Truck accidents often result in more severe consequences, including serious injuries and catastrophic property damage, compared to car accidents. Large commercial trucks weigh thousands of pounds resulting in a greater impact when colliding with another vehicle.
The number of severe trucking accidents is substantial. Truck drivers may drive recklessly or when tired, resulting in increased truck accidents. The United States Department of Transportation maintains a separate data set to examine the frequency, severity, and causes of these disastrous and potentially fatal traffic accidents.
As a result of these dangerous accidents, Texas and federal laws regulate large commercial trucks. These laws control the driver and the manufacturer and establish and oversee requirements for regular maintenance. When drivers violate these regulations, a victim can seek compensation against those parties for injuries resulting from negligence or recklessness.
In San Antonio, some roads are more likely to lead to car accidents compared to others. Often, these collisions happen around intersections.
According to the San Antonio Express-News, traffic accidents are historically more likely to occur at the following intersections:
- Loop 1604 and Interstate 10;
- Northwest Loop 410 and Interstate 10;
- U.S. 281 and Interstate 35;
- West Loop 1604 North and Highway 16;
- Northeast Loop 410 and Interstate 35;
- North Loop 1604 East and Interstate 35;
- Alamo Ranch Parkway and Westwood Loop;
- Northeast Loop 410 and Walzem Road;
- Northwest Loop 410 and Wurzbach Road; and
- Northwest Loop 410 and San Pedro Avenue.
In San Antonio, many accidents occur near Loop 1604 in general. Known as a traffic accident “hot spot,” many collisions involving truck drivers that happen at this intersection cause some of the most severe traffic accident injuries in San Antonio.
Common Causes of San Antonio Trucking Accidents
Common causes why truck accidents happen in San Antonio include:
- Speeding: Because trucks weigh several times more than conventional cars, drivers have more difficulty controlling trucks. Accidents involving higher speeds often lead to more severe consequences.
- Distracted Driving: Responding to a text, answering a call, or looking at your GPS can result in an accident. Because vehicles move at such high speeds, a rapid change in road conditions while a driver is distracted – even for a split second – can lead to dire consequences.
- Driving Under the Influence: Driving under the influence impacts reaction time, coordination, concentration, vision, and judgment, potentially leading to preventable and often catastrophic traffic accidents. The legal blood alcohol level in Texas is .08, but impairment can happen earlier.
- Reckless Driving: Commercial truck drivers must maintain constant awareness when driving, often more so than car drivers since maneuvering a truck is very different from and generally more complicated than driving a vehicle. For example, trucks take more time to stop and have less mobility. Some maneuvers that may be safe for conventional cars are not appropriate for trucks. As a result, reckless driving by a truck driver has a greater likelihood of causing a collision.
If you are suffering injuries due to a San Antonio truck accident, call Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys. Our attorneys take a client-first approach. We help our clients present the right legal arguments, negotiate settlements, and address any concerns. We offer a free consultation with no strings attached to get you started.
Common Injuries in San Antonio Truck Accidents
Injuries and property damages from truck accidents are often debilitating and catastrophic. If a vehicle collides with a truck at high speeds, the car might be totaled and unrecoverable. Likewise, the victim might experience severe physical injuries.
The following are some common injuries that happen in truck accidents in San Antonio:
- Head injuries: Head injuries commonly result from truck accidents, and sometimes they can go unnoticed before becoming serious. For example, whiplash, which involves rapid acceleration or deceleration, can cause a head injury that might not lead to immediate medical attention, unlike a direct hit to the head. Receiving a medical exam after a truck accident can help identify head injuries early on, even if you think you’re uninjured.
- Back and neck injuries: Your back and neck help support your functioning to complete daily activities. As a result, injuries to the back and neck are often among the most serious. They can lead to chronic pain, reduced mobility, long-term rehabilitation, and decreased quality of life.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries can result in damage to the central nervous system, which may lead to a loss of sensation or motor functioning (paralysis), significantly impacting the injured person’s quality of life.
- Broken bones: Because trucks are much larger than commercial vehicles, a collision involving a truck is more likely to cause broken bones due to the high impact. Medical procedures to repair broken bones can sometimes include multiple surgeries.
- Lacerations and scarring: Large or deep lacerations can lead to permanent scarring. Courts often award compensation for “disfigurement” to help the injured party remove scarring and relieve accompanying pain (physical or emotional).
- Death: Data from 2018 shows that approximately sixteen percent of truck accident deaths were truck drivers, and a significant 67 percent traveled in cars or other vehicles. When a negligent or reckless truck driver kills your loved one in a truck accident, family members can seek compensation for funeral costs, loss of companionship, and loss of income.
Compensation and Damages in San Antonio Truck Accidents
If you have a viable claim, you can potentially recover compensation for:
- Compensation for a disability caused by the truck accident: For example, truck accidents may cause spinal cord injuries or other permanent disabilities, entitling you to compensatory damages.
- Compensation for related financial expenses and loss of income: This compensation includes medical expenses related to hospital and emergency room visits, doctor visits, surgeries, and assistive medical devices.
- Compensation for property loss or damage: Courts can compensate victims for external financial damages, such as repairs to a vehicle or other property or structure damaged in the truck accident; compensation for loss of income; and compensation for loss of future earning potential.
- Compensation for pain and suffering: This type of compensation includes physical and emotional pain.
- Punitive damages: If the truck driver’s actions rise to the level of gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing, a court might award additional compensation called punitive damages, intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter future similar actions.
San Antonio Truck Accident Legal Issues
Litigating a truck accident case is different from other personal injury cases. For example, attorneys need to gather an extensive range of evidence, including the truck’s “black box” and maintenance records. Also, determining whether a vehicle is a “legal truck” depends on a detailed and specific analysis based on cargo type and vehicle weight.
Additionally, truck accidents tend to involve multiple parties in the lawsuit. For example, you might seek compensation from:
- Truck drivers: Truck drivers are potentially liable for resulting damages if they are negligent in driving their truck. Proving negligence requires showing the following four legal elements: the driver must have a duty to the plaintiff; the driver breached that duty; the driver’s breach of that duty caused the plaintiff’s injury; and the plaintiff suffered a legally recognized injury. Additionally, laws often regulate how and when a truck driver can operate a vehicle. For example, the federal government regulates the number of hours a driver can drive a truck. A truck driver might be negligent if operating their vehicle outside of these hours.
- Truck companies: Because commercial truck drivers operate as employees, the company they work for might be liable under respondeat superior. Respondeat superior is a liability theory that holds a company responsible for its employees’ actions or inactions. This law is complicated and includes specific requirements that the plaintiff must prove, which can change on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes, laws might regulate what companies and drivers can transport on a truck. If a truck is not qualified to load a specific type of good, the company may be liable. Other times, a truck company may fail to properly maintain and repair a truck, leading to mechanical failures that caused or contributed to the accident.
- Truck manufacturers: Seeking compensation against truck manufacturers is more common in trucking accidents than conventional car accidents. State and federal regulations provide strict requirements for truck manufacturers. If a manufacturer failed to follow these regulations, they might be liable for damages.
- Governments: Governments might be liable for failing to maintain roads properly if a road defect or obstruction contributes to a truck accident. Your attorney might seek compensation from the government or its contractors if road conditions were a factor in your truck accident.
Call Our San Antonio Truck Accident Attorneys Today
If a truck accident injured you and you have a viable claim for damages, then Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys can help you receive fair compensation for your harm. We seek to provide our clients with individualized attention and care to adequately and appropriately address their questions and concerns and do our part to ease any additional stress during an already stressful time. Our attorneys are caring and responsive and prioritize our client’s needs.
Call us today for a free consultation with no obligation at 210-646-9100 or reach out to us through our contact page.