By Rachel E. Montes posted in 18 wheeler Accidents on Thursday, January 20, 2011
We certainly applaud the trucking industry for recognizing the dangers that certain trucking conditions and driving conditions can cause to the motoring public. The Montes Law Group is proud to blog about the array of technologies on the horizon being developed by commercial truck manufacturers as well as technology producers working to better equip commercial truck drivers with the safety devices needed to better protect drivers, passengers and other vehicles on the road. Among the technologies being developed are the following:
* The vehicle integrated safety system that offers lane departure warnings for forward, side and lane departures using radar and vision technologies.
* Headway alert system, which provides a driver with feedback on safe and unsafe following distances by using visual and audio alerts.
* A lane departure warning system that uses a camera to alert drivers when they have drifted out of their intended lane and the system uses algorithms to stop alerts when turn signals have been used.
* A drowsy driver alert system attempts to reduce vehicle accidents caused by sleepy drivers by using an imaging sensor and infrared illuminators to determine the number of eye closure rates that occur for an individual driver. Additionally, this system can automatically use fresh air, alert tones or phone calls as well as audio signals that a driver pull off of the road.
In addition to new-aged technology being developed to ease commercial truck driver’s worries of becoming involved in an accident, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is in its third year of its driver information sharing project known as the Enhanced CVISN. The system was designed to “enhance the safety, security and productivity of commercial vehicle operations and to improve access to and quality of information about commercial drivers, carriers, vehicles, chassis, cargo, inspections, crashes, compliance reviews and citations for authorized and public and private sector users,” according to the FMCSA Technology Division.
The project is also responsible for gathering and maintaining statistics on commercial truck carriers involved in accidents, receiving tickets as well as roadside assistance.
Commercial truck accidents are among the most deadly and dangerous collisions that can occur. Most often these accidents involve either serious injury/bodily harm to those involved or can cause a fatality affecting more than just a victim and their family and friends.
Because evidence and information gathering is so vitally important in the hours and days following a truck wreck or collision, people and families who have suffered a loss resulting from a truck wreck or collision should consider consulting with an experienced law firm that will offer a free legal consultation as to a victim’s specific truck accident case to determine the best course of action for a victim who may be suffering medically and financially from a heavy truck wreck. To learn more about truck accidents please visit www.monteslawgroup.com . Call us today, we can help. Rachel E. Montes 214-522-9401.
18 WHEELER INVOLVED IN 7 CAR CRASH IN DALLAS
By Rachel E. Montes posted in 18 wheeler Accidents on Saturday, September 25, 2010
Friday, September 25, 2010, there was a major accident reported on eastbound Interstate 635 (LBJ Freeway) at Coit and Hillcrest. The crash, involving an 18-wheeler and seven cars, occurred shortly before noon Friday. The semi truck ended up in a median with debris spilled all over the roadway. Several ambulances were requested to respond to the collision.
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Irving, Texas 75063
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18 WHEELER BURNS FRISCO FATHER AND KILLS HIS FAMILY
By Rachel E. Montes posted in 18 wheeler Accidents on Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Wendell Greene of Frisco, Texas is recovering from his personal injuries, including third-degree burns over 50 percent of his body when he was struck by an 18 wheeler on Interstate 20 in Kaufman County over the Memorial Day Holiday. Wendell Greene, his wife, Lakeysha Greene and their daughter, Wesleigh Greene; and son, Kyle Greene (3); were on their way to Louisiana to celebrate Kyle Greene’s birthday with family when a tractor-trailer rear-ended the family’s sport utility vehicle on Interstate 20 in Kaufman County. Mr. Greene’s family were killed at the scene of the crash. Mr. Greene is expected to spend at least two months in the hospital recovering from his burns and trying to deal with the loss of his wife and children. Wendell Greene is hospitalized and is in and out of consciousness. He will not be able to attend any services for his family which are being planned to be held at the Friendship Baptist Church of The Colony, where the Greenes were members. Grief counselors were also assigned to Wesleigh’s kindergarten classmates at Gunstream Elementary School in Frisco.
Friends say Green was smitten with his wife since first meeting her as a graduate student at the University of Arkansas. One of Lakeysha Greene’s longtime friends and sorority sisters, Robin Guinn, remembered her as a person of deep faith, often regarding death as simply another milestone of life, not unlike birthdays, weddings or anniversaries. She always said, ‘God is in control. What can you do about it?” Guinn said.
Police have not released details on the specific cause of the collision. Following any collision with an 18 wheeler, the 18 wheeler driver is required to immediately have a blood test to check for drugs and alcohol. In many cases, even when the driver is not driving under the influence often times the driver is fatigued or has been driving for too many hours. As a result, police will also routinely inspect the driver’s log books and the 18 wheeler to determine if the driver and the vehicle were in compliance with all DOT requirements.
People often ask should I contact an attorney contact attorney. People often believe that the facts are so compelling that the insurance company will treat them fairly and will pay the claim quickly because it is so clear that the company owes the claim. There are many reasons to hire an attorney even in cases like this where it appears that the insurance company is likely to try to settle the case.
1. Very few non-lawyers are familiar with what a fair settlement is for this type of case. As a result, the insurance company may offer what appears to be a substantial settlement offer, when in reality, the case has a much larger value.
2. We also believe that in cases such as this, there is often much more than just money at stake. It is about justice. There is the need to try to change the way companies do business to try to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. In our practice, we try to obtain not just monetary settlements for our clients, but we also try to get companies to change the way they do business. Seeing that these companies change the way they do business can often help our clients recover in ways that a financial settlement does not accomplish. This change is hard to accomplish without an attorney.
3. Even in serious cases such as this, the investigation the police conduct tends to be much more limited in scope than the investigation that a competent and thorough attorney will do. The reason for this easy to understand when you understand the distinction between the criminal justice system and the civil justice system. The police conduct an investigation to determine if there is a crime that needs to be prosecuted not to help you pursue a civil case. The police focus on looking for evidence of specific crimes. In contrast, in a civil case, the law takes everything into consideration, and so the investigation into the causes of the wreck are much more broad in scope than the police may consider.
A. A classic example of this difference between a criminal case and a civil case involves the use of cell phones by 18 wheeler drivers. Read our blog for more information on this new law. We all know that talking on a cell phone or texting while driving is incredibly distracting to any driver and is an extremely dangerous practice. However, until this year, it was not illegal for truck drivers to drive while texting. As a result, even though it might have cause the driver to be distracted, the police did not usually investigate those issues. However, attorneys would search for evidence and find that the driver was busy talking on a cell phone rather than paying attention to his driving.
B. Because the police can only take certain action or because they have a limited budget to investigate these cases, the police may decide not seize control over the 18 wheeler or they may release the vehicle back to the driver or 18 wheeler company without securing and recording all of the available evidence that may have led to or contributed to the cause of the wreck. In a civil case, attorneys will often take action to either have an expert inspect the truck or to take action to require that evidence be preserved. As a result, lawyers will often subpoena cell phone records and company radio and other electronic transmissions and even computer data that monitors the speed, braking and other systems of the 18 wheeler so that the as much information as possible can be obtained about the cause of the wreck. When this action is not taken, an 18 wheeler company may destroy evidence or lose evidence that would have been critical to show that the company or driver is responsible for causing the wreck.
4. Even the 18 wheeler companies know how important it is to hire an attorney. When accidents like this occur, you can bet that the 18 wheeler company will immediately contact their attorneys and insurance company to protect their interests. The insurance company and the attorneys are trained in ways that are designed to protect the 18 wheeler company and the 18 wheeler driver, not the rights of the victims. They will take action to minimize the claim or possibly even prevent their clients from being held responsible. They will try to secure recorded statements that benefit the 18 wheeler company. If you or your family members are involved in this type of wreck, you need a legal team that will immediately take action to protect your rights.
5. Often times, we see instances where people believe because the insurance company appears to be acting friendly and maybe even paying for some expenses, people think that they will not need to hire an attorney. Eventually, enough time passes, and the victims’ family does not even realize that the company has taken advantage of the situation to destroy critical evidence.
6. Any time you or a loved one is involved in a serious collision whether it is with an 18 wheeler or some other type of serious accident, you should immediately contact an attorney to at least learn what your rights are. Usually, time is of the essence. After all, when it comes to preserving and locating evidence, the longer you wait to take action, the more likely the evidence will be lost or destroyed.
In the meantime, we hope you will join us and his circle of friends and family that are keeping Mr. Greene and his family in their prayers. God bless this family and help to see themthrough this.
Rachel Montes and Tom Herald are the lawyers behind Montes Herald Law Group, LLP. We have offices in Dallas, Irving, and in El Paso. Our principal place of business is in Irving, Texas located at 1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100, Irving, Texas 75063. You can contact us by telephone at (214) 522-9401 via our website at www.MontesHerald.com. Visit our blog at www.MontesHeraldBlog.com and become a fan on Facebook at Montes Herald Law Group, L.L.P.
Video of Fuel Truck on Fire on the Dallas North Tollway
By Rachel E. Montes posted in 18 wheeler Accidents on Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Video of the tanker truck that caught fire after it hit a barrier on the ramp from the Dallas North Tollway to the George Bush Turnpike in the early morning hours of December 18, 2009 has been released by NBC news. The video was taken by Jonathan Bierschank, who lives in a nearby apartment complex after he heard the crash. The Department of Public Safety has not publicly released a report detailing its finding of the cause of the crash, but they did confirm that unfortunately, the driver of the 18 wheeler died in the crash.
Fortunately, no other vehicles were involved in this incident, but this incident still shows how important the public’s safety needs to be considered with the hazardous materials that so many 18 wheelers transport through the DFW Metroplex and across the State of Texas each day.
1. Texas leads the nation in accidents involving 18 wheelers;
2. According to a NTSB study, 90% of the crashes involving 18 wheelers were attributed to driver error. In addition, a TxDoT study showed that restricting 18 wheelers from driving in the left lane resulted in a dramatic decline in the number of accidents involving 18 wheelers.
If you or your loved one are injured or killed in an accident involving an 18 wheeler or other commercial truck, contact Rachel Montes or Tom Herald of Montes Herald Law Group, LLP. We are located in Las Colinas, Texas. Call us at (214) 522-9401 for a free, no obligation consultation. Visit our website at http://www.montesherald.com/ for more information about our law firm and our attorneys.
CBS 11 Report On Dangerous Driving Zones for 18 Wheeler Accidents
By Rachel E. Montes posted in 18 wheeler Accidents on Wednesday, November 18, 2009
CBS 11 News ran a report on dangerous driving zones in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Below, is a link to the story and the video. (Article no longer available online)
Below are a few of the highlights of the CBS report:
- Texas leads the nation in accidents involving 18 wheelers;
- The most deadly stretch of highway was from I-20 from Benbrook to Balch Springs (14 deaths);
- The most deadly highway intersection was at I-35E and I-20 (4 deaths);
- The most non-fatal truck accidents on I-30 near Cockrell Hill;
- Dallas County had the most fatality accidents in the past 5 years than any other county in Texas with 75 deaths;
- From I-45 in downtown Dallas to I-20 (5 fatalities I the past 5 years);
- I-30 from Fort Worth to Dallas (12 fatalities over the past 5 years); and
- I-35W to Highway 114 (14 non-fatal accidents)
In addition, according to a NTSB study, 90% of the crashes involving 18 wheelers were attributed to driver error. In addition, a TxDoT study showed that restricting 18 wheelers from driving in the left lane resulted in a dramatic decline in the number of accidents involving 18 wheelers.