According to a 2022 Safer Trucking Report, Texas had the most truck crash fatalities in the country. In 2021, truck and commercial vehicle accidents killed over 700 people in the Lone Star State.
While in Travis County, home to beloved Austin, trucks and other commercial vehicles were involved in over 598 crashes, resulting in 19 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Trucks wreak havoc in part because of their massive weight and size. For instance, Texas rules allow a fully loaded truck to weigh 80,000 pounds. It is clear why truck accidents can be especially devastating.
Truck drivers and others who do not put safety first should be financially responsible for the accidents and injuries their negligence causes.
What Are the Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
Numerous factors may contribute to a truck crash. Not every truck accident is caused by driver error.
For instance, when a mechanic fails to repair faulty brakes properly, and the truck ends up in a runaway accident, the mechanic might be responsible for the resulting damages.
However, there are some contributing factors investigators and attorneys frequently encounter, including the following:
- Aggressive driving;
- Driving too fast for road conditions;
- Driving drunk or under the influence of drugs;
- Distracted driving;
- Truck driver fatigue;
- A truck driver’s failure to stop at a traffic signal, stop sign, or crosswalk;
- Truck driver inexperience or unfamiliarity with the road;
- Brake failure;
- Poor weather conditions;
- Road construction;
- Traffic congestion;
- Negligent truck inspection and maintenance;
- Manufacturer and parts defects; and
- Cargo imbalance.
Unfortunately, any of these factors can lead to catastrophic truck crashes. Several of these causes can be present at the same time, and they can all contribute to the same accident.
If you have been in a truck crash, an Austin truck accident lawyer can investigate your case, help you determine your accident’s cause, and work with you to determine what your next steps should be.
Who Is Liable for My Truck Accident?
One of the ways truck accidents differ from typical car accidents is that there are a number of different parties that might be responsible for the crash.
Sometimes, more than one party might be responsible. For instance, bigger trucking companies sometimes forgo complying with Federal Motor Carrier Association rules to save money, cargo loaders sometimes fail to inspect or secure cargo properly, and drivers unwittingly drive trucks with defective parts that fail during transit.
When it comes to truck accidents, any of the following parties might be liable for your injuries:
- The truck’s owner;
- The truck’s driver;
- Other passenger vehicle drivers;
- Trucking companies;
- Truck manufacturers;
- Truck parts manufacturers;
- Truck part retailers;
- Cargo loaders; or
Because trucking commerce involves many parties, it takes a skilled Austin truck accident attorney to pinpoint who can be held liable for your injury.
An Austin trucking accident lawyer will thoroughly investigate your accident so that they can identify all of the potentially liable parties.
How Do I Prove Liability?
Given the number of potential causes for a truck accident and the number of potentially liable parties, truck accident investigations can be complicated and time-consuming.
However, there are things you can do to help your attorney collect vital evidence, including the following:
- File a police report. Texas Transportation Code §550.062 requires an officer investigating a vehicle crash that results in injury to or the death of a person, or damage to property of $1,000 or more, to submit a written report to the Texas Department of Transportation no later than the tenth day after the date of the crash.
- Take photos of your injuries, the damage done to your vehicle, and other vehicles involved in the accident. Make sure you document all property damage, weather conditions, road hazards, traffic signs or signals, and any other relevant details.
- Take photos of the surrounding area. Look for nearby homes and businesses that may have surveillance footage we may be able to use to prove what happened before, during, and after your crash.
- Do not admit to fault or anything incriminating. Consult an attorney before speaking to the police or an insurance company so that you do not accidentally say something that could imply you were responsible for the crash.
- Interview eyewitnesses. Be sure to exchange contact information with anyone who observed the crash and other accident victims. Witnesses may be able to provide testimony that will support your claim.
- Keep track of all paperwork. Documentation that can help your attorney prove liability and damages includes medical bills, police reports, repair invoices, email communications or letters between you and your employer or insurance company, and emails or text messages with witnesses.
At Armstrong Lee & Baker, our truck accident attorneys also work closely with experts, engineers, medical professionals, and forensics specialists to establish liability, ensuring we build a robust case before asking for a fair recovery amount.
Read more about the average settlement amount for truck accidents in Texas.
Contact an Austin Trucking Accident Lawyer Today
Contact an Austin trucking accident lawyer today. The last thing you want to deal with after a truck accident is the heartache of navigating a lawsuit on your own.
If you need an Austin trucking accident lawyer, the lawyers at Armstrong Lee & Baker are here to fight for your rights and get you the care you need.
Our experienced Austin truck accident lawyers can answer your truck accident questions, explain your options, and advocate for your best interest during negotiations and, if need be, at trial.
Thanks to our client-centered approach, we have won millions of dollars in compensation that has helped accident victims get their lives back on track.
We offer free consultations and never take a fee unless we win. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.