Tractor-trailer drivers are responsible for heavy, large trucks that are often carrying materials that could be hazardous if the vehicle was in an accident. The debris could go through other vehicle’s windshield, obstruct the road, or cause fires. When a truck is involved in an accident, the injuries that result can be life-threatening. In some cases, the outcome results in a fatality. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you may be facing significant medical expenses, as well as experiencing pain and suffering. You do have options to move forward. The Midland truck accident lawyers from Buckingham Barrera Law Firm will fight for you to get fair compensation for your financial losses.
When we’re at your side, you’ll have someone protecting your rights no matter what. We’ll seek to maximize your compensation so you can afford the care you need, as well as keep up with your financial responsibilities.
Midland citizens deserve to have representation they can trust. There’s an influx of trucks in Midland, which could lead to more accidents if truck drivers or companies are negligent. You may be wondering why Midland is facing truck issues. It has to do with the current job market.
Why Are There So Many Truck Drivers in Midland?
Midland roads are currently full of trucks because of the Permian Basin, which is causing an oil and gas boom in Texas. Big rigs are constantly traveling along Midland highways to get to the various worksites. There are so many workers and equipment traveling to and from the worksites, the roads cannot keep up with the increased traffic.
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute discovered that the heavy traffic not only congested the roads, but also the vehicles using the roads weighed about 30% more than the Texas Department of Transportation anticipated.
When the state doesn’t know where most of these loads will be located or how heavy the loads will be, they cannot allocate the right workers to prevent road degradation. They also need this information to work on road safety, like analyzing areas that have a high number of accidents and implementing measures to reduce them.
Midland County has had fatal accidents along these roads. One crash resulted in five fatalities when a head-on collision occurred between a pickup truck and a tractor-trailer rig. The pickup truck, which had four oilfield workers, crossed the center line where it crashed with the tractor-trailer. The vehicles caught fire and the four occupants in the pickup truck as well as the tractor-trailer driver lost their lives.
With such heavy traffic on the roads, one mistake could lead to multiple injuries or worse. Let’s take a look at what errors can cause truck accidents.
How Do Truck Accidents Happen?
There can be many reasons why an accident happens, which is why you’ll need an experienced truck accident lawyer to determine who was at fault. If the driver did something wrong, they may have made a mistake that could fall into the following categories:
A non-performance issue includes the driver falling asleep at the wheel, having a critical event like a heart attack or seizure, or being otherwise impaired and unable to operate the truck safely. Performance issues cover the mistakes the driver can make, such as poorly controlling the truck. This can include overcompensating a turn or any other action that would exhibit their lack of control of the vehicle.
Recognition deals with the driver’s focus. If they weren’t attentive, were distracted by something like a phone or were staring at something outside the vehicle, or didn’t register a situation occurring in front of them, then they could cause an accident.
Decision issues include speeding, ignoring the road’s conditions—like driving too quickly in inclement weather, following other vehicles too closely, or failing to judge the speed of the vehicles around them.
While the driver may be liable for the accident, it’s also possible for other parties to be liable. A trucking company that doesn’t inspect their vehicles to make sure they’re safe for the road or give their drivers proper training to operate an 18-wheeler may be at fault. There’s also the chance a faulty device caused the accident, like brakes or tires, in which case the auto part’s manufacturing company could be responsible.
Your Lawyer’s Investigation of Your Case
When your lawyer is looking into your claim, they’ll need to gather evidence to show how the accident happened, who was at fault, and how the crash injured you. The data from the truck’s black box may provide crucial information that could help your claim.
The truck could have an Event Data Recorder (EDR), which is installed in a motor vehicle and records information about the vehicle when a crash occurs. It can pick up on:
- The vehicle’s dynamics before the crash
- Driver inputs
- Crash signature
- If restraints were used and deployed
- Post-crash data
There are also Electronic Logging Devices, which commercial drivers are required to use. Their hours of service will be recorded, to make sure the truck driver is following federal driving regulations. It also protects them from the trucking company pushing them to drive more than they’re legally allowed to.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration lists the regulations truck drivers have to follow. For example, a property-carrying driver has an 11-hour driving limit, meaning they may drive up to 11 hours after having 10 consecutive hours off duty. There is a 14-hour driving limit after coming on duty after 10 consecutive hours off duty. They also have designated rest breaks. They can drive only if it’s been 8 hours or less since their last off-duty sleeper berth of at least a half-hour.
These regulations are in place to keep truckers alert on the road. Failing to follow these regulations can lead to an accident—and the black box could provide this data. When your Midland attorney is looking into your case, we’ll check to see if any regulations were violated.
As we gather evidence regarding the reason for the crash, we’ll also look into how it affected you. Your injuries, medical bills, time lost from work, the cost of future care, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life are all possible losses you could have experienced. When we’re determining a fair compensation amount, we take these into consideration.
Seek Legal Options Today
Dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident is easier said than done. Recovery can take weeks, months, and sometimes years. As you’re working to get healthy again and regain a sense of normalcy, we can help you get the justice you deserve.
Give our office a call today for a free consultation. Our lawyers are ready to answer any questions about your case and help you with your options.