Due to their sheer size, semi-trucks cause significant damage when they collide with other vehicles. Many people believe that large truck accidents are rare, but statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reveal that trucks or buses were involved in an estimated 119,000 crashes that resulted in injuries in 2016 alone. Of those accidents, 4,440 were fatal.
If you were injured in a semi-truck accident or your family member was killed in a similar crash, the aftermath can be overwhelming. You are likely facing incredibly steep medical bills for emergency care and ongoing treatment, not to mention lost wages from time taken off work, severe physical pain, and extensive mental distress. At Howry Breen & Herman, we believe you shouldn’t have to face all of these consequences on your own. Our Austin truck accident attorneys can help you fight for a just recovery. With every case we take on, we strive to recover the full and fair compensation our clients are owed. We have decades of litigation experience and are well-equipped to help you navigate the legal process.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Some of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents include:
- Insufficient truck driver training
- Negligent hiring of truck drivers
- Distracted driving, including cell phone use
- Driving while intoxicated (DUI/DWI)
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Drifting into other lanes of traffic
- Improper supervision
- Lack of truck maintenance
- Faulty or defective trucks/truck parts
- Unsafe road design
- Dangerous road conditions
Unfortunately, many semi-truck and other commercial vehicle collisions are preventable. When careless, reckless, or negligent actions lead to an accident that leaves you seriously injured, we are here to help. Our Austin truck accident lawyers can thoroughly investigate your case to determine who is liable for your damages. We are not afraid to take on large insurance companies and other at-fault parties in our pursuit of the justice you deserve.
Who Is Liable for Truck Accidents?
While truck driver negligence can and does occur, truck drivers are not always at fault for accidents. In fact, most commercial vehicle drivers are highly skilled. Often, truck companies, manufacturers, and other entities are responsible for a truck accident. This typically makes truck accident claims more complex than other types of motor vehicle accident claims.
Any of the following parties may be at fault for a semi-truck accident:
- The truck driver
- The truck driver’s supervisor
- The company that owns or leases the truck
- The truck manufacturer
- The designer of a defective truck part
Other parties may be involved, and, in any given case, multiple parties may be partially at fault for a truck accident. It is always best to meet with an experienced and highly skilled attorney who can help you understand your unique options.
Motor Carrier Safety Ratings & Corporate Responsibility
The FMCSA keeps safety records and ratings for all motor carriers operating under its authority, i.e., in the United States. Aptly named the FMCSA “Company Safety Records (CSR),” this database shows a comprehensive history for each company, including safety regulation compliance and violations. For example, a trucking company can be cited by the FMCSA for failing to conduct a background check on a reckless truck driver.
Uncovering a trucking company’s CSR is an important step in many truck accident claims because it can establish that the company or corporation is partially liable for the accident, too. Filing against multiple defendants is often beneficial because it involves additional insurance policies, giving you a chance to receive a larger and fairer amount of compensation if just one policy would have hit its cap before it paid for all your damages. Leave the details of investigating a trucking company’s safety records up to our attorneys, and we can see if there is anything in those records that is valuable to your claim.
Nearly 25 Years of Litigation Experience
At Howry Breen & Herman, we are true trial lawyers. Our team has extensive experience in the courtroom and, while we strive for swift, fair settlements for our clients, this is not always possible. Semi-truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries that require extensive, ongoing medical care. Despite this, many insurance companies will offer a low settlement that doesn’t come close to covering your damages. Because of this, we prepare every case for trial. Our goal is to help each of our clients achieve a favorable outcome and recover the full and fair compensation they are owed for their damages.
Our Austin lawyers have earned recognition from numerous prestigious organizations and publications, including Top 50 US Verdicts (Sean Breen 2017), Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame, (Sean Breen 2011 and 2016), Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum (Sean Breen 2011), National Top 100 Trial Lawyers Civil Plaintiff (Sean Breen since 2009), 7 Figure Litigators®, 8 Figure Litigators® by America’s High-Stakes Litigators®, (Sean Breen since 2019 and Randy Howry since 2020) and America's Top 100 - High Stakes Litigators by America’s Top 100 Attorneys®, (Randy Howry 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 and Sean Breen since 2019).