We all prefer to believe that professionals like commercial drivers and train operators are cautious. For the most part, the people we trust to operate semi-trucks and diesel trains are careful and skilled at their jobs. However, tragic accidents occur on our streets and train tracks all too often.
Trains Strike Semi-Truck in Small Texas Town
In the quiet city of Angleton, just a forty-minute drive from Houston, morning commuters were confronted with a shocking scene. Just before 8 a.m. on May 20, an 18-wheeler was struck by a pair of locomotives. The trains dragged the damaged asphalt truck several hundred feet before it caught fire. Unbelievably, nobody was seriously injured or killed during this shocking incident. In fact, the truck driver was able to walk away from the accident without suffering permanent injury.
Initial accident reports claimed that the asphalt truck got stuck on the tracks while attempting to cross. However, the truth of the matter is that this accident may have been avoidable. Police ticketed the truck driver with a citation accusing him of ignoring the railroad crossing signal. If the driver did indeed ignore safety laws while crossing the train tracks. In that case, he may very well be guilty of civil negligence.
The Damaging Impacts of Negligence
The driver of the 18 wheeler involved in the train collision may have been lucky. Still, his potential negligence resulted in a great deal of property damage. Texas courts recognize a rule known as negligence per se. This imposes civil liability for damages incurred due to a person’s negligent or reckless violation of a statute. The doctrine of negligence per se is designed to hold people accountable for the damage they cause when they violate a public safety law. It is also intended for some standards designed to prevent the exact type of harm they ended up creating.
Whenever someone breaks the law, it’s easy to point the finger of blame. However, even cases of negligence per se are anything but cut-and-dried. In the accident described above, whether the truck driver should or should not be held accountable for the property damage, he may have caused by breaking traffic laws while crossing the train tracks remains an unanswered question. The ambiguities surrounding negligence cases, even those involving the violation of traffic, are a large part of the reason why anyone injured in an accident needs a good attorney to represent them.
If you’ve been injured or your property has been damaged by a driver who was ticketed or arrested as a result of the incident. In that case, you may be eligible for damages. Reach out to the knowledgeable attorneys at Williams Hart & Boundas to discuss your case. We’ll take the time to answer all of your questions during a free consultation. Therefore, giving you the peace of mind you deserve after an accident.