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TX truck accident lawyerA serious accident occurred recently at the intersection of Sassman Road and FM 1625. A tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle collided, sending two people to the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries. No one else was hurt, which was quite lucky as tractor-trailers can cause severe injuries and even fatalities. Truck accidents in the United States kill thousands each year, and if you do make it through one, your medical bills will likely be very high.

Causes and Commonalities

Simply because of their size, tractor-trailers can cause devastation if they are involved in traffic accidents. Tractor-trailers carry immense weight, and if that weight strikes your vehicle, it can lead to injuries from cuts and bruises to traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord issues. Statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimate almost 4,900 fatal accidents that involved large trucks or buses, and around 116,000 injury crashes.

There are so many different causes for this type of accident, which can make it difficult to determine who should be held liable for your injuries. However, many of the most common causes tend to pinpoint alleged negligence on the part of the truck driver. Examples include speeding or other types of reckless driving, substance use (alcohol or drugs), driving longer than the FMCSA rules recommend (leading to sleep deprivation), or poorly maintained equipment on the truck.

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TX accident attorneyA tragic accident occurred on Loop 1604 recently, as a man ran into traffic on the road near Culebra Rd., intentionally jumping into the path of an 18-wheeler. While the man was pronounced deceased by emergency medical services, the accident no doubt has had a permanent effect on the truck driver - both because of the obvious human drama and because on some occasions, causing the death of someone on the road can lead to liability in wrongful death, for both the driver and for their employer. While suicides are rare, accidents resulting in death can be more common, and if you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

Specific Criteria for Filing

The Texas wrongful death act states that if someone’s death occurred due to the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness or default” of another person, that person may be held liable. This can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint, especially in automobile or truck accidents, because there can be a very fine line between pure accident and negligence. However, there are certain requirements that can show that a trucker (and, in some cases, their employer) was negligent enough to cause the victim’s passing.

Only certain family members can bring a wrongful death suit in the state of Texas - generally, parents, children, or surviving spouses. Other family members are perceived to be too far removed from the loss, rightly or wrongly. Those who can file, however, may be able to recover for funeral expenses, loss of inheritance, loss of the decedent’s earnings and companionship, and the surviving family members’ mental anguish, pain, and suffering.

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TX truck accident lawyerRecently, the residents of a small apartment building on West Drexel Avenue in San Antonio received a rude awakening when a pickup truck crashed into the building. The driver allegedly claimed no knowledge of how he got there, and law enforcement saw no evidence of alcohol or other substances. Currently, the incident is being explained by the driver suffering a medical episode. However, if you ever are in this type of situation, it can be extremely confusing and disconcerting, especially if medical episodes are a common thing for you. It can ease your mind to have a clear picture of your liability compared to others.

Negligence Requires Voluntary Action

Torts are basically the civil equivalent of crimes, and if someone has committed a tort under Texas law, it can generally be held that they have acted negligently. In most car accident cases, at least one of the drivers can be shown to have been negligent in their actions, and negligence is what most often triggers liability. In other words, if a plaintiff can show that the defendant did not exercise reasonable care in their actions, they may wind up being held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries and suffering.

However, if someone has a medical episode while driving, in theory, they have not been negligent because the medical episode was not a conscious action they chose to make. Negligence requires conscious, voluntary action (or inaction) - in other words, a person has to knowingly act in a specific way before they can be accused of negligence. Having a medical episode is not an “action” - it is something that one’s body or brain does on its own. The question after this type of accident is usually whether or not anyone at all can be held liable.

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TX accident lawyerRecently, the driver of an 18-wheeler was killed when he lost control of his vehicle, causing it to fall off the upper level of I-10 West near Laredo Street. The vehicle cut across lanes of traffic, hit the retaining wall, and fell over onto the street below. Truck accidents like this are somewhat rare, but while the unfortunate driver was pronounced dead at the scene, there were apparently no other injuries sustained. If you are not as lucky, you may at least be able to seek compensation for the injuries you have suffered in such an accident.

Trucking Accidents Are Deadly

Because of the cargo weight and size of 18-wheelers, accidents where they are involved are much more likely to be dangerous or even deadly than those involving smaller automobiles. Data from 2017 estimates that there were approximately 4,200 fatal crashes involving large trucks (only 1 percent of the police-reported total), but there were approximately 56,000 trucks involved in injury crashes, which is a higher proportion of vehicles on the road compared to the number of cars involved in accidents.

Other factors in trucking accidents are very, very common on Texas roads - for example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that almost 60 percent of all trucking accidents occur on rural roads, and nearly 30 percent occurred on interstate highways, of which Texas has the most mileage in the United States. Rural roads lend themselves to both speeding and a phenomenon called ‘highway hypnosis’, both of which can play major roles in auto accidents.

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TX accident attorneyRecently, one man was killed when his Honda Accord collided with a large Penske truck on Medical Drive, near Babcock Road. The small car became wedged under the truck, and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was unharmed, though his vehicle sustained significant damage. If you or one of your loved ones is involved in a crash like this with a large truck, it can feel like you have no options, especially if there is evidence to suggest that you played a role in your own injuries. However, it may still be possible to recover depending on the specific situation.

Accidents Involving Trucks Can Be Severe

Accidents involving large trucks, unfortunately, can be the cause of extensive injury due to the size of these vehicles. An accident involving two cars, or a car and a pickup truck, will often lead to injuries, but neither vehicle has the significant advantage in size or weight most of the time; a large rental truck like the Penske truck, however, has the potential ability to crush a small automobile like a Honda Accord, and obviously, the potential injuries to the driver can be life-threatening. Texas recorded approximately 600 fatal crashes involving large trucks and truck/tractors in 2018.

There are several reasons why accidents involving large trucks happen, despite safety training and strict federal regulations on commercial drivers. Sometimes, of course, an automobile driver will drive recklessly or negligently and totally or wholly cause their own injuries. However, some cases do involve dangerous behavior on the part of truck drivers. For example, it is more common than most people are aware of for truck drivers to drive longer hours than recommended by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and that type of fatigue is a serious factor in accidents. Every case is different and requires a dedicated investigation.

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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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