The morning of August 14 saw I-35 near New Braunfels closed, as the brakes of an 18-wheeler caught fire. The truck became stuck, spilling cargo on the road that required several hours to clean up. While as of this writing, no injuries have been reported, it is worth noting that this particular type of crash, which can seem innocuous, can cause severe injury both to the truck driver and to others on the road.
Trucks Can Be Dangerous to All
It is well established that trucking accidents can cause severe injury and death for all involved, and generally do, given the higher weights and potentially dangerous substances that may play a part. The most recent available data reports approximately 4,000 deaths from truck accidents in 2016, but the most important note is that of these fatalities, an astonishing 97 percent of the deaths in two-vehicle accidents of this type (where one was a truck and the other an automobile) were automobile occupants. Trucks simply have the proverbial edge.
What many do not grasp is that sometimes, trucks are so insufficiently maintained that they can at times pose a danger to their drivers, as well. If trucks are improperly maintained, they can not only incur issues like fines from governmental authorities – they can also be potentially dangerous to operate. If, for example, the company which owned the truck that caught fire could be shown to have not maintained it properly and the driver was injured, the company could plausibly be on the proverbial hook for a negligence or product liability claim.
Cargo Can Cause Accidents
The other manner in which a truck accident can be dangerous for other drivers is if any spilled cargo winds up in the road, as it did in New Braunfels. Depending on the type of truck, any sort of cargo can, in theory, wind up falling off – landscaping items or bricklayer’s materials can be just as dangerous and unexpected as can commercial cargo intended for sale. The crux of the matter is whether or not such items can lead to injuries being suffered if they wind up in traffic.
If you are injured in this type of accident, you do have options by which you can seek compensation. While some are more likely to succeed than others, one commonly seen argument is to state that cargo falling onto the road constitutes negligence per se, which means that you would not have to prove negligence because the act itself is negligent under the law. In Texas, negligence per se is when a defendant breaks a law and in doing so, injures someone the law is designed to protect. The classic example is a drunk driver – laws exist that bar driving under the influence and these laws are intended to protect other motorists. If someone drives drunk and hits another car, they have broken the law and directly injured someone that law was designed to protect.
Seek Experienced Legal Help
While sometimes truck accidents do not hurt anyone, sometimes their fallout is very severe. If you have been harmed in a truck accident, our skilled New Braunfels car crash lawyers may be able to help you obtain the compensation you need to pay your bills and get back on your feet. The Bettersworth Law Firm has years of experience and is happy to put it to work for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.