In early May, both directions of Interstate 10 near Beaumont, Texas were closed and the surrounding area evacuated after a commercial tanker truck brimmed with 1,500 gallons of ethanol turned over into the median. Though no one was killed or seriously injured, the accident does highlight the dangers of truck accidents.
I-10 Tanker Truck Crash
The crash occurred in the morning when the driver lost control of his truck. Fortunately, he was only slightly injured in the turn-over accident and no other vehicles were involved. Ethanol is a highly flammable and explosive material that irritates the respiratory system so surrounding residents were evacuated as a hazardous materials team cleaned up the spill. No explosion or respiratory irritants were reported in this accident.
Truck Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, the I-10 truck accident is only one in thousands of accidents every year. In Texas in 2010, over 12,000 large commercial trucks were involved in non-fatal crashes, 4,777 causing injury. Across the country in 2009, 74,000 people were injured in accidents involving trucks and 3,380 were killed.
In most crashes, injuries or deaths are caused by the collision itself. Rear-end crashes where passenger cars run into the backs of large trucks are four times more likely to cause fatalities than accidents where trucks rear-end passenger cars. Passenger cars are also more likely than large trucks to cross a road's center line, causing a fatal collision.
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident
Trucks are much larger vehicles than passenger cars, and more likely than not, passenger car occupants bear the brunt of traffic fatalities and injuries. It is extremely important in these circumstances to establish fault for the accident so the injured parties can be appropriately compensated.
If the truck driver is found to be at fault for the accident, the injured parties may hold the driver, and possibly the trucking company, liable for damages. If the trucker is an employee of the trucking company, it may be easier to establish trucking company liability than if the driver is an independent contractor.
If you have been injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident involving a commercial truck, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to find out if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.