Due to their size and weight, 18-wheeler trucks can cause severe damage when involved in an accident. The safety features of a passenger vehicle are rarely up to the task of absorbing an impact from an oversized truck. After an accident with an 18-wheeler, you will likely face significant medical costs, which can be difficult to cover on your own.
Fortunately, our experienced Austin 18-wheeler truck accident attorneys can help you recover the compensation you need to cover your damages. At the Buzbee Law Firm, we are committed to helping accident victims recover the compensation they need to put their lives back together after a collision.
Who Is Liable for an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident?
Determining liability in any accident can be tricky. However, things tend to be especially complicated when one of the involved vehicles is an 18-wheeler truck. In most cases, you will have many potentially liable parties, all trying to shift blame away from themselves. Fortunately, an experienced truck accident lawyer can help sort through the chaos and assess liability.
Parties that are commonly liable in an 18-wheeler truck accident include:
- The commercial truck driver
- The trucking company
- The company that loaded the cargo
- The 18-wheeler truck manufacturer
- Another driver involved in the crash
- A third-party driver not directly involved in the accident but whose actions caused the wreck to occur
- The government body responsible for maintaining the roads where the collision occurred
For a free legal consultation with a 18-wheeler truck accidents lawyer serving Austin, call 844-349-9196
Safety Regulations for 18-Wheeler Trucks and Drivers
Everyone who drives a vehicle on the roadway must follow certain safety regulations. However, for commercial truck drivers, the safety standards are significantly higher. That is because the vehicles they drive are inherently more dangerous than the average passenger vehicle. Trucking companies must ensure their drivers are properly trained, and abide by all regulations.
All 18-wheeler truck drivers must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), to legally operate their vehicles. Additionally, depending on the type of cargo being hauled, the driver may also need special endorsements. The truck and cargo must also meet strict weight requirements, while truck drivers must comply with regulations on service hours.
When a truck driver, or a trucking company, fails to comply with mandated safety standards, they could be forced to pay punitive damages or even face criminal charges.
Austin 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me 844-349-9196
18-Wheeler Truck Accident Attorneys Get Paid for Results
When hiring an attorney for many other types of legal issues, you will likely have to pay for all the time your lawyer spends on your case, even if they fail to secure a favorable outcome. However, things work differently when it comes to Austin 18-wheeler truck accident attorneys and other personal injury lawyers.
With these lawyers, you won’t have to pay a penny unless they manage to secure compensation on your behalf. When you hire a truck accident lawyer, you will agree to pay them a set percentage of the money you recover from the liable party. This is the only fee that your attorney will collect for their services.
This payment structure works to your advantage because it assures that your attorney’s interests are aligned with your own. The more money you get, the more your attorney will receive in turn.
Collecting Damages After an 18-Wheeler Accident
If you suffer an injury in an 18-wheeler truck accident, you will likely be eligible to recover a wide range of damages. All recoverable damages can be split among three overarching categories.
Economic damages are all the financial losses you suffer as a result of your accident. Common economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning ability
- Property damage
The rest of your losses fall into the broader category of non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are often irreversible, and as a result, the money you receive for these losses is typically substantial. Common non-economic damages include:
- Permanent disability
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Decreased quality of life
Punitive damages are far different from the compensatory damages listed above. Rather than replacing losses suffered by the accident victim, punitive damages are meant to be a punishment for the at-fault party. Punitive damages are only awarded in extreme cases where the liable party acted in a manner determined to have been criminally negligent.
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Statute of Limitations for an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident
In Texas, accident victims generally have up to two years from the date of their accident to file a lawsuit. If you don’t file within this timeframe, you will lose your right to recover compensation. It is essential to be aware of the fact that special circumstances may alter the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit.
An experienced 18-wheeler truck accident attorney in Austin will be able to identify if there are any conditions that would further limit your timeline for filing a lawsuit and ensure that you meet all deadlines.
Should I Settle or Go to Court?
Most of the time, it is going to be in your best interest to settle your case out of court. However, this does not mean you should take the first settlement offer. Your 18-wheeler accident attorney can help negotiate a fair deal on your behalf. Going to trial means you will have to wait longer to recover compensation and be subject to the unpredictability of a courtroom battle.
That being said, you should always be prepared to go to trial. If opposing counsel knows you are unable or unwilling to fight for compensation in court, they will be in a strong position when it comes to negotiations. As a result, you likely won’t be able to secure a fair settlement deal.
Talk to an Austin 18-Wheeler Truck Accident Attorney Today
Attempting to take on a trucking company on your own is never a good idea. These companies tend to have deep pockets and will oppose you with a team of high-priced lawyers. Fortunately, you can even the playing field by hiring an experienced Austin 18-wheeler truck accident lawyer.
At the Buzbee Law Firm, our team is dedicated to ensuring that our clients recover the compensation they need to begin putting their lives back together after an accident. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to get started with a free consultation today.