Truck Accidents | Sorey, Gilliland, & Hull, LLP
On January 8, 2020, 44-year-old Wajma Popal was killed in Reeves, Texas when her car was hit by a tractor-trailer. The crash, which involved three vehicles, occurred roughly 28 miles west of Balmorhea on Interstate 10, at approximately 1:15 p.m. The accident involved a head-on collision when the truck drifted across the center divide and struck Ms. Popal’s Nissan Altima. This resulted in the 18-wheeler rolling over and colliding with another tractor-trailer. Neither truck driver was injured. Wajma Popal died at the scene.
When you or a loved one are involved in a trucking accident, the moves you make next can help make or break your case and your ability to receive fair compensation. Collecting the right information is crucial, and at Sorey, Gilliland & Hull LLP, we want you to understand the exact steps to take and information you should gather after a trucking accident.
A total of 4,136 people were killed in U.S. truck accidents in 2018, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Many factors can contribute to truck accidents nationwide, from negligent driving behavior to equipment failure to hazardous road conditions. In Texas, the following are the most common reasons for large commercial truck crashes.
The electronic logging device (ELD), otherwise known as the black box, has been congressionally mandated for commercial drivers who are required to maintain records of their hours of service. Exceptions to that rule include drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000. The black box has become an integral part of trucking. In addition to data regarding the driver’s hours of service, it can provide data on vehicle speed, steering function, braking action, and other vehicle parameters.
In Texas, long-haul truck drivers who hold commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) must pass a medical examination, to perform certain work. The certification of this exam must be on file with the Texas Department of Public Safety, and failing to keep this record current may result in the loss or downgrade of a CDL. Even CDL holders who are exempt from showing a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) medical certification must pass a Texas medical exam before driving in the state. After a downgrade, the driver will be required to take the skills and knowledge exams again before hitting the road.
Why are truckers required to have a certification from a medical examiner? Why does the state take it so seriously?
As the price of oil rises, we should expect to see more accidents in the Permian Basin. In 2017, 93 people died in trucking accidents on the Texas side of Route 285, which runs through Pecos, Texas, and Carlsbad, New Mexico. In 2015, the price of oil dropped… and the number of accidents dropped as well.
U.S. oil production has experienced explosive growth over the past decade, largely due to drilling in the Permian Basin. Although the growth of crude oil production in the U.S. has had a stabilizing influence on the world’s oil markets, it has also created risks associated with tanker trucks for people traveling on smaller highways in rural New Mexico and Texas communities. Traffic is congested and accidents occur more frequently on routes to and from the Permian Basin.
If you are looking for an attorney after a serious truck crash, you should know handling car accidents is an entirely different legal skill set than handling truck accident cases. You need a lawyer with experience, and a history of success, getting settlements and awards for clients who have been hurt by trucking companies and their drivers.
The U.S. government classifies trucks according to their maximum operating weight, which includes the maximum load the truck can carry and the weight of the truck itself. The Department of Transportation (US DOT) assigns trucks a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and classifies them accordingly, ranging from Class 1 (the smallest) to Class 8 (the largest). One thing we know about trucks is the bigger they are, the harder they crash.
US Route 285 has gained the name “Death Highway,” a reflection of the staggering number of fatal accidents that occur on this stretch of road. Route 285 once provided access to small farming communities. But with the discovery of oil and gas fields in the Permian Basin, it became a major thoroughfare for oil and gas trucks.
18-wheeler Driver Fell Asleep And Killed Driver.