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Deadly Fireball Wreck in Denton

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for civil law.jpegThe multi-vehicle collision, which shut down I35W in both directions, killed three people and injured three others.

Investigators believe that speed may have caused the crash. But by the time emergency responders arrived, little was left other than wreckage. The collision involved two large semi-trucks, one of which was carrying butane gas tanks. The gas exploded upon impact. Three other vehicles were involved in the crash, and police only know that number because officers counted the tire rims.

None of the names were released.

Speed and Car Crashes

Because it increases the risk of a collision and the force in a wreck, speed is a factor in about a third of the fatal car crashes in Texas.

Speed multiplies stopping distance. At 30mph, most vehicles travel about six car lengths from the moment a driver sees a hazard to the moment the driver safely stops the vehicle. At 60mph, stopping distance triples to eighteen car lengths. Other factors, such as environmental conditions and vehicle size, increase stopping distance even more.

Furthermore, speed multiplies the force in a collision between two objects. A low-speed crash might be a "fender bender" which causes no serious injury. At high velocity, that same wreck is a serious injury collision or even a fatal collision. Additionally, speed transforms small objects in the car, like cell phones, into high-speed missiles.

Third Party Liability

Many large truck crashes involve catastrophic injuries, like serious burns, spine injuries, and wrongful death. These injuries could mean millions of dollars in economic damages by themselves. Often, tortfeasors (negligent drivers) do not have enough insurance coverage to make good on all these losses. So, a Weatherford personal injury attorney needs to find an additional source of compensation.

Frequently, the respondeat superior rule is the answer to this quest. Employers, like shipping companies, are responsible for the negligent acts of their drivers and other workers if:

  • Employee: Any person the employer controls is usually an employee for negligence purposes. Independent contractors, owner-operators, and unpaid volunteers are all employees in this context. The employer controls all these individuals, in terms of things like hours worked.

  • Scope of Employment: Similarly, any act which benefits the employer in any way is within the scope of employment. These acts include driving an empty truck to a garage or warehouse.

Other employer liability theories, which often apply in assault and other intentional tort claims, include negligent hiring and negligent supervision.

Speed kills. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Weatherford, contact Herreth Law. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.

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