When it comes to fatal truck accidents, Texas has the misfortune of leading the nation. As we look back to 2018, the most recent year with available data, 658 fatal crashes occurred in Texas. Unfortunately, these resulted in 664 deaths.
These 664 truck accident deaths in Texas accounted for over 13% of the fatalities that result from truck wrecks across the nation that year. Moreover, that’s 52% higher than the next state on the list. That year, California reported the next-highest rate of fatalities in truck wrecks.
In a report to Congress, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) gathered data for accidents with large trucks from 2001 – 2003. Per the report, in the 33-month period, approximately 141,000 truck accidents resulted in injuries or fatalities.
What Are the Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents?
According to that same report, roughly two-thirds of the collisions that large trucks caused had a handful of causes. Here are a few of the causes of fatal truck accidents.
- Failure to recognize crash risks due to distraction or inattention
- Poor decision-making – excessive speeding, tailgating, or misjudging distance
- Incorrect assumptions about the actions of other drivers
Over 60% of collisions caused by trucks resulted from one of two failures.
- Drifting out of the proper lane
- Loss of control of the vehicle
Two decades later, the statistics were still difficult to read. Back in 2018, almost 5,000 people died in accidents between large trucks and passenger vehicles. Moreover, 151,000 people sustained injuries.
The Complications of Fatal Truck Accidents
In a truck accident, there’s more potential for injury. This is due to the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks. When one vehicle weighs tens of thousands of pounds and the other weighs a few thousand, the odds of injury are high.
Moreover, these collisions differ from auto accidents in a few significant ways.
Trucking companies and truck drivers work under a framework of regulations. This fall both from federal and state authorities. Generally speaking, drivers and trucking companies violate these rules on a daily basis.
This negligent behavior has the potential to cause a great deal of harm. When fatal truck accidents occur, it’s essential to hold them accountable.
Truck accidents require an extensive investigation. Oftentimes, it’s essential to explore the conduct of the driver and their employer before the collision. This includes several factors.
- Vehicle maintenance
- Driving record
- Driver condition
These investigations differ quite a bit from other motor vehicle collision investigations. Additionally, there are time-sensitives aspects to both the investigation and discovery. These are essential to your personal injury claim and require immediate attention.
Overall, truck accident cases are complex. This is especially true for fatal truck accidents because they involve wrongful death claims. In your average car collision claim, cases tend to be more straightforward.
In truck collisions, the focus of the case is on both the driver’s conduct that caused the wreck and the liability of the trucking company. That’s why the investigations are so extensive and essential.
It requires a great deal of insight into the pre-wreck misbehavior of the driver and employer as well as the negligence that caused the accident. When you experience a truck collision, it is essential to have an advocate on your side.
With a truck accident lawyer in your corner, you have someone to take the fight to the company. Moreover, you have someone to help you hold the negligent parties accountable.
Related Reading: How to File a Personal Injury Claim
How to Determine Liability in Fatal Truck Accidents
Often, truck accident claims are lengthy and complicated. To begin, there’s an investigation into any and all violations of regulations. This involves both state and federal regulations. Next, there’s the essential question of liability.
Liability determines who is at fault in the accident. When a truck driver experiences an accident, the company’s team of insurance representatives and attorneys works to establish cause and liability. Unfortunately, they also try to cover up evidence and shift blame to the other driver whenever possible.
In commercial collisions, liability might fall with the driver. However, it’s possible that other parties share liability as well. In fatal truck accidents, liability might extend to the following parties.
- The driver
- Their employer
- The owner of the truck
- A parts manufacturer
- Maintenance providers
When multiple parties hold liability in a truck accident case, there’s a good chance it goes to trial instead of settling. For instance, when a truck driver shares liability with their employer and the manufacturer, extensive negotiations draw the process out. When the process takes too long, it’s essential for a truck accident attorney to file a lawsuit.
With so many potentially liable parties involved, it is difficult to determine the precise cause of a collision. As such, it’s more difficult to determine liability. That’s why it is essential to seek out the guidance of an attorney.
With an advocate on your side, you have a better chance of achieving the settlement you need to move forward.
Related Reading: Fault in Texas
Essential Aspects to Consider in Fatal Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, large commercial vehicles account for a disproportionate amount of the injuries and fatalities on US roads. Additionally, Texas continues to lead the way in these catastrophic accidents.
When a commercial rig collides with a smaller vehicle, that smaller vehicle loses. In fatal truck accidents that involve a passenger vehicle, the deaths and injuries tend to impact those in the passenger vehicle.
Litigation of truck accident claims is complicated. They involve so many factors necessary to determine liability and maximize a victim’s settlement.
When a commercial truck causes an accident with your vehicle, there’s a small silver lining. These commercial vehicles carry extensive insurance limits. As such, victims have a better chance to gain the compensation they need.
In order to determine an accurate settlement amount, you need an advocate on your side. Unfortunately, when liability falls to multiple parties, it takes time to come to an agreement. As they break down the settlement and decide who pays what, you need someone to pursue your best interests.
Related Reading: Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Advocacy for Victims of Truck Accidents
From minor collisions to fatal truck accidents, it is essential to work with a personal injury attorney. Whether you face an insurance provider or a trucking company, they have resources you do not. With an advocate on your side, you level the playing field.
If you sustain an injury in a truck accident, contact a personal injury lawyer in your area. Schedule a free consultation as soon as possible. Because these claims take time, it’s essential to begin immediately.
With a skilled, compassionate attorney, you gain a passionate advocate. At AP Law Group, we work with our clients to offer personalized strategy and aggressive representation. As your advocates, we bear the weight of your case.
We do so to allow you the space and capacity you need to recover. With an extensive knowledge of trucking regulations and personal injury law, you gain the experience and expertise necessary to fight.
Start the fight for your future today.