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Earlier 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.

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.

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?

I just took a key deposition in an 18 wheeler crash case in which my team rushed out to obtain damning evidence against the trucking company and I wanted to stress just how important it is for an innocent victim to hire the best attorney. How do you know who to hire? Here are a few tips. STEP 1: Meet with several lawyers. See if you like them. Ask them these questions:

Truck driver fatigue is a factor in a shocking number of truck accidents. The risk of an 18 wheeler driver crashing dramatically increases as he drives longer hours. The driver is more likely to nod off and rear end another vehicle or drift into the next lane or across the centerline. But his company wants to increase its profits, and he wants to up his take home pay, so he keeps on trucking. In an attempt to improve highway safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that new federal regulations that will further crack down on driver fatigue.

With the tornadoes and rain we've had in the area lately, what is the impact on a Texas trucking collision if hazardous conditions are involved? Hazardous driving conditions can be caused by many factors including • Weather conditions causing slippery roads, flooding, or fallen rocks; • Poor visibility due to sun glare, rain, snow, fog or improper lighting • Road design or maintenance issues, including blocked signs, insufficient signage, potholes, drop-offs, bumps, narrow roads and shoulders, insufficient merge zones, and construction related hazards; and • Miscellaneous hazards such as debris or obstacles in the road or prior accidents

One of the critical differences between a car/pickup truck and a tactor-trailer is stopping distances. Tractor-trailers can require up to 50% more distance to stop -- assuming the brakes and truck are properly maintained, the weather and road condition are good, and the driver is properly trained. At a typical highway speed of 60 miles an hour, a tractor-trailer requires 450 feet after the brakes are applied before it can come to complete stop. A football field is only 300 feet by comparison. I am seeing more wrecks caused by bad brakes, usually due to careless maintenance.The brakes on these massive semi-trucks are responsible for 10 times the amount of stopping power of a car. Truck brakes operate on a compressed pressure air system. The brakes inside the wheel must be in proper "adjustment" in order to be effective to stop an 18 wheeler.

Many factors can cause trucking collisions. Overloaded and improperly loaded trucks are common -- but hard to prove unless an immediate investigation is conducted by experts. These tractor-trailers violate federal and state law because they require longer braking distances and can cause brake failures, blown tires, and shattered axles. And improperly loaded trucks can cause load shifting which makes them more likely to lock up, jack knife or tip over. Cargo can fall onto the roadway or on top of another vehicle. When an improperly loaded or overloaded truck is the cause of an accident, a trucking accident attorney will have to prove that this was the cause of the accident and that the shipper, company, driver, or some other entity is liable. At the Law Offices of William K. Berenson, P.C. we have represented the victims of truck collisions for many years. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a truck accident, we will conduct an immediate and detailed investigation to learn whether the trucking company and its driver caused the wreck. Under federal law, the maximum weight is 80,000 pounds for a fully loaded tractor-trailer. A study showed that a tractor-trailer that is only loaded to 50,000 pounds is only one-half as likely to be involved in a fatal trucking accident. Texas Republican representatives Allen Fletcher and Robert Nichols have proposed law that would increase the penalties for the many commerical carriers who are violating the law by exceeding weight limits.Trucking companies obviously overload their trucks to save money. They have to make fewer trips. They save money on driver's pay and gas. But the drivers don't know how to safely drive these dangerous tractor-trailers and innocent drivers next to them have to pay for it. The new fines increase by $1.00 per pound overweight. Now, a truck that is overloaded by 10,000 pounds only pays $110.00, obviously not a deterrant. The new fine would cost the carrier $10,000.00. I certainly hope this bill passes. We have been successfully representing people who have been injured by 18 wheelers and other large commercial trucks for many years and would be happy to discuss your case with you at no charge. Please contact us online or call toll free at 1-888-801-8585 or at 817-885-8000. We'll fight to get you the money you deserve.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the rate of truck accidents and fatalities has increased. In 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, 3,757 people died in collisions with trucks. That's an 11.2 percent increase over 2009. Nearly three times as many people die in truck accidents as die in aviation, boating and railroad accidents combined. The nearly 11 million trucks that travel U.S. roads each year make up only 4.7 percent of all passenger vehicles, yet are involved in 12.4 percent of all fatal crashes. Fatalities (per miles driven) are 17 percent higher for trucks than for passenger vehicles. This escalating safety issue is driven by an economic model that is fundamentally unsound. Truck drivers - compensated by miles driven, not hours worked - are pushed to ignore safety measures, delay repairs and drive in a fatigued state. Despite the significant and increasing amount of money devoted to trucking inspection, the task of reducing the risks from dangerous trucks is proving too much for regulators. There are simply too many dangers for inspectors to catch. The civil justice system is vital in holding negligent trucking companies accountable, The civil courts provide compensation to those killed or injured by unsafe trucks. However, archaic insurance rules undermine the economic incentives to safety provided by the courts. The insurance market itself is unable to function properly - offering lower premiums to safe companies and higher premiums to companies with dangerous histories - because outdated minimum insurance levels keep premiums artifi cially low for even the most dangerous companies.

The fact that there is a strong relationship between a commercial truck driver's poor driving and his chances of being in a future crash was itemized by a two year study conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute in Virginia. ATRI examined different things that a poor driver does that greatly increase his chances of crashing into my client's vehicles (like the one above).
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