A recent Thursday was the scene of some chaos as a big rig flipped onto its side on the Finesilver Curve ramp in downtown San Antonio, right in the middle of workday traffic. While no injuries were reported, it serves as a reminder that truck accidents can and do happen anywhere, even on busy stretches of urban highway.
Truck Accidents Are Often Fatal
Statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) show that over the last two decades, both crash rates and fatalities have dropped in terms of overall numbers, but from 2014 to 2015 (the most recent available data), there was a very small rise in numbers across the board – fatal crashes involving large trucks, the number of fatalities, and the rate of truck involvement per 100 million miles driven all rose, but only by approximately 1-2 percent each. Still, such data shows that if nothing else, the fatality rate is not decreasing, even as tech is developed and more stringent regulations are enacted to help trim it down.
The numbers when one examines solely Texas statistics are illuminating. The overall crash count involving large trucks or semi-trucks dropped between the two most recent years of data , but so did the number of fatal accidents and injury accidents (both incapacitating and non-incapacitating). Given that there are more trucks on the road in Texas at any given moment as the years go by, it is remarkable that the numbers have dropped even somewhat from year to year.
Who to Sue?
If you are ever in the position to be involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, one of the most pressing questions that you may encounter is the question of who to bring suit against. Unlike with most automobiles, 18-wheelers are commercial vehicles, meaning that the driver of a big rig is an employee of a trucking company. Texas recognizes the doctrine of what is called vicarious liability, meaning that an employer is held liable for negligent acts of their employees if those employees are acting within the scope of employment. Thus, you may bring suit against the driver, but you may also wish to include the trucking company as well.
Be advised, however, that Texas does have a statute of limitations that is quite strict regarding personal injury cases; they must be mounted within two years from the date of the accident, or from the date that your injuries were discovered. The rationale is that any later and memories begin to grow hazy – cases that devolve into he-said-she-said arguments are very difficult to win.
Call Our Truck Accident Lawyers
While the 18-wheeler at Finesilver Curve appeared to have been sent on its way, there is no guarantee that any other truck accident will end so well. If you are unfortunate enough to be injured in a big rig accident, having an experienced attorney on your side can make a difference in the outcome. The skilled New Braunfels truck accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm are happy to try and assist you with your case. Contact our office today to set up an initial consultation.