A massive crash involving five tractor-trailers is a rare event even on the overused highways of Texas. It happened at about 3:30 a.m. on Interstate 20 West near Longview, in what appears to be a case of truck driver negligence. The driver of a 2014 semi-trailer crashed into four other semitrailers that were stopped for traffic in the westbound lanes. That driver, a 66-year-old male, and his passenger, a 52-year-old female, both died from their injuries, and were declared dead at the scene by a justice of the peace.
Three other truck drivers were taken to the hospital with injuries. Because the only moving vehicle prior to the collision was the 2014 semitrailer that crashed into the stopped line of traffic, it is a rather clear case of truck driver negligence. The Texas Department of Public Safety issued a news release indicating that the offending trucker failed to observe the traffic congestion that had stopped the vehicles on the highway.
Consequently, liability issues will not be obstacles to a recovery for the claim for wrongful death damages and the separate claims for personal injury compensation. The family of the deceased passenger in the offending semitrailer appear to have a claim for wrongful death damages against the negligent driver and the driver’s employer. Each of the other injured drivers have a legal right to be compensated for their injuries flowing directly from the accident.
Generally, in Texas each party that has a claim will submit those claims to the insurance carrier for the at-fault driver and his employer. With wrongful death and serious personal injury claims, using an experienced personal injury attorney is highly recommended. The attorney will know how to recover the maximum amount of insurance coverage on behalf of the client. The legal fee will be based on a contingency percentage that is not collected unless a recovery is obtained. In this case, however, there is little chance that there will be no recovery, because trucking concerns usually are well-covered for liability claims caused by truck driver negligence.
Source: kfvs12.com, “DPS identifies those killed, injured in I-20 semi-truck wreck”, Lane Luckie, Jan. 4, 2018