Permian Basin Oil Truck Accidents: How the Boom Made Rural Roads a ‘Death Highway’

Posted by: Kemmy Law Firm

While commercial vehicle crashes can happen anywhere, multiple factors combine to make Permian Basin oil truck accidents among the deadliest incidents on Texas roadways.

The frequency and severity of collisions on one rural route in particular has led locals to refer to US 285 as “Death Highway”. An increase in fatal and injury-causing truck crashes on this highway has been linked to the oil boom throughout the Permian Basin, which stretches across western Texas and southeastern New Mexico.

If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a truck collision on US 285 or anywhere in the region, you may already realize that your losses extend beyond physical pain. You also suffer financially and emotionally, but it may come as some comfort to know that you may have rights as a victim. To learn more, please contact Kemmy Law Firm to set up a no-cost consultation with a Texas truck accidents attorney.

Accidents on ‘Death Highway’

The most telling figures on Permian Basin oil truck accidents comes from the Texas Department of Transportation. The data from 2016 to 2018, which are the key years relative to the region’s oil boom, reveals significant trends.

  • There were 485 deaths and 1,321 injury victims in the Permian Basin in 2018.
  • One significant spike in fatal crashes during the relevant period was in Ector County, where the incidents went from 8 to 21. Injury-causing truck crashes were also on the rise, almost doubling from 2016-2018.
  • Another notable increase was in Midland County, where deadly truck accidents rose 44 percent. Collisions causing injuries went from 4 in 2016 to 19 in 2018.
  • In 2018, the Permian Basin ranked second in fatal collisions among the five oil-producing regions throughout Texas.

Causes of Permian Basin Oil Truck Accidents

Perhaps not surprisingly, driver inattention is a primary factor in deadly and injury-causing collisions along US 285 and other thoroughfares in the Permian Basin.

Despite laws that apply to all motorists and federal regulations targeting commercial drivers, many truck operators still text, talk, or engage in other cell phone use. Plus, there are other forms of distracted driving that can be equally dangerous, like using a radio, interacting with a GPS, or eating.

Causes and contributing factors in truck collisions include:

  • Speeding in excess of the posted limit or traveling too fast for conditions;
  • Failure to yield at intersections;
  • Drivers attempting to pass other cars illegally;
  • Failure to properly secure cargo; and,
  • Taking curves at dangerous speeds.

Legal Options for Truck Accident Victims

To recover compensation after a truck crash, you must prove that the operator didn’t exercise reasonable care, and this breach of legal duty was the direct cause of the collision. If you meet the required standard, you can recover your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.

If a loved one died in a fatal truck crash, you also have rights as a surviving family member. It’s possible to obtain monetary damages through a wrongful death claim. You may qualify to receive reimbursement for the deceased victim’s medical, funeral, and burial costs. Plus, you can seek damages for how the victim’s death affects your own interests. Examples include lost support, guidance, companionship, comfort, education, and others.

Set Up a Free Consult with Kemmy Law Firm

Though it’s a relief to know that you have options for pursuing compensation as the victim of a truck crash, it’s important to retain skilled legal counsel for assistance. The laws are complicated, and the insurance company will contest your claim every step of the way.

When you work with our family of experienced injury attorneys in Odessa-Midland, TX, you can feel confident that your case is in good hands. For more information, please Kemmy Law Firm at (210) 735-2233 or go online to schedule a no-cost evaluation.

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When you work with us at Kemmy Law Firm, you are working with a family run firm with more than 50 years of combined experience. We are dedicated and successful trial attorneys practicing in West TX, Hobbs, NM, Midland-Odessa, and across the Permian Basin. Our team handles everything from catastrophic injury claims to complex business matters. We are here to fight for you. We dedicate our time and attention to your case and use every resource available to maximize your claim and obtain the best possible outcome.