It may be necessary to file an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit if you were hurt or a member of your family was injured or killed in a collision with a commercial truck. Although an 18-wheeler accident can happen anywhere, some states see far more of these crashes than others.
This year the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recorded more than 57,000 commercial truck accidents in the United States. A significant portion of these accidents involve 18-wheelers.
Also known as semi trucks, big rigs, and more, 18-wheeler trucks carry everything from consumer goods to oil and gas. While they play an essential role in our economy, they are also responsible for a significant number of roadway injuries and fatalities each year.
Of all of the 18-wheeler accidents in the United States, more than 10% occur in Texas. So far in 2022, the FMCSA has recorded a total of 6,740 large truck crashes in Texas. This means that not only does Texas have the most 18-wheeler accidents in the country, but it has the most 18-wheeler accidents in the United States by far.
The simple explanation for the high number of truck accidents in Texas is that we have more of these vehicles on our roads than any other state. According to Statista, 18-wheelers travel more than 31 billion miles on Texas roads each year. This is significantly higher than the state with the next highest total (approximately 26 billion miles in California), and more than double the total of any other state.
Along with the fact that Texas is the largest state in the lower 48, there are three primary reasons why there are so many 18-wheelers (and so many 18-wheeler accidents) in Texas:
Texas is well-known for its oil and gas industry. West Texas is home to numerous wells and refineries, and several of the world’s largest oil and gas companies (including Shell, BP, and CITGO) are based in Houston.
Oil and gas operations rely heavily on 18-wheelers. Drivers carrying everything from heavy equipment to refined oil and gas cross the state on a daily basis. Errors on the part of drivers operating tanker trucks and other big rigs can have devastating consequences.
With its location on the Gulf of Mexico, Texas plays a crucial role in the global shipping trade. Texas has several ports along its Gulf Coast, and these ports are key destinations for containers traveling through the Panama Canal.
Getting containers to and from these ports is largely the responsibility of 18-wheeler drivers. Port cities such as Houston see an extraordinary volume of 18-wheeler traffic 365 days a year, which results in an increased risk of truck accidents.
Several Texas highways are key transportation corridors for 18-wheelers carrying shipments across the United States. These include I-10, I-20, I-30, and I-40.
A significant percentage of all 18-wheeler accidents occur on highways. Unfortunately, these tend to be the most dangerous accidents as well.
According to the FMCSA, close to half of all commercial truck accidents result in injuries. Furthermore, thousands of people each year lose their lives in accidents involving 18-wheelers and other commercial trucks.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that the vast majority of the people injured and killed in these accidents are occupants of passenger vehicles. If you have been injured or a loved one has been hurt or killed in an 18-wheeler accident, you should take the following steps as soon as possible:
Taking care of your health should always be your first priority. Whether you need treatment for injuries you suffered in an 18-wheeler accident or you need help coping with the tragic loss of a loved one, you should see a doctor right away.
The more information you have about the accident, the better. Take a few minutes to collect any and all available evidence, including photos, the truck driver’s information, witness testimony, and more. As you recover from your injuries, take detailed notes about anything else you can remember.
Whether an 18-wheeler accident results in serious injuries or death, the cost of the accident can be substantial. In most cases, the truck driver, trucking company, and/or the shipping company will be to blame for the crash. If this is the case, you are likely entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses.
However, recovering fair compensation for a truck accident is not easy. Although it is possible to reach a fair settlement, it may be necessary to file an 18-wheeler accident lawsuit and even go to trial to achieve a favorable result. In either situation, it is in your best interest to have experienced legal representation.
Patrick Daniel Law is Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless. Truck accident litigation is a major focus of our firm. We thoroughly investigate and collect all relevant evidence, develop innovative legal strategies, and aggressively advocate for your best interests in settlement negotiations and (if necessary) in court.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in an 18-wheeler accident, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a FREE consultation. Patrick Daniel Law serves clients throughout Houston, all of Texas, and nationwide.