Recently, an 18-wheeler trying to avoid a crash wound up jackknifing on Loop 410, spilling its load onto the highway. The driver crashed into the median after swerving around a vehicle that allegedly had cut him off, dumping the truck’s load of sod onto Southeast Loop 410 and closing the highway for several hours. While no injuries were reported in this particular incident, they very easily could have happened, especially to the driver of the smaller vehicle. If you are involved in an accident with a large truck, your injuries are likely severe; seeking compensation for what you have been through may be a good idea.
Causes and Effects
There are countless causes for 18-wheeler crashes. Some can be attributed to driver error, such as speeding, disobeying traffic signals and stop signs, and in particular, driving while fatigued. (The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [FMCSA] has regulations governing worker hours, but many truck drivers ignore them or are told to ignore them, in order to deliver orders more quickly.) Others may be somewhat inevitable, or at the very least, not the fault of either driver in the accident – poor maintenance on an 18-wheeler is a prime example, as the driver may have no idea of a fault in their vehicle unless it is too late.
Truck accidents are disproportionately serious, causing a large number of injuries and fatalities each year – the most recent available data from the FMCSA estimates that approximately 5,000 people died in large truck and bus crashes in 2017, but the total number of crashes involving large trucks and buses was only 4,889. It is perhaps understandable that the numbers would be somewhat skewed, given the sheer size and weight of most large trucks (especially if they are carrying a load).
Establishing Liability Can Be Difficult
If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler accident, it is important to be aware that these types of cases are not necessarily as straightforward as standard auto-accident matters might be. A truck driver who causes the wreck that injures you is usually working for an employer, and Texas law holds that if an employee is acting within the “course and scope of employment” when they commit a tort (a civil wrong), their employer may be held liable under a doctrine called respondeat superior, also known as vicarious liability.
In addition, there may be other potential defendants whose negligence or recklessness contributed to your injuries. For example, if it is determined there was a defect in the truck, or in the other car, it may be possible to hold the manufacturer liable. Product liability cases can be difficult to navigate without an experienced attorney on your side, but it is very possible to establish that the defect in your vehicle, or in the truck, caused the accident, and that were it not for that defect, the crash might not have happened.
Call a New Braunfels Truck Accident Attorney
While the Loop 410 accident was cleared up within a handful of hours, the next 18-wheeler crash on the same highway may be far more serious. If you have been injured due to a large truck crash, you deserve a dedicated New Braunfels truck accident lawyer who will take your case seriously. The Bettersworth Law Firm has experience in these matters, and we are happy to sit down with you to try and answer your questions. Contact our offices today at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.