We've discussed in this space that, when it comes to operating commercial vehicles, such as trucks, the responsibility for safety may devolve on entities other than the drivers in certain situations. As we have seen, companies that operate various types of these vehicles must follow federal and state regulations with regard to safety inspections and maintenance of the fleet. Unfortunately, a Texas family may have found out that these requirements don't prevent all accidents.
Last week, a family in an SUV, consisting of a 32-year-old woman and four children who are under the age of 12 were involved in an accident that concerned not one, but two dump trucks on a Texas highway. According to authorities, one of the trucks, lost its rear axle and wheels, which hit the SUV sending it spinning into on-coming traffic. At this point, it was struck by another dump truck in that lane, which caused the second truck to swerve off the road and catch fire. While neither of the truck drivers were injured, all five of the SUV occupants ended up in area hospitals, with two children being treated and released, two others airlifted to another hospital and reportedly in stable condition, and the woman suffering serious injuries and taken to a third facility.
While police and safety personnel are continuing the investigation, and nothing is known for certain, the loss of an entire rear axle from a truck may seem suspicious to some. At the least, it raises questions about the maintenance and safety of the truck involved, and whether someone should have known such a catastrophic failure was likely to happen. If so, aside from any regulatory or criminal sanctions the government may impose on the driver or company operating the vehicle, there may be the possibility of a civil suit to hold a party liable for the injuries caused.
Texas residents should remember that driving is an inherently dangerous activity, and the presence of large vehicles like trucks may make the risks more severe. When commercial truck accidents do occur and cause serious injuries and damage, it may be possible to hold any parties who have been negligent in the operation of such vehicles monetarily liable for losses incurred.
Source: 12newsnow.com, "Family that was injured in Highway 124 crash yesterday accepting donations," May 10, 2016