Dallas Trucking Collisions Caused By Driver Error

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Smashed Truck WindowThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Large Truck Crash Causation Study[1] reviewed 141,000 large truck injury and fatal crashes.  The collisions reviewed during the course of the Administration’s study demonstrated that truck driver error was responsible for a majority of the crashes as follows:

  • Non-Performance: The driver fell asleep, was disabled by a heart attack or seizure, or was physically impaired for another reason.
  • Recognition: The driver was inattentive, was distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle or failed to observe the situation adequately for some other reason.
  • Decision: The driver was driving too fast for conditions, misjudged the speed of other vehicles, or followed other vehicles too closely.
  • Performance: The driver panicked, overcompensated, or exercised poor directional control.

The national large truck crash causation study set forth different types of driver error resulting in truck collisions including:

  • Driver Fatigue Causing Trucking Collisions

Fatigue leads truck drivers to fall asleep, be inattentive, misjudge gaps, ignore the signs of impending dangers, panic, freeze, and under- or overreact to a situation.  The FMCSA study provides that fatigue accounted for 13% of the collisions, including 18,000 large trucks.

  • Hours of Service Rules

Federal regulations (called the “hours of service rules”) set forth rules to ensure that truck drivers obtain the necessary rest and restorative sleep in order to drive safely. Under these rules, truck drivers can work a maximum of 14 hours per day, during which time they can only drive for a maximum of 11 hours. The driver must be off duty for 10 consecutive hours prior to the start of a shift. The driver also cannot drive after being on duty for 60 hours in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days. Pressure to continue working from a carrier accounted for 10% of the large truck crashes involving 16,000 commercial trucks.

  • Drug Use by Truck Drivers

The FMCSA study provides that truck driver’s use of illegal drugs accounted for 2% of the total accidents or 3,000 trucks while over-the-counter drug usage accounted for 17% of the collisions or 25,000 trucks.

Drivers may not use any controlled substances unless prescribed by a licensed physician who is familiar with the driver’s medical history and assigned duties and has determined that the drug use will not adversely affect the driver’s ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.

Federal regulations[2] require trucking companies to:

  • test their drivers for alcohol and drug use as a condition of employment, and
  • require periodic random tests of the drivers while they are on duty and after an accident involving a fatality.

Contact a Dallas Truck Collision Attorney

If you or a loved one were involved in a collision with a large truck, you may have sustained life changing disabilities as a result of your injuries.  It is important to speak to a Dallas truck collision attorney. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Dallas truck collision lawyers, call Clements & Clements today at 214-827-1122 or send us an email through our online contact form.

References:

[1] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/large-truck-crash-causation-study-analysis-brief
[2] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/drug-alcohol-testing/overview-drug-and-alcohol-rules

Dallas Trucking Collisions Caused By Brake Or Tire Failure

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Concrete MixerA study sponsored by Department of Transportation[1](DOT) found that 29.4% of all large truck crashes involved brake failure, brakes out of adjustment, or other brake-related issues.  If you are injured in a Dallas truck collision where brake or tire failure either caused or contributed to the accident, it is important to speak to an experienced truck accident attorney.

Defective Truck Brakes

Brakes in tractor-trailers are different than those systems found in passenger vehicles. While the differences are many, one main difference is that many tractor trailers have air brake systems in which the various components work together to create and maintain a supply of compressed air that is used to transmit pressure from the drivers’ control to the service brake. The air brake systems can include the service brake system, the parking brake system, and the emergency brake system.  When truck brakes malfunction, blame may be placed on several different individuals or business entities including:

The Brake Manufacturer:  The federal government has imposed strict regulations on the safety of truck braking[2] systems. A truck must be able   to: develop a certain braking force (based on a percentage of the truck’s   weight), decelerate to a stop from 20 miles per hour at a rate specific to its size, and meet the automatic brake adjustment system requirements.

If truck brakes do not meet these federal standards, a victim of a trucking crash may have a claim against the manufacturer. Usually, these claims come in two forms: (1) the manufacturer did not design the brakes properly or (2) the brakes were correctly designed, but some defect occurred in the manufacturing process.

Drivers and Trucking Companies: In some instances, actions of the driver or trucking company can cause the brakes to fail.

Depowering the front brakes. Some owner-operator truck drivers deliberately unhook or depower the front brakes on the truck and rely only upon the brakes of the trailer and downshifting to stop or slow the vehicle. They do this in order to minimize the expense of tire and brake wear and replacement costs.

Improper loading. If the truck load is not evenly distributed, the brakes may overheat and malfunction.

Trucking Collisions Caused by Tire Issues

There are many different causes of truck tire failure including:

  • Defective tires. In some cases, a tire manufacturer produces and sells a defective truck tire.  Those defective products may or may not be recalled by the federal government.
  • Failure to maintain tires. A trucking company may not maintain the tires properly.  In other cases, truck drivers may use tires that fail to meet the minimum requirements or mix bias and radial tires on the same axle.
  • Failure to perform pre-trip tire inspections. Sometimes a trucking collision is caused by a failed tire that the driver should have noticed in the required pre-trip inspection of the truck. Improper tire pressure can lead to deterioration and eventual catastrophic failure. A tire that is worn or damaged may fail as a blowout and result in loss of control of the vehicle.

Call an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one are involved in a collision with a large truck, where brake or truck failure may have caused or contributed toward the crash, it is important to speak to a skilled Dallas truck collision attorney. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Dallas truck collision lawyers, call Clements & Clements today at 214-827-1122 or send us an email through our online contact form.

References:

[1] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/large-truck-crash-causation-study-ltccs-analysis-series-using-ltccs
[2] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/393.40

3 Essential Steps To Take After An Auto Collision

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Concentrated medical colleagues with tablet computer in the hospThe Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) indicates1 that there were more than 17,000 people seriously injured in motor vehicle collisions during 2014. In many cases, these individuals are legally entitled to significant compensation for the losses they sustain as a result of their injuries. It is important for victims to be aware of the fact that the things they say or do in the hours and days after a collision can have an impact on whether and how much they may be able to recover. Below are 4 things that are essential for car crash victims to do. For specific information regarding your case, call a personal injury2 attorney licensed in your state.

Seek medical attention

Seeking medical attention after a car collision is extremely important for two reasons. First, undergoing a thorough medical evaluation conducted by a professional will ensure that your injuries are identified and treated. In addition, doing so will generate an official record of your injuries, their severity, and their cause, which can become extremely important in the event that your claim becomes contested.

Document information

It is important to document as much information as possible regarding the way in which an auto collision occurred as soon as possible. Victims should document the names of the individuals involved, the license plate numbers of the vehicles, any markings or identifying information on commercial vehicles that may have been involved, contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the wreck, and any other facts that may be relevant.

Contact a lawyer

It is important for auto collision victims to contact an attorney as soon as they are able after involvement in a car wreck. Waiting to retain legal counsel can jeopardize your right to recover compensation in a variety of ways. Memories can fade and evidence can be lost or destroyed, and people who are not represented by counsel may say or do things that could unintentionally admit fault.

Call Clements & Clements today to find out how our auto collision attorneys can help you

If you have been hurt in a car wreck, you should retain legal counsel immediately. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Dallas auto collision lawyers, call Clements & Clements today at 214-827-1122 or send us an email through our online contact form.

References:

1 http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/trf/crash-statistics/2014/01.pdf
2 http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/injury.html

Texas Truck Collisions Can Cause Significant Losses For Victims

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clash truck and carIndividuals who are hurt in crashes involving commercial trucks are often seriously injured. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) indicates1 that these kinds of vehicles can weigh as much as 20 to 30 times the amount a passenger vehicle weighs, making them capable of causing tremendous damage when they are involved in collisions. Fortunately for victims of truck crashes, the losses they sustain can often be recovered by filing a personal injury claim. The kinds of damages truck crash victims often successfully seek include the following:

Medical expenses – Victims can often sustain extremely serious injuries that can require intensive medical attention. Injuries such as facial fractures, traumatic brain injuries,2 burns, or accidental amputations may result in millions of dollars of medical expenses, and some of these injuries may require ongoing treatment well into the future.

Lost income – Many individuals who are injured in collisions with semi-trucks are unable to work for an extended period of time and, in some cases, may be unable to return to work at all. For this reason, victims are often able to obtain compensation for the income they lose as a result of a wreck, including the income that they will not receive in the future. In many cases, establishing these kinds of damages requires the assistance of an expert who can testify to the amount a person in the victim’s position would have earned over the course of his or her career had in not been for the injury-causing crash.

Property damage – Trucks can cause significant damage to other vehicles, personal property, land, and even buildings in the event of a collision. People who are involved in these kinds of incidents can often obtain compensation for the loss in value of their property or the costs associated with returning it to the condition in which it was prior to the collision.

Contact a Texas truck crash lawyer today to retain legal counsel

Anyone that has been hurt in a wreck involving a commercial truck should talk to an attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with a Texas truck collision lawyer, call Clements & Clements today at 214-827-1122 or send us an email through our online contact form.

References:

1 http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/large-trucks/topicoverview
2 http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tbi/tbi.htm

Motor Vehicle Collisions Can Cause Traumatic Brain Injuries

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Ct Scan Of Brain Show Ischemic Stroke Or Hemorrhagic StrokeAccording to the Texas Department of Transportation1 (DOT), there were 237,941 people injured in motor vehicle crashes during 2014. These kinds of collisions have the potential to result in traumatic brain injuries,2 or TBIs, a serious type of injury that can leave victims with long-term medical conditions and cognitive disabilities. For this reason, people that have sustained TBIs in car wrecks in which another driver was at fault should always talk to an attorney about their legal options.

What is a traumatic brain injury?

A TBI is an injury to a person’s brain that causes a disruption in normal function. They can occur when the head strikes another object, such as the interior of a vehicle, but can also occur if the head simply jolts back and forth violently on the neck. The most common form of TBI is a mild concussion, which is often self-resolving with a period of physical and mental rest. TBIs have the potential to be much more serious, however, and in particularly severe cases can leave victims with significant problems that may affect them for years or even decades. Some of the more common issues that TBI victims must deal with include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Nausea
  • Problems with speech
  • Physical impairments
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Headaches

When these complications are significant, victims may be unable to work for an extended period of time and may even require help performing daily tasks such as eating, dressing, bathing, or getting around the house. Consequently, TBI victims often sustain significant medical expenses and lose substantial income as a result of their injuries. In addition to these losses, victims can also often recover compensation for their physical and emotional pain and suffering and loss of quality of life, as well.

Contact a Dallas car collision lawyer today to schedule a free case evaluation

Individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury in a crash that they believe was caused by the negligence of another driver should contact a lawyer immediately. To schedule a free consultation with a Dallas car crash attorney, call Clements & Clements today at 214-827-1122. Prospective clients can also send us an email through our online contact form.

References:

1 http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/trf/crash-statistics/2014/01.pdf
2 http://www.cdc.gov/TraumaticBrainInjury/

Increased Number Of Bicyclists And Pedestrians In Fatal Truck Collisions

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Truck AccidentTraffic-related fatalities can happen in many different ways. Cars can crash into other cars, cars can collide with pedestrians, commercial truck drivers can run over smaller vehicles, and many other scenarios can lead to life-threatening injuries and tragic deaths. One type of collision that has caused an increasing number of fatalities in recent years occurs when a commercial truck collides with a bicyclist or pedestrian.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) gathers and publishes statistics regarding different kinds of commercial vehicle crashes and the resulting injuries and fatalities on an annual basis. The FMCSA published the following statistics:1

  • In 2009, 56 bicyclists and 259 pedestrians died in collisions with commercial vehicles.
  • In 2013, 78 bicyclists and 338 pedestrians died in collisions with commercial vehicles.

These substantial increases represented the two largest increases of any type of truck-related fatalities over this four-year period of time.

Truck collisions can cause catastrophic injuries

There are many possible reasons why the increase in bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities occurred. First, these individuals have little to no protection if they are in a collision with any type of motor vehicle of any size. Second, according to the FMCSA, 75 percent of the trucks in the above fatalities weighed more than 26,000 pounds. When hit by a vehicle of that size and weight, bicyclists and pedestrians can sustain serious injuries including:

The above are only some of the catastrophic and often fatal injuries that can happen in this type of collision.

Contact an experienced truck collision attorney in Dallas, Texas today

If you have lost a loved one in a truck collision or have sustained serious injuries yourself, you should not delay in calling the personal injury lawyers at Clements & Clements in Dallas. Our experienced legal team understands how complicated it can be to prove negligence in truck crashes and we have the resources and skill to do so. If you would like more information regarding your rights to recovery, please call us for a free consultation at 214-827-1122 as soon as possible.

References:

1https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-webinar-nov-18-examine-large-truck-crash-fatalities-involving-pedestrians-and
2https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spinalcordinjuries.html

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Dallas Motorcycle Wrecks

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Crashed MotorcycleMotorcyclists are undoubtedly among the most vulnerable motorists on the road. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates1 that motorcyclists were five times more likely to be injured in crashes than the occupants of a passenger car.

Below, we have answered some of the questions frequently asked by our motorcycle collision clients. For specific information regarding your case, call our office today.

Will I be able to recover for my losses?

One of the first questions that many motorcycle wreck victims ask is whether they will be able to recover compensation for their losses when a driver choses to violate the rules of the road. Under Texas law,2 a person who is injured by the negligence of another person is generally entitled to damages. Examples of the kinds of negligence that often result in a motorcycle wreck include speeding, improper repair, distracted driving, and failure to properly maintain a roadway.

What kinds of damages can I seek?

In a typical motorcycle crash case, victims generally seek damages for the following types of losses:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Property damage
  • Loss of future earning potential
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering

Do I need to retain an attorney?

While it not required for motorcycle crash to retain a lawyer, it is highly advisable to do so for a number of reasons. For one thing, a lawyer will ensure that you do not say or do anything that may inadvertently admit legal liability. Additionally, your lawyer will ensure that your legal rights a protected and that you receive an appropriate settlement offer. Finally, in the event that it becomes necessary to go to trial, your lawyer will file suit on your behalf and represent you in court.

Contact a Dallas motorcycle collision lawyer today to retain legal representation

Anyone that has been hurt in a motorcycle crash should have their case reviewed by an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with one of the experienced motorcycle collision lawyers of Clements & Clements, call our office today at 214-827-1122 or send us an email through our online contact form.

References:

1 http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812148.pdf
2 http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/

The Risks Associated With Travel Around The Holidays

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Glasses with champagne against fireworks and holiday lightsWith the winter holiday season rapidly approaching, many Dallas-Fort Worth-area residents are eagerly awaiting some time off of work and spending time with family and friends. According to the Bureau of Travel Statistics,1 long-distance travel tends to a significant increase in the period around the holidays, and the vast majority (91 percent) of long distance travel is accomplished by personal vehicle such as a car.

In addition to the increase in the number of travelers, the fact that retailers justifiably expect an increase in sales around this time of year, travelers can expect to see significantly more commercial traffic on the roads in the form of semi-trucks and other vehicles designed to haul merchandise from place to place.

The combination of more traffic on the road and potentially severe winter weather results in a situation in which motorists are at an increased risk of involvement in a car crash. In many cases, victims of car crashes are entitled to significant financial compensation for their injuries and other losses and should be certain to consult with an attorney in order to ensure that their legal rights are protected.

How can an attorney help?

There are several ways in which an experienced lawyer can help people that have been injured in car wrecks, including the following:

  • Evaluate your case and determine whether you have a legal claim
  • Negotiate an appropriate settlement offer with an insurance company
  • Collect evidence indicating the negligence of another party
  • File a lawsuit on your behalf
  • Represent you in court

It is important for victims to remember that these kinds of claims are subject to Texas’s statute of limitations,2 meaning that there is a limited amount of time in which a claim can be filed. For this reason, it is important for car crash victims to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact a Dallas car collision lawyer to schedule a free consultation

The holidays should be a time for rest and relaxation, not for dealing with the aftermath of a serious auto crash. As a result, individuals that are hurt in a car wreck should consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with one of the experienced car collision lawyers of Clements & Clements, call our office today at 214-827-1122 or send us an email through our online contact form.

References:

1 http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/america_on_the_go/us_holiday_travel/html/entire.html
2 http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CP/htm/CP.16.htm

Commercial Truck Drivers and Fatigue: a Dangerous Combination

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LEMPAALA FINLAND - AUGUST 7 2014: American Show truck tractor Peterbilt 379 from Norway arrives at Lempaala as part of the truck convoy to Power Truck Show 2014 in Alaharma Finland.The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued regulations that require truckers to get a certain amount of rest and limits the length of time a driver can operate his or her vehicle in a given period, known as “hours of service” regulations. This is a driving safety rule all drivers must follow. The schedule that commercial truck drivers keep requires them to travel hundreds of miles each day on interstates and highways that often are featureless and monotonous. It is commonly understood that fatigue can have a significant and negative impact on a driver’s ability to control his or her vehicle.

To ensure compliance of the driving safety rules, truckers are required to carry logbooks that detail the way that they spend their time. As a result, people who are injured by fatigued drivers are often able to establish that a driver was not in compliance with the law and recover compensation as a result. To determine if you have a case, you should talk to an attorney immediately. In other words fatigued truck drivers and their companies chose to violate the driving safety rules . Profits over people.

How can fatigue result in wrecks?

While truck drivers are affected to varying degrees by fatigue, we all get irritable, less aware of our surroundings, and can lose focus more easily when tired. In addition, our reaction time slows and we may have increased difficulty completing basic physical tasks. All of these issues can have a significant impact on a truck driver’s ability to operate a large commercial truck. Some of the kinds of truck wrecks that may be caused by driver fatigue include the following:

  • Lane departure crashes
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Rollover incidents
  • Jackknife crashes

The best way to determine whether you can recover for your losses after a truck crash , a violation of the driving safety rules, is to have your case reviewed by an attorney.

Contact a Dallas truck crash lawyer today to schedule a consultation

Anyone that has been injured in a collision involving a commercial truck should talk to an attorney. In some cases, a trucker’s violation of the hours-of-service regulations can be sufficient to establish legal liability on the part of the truck driver or his or her employer. “Rule Breakers are Crash Makers!” To schedule a consultation with an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney, call Clements & Clements today at 800-750-1126 or send us an email through our online contact form.

Auto Collisions In Road Construction Zones

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Road paving workers laying asphault with steam rollers at construction site. ** Note: Slight blurriness, best at smaller sizesRoad construction companies are required to keep the streets and highways under construction safe for use and efficient flow of traffic. While road repairs and improvements are necessary, they can often take a long time and roads may be in various stages of construction for some time. In many cases, it is not feasible to completely shut down a road or highway while construction is underway. In such situations, construction companies must take steps to direct and protect motorists using the roads by make adjustments in the roadway traffic control. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has reported1 that more than 87,000 crashes took place in road work zones in a single year, many of which caused serious injuries to motorists.

Both motorists and construction workers can cause collisions

As you pass through a construction zone, road work zones generally have lowered speed limits and other strict regulations intended to keep workers safe. This is the responsibility of the roadway construction company and their crew to properly mark, direct and warn drivers with traffic control signs. In fact, be aware of other drivers who may not obey the safety rules in a construction zone, and the negligent construction workers or company that do not properly warn and mark the construction zone.

Construction workers can be negligent in many ways that can lead to collisions, which can include:

  • Leaving equipment or obstacles in roadways;
  • Pulling vehicles out into traffic lanes;
  • Not properly warning motorists of road work or not properly directing traffic;
  • Not marking lane closures;
  • Improper roadway markings and signs in the construction zone;
  • Allowing materials to fall into the roadway;

These are a few of the many ways that a construction crew can cause a car crash in a road work zone.

Contact an experienced Dallas car collision attorney as soon as possible

If you have sustained injuries in a crash that occurred in a road work zone, determining who was negligent and should be held liable may be complicated. At the Dallas law firm of Clements & Clements, we have the knowledge and resources to handle even the most complex personal injury cases arising out of motor vehicle collisions. We stand up for the interests of injured individuals who may not know where to turn, so please do not delay in calling 214-827-1122 to schedule a free consultation with our office today.

References:

1http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/resources/facts_stats/injuries_fatalities.htm
2http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/workzone_laws.html