Thousands of large commercial trucks transport cargo through Bexar County and San Antonio each day. Texas is one of the 10 states with the highest average of fatal large truck and bus crashes in recent years, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
If you have been injured in a collision caused by a tractor-trailer or semi, you will need the help of a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer to fight for full compensation to you. A San Antonio truck accident lawyer at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. can review the details of the 18-wheeler accident that caused your injuries and discuss your legal options.
If you have received a quick settlement offer from an insurance company representing the truck driver or trucking company, let our San Antonio truck accident attorneys help you determine whether it is a reasonable offer based on the projected cost of your injuries and other losses.
How Many Truck Accidents Happen in Texas?
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), fatal motor vehicle accidents across Texas in 2017 involved:
- 126 trucks
- 433 truck-tractors or semi-trailers
- 5 fire trucks
- 17 buses
- 8 school buses.
In Bexar County alone, there were 2,660 crashes involving trucks and buses in 2017. These involved:
- 8 fatal crashes with 8 deaths
- 69 suspected serious injuries
- 269 non-incapacitating injuries
- 650 possible injuries.
The 2,660 commercial motor vehicle accidents in Bexar County in 2017 represent one of every 20 motor vehicle accidents in Bexar County.
Recently, we discussed the most dangerous intersections in San Antonio. Our article cites a San Antonio Express News report with accident statistics for 26 intersections in San Antonio and Bexar County that were the site of anywhere from 40 to 216 collisions each in 2017.
Types of Truck Accidents in San Antonio
The Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts (LTBCF) is an annual report that contains statistics about fatal, injury, and property-damage-only crashes involving large trucks and buses. The latest edition lists the top causes of fatal truck accidents. They are:
- Collision with Vehicle in Transport: 74%
- Collision with Fixed Object: 9.2%
- Collision with Pedestrian: 7.4%
- Rollover: 4%
- Collison with Bicycle: 2.1%
- Collision with Parked Motor Vehicle: 0.9%
- Collision with Train: 0.3%
- Collision with Other Object: 0.2%
- Collision with Animal: 0.4%
- Jackknife: 0.3%
- Cargo / Equipment Shift or Loss: 0.2%.
Truck crashes can be caused by many factors, but driver error is the most frequent cause. Driver negligence that can lead to an accident includes speeding or driving too fast for traffic conditions, improper lane changes, tailgating and driving while dangerously fatigued. Truck drivers on long trips sometimes become inattentive or distracted, which can lead to a crash.
Large trucks and buses are more susceptible to rollover accidents because they are top-heavy. Typically, another vehicle hits a truck and knocks it over because it is on an incline and/or because the impact causes cargo to shift the truck’s center of gravity.
A truck driver also may turn too sharply and cause the truck to lose stability and rollover. In some cases, a trucker may collide with a guardrail, or uneven ground on the road shoulder and cause the truck to overturn.
A jackknife accident occurs when the cab and trailer of a large truck slide toward one another like a folding pocketknife. Drivers can jackknife their rigs if they lose traction by hitting the brakes too quickly, exceed safe speeds on slick roads or make a sharp turn.
Cargo can shift or spill if is not properly secured. The sudden change in the center of gravity caused by shifting cargo can send a truck out of control. Cargo that falls onto the road can hit other vehicles or cause crashes when drivers swerve to avoid it or hit the object in the road.
Can I Recover Damages After a Texas Truck Accident?
After a serious truck accident, the party or parties responsible for the accident may be held responsible through a civil lawsuit and compelled to compensate the injured.
Because of the commercial nature of truck accidents, there are multiple parties that may be liable for a truck accident. They may include the:
- Truck driver. A negligent driver and his insurance company may be held responsible for dangerous driving behavior such as speeding, inattention, improper lane changes, distracted driving, and spending too many hours behind the wheel without adequate rest.
- Trucking company. The motor carrier that puts commercial trucks and truck drivers on the road is legally responsible for the actions of employees and the performance of their vehicles. Truck companies often pressure drivers to meet unreasonable delivery deadlines that can lead to serious accidents involving drowsy drivers.
- Cargo handlers. Cargo in a truck may be handled by a shipping company responsible for loading it onto a trailer and securing it. While the truck driver is responsible for regularly checking cargo, if a problem with how the cargo was loaded and secured contributed to a crash, the cargo handlers may be liable.
- Truck mechanic. Truck maintenance may be outsourced to a third party, as well. A trucking company or truck’s mechanic may be liable for a mechanical failure that leads to a crash if it is due to faulty or delayed maintenance. Sometimes, motor carriers put off maintenance to save money, which would make the company liable.
- Truck or truck parts manufacturer. If the part or system failure that leads to a truck accident occurs because of the defective part or faulty design, the manufacturer may be held accountable for the accident through a product liability lawsuit.
Like the many moving parts in a big rig, there are many people that help to put a fully loaded long-haul truck on the road. When an accident occurs, one or more parties may be at fault. With a properly investigated legal claim, those parties that are liable can be made to compensate the injured. To support your case, you should take photos of the accident scene and call an experienced attorney.
Contact an Experienced San Antonio Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident in San Antonio or anywhere in Bexar County, contact our dedicated San Antonio truck accident attorneys at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. for help. Our truck accident attorneys have successfully handled thousands of injury cases.
The sooner we start working on your truck accident claim, the better we will be able to protect your right to recover full compensation. Contact us online or at 844-426-3000 for a free initial consultation.