States, like Texas, welcome the oil and gas industry for the many benefits it provides. First, the industry provides a lot of economic support for the region as a whole. It makes good paying jobs available to local residents, and allows for the leasing of sub-surface rights. It also benefits the nation as a whole by providing affordable energy sources and fuel.
Yet, beneath the surface of the oil and gas industry lies a problematic issue: large truck accidents. Crashes involving trucks have the ability to cause widespread devastation on the roadways. If you are unfortunate enough to be caught up in one of these accidents, it could have a profound effect on your life. In order to restore your life as much as possible, you’ll need the help of an experienced truck accident attorney.
The Reasons Behind Oil and Gas Truck Crashes
The unique structure and mechanics of large trucks makes them especially susceptible to accidents. Overall, these trucks perform a lot differently in terms of accelerating and braking. Their large stature also causes problems with visibility.
Mechanical problems can also be the root cause of large truck accidents. For example, a malfunctioning muffler can be the precursor to a trailer fire. Also, an unsafe loading job at the point of departure can lead to an unstable load. Finally, unseen defects in fuel tanks can cause explosive damage on the road.
Furthermore, if the driver is tired or not properly trained, an oil industry transport truck is an accident waiting to happen. In the past, crashes have also resulted from impaired driving, speeding and failures to keep a diligent eye on the road.
How Texas Fares in Truck Accident Rates
The rate of large truck accidents is on the rise. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 3,864 fatal crashes in 2016. The state of Texas has seen its fair share of oil industry transport accidents. Over a five year span (beginning in 2010), truck accidents in Texas rose by 40%. A large number of accidents occur in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where in 2015, close to 100 drivers were killed as a result of such accidents. The same year, large trucks caused 156 debilitating injuries in this area. In 2016, the number of large truck fatalities in Texas amounted to 586 separate occurrences.
Texas is in a unique position to suffer the effects of oil/gas transport vehicle crashes. For one, the state’s geographical location in the middle of the U.S. means it has a great deal of interstate traffic. Second, Texas is popular location for oil and gas company activities such as drilling and fracking. Over the years, the repeated passing of these gigantic vehicles has worn down local roads and state highways. Commercial vehicles traveling these roads today are like ticking time-bombs!
How an Attorney Can Help
Most truck accidents can be attributed to negligence. Such negligence may occur as a company-wide failures or due to the driver’s own fault. Either way, someone needs to be held accountable for causing harm to other drivers and pedestrians. This is where an experienced truck accident attorney can help. A lawyer that has experience dealing with the oil and gas trucking industry can help you get the compensation that you need as an accident victim.
Obtaining an adequate amount of compensation for a truck accident is a complicated matter. You will need an attorney who will perform a detailed investigation into the accident to obtain all relevant facts. Obtaining concrete evidence related to the accident is a crucial step to establishing all of the elements of a negligence claim.
You will also need a legal representative that understands how cases involving large truck crashes differ from the run-of-the-mill fender bender cases. This includes having experience dealing with the large number of parties involved in any one trucking accident case. It may be necessary to take legal action against the driver, owner, insurance company and regulatory agencies. All these parties may play a role in providing you with the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
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