• May 26, 2022

18-Wheeler Rear-Ends Van, One Injured on US-59 in Duval County, TX

Duval County, TX -- March 29, 2022, a 39-year-old man was injured in a collision with a tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 59 in Duval County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 11:35 a.m. on US-59 near State Highway 44. Preliminary investigation suggests a Freightliner semi-truck was towing a trailer south on the highway near mile marker 764 when it approached a Dodge Ram van from behind near Highway 44. The van stopped for a posted sign at the highways' intersection and the truck, unable to slow in time, crashed into the back of it.

The van driver reportedly received minor injuries in the collision.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Truck Accident on US-59 in Duval County

Fault seems pretty clear-cut here as long as reports have their facts straight, but as always I caution against thinking that any commercial truck accident is ever simple. The truck driver and his employer are free to dispute reports if they want, and might even try to throw something in about the van stopping too suddenly for their driver to react (even though the driver most likely should have realized they had to stop for the intersection). As with most commercial wrecks it's probably best to seek out clear evidence of what exactly happened so no one can get "creative" about the chain of events.

Of course some may think all that investigation is unnecessary since the victim's injuries were reportedly minor. I certainly hope reports got that part right, but at the same time I've learned to be a little skeptical of most details in preliminary findings. I've seen many cases over the years where investigators at the scene didn't properly assess the damage.

18-Wheeler Rear-Ends Van, One Injured on US-59 in Duval County, TX

Here's an example: Not long ago I worked on a case where a man's supposedly-minor back injury turned to paralyzing pain within a week of his crash with a big rig. Scans showed that his "sore back" was actually a ruptured spinal disk and its effects just took a short while to really show. Not only did that injury require extensive testing and surgery, but it also took months of legal battles with the at-fault company's insurer before they agreed to help. Little about his experience was "minor."

I hope nothing like that happened after the Duval County accident and there's no specific reason to think it would. However, the possibility that things aren't quite what they seem is one of the reasons I always tell folks they need to take every truck wreck seriously--even if its impact seems minimal. At worst a victim is overprepared and no action is necessary, which is always better than the opposite.

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