Austin Unsafe Passing or Merging Truck Accident Attorneys
Were you involved in a truck accident in Austin? Was it due to the unsafe passing or merging of the truck driver? If so, contact the Austin truck accident attorneys at Gibson Hill Personal Injury immediately so we can review your case and determine if we can represent you.
There are basic traffic laws all motorists must follow to keep everyone safe on the road. If someone is driving a commercial truck and doesn’t use their turn signal or check their blind spot before changing lanes, they could cause a serious accident. In a truck accident, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are usually the ones who suffer severe injuries or fatalities. That’s because of the significant size and weight differences between the vehicles.
When you sustain injuries, or a loved one dies in an unsafe merging or passing accident, it is your right to hold the driver accountable and pursue compensation to cover your losses. Call Gibson Hill Personal Injury at (737) 249-6300 for a free consultation to find out more about our legal services and your legal rights.
Why You Should Choose Gibson Hill Personal Injury To Represent You
When you choose to hire Gibson Hill Personal Injury, you will have an experienced team of truck accident lawyers looking after your case and your needs. You will have the peace of mind of knowing that our legal team is doing everything they can to secure a positive outcome on your behalf while you focus on healing.
One of the first things we will do is investigate the accident and work to gather compelling evidence that shows the truck driver was at fault for your injuries. We can look into the driver’s employment history, records of prior accidents, qualifications, licensing, and experience. We have the resources to determine what happened and pursue compensation from those who are to blame. We will leave no stone unturned as we work to build a solid case on your behalf.
We will file your injury claim with the insurance company and negotiate aggressively for the full compensation you need. Insurance companies will work hard to try to diminish or even deny your claim, but we’ll use the strength of the case we develop to uphold your right to full financial recovery. We’ll also be prepared to take your case to court, if the insurance adjuster fails to offer a fair settlement.
Truck accident cases are complex, but we have the skillset and resources to take on the most complicated truck accident cases. While we represent your legal case, we’ll also look out for your best interests. We’ll find a medical specialist if you need one, help you repair your car, and do whatever we can to offset the challenges posed by your injuries.
What’s Considered Unsafe Passing or Merging?
Unsafe passing and merging include veering into another lane without using a turn signal or checking for other vehicles. When a truck driver doesn’t use their turn signal or check their blind spots, they could inadvertently crash into a car directly next to their vehicle.
Examples of unsafe passing and lane changes include:
- Passing someone at an intersection
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Changing lanes without signaling first
- Driving over a solid, double yellow line
- Passing a vehicle in an area where passing isn’t allowed
- Failure to check blind spots
It is especially dangerous when a truck driver doesn’t check all four blind spots. They are located at the front, back, and on both sides of the truck. The rear blind spot is significantly larger than the blind spot for passenger vehicles. It extends outward for thirty feet. If there is a car behind them, they won’t be able to see it.
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we are familiar with unsafe passing and merging truck accidents. It’s reckless for a driver to pass another vehicle or change lanes without taking certain safety measures. They end up putting the occupants of other cars at risk. Whether your injury is minor or severe, we can help you determine your legal options and seek justice for the truck driver’s negligence.
Common Reasons Truck Drivers Pass or Merge Unsafely
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires all truck drivers to undergo training and obtain proper licensing to operate a commercial truck. They must also comply with various regulations to prevent an accident that causes injury to others. Failure to follow these regulations puts other drivers and passengers in danger.
The most common causes of unsafe passing or lane changes include:
- Speeding to stay on schedule
- Fatigued driving due to working long hours or an inadequate amount of sleep
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Forgetting to check blind spots because of distractions
- Drifting into another lane without focusing on the road ahead
- Misjudging how much distance is between the truck and another vehicle
Driver error is common on Austin roadways. Unfortunately, many truckers feel immense pressure daily to keep up with their schedules and transport cargo by specific deadlines. This can cause them to rush through their shift and forget about the basic traffic laws they’re supposed to follow. Texas laws are clear – if someone causes an accident, they become financially responsible for an injured person’s losses.
With Gibson Hill Personal Injury by your side, you can feel confident knowing you’re in good hands and have a better chance of receiving compensation than if you choose not to seek legal representation.
Filing a Claim With the Truck Driver’s Insurance Company
The fault system in place in Texas holds at-fault parties liable for the injuries they cause. You could file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to get compensation for your medical bills and associated expenses. It is a legal requirement for all truck drivers to have liability insurance.
The coverage listed on the policy will determine how much compensation is available to pursue. These coverages depend on the weight of the truck and the type of cargo the driver is transporting. The minimum amount of liability insurance is $300,000. This is for trucks that weigh under 10,001 pounds and contain non-hazardous materials. You could seek up to $1 million if the liable truck driver was transporting oil. As much as $5 million is available for trucks carrying hazardous materials, such as flammable substances.
When you file a claim, you’re seeking compensation for your losses. After an accident, you could suffer financially, physically, and emotionally. Injuries requiring medical treatment leads to bills. You might have to pay for surgeries, physical therapy, prescriptions, and imaging tests. These expenses could cause a significant burden in your life, and you should not be the one to pay for them.
The compensation available in a liability insurance claim may include:
- Medical bills
- Physical impairment and disfigurement
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Mental anguish
Even though it’s state law for all drivers to carry liability insurance, you might run into a situation where the trucker doesn’t have coverage. If that happens, you might be entitled to compensation from your insurance company. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) is available when:
- The at-fault driver doesn’t carry liability insurance;
- The at-fault driver’s liability coverage doesn’t cover the total losses; or
- A hit and run driver caused the accident.
When you file a UM claim, the losses you could seek includes:
- Pain and suffering
- Car repair and replacement costs
- Out of pocket expenses
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
UM insurance isn’t a legal requirement. It’s an optional form of coverage that you can choose to reject when you purchase liability insurance. If you don’t have UM on your policy, you could file a lawsuit.
There’s a strict deadline you must follow if you want to sue the truck driver. It’s known as a statute of limitations. There’s a two-year statute of limitations in Texas that begins on the accident date. Once it passes, you will most likely lose your right to compensation.
Could I Pursue Compensation From the Trucking Company?
Yes, if the trucking company’s actions caused the accident. Even though the truck driver was behind the wheel, their employer could be held liable if their actions somehow contributed to the crash.
Trucking companies have the tremendous responsibility of hiring experienced, licensed, and qualified drivers. Using negligent hiring procedures could result in an employee who doesn’t know how to operate a commercial truck or handle an emergency.
The most common reasons a trucking company could be to blame for an unsafe passing or merging accident include:
- Failure to provide training
- Failure to review driving logs to ensure compliance with hours of service, maintenance and repairs, and other federal regulations
- Failure to perform background checks on new drivers
- Failure to implement random drug and alcohol testing
- Failure to confirm new employees have a valid commercial driver’s license and passed the necessary certifications
If you believe the trucking company played a part in causing the accident and your injuries, you could file an insurance claim or lawsuit against them. Gibson Hill Personal Injury will obtain a copy of the company’s insurance policy to determine how much coverage is available and whether it will be sufficient in compensating for your losses.
Gibson Hill Personal Injury Is Ready to Help You Fight for Justice
We have a dedicated legal team that will advocate for your rights and pursue the maximum compensation you need to recover. When you’re unable to work, in pain, and facing the burden of expensive medical bills, it can feel like there’s no way to move forward. You can depend on us to help you get through this and put the pieces of your life back together.
If a truck driver’s unsafe passing or merging caused an accident in Austin and you sustained injuries, as a result, call Gibson Hill Personal Injury at (737) 249-6300 today. We’ll be happy to meet with you for a free consultation and provide the legal advice and guidance you need.