Texas Accident and Injury FAQs
When you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an accident, it can be difficult to know where to turn for reliable and timely information. It’s natural to have many questions, and the legal team at Parker Law Firm is here to provide the answers and facts you are looking for. Browse our FAQs and learn about common accidents, compensation, and how an attorney can help. If you don’t see your question, don’t hesitate to reach out to our attorneys. Take a moment and fill out our online contact form to hear back from a knowledgeable and experienced legal team.
- Page 1
How can a truck’s black box data be used to help my truck accident case?
You’ve probably heard of black boxes related to airline crashes. This vital piece of equipment can tell investigators a great deal about what might have caused a crash when no other evidence exists. People are often surprised to learn that many commercial semi-trucks also have black boxes. Known as an Event Data Recorder (EDR), this device records important information about the truck driver’s actions. If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a crash with a semi-truck, the EDR could provide the evidence needed to show fault and support your claim for compensation.
Information Provided by a Black Box
According to crash statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), large trucks were involved in 433,000 police-reported crashes in 2015, leaving 116,000 people injured and 4,067 people dead. If you are affected by a semi-truck crash and did nothing to cause the crash, you will need strong evidence to prove that the truck driver was at fault. One possible source of evidence is the truck’s EDR. If a semi-truck has an EDR, it will record the following information:
- Acceleration rate
- Length of time driving
- Idle time
- Fuel consumption
- If a seatbelt was engaged
- If the airbag deployed
Data from the EDR could show if the truck driver was speeding, if he didn’t apply the brakes—which can be an indication of distracted driving—and whether he took the required rest breaks. Any of these violations could prove his liability and support your claim for compensation.
You Need an Attorney to Secure This Important Evidence
The trucking company and its insurance company are not going to hand over this evidence easily. When you work with Parker Law Firm, you can be sure that we will fight to get the proof necessary to present the strongest claim possible. And our fee will never exceed the recovery you receive, so you will not pay us out of your own pocket. Contact us as soon as possible after a crash with a commercial truck, so we can do what is necessary to protect this valuable evidence.
How Trucking Companies Dodge Trucking Laws
The oil boom in the Permian Basin of West Texas is attracting its share of attention in the headlines these days. But not all of the attention is good, especially when it involves an increasing number of trucking accidents that lead to serious injuries and fatalities.
One of the major reasons for the increase in accidents is the larger number of 18-wheelers on the roads traveling to and from West Texas. Another reason is that trucking companies and their drivers are disregarding safety regulations more and more in an attempt to make more money in an industry that has become highly competitive.
One of the most important Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations trucking companies and their drivers must abide by is the “restart” provision, which is designed to keep drivers from driving more than 70 hours per week. If the driver does hit 70 hours of drive time, they are obligated by law to rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least 2 nights of rest from 1-5 AM, when their bodies need to rest and re-focus, according to FMCSA’s Hours of Service Rules. Unfortunately, this law is largely ignored and we are left with tired and inattentive drivers operating trucks that greatly outweigh the average commuter vehicle.
Why are Trucking Companies Disregarding Regulations?
This is a highly competitive industry, especially in Texas. Truck drivers are under an immense amount of pressure to deliver their cargo and to deliver it fast.
Trucking companies usually pay their drivers by the mile, but not for the time they spend inspecting their trucks, resting, or taking any down time for repairs and maintenance. To maximize drive time, driving hours and service regulations are often overlooked and ignored. This results in drowsy, dangerous drivers, and trucks that are not properly maintained. These serious safety breaches can lead to accidents that cause serious injury or death and contribute to the increasing danger on the roadways.
A Continuous, Dangerous Cycle
The business model that dishonest trucking companies follow allows them to cut delivery times, regardless of safety. Companies who do follow the rules lose business because they are at a large disadvantage.
Cheaper, untrained drivers are then hired over well-trained drivers who do follow regulations, and our safety is the sacrifice. Many of these deceitful drivers go from state to state, hiding their accident records, failed drug tests or drunk driving incidents and get rehired.
Drivers Will Explain the Pressure
If you converse with any of the truck drivers, especially those who have lost their jobs, they will tell you about the pressure put on them by trucking companies. Many companies, they claim, completely disregard the safety regulations and procedures.
Often times it is the trucking company, not the driver, who deserves the blame. These drivers are placed in difficult positions and sometimes threatened with their job if they don’t comply with dangerous behaviors that place lives at risk.
Do You Have a Trucking Accident Case?
These types of companies are clearly “aiding, abetting and encouraging” their drivers to disregard safety regulations, and need to be held liable for this practice. At Parker Law Firm, we believe that these companies need to be held accountable for placing of our lives at risk to make a dollar. We are experienced in trucking accidents and we know how to examine all of the evidence to determine if and when safety regulations were disregarded.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured or killed in an accident involving an 18-wheeler and the accident was not your fault, you may be due compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Not only will you receive compensation that you deserve, you will aid in holding these underhanded companies responsible for the danger they place drivers in every day. Call us today for a Complimentary Strategy Session.