9 Injured in Fort Worth, TX, Fiery 18-wheeler Accident on I-35W
Fort Worth, TX -- May 11, 2017, nine people sustained injuries following an accident in which an 18-wheeler crashed and overturned on I-35W.
Investigating authorities have released preliminary information surrounding the multi-vehicle crash. They say it happened at around 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of I-35W and Golden Triangle Boulevard.
Officials stated that traffic was beginning to build on the overpass of southbound I-35W. As it did so, an 18-wheeler reportedly failed to stop in time to avoid traffic, and it slammed into the back of a pickup and an SUV, causing a chain reaction collision. One of the vehicles also caught fire during the collision, causing extensive damage.
The occupants of the vehicles were able to escape the blaze, though one person was said to have critical injuries when transported to a nearby hospital. Another person was seriously injured, and two others were taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Five people were treated and released at the scene.
Authorities have not released identifying information, including specifics on who came from which vehicle. The factors causing the accident also remain under investigation.
Map of the Area
I don't like to speculate on accidents that I don't have all the details on, but the little that has been reported so far about this accident sounds incredibly similar to other accidents I've seen where an 18-wheeler driver was either not paying attention, speeding, or following too closely when they crashed into slowed traffic. The fact of the matter is that commercial truck drivers are prone to the same mistakes as any other typical driver, whether it be texting, falling asleep at the wheel, speeding, or even intoxicated driving.
The difference here is that, unlike a typical car accident, these accidents involve a trucking company trying very hard to avoid liability at all costs. So while many people will see accidents like this and think the truck driver is clearly going to be put at fault, they may not realize just how complex a commercial truck accident can be for people unprepared to take them on.
Trucking companies have a litany of blame-shifting tactics which they employ at any opportunity they have available. Where some people see a rear-end accident as indefensible, a trucking company may say, "Our driver was cut off by another vehicle, leaving him unable to stop in time." If this argument comes after police have already done their investigations, how are victims going to track down witnesses to counter such an excuse? The trucking company can also claim a sudden mechanical breakdown, such as brake failure. Is the average person going to know how to file subpoenas against the trucking company to examine the truck? Even if they did, how will they know what to look for on such a complicated piece of machinery?
Without the right experience or professional assistance, a trucking company can easily push around victims of truck accidents to gain the advantage over them and avoid liability. They may not avoid it entirely, but even a little bit of fault pushed onto the victims can save them tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. With that much on the line, there is no such thing as a simple or straight-forward accident. Every journey for compensation is going to be a fight.
That being said, don't let this make it seem like bringing a negligent trucking company to justice is impossible. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, victims and their families can equip themselves with the tools necessary to bringing trucking companies onto a fair playing field and even the odds. It gives them access to experienced investigators and legal tools designed to counter combative trucking company tactics and hold them accountable for their actions. Like I said, commercial vehicle accidents are never simple, but having the right ally will help get victims and their families the justice they deserve.
--Grossman Law Offices