• December 17, 2021

Two Injured in Crash with 18-Wheeler on TX-36 in Austin County, TX

Austin County, TX -- December 3, 2021, two people were seriously injured in a collision with a tractor-trailer on State Highway 36 in Austin County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 8:25 p.m. on TX-36 at Frazer Road. Preliminary investigation suggests a Peterbilt semi-truck with a trailer was traveling north on the highway when the driver entered the left-turn lane in order to turn onto westbound Frazer. Nearby, the victims were in a southbound Ford Fusion and approached Frazer in the left lane of the highway.

Reports indicate the truck driver failed to yield to approaching traffic before beginning the turn, crossing through and blocking the southbound lanes as it moved toward Frazer. The Ford Fusion crashed into the semi-trailer's right side and became wedged underneath, getting dragged through the highway's right lane before the truck came to a stop.

Both the Ford's occupants suffered serious injuries in the collision. The Peterbilt driver was unhurt.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on 18-Wheeler Accident on TX-36 in Austin County

If reports have their facts straight it seems that the truck driver failed to yield to oncoming traffic and serious injuries followed. Despite the reported details, though, holding someone accountable for this wreck may be more challenging than it seems. But why?

I've litigated plenty of truck accidents over the years and the simple truth is there's no such thing as a straightforward wreck. Even when the facts seem clearly against a trucking company, their defense attorneys (and their insurers, and the insurers' attorneys) usually fight against admitting responsibility. They do that by stonewalling the victims, denying all fault for their injuries, and hoping they don't have the resources or know-how to push back.

Two Injured in Crash with 18-Wheeler on TX-36 in Austin County, TX

In the Austin County crash, for instance, the company may still have a few tricks up its sleeve to try and redirect the fault for the crash to something or someone else. I've seen just about everything under the sun (and even the sun itself) blamed for a truck driver's mistakes. If a company's feeling particularly punchy it may even defend itself by saying the victims were actually to blame for their own injuries. "Our guy may have failed to yield," they would argue, "but the victim was speeding and/or used improper evasive maneuvers." It would then fall to the victims to prove the trucker's negligence was actually the proximate cause of their injuries. That can be a tall order as they struggle just to resume their lives.

Even when the company agrees to "look into the matter," that may be disingenuous. They tell the victims "We'll take care of everything once we finish our investigation." It sounds on the up-and-up, but the company then drags its feet as long as possible in the hopes that either a) the statute of limitations will run out or b) their investigators will find something they can use to dispute fault. When someone gets sick of waiting and speaks up, the company typically denies blame and the time-sensitive evidence needed to challenge that has often disappeared.

For these reasons, thorough investigations must happen as soon as possible following a wreck. Trucking companies waste no time building a case to protect themselves, so victims and families should make haste gathering the proof they need to keep the trucking company honest. It may be a challenge to hold combative defendants responsible for a crash, but with the right preparation there's no obstacle that can't be overcome.

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