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TX accident lawyerA crash on the afternoon of December 19 caused a fairly significant problem on Loop 1604 in San Antonio, between Stone Oak and Highway 281 - a utility truck was involved in an accident, which then caused it to leak a substantial amount of fuel onto the roadway. While ultimately, no injuries were reported, these types of crashes can be dangerous, and they can also pose complex questions about just who is liable if injuries or fatalities do occur.

Utility Trucks Occupy Unusual Legal Ground

Trucks are grouped under the law by their weight, in most situations. Pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles are regulated the same way as automobiles. 18-wheelers and other big rigs are usually overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other authorities that can competently regulate commercial trucking and its nitty-gritty details. Utility trucks very often wind up in the middle, both in terms of weight and in terms of the regulations imposed upon them, and it is because they can differ significantly in terms of size and weight within that classification.

Texas has very few regulations that apply specifically to utility trucks, but many of the most common tend to be treated as pickup trucks - for example, communications companies and landscaping businesses use utility trucks which are retrofitted pickups. However, the important thing to keep in mind is that while they may be the same size as a personal or private vehicle, they are invariably treated as commercial vehicles. This may put their employers on the proverbial hook.

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TX accident attorneyA crash near Elgin on Tuesday morning, December 11, took the lives of three people when a semi-truck failed to yield the right of way as it tried to turn onto Roy Davis Road and struck a Chevy Tahoe. The driver and two passengers in the Tahoe were pronounced dead at the scene, with the truck driver sustaining no reported injuries. This is unfortunately common with regard to accidents involving trucks; the sheer size of the vehicle often protects the driver, while those in smaller vehicles are injured. If you have been through this, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries.

Truck Accident Statistics

For roughly the past decade, there has been a steady increase in the number of fatal road accidents involving large trucks, up approximately 30 percent from 2009. Injury accidents have also sharply risen since then, going from 60,000 in 2009 to approximately 119,000 in 2016. Texas mirrors this pattern as its cities continue to grow and evolve, though many of its roads do not (tangled traffic is a major cause of auto accidents, and many Texas highways have been recognized as among the most dangerous in the country, especially I-35).

The accident at U.S. 290 and Roy Davis does share some of the most common characteristics of fatal truck accidents, most notably that it occurred during the day, that it occurred on a weekday, and that it occurred on an interstate highway. The significant majority of fatal truck accidents occurred, in the data set, on weekdays during the daylight hours (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM), and a significant minority - about one-third - of fatal truck accidents occurred on interstate highways. Also, the first harmful event in this accident was a collision with another vehicle - in other words, no one did anything unlawful or inappropriate until one vehicle struck the other. While this may seem inconsequential, it matters because more common types of accidents are often less difficult for insurance companies to deal with.

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Posted on in Truck Wrecks

TX accident lawyerOn the night of December 6, northbound I-35 had to be closed near Oltorf Street in Austin, after an 18-wheeler lost control and crashed into the cinderblock barrier in the middle of the interstate, pushing the blocks into the lanes themselves. As of this writing, there appear to be no injuries, but it is very easy to envision such a crash injuring many if certain factors were different. If you are injured in a crash such as this with an 18-wheeler, it can be difficult to determine whether you have a claim for compensation.

Many Possible Causes

While each accident is different, there are several causes that seem to keep showing up in the relevant statistics. One of the most common is simple distracted driving - any driver is prone to change the radio, to look in the mirror, to eat, to do any manner of potentially distracting things instead of keeping their eyes on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 481,000 drivers are using their cell phone while driving at any given time - it stands to reason that some of them will be 18-wheeler drivers.

Other common causes for trucking accidents include poor roads, which can affect big rigs even more than automobiles simply because of their size, reckless driving - whether on the part of the truck driver or someone else and substance abuse. Also, perhaps most commonly, bending or ignoring the rules set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) regarding driver hours, which can lead to drivers operating on very little sleep or with shoddy maintenance done on their vehicles in order to move quickly enough to meet a client deadline.

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Posted on in Truck Wrecks

TX injury lawyerOn October 3, a man was killed after he tried to pass an 18-wheeler on I-35, winding up going under the vehicle on the right side. The car wound up coming to a stop just off the Manor Road exit, after sustaining severe damage. The driver was found deceased in the car. While there are no charges pending against the truck driver, this type of accident does illustrate how easy it is to misjudge distances and speeds when dealing with large trucks, and how it can be very easy for either you or the trucker to make a mistake. If you are involved in an accident with a big rig, understanding your options is a good idea going forward.

Numerous Causes of Accidents

If one examines statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), one can see that in approximately 5,430 fatal crashes in 2017, 433 (approximately 8 percent) involved semi-trucks or trucks with trailers. For injury crashes, the number lowers - of approximately 135,934 crashes involving injury, 3,325 involved big rigs (approximately 2 percent). It may not sound like much, but only passenger cars (including pickup trucks and SUVs) and motorcycles were responsible for more. Across these categories, one can infer numerous causes - for example, a lower percentage of injury crashes involve large trucks because the accidents involving large trucks tend to be more serious (thus, causing more fatalities than injuries).

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Posted on in Truck Wrecks

TX injury lawyerWhen a person is involved in a truck accident, there are multiple potential reasons why it might have happened. Many of them can be attributable to driver error, meaning that the driver is the one who should, in theory, be liable. However, a truck driver may not always have the funds to be able to meet the amount of a jury award. It begs the question of whether it is worth the time to sue the driver or to seek compensation elsewhere.

Causes of Truck Accidents Are Disparate

Recent available data shows that approximately 4,400 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal accidents nationwide in 2016, with as many as 73 percent of those crashes being at least partially initiated by encroachment into the truck’s path. However, if one breaks down those stats, one will see a host of different events that may play a role in truck crashes - distraction, substance abuse, reckless driving, lack of sleep or otherwise poor reaction times, and so on. In addition, there are multiple other potential causes that can be attributed to other actors besides driver error, such as poor road maintenance.

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The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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