Articles Posted in Investigation

Garda-Truck-thumb-300x152-88167-300x152In addition to dozens of auto and truck crashes in the North Texas area this weekend, there were two fatal 18 wheeler accidents that tragically took the lives of four people.

On Friday afternoon in Benbrook a tractor-trailer collided with a pickup truck on I-20, tragically killing two people.

Then on Saturday night a second tractor-trailer crash occurred in Cleburne. The 1997 Peterbuilt commercial truck T-boned a Kia van at the intersection of U.S. Highway 67 at FM Road 1434, taking the lives of an East Texas woman and man.

It was an unusually busy weekend for the Texas Highway Patrol, local police and accident investigators.

Both roads were closed for hours while investigators determined what happened. Although the crashes are now cleared, leaving no trace of the tragedies that unfolded hours ago, investigators have a long way to go to find answers. It is not clear at this time who was at fault for these two crashes.

Trust me, the trucking companies and their insurance companies adjusters and lawyers are working equally hard. In addition to getting to the bottom of what happened, they are focused on lessening their financial damages.

Think about what the trucking corporations have at stake. Violations can add up to costly fines and repairs, not to mention increased insurance premiums, keeping trucks out of service and bad publicity. And because truck wrecks are often catastrophic, the insurance company may be on the hook for huge million dollar jury verdicts or settlements.

If you have been involved in a collision, you can see that it is a good idea to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can so you are on an equal playing field. Continue reading

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Proposed Rule is a Big Win for Roadway Safety

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed a new and improved safety rating system last week. 

The proposed rule would replace an outdated 34 year-old system of determining whether commercial vehicles are safe enough to be on the road.

The new big truck Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) replaces a three-tiered system of rating trucks to a simple “fit” or “unfit” designation, and thereby removes unsafe tractor-trailers from the road, rather than putting them in a conditional status. 

This makes more sense, because a truck is either safe enough to be on the road or should cease operation until it is brought up to par.

The safety of commercial motor vehicles would be assessed monthly, using stricter standards. In addition, critical or acute problems would render a vehicle unsafe.

The SFD system would permit FMCSA to inspect an estimated 75,000 motor carriers each month to determine safety fitness. 

This is a huge improvement over the current system, which only permits the FMCSA to investigate 15,000 per year! 

The public comment period is open for 60 days. After considering these comments, the agency will issue a final rule.

Let’s hope the FMCSA approves these new guidelines.

 

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Dallas-Fort Worth Attorney’s Investigation and Trial Prep Checklist

During the past 35 years I have represented 18 wheeler accident victims, I have fine-tuned my investigation and trial preparations. Each step we take is designed to reach the maximum possible settlement or verdict for our clients.

1. Collecting Evidence from the Crash Site

Early investigation of a commercial vehicle accident is crucial. Corporations descend upon the crash site within hours of the accident to conduct damage control. We are working on a case where a senior attorney was at the scene at 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning talking to company employees, examining evidence, and taking photographs and video. Then the accident is cleaned up right after law enforcement finishes its investigation. As soon as we are retained, our representatives visit the scene to represent your interests before evidence is permanently lost. 

We interview talk witnesses while their memories are still fresh and analyze debris scatter, positions of the vehicles, skid marks, roadway conditions and other evidence that build your case. 

2. Investigating the Collision

We don’t just rely upon police reports and their analysis of the evidence. We inspect the tractor-trailer with the assistance of highly trained experts. We go over the entire vehicle with a fine-toothed comb, looking for the smallest piece of evidence that could lead us to the causes of the crash.

We also subpoena phone, GPS, black box and other records to determine what occurred in the days, hours and seconds before the crash. 

Applying this level of diligence, we have often discovered the smoking gun. 

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Texas North Central Texas Softball Team

All Occupants of Team Van Were Seriously Injured in the Tractor-Trailer Wreck

The driver of a tractor-trailer was charged on Friday with four counts of fatal tractor-trailer accident occurred on Interstate 35 near Turner Falls in Southern Oklahoma. The North Central Texas College softball team was returning to their Gainesville, TX campus from a game they had played in Oklahoma earlier in the day. 

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In recent years, there has been growing pressure to use black boxes to improve safety in the commercial trucking industry. These monitoring systems — also known as electronic log systems, electronic data recorders and electronic control modules systems — are implemented in commercial trucks throughout the country.

edr.jpgIt’s important for attorneys to download a truck’s black box data as soon as possible following a serious truck accident. This information can help prove your case — and discredit the defense.

Below, we’ve provided an overview of the legal importance of black boxes.

Truck GPS and black boxes

Usually equipped with global positioning systems, truck black boxes are the main source of information about the truck and its journey, and show where the truck was before the crash.
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In a tragic accident in north Fort Worth, a woman was killed when she ran a stop light and was hit by a semi-truck. According to a report by the Star-Telegram, the accident occurred around seven in the evening at the intersection of North Sylvania Avenue and Meacham Boulevard.

mobile-phone-in-hand-1438233-3-m.jpgEvidently, the woman was on her cell phone as she ran a red light and drove into the intersection where she collided with the semi-truck. I have blogged about distracted driving on many occasions and urge all drivers not to use their cell phones.

The woman suffered major injuries and was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. The driver of the semi-truck was not injured in the accident.

Cell Phones and Fatal Texas Truck Accidents
It just so happened that this time it was a woman driving a car who was distracted while on the telephone when she caused the accident resulting in her death. However, each year there are hundreds of accidents involving distracted semi-truck drivers where they are the ones at fault.
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dallas.jpgA semi-truck carrying a huge concrete beam that weighed 150,000 pounds flipped over on the westbound I-695 ramp to northbound Central Expressway. According to a report by My Fox DFW, the accident occurred around 7 p.m. and took the next day to clean up due to the enormity of the concrete beam.

The beam was not secured properly and broke free during the 18-wheeler accident and ended along with the tractor trailer on the highway. It is a miracle that there were no other vehicles around when the concrete and semi truck hit the pavement. Emergency crews had no way to remove the giant beam from the highway so they spent the better part of the night using jack hammers to break it apart so it could be removed.

It is not clear what caused the 18 wheeler to overturn on the roadway.
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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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Being a Fort Worth trucking injury lawyer, I am always looking for data that supports my clients’ cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report recently that listed the number of work-related deaths from 2003 to 2010.

It is well known that more workers are killed on our nation’s highways than anywhere else.

This report further showed that:

More people 65 years and older were killed than anyone else — at a rate of about three times more than those 18-54.
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This law firm has aggressively represented many people over the past 33 years who have been injured in tractor-trailer collisions. They can be catastrophic.

I hope that you have not been injured in a crash with an 18 wheeler, but if, God forbid, you have been hurt in one it is essential that you hire the best local lawyer to fight for you immediately.

Why?
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