Automobile drivers have little to protect them against the sheer size and bulk of semi-tractor trailers, 18 wheelers, and other big rigs. When trucking accidents occur and involve other motorists, the results often prove deadly. The following highlights a recent accident in Texarkana, which shows the potentially fatal nature of these accidents, and what you can do when these types of collisions occur.
Truck Accidents Involving Other Motorists
ArkLaTex.com reported on September 21, 2017 of a fatal trucking accident in Texarkana that resulted from a collision between a log truck and a Lexus. An 84-year-old man from East Texas was driving the Lexus with his 82-year-old wife as a passenger, when they made a left hand turn that put them in the path of the logging truck. The resulting collision killed the wife instantly, while the husband died later in the hospital as the result of his injuries. The driver of the truck, a 60-year-old man from Arkansas, was treated for injuries and released.
This unfortunate tragedy highlights the potential dangers involved in truck accidents and the fatal impacts they can have on other motorists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that of the roughly 4,000 truck accident fatalities that occur each year, roughly 73 percent involve passengers in other vehicles. In comparison, only 17 percent of these fatalities involved the truck driver themselves. The NHTSA lists the following as among the common causes of these accidents:
- Speeding and going too fast for conditions;
- Aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating and failure to yield;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances;
- Distracted driving, such as using cellphones and texting;
- Drowsy driving, and falling asleep behind the wheel;
- Motorists caught in trucking blind spots, or ‘no zones’.
The large size and heavy loads most tractor trailers and other big rigs carry make it more difficult for drivers to respond to sudden changes in road or traffic conditions. It also makes severe and potentially fatal accidents more likely when other motorists are involved.
Fatalities Due to Truck Accidents In Texas
According to statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), roughly 25 percent of the nearly 2,000 fatal accidents that occurred on roads in our state during 2016 involved collisions with large trucks. In these situations, both the truck driver and the trucking company they work for may be held liable in a wrongful death claim by surviving family members, either through an insurance claim or by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Under the Texas Code, damages you may be entitled to claim include:
- Funeral costs and medical expenses;
- Losses in income and future support;
- Pain, suffering, and loss of companionship;
- Exemplary damages, meant to punish drivers for conduct that was particularly reckless or negligent.
No amount of money can ease your sorrow at the passing of a loved one, but a wrongful death claim handled by an experienced accident lawyer can help ensure justice is served and that your needs are met. Call or contact the Christensen Law Firm, PLLC online today and request a free consultation to discuss your situation with a dedicated Austin personal injury attorney.