Due to COVID-19, virtual meetings and consultations are available if preferred.
The Bettersworth Law Firm

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS! CALL NOW!

Call Us830-606-0404   888-392-0039

New Braunfels San Antonio Sequin Austin

TX truck accident lawyerIn September, one person died and another was injured after a semi-truck failed to stop at a red light after exiting I-35 in San Antonio. Police have reported that the truck’s brake failure was a factor in the accident. Unfortunately, accidents due to failing or malfunctioning truck equipment are not uncommon, and liability can be complex in these cases. If you have been injured in a truck accident caused by brake failure or improper maintenance, an experienced attorney can help you build the case you need for compensation.

Dangers of Failing Brakes in Texas Truck Accidents

Because of their large size and weight, big-rig trucks often require a longer stopping time and distance even with properly working brakes. At a highway speed of 65 miles per hour, a fully loaded truck can take up to 600 feet to come to a complete stop, and without working brakes, this distance can increase significantly. This can be a major problem on I-35 exit ramps, which often require trucks to decelerate in a short amount of time.

To combat the dangers of failing truck equipment, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires trucking companies to inspect and maintain trucks regularly to ensure they are safe for the road. They also must keep detailed records of maintenance and repairs performed, and drivers must always ensure their vehicle is safe before driving. Despite these regulations, accidents still happen, and multiple parties may be liable.

...

TX truck accident lawyerHurricane Laura struck Louisiana in late August, causing 17 deaths (as of this writing) and causing significant damage to the state’s power grid. Power companies serving the region estimate months of weeks with no power, despite oppressive humidity and heat. Several charities have mobilized to help with food and water, including the Salvation Army, but in early September, a canteen truck en route from New Braunfels to Lake Charles was totaled in a rollover accident on I-10. While no one was harmed, rollover accidents are among the most deadly crashes on the road, and if you have been in one, your injuries may be severe.

“Particularly Violent in Nature”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) characterizes rollover crashes as “complex” and “particularly violent in nature” because of the sheer amount of weight being transferred and the sheer mass involved as a vehicle rolls. Data shows that on average, only around 2 percent of all vehicle crashes are rollovers - but they include as many as 35 percent of all traffic deaths. While this is augmented by a lack of seatbelt use among many rollover victims, the statistics are still quite sobering.

While many rollover accident causes are the same as in any other accident, some causes do appear more often in rollovers than they might in statistics on normal accidents. For example, in a given year, nearly three-quarters of all fatal rollover accidents occurred when the speed limit on the road was 55 mph or higher. Substance abuse is another cause that occurs disproportionately in rollover crashes, with roughly half of all rollovers involving alcohol.

...

TX truck accident lawyerA recent morning saw a dangerous crash on Loop 1604, near Shaenfield Road, as a truck driver rolled his 18-wheeler after an “unknown vehicle” allegedly cut him off and caused him to lose control. He managed to escape, though he sustained third-degree burns and was airlifted to University Hospital with “life-threatening” injuries. While only the driver of the truck was injured in this accident, sometimes there are many more victims when 18-wheelers crash. If you are ever involved in a trucking accident, the potential for life-changing injury is sadly all too real.

Causes and Effects

Statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) show that 592 people died in crashes involving commercial trucks or semi-trailers in 2019. This may not seem like many, but the numbers add up nationwide, and the number of serious injuries can be more than twice the number of fatalities in any given year. Large trucks like the one that rolled on Loop 1604 have the advantage over the average driver and vehicle in terms of weight and velocity, and the sheer tonnage involved can lead to potentially life-changing injuries for the accident victim. Truck drivers are actually less likely to be severely injured unless the accident involves an explosion or fire, as the Loop 1604 crash did.

These types of accidents have many causes in common with standard car crashes - reckless or negligent driving, as the “unknown vehicle” apparently did to the 18-wheeler driver, is a common one, though others like driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are also seen. Though there are a few that are unique to dealing with big rigs - most importantly, that big rig drivers are bound by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and its rules, including hours of service and maintenance. Failure to abide by these rules may result in liability.

...

TX truck accident lawyerRecently, a 70-year old man was killed after his pickup truck crashed into the back of a semi-truck. According to law enforcement, he swerved to avoid another vehicle near the River Ridge Parkway exit only to crash into the back of the trailer. This is sadly common on Texas roads, especially in situations where construction is going on, as it was on River Ridge Parkway. Truck accidents are disproportionately severe in terms of injury and fatality, for a variety of reasons, and if you have been injured in a crash with a semi-truck, your medical bills will likely be very high. Having an attorney on your side can be helpful to try and seek compensation for what you have been through.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Commercial trucking companies handle shipping all over the country, and as such, they are motivated primarily by money. Delays can cost the company significantly, and because of this, it is not uncommon for truck drivers to perhaps drive longer than is recommended, or edge past speed limits. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) has rules that govern the number of hours a driver may safely put in on the road - however, drivers have routinely admitted to falsifying their drive-time logs and otherwise ignoring the regulations in the name of profit (though it can be assumed that pushing the envelope is often done at their employer’s urging).

While cutting corners in a minor way may seem inconsequential, driving while fatigued is one of the major causes of accidents, either by the trucker or by automobile drivers. Other causes include speeding (by either or both vehicles), inexperience on the part of the truck driver (handling a large truck is very different than handling a standard car or pickup truck), and faulty truck maintenance or upkeep, by the truck company or an outside actor like a mechanic or service center.

...

TX truck accident lawyerRecently, 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).

...

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

Texas Trial Lawyesr Association State Bar of Texas San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association
Back to Top