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Austin Truck and 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyers

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The Awarded Truck Accident Lawyers That Care: (866-434-0014)

As our city continues to grow at rapid pace, the rate of large truck accidents and fatalities does also. Unfortunately, innocent locals here in Austin, Plugerville, Lakeway, Bee Cave, Round Rock and elsewhere in Travis County pay the price for a truck driver’s negligent actions, and a typical standard passenger vehicle doesn’t stand a chance against a massive 80,000 pound 18-wheeler or semi-tractor trailer. 

Truck accident lawyer Niles Sneed has won numerous multi-million dollar trucking accident victories for clients seriously injured in 18 Wheeler accidents. If you were hit by an large commercial truck in Austin or anywhere in Travis County, contact us today. Niles and his team will examine what caused the trucking collision, determine liability, and inform you of your full legal option moving forward. 

If you have not yet obtained the crash report related to your Austin or Travis County car accident, we can obtain it for you (here)

How We Win The Largest Trucking and 18 Wheeler Recoveries in Travis County

If you’ve been injured in an Austin trucking accident, there’s only one 18 Wheeler accident law firm that you should call. Sneed|Mitchell LLP is known for our results. Our truck and 18 wheeler accident lawyers have won some of the largest recoveries and settlements in 2020 for truck wrecks victims. We are backed by years of trucking litigation experience, a record-setting track record, and a reputation for standing up for the injured, no matter what. 

 

Our aggressive investigation and analysis into every large truck and 18 Wheeler accident includes:

  1. Examining Safety Violation: We determine if the truck driver or trucking company violated any Texas state laws or safety regulations. We might send investigators or expert consultants to the scene of the accident.

  1. The Evidence Chase. We investigate the truck’s maintenance records, the truck’s data recorders, and the driver’s work logs to determine if there is any evidence of negligence.

An 18 Wheeler accident lawyer should NEVER collect evidence with the intent to quickly settle. Obtaining the largest sum for a client requires showing each of Federal and State safety violations the truck driver or fleet operator engaged that contributed in causing the crash. 

 

In a truck accident, key evidence to winning the case includes:

 

  • Witness statements – Witnesses are often critical for proving negligence. An Austin truck accident lawyer should interview each witness to determine if the truck driver was distracted, or driving erratically or aggressively at the time of the truck wreck.

  • Electronic control modules (ECMs) – Also known as event data recorders or “black boxes,” these devices record the speed of the truck, braking, and other information from the moments preceding an accident. Qualified crash experts can retrieve and analyze a truck’s ECM data to reconstruct the accident.

  • Truck cameras – Many trucking companies install cameras in the cabs of their trucks. Camera footage can help determine whether the truck driver engaged in negligence or misconduct.

  • Electronic logging devices – The FMCSA requires truck drivers to keep track of their hours using electronic logging devices (ELDs). If a driver exceeded hours of service limits, the ELD will prove it.

  • Company records – Trucking companies must  keep accurate records regarding the hiring and supervision of truck drivers. Records indicating that a company failed to perform the necessary drug and alcohol tests before an impaired truck driver crashed , for example, might prove negligence.

At Sneed|Mitchell LLP, we also hire Texas' leading Accident Reconstruction and Forensic Engineers to examine the scene an determine the trucks performance and maintenance level. Our knowledge of truck safety standards and fleet operation guidelines  provide us advance knowledge in litigation commercial truck accidents. ​

Common Injuries Caused In These Big Rig Collisions

After being hit by a big rig or commercial truck in Travis County, trucking accident victims often suffer debilitating injuries. A commercial truck or 18-wheeler's size and tonnage is far greater than the average car and cause serious injuries and fatalities at much higher rates. The severe injuries that can happen after auto accidents involving large truck or semi include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI). According to the CDC, around 50,000 people die from TBI-related injuries each year in the United States, and truck crashes cause a high percentage of these catastrophes. From mild to severe concussions, to brain contusions, brain stem injuries, or penetrating brain injuries, the impact of the victim is always severe.

  • Spinal cord injuries. A forceful impact to the vertebrae of a crash victim can cause various forms of paralysis, including quadriplegia, paraplegia, and triplegia. 

  • Lower-extremity injuries. Most car accident victims suffer lower-extremity injuries when their legs or knees impact the interior compartments or doors within the vehicle. Lower-extremity injuries include sprains, ligament tears, bone fractures and breaks, . 

  • Shoulder and rotator cuff tears. Being struck by a car, or reaching for the ground after being hit cause rider to sustain damage to their shoulder joint. Orthopedics first attempt non-surgical repair, but surgery is sometimes necessitated when a ligament suffers in Grade 3, or "complete tear."

  • Internal injuries. Blunt force trauma experienced in motorcycle accidents often cause organ damage and internal bleeding when someone hard or sharp hits the body. These injuries require complex and costly medical treatment, along with extensive rehabilitation treatment. 

  • Bone Breaks and Fractures. When motorcycle crashes happen quickly, the riders legs and wrist often suffer fractures when hitting the vehicle or the ground. 

  • Road rash. This skin injury is caused when a rider makes contact with the road surface. The severity of the road rash ranges from mild to serious and is highly susceptible to infections and permanent scarring.

  • Eye injuries: Eye injury and vision loss injuries are common in serious motorcycle accidents and includes eyelid lacerations, corneal injuries, iris injuries, orbital fractures, and optical nerve damage. Most eye injuries result in headaches and blurred vision, whether temporary or permanent, and always alter the rider's life. 

  • Crush Injuries: One of the most traumatic injuries bikers suffer in accidents in a crush injury. A crush injury occurs when a part of the body in crushed between two option. The victim can experience internal and external bleeding, tissue death, compartment syndrome, and limb loss. 

  • Amputations: The force of a motorcycle crash can throw a rider from his or her bike with enough force to shatter a limb beyond the point of surgical repair. Surgical amputation is sometimes the only remedy within the emergency room to save the victim's life. 

Whether the large truck collision occurred on a congested interstate such as I-35, busy roads in North Austin, South Austin, East Austin, or West Austin, or surrounding neighborhoods or towns in Travis County, we can help. 

Note: After being involved in a Trucking Accident it is important to obtain medical care within 72 hours of the accident, but if you have not, call us today so that we can help schedule your medical appointment as soon as possible.  

What Kinds or CDL Driver Errors Cause Semi and Tractor-trailer wrecks in Travis County?

The sheer tonnage of a commercial truck or big rigs is not what makes them a dangerous to locals here in Austin, Texas, but when interstate commercial drivers engage in unsafe driving actions, or when a tractor-trailer isn't sufficiently repaired, or when truck drivers aren't accustomed to the congested highway in Travis County, these heavy haulers become a threat to us all. Truck drivers must diligently work to ensure their vehicle meets Federal and State safety standards and operate the trucks safely at all times. 

Travis County Trucking Accident Statistics

As of January 19, 2021, the latest trucking accidents statistics provided by The crash statistics discussed on this page have been collected from the websites of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA).​

  • In 2018, there were 589 fatal accidents involving large trucks here in Texas. Of these 598 fatal accidents, 120 accidents were single-vehicle to truck collisions, and 469 involved multiple vehicles.  

  • In 2019, across Travis County there were 17 fatal commercial motor vehicle collisions, 128 possible injury collisions, and 1,772 non-injury collisions.  

  • In 2019, a staggering 725 trucking and commercial vehicle accidents occurred in Travis County, which equates to 60.4 truck accidents per month, and more than 2 per day. 

  • 2019, 11% percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths nationwide occurred in large truck crashes.

  • In 2018, 5,096 large trucks and buses caused fatal crashes, which represents a 1% increase from 2017. The number of large trucks and buses fatalities in 2018 is a 48% increase from 2009.

  • In 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported 556 fatal truck accidents in Texas.

These alarming statistics forces the commercial insurance company to do one thing: work to avoid liability. Although an insurance policy is in place and often sizable, insurers, adjusters, and legal counsel for the commercial Defendant use significant legal resources to dispute liability. Victims need any attorney with matching resources and experience building a strong case against the trucking company and help you prove liability using aggressive legal strategies.

 

One of our Austin truck accident attorneys will not let you settle for less than your case is worth during insurance negotiations and settlement opportunities. We fight for maximum compensation from all at-fault parties, whether that be commercial trucking companies, maintenance or repair company, fleet operator or an individual trucker.

What is the "Black Box" and do attorneys find it important?

After an 18 Wheeler collision, the rig's black box (or electronic control module (ECM) functions similarly to the black boxes on airplanes. Truck manufacturers install into their engines and they store the physical properties of a truck accident up into the time immediately  before the collision. Often, regional and national trucking companies also have satellite tracking data or trip recorders. Such electronic data is often essential in truck accident lawsuits.

After an Austin truck accident the black box will show: 

  • The truck driver's speed at the time of the accident

  • Direction the vehicle was travelling

  • Sudden change in velocity

  • Whether the brake was applied and when

  • When the driver pressed or released the gas pedal

  • Steering wheel movement

  • Whether the driver was wearing a seat belt

  • Front airbag deployment

  • Previous stops made by the vehicle

  • Stability control, such as jackknifing or over-steering

  • Diagnostic snapshot that may show truck defect

 

If you or someone you loved suffered a serious injury during a collision with a commercial truck, we can help you recover data from the truck’s black box, as well as other important evidence. All evidence helps build a case, and may make-or-break your ability to obtain appropriate compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Schedule your free, confidential consultation with one of our truck accident attorneys today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What damages can be recovered after being hit by a tractor-trailer in Austin?


Typically, those injured in a truck accident can recover compensation for the following damages:

  • Physical Injury: The extent of your injuries must be determined by a medical expert in order to gauge damages. Sometimes, multiple experts disagree on the extent of injury. In these cases, the opposing experts will each present evidence to determine the ultimate settlement amount.
  • Medical Cost: You have a right to recover the cost of medically necessary treatment following a truck accident.
  • Pain and Suffering: Some states limit damages for pain and suffering. In Texas, for example, recoverable damages for pain and suffering are limited to $250,000 (source). Mental anguish you, limitations on physical activities (especially ones you once enjoyed but cannot do anymore), disfigurement, loss of consortium (aka loss of companionship) and/or loss of a loved one all factor into pain and suffering.
  • Lost Income: Wages lost due to your injury from a trucking accident are considered recoverable damages, including work missed for medical treatment. You must provide evidence of lost wages.
  • Future Income: You are entitled to compensation for future earning potential lost due to your truck accident. If your plans for the future can be proven an estimated, you can recover these damages.




Should I hire a lawyer after being hit by a big rig?


Yes. Trucking and 18 Wheeler accident lawyers are much different than standard motor vehicle accidents, so it is always best to hire a professional Houston trucking accident lawyer to evaluate the collision. Whether you were hit by a semi-tractor trailer, or dump truck or box truck, we can help. The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), along with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, along with Texas rules and regulations. An Austin trucking accident lawyer is needed to analyze the evidence to also determine safety violations contributed in causing the accident. Large insurance companies and their third party administrators (TPA) defend truck accidents much harder than standard motor vehicle collisions due to the much larger insurance coverage policies available to the victim, so there are more legal considerations arising from truck accidents that our attorneys can help you evaluate. A lawyer experienced in handling truck accidents will be prepared to fight the tactics used to defend these claims, such as:

  • Claiming the victims should have seen the truck
  • Blaming another driver no longer at the scene
  • Claiming the medical damages are exaggerated
  • Claiming that neither party is at-fault
  • Arguing weather or road conditions contributed
If you have been in a big-rig accident, call Austin truck accident attorney Niles Sneed today. Niles has experience helping accident victims secure maximum compensation after a life-altering trucking accident. Trucking companies have additional rules and regulations to abide by when operating their commercial fleet in Austin, Travis County, and throughout Texas, don’t let them escape without being held fully accountable.




How do I protect my rights after being hit by a tractor-trailor in Austin?


It’s important to know how to protect your rights after a truck accident in Travis County. The victims of truck wrecks have a legal right to compensation for their injuries. However, victims often have trouble obtaining that compensation because they need to protect their rights. Truck accidents can involve multiple liable parties and insurance companies. The teams of lawyers hired by these companies often bully those without legal representation into unfair settlements. Trucking companies and insurance companies have practically unlimited resources. They don’t care about you or your injury; they care about their bottom line. When a tractor trailer or large commercial vehicle injures someone, that victim needs an experienced truck crash attorney to defend their rights and ensure that they receive fair compensation. If a Texas truck accident injured you or your loved ones, the Austin, Texas personal injury lawyers at Sneed|Mitchell want to help. Call us today for a complimentary consultation.




How much does it cost to hire attorney Niles Sneed?


Hiring a truck accident attorney in Austin should be free. Most personal injury lawyers that handle truck accident claims use a contingency-fee model, which means that there is no upfront cost to retain the lawyer's services. Instead, the attorney only charges a percentage fee if and when the case ends in the form of a monetary settlement.




How long do I have to file a lawsuit after being hit by an 18 Wheeler?


The State of Limitation for filing a trucking accident claim here in Austin and throughout the State of Texas is based on personal injury tort law. Therefore, a truck accident victim has two years from the date of the accident to file a civil lawsuit seeking economic and non-economic damages. Keep in mind, the Statute of Limitations continues to run during any pre-litigation claim handling process or negotiations. It is always most advantageous to consult with an attorney immediately following a truck accident because companies quickly begin repairing damaged tractors and trailers, or allowing maintenance repairs, drivers locks, and inspection verification to be erased as part of their standard business practices.




How much is an 18 Wheeler case worth in Texas?


Truck accident and 18-wheeler accident cases are personal injury lawsuits. To collect compensation, the plaintiff must prove negligence. Negligence is the legal standard by which almost all personal injury cases are evaluated. Negligence occurs when someone violates their legal ‘duty of care’ and causes injury to another party. In other words, they fail to act in a ‘reasonable and prudent’ manner given the specifics of the situation, and that failure injures someone else. For example, truck drivers have a legal duty to drive sober. Driving drunk endangers others. Therefore, a truck driver that operates their vehicle under the influence of alcohol violates their duty of care to others on the road. If that drunk driver hits and injures someone else, there’s a strong legal case for negligence. Most personal injury cases require proof of negligence for the plaintiff to recover damages. Insurance companies and trucking companies determine the size of settlements based on the available evidence admissible in a court of law. In essence, the evidence a plaintiff could present to a jury if the case went to trial. The stronger the evidence, the bigger the settlement. That evidence includes: Severity of the injuries – Generally, the more serious and life altering an injury, the bigger the settlement. Cost of medical care – More medical bills for necessary medical treatment mean a bigger settlement. Most insurance companies use medical bills as a key indicator of case value. It's not the only factor, however. Additionally, if a victim’s medical care is unrelated or exorbitantly priced, the company’s representatives will likely dispute the number in negotiations. Lost income – Loss of wages and earnings are another huge factor when it comes to the size of a settlement. A person with a high-paying job unable to work following their accident has a solid claim for lost wages, while someone unemployed at the time of their accident likely cannot claim any lost income. Loss of a normal life – “Loss of enjoyment” or “loss of normal life are legal terms for the emotional and personal losses that often accompany an injury. Pain and suffering – Victims can also seek compensation for physical pain, though pain might be difficult to prove, depending on the facts of the case. Severity of property damages – Though people can suffer devastating injuries without major impacts, the severity of the damage to a victim’s vehicle can often make or break a case. That’s because people view vehicle damage as “objective” proof of an accident’s severity, even if that isn’t the case. Crashes that cause almost no damage to vehicles are often immediately denied by insurance companies. Big Rig accidents across Travis County cause our clients and their families to suffer life-altering injuries and impact on their lives. As a truck accident victim in Austin, you must act quickly to bring your truck accident claim to ensure you meet Texas filing deadlines, also called the "Statute of limitations". Under Texas law, Austin trucking and semi-accident victims have 2 years from the date of the 18-wheeler accident to file an injury claim with the civil courts, but you should not wait a second in speaking to an experienced semi-accident lawyer.





Austin Truck Accident Lawyers

Austin truck accident attorney Niles Sneed has won numerous multi-million dollar trucking accident cases for clients who have suffered life-altering injuries. If you were hit by an 18-wheeler or commercial truck  anywhere in Travis County, call us today. Niles will personally examine how the accident occurred, determine liability, and inform your full legal rights and options.  

Free virtual or mobile call conferences are also available everyday, 24/7, for anyone who does not want to physically come into one of our offices. We also invite you to download our eBook for free insight on the process of personal injury claims.

 

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