Dallas, TX — November 14, 2017, one person was killed and two others were injured after an accident in which a tow truck crashed into an SUV on Stemmons.

Officials from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department reported that the incident happened at around 1:30 a.m. near the intersection of I-35E and Regal Row.

Initial reports indicated that a tow truck was traveling along the interstate at the time. For reasons which are unclear, the truck crashed into an SUV. The tow truck then ran off the side of the road and crashed into a creek bed.

Two people from the SUV and the driver of the tow truck were all taken to a hospital in unspecified conditions. One of those people later died, though it’s not yet clear who.

Investigations are currently ongoing.

Map of the Area

Commentary

Based on the wording of these reports and some of the footage from the scene, it certainly appears as though the tow truck rear-ended the SUV. Most people are under the impression that if a driver rear-ends someone, then they are automatically liable for the resulting damages. In reality, the law is a bit more nuanced than that.

Texas works on what is called a modified comparative fault system of liability. If someone sues for injuries sustained in a crash, if they can prove that the defendant is at least 51% at fault for the crash, then their claim is successful. In other words, whoever’s actions were mostly responsible for the crash is liable for the accident.

So what might that mean in the context of a rear-end accident? Well let’s say, for example, the front vehicle was stopped at a red light and the second vehicle rear ends it. In all likelihood, a jury would say the rear driver was 100% at fault, and therefore is on the hook for 100% of the damages. If they were on the highway, however, and the front vehicle was driving 20 MPH in the fast lane, perhaps a jury would say that driver was 40% responsible. The rear vehicle driver still bears the majority of the fault (60%) and is therefore on the hook for 60% of the damages.

If, however, the front vehicle suddenly veered into the path of the second vehicle and slammed on its brakes, a jury might decide the front driver is 51% at fault for their own injuries. If that happened to be the case, then the rear driver wouldn’t be responsible for any of the damages, and the front driver would be on the hook for all of their injuries.

These are just a few scenarios which tend to follow rear-end accidents like this. Ultimately, deciding who is liable after a serious accident requires extensive, tangible evidence. Getting that evidence after an accident involving a commercial truck is going to require an experienced accident reconstructionist who has years of experience and proper equipment. The sooner a professional can get to the scene, the better chance the victims and their families have of reaching a resolution.

–Grossman Law Offices

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Recent Comments to the Blog

Jason is back to work and is now playing Sled Hockey and wheelchair rugby!! Jason is the strongest and most amazing man! He may nly have 1/2 a leg, but that is ALL he is lacking!! Thanks to prayer and GOD and awsome first responders and Baylor doctors. Jason's wife, Sheila
— Sheila
I'm a former employee. I had brought up this exact scenario and suggested a maintenance procedure that would eliminate the possibility of this type injury. Obviously my warning went unheeded.
— Tophat
I was actually a couple cars back from this wreck, one of the first on the scene, and helped administer CPR on the victims. The truck driver was going way too fast, but it was actually his trailer that swung around and hit the suv, the semi-truck ended in the median.
— Leif Burton
I appreciate how you've commentated on this tragedy--informative, with questions, but not hurtful. I live within 30 mins of this crash site, and I am appalled at the entire situation :(. I can't even begin to understand what could have happened to make this come to fruition, but I will be keeping up with it so I can learn what investigations bring to light about how something awful like this could happen. Rest in peace, Thomas, Carolyn and Carolyn...
— Summer
I am Anthony Siffords daughter. im 13 and i miss my dad i just wanted everyone to know that he is in a better place now and i would to thank everyone for the support. i miss my dad but it was amazing to see how many people had been toughed by my dad god bless thanks for everything...
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I am Rodney Palmer's sister-inlaw. I am amazed and grateful for all the heartfelt wishes and support for our family... It is difficult indeed to put our thoughts into words, but we very much appreciate your kind and helpful words at a time when these things mean so much. Losing someone as special as Rodney has been tough, but knowing the he has touched so many people's lives keeps my sister's strengthens our family.
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A lot of people say smack about lawyers, but I want to say that I'm glad there is a way that people who are wronged by corporate neglect can get justice and force change. We are living in a world where corporations and govt care less than ever about common people, and I support your work. I hope I will never need your services.
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My friend Michael was the one who got hit by this train. This is the ONLY article I can find on it!! How is that possible? It happened almost 5 days ago! Thank you for actually caring about us "no name" people. I hope when more information comes in you will post it as soon as you can. Thank you again!! God bless you
— Leslie
Tony was the step Grant father and it's been hard for the whole family but we know he is in a better place now. It's nice to know that people are rasing awareness with my grandfathers story. Thanks, family and friends of Tony Wray.
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Thank you for posting these accident articles on your site. At the company that I work for, e deal with monitoring construction activity and work around trenches and all sorts of construction equipment/vehicles. I sometimes wonder if construction companies have enough safety training to inform employees of how to protect themselves while on the job.
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