Important Resources on Truck Accidents Getting into an accident with a commercial truck poses dangers to your health, finances, and well-being. Filing a legal claim to receive compensation will help you recover from the consequences. So long as you establish negligence on a truck driver’s end, your case can end with a positive outcome. However,
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My name is Steven C. Lee, and we are a personal injury law firm specializing in Austin Truck Accidents.
We are based in Austin, and you will receive VIP treatment from my team. We have won thousands of cases for clients ranging from $100,000 to $7,500,000.
If you have been in a commercial vehicle or trucking accident, time is critical. The trucking companies are already working against you. Please call me, and let me start helping you today.
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What should I do if I have been injured in an Austin Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one have been injured in an Austin, Texas Truck Accident, the law firm of Steven C. Lee & Associates is here to help you. We are experienced truck accident lawyers that have successfully represented thousands of cases. Time is of the essence when building a strong case. We are ready to take immediate action to help you in your personal injury claim. We will fight for the compensation you and your family deserve.
Do I have a case? Can I win money from my truck accident?
Compensation from a commercial truck accident is based on a 3 primary factors . Steven C. Lee & Associates will assess your case for free and provide recommendations for next steps.
Call us today. 512-236-1300.
The type of truck accident can certainly impact the amount of compensation you may receive. A head-on collision with injuries may lead to a larger payout than a minor fender-bender. If you have sustained injuries, then you are likely eligible for compensation depending on negligence and if you filed your claim within the legal time limits.
Austin truck accidents can be very complicated and involve multiple vehicles. This can make it difficult to determine who is at fault. But, if you were injured because of something a truck driver did or didn’t do, then you may deserve compensation. Steven C. Lee & Associates will determine who is at fault and work to get you all the money you are owed.
Texas Truck Accidents has a statute of limitations of 2 years. This means that you have two years from the time of the accident to file a suit for damages.
How much money can I get from my Truck Accident?
Due to the severity of truck accidents, the damages are often much higher than standard car accidents. You stand a good chance of receiving compensation if you have been injured in a truck accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. We fight for your compensation in the following areas:
- Past and future medical expenses. This includes any hospital costs, medications, physical therapy and a wide range of other medical expenses related to your accident and recover.
- Loss of income. You can receive compensation for lost wages if your truck accident injuries caused you to miss work or lose your job.
- Diminished earning capacity. If you experienced a decline in mental function or physical ability resulting in a change of job to a lower paying position.
- Physical pain and suffering. Pain and suffering refers to emotional or physical distress you may experience as a result of the truck accident.
- Physical impairment. Any type of disability in which you are not completely disabled but not able to perform at full physical capacity for work.
- Physical disfigurement. Disfigurement refers to injuries that leave scarring, burn marks, lose of body part or any other change in physical appearance.
- Wrongful death damages. Refers to deaths that result from the wrongful act of truck driver or trucking company.
- Emotional distress. Mental suffering as an emotional response to a truck accident that arises from the effect or memory of a particular accident causing symptoms such as anxiety, depression, loss of ability to perform tasks, or physical illness.
- Loss of enjoyment of life. Refers to the ways in which an injury effects your quality of life so you receive less enjoyment now than before the accident..
- Loss of consortium. Refers to the death of a family member or loved one in which you are deprived of a relationship’s benefits, typically the loss of a relationship with a spouse, parent, or child.
- Punitive damages. Refers to compensation you are awarded in a truck accident when the responsible party clearly acted with fraud, malice or gross negligence (eg, DWI, Distracted Driving, etc.).
What if I am partially at fault in a Truck Accident?
Even if you are at fault in a truck accident, you may still be able to receive compensation. The court will assign a percentage to the amount that you are at fault.
If you are less than 50% to blame for the accident, then you may be entitled to compensation. If you are more than 50% responsible, then you may not receive any compensation.
Determining who is at fault is complicated and you should consult with experienced truck accident attorney Steven C. Lee & Associates.
What types of Austin truck accidents commonly result in compensation?
75% of truck fatalities involve 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, and tractor-trailers. These large, heavy commercial trucks can cause fatal accidents if the trucking company or driver operate the truck carelessly, maintain the truck negligently, or fail to abide by state and federal trucking regulations. Here are 8 of the most common types of Austin truck accidents that may result in compensation.
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What will Steven C. Lee & Associates do for me?
We help with RENTAL CARS and MEDICAL EXPENSES. You pay nothing unless we win.
The compensation awarded in Austin Truck Accident cases is often much greater than the compensation awarded in car accidents. The reason for this is because large truck accidents commonly cause substantially more damage than passenger car accidents. In many cases, the damage caused by an 18-wheeler accident can be absolutely devastating leading to severe bodily injuries, long-term mental and physical pain and suffering, and even death.
At Steven. C. Lee & Associates, we understand that dealing with severe injuries, hospitalization, medical bills, or possibly the loss of a loved one can be one of the most traumatic experience a person can go through.
We are here to help you. and we are on your side. We have been working with truck accident victims in and around Austin, Texas for over 30 years. We know how hard recovering can be.
We are here to support you every step of the way and earn you all the compensation you are due. We treat all of our clients respectfully and think of our clients like an extension of our family. We are dedicated to winning for you.
Why choose Steven C. Lee as your Austin Truck Accident Attorney?
For 30 years, Austinites have turned to one personal injury firm to secure them maximum compensation for their commercial truck accident claims. That law firm is Steven C. Lee and Associates. We have the experience, focus, and dedication to hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence.
Who is at fault? How to prove negligence in a truck accident?
Trucking companies have many types of regulations to follow, such as hiring, training, drug testing, inspections, maintenance, drivers’ hours, and record keeping. All that it takes to prove negligence is showing that the trucking company or driver was violating at least one of them when your accident took place. Austin Truck Accident Lawyer Steven C. Lee will help you every step of the way.
Trucking companies and their insurance providers typically have damage control personnel who are trained to respond to accidents. In many cases an insurance adjuster will ask that you give a recorded statement about the accident and your injuries. In too many cases, truck accident victims unintentionally hurt their claims by making assumptions or incorrect statements about how the accident occurred, or even by downplaying their injuries.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires drivers to rest at least 10 hours between shifts. Drivers aren’t permitted to drive more than 60 hours per week, or more than 11 hours in one day, or to work more than 14 hours in a 24 hour period. Drivers must be physically examined regularly, must pass drug tests, and must submit logs on each trip. If they broke any of these rules, we’ll find out.
Our legal team can inspect and preserve evidence at the crash scene, measure skid marks and evaluate the damage to the vehicles, obtain witness statements, examine the elog that records speed and other vital details about the driver’s actions, examine the driver’s GPS system, obtain and review the records of inspections, take photographs of the scene and of the vehicles involved, plus more. All without upfront fees.
About Austin Truck Accident Lawyer Steven C. Lee
As an Austin truck accident lawyer, Steven C. Lee has handled hundreds of cases through settlement and trial. In doing so he has recovered many millions of dollars for his clients, including $7,500,000 for the victim of a trucking accident in 2016. His hard work and success in the courtroom have earned him a spot in the prestigious Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. He is also a member of The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers, the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.
For more than 30 years, Steven Lee has been helping people in need of assistance with commercial vehicle and truck accidents. Steve is a graduate of The University Of Texas at Austin School of Law, where he earned a Doctorate of Jurisprudence. After graduating he worked for several boutique law firms specializing in Personal Injury and Criminal Defense. In 1995 Steve started Steven C. Lee & Associates in Austin, Texas. He has been fighting for his clients' rights and due justice ever since. As of 2015, Steve has become recognized as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the nation and specializes in truck accidents.
Steven Lee is licensed to practice throughout the State of Texas, the United States Federal Court for the Western District, and the United States Supreme Court. He also believes in giving back to the community. Steve is a board member of The Care Communities, an organization committed to providing care and comfort to those facing life threatening illnesses. He and his office have also adopted a portion of Bouldin Creek through Keep Austin Beautiful (KAB).
"You can't win against massive commercial trucks on the roads, but when you hire our experienced truck accident lawyers, you can win in court."
— Austin Truck Accident Lawyer, Steven C. Lee.
Call Steven C. Lee today for a free consultation. 512-236-1300.
Helpful Tips for Austin Truck Accident Victims
Tips provided by Austin Truck Accident Lawyer, Steven C. Lee.
How do I handle an Austin Truck Accident?
Texas highways are home to thousands of commercial trucks and 18 wheelers. When they cause accidents, it is almost always due to negligence. Our local Austin truck accident lawyers work to prove it.
Steven C. Lee is a respected Austin Truck Accident Lawyer and his experienced team will fight for you and your loved ones.
What are the common causes of Austin Truck Accidents?
The leading cause of truck accidents in Austin and surrounding areas is negligence. Negligence is a legal term that describes the failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another. Here are a few of the more common forms of negligence that lead to trucking accidents including those of delivery vehicles.
Speeding: Large trucks are difficult to maneuver quickly including stopping. Failure to maintain safe speeds often leads to a loss of control or an inability to stop safely.
Fatigued Driver: Truck drivers are required by federal law to only drive a certain number of hours per week. As the enforcement of these regulations is difficult to police, trucking companies often push drivers for more hours on the road with unrealistic schedules. Tired, exhausted drivers are not as responsive as they need to be behind the wheel of a large truck.
Improperly Maintained Trucks/Trailers: Truck accidents are not always caused by drivers. Sometimes there are equipment malfunctions that lead to truck accidents. Such equipment failures can involve braking systems, steering issues, tire blowout, engine failure, trailer brake lights, and load balance.
Distracted Driving: Distractions while driving are quickly growing as one of the leading causes of truck accidents as well as delivery vehicle accidents. Distracted driving usually is caused by drivers paying more attention to their phones than the road.
Drunk Driving: Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be a contributing factor in truck accidents.
Insufficient Driver Training: Drivers are required to have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and demonstrate the ability to operate trucks in a safe and professional manner. But not all drivers have their CDL, and not all drivers have the appropriate training to drive professionally.
Third Party Interference: In some cases a third party can cause an accident. For example, a sports car cuts-off a large truck with no room to spare leading to a multi-vehicle collision. In such cases, there may be multiple parties responsible for your accident, and they all may owe you compensation.
Bad Weather: Weather can also have an impact on truck accidents here in Austin due to high winds, water on roads, icy bridge conditions, and heavy rain. Even hotter weather in the Texas summer can lead to blowouts on truck tires due to excessive road temperatures on worn tires.
Austin Truck Accident Lawyer, Steven C. Lee, will help you understand every aspect of your case.
Why do I need an Austin Truck Accident Lawyer?
Truck accidents are not the same as a car accident. Truck accidents are far more complicated and often involve state and federal regulations. But the biggest challenge is proving liability in a truck accident claim.
Liability is essentially determining who caused the accident; what party is at fault. Holding the correct party responsible for damages is critical to your compensation. Without a clear determination of liability, damages may not be awarded.
You need the experienced legal team of Steven C. Lee & Associates to help you through this process.
Trucking accidents can often involve one than one individual or business entity. For example, a truck driver may be hired through a company that transfers and ships equipment or items, but the driver may also work as an independent contractor without a connection to company. In these situations, the trucker may remain solely liable for the incident.
Knowing these various scenarios is vital for you in seeking compensation. Steven C. Lee will investigate all aspects of your case to determine who is at fault.
Identifying the Responsible Party
In truck accidents, there are several parties that may be liable for your accident.
- Truck Manufacturer: If the truck manufacturer created the vehicle with a defect, this could lead to the cause of an accident.
- Equipment Manufacturer: Another manufacturer that made the tires, ropes or pulleys could have a defect that leads to an accident.
- The Trucking Company: The agency or company that hires the trucker may not perform inspections correctly or routinely leading to negligent accidents.
- Other Third Parties: If the trucking company cuts corners, the employer or company may hold liability in the accident. Then, there are third parties that could have some connection to the collision. The last person is the trucker, and they may possess full responsibility or share it with another party.
The Truck Driver
The truck driver may be fully liable for the accident if they are breaking the law, having an operational issue with the truck, distracted while drive, or consuming drugs or alcohol. It may also be the driver’s fault if they are driving long hours in a single trip, driving at night, drowsy driving or experiencing a health conditions/issue. In most cases, the truck driver is to blame.
The Trucking Company
The company that hires a truck driver may also be the responsible party. But proving this can be difficult as it must be proved that an inspection was incomplete, the company was cutting corners around safety, pushing drivers to work longer hours, etc. Some of our investigations have revealed that trucking companies share liability in incidents due to faulty equipment or cutting corners to shorten delivery times.
The Owner of the Truck
In some cases ,the trucking company does not own the truck but uses it and provides the vehicle for a trucker. In these cases, the owner may hold liability in a trucking incident. The owner of the truck must maintain the truck and keep in safe working order. There are federal regulations that govern the inspection and maintenance of commercial trucks. If these steps are not followed, the owner of the truck can be liable.
The Cargo Loader
Truck accidents can also be caused by the cargo loaders, For example, the loader did not fully inspect the cargo or did not secure it properly. In these incidents, the cargo loader may be fully liable for causing the accident.
Determining liability is complicated and requires an experienced legal team that understands every aspect of trucking accidents.
At Steven C. Lee & Associates, we have extensive experience investigating and litigating complex commercial trucking accident claims. We understand the tactics used by insurance companies to try to complicate matters and their strategies to reduce or deny your claims. We are here to help you. Give us a call today!
What state laws and federal regulations effect my truck accident case?
Accidents caused by commercial trucks can lead to serious consequences for private vehicle drivers and their passengers. These can range from personal injuries to car damages and even loss of life. They affect your life and financial security long after the accident. If you find yourself in a similar situation, it pays to know the laws regulating trucks and truck-related accidents. We are here to help you every step of the way.
As is the case with every industry in the country, there are federal and state laws that apply to trucking companies and their drivers. On the federal level, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are the two main agencies responsible for regulating these laws. At the state level, Texas has a dedicated department responsible, Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) for implementing these laws in its jurisdiction.
These regulations impose standards on the proper conduct that trucking companies need to follow when operating their business. These include requirements for their trucks, drivers, and cargo. In the event of a truck-related accident, the following laws can work in your favor:
Quality Control of Trucks
Commercial vehicles are subject to regulations on their manufacturing and maintenance. They ensure that the trucks’ condition and performance are suitable for the road. When truck accidents occur, it is crucial to determine whether there were any vehicle defects. If so, it may serve as evidence in your case against the trucking company.
Limits and Guidelines on Cargo
Depending on the truck’s size, there is a legal limit to the cargo’s weight. It is typically set at 80,000 pounds, inclusive of the truck’s weight. That said, it will serve you well to include this information when resolving legal matters after a truck accident.
Apart from weight, the quality of cargo is regulated as well. In the case of hazardous materials, the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS) provides safety guidelines when transporting such materials. Your investigation should look into possible lapses that could have caused the accident.
Requirements for Truck Drivers
State laws require a commercial driver’s license for drivers of large trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, and other commercial vehicles. If your accident involves a truck driver without a license, it may benefit your case against him and the trucking company.
Moreover, the trucking company must also follow limits on the allowable driving hours. If the driver exceeded his hours during the accident, this lapse could impact your case.
Proving Liability in Truck Accident Cases
When filing a case against the truck driver and trucking company, the goal is to prove their liability for your injuries. It makes them responsible for your expenses and other damages related to the accident. Gathering the following information can help support this.
Breaking Trucking Regulations
There must be evidence to show that the abovementioned laws were broken. It shows negligence, whether on the end of the truck driver or the trucking company.
Ignorance of Driving Rules
Apart from trucking regulations, drivers are also subject to basic driving rules. These include following speed limits, proper turns, and changing lanes. Moreover, they must not drink or send text messages while driving. Lapses in any of these rules can be grounds for a legal case.
Unfit to Hire
Proving negligence can also pertain to the trucking company. For example, if they hired someone unfit to drive, this information can help your lawsuit. The same goes for hiring drivers who have a pending criminal case.
Determining Compensation in Truck Accident Cases
Building your case against the trucking company includes determining the proper compensation for your damages. These typically include:
- Car damages, such as repairs or replacement
- Medical expenses, such as hospitalization fees, doctors’ fees, follow-up treatments, at-home care services, and medication
- Effects on your mental health caused by the accident, like trauma, anxiety, and stress
- Loss of wages due to your absence at work following the accident
- Loss of work and the ability to earn due to long-term injuries from the accident
- Death of a loved one due to the accident
Depending on how your case unfolds, the trucking company will provide monetary compensation to cover these damages.
Hiring a Professional to Handle Your Case
For higher chances of winning your case, it is worth seeking the services of an experienced truck accident attorney. A legal professional will assist you in investigating the incident, gathering the necessary information, and recommending the best strategy for your case. Your lawyer can also guide you with any questions about truck-related laws and regulations.
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AUSTIN TRUCK ACCIDENT INFOGRAPHIC
The infographic below was created by Austin Truck Accident Lawyer, Steven C. Lee, to help you visualize the common recommendations if you have been in a truck accident.