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Odessa Truck Accident Lawyers

Undefeated Odessa Truck & 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyers

The booming Permian Basin oilfields that surround Odessa have altered the city in a number of ways, bringing thousands of new people and jobs to the area.

But this growth has resulted in a substantial increase in serious and fatal commercial motor vehicle accidents, making many of Odessa’s roads and highways among the most dangerous in the State of Texas.

Our Odessa Truck Accident Attorneys Do More Than Win – We Set Records

Our Undefeated Odessa Truck and 18 Wheeler Accident Attorneys are known for winning the #1 largest truck and 18-wheeler verdicts and settlements in Texas for our clients.

In the past 5 years alone, our Odessa Truck Accident Attorneys have recovered:

As a result of the success that we’ve achieved for accident victims, our Truck Accident Lawyers in Odessa have the resources, experience, and knowledge to take on the biggest trucking companies in the world and ensure our clients receive the maximum compensation possible for  ALL of their injuries and losses

Contact Our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers in Odessa for a Free Consult at 1-888-603-3636 or by Clicking Here

What Our Clients Say About Their Experience with our Odessa Truck Accident Lawyers

There are a lot of law firms that say they’re the best, but we want our results (and clients) to speak for themselves.

In the video below, our client, who was seriously injured by a commercial truck on his way to work, describes his experience with our Truck Accident Lawyers and how we secured a record-setting recovery for him less than 12 months after filing his lawsuit. 

To learn more about the results we’ve achieved for our clients, you can also visit our Client Testimonial page, our Results page, or our firm’s YouTube Channel.

Permian Basin Leads Texas Energy Zones in Fatal Crashes

Texas’s five major energy zones accounted for almost one in four of all roadway deaths reported in the state during 2022 — and the Permian fared worst of all. In fact, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 26,031 traffic crashes were reported on the Texas side of the Permian Basin that year, including 394 fatalities and 889 serious injuries. 

Odessa’s home county of Ector logged 389 trucking-related crashes in 2022, including five fatal accidents that resulted in five deaths. Meanwhile, Midland County reported 502 trucking-related accidents, including 12 fatal crashes that resulted in 13 deaths.

Why are fatal truck and 18-wheeler crashes so prevalent in and around Odessa? Having successfully represented thousands of West-Texas clients injured in collisions with oilfield trucks, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers and other big rigs, it’s been our experience that these tragedies are almost always preventable and typically result from the negligent actions of the trucking company or its driver:

Inexperienced Truck Drivers

Despite the allure of six-figure wages for West Texas oilfield truckers, a nationwide shortage of commercial drivers has left many drillers scrambling to recruit the personnel needed to keep the oilfields running  24/7.  As a result, the trucks carrying supplies and equipment to and from well sites are often being operated by younger drivers without the experience or training to safely handle their rigs.  While age and inexperience both factor into overall crash risk, a recent study conducted by the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence found that less experienced truckers are far more likely to cause a crash, no matter their age.

Fatigued Driving

Permian drill sites typically operate around the clock, and it’s not at all unusual for oilfield truck drivers in and around Odessa to work irregular shifts and consecutive 12-hour work days for weeks at a time. The fatigue that results from their schedules decreases a driver’s reaction time, impairs judgment, and increases the likelihood that they’ll fall asleep while at the wheel. Not surprisingly, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control cites fatigued driving as one of the leading causes of crashes in the oil and gas industry.

Trucks Traveling at Excessive Speeds

According to TxDot, excessive speed ranks as the leading cause of fatal crashes in Texas’s energy-producing regions, including the Permian Basin.  Because time is money for both the oilfield companies and their drivers, many truckers in the Midland-Odessa region resort to driving at excessive speeds in violation of state and federal laws governing commercial motor vehicles.  Speeding is always dangerous, but especially so when a big rig is involved, considering that a fully loaded commercial truck requires as much as the length of two football fields to come to a stop when traveling at normal highway speeds.

Distracted Truck Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving — talking on a cell phone, texting, and adjusting driver logs while behind the wheel — is the second leading cause of large truck crashes nationwide.  While the FMCSA has strict rules in place to prevent driver distractions, the fact is, a recent study suggests that up to 71% of large-truck crashes occurred when the truck driver was doing something besides driving the truck.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving, including aggressive behaviors like tailgating, improper lane changes, and failure to yield the right of way, greatly increases the likelihood that a driver will cause a crash, and truckers are no exception.  

Driver Impairment

The consequences of impaired driving are always severe in a crash, but when it involves other big rigs, the potential for catastrophic injuries and fatalities is significantly amplified. It is crucial to address this addiction crisis and prioritize safety in order to protect the well-being of both the workers and the general public. Unfortunately, addiction has emerged as a pressing issue affecting oil and gas workers in the Permian. The demanding nature of their work, particularly for truck drivers, has caused many to turn to cocaine and methamphetamines to stay awake and alert on the job, while others rely on marijuana, alcohol, and other illicit substances to cope with the boredom and isolation that often characterizes life in the oil patch.

Inadequately Maintained Trucks

Many of the trucks and 18-wheelers traveling in and around Odessa experience significantly more wear and tear than a typical commercial vehicle.  While regular inspections, routine maintenance, and timely repairs are essential to ensuring these rigs remain road-worthy, too many drilling companies are focused solely on the bottom line and are reluctant to take their oilfield tricks out of service for any period of time, leaving their brake failures, tire blowouts, and other mechanical breakdowns that may cause a driver to lose control of their rig.

Poor Road Conditions

The rural roadways in the Permian Basin are no match for the heavy trucks that have accompanied the oil boom. While highway infrastructure in and around Odessa is improving,  many of the roads traveled by oilfield trucks are barely wide enough for two lanes of traffic, lack adequate shoulders, and require frequent repairs due to heavy use.

What Damages are Recoverable in an Odessa Truck Accident Lawsuit?

Under Texas law, victims of Odessa truck and 18-wheeler accidents may be entitled to damages for any injuries and losses suffered as a result of the crash. These damages include:

  • Medical Expenses: This category encompasses the reimbursement for past, present, and future medical costs directly related to the accident. It covers expenses such as hospital bills, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and therapy. Additionally, it includes compensation for the loss of consortium, which refers to the negative impact the injuries have on the relationship with a spouse or partner.
  • Lost Wages: If the accident forces you to take time off work, you may be entitled to recover the income you have lost during that period. This includes both the immediate time off as well as any future loss of earning capacity due to long-term or permanent injuries. Loss of consortium may also be considered as part of the claim, as it affects the ability to provide companionship and support to a spouse or partner.
  • Pain and Suffering: Under Texas law, victims can seek compensation for the physical pain, mental anguish, discomfort, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life caused by the accident. This category also includes the impact on the relationship with a spouse or partner, known as loss of consortium.
  • Disfigurement: If the accident results in permanent injuries, disabilities, significant scarring, or disfigurement, you have the right to claim compensation for these life-altering changes. Additionally, loss of consortium can be considered as part of the claim, as it affects the ability to maintain a normal relationship with a spouse or partner.
  • Punitive Damages. Known in Texas as exemplary damages, these damages are intended to punish a defendant for their wrongful actions and deter similar conduct in the future. To claim punitive damages, a plaintiff in Texas must provide clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with fraud, malice, or gross negligence. This higher standard of proof aims to ensure that punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant’s behavior was particularly reprehensible.
  • Wrongful Death Damages: In a tragic case where an accident results in the loss of life, the surviving family members may seek wrongful death damages. This compensation covers funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support and benefits that the decedent would have provided, mental anguish, loss of love and companionship, and loss of the value of the services that the decedent would have provided. 

Why Hire Our Odessa Truck Accident Lawyers?

Trucking companies know who we are. They know that when Zehl & Associates is involved in a case, they have two options:

(1) offer a settlement that fully compensates our clients for all their injuries and losses, or

(2) risk a record-breaking verdict against the company at trial.

Having recovered the largest truck and 18-wheeler accident verdicts and settlements in Texas, our Odessa Truck Accident Attorneys are always prepared to take a case to trial if the trucking company refuses to offer a settlement that fully compensates our clients for all of their injuries and losses.

Just recently, our approach led to the Largest Truck Accident Settlement in Texas.

We also recently recovered the Largest 18-wheeler accident settlement in the Trucking Company’s History on behalf of a client whose husband was tragically killed by an 18-wheeler on his way to work.

During previous years, we won the largest truck accident verdict in Texas against R&L Trucking, one of the biggest trucking companies in the United States, and negotiated the largest settlement in the history of Oakley Trucking.

As a result, many of our cases end up settling for substantial (and often record-setting) amounts before trial.

Contact our Undefeated Odessa Truck and 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or by Clicking Here

With Billions won and the #1 Largest Recoveries in Texas, our Odessa Truck and 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyers have repeatedly demonstrated that we don’t just win for our clients and their families – we set records.

If you or a loved one were injured or tragically killed in a truck or 18-wheeler accident, call our Truck Accident Attorneys at 1-888-603-3636, use the chat form on our website, or send us a confidential email through our Contact Form by clicking here.

Our lawyers will answer your questions, explain your options and rights, and provide you with all the information you need to do what’s best for you and your family.

All consultations are free, and you won’t pay us a dollar unless we win your case.

Odessa Truck Accident FAQs