Our Law Firm Can Help Following Accidents With Fallen 18-Wheeler Truck Cargo
As if the thought of an encounter or collision with a massive tractor-trailer a.k.a. “18-wheeler” coming at you on the highway isn’t enough to put fear in the hearts of the bravest of the brave, here is one other kind of catastrophic collision to add to that list of things that might ruin your day.
In addition to having to share the road with the SUVs, and other types of passenger vehicles, commercial buses, and motor homes consider those long flatbed trucks. You have seen them with the huge tarps covering their cargo but somehow a section of flap usually always works its way loose and you can almost always get a glimpse of what is being transported underneath. Sometimes there are big long sections of underground piping, other times laying on the bed of a truck is long twisted or plaited aluminum wiring almost the entire length of the trailer itself. Many times when one of those monster flatbeds pass, you cannot help but notice that all that is keeping that shipment intact on the flatbed are those big wide metal bands that are tightly bound around the entire shipment. You just hope and pray that every band tightly ratcheted down will hold—at least until you pass. Falling cargo truck accidents almost always end with a fatality. With a sudden shift of the load when the truck driver attempts to avoid a collision by jerking the wheel, it could either be the end of a beautiful day or the beginning of a bad day. Just imagine the stress on those ratcheted metal tie-downs becoming too much and resulting in all those bands breaking loose. Further, imagine whatever was under that tarp and ratcheted down isn’t under there anymore and to make bad matters worse, that heavy cargo is headed your way with wild abandonment.
Texas Department of Transportation road accident statistics shows that thousands of motorists have received injuries that ranged from life-threatening to fatal resulting from falling cargo that has come loose from tractor-trailer flatbeds as the load was being transported. If you or someone you know has been injured or if there has been a fatality resulting from falling cargo on the interstate or highway, you need to call our falling cargo truck accident attorneys. Our attorneys will help seek justice for you or your loved ones and make certain you receive a fair financial recovery. Our team of skillful investigators will leave no stone unturned as they go about their business of uncovering the facts and to bring those responsible to justice.
The Complexity and Multiplicity of It All
To determine who is at fault in a falling cargo accident, you really need to retain the services of an experienced attorney who is well-versed in the area of law. Other than the obvious—the truck driver—the defendants could be many and the complexities of the accident could be mind-boggling to even an inexperienced attorney.
You might say the trucker is automatically the first one on the line of (the) defense to assume responsibility for the accident and rightly so. With all the unrealistic miles between pickups and delivery points and the defined scheduled time frame to go from Point A to Point B, the driver has to do, his culpability is a no-brainer. Even though a trucker works for a designated company of his or her choosing, while working over the road, these professional drivers are governed by the Department of Transportation’s rules and regulations (DOT). DOT’s guidelines mandate that after a single driver has been at the wheel driving for a specified length of time, he or she must stop for a rest period including sleep time. DOT guidelines also mandate the length of time a tractor and trailer can be on the road before it must be idled for a specified time. The state highway patrols do the best they can to monitor the American highways and to keep truckers and the public safe. When a highway patrolman is covering his beat and he is alerted that a trucker is traveling beyond the posted speed limit, he is automatically suspicious that additional laws have been broken. The speed could indicate the trucker has two logbooks and could have looked at the bogus one and thought he had more time than he actually did and now he is behind schedule and trying to make up for some unrealistic scheduling on the part of his or her Dispatcher. The speed could also indicate the trucker could have a slight “buzz” on from some earlier alcohol consumption that has not worn off yet and the trucker may be oblivious to the posted speed much less the speed at which he or she is traveling. The speed at which the trucker is traveling could also be from pill-popping an “upper” to combat the drowsiness and sleep deprivation of unrealistic Dispatcher scheduling. Yes, the highway patrolman has a lot to consider when he pulls a trucker over. When a trucker is questioned and his logbook is reviewed and sometimes police canines are called to the scene, it might appear to the trucker to be a form of harassment. The fact is the state’s highway patrolmen and women do this type of preventive work in order to save lives. More information here @ https://www.carabinshaw.com/odessa-truck-accidents.html
In spite of the strict DOT regulations and guidelines, there are those rogue truckers that try to circumvent the system by illegally recording on two logbooks rather than the one designated. One is the legal logbook that, upon request, should be surrendered to the highway patrolman. However, if the trucker is running illegally and has not gotten his or her DOT mandatory rest and sleep time and the tractor-trailer is illegally “in service” and back on the road before it should be, then, upon request from the highway patrolman, the illegal logbook is submitted. Highway patrolmen are trained and they know what to look for when reviewing a driver’s logbook to aid them in determining the illegal log. When it is determined the driver is working out of two logbooks, he or she can be fined and/or jailed and ordered to follow the patrol car back to a designated site, turn the motor off, and not move the tractor-trailer until told to do so. Of course, that load that was behind schedule is now really late and probably will not make that drop shipment on time. Unless the trucking company gets another driver to the site quickly to retrieve the tractor-trailer and get it to where it needs to be, that shipment could sit there impounded for a few days.
Also in assessing blame, an experienced attorney’s team of skilled investigators would have experts examine the tie-down straps to see if they malfunctioned. If it is determined the straps were at fault, then the manufacturer of those faulty straps has to share in the blame and the blame game goes on and on.
Texas Law clearly states that the company that employs a driver is liable for that employee’s actions and inaction. The Dispatcher with his or her unrealistic scheduling and the forklift operator who loaded the flatbed could also share in the responsibility for the accident. Our falling cargo truck accident attorneys are quite familiar with this area of law and he has successfully prosecuted many defendants. Our skillfully trained team of investigators knows how to uncover the facts and document a crash scene. Call our Law Offices today. The call is free and the initial legal consultation is also.
Hesitate To Get Legal Representation and You Lose All the Way Around
For the injured accident victim who is seriously considering not retaining legal counsel, a case or claim could literally be lost before it even goes to court. There are so many ifs, ands, and buts that an expert attorney well-versed in this specific area of law would automatically know what to do, what to say, what to ask for and about, what to look for, what to request, etc., that a mere novice who is bent on saving money by not retaining an experienced legal representative would not know to do. Questions and gathering information such as:
The origin of the cargo
Interviewing the truck driver
Obtaining the truck driver’s driving record
Obtaining a copy of the insurance policy of the employer’s insurance carrier
If the employer is self-insured, get an expert to check the policy for loopholes
WHAM! You Got Hit But Who Threw the Ball? What To Do?
Imagine that you are traveling a long stretch of the wide-open plains of a section of the highway. For a short while, there are no other vehicles in sight and it is just you and that big ole blue sky that seems to go on and on for days. WHAM! Your vehicle just hit something or something just hit your vehicle and all of a sudden this heavy cloud of thick white power is all over the windshield and suddenly you can’t see a thing. Panicky, you quickly brake, and at the same time you reach to start the windshield wipers and push the button for the wiper fluid all the same time. The wiper blades give you no relief, your windshield is a powdery streaky mess and the wiper fluid only made it worse. You literally can’t see anything beyond the inside of the windshield and then WHAM! Before you just thought you hit something or something had just hit your vehicle but suddenly your vehicle leaves the road and your vehicle is going roller-coaster style down rough terrain and then just as suddenly it slams into what you later learn was a concrete retainer wall in pastureland.
You awaken in some hospital’s emergency room in the most god-awful excruciating pain imaginable to be told to “don’t move, you have a spinal injury” and both your legs are broken in three or four places. What to do? A highway patrolman is there to give you some insight on your accident the news is bad but it could certainly have been much worse. You’re told that some long-haul truck driver hauling 50-pound bags of cement on a flatbed truck lost part of his load and just kept on trucking. Unfortunately, you just happened along before the spillage was discovered and you had a brief encounter with several of those cement bags. You’re also told your vehicle is “totaled” and the patrolman tells you that even though you probably could not see past the inside of the windshield, had you steered to the other side of the highway you would have landed on the underpass below and probably would not be around to be told how lucky you are. What to do?
To a novice who is trying to locate that one particular trucker out of hundreds and hundreds who left part of his flatbed load all over the highway is much like searching for that proverbial needle in the haystack. But for falling cargo truck accident attorneys in Texas, you select the best when you choose to call our Law Offices. Our attorneys are successful and winning litigators who know how to get the job done. Their skilled investigators are experts at uncovering paper trails and finding those responsible parties. Call them from your hospital bed or from the emergency room, but whatever you do call them before valuable evidence is washed away by rain or swept away by DOT clean-up crews. Both the telephone call and the initial legal consultation are free. As you voice your concerns to them, these litigants will give you the very best legal advice to help you make an informed decision.
Pay the Premiums and Then Fight For a Fair Adjustment Claim
Dealing with trucking companies’ insurance carriers certainly won’t be the most pleasant of experiences you will cherish. In fact, if you have a list of things you are forced to endure but, hopefully, you only have to do it once in your life, you might want to consider your interaction with the trucking company’s insurance carrier at the top of that list. Whether the insurance agent is assessing storm damage to your homes’ roof or whether the agent represents a trucking company that covers large and small trucking companies, insurance carriers are not pleasant to have to deal with. The truth is you pay your monthly or semi-annual premiums for coverage year in and year out and all is well. You might get a seasonal greeting card from the agent—maybe, maybe not and you might even imagine that you are special should you receive an ink pen from your insurance carrier. The truth is you are nobody special and the cards and the pens are marketing ploys bought at bulk rate prices that probably would shock you to know how little they cost. The insurance company just wants those premiums you pay for homeowners’ coverage to keep coming in. So it is with trucking company insurance carriers too. Trucking companies are mandated by law to carry a substantial premium considering the catastrophic damage to humans and to property that tractor-trailers are capable of doing. Trucking companies pay millions and millions of dollars for insurance coverage and in both instances—the homeowner who needs a roof replaced and an injured motorist who wants financial recovery—insurance carriers come off as uncaring, unfeeling, unsympathetic, greedy, and just basically not very nice. Texas Law does not state that the trucking company’s insurance carrier has to be outsourced; consequently, many trucking companies are carriers of their own insurance coverage. Dealing with a trucking company who is also their own insurance carrier is a headache waiting to happen. Relative to the insurance claim just submitted, the trucker’s designated Point of Contact (POC) usually works on commission in the trucking company. The more claims paid out by this POC in claim adjustments, the less the POC receives in commissions. So the bottom line is this POC is about padding his or her pockets and denying your claim.
Their main reason insurance companies are in business is to increase their own profit base or their profit margin and to pay out a few dollars in claim adjustments as they have to. To put your mind at rest and to know that your legal concerns are being addressed and that self-insured trucking companies present no challenge, you need to call our attorneys. We have over twenty (20) years of courtroom success and are also shrewd out-of-court negotiators. Waste no time in calling our Law Offices today and you won’t be sorry tomorrow. The call is free and so is the initial legal consultation. Our attorneys—they’ve got it going on.