Have Supply Chain Issues Made Dallas Roads More Unsafe?
The Dallas-Fort Worth area has seen a surge in fatal trucking accidents, with crash rates increasing throughout the pandemic. Motor vehicle accidents and fatalities were expected to decrease when COVID-19 dramatically reduced traffic. However, traffic deaths increased while vehicle miles traveled dropped.
This is particularly true of large commercial truck accidents in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. The 12 counties that make up the metroplex experienced 78 fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles in 2019, 90 in 2020, and 92 in 2021.
Safety and Legal Issues With the Supply Chain Shortage
Truck accidents have been steadily increasing nationwide, causing thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths. Supply chain pressures resulting from the pandemic are a major contributing factor to the problem. Mishandling of driver shortages on the part of trucking companies may also be a factor. Truck drivers are being pushed to their limits and working maximum hours per week. This can lead to “road hypnosis” and lapses in attention that can result in fatal accidents. In addition, to deal with driver shortages, trucking companies are hiring younger, less experienced drivers.
Truck accident fatalities increased by 10.5% in January through March of 2021, as reported by The Trucker. Trucking companies are having difficulty keeping up with demand, and increased demand is being placed on drivers. The trucking industry may be ranking profit over safety at this time. Some trucking companies may pressure their drivers to cut corners or under-report hours.
Liability for Truck Accidents Caused by Negligence
There may be multiple potentially liable parties in a truck accident case:
- If truck driver negligence caused the crash, the driver may be held liable for the resulting injuries. Driver negligence may involve fatigued driving, distracted driving, drug-impaired driving, speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changes, or otherwise violating the rules of the road or trucking regulations.
- As the truck driver’s employer, the trucking company may be responsible for the actions of the driver. The company may also be held responsible for the safe operation of the truck.
- If the truck was overloaded or cargo was improperly loaded or secured, and that contributed to the accident, the party responsible for loading the cargo may be held liable.
- If failure of truck equipment caused the collision, a truck or parts manufacturer may be responsible.
- If road hazards caused or contributed to the truck accident, a local government entity or contractor responsible for highway design or maintenance may be held liable.
Why You Need a Lawyer
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident caused by the negligence of another, your best course of action is to speak with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can investigate your trucking accident to determine cause and liability and secure evidence to support your claim for compensation.
Truck accidents are complex cases, involving state and federal regulations and multiple potentially liable parties. Trucking companies and their insurers have teams of insurance defense attorneys to challenge your claim. They will do their best to limit the company’s liability, or even shift the blame for the accident to you. Your best chance of recovering full compensation is to have a team of experienced personal injury lawyers handling your case.
At The Lenahan Law Firm, we get big results for our clients with real TLC. Our attorneys have extensive experience successfully representing clients injured in 18-wheeler accidents. We offer a free consultation with no time limit. Call us at (214) 295-1008 to find out how we can help after a truck accident with serious or fatal injuries.