Rear-End and Tractor-Trailer Crashes in Texas
Texas drivers know that semi trucks, tractor-trailers, and other big rigs are a common sight on the roads of Texas. Unfortunately, these large, heavy vehicles are more likely to cause serious injuries when they are involved in a collision. This is because they have more force - and are thus a greater mechanism of injury - than smaller, lighter passenger vehicles.
The Frequency of Rear-End Collisions in Big Rigs
Rear-end collisions are particularly dangerous when a tractor-trailer is involved. Sadly, this accident scenario is common around the United States. A Pennsylvania truck driver was killed after his tractor-trailer rear-ended another truck and burst into flames. According to U.S. News and World Report, an autopsy was necessary to determine whether his death resulted from the impact or the burn injuries. In Kansas, a rear-end collision caused one death and left four vehicles completely destroyed in the resulting fire. Several other vehicles were also burned.
According to The Wichita Eagle, trucker was driving a large tractor-trailer through a construction zone on the Interstate 435 when traffic slowed ahead of him. Trucker was reportedly following other vehicles too closely. He failed to control his speed, causing him to crash into the Isuzu Trooper in front of him. The Trooper caught on fire and its driver was severely burned. The tractor-trailer then came to a stop next to a large vehicle transport truck. Flames from the crash reached the transport truck, and three Dodge 3500 trucks on the transport were destroyed by fire. A fifth vehicle nearby was also destroyed in the fire. The occupant was helped out of her vehicle by bystanders, and she escaped without injury.
Nearly a month later, on August 12, the driver of the Trooper succumbed to his injuries and died as a result of the burns. His family is now working with a local truck accident attorney to pursue a wrongful death action against truck driver.
In a case such as this, it is possible that trucker's employer could also bear some liability for the accident. If trucker were not properly trained, or was forced to work too many hours without appropriate rest breaks, or if he had a bad driving record which should have precluded his employment altogether, the transportation company which employed him could be found to be legally responsible for causing the accident. A case such as this can also result in a significant award for pain and suffering.
The driver of the Trooper spent his last month of life in excruciating pain from severe burn injuries. He was confined to the hospital, heavily medicated, and these are all compensable injuries which can be paid to the driver’s estate. While this may be a poor substitute for the pain that accompanied the man’s death, it is a legal right which he and his estate retain, and one which is worthy of fighting for.
Per Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, the statute of limitations on Texas wrongful death claims is two years from the date of the cause of action (usually the date of the accident).
An experienced El Paso truck accident attorney will investigate all possible causes of a big rig accident to ensure that every negligent party is held accountable for its actions.