How Commercial Vehicle Accidents Impact Small Businesses

Commercial vehicle wrecks Texas lawyer

The Ripple Effect of a Truck Wreck Goes into the Community

There are obvious impacts of being involved in a commercial vehicle accident – your vehicle is probably totaled, and you have significant injuries that will take a long time to recover from.

However, these accidents can end up with a ripple effect that extends even further into the community.  Some can eventually lead to a change in the laws surrounding commercial vehicles and their operation.  The Car Crash Captain has the details for us.

Effects of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

If you were involved in the wreck, you were at the very least shaken by what happened.  Due to the nature of commercial vehicle wrecks, injuries or even death are often part of the aftermath.  The toll those take on people can extend for quite some time.

Physical and emotional injuries may take years to heal.  Some of those injuries never do, and the injured party is left permanently disabled.

In the community where the wreck took place, there are emotional scars that extend even beyond the parties involved.  Witnesses deal with the trauma of seeing a terrible wreck happen in front of them.  Business owners nearby have the trauma of emergency and cleanup crews working out in front until the area is safe again.  And many of those effects continue to ripple throughout the community.

Ripple Effects of Commercial Vehicle Accidents

One major wreck can upset a community far beyond the time it takes to clean up the mess left behind.

Effects on Roadways – It’s not uncommon for a road to be shut down for an extended period of time after the wreck.  If there was damage to the road, signage, lighting, or more, that road could be shut down for days.  In many areas of the country the resulting detours can route traffic through neighborhoods putting further strain on citizens.

Effects on Business – If the roadway is shut down in front of a business, they’re going to struggle – especially if they rely on customers driving in every day.  Imagine your favorite coffee shop being blocked in by a wreck and the subsequent construction to rebuild – how long could they last without making a sale?

Effects on Extended Families – If your family member was injured or killed in a wreck, you have to re-learn how to live life without them.  Even if it’s an extended family member, reunions won’t be the same, travel will be different, and holidays a little bleaker.

Effects on Laws – Major wrecks lead to legislative change.  The US has strict laws for those who drive commercial vehicles, many of those laws are the result of lessons learned from wrecks.  A wreck that is caused by negligence could lead to a law that helps minimize that factor.

Herbert Law Group Helps Commercial Vehicle Accident Victims

All of these factors can come into play when negotiating a settlement after a truck wreck.  Most insurance companies will hope they aren’t factors that you’ll ever consider, and they low-ball the settlement offer because of it.

That’s why Herbert Law Group is here.  We’re on your side to ensure you get the compensation that you need to recover from this traumatic experience.

Let’s have a quick phone call to find out what happened, and to determine just how we can help.  Our office number is 214-414-3808.  You can also fill out the contact form on our site and we’ll reach out to you.

Three Mechanical Failures that Lead to Truck Accidents

Truck wrecks texas mechanical failures

Equipment Malfunction may Lead to Truck Accidents

Mechanical failures rank high in the causes for fatal truck accidents around the country.  Not only are these issues preventable, but modern technology should be able to alert the driver, truck owner, and others when a failure is about to happen.

For now, however, these issues continue to lead to wrecks that claim lives.  The Car Crash Captain has some insights on what these major malfunctions are, and what can be done to help prevent future truck wrecks.

Driver Negligence is Still the Primary Cause of Wrecks

Despite the fact that most mechanical failures happen because the truck wasn’t inspected or maintained properly (technically this would fall under negligence), other forms of negligence remain the number one cause of major truck wrecks.

  • Fatigue – Driving while tired is nearly as dangerous as driving intoxicated.
  • Alcohol or Drug Use – Substance abuse remains an issue.
  • Driver Error – Risky maneuvers or otherwise failure to yield.
  • Road Rage – Intentionally driving dangerously.

When the big rig is found to be at fault, it often is one of these issues that has led to the crash.

What Three Mechanical Failures Lead to Truck Accidents?

Aside from negligence while driving, there are three areas of equipment that malfunction or fail and lead to more wrecks than other pieces of equipment malfunctioning or failing; brake defects, steering issues, and tire failures.

  • Brake Defects – Truck brakes have to be tough.  They get red hot while braking and rely on air power to ensure maximum stopping pressure.  When these brakes aren’t maintained properly, they will fail.  That doesn’t necessarily mean they were defective (although defects can lead to early failure), but it does mean that even if the driver was operating safely, the equipment is the “cause” of the wreck.  A study has shown that brake defects were found in 42% of truck accidents investigated.
  • Steering Issues – Steering issues were once a major cause in big rig accidents.  These instances have gone down over the years (possibly due to better equipment or better inspections).  However, the remain a big issue when analyzing the underlying cause of truck accidents.
  • Tire Failures – How many times have you driven on the highway and there were pieces of tires lying on the side of the road?  Sometimes these tires are even in the middle of the driving lanes.  Semi-trucks have 18 tires that are all taking some serious wear and tear.  If they’re not maintained properly, and replaced when they’re worn, they can, and will, blow out.  A blowout doesn’t always lead to a crash, but they do often enough that they are one of the top three mechanical failures that lead to truck accidents.

Herbert Law Group is Here to Help You

If you have been the victim of a truck wreck, due to mechanical failures, driver negligence, or something else, then we are here to help.  You already have enough to deal with when it comes to healing from injuries, hospital visits, and getting your life back in order.  Let us deal with the insurance and legal stuff.

First, we have to get to know you and understand what happened.  That starts with a free phone call.  Just dial 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site and we’ll reach out to you.

Unsecured Cargo can Lead to Texas Truck Wrecks

Unsecured cargo leads to texas truck accident

Your Wreck May be an Issue with How Cargo was Secured

There are guidelines that truck drivers and trucking companies have to follow in regards to how loads are secured.  Unsecured cargo, and improperly secured cargo, may be in violation of those guidelines.  If you were involved in a wreck where the cargo wasn’t secured properly, then the Car Crash Captain can help you navigate the difficult world of insurance and legal matters.

Who is Responsible for Unsecured Cargo?

As with many wrecks, liability isn’t always straightforward.  For passenger vehicles, it’s often the vehicle owner or operator that takes on the risk.  But if you’re involved in a wreck with a commercial vehicle, however, liability doesn’t always fall solely with the driver.

Driver Responsibility – Most drivers are responsible to inspect, and sometimes maintain, their own trucks.  This means they are the last set of eyes on the truck itself, and the cargo they’re hauling.  Failing to inspect the cargo before departure can mean something is missed and the liability falls to the driver.

Trucking Company Responsibility – The owner of the rig might maintain some liability.  Depending on how the agreement is structured, the trucking company might assume some, or all, of the liability for adequately securing cargo.

Equipment Manufacturer Responsibility – There are times when the truck driver, carrier, owner, company, and everyone else does what is right, and equipment fails.  In these cases, a dive into what happened is necessary, and the equipment manufacturer may be found liable for selling a product that didn’t meet expectations.

Driver and Carrier Responsibility – Often the liability is divided between two or more parties.  Some of the fault can be found with the driver, some with the carrier, some with the owner of the rig, and more.

Because liability isn’t always clear, it’s important to have a truck wreck lawyer backing you up.  This is especially true if you’re trying to recover from injuries, and you simply don’t have the time and energy to handle the legal issues that can arise.

What can I Expect from an Unsecured Cargo Claim?

Some of those issues are demanding.  Some take time to prove and process.  As the victim, you may receive backlash from the insurance company that is supposed to be paying your claim.

Insurance Issues – Inevitably insurance issues will arise.  These companies are in the business of collecting money, not paying out big claims.  They’ll diminish, reduce, and try to get you on record saying something that could show that you caused the wreck.  Regardless of how it all goes down; the initial settlement offer likely won’t be one that fully covers your needs.

Criminal Charges – Depending on what happened, there could end up being criminal charges filed against the driver, the trucking company, or another negligent party.

Negligence Claims – The at fault party might come back and try to place some, or even all, of the blame on you.  Long before this happens, you need to guard your words and make sure that you’re not posting online or admitting anything on a recorded line.

Herbert Law Group has Your Back

Because of the complexity of these cases, it’s best to start off with an accomplished Texas truck wreck lawyer.

Herbert Law Group is on your side.  We’ll handle the hard stuff and ensure that your case goes smoothly.  You handle the difficult process of recovering from your injuries.

When it’s all said and done, we work hard to get you the maximum settlement amount, so you don’t have financial worries due to someone else’s negligence.

Let’s get things started with a phone call so we know what happened.  Call our office at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site and we will reach out to you.

Psychological Impact After Surviving a Truck Wreck

psychological impacts of surviving a texas truck wreck

How Your Mental Health Could Decline After a Wreck

The aftermath of a truck wreck is intense.  There’s a whole lot to deal with including property damage, healing from injuries, and trying to figure out how to get life back on track.  Many people don’t realize the psychological impact that comes with surviving a truck wreck.

Let’s see what we need to consider when this does happen.  The Car Crash Captain has some insights for us so we can maximize recovery times.

Understanding the Psychological Impact of a Truck Wreck

When you’re in a wreck there is obviously going to be property damage.  It’s going to take money to replace your vehicle and any personal items inside the vehicle.  Those damages are easy to figure out.

You will also have medical bills.  Those are also easy to figure out and seek compensation for them.

But there’s a whole “hidden” world of mental health that is affected as well.  The psychological impact of this wreck isn’t going to go away any time soon.  And without professional help to work through the emotions that come from this, you may never recover.  Unfortunately, insurance companies often hope you don’t consider these impacts, and they can end up offering a settlement that isn’t nearly what you need.

What if You were in the Wreck and Survived?

If you were driving, or even in the vehicle, and you survived the crash, how would that impact you?  There would obviously be fears, trauma, and emotions to work through.  But it can go much deeper than that.

PTSD isn’t limited to those coming off the battlefield.  Trauma has many different forms, and dealing with PTSD after a devastating truck wreck is a real thing.  There will be fears of driving again, especially around other big rigs.

Survivor guilt is a real issue.  What if you survived, but your passenger did not?  You may feel terrible about “causing” their death – even though the wreck wasn’t your fault.

Depression can set in, especially if you’re unable to heal fully from your injuries.  You may lament that you have to walk with a limp the rest of your life because of someone else’s negligent behavior.

The psychological trauma of surviving a wreck can run deep.  It’s only when you have a competent professional helping you deal with those events can you truly heal and move on.

What if Your Loved One did not Survive?

There’s another issue that comes up after a deadly truck wreck.  What if you survived, but your loved one did not?

If both of you were in the vehicle, and you had to witness the death of someone close to you, how would your mental health handle that?  A truck wreck that results in death is not a peaceful end of life – it’s quite often very gruesome.

Even if you were not in the vehicle, and you got word that the wreck occurred.  Your loved one was going about their daily business, and they were suddenly taken from you.  The psychological impact would be devastating as you’re plagued with “what ifs” surrounding the loss.

It’s never easy to lose someone close to you.  It’s even harder when it could have been prevented had the other driver been more mindful of their actions on the road.

Come to Herbert Law Group for Expert Advice

This mental anguish that comes after a wreck can fall under “Pain and Suffering.”  Even if you attend therapy and those visits are wrapped into the medical part of the claim, this mental anguish can last for years after the loss occurred.

Fighting for your rights is not something you should have to endure during your time of trouble.  Don’t waste your energy on this.  Instead, let Herbert Law Group do the heavy lifting for you.  You focus on your mental health; we’ll focus on getting a settlement that is sufficient to take care of your needs.

It all starts with a free phone call.  Simply get in touch with our office at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site, and we’ll see how we can help reduce your burden.

Three Trucking Regulations that Lead to Wrecks

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Commercial Vehicles Must Follow Strict Regulations

We know that commercial truck drivers (and other commercial vehicle drivers as well) have a set of regulations they have to follow.  These aren’t arbitrary; they were designed from years of data by experts that understand how people and heavy equipment work together.

Often, however, some companies see those regulations as cutting into their profits.  Sometimes truck drivers themselves feel they are better drivers and can “fudge” the rules just a bit.  Today, the Car Crash Captain is looking at three regulations that are often violated, and can have a significant impact on your truck accident case.

Driver Rest Periods

Most people know that semi-truck drivers have to take rest periods.  But do you know what those are?  They’re actually quite confusing – something that a driver or trucking company may try to exploit if they are in a wreck.

  • Drivers may only drive for 11 hours at a time… but only after they have been off-duty for 10 hours.
  • They also have to drive those 11 hours within a 14-hour window – then take a break.
  • Every 8 hours of driving, drivers have to take at least a 30-minute break.
  • In a 7-day period, maximum driving hours cap out at 60 hours; in an 8-day period, they cap at 70 hours.

Unless, of course, you’re transporting people.  Then there are different rules.  Check out our previous post on the hours of operation, and see the official trucking regulations on the FMCSA website.

If you’ve been injured in a wreck with a semi-truck, and that driver has violated any of the hours of operations regulations, then your case has to be handled differently.  A Texas truck wreck lawyer will know what to do – but do you know what to do?

Vehicle Maintenance Schedules

Because most commercial vehicles are big and heavy, they can cause a lot of damage, death, or injury if they fail.  To help prevent this, the FMCSA has created a schedule of repairs and maintenance to ensure that rigs on the road are operating safely.

There is, however, quite a bit of leeway.  Things that could be open to interpretation.  Items like inspections of emergency windows, doors, and marking lights on passenger buses have to be every 90 days.  Other maintenance issues come down to “make sure it gets done.”

The legal documents for inspection, repair, and maintenance, say, “Every motor carrier and intermodal equipment provider must systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, all motor vehicles and intermodal equipment subject to its control.”  That gives a bit of wiggle room – would an inspection have prevented the failure, or was this something completely random?

It’s also important to know that unless you thoroughly understand these laws and how they can be violated, will you be able to argue for your case?  Will you be able to do that if you’re recovering from major injuries, or mourning the death of a loved one?

Cargo and Rig Weight Limits

While weight limits seem like they should be clearer, they really are not.  There are multiple weight categories depending on the vehicle and driver.

Drivers must be certified as A, B, or C weight class commercial groups.  It all depends on if the rig, with combined trailer or vehicle-in-tow is over a certain weight – check out the FMCSA site to see what those groups are.

For the absolute maximum size, though, the FMCSA says that commercial motor vehicles (CMV’s) operating on interstate highways cannot exceed 53 feet in length, and weigh no more than 80,000 pounds.  Unless, of course, they fall into the exceptions categories.

When you’re in a wreck, do you know if the driver is certified to operate that vehicle?  Are they in the right driver weight class?  Is the vehicle properly permitted or have they exceeded their weight limit?

Herbert Law Group Knows Trucking Regulations

Trucking regulations can be confusing.  They’re even more confusing when you’ve gone through a traumatic experience and you’re trying to heal – mentally and physically.

That’s why an experienced truck wreck lawyer in Texas is necessary.  Someone that will help you understand what’s going on, argue for you, and bring you the settlement you need to heal completely.

Let’s talk about what happened, and develop a game plan.  Call the Herbert Law Group offices at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site and we’ll reach out to you.

What does a Texas Truck Wreck Lawyer Look At?

Texas truck wreck lawyer

Behind the Scenes, Your Lawyer Does a Lot

On the surface, it can seem like almost all a Texas truck wreck lawyer does is help to argue your case.  It’s all about how many times you want to slam your fist on the table and raise your voice to persuade the insurance company to pony up what they need to so you can heal, right?

The Car Crash Captain takes a look at some of the factors your lawyer considers when fighting for your rights.  It’s often a lot more than what it appears on the surface – especially when a commercial vehicle, like a semi-truck, is involved.

The 5 Behind-the-Scenes Investigations a Texas Truck Wreck Lawyer Performs

Knowing the law is part of it.  Knowing what to look for, where the information is, and how to interpret that data is a whole other level of arguing for your rights as the victim of a wreck.

Understanding Electronic Control Module Data

The electronic control module (ECM), or “black box,” contains information about the truck being operated.  Since 2015 they have been mandated for all commercial trucks, and they record data that can be pulled around the time of the wreck: GPS location, speed, braking, and more).  Read about the black boxes on our previous post.

Your Texas truck wreck lawyer will know how to access this information, and how to use it to help show that you were the victim.

Scouring Maintenance Records and Negligence

Commercial vehicles have to meet strict maintenance requirements.  It’s perfectly legal (though not recommended) for you to drive a personal vehicle with maintenance issues (such as worn brake pads, unchanged oil, bald tires, and the like).  For those owning or driving commercial rigs, maintenance needs to be kept up with.

Failure to keep up with maintenance can help prove that the truck driver was negligent, and you were the victim.  Knowing what to look for in those maintenance records is one of the truck wreck lawyer’s skills.

Liability as an Independent Contractor versus Employee

Owner/operators have to keep up with more than an employee.  An independent contractor, enlisted by a trucking company, has different liability than an employee of that company.  There are a handful of ways that the driver of the truck might be operating, and each one has different rules and liabilities.

If you were injured in a truck wreck, would you know how to pursue justice based on the operational structure of the trucking company and driver?

Knowing the Complex Federal Regulations

Speaking of all those different liabilities, there are a lot of rules that truck drivers have to follow to help ensure they’re as safe as possible while on the road.  Some of them have to do with how many hours they can drive, what sort of driving record they must maintain, training, and more.

If a driver hasn’t kept up with the regulations, or is in violation of them, it is a powerful piece of evidence in your favor – if you know where to find that information.

Comparing with all other Factors of the Wreck

Trucking regulations are one thing, liability is another, and then you still have to factor in all of the other variables that can lead to a wreck.  Traffic patterns, weather, time of day, road hazards, and more need to be accounted for to help show that you were the victim, and you deserve justice.

Enlisting the help of a knowledgeable Texas truck wreck lawyer is the only way to have the peace of mind you deserve if you’re injured.

Herbert Law Group Knows Texas Truck Wrecks

The good news is that Herbert Law Group not only knows the law, but also has an extensive history of helping victims receive compensation that will allow them to heal.

If you have been injured, or a loved one was killed, in a Texas truck wreck, let’s talk about what happened, and see how we can help.  It starts with a free phone call.

Call our offices at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form and we will reach out to you.

What Vehicle is Considered a Commercial Vehicle?

Commercial Vehicle Lawyer Texas

Not All Commercial Vehicles are Semi-Trucks

If you’re involved in a wreck here in Texas, do you know if it’s a standard automobile accident, or a commercial vehicle accident?  Certainly, if you’re hit by a semi-truck, then you know it’s going to fall under the commercial vehicle class, but what if you were hit by a 12-passenger van?

There are federal regulations that determine what vehicles are considered to be commercial vehicles, and which may look like commercial vehicles, but are still considered to be private or not-for-commerce.  Let’s see what the Car Crash Captain has to say about commercial vehicle accidents in Texas.

Determining a Commercial Vehicle

Commonly, commercial vehicles are determined by three factors: size and weight, number of passengers, and cargo being hauled.  A general rule of thumb to keep in mind: if the owner or operator of the vehicle is being paid to transport whatever is inside, then it’s likely going to be considered a commercial vehicle.

Size and Weight of a Commercial Vehicle

Most commercial vehicles are heavier.  It doesn’t make sense to transport goods in the back of a pickup truck when a semi will be much more efficient.  The federal guidelines say that a vehicle over 10,001 pounds (and used to transport property or passengers) is a commercial vehicle.  When that truck hits 26,000 pounds, they have even more stringent regulations – most fully loaded semi-trucks are 35,000 to 80,000 pounds.

That weight rating is the combined weight of both the vehicle and the load they are hauling.  And it refers to the actual weight or the weight rating; whichever is greater.

What doesn’t fall into this category?  Privately owned vehicles being used for private purposes.  Such as a big RV being used to transport family on vacation.

Number of Passengers

Depending on how many people are loaded into the rig can bump it into the commercial vehicle category.  This one is broken into two parts.

First, if the vehicle is designed, or used, to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation.  Notice that is says “designed or used.”  If it’s a 12-passenger van, and only 2 people are in it, it’s still “designed” to transport more than 8 people.  If it’s a 6-passenger van, and has 9 people in it, it’s still “used” to transport more than 8 people.

Second, if the vehicle is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver not for compensation.  Again, “designed or used” is clarified here, but the difference is that if it’s not used for compensation.  This would be vehicles such as school busses, airport shuttle busses, or even large church vans.

Cargo Hauled by the Commercial Vehicle

If the vehicle doesn’t meet the other qualifications, it can still be considered commercial depending on what is being hauled.  Normally this only applies to hazardous materials – even if it’s the size of a Honda Civic but it’s hauling some toxic waste, then it’s considered to be a commercial vehicle.

Talk to Herbert Law Group after a Commercial Vehicle Accident in Texas

There is quite a bit more that goes into commercial vehicle wrecks than what it appears on the surface.  A semi-truck wreck is one that involves a commercial vehicle, but there are many other factors to consider.

If you have been injured in a wreck, will you be able to tell if you should be pursuing compensation based on commercial vehicle laws, hazardous material transportation laws, extra-heavy vehicle laws, passenger vehicle laws, or something else completely?  Do government owned vehicles or emergency vehicles fall into the same category?

The commercial vehicle accident lawyers at Herbert Law Group understand all of this.  Let them handle the tricky legal stuff, you handle recovering from your injuries.  It starts with a free phone call.  Dial 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site, and let’s see how we can help.

Safely Travel among Semi-Trucks this Holiday Season

safely travel among semi-trucks

How to Avoid an Accident with a Semi

As the fall progresses, millions of people will hit the road for the holiday season.  That is, any time from Thanksgiving through New Years.  This influx of traffic often coincides with some terrible weather, and it creates more “opportunities” to get in a wreck.  Let’s check in with the Car Crash Captain to see how we can safely travel among semi-trucks this season.

Safe Travels on Texas Highways

We share the road with commercial vehicles, road-trippers, commuters, and those just out for a drive.  While semi-truck travel may diminish a little on the actual holidays themselves, truck drivers are still out there hauling goods across America so we can score those black Friday deals and have well-stocked shelves at the grocery stores for our holiday feasts.  More traffic means it’s time to be vigilant and drive defensively.

Give a Bit Extra Room

Under ideal conditions, it will take a fully-loaded semi-truck 200 more feet to stop than a passenger vehicle.  But what if we’re talking about less-than-ideal conditions?

If you’re driving on slick roads, your passenger vehicle won’t be able to slow and stop nearly as quickly as when the roads are dry.  If you wish to safely travel among semi-trucks, it’s important to understand that they can often stop faster than a passenger vehicle as their weight allows them to maintain traction on the road.  If you’re following too closely, you may end up rear-ending the semi because your car slides and their truck doesn’t.

All things being equal, tailgating is a top cause of accidents no matter what time of year it is.  Just give a little extra room. 

Understand how to Drive on Slick Roads

In Texas the roads don’t often become too slick to drive.  However, there are several times each year where the temperatures drop for a period of time and things ice over completely.  When that happens, mayhem ensues.

Slick roads can be navigated safely, however, the best way to navigate slick roads is to have experience driving on slick roads.  That means all the book knowledge in the world is going to be little help when you’re faced with skidding down the road sideways.  If it’s not essential to drive in bad weather, then it’s best to just not drive during the slippery days.

If you are on the road when temperatures are hovering near freezing, pay extra attention to what’s going on around you.  Bridges will ice up faster than roadways, and if other vehicles seem to be skidding a bit, take more precautions.  If possible, avoid driving near a semi-truck in case their tires break free and cause the truck to lose control.

Travel During the “Off” Times

Truck drivers are on the road for their job.  That means most of them try to maintain a bit of a schedule, like driving during daylight hours and during the week.  Some of them have routes that are set up so they can be home for the weekend, and they are driving during normal business hours.

That means more trucks are on the roads from 9-5 on weekdays.  Statistically speaking 3pm to 6pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays have a higher likelihood of truck crashes.  When you’re planning your travel, consider traveling on the weekend, or doing most of your driving during hours that trucks won’t be on the road.

Keep in mind, however, that the “off” hours are sometimes the colder hours – nights and mornings have a higher chance of encountering slick roads as the temperatures are lower.

Drive with Grace

Road rage has been an issue since roads and vehicles were around.  Everyone believes they are the best drivers out there, and they have the right skills.  Anyone who drives differently, well that’s cause to rage!

There’s a saying that anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, anyone driving faster than you is a maniac.  But the truth is, we’re all doing the best we can.

When you hit the road, start your trip with the intentions of giving other drivers some grace.  That’s not to say let them rage and bully you off the road, but rather to safely travel among semi-trucks and other vehicles, understand that we all drive differently.  Instead of raging, know that you’ll arrive alive if you keep your cool.

Slow Down to Arrive Sooner

It’s perfectly logical to think that driving faster will make you arrive at your destination sooner.  In a perfect world that has no traffic, no wrecks, and dry roads, that might be true.  In this imperfect world, however, we have to remember that other variables exist.

Driving over the speed limit can end up with a traffic ticket.  The time spent on the side of the road waiting for the officer to write your ticket means you would have arrived much sooner if you had slowed down.

Driving faster leads to careless mistakes.  Most other drivers are expecting you to drive the speed limit (or drive according to conditions if the roads are slick).  When you’re booking it, they may change lanes in front of you.  Ultimately, being injured or killed in a wreck is going to put a serious delay on your arrival time.

Talk with Herbert Law Group if You’re in a Wreck

Even when exercising caution, there will be other drivers that don’t exercise caution.  Semi-truck drivers are held to a higher standard than passenger vehicle motorists as this is what they do all day.  Despite trying to safely travel among semi-trucks, you might be hit by one due to no fault of your own.

If you’re involved in a wreck, and you have been injured or a loved one was killed, then it’s time to speak with Herbert Law Group to navigate the tricky world of insurance.

All you need to do is give us a call at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site.  We’ll have a free conversation to find out what happened, and then determine how we can help.

Staying Safe on Texas Highways: Avoiding a Semi-Truck Accident

Texas personal injury lawyer avoiding a semi-truck accident

Defensive Driving can Save Your Life

Runing within the borders, Texas has 3,233 miles of interstate highway.  Those long expanses help to connect major cities from one end of the country to another and make great thoroughfares for the trucking industry.

However, it also means that we share the roads with some of the busiest commercial trucking routes out there.  An abundance of large trucks means that there are bound to be inattentive truck drivers.  That doesn’t mean, though, that you can’t prevent a wreck – it just means everyone needs to be more vigilant.

Let’s tune in and see what the Car Crash Captain has to say about avoiding a semi-truck accident.

Avoiding a Semi-Truck Accident with Defensive Driving

If you’re the victim, you shouldn’t be worrying if you could have done more to prevent the accident.  If you’re the victim of a truck accident, then the fault lies with the truck driver.  We can only do so much, and then hope that other motorists are paying attention and following the laws of the road.

Maintain a Safe Distance

We all know that we should stay about two seconds behind the vehicle in front of us.  Trucks, however, can’t maneuver quite as quickly as smaller rigs, and their size means they block the view of potential hazards coming up.  Staying back 3,4, or even 5 seconds gives you more time to adjust if a wreck is imminent.

But wait, there’s more than just the distance behind the truck.  A fully loaded semi-truck takes a long time to stop.  If you whip into the lane right in front of them, you’re setting yourself up to be rear-ended.  Make sure you’re leaving a good gap behind yourself to be safe (yes, we know you can’t help it if the truck driver then tailgates you, but you do have a choice to cut them off or not).

Watch for the Blind Spot

Because of how big a truck is, they have a substantial blind spot.  Trucks hauling double, or even triple, trailers have even larger blind spots.

For the standard truck, a blind spot is 20 feet in front of them, and 30 feet behind them.  If you’re within the no-no zone, they might not see you.  Throw a little rain, snow, fog, or even just cloudy and dark days, and you’re even harder to see – especially if you’re partially into the blind spot.

Use Your Signals

It’s just common courtesy to let other motorists know your intentions on the road.  But keep in mind that flipping on your signal indicates your intention, it doesn’t give you permission.  You still have to wait for the appropriate amount of room before changing lanes.

Proper Vehicle Maintenance is Key

We just wrote about how you can help stave off a devastating wreck by maintaining your rig.  Check out that blog post and make sure you have everything in order and you aren’t putting others at risk while you drive.

Travel at the Right Time

Most truck accidents happen between 3 and 6 pm.  It’s the end of a long day, there’s more traffic on the roads, drivers are tired all around, and often people just want to get where they’re going so they take a bit more risk.

If you are intent on avoiding a semi-truck accident, then plan your road trip around those hours.  Travel a little earlier, take a longer break in the afternoon, and avoid the congested areas near big cities during the evening rush hour.

Talk with Herbert Law Group if You were Injured

Let’s face it, no matter how good of a driver you are, there’s an equally bad driver out there.  You can follow all the rules, be alert, prepared, and defensive, and then get hit by another motorist that is driving like a madman… or even just driving like a normal man, but distracted.

If you have been injured in a semi-truck accident, or a loved one was killed, we should talk.  The insurance company likely won’t dole out the proper compensation on their own, so let Herbert Law Group encourage them to do the right thing.

Call us at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site.  We’ll get to know you, figure out what happened, and see how we can help.

After a Truck Accident in Texas, Be Aware of These Key Points

Truck accident in Texas

How to Talk about Your Texas Truck Accident

If you have been injured in a truck accident in Texas, you have the right to file a claim against the trucking company for damages.  These damages don’t just include your wrecked vehicle, medical bills, lost wages and the like, but they can include pain and suffering – an aspect of the wreck many insurance companies hope you don’t know about.

Let’s see what the Car Crash Captain has to say about being in a Texas truck accident.

Understanding Your Rights as a Victim

The first thing you have to know after a truck accident in Texas, is that most trucking companies will have their lawyers and insurance company move into action quickly.  They are going to gather evidence, get quotes, take names, and analyze how they can diminish your claim.  Don’t panic!  The sooner you can get your truck wreck lawyer informed the better.

Do – Take Names and Information

When someone from the trucking company calls you (or their insurance company, or their legal representation) the first thing you should ask for is their name, who they work for, and their contact information.  Any reputable business will give this information, if they hesitate or don’t do it, make a note of what you do know.

Do Not – Give a Statement

The insurance company will likely call you on a recorded line.  Their goal is to get you to say something that diminishes your claim.  Questions can be phrased in a tricky way so you admit fault unwillingly.  Perhaps something along the lines of, “When you changed lanes without signaling, did you see the truck?”  Even answering, “No I did not see the truck.” Can be twisted to say that you admit you did an illegal lane change.  The best option is to just not give any statement at all.  Instead…

Do – Refer to Your Texas Truck Accident Lawyer

When insurance, trucking company lawyers, or the trucking company themselves call you, gather their information, and then refer them to your truck accident lawyer.  If they ask questions, you just have to say, “I am represented by Herbert Law Group, please direct any inquiries to them.”  It is likely they will insist on getting information, they just need, “a little information.” And will ask questions such as, “Is it true this accident took place on such and such a date?”  Keep your resolve, and direct them to Herbert Law Group.

Do Not – Accept the First Settlement Offer

Insurance companies rely on the fact that you don’t know the law the way they do.  They may throw out a settlement offer and make it sound like it’s a “take it or leave it” proposition.  In reality, you don’t have to take the first settlement offer.  It’s usually better if you do not take that offer – even if you’re in a simple fender bender.  You can almost always argue for a better settlement that will meet your needs.

Do – Know You have the Right to Choose

Most insurance companies will try to get you to use their preferred providers.  They will claim that the settlement will go quicker or more smoothly if you use the auto body shop of their choice, of if you choose the doctor they have endorsed.  Remember, you have the right to choose your service provider – it doesn’t have to be their recommended provider.

Do Not – Post on Social Media

Immediately following the wreck, it’s time to go silent on social.  A post as innocuous as “Got in a wreck, I’m fine, don’t worry about me.” Can be construed as you are faking your injuries.  Insurance investigators will find anything that can be used to weaken your claim.  Even performing physical activities in public can be seen as your injuries are not as severe as you said.  Stay silent on social, and monitor your actions where someone could be watching.

Do Contact Herbert Law Group after a Truck Accident in Texas

Long before any insurance company should be contacting you, you should have already contacted Herbert Law group to get guidance on the wreck.

Before we can help, though, we have to know what happened.  So, we’ve opened the phone lines for a free consultation.  Call us at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site and we’ll be in touch with you soon.