“Death Highway” in Texas – What You Need to Know
US Route 285 has gained the name “Death Highway,” a reflection of the staggering number of fatal accidents that occur on this stretch of road. Route 285 once provided access to small farming communities. But with the discovery of oil and gas fields in the Permian Basin, it became a major thoroughfare for oil and gas trucks.
The oil and gas industries require a constant stream of 18-wheelers to carry water, sand, pipes, fuel, and other supplies. As oil and gas prices have increased, production in the Permian Basin has exploded. Experienced, qualified drivers were unable to keep pace with the demand. As a solution for this ever-increasing need, oil and gas companies and trucking firms began hiring young, inexperienced drivers – with minimal training. These novice drivers are working ten- or eleven-hour days, often for fourteen days without a break. The lack of sleep and lack of experience have proven to be a recipe for disaster.
The Winkler County Sheriff’s Office recently reported crash numbers in Ector County in 2018, which were a staggering 5,170 – almost double what they were in 2016. In the Odessa district, this translates to an increase of 67%, with fatalities up 97%, commercial vehicle accidents up 160%, and commercial vehicle fatalities up 122%. With 93 people dying in accidents in West Texas in a single year, Route 285 is likely the most dangerous highway in America.
While the oil and gas industry has brought prosperity to the state, it comes with a hidden cost to individuals and families – injuries and loss of life.
Injured on Route 285? You Are Not Alone
If you or a loved one was injured while driving on “Death Highway,” you are not alone. The Emergent Group reports that truck accidents were up 17% in 2018. In just two months, a shocking 2,106 accidents were reported. Injuries resulting in death were up 36%. If you were injured on Route 285, you need legal help to seek justice and full compensation.
How Are Truck Accidents Resolved?
A collision between two privately-owned cars is much less complicated than one between an 18-wheeler and a car. If you were injured or lost a loved one, you deserve justice – but what does the process entail? Filing a claim or lawsuit will require you to conduct a full investigation into the accident and identify all liable parties, which may include:
- Truck driver
- Trucking firm
- Oil or gas company
- Truck manufacturer
- Truck cargo loading firm
- Truck parts manufacturer
These are complex cases that require the assistance of an experienced, qualified Texas personal injury lawyer. At the Sorey Law Firm P.L.L.C., our lead attorney and founder, R. Dan Sorey, has a background in handling injury cases for a nationwide law firm and trial experience in five states. He has the knowledge, skill, and expertise to hold the responsible parties accountable.
A truck accident claim may be settled out of court or through trial. Mr. Sorey prepares his cases for trial, is experienced in negotiating the terms of settlement for his clients, and will pursue the maximum compensation available.
What Damages Will Be Paid?
A truck accident is a life-changing event. You may never again enjoy the quality of life you had before the crash. The damages sought in a claim or lawsuit will reflect the long-term impact of the injuries on your life and future. The damages sought may include:
- Economic damages: The financial losses associated with medical treatment, both current and future, as well as lost wages, lost earning capacity, rehabilitation, transportation, medications, and all other real-world financial losses.
- Non-economic damages: The personal losses you have suffered as a result of your injuries, such as pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and emotional anguish.
- Punitive damages: If it is established that the collision was the result of gross negligence or wanton, reckless behavior, these damages are intended to punish the trucker or trucking company.
You may be contacted by an insurance company representative who offers to help. This is a standard strategy employed by insurance companies. By working directly with the injured victim, they hope to limit the amount they are forced to pay in damages. At the Sorey Law Firm P.L.L.C., we do not allow our clients to be victims of this process – we demand full and fair compensation, whether the case involves catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.
Contact the Sorey Law Firm P.L.L.C. Today
We’re sad to say that 11% of all traffic fatalities in Texas occurred in the Permian Basin, where less than 2% of the population lives. No matter how safely you operate your vehicle, follow the rules of the road, and drive defensively, when an out-of-control 18-wheeler is nearby, there is little you can do to protect yourself.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured on US Rt 285, the Sorey Law Firm P.L.L.C. offers a free consultation. Whether we take your case or not, we are available to answer your questions. Call (903) 207-5526 today.