Herreth Law
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Fatal Crash in Westlake

Thumbnail image for civil law.jpegA man is dead after he rammed his car under an eighteen-wheeler.

Police say that 29-year-old Richard Rivas, of Grapevine, ran a red light at the intersection of State Highway 170 and U.S. Highway 377. As a result, he slid underneath the trailer of a large UPS truck. The combination of the blunt force trauma and being pinned underneath the truck led to Rivas' death, according to authorities.

Three other passenger vehicles were involved in the pile-up crash, but no one else was seriously injured.

Truck Crash Injuries

Fully-loaded semi trucks usually weigh at least 80,000 pounds. Additionally, because of the current truck driver shortage, many of these operators have little experience. That combination creates a lot of truck crashes, causing injuries like:

  • Internal Injuries: Many truck crash victims are pinned underneath the other large truck. Since first responders cannot reach them immediately, they are unable to stop internal organs from leaking.

  • Severe Burns: Large trucks carry hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel, which burns at a different temperature from gasoline. So, truck crash victims often suffer third or fourth-degree burns in these collisions.

  • Head Injuries: The intense trauma in these accidents causes many head injuries, as does the sudden snapping motion in the neck. Furthermore, many witnesses say that truck crashes sound like explosions. These sudden loud noises cause shock waves which disrupt brain functions.

Damages in a truck crash usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. A Weatherford truck crash attorney may also be able to obtain punitive damages, in some extreme cases.

Fault v. Liability in a Weatherford Car Crash

There is often a difference between fault at the scene and legal responsibility for damages. That's especially true if the victim does not survive or is too seriously injured to give a statement. In these situations, the police accident report only contains one side of the story.

The fault vs. liability difference often comes up in commercial operator cases as well. Truck drivers, Uber drivers, taxi drivers, and other operators who transport goods and/or people for money are common carriers. These people are held to a higher standard of care.

This higher duty is usually apparent in intersection collision cases. If a noncommercial driver has the green light, that operator can proceed directly through the intersection. But a common carrier arguably has a duty to pause before entering the intersection to make sure it's clear.

Commercial carrier liability usually involves the respondeat superior third party liability rule. This doctrine applies if the tortfeasor (negligent driver):

  • Was an employee

  • Who was working in the course or scope of employment.

Vicarious liability is especially important in wrongful death cases. Texas has one of the lowest auto insurance requirements in the country. So, the tortfeasor may not have enough insurance coverage to pay fair compensation.

Large vehicle collisions typically involve serious injuries and complex legal issues. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Weatherford, contact Herreth Law. You have a limited amount of time to act.

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