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IL truck accident attorneySan Antonio law enforcement is seeking a truck driver who fled the scene after causing the death of a motorcyclist, and injuries to several other motorists, in an accident on I-10 one recent night. The truck had been traveling too fast for the flow of traffic and wound up jackknifing across the lanes of I-10 East. Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime, but in addition, the families of those injured can bring suit for negligence and wrongful death if they believe they have a case to do so. If you have been injured in a similar case, you have options to try and recover your expenses.

Truck Crashes All Too Common

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) statistics for 2018 (the most recent available data) show that approximately 465 fatal crashes happened on state roads that involved a semi-truck or tractor-trailer that year, and over 3,000 injury-related crashes in the same time frame. This adds up to about 13 percent of all crashes on Texas roads that year. There are trends within these numbers, including a higher percentage of accidents happening in rural areas.

There are also a handful of causes that continue to reappear in police reports. Excessive speeding, use of alcohol or other substances, and poor road maintenance are among the most common, but the most often reported reason for crashes is driver fatigue. Truck drivers are routinely pushed by their employers to drive beyond regulation limits on hours and miles, and the resulting fatigue very often results in accidents.

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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, a multi-vehicle accident closed all lanes of I-10 near the North Frio Street exit, after a box truck entered the freeway and cut across all the lanes of traffic. Only the box truck driver was injured, being transported to San Antonio Military Medical Center in “priority one” condition. The accident could have been much worse and caused many more injuries, given how common fatalities are from accidents of this type. If you have been injured, or you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, know that you have some options as to seeking compensation for your medical bills and other harm you have suffered.

Box Trucks Cause Crashes

Box trucks, also known as box vans or cube vans, factor in many types of accidents and can cause significant injury and death. While any large truck can be dangerous on the road, box trucks, in particular, have a higher likelihood of tipping over than, say, a standard 18-wheeler, because their center of gravity is often different. Rollover accidents occur more often in vehicles where the center of gravity is higher because it takes less force to take the vehicle off its wheels. Blind spots are also more of a problem with box trucks than with other types of larger trucks like semis because very often the ‘box’ is too tall or too broad for the driver to see around it.

While Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) statistics do not distinguish between semi-trucks or 18-wheelers and box trucks, there is no mistaking that large trucks are disproportionately more likely to cause fatalities than crashes that only involve normal-sized vehicles. Deaths in truck- or bus-related accidents rose approximately nine percent between 2016 and 2017, but large vehicles of this type make up less than half the number of cars on the road at any given moment.

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TX injury lawyerThe 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.

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Texas injury lawyerOn the evening of March 30, one person was killed in a crash with an 18-wheeler in Caldwell County, southwest of Lockhart. That person has since been identified as a San Antonio man, who was the driver. He was killed when his truck flipped and struck a guardrail, and was allegedly not wearing a seatbelt. While it can often be stereotyped as a problem only seen in reckless teenagers, not wearing a seatbelt can contribute to injury and death, especially when dealing with enormous vehicles like 18-wheelers.

Seatbelts Save Lives

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) name auto accidents as one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. for those between ages 0-54 every year, and since statistics have been kept regarding seatbelt use, they have been illuminating, to say the least. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that approximately 14,000 lives can be estimated to have been saved through seatbelt use in 2015, with even more being saved if usage were 100 percent. While this percentage might drop somewhat if one examines only truck crashes, given an 18-wheeler’s heft and forward velocity, it is still noteworthy.

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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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