Law Office of Sean Cody  

 

 

Car Accidents

Car accidents have a tremendous impact on the lives of the people injured in the wreck.  The impact is often very costly.  Time is lost from work, doctors want to be paid for their services.  Car accidents and their related injuries occur every day in Houston, TX.  As a personal injury lawyer, who has worked for the insurance companies as both a claims adjuster and a defense attorney, I understand the complexities that auto accidents entail, including both legal and insurance matters. Determining who is at fault for a car accident can be difficult do to the many factors an auto accident can involve.

Car accidents are caused by many factors:  Semi-Truck Accidents

  • drunk driving
  • drowsiness
  • negligence
  • distractions
  • cell phone misuse
  • aggressive driving
  • poor road conditions
  • mechanical failure
  • speeding

One major factor that contributes to car accidents is the distraction that comes from the use of cell phones and radios while driving.  Research studies show that the number of cell phone subscribers has grown from 94 million in the year 2000 to well over 130 million today. It is therefore not hard to imagine how many of drivers use their cell phone while driving.  Every car has a radio and now many drivers are using IPODs or other MP3 players in conjunction with their radios.  Ninety Eight(98%) percent of reported accidents involve a single distracted driver not concentrating on the road.  Instead, these drivers let other activities steal their concentration.  Accidents are caused by many factors, some of which are rubbernecking (16%), Driver Fatigue (12%), Surroundings (10%), Child/Passenger Distraction (9%), Adjusting Radio/CD (7%), Cell Phone (6%)
If you have been involved in a car accident that was in your opinion, caused by an inattentive driver using a cell phone, you need my experience and knowledge to investigate your case and pursue your damages to the fullest extent allowed by Texas Law.

Semi-Truck Accidents

When Passenger vehicles and 18-wheeler trucks collide the results are seldom minor and in most cases cause devastating personal injuries and/or wrongful deaths. If you or a family member have suffered personal injuries or a tragic loss as a result of an accident or collision with an 18 wheeler or tractor trailer, you and your family may be entitled to damages.  In Texas, the law allows you to recover the cost of medical expenses, burial costs, mental anguish, pain and suffering, lost wages, bodily impairment, future damages, future cost, diminution of value and property damage to your vehicle or personal property.  In some cases punitive damages are available.

 

Highway Safety is an issue of highest concern to Texans. The lawyers at the Law Office of Sean Cody have the experience you need for cases involving trucking safety and trucking accidents. Sean Cody has worked as a claims adjuster and has defended trucking companies in numerous injury cases in addition to representing those injured by tractor trailers.

 

Semi truck and eighteen wheeler accidents present unique issues not necessarily associated with the typical motor vehicle accident. These differences include:

  • Greater likelihood of serious injuries or deaths
  • Negligent hiring and supervision claims
  • Negligent maintenance claims
  • Unique insurance coverage issues
  • Governmental regulations
  • Federal regulations
  • State regulations
  • Drug testing
  • Tractor maintenance
  • Trailer maintenance
  • Driver training
  • Driver records
  • Trucking Records and Logs

The numbers of trucks on Texas Highways has exploded since NAFTA opened the Mexican border to Mexican trucks.  This has caused accidents between personal vehicles and semi-trailer trucks to increase. Truck accidents generally occur when trucks are being operated in an unsafe manner.  Another cause of trucking accidents is the improper loading of cargo on the trailers of these trucks.  These two factors are responsible for numerous catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), formed in the early 1980ís, was given the mission of leading the effort to curb the unacceptable number of fatal truck accidents occurring on highways in Texas and across the Nation.

Laws were enacted to prohibit truck drivers from having more than one license in one state. In 1992, the laws required truck drivers to meet minimum national standards in order to operate a tractor trailer. Once a driver met these standards, he is issued a Commercial Driver's License ( CDL).

In a further effort to reduce fatal Texas semi truck accidents, each truck driver is required to be licensed in his or her State of principal residence. That operator's driving record must be kept in a centralized computer for access by each state.

The CDL laws also require each state to adopt uniform testing standards for commercial drivers prior to being licensed. A CDL is required to operate the following vehicles:

  • any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the GVWR of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds;
  • any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver; and any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

The following vehicle operators are NOT required to obtain a CDL:

  • farm equipment operators;
  • vehicles used to transport farm products, equipment or supplies to and from a farm;
  • vehicles used within 150 air miles of a farm;
  • vehicles not used in operations of a contract carrier; and
  • firefighting equipment operators, military vehicle operators, and recreational vehicle operators, if the vehicle is primarily used for personal use.

Some vehicles, special endorsements are required. There are five CDL endorsements and one restriction, which requires testing.

1. double/triple tractor trailers
2. passenger vehicles
3. tank vehicles
4. semi trucks carrying hazardous materials
5. combination tank and hazardous materials
6. vehicles with air brakes

Causes of Semi Truck Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) is considered to be the driving force behind the regulation of the trucking.  Its primary goal is to reduce truck accidents.  these regulations cover issues such as driver qualifications, emergency equipment, safe loading, alcohol and drug usage and many other factors.

   

 

Some of the common causes of trucking accidents include:

  • Lack of training
  • Overloaded trucks
  • Oversized trucks
  • Brake failure/defect
  • Poor driving conditions
  • Driver inexperience
  • Fatigue
  • Speeding
  • Running off the road
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Aggressive driving behavior
  • Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Dangerous or reckless driving
  • Mechanical failure

If you are injured or suffer a loss due to a driver and his company's negligent and unsafe operation of a tractor and trailer, do not turn to the trucking company's claims adjusters and their insurance company for help. The trucking company's adjusters and their insurance company will attempt to settle your claim as quickly as possible before you have a chance to consult an experienced trucking accident attorney. You should never sign documents or agree to a settlement without first consulting an experienced Texas truck accident lawyer. I will aggressively protect your rights if you have been injured in a trucking accident.

I understand the unique legal and practical problems associated with 18 wheeler accidents and other truck crashes.  I have experience dealing with the issues that arise in such cases because of my experience defending them and protecting them from their negligent hiring practices. The goals of the Law Office of Sean Cody include protecting the individual whenever and wherever litigation is necessary, but I also provide resources to help educate the public when injuries are caused by the negligence or carelessness of trucking companies.  I hope to increase road safety. Contact me at 281.451.4175 today for further information. I offer free initial consultations and work on a contingent fee basis, which means that there is no fee unless I successfully resolve your case.

For immediate assistance, call us me at 281.451.4175 or email me at SeanCody@HoustonAttorney.org

Your legal matter is important to me.  I will provide a free consultation and take the time to discuss your situation with you, explain your options, and represent you.

 

 


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Copyright © 2007 Law Office of Sean Cody
Last modified: 03/15/09