While most truck drivers are careful drivers, when accidents do happen, they can be the most deadly and dangerous. Such was the accident in San Antonio on November 30, when an 18-wheeler and a tow truck collided on I-35, near Somerset Road. The 18-wheeler rear-ended the heavy tow truck, coming over the top and crushing the cab. While there may only be so much one can do in such an accident, it is generally a good idea to understand the potential danger semi-trucks pose to drivers of cars.
Truckers Face Special Issues
Truckers drive commercially, rather than for personal reasons, and as such, they have to abide by regulations set out by both their home state and by the federal government. However, in reality, pressure from their employers to make money means that certain rules are often bent. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations regarding the number of hours in a day that one may work are routinely flouted. A trucker may drive without sleep or may engage in the use of illegal substances in order to meet quotas that are set above legal limits.
In Texas, truckers also have to contend with the hazards of I-35 traffic, given its status as one of the main conduits for goods from Mexico. Given the volume of traffic, construction projects have been routinely put off, creating adverse driving conditions perhaps not seen on other thoroughfares. Between these and the fact that trucks are simply bigger and more difficult to maneuver than automobiles, it can be a dangerous time driving next to trucks, especially 18 wheelers.
To prove negligence on a trucker’s behalf, the process is generally the same as it is to prove negligence on the part of another auto driver. There are four criteria that must be fulfilled in order to allege that someone is liable for your injuries: the first is the existence of a duty of care, which is alluded to throughout the Texas Transportation Code. The second is to be able to show that duty was breached. The third is to show the breach of the duty of care happened directly because of the conduct of the defendant, with no superseding cause. The fourth is to show that you suffered tangible harm as a result of that breach (as opposed to short-term injuries such as cuts and bruises).
These criteria, as one might notice, tend to flow together. If one looks at the example of the accident near Somerset Road, one can see that it is plausible that the tow truck driver, had he survived, might have a negligence claim against the driver of the 18-wheeler, and possibly against the trucking company. Since a duty to exercise due care is enshrined in Texas law, it does not have to be proven again. It is also reasonable to argue that the duty of care was breached by the driver of the 18-wheeler, causing tangible harm, because it would be extremely unlikely for such an accident to happen if the semi-truck driver had been exercising due care.
Call Our Truck Accident Attorneys
Truck accidents claim more lives and cause more injuries than car accidents for a lot of different reasons, and it can be hard to keep the details straight in the mind. If you have been injured and believe you may have a case, contact the Bettersworth Law Firm. Our skilled New Braunfels truck accident attorneys can sit down with you and discuss your situation, and try to work out the best path for you and yours going forward. Contact our offices today to set up an initial appointment.