Trucking accidents can have a number of causes and can result in life-changing injuries or even death. Equipment failure and defects are a leading cause of many truck accidents, but these accidents can frequently be prevented by appropriate maintenance, inspections, and testing. When trucks are not properly maintained, they can break down, creating dangerous situations.
Common causes of equipment failure include:
Companies neglecting correct maintenance schedules.
Dispatching trucks with known mechanical problems.
Loads that are overloaded or improperly loaded.
Drivers failing to stop as needed, perform regular inspections, or overriding brakes.
Drivers failing to use hazard lights when necessary
Common Truck Defects
Certain truck parts are prone to failure. Often, these parts are subject to wear and tear, and will break if they are not appropriately maintained. These components include:
Brakes: A truck’s brakes are under constant wear. If they are not properly adjusted or maintained, they can fail. Because of the heavy weight truck brakes bear, it is critical that they are properly maintained. Brake failures can result in rear-end accidents and runaway trucks.
Tires: The tires of a truck also handle incredible amounts of weight. They can go flat, blow out, or suffer tread separation, which can cause the driver to lose control of the truck. Tires should be changed routinely with high-quality, new tires.
Lights: Burned out or broken lights can pose a risk. Truck lights help drivers navigate and increase the visibility of the truck and trailer at night. If the truck driver is unable to see in the darkness or other drivers don’t see the truck, accidents can result.
Mirrors: Mirrors are crucial for truck drivers to safely navigate through traffic. Without mirrors, the driver has an extremely limited view, and can easily run other cars off the road or side swipe them.
Who Is Liable For The Trucking Accident?
If truck defects causes an accident, it is important to determine which party is liable for the injuries you, or your loved one sustained. There are many parties involved in trucking accidents, and assigning responsibility to the right party can be challenging. Our attorneys can help you investigate the details of your accident and uncover who is at fault.
Parties involved in your accident may be:
The truck driver: If the driver failed to report defects, failed to inspect the truck, didn’t adjust the brakes properly, or drove carelessly, they may be responsible for your accident.
The trucking company: The company must maintain trucks, train drivers in their operation, and ensure safe loads. If they do not, they may be held accountable for accidents that cause serious injury to others.
The manufacturer: The manufacturer(s) of the truck and all its parts have a duty to ensure that every component is properly designed, carefully manufactured, and that adequate instructions for use and precautions are clearly marked.
There are several ways a manufacturer can contribute to equipment failure and accidents. Manufacturers can be held responsible in a number of ways.
One common type of manufacturing defect involves the decision to utilize the cheapest component parts on the market. There are countless examples of when this money-saving endeavor results in a threat to the overall safety of a commercial truck.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
At The Carlson Law Firm, we’ve been protecting the rights of injured victims and their loved ones for over 40 years. For aggressive representation after sustaining injuries in a truck accident, call our truck accident lawyers at the The Carlson Law Firm. We have the skills and ability to help you fight for a settlement that makes a difference to your case.
Contact The Carlson Law Firm today. We care, we can help.
When a truck driver is working for a trucking company and causes a collision, the trucking company which employs the trucker may be liable for the damage and injuries caused. If a trucking company has hired an incompetent or unqualified driver, an injured victim of a truck accident may have a negligent hiring claim against the trucking company.
Laws That Govern The Hiring Process
Federal law reigns supreme in all aspects of trucking law, and it requires that trucking companies only hire drivers who are safety-conscious. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require employers to maintain strict standards for their drivers. Drivers must pass medical evaluations, background checks, and regulatory procedures that have to be renewed every couple of years. Therefore, even if an employee passes all required procedures to become a commercial truck driver but then years later the employer fails to require the driver to maintain and pass the federally required tests, this would be a basis for a negligent retention action against the negligent employer. The law generally expects commercial trucking employers to take the following reasonable steps in hiring drivers:
Making sure they have the proper commercial driving license
Providing proper certifications and training information
Checking the driving history and for any past accidents
Screening for medical history, drug use, or past criminal behavior
How Negligent Hiring Processes Result In Trucking Accidents
Negligent hiring means the company hired someone to drive a commercial truck when the company knew or should have known the driver was not qualified. In many cases, trucking companies lower their standards due to a need of drivers to haul freight and meet deadlines. This can lead to dangerous drivers operating the largest vehicles on our roads today.
The following are common signs that a truck driver may be an unqualified hire:
He or she does not have the proper commercial driver’s license (CDL) or endorsement for a specific type of vehicle
He or she has a history of causing accidents and/or injuries
He or she has a history of driving under the influence (DUI) by alcohol or drugs
He or she has traffic violations on their driving record
In many cases, the trucking company must also perform drug and alcohol testing before a driver is hired, after the driver has been in an accident involving an injury or fatality, or when the company suspects the driver has been using drugs or alcohol while on duty. Additionally, the company must randomly test 10% of its drivers for alcohol and 50% of its drivers for drugs each year. Beyond that, regulations require trucking companies to annually review each trucker’s driving record, which includes checking for traffic law violations from the previous 12 months and any “disqualifying” offenses, such as a conviction of drunk driving.
All trucking companies have the duty to exercise reasonable care in hiring drivers due to the devastating consequences of not following guidelines set forth by the state and government. Negligent hiring and retention is based on the standard that the employer directing activity through an employee is subject to liability for the injury resulting from careless conduct. Negligent retention occurs when the driver has been working for a while and the trucking company has reason to know, or should have known, that the driver is incompetent or unsafe and still allows the employee to drive. Punitive damages may be available where the driver’s incompetence is deliberate and/or the employer’s knowledge of such hazardous driving has been known long enough to constitute for mindful disregard.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
At The Carlson Law Firm, we have over 40 years of experience protecting the rights of injured victims and their loved ones. We have a long track record of success in trucking accident cases and other negligent accident cases. We get to the bottom of the situation and build a strong and convincing case for presentation to a jury. There is no excuse for negligent hiring of truck drivers. Contact The Carlson Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation, we care, we can help.
Bus rides to and from school just got a little safer in Texas. On September 1st, Senate Bill 693 went into effect, requiring all newly purchased school buses to be outfitted with three-point seat belts.
The three-point seat belt law replaces a 2007 law that offered money to districts that opted to install seat belts in their school buses. Only a small percentage of districts took advantage of the funding, leaving most Texas school buses belt-less.
The new law and its 2007 predecessor were both prompted in part by tragic accidents. In 2015, a school bus in Houston plunged from an overpass, killing two students, Janecia Chatman and Mariya Johnson. Neither of them were wearing shoulder-to-lap seat belts. The accident occurred in the state Senate district of Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, the author of the new law.
The 2007 legislation, “Ashley and Alicia’s Law,” was named after two Beaumont high schoolers killed when a bus they were riding overturned in 2006. After the wreck, anguished family members said they believed seat belts might have prevented the teens’ deaths. A state trooper who investigated the crash agreed.
The new state law doesn’t apply to school buses purchased before 2017, or school districts who vote to opt out of the law because of budget constraints. Seat belts are estimated to add $8,000 to $10,000 per bus.
Enforcing the wearing of these seat belts will likely fall on the drivers who will notify the principal of a student’s respective school if a student is caught not wearing a seat belt.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
If your child has been injured by a school bus, claims can often be complicated to prove and pursue. Contact The Carlson Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss your case. We will go over the circumstances of the accident and explain your legal options. We have a team of attorneys, legal assistants, nurses and private investigators who are ready to assist you, and help you and your loved ones back on the road to recovery.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating an accident that seriously injured a man in Orange County.
Troopers responded to a two-vehicle crash at about 1:45 a.m. on Interstate 10 in Orange County near the Texas-Louisiana state line.
David Alvarez, 24, of Groves, was driving a 2017 Chevrolet pickup westbound on Interstate 10. For an unknown reason, he drifted onto the shoulder and rear-ended a parked 18-wheeler.
The driver of the pickup suffered serious injuries and is being treated at a local hospital.
The driver of the semi, Bobby Connell, 62, of Florida, was not injured.
The accident is currently under investigation.
How A Truck Accident Attorney At The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an 18-wheeler accident, time can be a vital aspect of seeking help and fair compensation that will cover medical bills, lost time from work and other financial and medical problems resulting. Call our truck accident lawyers for a free consultation today. We care. We can help.
Aerial footage showed patients sitting outside in wheelchairs and others being taken out of the facility on stretchers. – Photo courtesy of Fox News
Six people are dead after Hurricane Irma knocked out air conditioning at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, according to local news channels.
While the causes of their deaths were not immediately clear, officials are saying 115 people are being evacuated from Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills due to the cooling issues.
Three people were found dead at the nursing home and two others died after arriving at the hospital, officials announced during a press conference Wednesday. A sixth patient died later Wednesday morning, city officials said.
While the circumstances surrounding the deaths are unclear, Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy says temperatures have climbed to over 90 degrees in the city and that half of Hollywood is without power.
“I am going to aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place,” Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement. “If they find that this facility was not meeting the state’s high standards of care, they will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
A criminal investigation into the matter is underway.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
Nursing homes are required by law to maintain the federal standards of care that are outlined in the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act. However, this does not always happen. A high number of nursing home residents are being injured and killed because of the negligence of these facilities. When this happens, both victims and their loved ones want and deserve answers.
Step One: Gather Facts
The highly-qualified nursing home injury attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm will work together with you to gather the facts surrounding the case. We will do this by requesting medical records, interviewing family members, consulting with medical professionals and more.
Step Two: File
Our attorneys can report the nursing home abuse to the proper authorities and take the appropriate steps to ensure your rights are protected in case the abuse report is lost or altered. To initiate a lawsuit, proper paperwork must be filed in the appropriate court system. The attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm have the ability to file a case in any court system across the country.
Step Three: Discovery
Once filed, we will continue to work to strengthen your case by conducting depositions, reviewing medical expert opinions, developing evidence and interviewing facility staff in order to build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Step Four: Resolution
There are a few different paths to resolution when it comes to a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect lawsuit. Your case may end with a settlement, or it might proceed to trial. You can trust that the experienced Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect attorneys at The Carlson Law Firm will discuss your options with you and provide you with their honest opinion on what they believe the best course of action to be for you and your family. Our lawyers will advise you of the pros and cons of trying your case versus settling it before trial; however, the decision is ultimately yours.
Contact The Carlson Law Firm
At The Carlson Law Firm, we believe in signature customer service. This means that we put our clients needs ahead of our own, always. Our staff of experienced trial attorneys and case managers is available 24/7 to answer any questions you might have about filing your lawsuit.
There is no cost to you to speak with us. The Carlson Law Firm works on a contingency fee basis. We only recover our fees if you receive compensation.
During your free legal consultation, we’ll answer your questions and provide clear advice on the next steps to take. Contact us today.
More than 1 in 4 cases of possible sexual and physical abuse against nursing home patients went unreported to police, according to an alert released Monday morning by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in the Department of Health and Human Services.
The cases went unreported despite the fact that state and federal law require that serious cases of abuse in nursing homes be immediately turned over to the police.
Government investigators are conducting an ongoing review into nursing home abuse and neglect, but say they are releasing the alert now because they want immediate fixes.
These are cases of abuse severe enough to send someone to the emergency room. One example cited in the alert is a woman who was left deeply bruised after being sexually assaulted at her nursing home. Federal law says that incident should have been reported to the police within two hours. But the nursing home didn’t do that, says Curtis Roy, an assistant regional inspector general in the Department of Health and Human Services.
With some 1.4 million people living in U.S. nursing homes, quality is an ongoing concern. Despite greater awareness, these incidents still occur.
Illinois had the largest number of incidents overall, with 17. It was followed by Michigan (13), Texas (9), and California (8).
The law is clear: Nursing home personnel must immediately report incidents that involve a suspected crime, within a two-hour window if there’s serious bodily injury. Otherwise, authorities must be notified within 24 hours.
The OIG report included a list of suggestions for immediate actions that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) should take to ensure that incidents of potential abuse or neglect in nursing homes are reported, this includes implementing procedures to compare Medicare claims for emergency room treatments with claims for nursing facility services.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
By proving that the nursing home staff has subjected your family member to some form of elder abuse, you may be able to recover financial compensation for everything from medical expenses to damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress. You can claim similar damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Keep in mind that by taking legal action now, you will not only be helping to secure justice for your family member, but you also will be saving others from suffering similar abuse by holding the guilty parties responsible.
Don’t let another day pass without an experienced advocate on your side to a negligent nursing home or managed care facility to account for the harm it has caused. Contact us for a free consultation.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, out of the 411,000 reported crashes involving large commercial vehicles in 2014, there were more than 3,000 that resulted in a fatality and 82,000 injuries. Accident attorneys know how devastating truck collisions can be, and they are skilled at not only identifying who is at fault, but ensuring that their clients receive adequate compensation for their injuries.
The most important aspect of an attorney’s work is proving your case. While you may know that the truck driver was at-fault, you must prove such in court. An attorney can help by gaining access to the truck’s internal data systems, referred to as the “black box.”
What Is The Black Box?
Most semi-trucks and commercial vehicles manufactured in the United States have Electronic Control Modules (ECM), which are integrated into the engine’s components. Euphemistically referred to as a black box, the ECM is similar to that used in commercial airliners. These black boxes are designed to capture a variety of on-going data regarding the operation of the truck. They also control the engine’s performance, ensure fuel economy, regulate emissions, and protect the engine from abuse. They are used to troubleshoot mechanical issues and even monitor how the vehicle operates. They are also a critical piece of evidence following a collision. These ECMs could record data that is useful in determining what happened during the accident, as well as moments leading up to it.
Depending on the make and model of the semi-truck, the ECM could record a multitude of data. The events recorded are referred to by different names, such as hard brakes, quick stops, sudden deceleration, etc. But, the type of data recorded by the ECM may include:
Average speed of the truck
Highest speed the truck reached
If cruise control was on or off
Amount of time the semi-truck drove more than 65 miles per hour
How Black Box Data Is Obtained
Sometimes after an accident, when the initial investigation is being done, police officers are able to obtain black box data, but it’s often the case that they don’t have the tools to access this themselves. The American Trucking Association estimates that truck speed from ECM data is only reported in half of fatal crashes. If the police officers can’t or don’t obtain this information, it can be done by insurance investigators, attorneys, private investigators, or accident reconstructionists. One important thing to note is that this should be done before the truck is repaired or driven, so that no information is lost. Unfortunately, some trucking companies will try to obtain this data before anyone else can so that they have a head start in the case.
A Vital Tool For Personal Injury Attorneys
Frequently, truck drivers will falsify their logbooks to show they are in compliance with the federal driving and “on duty” limits. However, a close comparison of the data from the ECM with the trucker’s logbook will often show that the trucker should not have even been on the road at the time of the wreck causing you or loved ones injuries. Evidence extracted from a truck or automobile’s black box is almost universally admissible as evidence in court, and can often serve as a sort of unbiased witness to corroborate the testimony of a client. If operator error played a role in the accident, having data from the black box is even more critical – because it could be the sole piece of evidence that establishes your claim. If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a truck, is imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to obtain the evidence. An attorney can preserve the data from the ECM before it reaches it’s time limit and the data is erased. Also, your attorney can help preserve other evidence, such as witness statements, photographs, police reports, and more.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
If you are suffering because of an accident that involved an 18-wheeler or other commercial vehicle, don’t let another moment pass without an experienced advocate on your side to protect your rights and fight for your recovery. Contact us for a free consultation with a Texas truck accident lawyer— we serve accident victims of fatal truck accidents and their families nationwide.
No appointment is required during normal business hours, and bilingual staff members are available to assist our Spanish-speaking clients. Se habla español.
On October 4, 2014, Melvin Mason was a pedestrian jogging with a group of runners on a service road in Nolanville, Texas. Suddenly and without warning Mason was struck from behind by a distracted driver.
The force of the impact catapulted Mason 45-50 ft., in the air, causing him numerous, serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, multiple abrasions, a kidney contusion, a fractured rib and ankle.
The severity of the impact caused the 51-year-old to lose consciousness immediately at the scene. It wasn’t until days later that he awoke in the hospital.
Living in constant agony because of injuries caused by the recklessness of a distracted driver, Mason contacted The Carlson Law Firm for help.
“Melvin now has anger outbursts, loss of short-term memory, and an inability to focus,” explained Kelly. “Miraculously, he is still able to work because his memory of how to do his job is in his long-term memory. Advancement in his chosen career, however, is not going to happen.”
Mason experienced a variety of symptoms following his traumatic brain injury. According to medical records, he no longer does well with unstructured tasks, and he tends to lose focus when at home.
“Frequently, people do not recognize that they even have a brain injury – the organ that would make that assessment is what is injured in the first place. It is their family and friends that usually notice something is off. Frequently, there are personality changes,” explained Attorney Kelly.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
At The Carlson Law Firm, we provide strong legal representation on behalf of individuals who have suffered from a serious brain injury. Brain injury victims typically face life-changing repercussions and we are committed to doing everything we can to help our clients move forward as favorably as possible. As a nationally respected injury firm you can be confident that our attorneys are qualified to take on even the most complex cases.
Don’t let another day pass without an experienced and passionate advocate on your side to fight for quality care and long-term recovery. Contact our personal injury lawyers to schedule a consultation or to set up an appointment at any of our locations.
It’s a sobering statistic: Half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating from high school. Did you know that teen drivers are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash? Crash risk is particularly high during a teen’s first year of driving. Learn about strategies that help a new driver arrive at school safely, including Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) systems and Parent-Teen Driving Agreements.
In 2015, 2,333 teens in the United States ages 16–19 were killed and 221,313 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes in 2014. That means that six teens ages 16–19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries.
Who Is Most At Risk?
The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16-19-year-olds than among any other age group.
Among teen drivers, those at especially high risk for motor vehicle crashes are:
Males: In 2014, the motor vehicle death rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16 to 19 was two times that of their female counterparts.
Teens driving with teen passengers: The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. This risk increases with the number of teen passengers.
What Factors Put Teen Drivers At Risk?
Teens are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or not be able to recognize hazardous situations. Teens are also more likely than adults to make critical decision errors that lead to serious crashes.
Compared with other age groups, teens have among the lowest rates of seat belt use. In 2015, only 61% of high school students reported they always wear seat belts when riding with someone else.
How Can Teen Driver Injury And Death Be Prevented?
There are a few proven methods to helping teens become safer drivers.
Seat Belts: Of the teens who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2014, approximately 53% were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Research shows that seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half.
Stay Sober: Enforcing minimum legal drinking age laws and zero blood-alcohol tolerance laws for drivers under age 21 are recommended.
Graduated Driver Licensing Programs (GDL)
Driving is a complex skill, one that must be practiced to be learned well.The combination of minimal driving experience and risk-taking behavior, puts teenagers at a heightened risk for crashes. The need for skill-building and driving supervision for new drivers is the basis for graduated driver licensing programs, which exist in all US states. GDL provides longer practice periods, limits driving under high risk conditions for newly licensed drivers, and requires greater participation of parents in their teens’ learning-to-drive. The risk is highest when teens are in the first 12 to 24 months of licensure. The implementation of GDL programs has saved approximately 14,820 lives nationally since 1991. It is proven to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes involving teenage drivers.
Eight Danger Zones
Make sure your teenage driver is aware of the leading causes of teen crashes:
Driving with teen passengers
Not using seat belts
Consider A Safe Driving Agreement
Before a teen driver is handed the keys to the car, it’s a good idea to lay out some basic rules—and the consequences for breaking those rules. Studies found that teens who had a formal agreement with their parents on acceptable behaviors while driving were less likely to engage in risky behavior.
Click here to download a copy of The Carlson Law Firm’s Safe Driving Agreement.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
If you or your teen has been injured in an auto accident, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys are here to help. Don’t let the stresses of dealing with difficult insurances companies limit your payout. If you’ve been injured, you deserve proper compensation. Contact any one of our 13 offices today for a free consultation. We care, we can help.
Contact The Carlson Law Firm today.
*Data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
When most parents send their children off to school in the morning, they are doing so with the expectation that their children will be safe. No parent ever wants to receive a phone call from their child’s school saying their son or daughter has suffered a concussion or other head injury.
Reality is, children do face a serious risk of concussion every day while they are playing on the playground, participating in gym class or organized sports, or doing other day-to-day school activities. Concussions can have a dramatic impact on a student’s learning abilities, above and beyond the potential physical and emotional repercussions.
Teachers, coaches and school staff can minimize children’s risk of concussion and other injuries by recognizing and addressing concussion risks, identifying signs and symptoms of head injuries, and responding accordingly.
On The Playground
Your child may face the risk of head injury if he or she falls off the playground equipment, slips or trips and falls while running across the blacktop, or falls from a tree or other significant height. Roughhousing, fights and aggressive play can also result in your child sustaining serious head trauma.
Studies have reported that the occurrence of concussions in school-age athletes is higher than in older athletes. The unique, increased susceptibility of the high school student athlete can be related to a number of factors which include: the immaturity of the adolescents’ central nervous system, the lack of recognition that a concussion had occurred, and the reliance upon subjectivity associated with self-reporting of symptoms.
How Can A Concussion Affect My Child At School?
All injured body parts take time to heal, even brains. After a concussion, children will need physical and mental rest. Doing schoolwork and being in a classroom can make the symptoms of a concussion worse. The brain, like any other part of the body, takes time to heal
Having a concussion can affect students at school in a number of ways:
They might be more tired than usual.
They may feel irritable, sad, or emotional.
They might have trouble concentrating, thinking, or making decisions.
They could have dizzy spells or headaches.
They might have difficulty with your coordination and balance.
They may have trouble learning new concepts or remembering what you’ve learned.
Many teens who get concussions usually recover within 1-2 weeks, but others may take longer.
What Do I Need To Know About My Student Returning To School After A Concussion?
Supporting a student recovering from a concussion requires a collaborative approach among school professionals, health care providers, and parents, as they may need accommodations during recovery.
Services and accommodations for students may include speech-language therapy, environmental adaptations, curriculum modifications, and behavioral strategies. Students may need to limit activities while they are recovering from a concussion. Exercising or activities that involve a lot of concentration, such as studying, working on the computer, or playing video games, may cause concussion symptoms (such as headache or tiredness) to reappear or get worse.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
Oftentimes, it is due to someone else’s negligence that children suffer from traumatic brain injuries. Taking legal action against the person or company responsible for your child’s TBI will not change what has happened and cannot cure your or your loved one’s condition. It may however bring relief to some of the struggles you are facing. Securing compensation can help lessen some of the financial burden.
Contact us today to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced and knowledgeable Texas brain injury attorneys to learn more about your legal options. Our consultations are free and we only receive a fee for our services if we secure damages on your behalf.
A Carlson team member is available to speak with you 24/7. We care, we can help.