Spring, Summer, and Fatal Semi Truck Accidents

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The Summer Brings an Increase in Fatal Semi Truck Accidents

As the winter gives way to spring, we see more and more people out enjoying the world around us.

More and more people are hitting the roads, and after Memorial Day, that number will increase dramatically.

With many more people on the roadways throughout the spring and summer, and in the south those nice days stick around well into the fall, we’ll see the annual uptick in fatal semi truck accidents.  When you’re traveling, be prepared so that you don’t end up one of the thousands of victims.

Why are there More Fatal Semi Truck Accidents in the Summer?

The most basic reason: there are more vehicles on the road during the summer.  More traffic leads to more wrecks.

But there are a number of other factors that come into play as well.  All things combined, it leads to a bit more of a perfect storm for fatal semi truck accidents.

Construction Zones: Summer is construction season; especially when you head to states up north where they have a limited window to get things done.  These congested areas can be dangerous.

Wear and Tear on Tires: Generally speaking, the hotter it is, the harder the roads are on tires.  Blowing out a tire can lead to a swerving semi and a crash.

More Distractions: In the fall, winter, and spring, the weather is usually worse.  Hazards on the road and weather conditions mean drivers are actually paying more attention.  When those roads are open, we zone out or are tempted to pick up the phone.

No School: Teenage drivers are inexperienced drivers.  Most of the year they are in school, and not on the roads.  But during the summer, there are more inexperienced drivers out there.

You can’t pinpoint one reason as being more of a cause of wrecks than the other; they all work together to end up being a bad situation.

What Day of the Week is the Worst for Travel?

Interestingly enough, you can pinpoint a day that has more semi truck wrecks than others.

Weekends, although busier for most travel, have fewer trucks on the road.

But come Thursday, more big rigs crash than any other day of the week.  The reason is likely a combination of fatigue and trying to finish up a route so they can get home, or at least be done working, for the weekend.

How to Avoid being in an Accident

So, we know when the worst accidents occur, now we need to know how to avoid them.

If you don’t have to travel on Thursday, then stay off the road on Thursday (we can narrow that down to weekdays between noon and 3pm too; it seems that after lunch people get drowsy).

When you’re driving during the summer, make sure you pay extra attention to your surroundings, and other vehicles.  Notice a truck’s tires: if one starts smoking it’s probably going to blow soon.  Notice construction zones, and be aware of any vehicle rapidly approaching from behind you if you’re slowing for these areas.  Keep your head about you, don’t drive dangerously, and put that phone down.

Herbert Law Group is here to Help

The sad reality is that no matter how much awareness we have, fatal semi truck accidents are always going to be an issue (even when they’re fully autonomous, errors will happen).

If you, or your loved one, have been injured or killed in a semi truck accident, you need the help of an experienced truck accident lawyer.

Herbert Law Group knows the laws.  We understand what to look for, who is to blame, and how to pursue justice for you.  You deserve compensation that will completely cover your losses; we’ll get you there.

Give us a call at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site, and we’ll be in touch.  Let’s have a conversation first, see how we can help, and then go from there.

What your Truck Accident Settlement May Include

Texas Truck Accident Settlement

After a Texas Truck Accident, Your Settlement Should Compensate Losses

Truck wrecks generally come with a lot of damage.  The size difference between a passenger vehicle and fully loaded semi truck means that there’s going to be much more damage done to the car and not the truck itself.

Depending on the severity of your truck accident, your settlement will vary considerably.  With the help of Herbert Law Group, you’ll have a Texas truck accident attorney helping you receive the compensation you deserve.

That compensation may include economic and non-economic damages.  Here’s how that breaks down.

Economic Damages in your Truck Accident Settlement

The terms are kind of strange, but the concept boils down to what you can and cannot put a firm price tag on.  Economic damages are those that you know how much they cost you.

Damage to your Vehicle – Also called property damage; this is any damage to your personal property including your vehicle, belongings inside the vehicle, and other physical property.

Medical Bills – When you’re in the hospital recovering from injuries, you rack up medical bills.  They’re pretty easy to add up, even those medical bills that might pop up in the future.

Lost Hours at Work – Recovering from trauma can take a toll on the body.  You’re not about to go back to work any time soon.  Calculating your salary based on the number of days you missed at work brings us to an easy to find number of how much it cost you to miss out on work.

If your loved one was killed in a truck wreck, we can still use formulas to figure out the economic costs you suffer.

Non-Economic Damages in your Truck Accident Settlement

Non-economic damages are where settlements come in drastically different from each other.  Insurance companies can’t really fudge the numbers on economic damages; you can easily see the receipts for those.  But non-economic damages are those that you can’t put a firm price tag on.

Pain and Suffering – Without breaking things down to minutia, non-economic damages can mostly be lumped into one category: pain and suffering.  This is where you are compensated for mental distress, and if you lost a loved one compensation for having your partner die.

After a traumatic wreck, it’s going to take some time to get back on track.  Nobody knows how long that might take.  It could be years before you mentally recover.  Your settlement needs to include the professional mental healthcare that you need in order to recover from the pain and suffering you experience.

Herbert Law Group takes the Stress out of the Settlement

Dealing with insurance companies is stressful.

Healing from a traumatic crash with a semi truck is stressful.

The truck accident lawyers at Herbert Law Group are professional stress relievers.  Dealing with those insurance companies so that all you have to do is focus on healing from your injuries.

Give us a call at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site, and we’ll get started to taking away the stress from your wreck, and pushing for the maximum settlement that ensure you’re fully compensated for your losses.

Will the Trucker Shortage Lead to More Truck Wrecks?

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A Variety of Factors Must Be Considered

It’s estimated that by 2030 there will be a shortage of 160,000 drivers in the trucking world.

Over the next ten years, when you account for drivers retiring, there’s a need for a million new truck drivers to be trained and hit the road.  With all things considered, the trucker shortage isn’t likely to get better (barring some major innovations in self driving trucks), and can have drastic effects on traffic on our major highways around the country.

As personal injury attorneys in the Dallas area, we’re concerned with safety on the road.  Will fewer trucks mean fewer wrecks?  Or do other factors come into play that could cause the dangers to dramatically increase?

Fewer Trucks Means Less Traffic

As roads become more populated, more congested, and overall traffic increases, the likelihood or wrecks increases too.  This goes for truck wrecks, car wrecks, motorcycle wrecks, UFO wrecks, and everything in between.

As the trucker shortage worsens, it’s only fair to assume that there will be fewer semi trucks on the highway.  In theory that should reduce the number of truck wrecks on any given year.

Unfortunately, the following issues might not make that a reality.

Bigger Push to Get People Driving                      

Because shipping companies need drivers, there will be bigger and harder pushes to get drivers on board with their new career.  Increasing wages is one method, and that’s a great way to keep the economy moving.  But there are downsides that can come with a push for new drivers.

Getting drivers up and running sooner can mean skipping over some important training.  It can also mean drivers that would be passed over due to their driving record, background checks, or the fact that they just aren’t a good fit may be ignored.  The result is drivers on the roads that are improperly trained, or unfit to be behind the wheel of a big rig.

A Trucker Shortage means More Miles and Longer Hours

Let’s suppose you have to move 10 loads of cargo.  With 10 drivers it would all get done at once.  But if you’re short 5 drivers, it now takes twice as long.  To compensate, drivers may be encouraged to push the limits and drive more miles and for longer hours (this is illegal, by the way, drivers are limited to how much they can work in a given period).

Pushing the limits, fudging the numbers, and overall ignoring the laws might look like it’s a good way to get more done.  But fatigue is a real issue, and can lead to deadly consequences.

Heavier Trucks to Haul more Cargo in Fewer Trips

An alternative to driving longer and farther is to just load up the trucks a bit more.  Legally a truck must stay under 80,000 pounds, but there are always ways to get around that.  It all depends on how sneaky a company is, and what they’re willing to risk.

An overweight truck may land the driver or company a hefty fine.  In some states it could result in jail time for the driver.

But the consequences might be more severe.  Overweight vehicles don’t just put a strain on the road, bridges, and other infrastructure.  They’re incredibly difficult to stop in an emergency.  That lengthened stop time can mean deadly crashes.

Drivers Moving Faster than Necessary

When you’re limited on how much weight you can haul; limited on how many miles and hours you can drive; and understaffed, then you end up taking more risks.  Like speeding to the destination in order to stay within the allowable hours of drive time.

The trucker shortage may lead to more big rigs zipping down the road at dangerous speeds.  These vehicles are already difficult to stop.  Add a few more miles per hour, and the risk of deadly crashes increases dramatically.

Let Herbert Law Group Help with Your Truck Accident

Whether the trucker shortage plays a factor into a wreck you’ve been involved in is irrelevant.  You have just one goal: to heal from your injuries.

But when you’re dealing with the stressful situation you’ve been forced into, healing doesn’t come easily.  And that’s why you need a truck accident lawyer from Herbert Law Group.

With extensive knowledge on truck accidents, you can take comfort knowing that your case is being handled with care.  The result is that you don’t have to stress out about the details, and put all your energy into healing from injuries.

Give us a call at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site to get started with your free consultation.

The Hazards of a Tanker Truck Accident

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Tanker Trucks come with a Host of Secondary Dangers

Big rig trucks pose more danger on the highways than passenger vehicles; it’s merely a matter of size difference.  A big truck has more force than a smaller vehicle.

But not all trucks are equal.  A fully loaded rig is going to pack more of a punch (and take longer to stop) than one running empty.

A tanker truck accident is going to pose even more problems.  Depending on the cargo in the tanker, serious dangers could arise after the accident.

Tanker Trucks versus Trailer or Flatbed

Even liquid cargo has to be hauled, but the means of storing that cargo is different than dry goods.  Those cylinder tanks aren’t just for looks.

Without sharp corners, a tank doesn’t have weak spots like a rectangular container does.  This helps to contain the cargo if the vehicle does wreck, and allows for pressure changes throughout the trip.

The cylindrical shape allows the bulk of the weight to be down lower, keeping the center of gravity low to the ground to prevent the truck from tipping or rolling.

That shape also allows the cargo to be drained easier without getting caught in little nooks and crannies.

Finally, what we can’t see is inside the tanks.  They’re designed with baffles to help ensure the liquid doesn’t slosh all over the place in the event of a sudden stop.  Here’s a great video that shows a simulation of how the truck can stop up to 25 feet sooner with the baffles versus without.

Dangers of Tanker Truck Accidents

The dangers of the tanker truck accident have to do with the cargo being moved.

When hauling inert cargo like milk, the spillage from the wreck might end up smelling pretty bad, but it’s not likely to cause injury or damage to lives.

But many of these trucks are hauling oil, gasoline, or other hazardous materials.  If there’s a spill when these tanker trucks wreck, the chemicals and fumes can cause more damage than the crash actually does.

Take for instance, a tanker truck that turned over in Mississippi a few years ago.  The truck spilled thousands of gallons of hydrogen peroxide.  Left on its own, the hydrogen peroxide will eventually break down into water and oxygen, but if anyone comes into contact with it before it breaks down it can pose a serious hazard to human health.

Gasoline, that could explode, or other chemicals that can be fatal if inhaled, pose even greater risks.

Let Herbert Law Group Help with Your Tanker Truck Accident

If you have been involved in a tanker truck accident in Texas, then you need an attorney from Herbert Law Group on your side.

These complicated insurance claims can be difficult to navigate if you’re not dealing with trucking companies and insurance companies every day.

Let us take that stress off your plate, so that you can focus on healing from your injuries.

Give us a call at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site and we’ll be in touch with you for your free consultation.

The Crossroads of the Most Dangerous Highways in the USA

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Two Dangerous Highways Intersect in Dallas

Car wrecks and semi truck crashes happen all over the US.  There isn’t a state that doesn’t suffer from deadly crashes on a daily basis.

There are, however, some areas that see more wrecks than elsewhere.  Generally in areas where traffic gets congested, these wrecks are put into a data base, and reports come out often on where the most deadly highways are around the US.

If you have been injured in a wreck, or if a loved one was killed in a wreck, then you need to talk with Herbert Law Group to get things settled in your favor.

The Most Dangerous Highways in the Country

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps track of all things related to the road.  They pay special attention to deadly collisions from all over the place.

This data is then distributed in reports, and various companies analyze those reports to bring us concise information on where we should pay extra attention when we’re driving.

The Zebra recently compiled the data into the top 10 deadliest highways in the USA.  These highways are all over, and not confined to just one place.  They’re on the East Coast, the West Coast, the north, the south, and everywhere in between.  The common factor: they see a lot of traffic.

That’s where we have found that Dallas, Texas is where two of the deadliest highways meet.

The Intersection of I-20 and I-35

Coming from West Texas, and dropping just below Fort Worth and Dallas, I-20 travels through the southern states to ultimately end in South Carolina.  Despite being one of the shorter sections of highway on the most dangerous highways list, it comes in at number 2 for the most fatal accidents per mile.

Right on the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas, and going nearly straight north to Duluth, Minnesota, I-35 is one of the most popular trucking routes in the US.  It cuts through San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas, creating a series of heavily congested areas that are packed with truck traffic.  This highway is the fifth most deadly in the US.

As I-35 approaches Dallas from the south, it splits.  I-20 then intersects with 35W near Fort Worth, and 35E near Dallas.  There is no data readily available on whether or not the intersections of the second most deadly highway, and the fifth most deadly highway, combine to make an even deadlier area.  But we can only imagine that as a popular trucking route passes through the Metroplex, it’s an area where every driver needs to be extra vigilant about keeping their eyes on the road.

Find Help with a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer

Here at Herbert Law Group, our goal is to take away the stress that you feel after an accident.  You have a lot going on, and dealing with insurance companies that are trying to minimize settlement offers is about the last thing you should ever have to worry about.

Instead, whether you’ve been in a car wreck, a motorcycle wreck, or a truck wreck, we will get that stress off your plate, so you can focus on healing.

Give us a call at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site, and let’s get to know you, and see how we can help with your accident.

Understanding Third Party Liability in a Truck Accident

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Truck Accidents can have Multiple Responsible Parties

Most auto accidents have two parties that could be liable.  There is an at-fault driver and a victim of the wreck.

But truck accidents can get a lot more complicated.  There can be a number of different parties that are held liable, and when third party liability comes into play, it’s hard to navigate these claims.  That’s when you will want a Texas truck accident lawyer on your side.

How Third Party Liability Occurs in a Truck Accident

In most two vehicle accidents, there are only two parties involved.  However, truck accidents are different.  They can involve one, or more, parties outside of the passenger vehicle driver and the truck driver.  Parties can include:

  • Maintenance worker on the truck
  • Parts manufacturer
  • Cargo loader
  • The driver
  • The driver’s employer
  • The trucking company
  • The truck owner

Of course there could be some overlap, such as an owner/operator.  And often vehicle maintenance is assumed to be the driver’s responsibility.  But there are other factors that come into play.

If you are involved in a truck accident, do you know how to determine which party has at least partial liability?

What happens if Multiple Parties are Involved?

If you are rear ended by another passenger vehicle, and nobody is injured, that’s a pretty straight forward wreck: the at-fault driver’s insurance should pay to fix your rig.

How does a wreck look in a truck accident?

The truck driver may not have followed Federal Trucking Regulations; that negligence could have led to your wreck.

But the owner of the truck may not have maintained the vehicle properly, or ignored parts that needed to be replaced because he or she was trying to save money; their negligence could have led to your wreck.

Those that loaded the cargo onto the truck might not have loaded it properly, or secured it properly.  That negligence could have led to more strain on the truck than it could handle, and resulted in your wreck.

Or even if the truck was driven within legal limits, maintained properly, and loaded correctly, if a replacement part wasn’t manufactured right, it could break prematurely and lead to your wreck.

Often, however, it’s a combination of many different factors.  All of them building on each other, and culminating in a tragic accident.

If you’re involved in a truck accident, where multiple parties are held liable, that’s a much bigger issue, and multiple insurance companies need to be informed with claims submitted to each one.

Get Herbert Law Group on Your side

With so many different factors, and potential third party liability, truck accidents can be difficult to navigate.  The insurance companies are counting on that, so when a settlement is offered, you’re so overwhelmed that you accept it even though it may not fully suit your needs.

That’s why you need a Texas truck accident lawyer on your side.  That’s why you need Herbert Law Group to help get you through this tough time.  Leave the mess to us; you focus on healing from injuries.

Let’s get started on your free consultation.  Give us a call at 214-414-3808zz, or fill out the contact form on our site and we will be in touch.

What if I’m Blamed for a Truck Accident?

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When the Semi Driver Blames You for the Truck Accident

After a wreck, few people want to take the blame.  It’s just human nature to try to pass the buck.

But if you’re involved in a truck accident, and the semi driver gets out and says you’re at fault, what should you do?  Should you argue, bust out the dash cam footage, maybe try to fight him?  We don’t recommend fighting anyone, just for the record.

Here’s what you need to do after a truck accident.

Keep Your Cool

Just like any other situation, losing your temper is going to make things worse.  Nobody wants to deal with an angry yeller, so no matter how frustrated, irritated, and down-right mad you feel, stuff those emotions until later.

Even if the truck driver is yelling at you, saying you’re to blame, calmly explain that you want to wait until the police have arrived before making any statements.

When the cops come, stick to the facts.  Merely state what happened, and avoid words like “I caused this…” or “I accidentally…” or especially, “It was all my fault, I’m to blame.”  Let the police write up the report based on the evidence.

Make sure that you have Herbert Law Group programmed into your phone so you can let us know you will likely need a truck accident lawyer soon.

Flag Down some Witnesses

While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, make sure you at least get contact information from those who witnessed the crash.

If they’re willing, get a statement right away on video or an audio recording.  Some people aren’t going to want to be recorded, that’s fine.  At least get them to tell you what they saw, and later you can contact them again and get a statement in writing (or, perhaps let your truck accident lawyer handle that).

Ensure a Police Report

Police reports are often available within a few days of the incident.  You will have to request a copy, and you will have to head down to the police station to pick it up.  They’re in the business of serving and protecting, not mailing out reports.

Get that police report to your favorite lawyer based in Richardson, Texas right away so it can be double checked for accuracy.

Talk with a Truck Accident Attorney in Texas

And of course, the most crucial aspect of ensuring that you’re not raked over the coals after an accident, is talking with a truck accident attorney in Texas.  Perhaps you will want to talk to the one who is providing you with this how-to guide following the truck wreck.

An attorney is going to help you in ways that would be incredibly difficult to handle on your own.  We have seen a lot of truck accident claims over the years.  We know the evidence to look for, the signs of fault, and we know how to deal with those insurance companies that are relentless in their quest to pay you less than you deserve.

All you have to do is fill out the contact form on our site, or give us a call at 214-414-2808 and we’ll get started on your free consultation.

The Top 5 Types of Texas Truck Accidents

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Texas has a lot of Truck Accidents; Here’s What Causes Them

Texas has a lot of people, a lot of manufacturing, and a lot of trucks on our highways.  We’ve talked about how Texas has proportionally more fatal truck accidents than the rest of the country.

But have you wondered what those Texas truck accidents consist of?  Even with more trucks on the road than other states, our infrastructure should be able to handle them.

There are still a lot of wrecks, here’s what happens in those wrecks.

Five Causes of Texas Truck Accidents

The causes of the wrecks are often due to driver error.  Of course, if you have read many of our posts on Texas truck accidents, you know it’s not always quite as straightforward as blaming the driver.

Regardless of why the accident happens, here is what happens in the wreck.

Blindspot Collision – We all have that one weird spot that’s called our blindspot.  It’s kind of behind and to the side of us.  With a big truck, that blindspot is even bigger; even with extra mirrors.  If the driver isn’t paying attention, merging lanes without checking the blindspot can lead to a collision.

Jackknife – Even after driving a lot of miles on highways around the country, I have only seen one truck that has jackknifed.  When the brakes on the cab lock up sooner, or harder, than the brakes on the trailer, it causes a jackknife accident.  The semi is virtually uncontrollable at this point and can lead to further collisions.

Truck Underride – Underride collisions are some of the most deadly Texas truck accidents.  When a smaller vehicle collides with the side of the semi, or rear ends the trailer, the smaller vehicle can go under the trailer.  We talked about truck underride collisions before, and some of the technology used to prevent them.

Rollover or Tip Over – To call it a rollover accident really wouldn’t be accurate; most big rigs aren’t going to fully roll over.  Instead, they’ll tip on their side.  It’s usually due to taking a turn too fast, or failure to navigate a high wind area properly.

Rear-End Collision – Trucks are big and heavy, they take a long time to stop.  When a driver follows too closely, they cannot stop in time if the vehicles in front of them suddenly slow.  This isn’t justification for brake checking, but when vehicles legit have to stop suddenly, it can be deadly if a driver is following too close.

Herbert Law Group Helps with Texas Truck Accidents

Accidents with passenger vehicles can be a pain to deal with.  Accidents with commercial vehicles have a whole lot more going on.  There often isn’t a straightforward answer to “who was at fault?”

If you get in a wreck with a big rig, there’s a good chance you will be severely injured.  Don’t spend your time trying to recuperate from your injuries and trying to deal with insurance and trucking companies!

Let Herbert Law Group help with your Texas truck accident.  We have dealt with hundreds of claims before, and know just what to look for.

Fill out our contact form, or give us a call at 214-414-3808, let’s get to know you, and see how we can help with your claim.

Semi Truck Accidents Caused by an Unloaded Truck

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Empty Loads can Lead to Semi Truck Accidents

We know that a fully loaded semi truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds.  That much mass exhibits quite the force in a semi truck accident.

But we must also consider the dangers of a truck that isn’t loaded.  Whether the driver is pulling an empty trailer, or running “bobtail” without a trailer at all, semi truck accidents can still happen and be just as dangerous.

Four Causes of Semi Truck Accidents when No Load is Being Hauled

The issues with an unloaded semi, isn’t that the vehicle itself is more dangerous, it’s actually that the driver has gotten too used to hauling a load.  When the truck handles differently now, it causes problems.

Weather Issues When you’re not Loaded

We’ve seen fully loaded semis whipping down the road in a rainstorm.  The rest of us have to take it slow as our tires aren’t gripping the road quite as well.  But with all that weight, the semi doesn’t have a problem maintaining traction.

But drop the load, and the truck isn’t nearly as heavy anymore.  That traction is diminished, and an inexperienced driver may not know to slow down enough to keep from skidding out.

Of course, if there’s still a trailer attached, high winds can be a big issue as well.  Even stopped a truck can be blown over if the wind speeds pick up enough (check out this YouTube video of that very thing happening).

Stopping Issues When you’re not Loaded

Stopping seems to be an issue when a big heavy truck is rolling along.  But drop that weight, and stopping can be an issue too.

If you have ever stomped on the brakes, you know that your vehicle can stop pretty quickly.  Bigger vehicles, with more mass behind them, take longer to stop.  Something that a truck driver has become accustomed to, using a little heavier foot on the brake to slow that big truck down when it needs to be slowed.

Take all that weight off, and the brakes work a little better.  That heavy foot can end up causing the truck to stop faster than expected.  Vehicles following behind aren’t expecting a sudden stop, and rear end collisions occur.

Steering Issues When you’re not Loaded

Consider the weight distribution of a semi truck.  When you look at one without a trailer, there’s not much on the rear wheels, but a big heavy engine over the front.

Toss a trailer on there, and a lot of the weight is sitting on the back wheels.

An inexperienced driver gets used to the weight more evenly distributed, on the front from the engine and the back from the trailer.

Without that load, however, the rear wheels aren’t as heavy, and when the driver isn’t paying attention, that can cause a semi truck accident as the big rig skids during a turn.

Schedule Issues When you’re not Loaded

Our final scenario isn’t necessarily that the truck is handling differently, but rather that the driver is driving differently.

When a truck runs empty, it’s not making any money.  Ideally a driver would drop a load, and pick up a new one at the same location (or at least close by).  When the pickup point is far away from the drop point, though, it’s a matter of getting there as quickly as possible.

Semi truck accidents happen when drivers are trying to get to the next spot too quickly.  Speed leads to mistakes, and mistakes lead to injury or death.

Herbert Law Group Understand Semi Truck Accidents

Whether you’re the victim of a fully loaded semi truck, or one that is running empty, you deserve compensation that will remove the financial stress from your life.

There’s a lot that goes into a semi truck accident.  A lot that you may not even consider if you’re going up against an insurance company by yourself.

Get rid of that stress.  Give us a call at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site to begin your free initial conversation.  Let’s see how Herbert Law Group can help you.

What if I’m in a Wreck with a Self Driving Truck?

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Self Driving Trucks are Hitting the Road… What if they Hit You?

Five years ago Uber launched a test version of a self driving truck.  The trip was short, but successful.

Today, there are a half dozen or so companies that are trying to tap into the driverless truck market.  In an industry where the driver shortage is expected to crest 160,000 in a few years, it’s a big push to get this technology perfected.

There aren’t many self driving trucks on the road today.  But they are out there.  And you need to know your rights if you happen to get hit and injured by one of these things.

How Safe are Self Driving Trucks?

Automated vehicles have come a long way in just a few years.  But there is still much work that needs to be done before safety can be relied on completely.

The NHTSA defines automation in stages from Level 0 to Level 5, with 0 being no automation and 5 being no driver.  Currently automated trucks are sitting around a Level 3.  That is, in most situations they can drive themselves (stretches of highway, even with turns and varying driving conditions).  However, there are companies that are working on Level 4 trucks that are able to drive in all situations with a human merely paying attention if things get wild.

But how safe are these trucks?  Can we drive comfortably next to them on the highway?

94% of auto accidents are caused by human error.  So, in a world of all automated vehicles, our highways would actually be a lot safer than they are now.  But there are a few problems with fully automated trucks.

First, vehicles are yet to be able to communicate with each other.  Someday, when every vehicle is hooked up with the capability to broadcast signals, and a truck can be alerted of a stopped vehicle miles ahead.  For now, they can “see” the stoppage, but it could be too late before that time.

Second, trucks can’t stop quickly for obstacles in the road.  That includes animals and people.  If you’re crossing the road, legally at a cross walk, the truck may not sense you in time to stop before hitting you.

While self driving trucks will solve a lot of problems, at the moment they need to get better safety marks before people can fully trust them.

Who is Liable in a Self Driving Truck Wreck?

So, what happens if you’re in a wreck with an automated truck?  Normally the driver is the first person to be looked at for liability.  Without a driver, you can’t hold a machine liable.

Instead, we have to look at a variety of other factors.

  • It might be the trucking company that is liable by putting a truck on the road that wasn’t ready.
  • It might be the truck manufacturer who didn’t install the right safety equipment.
  • It might be the computer engineer that developed the AI in that self driving truck.

Or it might be someone else or another company entirely.  Truck wrecks are complicated, and without a good semi truck accident lawyer, it’s hard to navigate the legal mess that could result after a wreck.

Herbert Law Group is Your Truck Wreck Lawyer

Here at Herbert Law Group, we have helped a lot of people after their accidents.  Any time you get in a wreck, and there is injury or death involved, you will need the help of a personal injury lawyer on your side.

We help you heal by taking away the stress of dealing with insurance companies.

Need to make your life after an accident a little more stress free?  Give us a call at 214-414-3808, or fill out the contact form on our site.