In Texas, the penalties for a DWI continue to grow stricter while the crackdown on texting or using a cell phone while driving is beginning to gain more steam. These changes have been put in place to make the roads safer for everyone.
The Houston truck and car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns support any efforts to make driving less hazardous for all drivers. Sadly, not all motorist have fallen in line, and at times, the most dangerous are those driving negligently while operating commercial vehicles.
The Cost of Negligence
Commercial truck drivers go through special training to receive their licenses because the nature of their jobs demand a much higher skill than average drivers. That includes being aware of what they can and can not safely do when behind the wheel. Unfortunately, those behaviors are not always used in the real world.
On August 28th, a driver in Salado, TX, was the victim of a negligent semi-truck driver who tried to do something beyond the capability of his rig. The commercial truck driver attempted to make a U-turn on rural road FM 2843, and in the process, got his truck stuck. The road is only two lanes, which makes it a less than an ideal spot for attempting such a maneuver with such a large vehicle.
The victim, a 44-year-old man, was heading east in his compact car when he crashed into the flatbed trailer of the truck. The force of the impact caused the car to slide under the trailer bed and become wedged. The individual was pronounced dead at the crash site.
The truck driver sustained no injuries in the collision.
Why This Case is Important
Beyond the cost of human life, this type of accident highlights many of the commonly-told myths about vehicular accidents. For instance, one belief that many people share is that the driver who first strikes the other vehicle is the one who will be held responsible. Initiating contact logically seems to implicate blame.
Additionally, many people think being hit from behind automatically excuses them from any responsibility. In this instance, however, the truck driver attempted a maneuver that is universally discouraged by trucking companies who operate responsibly.
Even on roads and highways will additional lanes, there is never a situation where making a U-turn is safe for commercial drivers and others on the road around them.
The spot where truck driver decided to try to turn around was a particularly poor one because it was near the top of a hill. This, combined with the low height of the flatbed trailer, raises serious questions about how visible the trailer was before the victim collided with it.
Typically, regardless of the policies of a trucking company, drivers who are found or reported doing these types of turns are harshly disciplined. Whether they are suspended or fired depends on the individual company, but no reputable company fails to take action against these drivers.
While there were no immediate criminal charges filed against the driver, his actions do leave him and his company facing the very real possibility of civil action. The outcome of a case like this would be very educational for those who find themselves in similar, unfortunate circumstances in the future.
Despite the fact that the truck driver and his company appear to be culpable in this accident, there is no guarantee that they will face any kind of civil or criminal penalties. These companies have years of experience evading responsibility through legal manipulation. That is exactly why you need a legal team that has years of experience in dealing with the many tactics these trucking companies employ.
Hotze Runkle is ready for whatever a trucking company might try to throw at you if you’ve been injured by one of their drivers. Contact us today at (713) 766-0075 and let us get to work for you.
We’ll make sure they are held responsible for the pain they’ve caused and that you get the compensation you need and deserve to heal from your wounds.