and extremely heavy. For context, the gross weight limit in Texas for trucks is 80,000 pounds. The impact of a collision with one of these vehicles can be extreme, often causing severe injuries and devastating losses as a result. Additionally, large, bulky trucks and trailers can be difficult to operate safely, which can also be a factor in crashes.

Many large truck accident cases have resulted in serious, life-threatening injuries or even fatalities, so it can require significant work and resources to properly prove the full extent of the harms and losses caused by the collision. This can complicate your case since it will take more diligence on the part of your lawyer to prove these losses and a greater willingness to fight to secure an exceptional outcome.

  • Driver fatigue. The professional driving industry is very demanding. Drivers are frequently encouraged to work long hours without adequate rest. Drowsy driving is a known cause of collisions; in fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigued driving is responsible for an estimated 100,000 accidents a year. Professional commercial drivers, who are often on the road for many hours at a time without rest, and frequently at night, are at a much higher risk for drowsy driving collisions. To combat this, the departments that regulate commercial driving mandate documented rest periods for drivers.

However, in some cases, negligent training and management practices can actually contribute to driver fatigue — and the wrecks that occur as a result. When there is documented evidence that these companies encourage or even force drivers to operate commercial vehicles without rest, the organizations may be held responsible for your damages. Investigating and documenting these practices takes considerable effort and expertise, so it is worth contacting an attorney if you think drowsy driving was a factor in your case.

  • Drug and alcohol use. Similarly, the demands of commercial carrying lead many drivers to alcohol and drug use, which can impair their ability to operate a vehicle safely. Studies have found that drivers frequently abuse substances such as marijuana, alcohol, methamphetamines, and cocaine. All of these drugs seriously impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely — and, of course, driving while under the influence is illegal.

When substance abuse is a factor in your case, the police will typically initiate a criminal investigation. This can delay the process of suing for damages, since some evidence may not be available to you during the criminal process. Contacting an Austin commercial vehicle lawyer will help you navigate the aspects of a criminal and civil trial and reach a verdict or settlement as quickly as possible.

Vehicle malfunction. Drivers and the commercial truck carriers that hire them both play a role in maintaining vehicles. Drivers are responsible for reporting vehicle issues, while motor carriers must attend to these problems and complete regular maintenance on their fleet of vehicles. When either party fails to fulfill these obligations, it may be held responsible for the damage they cause.

Why Should You Hire a Commercial Vehicle Accident Lawyer for Your Case?

Not every accident case requires the expertise of an attorney, but when commercial vehicles are involved, it’s wise to at least contact an attorney before you decide how to proceed.

Here’s what they will bring to your Austin commercial vehicle accident case:

  • Experience. As you can see from the factors above, investigating and determining liability in these cases can be quite a complex process. Lawyers familiar with these types of cases understand the regulations that govern the commercial driving industry, and they know how to obtain documentation and testimony that help prove whether drivers, the trucking company, or other parties have failed to meet their obligations. They also understand the various parties involved in such an accident case and know how to communicate with them in a way that will not jeopardize your case.
  • Education. A client-focused lawyer will also serve as an educational resource throughout the process. They will help you understand your options for obtaining and paying for medical treatment, as well as the types of damages and losses for which you may be eligible to receive compensation. A great law firm, like Austin’s FVF, can even guide you through the process of creating an estate and navigating the probate process in the event of a fatality.
  • Support. Dealing with the aftermath of a commercial vehicle accident is a draining experience, emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially. Having an experienced professional in your corner helps you focus on your recovery. Attorneys can also offer financial support, helping you negotiate payments with hospitals and medical providers, identifying funds to help you afford bills, and deferring payment for their legal services until after — or if — you receive a settlement.
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How FVF Can Help with Your Austin Commercial Vehicle Accident Case

While a commercial vehicle accident lawyer can serve as a valuable resource to you throughout your personal injury case, it’s important to choose the right one. Austin and San Antonio residents can benefit from the experience and integrity of our firm. We work hard to handle each case with the highest level of transparency, expertise, and compassion. Here’s what our team brings to the table.

  • Education-first approach. In a trucking accident case, information is often your most powerful asset. Our approach at FVF Law is to educate clients so they can make the best decisions for their health, financial situation, and legal case. We focus on getting you the information you need to make well-informed choices, regardless of how you decide to proceed.
  • Years of experience. With over 70 years of combined experience on staff, you can rest assured that your Austin commercial vehicle accident case is in capable hands with FVF. We’ve handled hundreds of personal injury suits, earning a sterling case record in the process.
  • Reputation for excellence. At FVF Law, we put clients first. Our commitment to accident victims has helped us achieve stellar results, earning our firm both a reputation as a leader among Austin commercial vehicle accident lawyers and excellent reviews on Yelp, Google, and AVVO.
  • Ethical mission. One of our chief goals at FVF Law is to improve the reputation of personal injury law, one case at a time. We strive to handle each case with the utmost transparency, honesty, and integrity, offering accident victims straightforward and sincere advice.
  • Pressure-free consultation. When you contact our team for a free case evaluation, we’ll give you a rundown of your options, not a hard sell. We simply want Austin accident victims to make the best choices for their case, rather than feel pressured to engage our services.
  • Compassionate counsel. Behind every accident case is a human being, living through what is perhaps one of the most difficult experiences of their lives. Our firm treats you with dignity and compassion, working with you to help you through this difficult time.

Commercial vehicle accident victims in Austin deserve to have a clear understanding of their rights and options after a collision. Even if you decide not to pursue your case, you can still benefit from our expertise by contacting us today for a free evaluation. Together, we’ll review the facts of your case and help you decide whether hiring a lawyer makes sense for you as you work to recover from your collision.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will a Truck Accident Lawsuit Take?

The amount of time a case takes to settle a truck accident case in Austin depends on many factors. They include the time it takes to conduct an investigation into the cause of the accident, the cost of a victim’s medical treatments, negotiations between the insurer and the victim, and who is deemed responsible for the accident. Because every case is different and often complex in its own way, it’s a wise move to work with an experienced attorney, such as the Austin commercial vehicle accident lawyers at FVF Law. That way, you don’t have to worry about dealing with all the legal details while you recover. 

Who Can Be Held Responsible for My Truck Accident?

When it comes to Austin truck accidents, many possible parties that can be held responsible, such as the truck driver, the trucking company, the cargo company, the maintenance crew, and the truck manufacturer. Other factors will come to bear on who can be held responsible, such as the cause of the accident. An experienced attorney can help you determine where responsibility rests.

Who Is Responsible for My Medical Bills?

A truck accident settlement can help you recover most, if not all, of the medical expenses. But until a settlement is issued, you are responsible for covering your medical bills. For those who cannot afford medical treatment while they pursue their settlement, some insurers may cover the costs as long as the victim pays them back out of the future settlement. 

What if the Driver Was a Contractor?

Trucking companies often say that they are not responsible for truck accidents because their drivers are independent contractors. However, federal regulations ensure trucking companies can’t use this as a way to avoid responsibility. So, if you hear this response from a trucking company, get in touch with a trucking accident lawyer like those at FVF law, who can stand up for you. 

Are Commercial Vehicle Accident Damages Valued Differently Than Car Crashes in Austin, Texas?

Commercial insurance policies normally have a larger liability limit, since trucks can do much more damage than cars can. That means that often, commercial vehicle accidents are valued differently than standard passenger vehicle accidents. An experienced attorney, such as the Austin commercial vehicle accident lawyers at FVF Law, can help make the best case for your specific circumstances.

Do I Have a Case?

If you’ve been a victim o a commercial vehicle accident, getting an experienced and caring attorney on your side means you can focus on healing from any injuries incurred and getting the recompense you need to cover all the costs associated with your recovery. Contact the Austin commercial vehicle accident lawyers at FVF Law to get a consultation today.

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