Articles Posted in Fort Worth 18 wheeler accident

DSC_0430-300x200Trucking companies are subject to strict rules regarding the inspection, maintenance, and repair of their vehicles. These laws serve the primary purpose of keeping dangerous trucks off the road. That’s good for the rest of us drivers — as long as those rules are enforced.

When a tractor trailer causes a crash, its inspection records serve a valuable role in proving negligence, which is the key to a successful truck accident settlement or trial.

To best use this evidence here, a Fort Worth injury attorney studies safety regulations and knows where to locate inspection reports, past violations, and the truck’s and company’s crash history.

Truck companies have a duty to maintain safe vehicles

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has the authority to pass and enforce maintenance and inspection regulations concerning commercial vehicles. These trucking regulations apply to motor vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 lbs. or more and to trucks that carry hazardous materials.

Any company, whether a one-man operation or a large multinational corporation, is responsible for inspecting and maintaining its vehicles and repairing problems before putting its trucks back on the road. The company is also required to keep its records for one year and make them available to inspectors. Failure to do so is a violation of the FMCSA regulations.

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Companies are often not liable for negligence of independent contractors

dreamstime_s_44128933-300x200Ho, ho, ho. Tis the season when we get together with our families, go to church, and of course shop. More than ever, that means we buy items online and get them quickly delivered to our door steps.

Amazon hires thousands of delivery drivers under a program it calls Amazon Flex. These people have the flexibility to work seven days a week and as many hours as he or she can handle – even after working all day somewhere else.

But it is Amazon which gets the real advantage of flexibility. The company is able to increase its pool of drivers without paying job benefits, health insurance, and vehicle liability insurance.

How does it do this? Flex drivers are somehow not classified as employees but as independent contractors.

So who is liable when there delivery truck drivers cause a wreck? This issue is winding its way through different courts with predictably conflicting results. The Texas Supreme Court rendered a decision on a related case in 2015.

The problem is that allowing delivery drivers to be classified as independent contractors shifts liability and compensation from the company to the individual who may not even have auto insurance. If he does, you can bet it is the minimum coverage. In Texas, that is only $30,000 per one person injured, $60,000 for everyone injured (excepting the driver) and $25,000 for all vehicle damage (excepting the truck). That’s usually not enough money to pay for everyone’s medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

This disturbing trend is not limited to Amazon. FedEd, UPS, WalMart and other retailers and delivery services also rely on a fleet of independent contractors to make their deliveries.

Oh, Uber and Lyft do this too, but that’s a separate story that happens frequently in our new “gig economy.”

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https://www.texastruckaccidentlawyerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/232/2017/06/DeadlyMtPleasantCrash-6_1490370616611_9036475_ver1.0-300x169.jpegOn Friday the Dallas County Medical Examiner released its autopsy report that revealed that the truck driver who caused this crash was high on meth.

The Mt. Pleasant High track team was headed home after a meet recently when a tractor-trailer crossed the center line and headed straight for their bus. The track coach fortunately swerved out of the way, narrowly avoiding a head-on collision. However the assistant coach following the bus in this car was struck head on and tragically died.

The school bus toppled over and skidded across the road, resulting in injuries to 18 students and the coach driving the bus. The 18-wheeler driver also died.

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TT MaysTrucker Gets 20 Years for Hitting School Bus While Naked Wife in Cab

I am constantly surprised by what some truck drivers do while operating a 40-ton tractor-trailer. As a personal injury lawyer, I have handled many truck crash cases in which the trucker was texting, surfing the net, chatting on the phone, eating lunch, reaching down for a soft drink, and/or not watching the road in front of him.

Yesterday I wrote about a Fort Worth collision I’m filing suit over where the 18 wheeler driver was distracted and slammed into my client’s stopped SUV at 68 MPH.

But a Florida truck driver took distraction to a whole new level.

The 37 year-old truck driver plowed his log-hauling rig into an elementary school bus that had slowed to drop off kids. The driver was so distracted he failed to notice the bright flashing lights and the “stop” arm jutting from the side of the bus. No wonder!

After listening to the heartbreaking testimony of the seven severely injured school children on Wednesday, the judge showed the distracted truck driver no mercy. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the 2014 crash. Continue reading

 

 

When Will These Safe Trucks Hit Texas Roadways?

Five people died and 12 people were injured in Fort Worth a week ago when a tractor-trailer slammed into a group of good Samaritans assisting the victim of an earlier crash. Skid marks indicated that the truck driver attempted to stop, but was unable to do so in time to avoid the semi collision

This tragic scenario occurs commonly on Texas roadways. A driver falls asleep, becomes distracted or is confronted with an unexpected obstacle and and drivers and occupants of other vehicles don’t stand a chance. But what if instead of relying on the driver to act, the truck itself could identify the danger and respond quickly? 

The Collision Warning/Early Braking system being developed by Volvo Trucks Global makes this possible. The system allows a truck to sense an obstacle and to respond appropriately. The truck brakes on a dime without skidding or making the sorts of erratic moves that a human might make during an emergency. The truck is programed to react correctly, taking human error out of the equation.

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Earlier last month, a semi-truck driver in training was involved in a serious truck accident on Interstate 45 when he lost control of the giant vehicle in the Wilmer-Hutchins area.

According to a report by CBS DFW, the driver was operating an 18-wheeler on the north service road of I-45 when he suddenly and for an unknown reason lost control of the vehicle.

semi-truck-1-232051-m.jpgEvidently, the truck crossed all three lanes of traffic before it crashed into the center median, where it came to a stop. The truck then burst into flames.

Luckily, everyone involved in the accident was able to get out of the truck before they were seriously burned.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident. However, several drivers on I-45 southbound did get into accidents due to “rubbernecking” that was occurring as a result of the accident on I-45 northbound.
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report by one local news source, the accident occurred around 12:30 p.m. on the northbound side of the Turnpike.The semi-truck was carrying a directional boring machine, which is a 40,000-pound piece of heavy machinery. Evidently, the load on the semi-truck shifted, which caused the load to fall off the truck and onto the highway. Emergency crews spent hours trying to figure out how to move the giant piece of machinery without causing it–or the semi-truck itself–to fall off the overpass onto the highway below. Eventually, crews secured the truck and its cargo with heavy-duty cables.

Making matters worse, emergency crews later noticed that there had also been a fuel spill caused by the accident. Luckily, no one was injured or killed as a result of the accident. However, traffic was held up for hours. There were even reports of people running out of gas while waiting in traffic for the scene to clear.

Improper Loading Can Cause Accidents

Earlier this month, a tragic accident took the lives of two passengers traveling in a van on Farm to Market Road 917. According to a report by the Crowley Star, the van was heading south on Farm to Market Road 917 at around 7:30 in the evening, preparing to make a left turn into a parking lot when it was struck from behind by a tractor trailer. Police have released a statement that the cause of the accident was the truck driver’s failure to control his speed.

country-sunsets-1358584-m.jpgThe trucking company, 3-Star Daylighting, was apparently involved in another fatal accident last year in Fort Worth that claimed the life of a 14-year-old student at H.F. Stevens Middle School. In that accident, the student was struck by the truck and was not found until several minutes later, after the truck had left the scene. For months police looked for the driver of the truck to no avail until a witnesses video recording provided investigators with the clues they needed to identify the driver.

Once police spoke with the driver, they were convinced that he did not know that he had hit the child, and therefore did not flee intentionally.
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Earlier this month in Plano a semi-truck caught fire and exploded, shutting down the Central Expressway for several hours. The 18 wheeler driver somehow crossed over the median and crashed into an overpass support beam. According to a report by the Dallas Morning News, the semi-truck accident occurred shortly after 6:30 in the morning. The truck was carrying bags of dirt. What could have caused this collision?

bridge-1321250-m.jpgThe driver freed himself from the wreckage just in time to avoid the explosion caused by the rupturing of the semi-truck’s fuel tank. Police have cited the driver of the truck for the failure to control the truck’s speed. It’s truly lucky that noone was hurt. The driver was ticketed on charges of failure to control speed as well has having no permit to operate the truck or the required proof of insurance. It’s the driver’s worst nightmare, isn’t it?

Liability in Speeding Truck Accidents
Semi-truck drivers and the companies they work for can be held liable for the injuries they cause by the negligent operation of their vehicle. This is accomplished by the accident victim bringing a suit based on the legal theories of negligence, negligence per se (as a matter of law), negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, negligent supervision, and negligent retention.
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2014-03-30_I30_Crash_001_R.jpgEarlier this month in Grand Prairie, a driver of an SUV named Darrell Juarez was killed in an accident with a semi-truck when the driver collided with the truck that was disabled and legally parked with all required hazard lights and reflective triangles on the shoulder awaiting repair. According to a report by CBS, the accident occurred shortly after 9:00 p.m. on a Saturday night . According to police records, the driver of the SUV was driving erratically and may have crossed into the shoulder where the semi-truck was parked.

After colliding with the truck, the SUV rolled over and eventually burst into flames. The driver was unable to get out of the car and was badly burned and died. Fortunately the driver of the 18 wheeler was not injured.

At this point, police believe that the driver of the SUV may have been intoxicated, which seems obvious given his driving and the time and day of the needless collision.
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