Texas Personal Injury Law Blog

Jackknifed Truck Accident Kills 1 Injures 6

One man lost his life and 6 others were injured yesterday morning when a minivan collided with a jackknifed 18-wheeler. The Rig had been involved in a previous accident that left the rig jackknifed and partially blocking traffic. The collision occurred in Willow Park Texas, just west of Fort Worth.

Duties of Truck Drivers Involved in an Accident

Anytime an 18-wheeler driver is involved in an accident involving serious injury or property damage, he is obligated to stop and render aid. But, in addition to this duty, there are other obligations that may arise under civil law. For example, when a big rig jackknifes in the early morning while it is still dark, the driver may be obligated to make an effort to warn of other drivers of the hard-to-see danger.

Side Lights Can Be Rendered Ineffective

Traffic rules and regulations require that 18-wheelers have certain lights and/or reflectors in place on the rear and sides of the truck and trailer. Most trucks have lights and/or reflectors running down the side of the trailer to comply with this. However, when a trailer is tipped-over and the truck jackknifes, these reflectors are rendered useless.

Obligation to Warn

Federal and State Laws require truck drivers to maintain and carry certain items for emergencies of this nature.  Those items include: 6 fusees or 3 flares and a minimum of three reflective triangles. (See FMCSA Sec. 393.95.)  If the company fails to ensure the truck is equipped with these devices so that a truck driver cannot warn unsuspecting motorists, both the trucking company and the driver may be liable.

Preserving Evidence of Other Negligence

In cases of this nature, it can be very important to secure and download the data from an electronic data recording device that the truck has on board.  This information may give insight into how far and how long the truck had been on the road—revealing whether fatigue was a factor. An 18-wheeler collision attorney can issue notice letters and temporary restraining orders to prevent the destruction of this sort of critical evidence.   If your loved one is injured or killed in a truck accident and you suspect that that the driver’s negligence may have been the cause, the attorneys at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. would be honored to discuss your options with you in a free, no obligation consultation.

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Paul Cannon

Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.