email:   pw:
Membership is FREE
Post Reviews, Receive Notice Of Specials
Sign Up Here

Truck Accident Lawyers Information

Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP represents clients in Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas & Kentucky. If you were injured in a truck accident in any of these states, fill out the Free Case Review form on this page and an knowledgeable attorney will respond to your questions as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident it is imperative that you hire truck accident lawyers who are knowledgeable in the state laws and truck regulations where the accident occurred. It is essential if you want to obtain a successful verdict. You can be sure that the trucking company will have their own Accident Response Teams that will be dispatched immediately to orchestrate a defense against your truck accident injury claims. The truck accident lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. will level the playing field by aggressively pursuing the maximum compensation for you and your family. Our truck accident attorneys focus on all types of trucking accidents including 18-wheeler and semis. We will provide the best possible advocacy for every truck accident victim we represent. With almost 40 years of combined experience, and work with the trucking accident victims, we have successfully prosecuted trucking lawsuit cases across the US.

 

Size and Weight Matters

Because of a trucks size and weight to a car’s size and weight when you are involved in a crash that involves a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle, the results can be devastating. In addition, filing a lawsuit for a truck accident is more complex than car crash cases because compliance with truck safety regulations and industry standards is an important part of handling semi-truck crash cases.

 

Don't Put Off Your Defense 

If you are unable, have another family member contact our law firm of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled and knowledgeable truck accident attorneys today.  You need to hire a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to make sure that evidence is preserved and is not destroyed. Our truck accident lawyers utilize specialists such as an accident reconstructionist who will go to the scene to preserve and document all the evidence.


The Sooner Evidence is Collected, Preserved, and Examined, the Better

Physical evidence at the accident scene such as skid marks, yaw marks and scuffs begin to disappear within hours after a truck accident once the police barriers are removed. Weather, and cars and trucks passing along the same stretch of the road will erode evidence. Although there are certain documents relevant to a truck accident case that are mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) to be kept for a specific time period, once that time period has expired the trucking company can dispose of them. The sooner you have a truck accident attorney, the sooner he or she will start to collect, preserve, and examine evidence related to your semi-truck crash. Since any individual such as the truck driver, the trucking company, the owner of the trailer, or even the manufacturer of a defective product such as the truck’s tires or brakes, etc. can be held liable for damages, the more evidence your truck accident injury lawyer can access, the better.

 

Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P: The Law Firm That Will Fight For You

Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P will fight to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, as well as for emotional, or financial losses. Additional compensation can be litigated for property damage, lost income, diminished earning capacity, and pain and suffering.

The attorneys at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P are:

Contact For Free Consultation

To contact one of our truck accident attorneys for a free consultation fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page.

Other Helpful Sites Related to Truck Accidents

- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an nonprofit, independent,  research and communications organization whose goal is to  reduce highway crash deaths, injuries, and property damage losses
www.iihs.org/

- The Truck Safety Coalition is dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes. They also provide support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims, and educate the public, policy-makers and media about truck safety issues.
http://trucksafety.org

- Compliance Safety Accountability
The Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) new approach to compliance enforcement and safety measurement. The FMCSA’s goal in launching this program for motor carriers and commercial vehicle drivers is to achieve a reduction in large truck and bus crashes while maximizing the resources of FMCSA and its state partners.
www.omnitracs.com

 



 

Common Causes For Truck Accidents

A variety of factors can cause a truck accident, but the most common are:

 

 

Unique Dangers Posed By Large Trucks

As a large and potentially dangerous presence on roads and highways of the US that are occupied by smaller passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles such as eighteen-wheelers and other large freight carriers present dangers that are unique and sometimes deadly. When involved in a crash, large commercial trucks typically cause much greater damage and harm than do accidents between two cars. Not only are commercial trucks are many times the size and weight of most other vehicles on the road, but also seemingly small driving errors that often occur without consequence with smaller passenger vehicles, are many times magnified when a fully loaded eighteen-wheeler is involved resulting in catastrophic consequences.

 

Our Lawyers Bring Experience & In-depth Knowledge

At Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., our semi truck accident attorneys bring experience and an in depth knowledge of the federal laws that govern the US trucking industry to every one of our truck accident clients’ cases. When you are the victim of a trucking accident, the questions of who is responsible and what actually caused the accident are often much more complicated than in a simple traffic accident. If you are injured in a truck accident, you need a thorough defense effort from an experienced truck accident lawyer who can properly represent you and maximize your compensation.

 

Factors That May Cause Truck Accidents

Some accidents between a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck may be caused in part by an unsafe action of the car driver due to his / her ignorance of a large commercial truck's performance capabilities, including it’s limits associated with acceleration, braking, and visibility.

However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has found that the most common cause of trucking accidents is due to truck driver error rather than other factors, such as weather, road conditions, and the vehicle’s performance. Driver error can include such factors as the use of prescription and / or over-the-counter drugs to help with fatigue, inattention and distractions, speeding due to unrealistic delivery deadlines, and unfamiliarity with the road.

But the most common causes of trucking accidents are usually due to driver fatigue and sleep deprivation. Although there are Federal laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry and simple care and attention to detail by a truck driver or a trucking company can prevent many accidents from happening, often times profit margins rule the decisions that lead to driver fatigue and sleep deprivation. With unrealistic schedules and expectations of trucking companies, some drivers simply push beyond their limits, despite the safety risks involved.

Related Articles

NHTSA
The NHTSA manages highway safety programs with the goal of preventing vehicle crashes.

 

Many Players Involved in Accidents Between Trucks & Passenger Vehicles

When a disastrous truck accident occurs there may be many more players involved than just the truck driver and the occupants of a passenger vehicle: the owner of the truck or trailer, the person or company that leased the truck or trailer from the owner, the manufacturer of the vehicle, its tires, or other parts that may have contributed to the cause or severity of the accident, and even the shipper or loader of the truck's cargo where improper loading is involved. The truck accident attorneys of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P are well aware of the potential complexities of truck accidents.

Let us help you. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-773-6770.

 



 

back to common causes

DUI Drugs Alcohol Cause Truck Accidents

Truck Drivers and Alcohol

No drivers should ever drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Federal laws prohibit commercial vehicle drivers from getting behind the wheel when they have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. In fact trucking regulations have zero tolerance for truck drivers driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.

If a commercial truck driver injures or kills a person and they have alcohol or drugs in their system, a truck accident lawyer will seek not only gross negligence on the part of the truck driver, but also punitive damages. At Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., we are dedicated to seeking the highest compensation possible for our clients who have been injured or killed in a truck accident due to the truck driver’s use of drugs or alcohol.

Drugs, whether it is alcohol, a psychoactive drug or psychotropic substance act on the brain and can alter perception, coordination, cognitive behavior, attention, and balance that is required for safe driving. Depending on their mechanisms of action, the amount consumed, the history of the user, and other factors, the effects of specific drugs or alcohol differ. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is a public health concern because it puts anyone on the road at risk whether it is the truck driver or any other vehicle or pedestrian that shares the road. A semi or large commercial truck hurtling down a road with an impaired driver behind the wheel is a terrifying accident waiting to happen.

 

Federal Regulations Regarding Drug Use and Driving

Federal regulation subpart A § 392.4which regulates the use of drugs and other narcotic substances by truck drivers and clearly states: -No truck driver shall be on duty and possess, be under the influence of, or use, any of the following drugs or other substances: -Any 21 CFR 1308.11 Schedule I substance -An amphetamine or any formulation thereof (including, but not limited, to "pep pills" and "bennies") -A narcotic drug or any derivative thereof -Any other substance, to a degree that renders the driver incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle.

And regarding the drinking of alcohol by truck drivers prior to driving a commercial truck, Subpart A § 392.5 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations states clearly: -No truck driver shall: Use alcohol ... or be under the influence of alcohol, within four hours before going on duty or operating, or having physical control of, a commercial motor vehicle -Use alcohol, be under the influence of alcohol, or have any measured alcohol concentration or detected presence of alcohol, while on duty, or operating, or in physical control of a commercial motor vehicle.

Related Articles

DUI Accident Statistics from MADD

Drunk Driving Fatalities - National Statistics from The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org)

 

Consequences of DUI Convictions

If a truck driver is convicted of operating a commercial truck under the influence of drugs and alcohol the consequences are severe. Convictions can lead to fines, jail time, increased insurance rates, as well as the loss of a commercial driver's license. So why do some commercial and long haul truck drivers choose to operate their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Drivers under pressure in order to get to their destination sooner may take shortcuts to avoid necessary rest breaks. Unfortunately the stimulants a truck driver takes to stay awake may increase their time on the road, but also will increase the chances of a serious accident. In addition there is no requirement under 391 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations to perform a criminal background check on a truck driver. It is easy for people with histories of marijuana and cocaine use, criminal drug distribution, and other problems to be hired. And although there is drug testing done by the trucking industry, drivers whose livelihood is dependent upon driving yet who have drug or alcohol related problems often find ways to cheat and pass the test.

 

Most Truck Accidents Are Catastrophic: Get Legal Help

If you were needlessly injured because of a truck operator's drug and alcohol use and abuse that impaired their day-to-day responsibilities, call the law offices of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. As our client you will find a team of professionals who aggressively pursue truck accident cases.

Most people in a passenger car do not walk away from a truck accident with a few bumps and bruises. Most truck accidents are catastrophic due not only to the size difference among the vehicles involved but also the weight differences. Unfortunately a person’s life can forever be changed in a split second because of a truck driver's bad decision or addiction. You need advocacy to maximize your compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering through settlement or litigation. The truck accident lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. can help.

 

To contact one of our truck accident attorneys for a free consultation, please fill out the form on this page.

 



 

back to common causes

Truck Driver Fatigue Can Cause Serious Truck Accidents

Truck driver fatigue and exhaustion often results in inattentive and negligent driving such as inability to stay in the correct lane, driving off the road, misjudging distances, and having slow reaction times.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident contact the law offices of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. Our investigation will determine if truck driver fatigue contributed to the accident. Once we have all the fact, we will fight for the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

 

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Restricts  Trucker's HOS  “Hours of Service"

Sleep deprived drivers are an incredible concern to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. So much so that in April of 2003 the FMCSA established new hours of service policy and regulations to restrict the HOS, the “hours of service,” for truckers. Although the trucking industry lobbyists often voice their opposition to many of the imposed guidelines, nevertheless these new laws have helped to lower the number of truck driver fatigue incidents.  However the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board still finds truck driver fatigue to be a leading cause in 20 to 40 % of truck crashes.

 

Tired, Fatigued Truck Drivers Pose a Great Risk

Like many activities that require a person to be well rested and attentive, driving a large commercial semi truck long distances is no exception.  A professional truck driver is in charge of vehicles that weigh tens of thousands of pounds more than the typical car. Tired, fatigued truck drivers behind the wheel of a big rig truck pose a great risk to anyone who is sharing the highway or secondary roads with them.  Inattentive and negligent driving caused by fatigue often results with a truck driver having slow reaction times, misjudging distances, being unable to stay in the correct lane or simply driving off the road. Simply put a fatigued truck driver poses a risk not only to himself, but to everyone else on the road.

 

What Is Fatigue?

Fatigue is caused by an inadequate sleep for a period of time, rather than no sleep at all. Due to the extended hours of operating a truck for long distances, scenarios of consistent sleep deprivation for the truck driver can occur. In addition, one of the recently recognized reasons for inadequate REM sleep is linked to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and acid reflux. Some studies have shown there is a strong connection between overweight truck drivers, sleep apnea, lack of restful sleep, and truck driver fatigue. Statistics show that the 5,200 deaths each year due to truck accidents with more than 100,000 injured in the United States is caused by truck driver fatigue. Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. observes trucking companies may be found to be at fault for not screening their drivers for such conditions as sleep apnea.

 

Truck Driver Fatigue is a Public Safety Issue

Exhaustion and fatigue in can be life threatening to not only the commercial truck driver, but also pedestrians and other drivers on the road. When truck drivers are not getting enough rest due to excessive daily and/or weekly work hours, unrealistic schedules or deadlines, trying to make up for time lost due to bad weather or traffic, wanting to get home for the weekend, among others, they dramatically compound the possibility of  big rig truck accidents which can result in serious injuries or even worse death.

No matter how many revised regulations set by the Department of Transportation there are, they must be adequately enforced.  Only by holding trucking companies and their drivers accountable, shall accidents caused by truck driver fatigue diminish. With a continuing increase in the number of large tractor-trailers on our roads, truck driver fatigue is a public safety issue.

 

Knowledgeable Truck Accident Attorneys Can Make  A Difference in a Lawsuit

Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. are knowledgeable auto / truck accident lawyers with access to sleep deprivation experts who will evaluate the circumstances surrounding the accident and testify in court on your behalf if necessary. We also have experts who will conduct an accident reconstruction, particularly when the accident is so complex that "how the it happened" is not obvious.

To see if the truck accident lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P can assist you, please contact a truck accident attorney at our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

You can also call toll free: 1-800-773-6770 and speak with a highly experienced truck accident lawyer. You will pay no attorney fees unless we  are successful winning your truck accident case.


You can also fill out the Request More Information form on this page.

 

Truck Driver Fatigue Related Articles

Why We Care About Truck Driver Fatigue
As part of our mission to improve highway safety, our Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is charged with regulating the number of hours truck drivers may operate to ensure that they are not driving while fatigued.”

Editorial: Suspension of truck driver fatigue rules means danger for N.J.'s crowded highways  - 2014
 “U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation and scores of safety advocacy groups argue that suspending the regulations means tired truckers will keep driving -- posing a danger to themselves and others on the road.”

New Hours-of-Service Safety Regulations to Reduce Truck Driver Fatigue Begin Today
“WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that new federal regulations designed to improve safety for the motoring public by reducing truck driver fatigue took full effect today, July 1, 2013.”

 



 

back to common causes

Poor Maintenance Can Cause Truck Accidents

Truck Maintenance Is the Responsibility of Vommercial Truck Drivers and Their Employers

Large rig / semi truck accidents involving passenger cars often result in serious injuries or even death for those involved. Most of the time it is the passenger car occupants that suffer the most serious injuries. Truck accidents caused by poor truck maintenance are often preventable since it is the responsibility of commercial truck drivers and their employers to ensure that their commercial trucks abide by the regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  All large rig trucks must first undergo a series of inspections designed to ensure vehicle safety before a driver starts a job. Although some truck owners and drivers view these required inspections to be excessive, they do help limit the potential for commercial trucking accidents. It is unconscionable for trucking carriers that knowingly fail to maintain their vehicles properly.

 

Why Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer Is a Smart Move

The truck accident lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., have the resources needed to fully investigate your truck accident. Our experts know what to look for to determine if poor maintenance was a factor in a truck accident that seriously injured you or someone you love. They also know how to determine who was responsible whether it is the truck fleet owners or / and the truck driver, or even the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment.

Although statistics show that the second most common cause of truck accidents is equipment failure, which can include manufacturing mistakes or design errors, it is usually the failure to properly maintain the equipment that causes the majority of this type of truck accident

 

Continual Maintenance and Inspection are Essential

Some of the most important regulations set forth by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations) are those that govern inspection, repair, and maintenance.  Commercial trucks such as the big rig semi trucks spend thousands of hours on the road towing large and heavy loads. The resulting wear-and-tear takes a toll on the vehicle, its wheels, brakes, etc. requiring continual maintenance and inspection of the truck’s parts that are essential to the safety and functionality of the vehicle.

 

U.S. agencies responsible for tracking and reporting on truck driving statistics

  • The FMCSA: regulating interstate commercial driver's license requirements and commercial driving safety.
  • The FHWA: ensuring truck companies and drivers comply with regulations regarding limits on vehicle weight and size. Goal: To preserve highway infrastructures and improve truck safety.
  • The NHTSA: managing highway safety programs. Goal: To prevent vehicle crashes.

 

Time and the Profit Margins Can Result in Tragedy

Time and the profit margin unfortunately makes some commercial truck drivers and truck companies disregard the FMCSA regulations and fail to properly maintain their trucks. This failure on their part can result in tragedy, including personal injury and wrongful death to the other drivers who share our nation's highways and secondary roads.

Truck parts that need to be properly maintained and inspected include:

  •    Hydraulic brakes
  •    Air brakes
  •    Parking brake
  •    Tires
  •    Trailer brake connections
  •    Lighting devices / reflectors
  •    Cab
  •    Trailer
  •    Steering mechanism
  •    Windshield wipers
  •    Mirrors
  •     Coupling devices

 

Recognizing Fraudulent Documents

Our truck accident injury lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P work closely with experienced accident reconstruction experts who understand maintenance issues in large rig truck accidents.  Part of their responsibilities is obtaining all federal, state, and company records that trucking companies and drivers must maintain. Our auto truck accident attorneys know the requirements and responsibilities of truck drivers and can recognize fraudulent documents that are often created after a serious truck accident. These documents include the Drivers' Daily Vehicle Condition Report, the Drivers' Vehicle Inspection Record, records from the truck’s on-board computer "black box", and other maintenance and operating records.

 

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation

To learn if the truck accident lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P can be of assistance to you, please contact a truck attorney at our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

Call toll free: 1-800-773-6770 and speak with a highly experienced truck accident lawyer. You pay no attorney fees unless we win your truck accident | truck brake failure case.

OR fill out the Request More Information form on this page.

 



 

back to common causes

Improper Reflectors Can Cause Truck Accidents

Have you ever driven past a large commercial truck, 18-wheeler, or tractor trailer parked or stalled along a highway?  Imagine passing that truck during a rain storm or at night.  In order to be seen by other motorists, commercial trucks are required by law to have properly working reflectors. Without them, a stalled truck becomes an 80,000 pound brick wall and a collision with that truck can be catastrophic.

At the law firm of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., we have more than 40 years of combined truck accident litigation experience. Our truck accident attorneys are experts at understanding the federal laws that govern the commercial truck industry, including those that involve a truck's reflectors.

 


Missing, Broken, and Dirty Reflectors Cause Deadly Truck Accidents


According to federal guidelines, commercial truck reflectors must be a certain thickness and the truck must have a certain number of reflectors on all its sides.  In addition, it is the responsibility of the driver to keep the reflectors clean.  Dirty reflectors are impossible to see and may lead to a deadly auto truck accident, especially during the following conditions:

•    At night
•    In a rain storm
•    In a snow storm
•    In tunnels
•    On winding roads

In addition to having properly positioned and clean reflectors on the big rig truck itself, truck drivers must also place flares or ground reflectors around the truck if it is stalled or otherwise disabled.  Many times truck accidents occur when disabled trucks have not entirely pulled off the roadway. This creates an especially dangerous situation, for an approaching auto that cannot see the truck. Slamming into the back of the semi truck's trailer will obviously cause traumatic personal injury and possibly death.  When a commercial truck is disabled, the driver is required to place flares or reflective triangles at certain distances and in a certain patterns behind his trailer. It doesn’t matter if it is daylight or nighttime, these flares and reflectors are critical to preventing serious truck accidents.

 

Related Information

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations: These requirements are specified in such a manner "that the public is protected against unreasonable risk of crashes occurring as a result of the design, construction, or performance of motor vehicles and is also protected against unreasonable risk of death or injury in the event crashes do occur."

 

There is no excuse for commercial trucks to be on the road without proper reflectors, whether they are a big rig, a tanker truck, an 18 wheeler, flatbed, dump truck or any other large truck. The lack of proper reflectors, conspicuity tape (made from highly reflective microprismatic sheeting with pressure sensitive adhesive that is applied to sides and rear of large trucks, trailers), lights, and other warning devices on trucks can result in accidents. The large tractor-trailer rigs are much more noticeable when conspicuity (reflective) tape is properly used. It is reckless for truck drivers to ignore federal regulations governing visibility or not to keep all reflectors and reflective tape clean of dirt. 

 

Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys Make A Difference

 

At Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., our truck accident lawyers represent clients who were injured when they collided with a parked or disabled truck that could not be seen. Our experts can determine if proper reflection would have prevented the truck accident and are prepared to help you hold the responsible party accountable.

If you know someone who has been injured or killed in a truck accident involving poor reflectors or visibility, the truck accident lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P are available to assist you.  Please contact an experienced truck attorney at our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

Call toll free: 1-800-773-6770 and speak with a highly experienced truck accident lawyer.

You pay no attorney fees unless we win your truck accident case.

OR fill out the Request More Information form on this page.

 



 

back to common causes

Defective, Hazardous, Dangerous Roads or Highways Can Cause Truck Accidents

More than half of U.S. highway fatalities are related to dangerous, hazardous, or defective road conditions. A dangerous road is often the result of a poor design, construction, or maintenance. Consequently the investigation of the defective, hazardous, or dangerous road or highway site and its history requires substantial work, expense, and expertise on the part of an accident attorney and the specialists they use to determine the cause of the accident.

 

Dangerous, Defective, or Hazardous Road accident Cases are Especially Complex

Many of our highways are maintained by either state, county, or city governments. Drivers, whether they are truck drivers or passenger car drivers, have a right to expect that the responsible government agencies will take the necessary oversight steps to protect vehicle traffic from dangerous or hazardous highways and roads. Unfortunately dangerous, defective, or hazardous road accident cases are especially complex since often times the defendant is not another individual or insurance company, but instead a city, county or state government with the legal resources and funding to defend against the lawsuit.

According to a landmark study commissioned by the Transportation Construction Coalition, titled “On a Crash Course: The Dangers and Health Costs of Deficient Roadways,” it was found that hazardous roadways cause over 22,000 fatalities per year. This figure is greater than fatalities attributed to drunk driving, speeding, and nonuse of seatbelts.  The cost to the nation for these roadway-related accidents is a staggering $217 billion per year; more than three times the amount of money government at all levels invests annually on roadway capital improvements ($59 billion according to the Federal Highway Administration). But the cost to victims and their families is even more when you take into consideration their pain and suffering.

 

“On a Crash Course: The Dangers and Health Costs of Deficient Roadways" Report Analysis

The report also analyzed crash costs on a state-by-state basis and determined the following:

•    The 10 states with the highest total cost from crashes involving deficient road conditions are (alphabetically): Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.
•    Highest road-related crash costs per million vehicle miles of travel are: Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
•    Highest road-related crash costs per mile of road are: California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and South Carolina.

According to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), the research group responsible for the “On a Crash Course” study, there are several ways transportation officials can improve road conditions to save lives and reduce injuries:
•    replacing non-forgiving poles with breakaway poles
•    using brighter and more durable pavement markings
•    adding rumble strips to shoulders
•    mounting more guardrails or safety barriers
•    installing better signs with easier-to-read legends
•    adding or widening shoulders
•    improving roadway alignment
•    replacing or widening narrow bridges
•    reducing pavement edges and abrupt drop offs
•    clearing more space adjacent to roadways.

Related Articles

The Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) joined forces to produce "On a Crash Course: The Dangers and Health Costs of Deficient Roadways.

Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC)
The TCC focuses on the federal budget and surface transportation program policy issues.

Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
New study shows more forgiving roads will save lives as well as cut costs

 

Hazardous Road Circumstances Under Which trucking Companies are Held Negligent and Liable

Despite the duty of governments and transportation officials to make our roadways safer, it should be noted that they are not the only ones responsible for safe travel. Everyone should drive safely. However trucking companies that send out huge, fully loaded trucks out onto the nations highways and roads need to be extra vigilant. They need to be held accountable for insuring their drivers are properly vetted and informed of any hazardous road conditions on the routes that they ply. There are times when trucking companies are held negligent and liable for their truck drivers even when road conditions play a factor in causing a truck accident. For instance,  information on road conditions is available 24 hours a day to trucking companies. If truck drivers prepare properly before they travel, they will have advance notice of where highway construction is taking place, what roads are allegedly dangerous, and where extra precautions should be taken. Truck drivers are licensed professionals and hold Commercial Drivers' Licenses (CDL). They are required to know their route ahead of time. Knowledgeable truck accident lawyers know how to find out the facts in a serious truck accidents and whether the truck owners or driver should be held liable when their negligence results in death or serious injury to another vehicle's occupants.

Make Sure All Responsible Parties are Held Accountable in a Truck Accident

The truck accident attorneys at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P are experts in the field of commercial and large rig truck accidents. We offer the  expertise as well as having the tools needed to reconstruct an accident and determine its cause. Our truck accident lawyers will make sure that all responsible parties are held accountable for the injuries or death suffered by you or your loved one. We will secure your rightful compensation.

To learn if the truck accident lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P can be of assistance to you, please contact a truck attorney at our law firm today. We will schedule a free initial consultation along with a case evaluation.

Call toll free: 1-800-773-6770 and speak with a highly experienced truck accident lawyer.

Since you pay no attorney fees unless we win your truck accident case,  it is to your advantage to seek our legal counsel.


OR fill out the Request More Information form on this page.

 



 

back to common causes

Aggressive Unsafe Lane Changing Cause Truck Accidents

“As he hurtled up Interstate 10 near Picacho Peak, truck driver Donald E. Mueller flipped on his turn signal and began to move left into the fast lane. Shortly after that he felt a jolt. At first Mueller thought his red tractor-trailer had blown a tire, a highway patrolman's report from the March 14 incident shows. But the jolt was a Nissan sedan getting jammed under the big rig's trailer at about 75 mph with a man, a woman and their 15-month-old boy inside. From the Arizona Daily Star

Tragic Aggressive Unsafe Lane Changing by Trucks

Tragically, this scenario plays out every day on our highways. Commercial tractor trailer drivers who are tired, distracted, aggressive, or just careless, shift lanes unsafely and improperly causing serious accidents and sometimes deadly injuries.

Truck Drivers License Requires Extensive Training and Testing.....Yet

Tractor trailer truck drivers must undergo extensive training and testing before receiving a commercial truck driver's license. They are taught how to properly and safely change lanes, and how to deal with blind spots that often occur. Commercial truckers are taught to look before changing lanes to ensure that no vehicles are traveling beside them. They must know how to use the truck cab's rear-view mirrors and convex mirrors that are designed to help the driver see other vehicles.

Despite being taught how to safely change lanes, big rig truck drivers are often careless and make mistakes that result in serious accidents, injuries, and death to passenger car drivers and their passengers.

Causes of Accidents from Truck Driver's Negligence

There are several reasons a commercial truck driver’s negligence while changing lanes can cause an accident:

  • - Driving aggressively and taking risks while trying to merge with other traffic
  • - Being careless or in a hurry and not checking for other vehicles
  • - Misjudging the distance to other vehicles
  • - Being distracted by texting or using a cell phone
  • - Falling asleep or being fatigued and drifting into the other lane
  • - Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

How Truck Accidents Lawyers Make A Difference

There is no excuse for commercial trucks to change lanes without properly looking for other vehicles. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by an aggressive, reckless truck driver who ignored his training and changed lanes unsafely, you deserve compensation. At Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., our truck accident lawyers represent clients who were injured in an accident caused by unsafe lane changing. Our expert truck attorneys have the resources and knowledge to determine the cause of the accident and are prepared to help you hold the responsible party accountable.

The truck accident attorneys at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P have more than 40 years combined experience representing victims of truck car accidents.

Please contact a truck attorney at our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Call toll free: 1-800-773-6770 and speak with a highly experienced truck accident lawyer. You pay no attorney fees unless we win your truck accident case. OR fill out the Request More Information form at the top of the page.

U.S. Agencies Responsible for Tracking & Reporting on Truck Driving Statistics

NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) manages highway safety programs with the goal of preventing vehicle crashes.  
www.nhtsa.gov

FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) ensures trucks comply with regulations like limits on vehicle size and weight with the intent of preserving highway infrastructures and improving truck safety.
www.fhwa.dot.gov

FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) regulates interstate commercial driving safety and intrastate commercial driver's license requirements.
www.fmcsa.dot.gov 

 



 

back to common causes

Auto - Truck Accidents: Unsecured Loads

Improperly Secured Freight Can Be Catastrophic

Imagine driving down the road with a big rig tractor trailer in front of you. The size and speed of the truck is intimidating enough, but when the truck is carrying freight that is not properly secured, it can be absolutely terrifying. Big trucks often carry cars, logs, boulders, furniture, and other large loads, and if these items are not correctly secured, the consequences can be deadly.

Falling debris on the highway is a common occurrence. Flying pebbles and dirt can be a nuisance, but larger debris and loose loads on trucks can cause catastrophic accidents. Items falling from a tractor trailer can cause cars to swerve and lose control, resulting in lethal accidents. Sometimes freight or cargo will fall off a truck and fly through the windshield of a passenger car, injuring or killing the driver and passengers.

 

Shifting Loads Can Be Deadly

In addition to the danger caused by unsecured loose loads on a tractor trailer or flat bed truck, shifting loads can also be deadly. As a big rig truck travels, its load shifts. If the center of gravity is off by even a small amount, the truck can tip over and land on the car next to it causing serious injury or death to the driver and passengers of the car. Imagine having a 40-ton truck fall on you and your family while driving down the highway.

Possible Unsecured Loads Accident Causes

  • Loads not properly secured
  • Debris falling out of a truck
  • Loads that are improperly balanced on the bed of the truck
  • Loads not properly covered and secured

 

Unsecured Loads Accidents - Who Is Responsible?

Who is responsible for accidents caused by unsecured loads? It’s not just the truck driver and trucking company who are responsible for unsecured loads and shifting cargo, it is also the truck loading company. It is their responsibility to make sure the truck cargo is properly secured and balanced. Loading and trucking companies must adhere to high safety standards when loading trucks, especially when a load contains hazardous or volatile material. If company fails to meet these standards, they can be held accountable for an accident that results from their negligence.

 

The Experts at Determining Who Is At Fault

At Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., our truck accident attorneys are experts at determining who is to blame for a deadly accident. We hold truck drivers, trucking companies, and loading companies accountable for their negligence in loading the trailer or flatbed of a commercial truck.

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a truck accident involving unsecured loads or improperly loaded freight, the truck accident lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P are available to assist you. Please contact a truck attorney at our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Call toll free: 1-800-773-6770 and speak with a highly experienced truck accident lawyer. You pay no attorney fees unless we win your truck accident case.

OR fill out the Request More Information form on this page.

 

Related Articles

Letter to Members of Congress Urging them to Vote NO on the Omnibus Appropriations Bill  December 11, 2014
“………..we are writing to ask you to reject the Collins Rider to increase truck driver hours of service, and anti-safety riders to permit increases in truck weight limits in the states of…………..”

Editorial: Suspension of Truck Driver Fatigue Rules  - 2014
 “……………….. U.S. Department of Transportation and scores of safety advocacy groups argue that suspending the regulations means tired truckers will keep driving -- posing a danger to themselves and others on the road.”

FMCSA: Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts  for 2011

 



 

back to common causes

Auto -Truck Accidents: Commercial Truck Brake Failure

According to a study done by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 29% of all commercial truck accidents, 18-wheeler, semi, or big-rig, tanker, flatbed, involve brake failure. If a truck’s brakes malfunction or fail, a serious truck accident can occur resulting in serious injury, often compounded with property damage, lost income, diminished earning capacity, and pain and suffering, or even wrongful death.

If you have been injured because a commercial truck brake failure, please contact one of our truck accident attorneys at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. We represent victims of truck accidents nationwide.

Causes of Commercial Truck Brake Failure

The tire and brake systems of a commercial tractor-trailer, semi, 18-wheeler, or other large truck are highly complex. The brake assemblies contain many parts and components, and must be regularly maintained by a highly skilled commercial truck mechanic. A few of the most common truck brake problems are:

  • Poor air pressure
  • Condensation
  • Brakes out of adjustment
  • Overheated brakes
  • Worn break components
  • Worn tires

Improper maintenance is the main cause of most brake failures. Federal trucking laws require that truck drivers know about the condition of their brakes at all times and it is the truck owner’s responsibility to ensure their trucks’ brakes are properly maintained and inspected. Yet many drivers and owners, in a hurry to make delivery deadlines and focusing on profits instead of safety, overlook the maintenance of their brakes. This negligence results in hundreds of preventable injuries and deaths every year. According to the Pennsylvania District Attorney who prosecuted a vehicular homicide case caused by brake failure, a commercial truck, when its brakes fail, becomes a "74,000 pound death machine."

Who is to Blame for Defective Commercial Truck Brakes?

When commercial truck brakes fail or malfunction, several different parties may be responsible (individually or together), including:

  • The truck driver
  • The truck owner
  • The truck mechanic
  • The brake manufacturer

The truck accident lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., have the resources you need to fully investigate your truck accident. From brake linings to caliper adjustments to hydraulic fluid levels and all points in between, our experts know what to look for to determine if brake issues were a factor in a truck accident that injured you or someone you love. They also know how to determine who was responsible for those issues. You can be sure that all of the parties above will have attorneys at their side ready to fight for them. Make sure you are ready to protect your rights by hiring an experienced auto and truck accident attorney from Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P.

To learn if we can be of assistance to you, please contact a truck attorney at our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Call toll free: 1-800-773-6770 and speak with a highly experienced truck accident lawyer. You pay no attorney fees unless we win your truck accident | truck brake failure case.

OR fill out the Request More Information form on this page.

 



 

back to common causes

Tire Failure Can Cause Truck Accidents

 

 

Some Major Causes of Tire Failure

A common cause of truck accidents is tire failure. Often tire failure on a semi, big rig, or 18-wheeler truck is due to the trucker's negligent failure to inspect the vehicle’s tires and to make the necessary repairs. A truck’s tires warrant special attention by the trucker when preparing to start a job whether it will be a long distance haul along US highways or a shorter trip within a local city’s roads. A truck's tires are a critical part of its equipment. Some of the causes of tire failure by truck drivers are as follows:

1. Tread separation

2. Tire blowouts

3. Under-inflated tires

4. Burnt treads (tread burn)

5. Overheated tires

6. Bent rims

If you've been injured in a truck accident contact the law offices of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. Our crash forensics specialists will inspect the site of the accident as well as the vehicles involved. Their work will help our truck accident lawyers determine what caused the accident, which are the responsible parties, and whether you have a valid claim to sue.

 

Related Articles

Tire Blow-Outs and Motorway Accidents.

NHTSA
The NHTSA manages highway safety programs with the goal of preventing vehicle crashes.

Tire-Related Factors in the Pre-Crash Phase

 

Tread Detachments Cause Loss-of-Control Crashes

Tread detachments are the most common tire failures that cause loss-of-control crashes. Tire failure caused by tread separation on a highway can result in serious vehicle accidents by passenger cars, when suddenly out of nowhere tire debris appears in the road directly in front of them. Hitting tire debris from a large commercial truck at a high speed can severely damage a passenger car's suspension causing the car to veer off into another lane of traffic. Or the driver of the vehicle may swerve to avoid the separated tire tread resulting in a collision with another car or truck. Anyone who has driven roadways in the US that are heavily used by semi, big rig, or 18-wheeler trucks are familiar with tire failure debris, those long, heavy strips of tire, either littering the driving lanes or laying haphazardly along the sides of the road.

Possible causes of tread detachments include fatigue failures such as the under-inflation of the truck’s tires with an overload of cargo, excessive speed, unrepaired tires, repair defects in the truck’s tires, severe or concentrated impact of the tire with a foreign object, curb or pothole, mounting damage, tire age, and internal rusting of the steel cables in the tires.

 

Required Tire Safety Protocols

A part of safety protocols all truckers and trucking companies are required to perform is a  pre-trip inspection of the truck, including tire inspections. Catastrophic truck accidents are complex with potentially many players involved besides the truck driver and the victims. The truck accident lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. will explore all possible causes of the accident. For instance: did the tire manufacturer sell a defective truck tire, did the trucking companies allow their drivers to use tires that fail to meet the minimum DOT tread depth requirement, were tires mounted with mismatched tire sizes, were there paired tires with significantly different wear, or were there mixed bias and radial tires on the same axle? Any of these common maintenance mistakes could result in tire failure and a serious truck accident.

 

Pursue the Best Resolution for the  Compensation You Deserve

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you deserve compensation for not only for medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, and lost wages, but also for physical /mental pain and suffering. Elias & Seely, L.L.P. will pursue an assertive approach to obtain the compensation you deserve. Let our truck accident lawyers find the best resolution for your truck accident injury case.

 

Call us Toll Free: 1-800-773-6770 or fill out the Request More Information form on this page.

 



 

back to common causes

Head-on Collisions, Rear-end Crashes, Jackknife Accidents

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Accidents

Head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, or jackknifed truck crashes are common types of truck accidents that involve big rig, tractor-trailers, or 18-wheelers. These are all serious types of truck accidents and if a passenger vehicle is involved, the results often include serious personal injury or death.

The lawyers of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P. have helped truck accident victims throughout the United States to receive the compensation they deserve they and their family members need as well as protect their rights. Our truck accident injury lawyers offer a free case review. If we decide to represent you, your truck accident claims will be taken on a contingency basis. We require no up-front fee

 

Negligence Causes Most Rear-End Crashes

Rear-end collisions are often caused by the negligence of the big rig truck driver. Five of the most common causes attributed to rear-end collisions are:

  • Following too closely
  • Driver distractions such as using a cell phone or switching the dial on the radio
  • Failure to notice construction zone signs or changes in traffic
  • Fatigue
  • Drunk driving or DUI
  • Speed

 

Size and Weight Disadvantages Passenger Vehicles in Truck Accidents

Because of the huge difference in the size and weight between commercial trucks and automobiles, the driver and passengers in the automobile have little chance of surviving such horrific collisions. A fully loaded big rig may be over 70 feet long and usually weighs more than 80,000 pounds. As a driver you probably learned that a passenger car traveling at high speeds should be at least six car-lengths behind the car in front of them. With a lot of traffic on our crowded highways, most drivers don’t always follow this safety rule of thumb. But if you had to stop quickly, that six car-lengths behind the car in front could prevent you rear ending the car.

Now just imagine a fully loaded semi truck barreling down a highway and it needs to stop quickly.  Going at a speed of 55 mph, an 18-wheeler truck's stopping distance is approximately 100 yards, which is the length of a football field whereas a mid-size passenger car traveling at the same 55 mph can stop within half of that distance.

Needless to say, it is critical that commercial truck drivers be attentive at all times, just as motorists should be aware of the potential dangers when driving near these huge trucks.

 

Head-On Collisions: The Deadliest of Big Rig Truck Accidents

Without a doubt, the most deadly of all truck accidents that involve passenger cars is the head-on collision. Due to the mass and momentum of a fully loaded commercial truck, when a tractor trailer  / big rig truck collides head-on with an auto at a high rate of speed, the automobile passengers are at a distinct disadvantage. Death, brain injury, and paralysis are often the result. For those who happen to survive such devastating accidents, they may end up with a lifetime of pain and disability. Often head-on collision victims become paraplegics, quadriplegics, and / or burn victims

 

Look for Lawyers Who Will Aggressively Pursue Your Case

When the truck accident attorneys of Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P are hired to represent a victim and/or family in a head-on collision case, we aggressively pursue your case on a contingency basis, making sure that you receive the necessary compensation that you deserve.

 

Common Causes of Jackknife Accidents

If you are familiar with the type of knife whose blade pivots to fold into a recess in the handle, often called a jack knife, or know what a jack knife dive is, you can more easily visualize what a commercial truck, big rig, or 18-wheeler looks like when its trailer folds in such a way that it resembles the acute angle of a folding pocket knife. 

Brake Issues

These so called Jack knife accidents are most commonly caused by the driver suddenly applying the brakes of the truck. In addition, improperly adjusted brakes can also cause jackknife accidents.
Poorly adjusted truck brakes and truck brake failure are two of the top causes of auto truck accidents on America’s roadways. Because many brake issues are easily preventable, it is unacceptable that some trucking companies and their drivers are not following the required maintenance regulations.

For example, despite knowing that loss of pedal pressure is the most common symptom of impending brake failure, some semi truck drivers ignore this warning and continue to drive with soft brake pedals. This can lead to the driver suddenly over applying brake pressure resulting in a jackknife accident.

In addition to brake issues, jackknife truck accidents can also be caused by the truck entering a curve too quickly, downshifting, the truck accelerating on a low friction surface and engine retarders. Engine retarder systems are used on many larger diesel trucks. They provide additional stopping ability to the truck as well as relieve the service brakes of excessive heat buildup and wear.

The Specialists Needed By Truck Accident Attorneys

The truck accident attorneys at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P are experts in the field of commercial truck accidents including rear-end, head-on collisions, and jackknife accidents. Our truck accident lawyers have the specialists needed to reconstruct the truck accident and determine its cause. Our medical specialists also understand and can explain the internal trauma that takes place in the human body when auto passengers are involved in a deadly rear-end, head-on, or jack knife collision.

To learn if the truck accident lawyers at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P can be of assistance to you, please contact a truck attorney at our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

Call toll free: 1-800-773-6770 and speak with a highly experienced truck accident lawyer.

You pay no attorney fees unless we win your rear-end, head-on collision, or jackknife truck accident case.

OR fill out the Request More Information form on this page.

Related Articles

Accident Reconstruction Services

Offers support for truck accident cases by establishing an extensive historical base of trucking accident reconstruction, trucking accident investigation. and collection of analysis data.

Large Truck Crash Causation Study from NHTSA

 



 

back to top

 

Contact A Lawyer