In 2016, four trucking companies were racing down Highway 20 near Burns, Oregon. The professional truck drivers worked for companies like Horizon Transport and Smoot Enterprises. Witnesses say the trucks were driving fast and furiously down the highway for more than 90 miles until they came to a bend in the highway. One truck was going around the blind turn in the road while driving in the opposite lane. The truck then hit an RV driven by an Oregon couple. The collision was head-on, killing the wife and severely injuring the husband.
Imagine this scenario: you're driving down the freeway, and then one of your tires goes flat. Your family is in the car with you, so you pull to the side of the freeway and begin to change the tire. Unbeknownst to you, further down the road approaching you is an 18-wheeler, owned and operated by Acme, Inc., one of the largest distributors of home goods in America. As the 18-wheeler approaches, it glides to the shoulder, striking your car, killing all the occupants. The weather is clear, the road is straight and flat, visibility is clear for over a mile. Who may be held responsible for this horrific act?
On October 10, 2016 a mother of two was struck and killed after pulling over to check on an odd noise that was coming from her vehicle. When she got out of the car and closed her door, a semi-truck sideswiped her and kept driving. Her mother and two children were inside the vehicle and witnessed the tragic events unfold. She was a working mother who was loved by her children, friends, and was passionate about her profession as an esthetician. Investigators are still looking for the driver that never stopped.
So you have been involved in an accident with an 18-Wheeler. What now? Who is responsible? Unlike car accidents, which are usually caused by some combination of driver error, vehicle malfunction or road conditions, accidents involving large commercial trucks may have many other contributing factors that are unique to the trucking industry.In order to establish liability and recover compensation, it is first necessary to identify every possible person or business entity responsible for the crash. Potential defendants in a truck accident case may include:Truck Driver - Commercial truck drivers are responsible for following the same driving rules as all other drivers. These rules include avoidance of dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, aggressive driving, texting while driving, and driving under the influence. Truck drivers must also adhere to additional standards as directed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This includes following hours of service rules, and maintaining detailed records regarding driving times and vehicle inspection.Trucking Company - Trucking companies must ensure that the drivers they employ are qualified and properly licensed. This includes conducting background checks and random screenings for drug or alcohol abuse. Furthermore, employers are prohibited from requiring or encouraging drivers to break federal safety regulations. Additionally, the trucking company is responsible for properly training their drivers before and after they get out on the highway. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-222-7211 or toll free at 1-800-870-9584.
During the debate over the new Houston city ordinance allowing "ridesharing" apps like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar to operate in Houston, there was a great deal of discussion regarding insurance coverage issues. Last month, I discussed some of those issues and how they were addressed by the Houston ordinance. However, given the vociferous objections raised by the taxi industry, perhaps we should examine how their own insurance standards measure up to those they've sought to impose on ridesharing services.
Production of oil and gas is not the only thing on the rise in South Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), fatal traffic wrecks have increased by 40 percent since last year in the Eagle Ford Shale region, a 20,000 square-mile area that runs from the Mexican border across 20 counties in South Texas. One of the major reasons for this increase, TxDOT officials report, is because of the large number of cars and commercial trucks that now occupy many of the deteriorating roads without shoulders that connect this rural region. Traffic Operations Division Director for TxDOT, Carol Rawson, estimates that roads that once carried 200 vehicles per day now have 2,400 vehicles traveling on them, most of which are 80,000 pound 18-wheeler trucks.
As reported in the Houston Chronicle, Chevron Phillips is seeking additional workers due to a recent boom in the shale gas industry. In fact, an expansion estimated at more than $15 billion is underway at plants along the Texas Gulf Coast. Such expansions have prompted Greg Wagner, Vice President of Human Resources at Chevron Phillips, to go on record saying that Chevron Phillips is currently seeking "the best and the brightest"-whether in construction, or in more permanent jobs, such as plant operators, mechanics, and professional positions.
The parents of Arra Preciado will never celebrate her second birthday. That is because the 15-month old girl was killed on Tuesday afternoon by a school bus near Tyler, Texas. The driver had offloaded children at a bus stop. She never saw the toddler, who ran past an open gate and into the path of the bus as it started moving. Initially, the driver did not realize she had hit the child. But many bystanders, including children who had gotten off the bus and their parents witnessed the horrific event. They banged on the bus as it was driving away, about 75 feet from the location, to get the driver to stop.