Reckless Driving Car Accidents in the Permian Basin

Posted by: Kemmy Law Firm

Negligent, borderline reckless driving reaps considerable consequences. Unfortunately, this type of misconduct is common along roadways in West Texas.

The Permian Basin has seen its fair share of traumatic and life-threatening car, truck, and motorcycle accidents caused by reckless driving. If a reckless driver caused you to suffer catastrophic injuries, you might be able to hold them accountable and secure maximum restitution for your suffering.

Shocking Statistics on the ‘Death Highway’

Some blame the spike of car accidents in the Permian Basin on the oil rush that’s attracted many to the area. The significant increase in regional activity and traffic has taxed rural roads to their limit. An example is the “Death Highway,” a stretch of US 285 that’s a primary route for trucks hauling supplies to support the oil industry.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 3,760 car accident fatalities across the state, 195 of which occurred in Permian Area Counties, 83 in the Midland/Odessa area, and 138 in the TXDOT Odessa district.

Ector County saw more car accident fatalities than any other county in the Permian Basin, with 56 deaths. This is not surprising, given that Ector County’s deadly truck crashes rose 38% from 2017 to 2018 and doubled in Midland County during the same period.

Causes of Car Accidents in the Permian Basin

Due to the unique, bustling environment in the Permian Basin, certain reckless acts are more prevalent. They are likely linked to changes in driving conditions, such as:

Increased Volume

Many state and county roads in the area are two-laned. When they were constructed, the region was largely rural and only supported agriculture. With the increase in truck traffic, congestion has become considerable.

Complexity

Many long-time residents are used to sharing the road with other passenger vehicles, with few semis and 18-wheelers. Driving is more complicated with the oil boom and the accumulation of large trucks.

Construction

TXDOT is vamping up numerous projects to widen two-lane roads and build new thoroughfares for truck traffic. Construction slows drivers down, at times leading traffic to come to a stand-still.

These factors often lead to impatience and frustration for motorists, especially when they’re in a hurry. But being impatient does not give motorists the right to drive negligently or recklessly.

Examples of Reckless Driving

Reckless driving shows a blatant disregard for the safety of anyone else sharing the roads with the driver. It may come as a surprise to learn that drivers are more likely to engage in risky acts behind the wheel, often leading to reckless driving. Examples include:

  • Running red lights and stop signs
  • Failure to yield to other vehicles and pedestrians
  • Crossing the centerline to check for a passing lane
  • Illegal lane changes
  • Distracted driving, such as texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, and interacting with a GPS

Proving Negligence in a Permian Basin Reckless Driving Accident

You need compensation to rebuild your life after your accident. To do that, our attorneys must show that another party’s negligence caused your injuries. We need to meet the four elements of negligence, which include:

  1. Duty of Care – The defendant owed you a legal duty of care. All drivers must exercise a reasonable level of care when operating a vehicle.
  2. Breach of Duty – The defendant breached their duty of care to you. Any responsible driver would have recognized their reckless driving could cause someone else severe injury.
  3. Causation – The defendant’s breach of duty was the direct or indirect cause of not only your injuries but your damages.
  4. Damages – This includes the financial and non-financial losses you endured because of your injuries. The liable party should be ordered to compensate you as a form of restitution for their reckless and negligent actions.

Damages in Reckless Driving Car Accidents

In car accidents caused by negligence, damages are compensatory. This means they are intended to reimburse you for expenses and losses.

These damages break up into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. To accurately calculate the value of your claim, your attorney must take a thorough inventory of both.

Economic Damages to Recover

Economic damages refer to your financial losses. Any loss that has a fixed monetary value is placed in this category. Common types of economic damages you could recover include:

  • Healthcare expenses and equipment
  • Loss of income and earning potential
  • Unexpected childcare expenses
  • Costs of household maintenance
  • Costs of increased insurance premiums
  • Property damages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages do not have a financial value. They include all the ways your life has personally been affected by the reckless driving accident. Common types of non-economic damages include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Reputational damage
  • Pain and suffering

What are Punitive Damages?

The extreme nature of the misconduct involved in your accident may warrant exemplary damages, also referred to as punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the other driver for their recklessness.

Exemplary damages also act as an example to other motorists: to discourage them from engaging in reckless driving.

When Can You Recover Punitive Damages?

It should be noted that the law states you can only recover exemplary/punitive damages if the other motorist’s actions amount to gross negligence. In other words:

  • The conduct must demonstrate an outrageous, extreme degree of risk
  • The driver must have known about the risk but still disregarded it

If your attorney can prove these elements, you may be able to receive punitive damages in an amount that’s double your compensatory damages. In Texas, this is up to a maximum amount of $750,000.

Contact the Kemmy Law Firm About Your Rights

Severe injuries and fatalities are frequent in reckless driving car accidents, and multiple factors make them highly complicated for victims. With 50+ years of combined experience fighting for clients in all types of motor vehicle crashes, our team at Kemmy Law Firm is prepared to take on the challenges of any case.

Please call our family of experienced trial lawyers to set up a complimentary case evaluation with either our Odessa car accident lawyers or our team in San Antonio right away. Call Kemmy Law Firm at 210-735-2233 or complete our contact form today.

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Get a free consultation. We do not charge up-front fees, and you owe nothing unless you recover compensation.

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.