Big rig crashes are often life-changing events for the motorists involved and the rate of accidents in Texas can be shocking as the Lone Star State leads the nation in fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), large truck and bus crashes, including semi-truck accidents, increased by 1.7 percent nationwide in 2015.
Unfortunately, the number of fatalities from semi-truck and bus accidents increased by five percent that year as well. The number of accidents attributed to large trucks rose by a whopping eight percent.
Texas leads the nation in fatal semi-truck accidents.. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that there were 3,000 semi-truck accidents resulting in injury in Texas in 2015. Sadly, 561 people lost their lives to these accidents. The state with the next highest rate of fatalities is California with 296 fatalities due to semi-truck accidents in 2015.
Semi-truck accidents are caused by the following:
- Weather Conditions
- Driving Conditions
- Improper Vehicle Maintenance
- Reckless or Negligent Driving
- Districted Driving
- Driving While Intoxicated
- Failure to Obey Traffic Laws
- Failure to Obey Traffic Signs
- Falling Asleep While Driving
Semi-truck accidents are more dangerous than regular motor vehicle accidents because of the size and weight of the big rig.. These accidents are more likely to lead to severe injuries, high medical expenses, property damage and even death. Further, because of the size of the big rigs, smaller passenger vehicles are more likely to bear the brunt of damages caused by a semi-truck accident. In 2010, the average cost of a semi-truck accident was nearly $60,000.
Although strict laws meant to reduce the rate of semi-truck accidents apply to drivers and trucking companies, these laws are sometimes disregarded in the name of profit and speed.
Motorists involved in a semi-truck accident face potential expenses, including medical expenses and lost wages, as well as future care expenses, emotional trauma and pain and suffering.
Injured motorists and their loved ones are protected by laws regulating the trucking industry. Additionally, semi-trucks are required to be well insured to protect other motorists in the event of an accident.
However, trucking companies and their insurers will do almost anything to get out of paying for damages after a semi-truck accident. Trucking companies will often demand a statement from the motorist if there is a crash; however, only law enforcement can demand a statement. Trucking companies may also try to hide or restrict access to driver and vehicle maintenance records.
Insurance companies will often start with a low-ball settlement offer, knowing victims are hurting, out of work and desperately need money. Trucking companies and their insurers will also try to delay proceedings in an attempt to get victims to settle. An experienced attorney can help protect motorists and their families and ensure they get the resources they need to recover.
If you or a loved one have been injured or experienced property damage after a semi-truck accident, call the attorneys at McDonald Worley to help evaluate any legal claim you may have.