Millions of people suffer injuries in motor vehicle accidents each year across the United States, and thousands lose their lives, often as the result of another driver’s negligence. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36,560 people suffered fatal injuries in vehicle accidents in 2018, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) adds that more than 1 in 10 fatalities on American roadways that year involved large trucks.
Accidents involving semi trucks often lead to serious or fatal injuries, particularly for occupants of passenger vehicles. If you suffered injuries or lost someone you love as the result of a large Travis County truck collision caused by the negligence of the other driver, a tractor trailer accident lawyer serving Austin, TX can help you hold the driver accountable for your damages. Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ today at (713) 850-8600 to speak with our legal team about your case.
Texas Has a High Rate of Tractor Trailer Accidents
Annual reports from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal that Texas consistently leads other states in the number of tractor trailer accidents that occur annually, surpassing California, which ranks number two, by a landslide. Oilfields and the prevalence of the trucking industry may contribute to this statistic, and traffic congestion in major metropolitan areas increases the risk of accidents, as well.
In 2018, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recorded 636 large truck accidents in Travis County alone that year. Unfortunately, Austin’s track record for unsafe driving does not help. Allstate’s annual America’s Best Drivers Report 2019 ranked the 200 largest U.S. cities according to their average number of collisions per year, and Austin came in at 160 after falling one spot from the year prior. If you suffered injuries in an Austin truck accident, a lawyer can help you pursue financial recovery.
The Dangers of Tractor Trailer Accidents
The IIHS emphasizes that the inherent dangers of tractor trailers make accidents involving them riskier than those between two passenger vehicles. Their size and weight alone play a major role in the often-fatal consequences of semi truck accidents; they typically weigh 20 to 30 times more than other vehicles on the road, and their length makes the involvement of multiple vehicles more likely. They also have a higher ground clearance, which can allow cars to slide underneath them under certain circumstances, and a much longer braking time than passenger vehicles, which can make stopping quickly difficult.
Truck drivers have a responsibility to take the hazards associated with their vehicles into consideration while operating them. When they fail to do so, they can cause serious accidents. If you or someone you love suffered severe or fatal injuries in a truck collision, a tractor trailer accident lawyer serving Austin, TX can help you pursue financial awards.
The Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents
Tractor trailer accidents occur for many reasons, and sometimes more than one can contribute to the collision. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) conducted a study on large truck accidents in Texas to determine prevalent causes and discover potential solutions. Of the nearly 2,800 accidents researchers studied from across 20 counties in Texas, they found the involvement of human error in almost all of them.
Some of the human errors attributed to truck drivers included:
- Driver fatigue
- Failure to brake
- Failure to yield
- Improper lane usage
If a tractor trailer driver in Austin caused your accident, D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ can help you hold them accountable for the injuries they caused you. Contact us today at (713) 850-8600 to discuss your case with our legal team.
A Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer Serving Austin, TX Can Help You Pursue Financial Recovery
In Texas, the person responsible for causing a tractor trailer accident must provide coverage for the victims’ injuries. A lawyer can help you determine liability for the accident by proving that the other driver’s actions met the criteria for legal negligence, which include a duty of care to you, a breach of that duty of care, injuries caused by the breach of duty, and damages that result from your injuries.
Evidence That May Help Your Case
An attorney can help you build your case by gathering evidence from the accident. These items may include:
- Photos and videos from the scene of the accident, particularly of skid marks, property damage, debris, and injuries
- Police reports
- Medical records and bills
- Cell phone records
- Eyewitness testimony
- Information from the truck’s black box
In some cases, your own testimony may help your case, as well.
Dealing With the Insurance Company
Despite the fact that they have an obligation to provide coverage for the victims’ injuries or the loss of their loved one, they often try to get away with providing as small a settlement as possible. They may try to take advantage of you during your difficult time by blaming you for the accident or underestimating the value of your damages to avoid cutting into their profit.
Sometimes, adjusters will reach out to you right away with a settlement amount. This may seem convenient, as it prevents the need to commit to a long and sometimes complex claims process. However, they will likely offer this amount to you before you have had a chance to evaluate your damages, and if you accept, the settlement will likely not cover your injuries.
Types of Financial Awards You May Receive
Settlements involve one or more types of awards, depending on the circumstances of your case. They may include financial recovery for:
- Emergency medical care, rehabilitation, and other ongoing healthcare expenses resulting from the injury
- Lost wages if you had to take time off work to recover
- Loss of earning capacity if your injuries prevented you from returning to work or you lost a loved one who provided you with financial support
- Pain and suffering for your physical and emotional distress
- The cost of the funeral and burial if you lost a loved one in the accident
A lawyer cannot guarantee you a certain amount in your tractor trailer accident claim, but they can help you assess your damages and seek adequate financial awards for your injuries.
Contact D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™ Today to Get Started on Your Case
Suffering injuries or losing a loved one in a tractor trailer accident presents enough hardships on its own, and the idea of pursuing legal action against the at-fault party may feel overwhelming. With the attorneys at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, you do not have to manage your case alone. Contact us today at (713) 850-8600 to speak with our legal team about your case evaluation.