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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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TX truck accident attorneyOn September 13, a potentially explosive crash occurred on Highway 281, with an 18-wheeler skidding into the guardrail. Upon impact, the truck burst into flame. Three men traveling in a nearby plumbers’ truck pulled over and extricated the driver from the cab, dragging him clear. The driver sustained only cuts and bruises, but the truck was totaled. This type of accident opens up multiple types of potential liability and questions, for both the trucking company and - in certain situations - the driver’s rescuer.

Trucking Company Liability

Normally, if an accident occurs involving an 18-wheeler, the discussion centers around the potential liability to a car struck by the truck. While no other driver was involved in the accident on Highway 281, this is more due to luck than anything, as the driver described losing control of the vehicle. Four hundred and thirty-three fatal crashes involving semi-trucks and large trucks occurred in 2017, and of these accidents, a significant portion involved automobiles. Sheer size and velocity mean that many of the fatalities in such accidents were passengers and drivers of smaller cars.

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TX accident lawyerThe ramp between I-35 South to I-10 West in San Antonio is known as the Finesilver Curve, and it is very common to witness accidents there at all hours. On June 4, traffic was slowed nearly the entire second half of the day due to an 18-wheeler crash just off the ramp itself. No injuries were reported, but this is frequently not the case when big rigs crash. Truck accidents are responsible for significant numbers of fatalities and injuries each year, and if you wind up in such a situation, you need to know just how to bring suit to receive compensation for any injuries.

Stagnation in Numbers

While the total number of fatalities in large truck accidents has actually decreased (for the most part) in the last decade, the most recent available data still shows 4,564 fatalities in 4,075 crashes in 2016 and approximately 180,000 injuries in 119,000 crashes in the same year. This is roughly similar to figures from the previous five years, which may have any number of causes, from increased efficacy of highway safety programs to higher standards required by trucking companies from their employees in terms of maintenance and documentation.

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 Texas injury lawyerOn May 14, an 18-wheeler jackknifed onto the access road of I-35, near Loop 410, after the driver lost control of the vehicle due to the slick roads. The truck remained upright, though at one point firefighters were called, as a minor fuel spill created the risk of fire after making contact with a battery. These types of accidents are not ubiquitous, but they are definitely not uncommon, especially in inclement weather, as 18-wheelers are notoriously difficult to handle even for experienced drivers.

Truck Statistics Are Sobering

While Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) statistics only show approximately 400 fatal crashes involving a truck or semi-truck in 2016, this does not count the number of fatalities, only the number of accidents. If one examines the statistics for the number of crashes which produced injury (both incapacitating and non-incapacitating), the number is closer to 3,000, and that also does not illustrate the total number of injuries, only crashes.

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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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