Were You Injured In A Truck Accident?
The most serious and life-threatening traffic accident, wreck or collision that a person can be involved in is one involving a commercial truck. Driving on the highways and roadways in Texas makes us all well aware of the fact that we are very much out-sized in our personal passenger vehicles by the massive commercial trucks that haul tons of cargo across the nation every single day.
The abundant traffic of large commercial trucks, known as semis, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, big-rigs and other commercial trucks, such as box-trucks or bob-tails, makes the likelihood of being involved in a collision with one of these millions that are on our roadways daily much higher than most of us would like to think.
The difference in size between these large commercial trucks and our passenger vehicles makes them inherently dangerous safety hazards on our roadways. The sheer size of these commercial trucks alone in relation to our passenger vehicles places the lives of all other drivers, and even stranded motorists and pedestrians on or alongside our roads, in significant danger. It lends to the very great possibility that an accident with a commercial truck can, and often does, lead to catastrophic injuries to innocent persons. The high speeds, aggressive driving styles and multiple lane changes associated with these commercial trucks all contribute to a higher level of risk of a traffic collision involving extremely serious and fatal results to innocent persons.
The inherent danger posed by the massive size of commercial trucks requires truck drivers and trucking companies to take proper precautions to avoid endangering the lives of innocent drivers and pedestrians on our roadways. Accordingly, truck drivers and trucking companies are required to exercise strict caution and control in the operation of their trucks, and to follow certain industry and safety standards, as well as strict federal safety regulations. Despite these essential prevention and safety standards and legal regulations, many truck drivers and trucking companies just choose not to comply or even make any meaningful attempts to comply, and simply do not follow the required legal regulations or industry safety standards. Simply put, many truck drivers and trucking companies flat out fail to take their safety and prevention responsibilities seriously.
Other than death, serious and catastrophic injuries are almost always associated with commercial truck and passenger vehicle collisions, and injuries of that magnitude may hospitalize an accident victim for weeks or months, followed by months of rehabilitation and recovery. To say the least, such accident victims will most always face a significantly altered lifestyle for an indefinite period of time, and often, they never fully recover. In other words, trucking accidents are usually disastrous and can lead to wrongful death or a lifetime of medical expenses and recovery. As the victim of a trucking accident, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation to pay for the wrongful death of a loved one or for your medical expenses and lost wages and to help you deal with your injuries, recovery and any significant loss of quality of life that you may have suffered from the accident. The attorneys with The Law Offices of Steven M. Williams is a team of experienced, knowledgeable and aggressive attorneys who are ready to help victims of these life-altering accidents proceed with a wrongful death or personal injury claim and begin putting their lives back together.
Causes Of Truck Accidents
There are a number of different ways in which trucking accidents occur, but some common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Truck driver error and/or distracted driving
- Truck driver violations of traffic laws and/or “No Truck Zone” violations
- Drugs or alcohol
- Length of time the truck driver was on the road
- A fatigued or reckless truck driver
- Pressure to meet deadlines
- Insufficient truck driver training
- Poor truck maintenance, such as inadequately inflated tires
- Faulty or defective brakes or other faulty or defective truck equipment
- Road and/or road construction defects
The list above only includes some of the most common reasons for trucking accidents; sadly, there are a number of different factors by which the negligence of others can result in a devastating trucking accident. When truck drivers, trucking companies, trucking manufacturers and/or road construction contractors are negligent in any manner that causes trucking accidents from which innocent drivers and pedestrians suffer, there are so many possible variables to consider that a prompt investigation into a trucking accident will uncover well-documented answers and clear evidence that may not be as readily available at a later date. This evidence is essential in helping to develop and build a strong case for victims of trucking accidents that are innocently injured or killed.
Conducting An Investigation
Our experience here at The Law Offices of Steven M. Williams lends us with the resources and information that is necessary to help you proceed with a proper investigation, in order to ensure that we build the strongest case possible for you. Our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at The Law Offices of Steven M. Williams understand the issues involved in these trucking accidents and we know what evidence to immediately look for, such as:
- The truck driver’s logbooks and trucking company logbooks
- Bills of lading
- Weight tickets
- Toll receipts or toll tag records
- Trip receipts or trip envelopes
- Pay stubs or other pay records
- Data contained in the truck’s electronic data recorders or “black box”
- Data contained in collision warning and adaptive cruise control systems
- Data contained in lane departure warning systems
- Data contained in video recording systems
- Data contained qualcomm records or other in-cab communications systems
- Data contained in GPS or other satellite tracking systems
- Any photographs taken following the collision
We also understand the importance of looking at truck driver and truck data and information early on in the investigation, such as:
- The driver’s employment application, qualification file and personnel file
- The driver’s investigation history file and driver performance reviews
- The driver’s road test records and road test certificate
- The driver’s medical certificate
- The list of driver traffic violations and accidents
- The annual driver record inquiries and certification of traffic violations
- The carrier’s accident register, policies and procedures manuals, and any and all other driver training, safety and standards materials
- Driver drug and alcohol testing records
- Driver vehicle examination reports
- Driver post-trip inspection reports and certification of any needed repairs
- Records relating to FMCSA compliance reviews
- Annual truck inspection, maintenance and repair records
- Out-of service records for the accident truck
- Carrier insurance policies and MCS-90 endorsements
The knowledge and experience that the attorneys of The Law Offices of Steven M. Williams have obtained throughout our many years of practice have provided us with the skills to know that there are several important steps that need to be taken early on so that evidence is not lost or destroyed. For example, it is important to not rely exclusively on data and information from the driver and the carrier/trucking company, but to also get all third-party records that may be available, such as:
- Driving records from state agencies
- Driver records from previous employers
- Cellphone records
- Credit card records
- Records from toll tag providers
- Driver unemployment records
- Results from drug and alcohol testing facilities
- Driver training records from the training center
- Rule compliance records from the service provider
- Logbook auditing records from the service provider
- Safety and compliance records from the service provider
- Any witnesses and photographs or videos that they may have taken
- Police records, including, but not limited to: accident reports, narratives, affidavits, assessments of fault; and police impressions of accident reconstruction
Furthermore, it is crucial that an independent accident reconstruction be conducted by an expert in order to make a clear and solid determination of liability, and that matters such as insurance coverage and limits, medical reports and records, and other resources and records be sorted out and obtained in the early days following a trucking accident. Trucking accidents often end up in lengthy, costly and high-stakes litigation. You simply can’t afford to delay in the early investigation process. Our attorneys are prepared to promptly get a detailed investigation underway on your behalf.
To Schedule A Consultation
We believe that no one should have to face the catastrophic consequences of a trucking accident on their own, especially when another party is at fault. An important and essential first-step to protect your rights and to preserve crucial evidence is an in-depth consultation with one of our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys. We take all of our trucking accident cases on a contingency basis, meaning that we don’t get paid unless you do. Please call us today at 940-308-8412 for your free consultation and let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you.