Posted on Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 at 3:53 pm
A major crash involving multiple vehicles, including an 18-wheeler, sent three people to the hospital on February 4. The crash took place on Toll 49 in Smith County, close to Highway 110.
Three vehicles were a part of the crash, and the Texas Department of Public Safety got to the scene near 12:45 p.m.
The Department of Public Safety said that an SUV driving north on Toll 49 crossed the grass into the southbound lane. The SUV then had a head-on collision with a big rig, then also made contact with a pickup truck.
All three drivers involved in the incident were injured. The person driving the SUV had to be flown by helicopter to a hospital and is reportedly in critical condition. The pickup truck driver was able to drive himself to a hospital and has been reported to be in stable condition. The driver of the 18-wheeler had to be transported to a hospital via ambulance, but his condition is currently unknown.
The crash is still under investigation by authorities, and their primary concern at this point is determining what could have caused the SUV driver to swerve into oncoming traffic. There has been no word as to whether mechanical failure was at fault, the driver was under the effects of a substance, or some other issue.
Toll 49 was closed for more than three hours after the accident, and it opened around 4:30 p.m.
Liability in Crashes isn’t Always Obvious
At first glance, most reasonable people would look at the story above and simply assume the SUV driver was fully at fault for the accident.
However, crashes like these are not always as cut and dry as they might seem. What is obvious is that something having to do with the SUV is at fault for this crash. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the driver is liable for the crash, though.
If it wasn’t driver error, which is a fairly big “if” at this point, mechanical error is the likely culprit.
Mechanical Errors Leading to Crashes
There are a number of mechanical problems that could have led to the collision. Some of these could include:
Brake Failure – If the SUV driver lost their ability to slow down or stop the car, they could have panicked and swerved, possibly to avoid rear ending another car or something in the roadway, and ended up in oncoming traffic. While swerving the direction the SUV did would still put a portion of the liability on the driver, the malfunctioning brakes would be placed far more at fault.
Steering Issues – There is a chance that the steering system in the SUV locked up or malfunctioned in some way or another that sent the vehicle across the space between the southbound and northbound traffic and into the semi. The steering could have locked in place while the driver was changing lanes, leaving the driver unable to calmly react as the vehicle stopped responding to their input. Likewise, something in the steering system could have sent the car pulling hard to the left, which also may have sent the SUV into the 18-wheeler.
Accelerator Problems – A problem with the accelerator can lead to a situation similar to that discussed above for brake failure. If the accelerator got stuck and caused the SUV to speed up significantly, even a small movement in steering could have left the vehicle uncontrollable, thereby sending it speeding toward the big rig.
Liability and Legal Representation in Major Crashes
Because determining liability in an accident like this can be complex and problematic, seeking legal counsel is highly recommended to anyone who has been in a major crash. This is especially true if you or anyone else involved in the accident was injured or killed. No matter who seems initially at fault for a collision or other vehicle-related injury, a good injury attorney in Houston will put their resources toward a full investigation of a crash and what party is truly liable for the incident.
The injury attorneys at Williams Hart have served the Houston area for over 30 years in cases like the one involving you or a family member. With our array of resources, full staff of legal professionals, and experienced attorneys at the helm, you can rest assured your case is in excellent, competent hands.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident due to driver error, mechanical failure, or any other reason, contact our attorneys immediately. Call us at (713) 352-7071 today and set up a free consultation to determine your best course of action.