Semi-Truck Accident in Texas Prompts Litigation
A motorist injured in a semi-truck accident in Texas has filed a federal lawsuit against the trucking company and the truck driver alleging negligence by both defendants.
According to the complaint, filed in Webb County, Texas, truck driver Rhonda H. of Mississippi T-boned Arturo P.’s vehicle with her semi when she failed to yield the right-of-way while traveling on a Laredo, Texas highway on July 14, 2017.
Arturo accuses both the driver and her employer, motor-carrier company C.R. England, of negligence, alleging that Rhonda may have been fatigued and violating the hours-of-service regulations. C.R. England, according to the suit, is negligent for failing to adequately train and supervise their driver.
Federal regulations dictate that tractor-trailer drivers may drive no more than 11 hours at a stretch and up to 77 hours per seven days. But according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway, surveys show many truckers exceed the caps and are on the road much longer than permitted by law.
Arturo seeks compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages and future earning capacity as well as damages for physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish and past and future disfigurement.
Semi-Truck Accidents on the Rise
Passenger vehicles are typically the losers when involved in collisions with semi-trucks. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway reports that the majority of deaths in large truck crashes are the passenger vehicle occupants.
Of the approximately 3,900 people who died in large truck crashes in 2015, 69 percent were motor vehicle passengers, compared to 16 percent of truck occupants, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway’s Highway Loss Data Institute.
Pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists accounted for 15 percent of the fatalities that year.
The weight of a tractor-trailer is often 20 to 30 times greater than a passenger vehicle, while a semi’s elevated height can result in passenger vehicles “underriding” trucks.
Combine that with the amount of time it takes a loaded tractor-trailer to adequately brake — they require 20 to 40 percent more distance than cars to stop —and other variables such as wet roads, poorly maintained brakes and driver fatigue, and it becomes a recipe for disaster.
Texas has long hovered at or near the top of the national list for the most fatal trucking crashes.
In 2014, 570 people died in a semi-truck accident in Texas, making the it the deadliest state by far. California, which has 11 million more residents that Texas, followed with 324 semi-truck accident fatalities that year, and Florida was third with 207.
Lawsuits involving a semi-truck accident in Texas have become commonplace.
Earlier this year, a jury awarded $1.6 million to a woman who suffered grave injuries in a 2015 semi-truck accident in Texas, holding the trucking company liable for the actions of its driver, who ran a red light.
If you’ve been involved in a semi-truck accident in Texas, contact the attorneys at McDonald Worley for a free case review.