There are many reasons why deadly truck accidents happen. This photo is from a case we recently concluded where our client’s SUV crashed into the jack-knifed 18-wheeler on Interstate 30 west of Fort Worth. Sometimes the commercial truck driver is negligent for going too fast or not paying attention to other vehicles on the road. Other times the trucking company is to blame for failing to perform needed maintenance or hiring an unqualified driver. Both can be at fault or other vehicle drivers can share the blame. Whatever the reason, if you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal commercial truck crash in Texas or have suffered injuries, you need a good truck wreck attorney on your side to get you the results you want.
For example, in the photograph pictured above, a car driver on the other side of the highway was also at fault. Fortunately, no one died, although our client required a major leg surgery and many months of rehabilitation before he could walk again.
We are #1 — in the fatal commercial truck crash category
When it comes to sports, we Texans are often #1. But one place where we don’t want to be first is when it comes to the fatal commercial truck crash one. Unfortunately, that’s where Texas falls. According to talkbusiness.net, a truck safety organization concluded that Texas ranked first in the total number of 18-wheeler fatal injuries in the most recent year for which statistics were available.
And Texas isn’t trending in the right direction either. The organization reported that Texas ranked fourth in terms of percentage increase in fatal truck crashes from the period of 2009 to 2017.
The safety organization Road Safe America has completed annual statistical reviews of fatal truck crashes from 2009 to 2017. Texas had the largest number of fatalities in 2017, followed by California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania.
The results also indicated that the problem is not getting better here in the Lone Star State. From the period of 2009 to 2017, only Washington, Idaho and Colorado had higher rates of increase in the number of truck crash deaths, according to the report. So the situation is not only terrible but is also deteriorating.
And here in Tarrant and Dallas Counties last year, we had almost 6,000 crashes involving 18 wheelers that sadly killed 53 people and hurt over 3,500 others.
These tragic 18 wheeler collisions should not be the new norm.
Our personal injury law firm only represents people who have been injured or their families in truck, car, motorcycle, and pedestrian crash cases. We see the same mistakes being made, case after case, year after year, and would like to be able to make the roads safer for all of us. We can help do this by suing negligent drivers and their companies and hold them accountable. We just filed a new lawsuit against a major freight carrier and will do everything possible to get our clients a large recovery for their damages.
What causes a fatal commercial truck crash?
1. The driver
The reasons for this problem are wide-ranging, but according to a 2014 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report, the critical reason for truck crashes was driver-related 87% of the time. Under the FMCSA’s standards, that includes incidences like the driver speeding or following another vehicle too closely.
Another 28% are recognition issues, which includes truck drivers who were driving while distracted or were otherwise inattentive. It is against federal law for tractor trailer drivers to use a cell phone but we all know they do it anyway.
An additional 12% were situations of driver non-performance which include falling asleep at the wheel.
Given their weight which often exceeds 80,000 pounds GVWR, we see most 18 wheeler collisions caused by rear end crashes due to excessive speed and improper lookout. The typical big rig needs a whopping two football fields to come to a stop at highway speed of 65 mph. Commercial truck drivers are trained to stop suddenly, but many are tail-gating other vehicles and don’t give themselves sufficient time to brake.
2. The company
Just because the most direct cause of the truck accident that injured you or killed your loved one was driver error doesn’t necessarily mean that the driver alone is responsible for paying your damages.
The trucking company that employed that driver may have been negligent, too, and they may owe you compensation as a result. If the trucking company knew that the driver had a driving history that was demonstrably poor, but hired the driver anyway, that leads to a cause of action for negligent hiring.
If the company continued to put the driver out on the road even after it noticed, or should have realized, that the driver was insufficiently safe behind the wheel, then you may be able to pursue claims for negligent retention or negligent entrustment.
How a personal injury lawyer can help you
He can use the legal system to hold those responsible for your truck accident liable for the damage they caused you and your family. Your injury attorney can help you from the information-gathering process to a verdict or settlement. By yourself, you will have no idea how to proceed, and relying on the generosity of the other driver’s insurance company is a huge mistake.
Whether issuing a subpoena to obtain the carrier’s driving record on another involved driver, seeking discovery of the maintenance and inspection records for a truck involved in the crash or preparing witnesses and arguments for trial, or filing a lawsuit and proceeding to trial, the Dallas-Fort Worth based truck accident legal team at Berenson Injury Law is here to help you every step of the way.
We have handled a number of these cases and just resolved one where a woman tragically died after being struck by a commercial vehicle and five other people were injured.
Our office offers nearly four decades of experience helping clients get the much-needed compensation they deserve.
Recent Texas Truck Crashes Avoidable, Texas Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, Oct. 31, 2018
Why Is US Government Failing to Act as Fatal Truck Crashes Surge?, Texas Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, Sept. 21, 2018
Who Pays Your Damages After 18-Wheeler Crash?, Texas Truck Accident Lawyer Blog, May 24, 2018