Commercial trucks are heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Any truck that fits into one of these categories must follow FMCSA regulations:
Commercial Trucks & Regulations
- A truck with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 4,537 or higher
- A vehicle used to transport between 9 and 15 passengers for compensation
- A vehicle used to transport 16 or more passengers
- A vehicle used to transport hazardous materials
This includes semi-trucks, garbage trucks, dump trucks, flatbeds, tow trucks, construction vehicles, oversized trucks, and many other vehicles. Because of the damage that can be caused by such sizable vehicles, drivers and companies are held to strict standards. Drivers must comply with hours of service regulations that outline how long and how often they drive, as well as how frequently they must take breaks. Regulations also address drug and alcohol testing, training requirements, safety procedures, and inspection requirements.
Drivers in Austin are further governed by the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Service, which is part of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Drivers and companies must follow weight restrictions, registration laws, and motor carrier safety guidelines.
What to Do After a Truck Accident
What you do in the moments after a truck accident matters. Your choices could make the difference between a successful personal injury claim and a low settlement. Immediately after the crash, take these steps:
01 Call 911
Contact emergency services immediately. You may need ambulance transportation to seek medical care. Even if no one is seriously injured, the accident must be reported to the police.
02 Gather Evidence
The scene of a truck crash puts others on the road at risk, so you have a limited amount of time to gather evidence. Keep in mind that the trucking company may have representatives who show up to gather evidence at the crash scene. You should not answer their questions or otherwise engage with them until you have an attorney. Take photos from multiple angles and get video footage of the crash scene. Try to include signs and landmarks in your photos to show where the crash is. Take photos of the roadway to capture any skid marks or debris that could be useful evidence.
03 Get Contact Information from Witnesses
Crash witnesses can be a useful resource if you plan on seeking compensation from the other party. If anyone stops to provide assistance or make sure everyone is okay, get their contact information to pass along to your attorney.
04 Seek Medical Care
You may think you don’t need to get medical care unless you are in serious pain or have obvious injuries. However, a medical checkup is essential. The body produces a burst of adrenaline after a stressful event to block pain and protect itself. When the adrenaline wears off, you will feel the full effects of your injuries. Seeing a doctor right away ensures that any injuries are properly documented and treated.
05 Contact an Attorney
Ideally, you should have an Austin personal injury lawyer before the other party’s insurance adjusters and representatives begin contacting you. This protects you from making crucial mistakes early on in the process.
06 Call Us
Reach out to the team at Anderson Injury Lawyers to start exploring your legal options.
Truck Accident Compensation
Since commercial trucks can cause so much damage in a crash, they have much higher insurance requirements than passenger vehicles.
On a federal level, trucking companies must have $750,000 of coverage for each truck in their fleet that is 10,001 pounds or heavier. Texas law requires that companies with interstate drivers meet this minimum and have an additional $250,000 per vehicle. Limits are lower for vehicles that only travel in Texas and higher for vehicles that transport hazardous substances. These stringent insurance requirements may make it easier to get fairly compensated for your injuries. When you meet with the team at Anderson Injury Lawyers, we will discuss several types of damages with you:
- Medical expenses and bills
- Lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Property damage
The compensation you get is largely determined by the type of accident, the severity of your injuries, and the strength of your claim.
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Additional Information about truck accidents
Resources for Truck Accident Victims
A truck accident can leave victims with physical and mental health struggles. Beyond that, they may have significant financial stress. There are numerous resources available to victims:
- Texas Health and Human Services, providing services to people with disabilities and family members
- Your Texas Benefits offers information on benefits that may be available to those with temporary or permanent disabilities
- Brain Injury Association of Austin supports people with brain injuries and their loved ones
- Austin Police Department where you can request a copy of your accident report
- Coalition of Texans With Disabilities, an excellent resource for those learning to navigate life after becoming disabled
- The Austin Center for Grief and Loss, which can support those who have lost a loved one in an accident
If you suffered harm in an accident or any incident caused by negligence, contact Anderson Injury Lawyers right away. We offer individualized attention, over 25 years of experience, and everything you need to get everything you deserve.
- We accept calls 24/7 /
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- you owe us nothing unless we win