Austin Truck Accidents: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Rights

Getting involved in an accident with a large truck or semi-truck can be overwhelming and scary. Truck accidents are different than typical car accidents and require a different approach when pursuing a legal claim. Given the increase in truck crashes in Austin, large trucking companies now employ rapid-response teams of investigators, Austin truck accident lawyers, and accident reconstructionists to begin planning for the defense of any case immediately after an accident occurs.

The stakes in a catastrophic truck injury or wrongful death case are very high. If you are a victim, an experienced attorney can be your best offense against a truck company’s rapid response teams, which are usually very aggressive in pushing the bounds to avoid liability for crashes their clients have potentially caused.

To pursue any kind of Austin truck accident cases, critical evidence is essential. It must prove that the party at fault violated important safety regulations or destroyed evidence to avoid liability. For example, log books that can prove speeding or driving over hours in a dangerously fatigued state may be destroyed by a trucking company’s rapid response team shortly after a crash.

Electronic data recorders may also be erased if not preserved properly. This is why you need the guidance of a capable Austin injury attorney if you are injured in a truck accident.

Things to Do After a Truck Accident in Austin

Many drivers assume that the state laws and accident claims for all types of injuries are the same. However, there are distinct differences between different categories of accidents. Understanding them is key to protecting yourself if you have been involved in an accident involving trucks or semi trucks. 

  • Stay calm and assist injured passengers. 

Even if it seems to have been a minor accident, contact local police and seek medical attention, if needed. If anyone may be hurt or injured, call an ambulance immediately. Do not move the injured passengers unless it is necessary to avoid further injury. Be sure to report and document any minor pain, as well. It may seem less important at the time of the accident than more severe injuries, but it could become serious later on.

  • Write down as much information as you can about the accident.

Document as much information as possible at the accident scene, because it is common for a truck driver who caused the crash to change their story later on. 

Misinformation or errors may also appear in the police report. This information can play a critical role in your Austin truck accident claim, so it is important to make sure that any mistakes are corrected in the official record. If you can, take note of the following information:

  • The location of the accident
  • The time, direction, weather conditions, other vehicles that were traveling at the time of the accident
  • All injuries that any truck accident victims sustained 
  • A description of how the truck crash happened
  • Whether you suspect drugs or alcohol contributed to the accident
  • Any vehicle or property damage
  • The names and phone numbers of eyewitnesses
  • Names of all police officers who arrive at the scene
  • License plate numbers of all vehicles involved
  • Name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and insurance information of every other driver involved.
  • Notify your auto insurance company immediately

This is a crucial step and must not be skipped at any cost. In some states, there is a strict, one-year time limit to notify insurance companies and to file a claim for compensation to cover your medical expenses and other losses.

Contacting your insurance company is essential for protecting your rights, even if your injuries do not seem severe. The compensation you receive from them may cover wage loss for the first three years following the accident, medical bills related to the accident, payment for mileage to and from medical appointments and attendant care, and household replacement services. Your auto insurance company may have a form available for you to complete. 

Accurately include all of your injuries and impairments while completing the form. If you need assistance, our experienced auto accident lawyers can help you navigate through the complex and painful process.

When a victim fails to adhere to this one-year deadline on time, they may lose this essential coverage. There is also a time limit to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver’s truck insurance company. 

  • Hire an experienced attorney quickly.

Trucking companies are required by state and federal law to keep records of safety inspections and drivers’ hours. Inadequate equipment and driver fatigue cause many accidents, and these records could prove the trucking company’s liability. 

But after a certain period, trucking companies by law can dispose of pre-trip inspection documents and logbooks. This is why it is important to consult an Austin truck accident lawyer as soon as you can, way before vital records are intentionally destroyed.

  • Photograph the scene and cooperate with police.

Take pictures of the truck accident scene if you can do so safely. Be sure to photograph the following:

  • Vehicle damage
  • Skid marks on the roadway next to a measuring stick, shoe, or other objects to help estimate their size 
  • Injured victims

Also, avoid speaking with anyone other than the police about your truck accident, and seek legal help immediately. It is best to avoid talking to investigators from the insurance company or accident lawyers that represent the trucking company, as well. Additionally, do not accept cash in exchange for dropping a potential legal claim against the party at fault.

  • Review your auto insurance policy.

It is important to review your auto insurance policy and any additional coverage you might have after an auto accident. Some typical auto insurance policies have common loopholes that cause people to lose out on benefits.

This happens when accident victims did not understand the interplay between their health insurance plans, managed care plans, and retirement plans. In most cases, with uncoordinated coverage, victims may be entitled to receive a “double-dip recovery” under a policy.

  • Do not leave the scene of the accident.

 It is important to remember that, unless you are being transported to the emergency room by ambulance, you should remain at the scene if you have been in an 18 wheeler accident in Austin TX until all other drivers and police have left.

  • Never sign a release or state without your lawyer’s permission.

Trucking companies often send defense attorneys, investigators, and insurance adjusters immediately to the accident scene to lessen the company’s liability. Do not speak with them or sign anything. Never give statements and never sign a release or allow the adjuster to look at the auto damage. 

Too many people rush into signing adjusters’ documents without having the language reviewed by a legal professional first. These people may lose their right to sue the negligent truck driver and the trucking company for accident-related injuries, even in wrongful death accidents. Seeking legal help in difficult times like these is very beneficial.

Consulting an Experienced Austin Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has faced a truck accident in Texas, contact a reputable legal professional at your earliest convenience. At Khattar Law, P.C., we can address each case’s unique demands and craft a strong legal strategy to optimize results. Our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of tort law and have handled many truck crash cases in the past. 

Contact today to schedule a free case evaluation. You can focus on healing while we do everything possible to pursue your claim. At Khattar Law, P.C., we go the extra mile for truck accident victims to fight for their rights.