Austin Distracted Driving Truck Accident Lawyers
If you suffered injuries in an accident caused by a distracted truck driver, you might be entitled to compensation for your losses. The Austin truck accident attorneys at Gibson Hill Personal Injury can help you hold the at-fault party liable for their carelessness and pursue the full compensation you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Statistics show that distracted driving accidents cause nine deaths every day in the U.S. Additionally, 8.5% of fatal crashes in 2019 involved some form of distraction. When a truck driver isn’t paying attention to the road ahead or the cars around them, they could end up causing a serious accident. The occupants in a small car could sustain life-threatening injuries given the size difference between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle.
It is your legal right to hold the truck driver accountable if they became distracted behind the wheel. At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we believe accident victims injured by other parties deserve the opportunity to seek maximum compensation in an insurance claim or lawsuit. We know you are facing financial strain, expensive doctor’s appointments, and time away from work while you heal. That’s why we don’t charge you anything unless and until we win compensation on your behalf.
Call us at (737) 249-6300 for a free consultation, and we can help you get on the road to recovery.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving occurs when a driver redirects their focus, hands, or eyes to something other than the task of driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are three types of distracted driving that could result in an accident:
Visual distractions take a driver’s eyes off the road. If a truck driver isn’t paying attention to the road ahead, they likely won’t have enough time to react to traffic congestion or an emergency. They could slam into the back of someone else’s vehicle, resulting in severe injuries to the occupants.
Examples of visual distractions include:
- Looking at a GPS or map
- Reading a newspaper
- Turning to a passenger in the backseat
- Staring at something outside
- Reading a text message or email
Manual distractions take a driver’s hands off the wheel. When a motorist has one or both hands off the wheel, they don’t have total control over their vehicle. If they need to quickly maneuver away from a dangerous situation, they may not be able to.
Examples of manual distractions include:
- Sending a text or email
- Changing the radio
- Reaching for an item in the car
Cognitive distractions take a driver’s attention off driving. When someone is lost in thought, they’re unable to operate their vehicle safely, and they put other people at risk of harm.
Examples of cognitive distractions include:
- Road rage
- Singing along to a song on the radio
- Focusing on a conversation with someone on the phone or in the vehicle
- Thinking about an upcoming business meeting or test at school
Federal law prohibits truck drivers from using a hand-held device while operating a commercial truck. Texas also regulates the use of cell phones while anyone is driving their vehicle. Violation of these laws could result in expensive fines, jail time, and civil penalties.
Handling the Aftermath of a Distracted Driving Truck Accident
In the immediate aftermath of a truck accident, you should call law enforcement and report the crash. But what should you do in the weeks or months that follow? The actions you take could impact the outcome of your case and whether you’re entitled to the maximum available compensation.
Immediately after you leave the crash scene, you should seek medical treatment. It doesn’t matter if you go to a hospital, urgent care facility, or your family doctor. You need an evaluation of your injuries to determine the appropriate treatment plan. Medical records are crucial evidence in any legal case. It can prove that you sustained injuries as a result of the accident and provides a timeline of your recovery.
You should also hire an Austin distracted driving accident lawyer promptly. There are many deadlines you must comply with, and if you wait too long before initiating legal action, you could lose the opportunity to pursue compensation from the at-fault truck driver. Gibson Hill Personal Injury knows the state laws and procedures we must follow. We can take over each step of your case so you can focus on healing from your injuries.
Be sure to keep all documentation associated with the case. That includes written prescriptions, medical bills, vehicle repair estimates, and other evidence. Insurance companies require adequate evidence to pay out a claim. They would rather save money than provide compensation to a claimant. If they can find any reason to deny your claim, they will.
We have extensive resources to obtain relevant evidence to help prove that someone else was responsible for the accident and that you need a specific settlement amount to compensate you for your treatment and other losses.
What you don’t do after an accident is just as important as what you do. You should refrain from any actions that could diminish the value of your case or prohibit filing a lawsuit against the truck driver.
- Don’t speak to the truck driver’s insurance company. We will handle communications throughout your case.
- Don’t sign anything the insurance company sends to you. You could unknowingly sign away your rights to the maximum insurance coverage.
- Don’t admit to any amount of fault for the accident. Although the truck driver was distracted behind the wheel, you might think your actions partially contributed to it. The proportionate responsibility statute in Texas could diminish your compensation by the percentage of fault you share. It’s critical that you refrain from speaking to anyone about fault in the crash, so you don’t ruin your chance of receiving the maximum monetary award available.
- Don’t ignore filing deadlines. Some insurance companies require that you file a claim “promptly” or within “a reasonable amount of time” after an accident. Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for filing lawsuits. If you miss these deadlines, you could lose your right to compensation.
- Don’t agree to a recorded statement with the insurance company. They will try to ask you questions about the accident and record your answers. They could use anything you say against you as a valid reason to deny your claim or provide a low settlement offer.
- Don’t handle your case without hiring an Austin distracted driving lawyer. Although it’s possible to represent yourself in an insurance claim or lawsuit, you might not know how to navigate the legal process or overcome the obstacles you face.
Seeking Compensation After an Accident Caused by a Distracted Truck Driver
If you suffered financial, emotional, or physical losses after the truck accident, you might be entitled to compensation from the driver or trucking company. Even though the trucker became distracted, resulting in a crash, their employer could face liability if they knowingly hired someone who was inexperienced or unlicensed.
You may be entitled to different types of compensation, such as:
- Medical bills
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Out of pocket expenses
Since Texas is an at-fault state, the person who caused the accident would become financially responsible for your past and future losses. Since accidents between commercial trucks and small cars can cause severe injuries, property damage, and death, truck drivers must carry liability insurance with high limits. Those limits could cover an injured victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and other costs.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the liability limits for truck drivers, which varies depending on the type of cargo and the vehicle’s weight. The minimum required limit for a truck weighing under 10,001 pounds is $300,000. Coverage can go up to $5 million if the driver is transporting hazardous materials.
Gibson Hill Personal Injury Legal Fees and Costs
Our Austin distracted driving accident lawyers know the financial strain you are facing as a result of another person’s negligence. You might already be struggling to pay for your doctor’s appointments, and if you can’t return to work, it makes the situation even more overwhelming.
We don’t want to add more stress to your life. That’s why we take cases on a contingency-fee-basis. That means we don’t require our clients to pay upfront fees or costs to receive quality legal representation. We don’t get paid unless you get paid. If we can’t recover any compensation from an insurance claim or lawsuit, you won’t owe us any money for our legal fees.
Contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury Today
Gibson Hill Personal Injury has been representing clients injured by the negligent actions of others since 2013. We have years of experience handling many types of truck accident cases, including distracted driving accidents. Our legal team will provide compassionate and dependable service from start to finish of your case. We care about your well-being and will work aggressively to hold the truck driver liable and get you the compensation you deserve.
Truck drivers have a tremendous responsibility every time they drive. When they’re sharing the road with other vehicles, they must comply with federal regulations, follow state laws, and ensure the safety of everyone around them. Any type of misconduct could cause injuries and fatalities. Our Austin distracted driving accident lawyers know the rights afforded to you as a truck accident victim and will fight to protect them.
Call Gibson Hill Personal Injury at (737) 249-6300 if you were involved in an accident with a distracted truck driver. We will meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your case and determine how we can help.