Austin Truck Wreck Attorneys
The trucking industry plays a huge role in our Texas economy, transporting massive amounts of goods and materials throughout our state every day. However, as more and more trucks share our roads with smaller passenger vehicles, it increases the risk of accidents.
The statistics are alarming. In 2010, large trucks were involved in 377 fatal crashes on Texas roads, accounting for 10.8 percent of the nation’s deadly large truck crashes, according to the most recent figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Under any conditions, it can be difficult to operate these huge commercial motor vehicles, which are also commonly called CMVs, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks or big rigs. Because trucking companies and drivers often face high pressure to meet delivery deadlines, it can lead to these trucks being unsafely maintained and recklessly operated.
Because trucks are larger, heavier and frequently travel at higher speeds than other vehicles, the impact from a truck crash can be horrific, producing deadly and catastrophic injuries.
At The Bob Richardson Law Firm, our Texas truck accident attorneys have the skill, experience and resources to protect the rights and interests of those who have been harmed by reckless or negligent trucking. We assist truck accident victims throughout Austin, Waco and the surrounding Texas communities of Round Rock, Georgetown, Killeen, Temple, Cedar Park, Lakeway, Taylor and Belton.
Our goal is to hold careless individuals and trucking companies responsible for the damage they cause and to make sure their victims are fully and fairly compensated.
To learn how we can help you with your truck accident case, call us today toll free at 800-880-5100 or use our online form. We can provide you with a free case evaluation and answer your questions. We won’t charge you for our services unless you recover a verdict or settlement.
About Texas Truck Accidents
In 2010, there were 284 fatal crashes involving tractor-trailer or truck-trailer vehicles and another 2,339 large truck accidents that resulted in serious injuries, according to recent data from the Texas Department of Transportation. Altogether, there were 15,676 reported crashes in Texas involving heavy trucks.
A trucking accident can have a devastating physical, emotional and financial impact on victims and their families. You may be able to recover compensation if you have suffered any of these damages and are able to prove them:
- Medical expenses
- Lost past and future income
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Because trucking is big business, trucking companies and their insurers will vigorously contest any claims against them. That’s why you need an Austin personal injury attorney who will stand by your side.
If negligence or recklessness has caused your truck accident injuries, the semi-truck accident lawyers at The Bob Richardson Law Firm will work tirelessly to secure a verdict or settlement that fairly compensates you. If your loved one suffered a wrongful death in the 18-wheeler accident, your family may be entitled to receive compensation for the loss of your family member’s care and companionship, funeral expenses and the mental anguish you have suffered.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Although there are many reasons why a truck accident can happen, some causes of truck crashes are more common than others. Driver fatigue is a problem of particular concern when it comes to truck accidents, because truckers spend so many hours on the road. However, truck drivers are susceptible to many of the same dangerous behaviors that cause accidents that involve only passenger cars. Distracted driving, impaired driving (especially involving prescription or over the counter medications), speeding and reckless driving are all common causes of truck accidents in Texas and around the country.
Whatever the cause, the Texas truck accident lawyers at The Bob Richardson Law Firm are ready to investigate the truck accident that injured you. We know how to handle litigation that could involve multiple parties, insurance companies and defense lawyers. Above all, we have the dedication to make sure our clients and their families are fully and fairly compensated.
Distracted driving has always been a leading cause of collisions on Texas roads. However, with the increased use of handheld electronic devices over the past decades, distracted driving has become an even bigger concern.
Traditional causes of distracted driving include things such as grooming, eating or sightseeing while driving. In more recent years, behaviors such as using a GPS device, talking on a cell phone or texting while driving have taken over as the leading forms of distracted driving. Texting while driving has been calculated to increase the risk of a crash by 23 times.
Unfortunately, truck drivers are not immune from the hazards of distracted driving, even though piloting an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer clearly requires a driver’s full attention. In fact, some truck drivers are especially prone to distractions behind the wheel because they use cell phones, CBs and other communication devices to pass long hours alone. Many truckers are required to use electronic fleet-management devices, which can also be distracting.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Speeding/reckless driving is the No. 1 factor in traffic accidents throughout the country, and Texas is no exception. In 2011, failing to control speed contributed to 100,036 crashes in Texas. Unsafe lane change was a factor in another 20,564 accidents, failing to yield was a factor in over 70,000 wrecks, and following too closely contributed to 22,157 collisions throughout the state.
Drivers of tractor-trailers are often trying to stick to nearly impossible delivery schedules or are trying to travel those few extra miles in order to earn more money. As a result, truck drivers may be more inclined to speed or drive aggressively. Some drivers operate the truck as if it were a small sports car — weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating and failing to yield. While most truck drivers are courteous and respectful of the rules of the road, there are some who use their vehicle’s size to drive in a reckless manner, endangering everyone else on the roadway.
Driver fatigue is a particularly significant problem among over-the-road truck drivers because of the long hours they spend behind the wheel. Often, those long hours are spent driving alone, which can increase fatigue.
Despite federal rules, known as “hours of service” or HOS rules , that regulate how many hours a truck driver may be on the road without a break, some drivers ignore or intentionally violate those rules — often with at least implied encouragement from their employers. Some trucking companies look the other way when drivers violate HOS rules in an effort to increase profits. The end result may be a drowsy driver operating an 80,000-pound truck, endangering everyone else who shares the road with the big rig.
Truck drivers and other operators of commercial vehicles are subject to random drug screens and are required to pass regular medical examinations to ensure that they are fit to be behind the wheel. Despite these changes, impaired driving is still a leading factor in Texas truck accidents.
Although alcohol impairment continues to be a concern, both legal and illegal drug use is of increasing concern with regard to truck accidents. Truck drivers often turn to illicit drugs or prescription medications to help them stay awake for the long hours they spend on the road. The use of legal prescription or over-the-counter medications can be considered impaired driving if it leads to an inability to properly handle the truck.
Contact Our Texas Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers Today
Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death cases. Depending on the parties involved in your truck accident, the deadline for taking action may arrive even sooner. That’s why it’s important to contact a skilled and experienced Austin truck accident attorney immediately after you’ve been involved in a wreck.
We know how to conduct thorough investigations to determine the cause of the wreck and to identify the different parties who may share responsibility, including the trucker, trucking company, shipper and truck manufacturer.
The Bob Richardson Law Firm uses the latest in technology to develop our cases, and we consult with highly qualified medical, engineering and truck accident reconstruction experts.
If you need legal assistance with your truck accident case in Austin, Waco, Round Rock, Georgetown, Killeen, Temple, Cedar Park, Lakeway, Taylor, Belton or the surrounding Texas communities, call The Bob Richardson Law Firm today toll free at 800-880-5100 or use our online contact form. We do not charge for case evaluations and consultations. You never pay attorney’s fees unless you recover compensation.
How Our Texas Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help You
If you or a loved one has been in a crash involving a large commercial motor vehicle – also known as CMVs, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers and semis – it will be important to contact an attorney right away to make sure important evidence is preserved.
At The Bob Richardson Law Firm, we will want to visit the accident scene shortly after the wreck in order to launch our investigation. We will examine the road, skid marks and debris, and we will inspect your vehicle and the tractor-trailer to determine how the accident occurred. Our accident reconstruction experts will help us to understand the truck’s direction, point of impact and speed it was traveling. Our engineering experts will tell us if problems with the truck itself caused the accident, such as blown tires, soft brakes, hydraulic malfunction or unsecured cargo.
Trucking companies are required by state and federal regulations to maintain repair records, inspection reports and logbooks that document the hours a trucker has been on the road. However, these documents need to be preserved for only a limited time. Once we begin working on your case, we’ll take action to make sure these crucial pieces of evidence remain intact and are turned over to us for review.
Our Texas truck accident lawyers will also seek examinations and medical records of the truck driver to see if health problems contributed to the wreck, such as high blood pressure, vision or hearing issues or drug and alcohol abuse. We’ll also thoroughly investigate the driver’s background to see whether the accident was part of a pattern of negligence or recklessness.
As we compile evidence, we will use the latest technology to preserve records and to build a compelling, persuasive presentation, such as the use of a 3-D computer illustration.
At The Bob Richardson Law Firm, we believe this preparation put us in a solid position when we meet with attorneys representing the various at-fault parties to negotiate a full and fair settlement. If an agreement can’t be reached, our hard work will ultimately prepare us to present your case effectively before a jury.
Even if a settlement or verdict has been obtained in your case, you may still need us at your side to help in collecting the amount that is owed to you by the responsible parties. We want to make sure that you and your family receive the funds you need to carry on.