Austin Attorneys for Truck Accidents Due to Adverse Weather Conditions
Were you involved in a truck accident caused by adverse weather conditions? Did you sustain injuries leading to medical bills and other costs? If so, you need a truck accident lawyer. Contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury right now to learn about your legal options for seeking compensation.
Poor weather can create hazardous conditions for drivers. Someone who’s driving too fast or otherwise behaving recklessly could lose control of their car and crash into another person’s vehicle. Strong winds, heavy rain, and dangerous storms pose a challenge for drivers, increasing the risk of an accident.
Commercial trucks are especially vulnerable to adverse weather. Their immense weight and size make them susceptible to jackknifing, rolling, and sliding out of control. When they collide with passenger cars, the occupants of the smaller vehicle typically suffer more serious harm.
Truck drivers should adjust their speed and driving to account for the dangerous roadways. If they’re careless, they could be held liable for the accidents they cause. Call Gibson Hill Personal Injury at (737) 249-6300 for your initial free consultation and discuss your case with us.
Types of Adverse Weather Conditions
Many drivers will slow down and drive cautiously when they encounter poor weather. They might pay closer attention to the vehicles around them and avoid distractions, such as their cell phone. Unfortunately, some people don’t understand the dangers adverse weather conditions could present.
Truck drivers often feel the pressure of their schedules. They can’t fall behind in delivering their cargo. Additionally, most get paid by the mile, creating more of an incentive to complete their jobs. Unfortunately, this could lead to an accident when the driver loses control of their truck, slamming into someone else.
Examples of common weather conditions that can result in truck accidents are:
- Fog – Drivers cannot see the road ahead, preventing them from responding quickly to vehicles that cross their paths or hazards in the road. It’s a challenge judging someone else’s speed and the truck’s distance from their car.
- Snow – Any amount of snow can cause slippery roads. If it’s snowing hard enough, it can also impair a person’s visibility, making it difficult to notice what’s going on around them. It’s especially dangerous in Austin, where snow isn’t common. Most drivers don’t know how to handle this type of weather.
- Rain – Rain can lead to flooding. A truck driver could hydroplane, causing them to lose control of their vehicle. They won’t be able to steer or brake, making an accident more likely.
- Wind – Strong winds can jostle a truck around, causing the trailer to tip over or the vehicle to jackknife.
- Storms – Sudden thunder or lightning could startle a driver. They might unintentionally slam on their brakes, causing them to lose control and crash into someone else’s car.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets guidelines for truck drivers to follow when hazardous conditions are present:
- Reduce speed – Bad weather, such as heavy rain, could cause slippery roads and decreased visibility. Truck drivers must slow down to prevent hydroplaning or a jackknife accident.
- Use sound judgment – Drivers should use extreme caution when operating their commercial truck around other people. Even if they have decades of experience and are confident in their skills, they should pull off the road and wait out the bad weather if driving becomes too dangerous.
- Prepare for sudden stops – Large trucks require more distance to come to a complete stop than small cars. Truck drivers should maintain enough space between their trucks and other vehicles that they can stop if they need to brake for an emergency.
- Use lights – Poor visibility creates challenges for all drivers. It’s hard to see where they’re going, where the road is, and if there are cars around them. Truck drivers should always turn on their lights so other motorists can see them and they can see other motorists.
If you get hurt in an accident with a truck driver who violated any of these regulations or failed to drive safely, you might be able to hold them liable. Your medical bills, prescription costs, and other expenses should not be your responsibility. The truck driver, trucking company, or insurance company should be the one to pay.
How to Determine Liability After A Truck Accident In Austin
Certain actions can increase the chance of an accident when adverse weather conditions exist. Truck drivers can make an error that prevents them from having total control over their truck or avoiding obstacles in their way. Common errors include:
- Failing to check blind spots
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Distracted driving
- Disobeying traffic signs and signals
- Taking a turn too fast
- Driving with poorly maintained or defective truck parts
Despite the poor weather being a factor in causing the accident, the truck driver or their employer could be to blame if their actions contributed in any way. Texas uses a fault system when determining liability after an accident. That means the person who causes the accident becomes financially responsible for the injured person’s losses. You could file a claim with the trucking company’s insurance company.
Federal regulations require trucking companies to purchase liability insurance for their drivers. Insurance coverage should include minimum limits depending on the truck’s weight and freight type. These limits are:
- $300,000 – Non-hazardous freight and a truck weighing under 10,001 pounds
- $750,000 – Non-hazardous cargo and a truck weighing over 10,000 pounds
- $1 million – Transporting oil and hazardous items
- $5 million – Carrying other hazardous materials
Filing an insurance claim requires providing sufficient evidence that the truck driver was at fault and you sustained injuries. Gibson Hill Personal Injury could help you with the legal process. Insurance claims might seem easy to handle, but you could face roadblocks along the way you don’t know how to overcome. Our legal team has years of experience taking on insurance companies and fighting for the maximum compensation our clients deserve.
Compensation You Could Pursue In A Claim or Lawsuit
Truck accidents usually cause significant injuries. You might require ongoing physical therapy, surgery, and prescription medications to heal. This adds up to expensive medical bills over time. You shouldn’t be the one forced to pay when you weren’t at fault for the crash.
An adequate settlement amount or favorable jury verdict could compensate you for various losses, such as:
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Medical bills
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Out of pocket expenses
Calculating someone’s total losses isn’t always easy. Intangible losses, such as mental anguish, can be challenging to monetize because there’s no invoice or billing statement to refer to. Gibson Hill Personal Injury will review your past and future losses to determine how much money you need to cover everything. Some of the factors we might consider while calculating the right number are:
- Total medical bills and other costs
- Type of the injury and how severe it is
- Amount of liability insurance coverage on the trucking company’s policy
- Statements made by witnesses
- The emotional or psychological impact of the accident
- The investigating officer’s findings on the police report
- Time missed from work due to the injury
- Length of the recovery period
- How the injury affects daily routine
- Whether the injury caused permanent disability or impairment
- The estimated future cost of necessary medical treatment
We can review all the facts of your case and negotiate for the maximum available settlement with the insurance company. If they deny your claim or determine the settlement amount should be much lower than you deserve, we can move forward with a lawsuit against them and the truck driver. We understand the importance of receiving adequate compensation to cover your losses. You can depend on us to fight hard to meet your interests and reach your legal goals.
Texas Laws for Filing Lawsuits
A strict deadline called a statute of limitations is crucial when you’re preparing for a lawsuit. Texas follows a two-year statute of limitations for injury cases. That means you only have two years from the accident date to sue the truck driver, or you could lose your right to recover compensation for your losses in court.
You should also be aware of a law that could diminish your compensation. Modified comparative negligence will reduce the compensation you’re entitled to receive if a jury determines you share any amount of fault for the accident. For example, if your losses equal $50,000, but a jury finds that your actions were 20% to blame, you could only pursue a maximum of $40,000 in compensation.
Speak to An Experienced Attorney from Gibson Hill Personal Injury
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, our team of lawyers will advocate for your rights and fight hard for the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. We know the challenges you might be facing and want to work to resolve those issues. You shouldn’t suffer the consequences of someone else’s negligent actions. The truck driver was responsible for the accident and should be held liable for the harm they caused.
You will receive one-on-one attention when you hire us, along with the legal guidance and support you need. Each case we take is a priority to us from start to finish. Call Gibson Hill Personal Injury at (737) 249-6300 for a free consultation if you sustained injuries in a truck accident involving adverse weather conditions.