Austin Truck Accident Lawyer
Large trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds can cause serious damage, injury, or death, when involved in a collision.
Semitrailers pose a much higher risk of crash-related injury and death, because of their size – up to 59 feet long and weighing between 20,000 and 80,000 pounds. Professional truck drivers receive training on how to safely operate their rigs, but semis still cause numerous accidents every year.
While road conditions, visibility, and other traffic hazards may contribute to crashes, driver error or faulty maintenance is often to blame. And when those errors constitute negligence, those who are injured may be entitled to compensation. If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, find out if you have a case – call us today at (855) 414-1012.
Commercial Truck Maintenance
Semis and tractor-trailers have a much longer stopping distance than a typical passenger vehicle. Federal law requires that when driving 60 mph, they must be able to stop within 250 feet when carrying a full load, or 235 feet when carrying a light load (an exception exists for “very heavy severe service tractors,” which must stop within 310 feet).
Even under ideal driving conditions, a driver may be unable to avoid a sudden traffic hazard, such as an accident that occurs in front of the truck or another motorist who crosses the truck’s path. When brakes are faulty or poorly maintained, a driver may have further difficulty stopping, or even be unable to stop at all.
Each year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts its International Road Check – a 72-hour enforcement effort that enlists thousands of officials to inspect commercial trucks and buses in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Inspectors look for out-of-service violations, which include structural or mechanical problems that make a truck unsafe for roadways. In 2014, inspectors placed 18.7 percent of inspected vehicles out-of-service, finding:
- 7 percent of trucks had brake adjustment problems
- 5 percent of trucks had brake system problems
- 8 percent of truck tires or wheels did not pass inspection
- 5 percent of drivers had violated Hours-of-Service rules.
Hours-of-Service rules are intended to keep drivers from working too many hours and driving while tired. Drivers who are paid by the mile may try to skirt those rules in order to earn more money. But sleep deprivation – especially when driving a poorly maintained truck – could increase a driver’s risk for a crash.
When a mechanical failure or defect causes a crash, it may not be readily apparent, especially when vehicles are heavily damaged. Investigators may need weeks to pinpoint a cause. But when you’re injured in an accident and contact a lawyer right away, you’ll be prepared to act quickly, once the cause is determined.
Compensation for Truck Accidents in Austin
When an accident claims the life of a parent, families may be entitled to damages that can help them care for the children.
In 2013, a jury awarded $165 million to the family of a man killed in a Dimmitt County accident. The victim – a decorated war veteran with seven children – was driving when a driveshaft from a nearby commercial truck broke loose and crashed through his windshield, killing him. A jury found that the operator of the truck fleet, which was a subsidiary of another corporation, was liable for the crash, because improper maintenance caused the drive shaft failure. In 2014, the subsidiary’s parent company announced terms of the settlement had changed, and been reduced, and that it would pay a lump settlement of $5.5 million to the family to fully resolve the claim.
Getting The Help You Need
If you’ve been injured in a car crash because of a truck driver’s negligence or faulty vehicle, you want a lawyer who understands how to get the compensation you need to cover your losses. The Evans Law Firm has achieved favorable settlements for numerous clients in trucking accident cases. Call us today at (855) 414-1012, or fill out our online contact form, and find out what we can do for you.