The Most Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents in Texas

18-wheelers are easily the largest of vehicles commonly traveling on roads, highways and interstates. Big rigs average around 70 feet in length and 80,000 pounds in weight. Because of their enormous size, drivers of personal vehicles are likely to keep clear when a semi is near. Despite a conscious effort by most drivers to avoid driving along with an 18-wheeler for an extended period of time, accidents with big rigs still happen. Below are five common causes of 18-wheeler accidents in Texas. If you or a loved one has been injured in a big rig accident, please call the Law Offices of Pat Maloney to get the compensation you deserve.

  1. Overscheduled Drivers
    Truck drivers are often made to meet unrealistic schedules and expectations. Their schedules can have them driving many consecutive hours, pushing their rigs and bodies further than they are meant to in a given time. This can result in driver fatigue, poor decision making and worn out tires.
  2. Distracted Drivers
    There’s a lot competing for the attention of truck drivers. Cell phones, radios and other drivers can all contribute to a truck driver taking his eyes off the road for a second. Just like smaller vehicles, that’s all it takes for an accident to happen on the road.
  3. Minor Traffic Violations
    Traffic laws are in effect for very specific reasons. When a normal vehicle forgoes protocol and commits a minor traffic violation like running a yield sign, tailgating, etc., the physical aspects of their smaller vehicle can, at times, allow the driver to escape without harm. Drivers should obey all traffic laws at all times, especially when behind the wheel of a big rig. The sheer size of 18-wheelers prevents any traffic violation from being “minor”. They can’t brake as quickly or turn as sharply to avoid the consequences of a risky decision.
  4. Jack-knifing
    Jack-knifing is the unique reaction of a trailer to the truck cab when the trailer of the big rig skids forward, causing the whole rig to bend like a folding switchblade knife. Jack-knifing is caused by forceful braking, faulty equipment or poor conditions on the road.
  5. Driving Under the Influence
    It goes without saying that regardless of your deadlines, one should never drive a vehicle while under the influence of any substance, legal or illegal. As mentioned in the first entry, big rig drivers are often on unrealistic schedules. This prods some truck drivers to use substances to stay awake and follow their required schedule. It also exponentially increases the risk and rate of causing or being in an accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an 18-wheeler accident, please call the Law Offices of Pat Maloney to get the compensation you deserve. Call us at 210-226-8888 for a free consultation.

4 Key Benefits of Contacting a Truck Accident Lawyer in San Antonio

Any truck accident lawyer in San Antonio will tell you that the damage from truck accidents isn’t over when the debris is cleared away. The aftereffects can last for months, years, or even a lifetime. Though the facts of the accident may be clear to you, once you enter the claims process, things can quickly get complicated and confusing.

 

Does that necessarily mean you need to hire a truck accident lawyer in San Antonio? Check out the benefits and decide for yourself:

 

  1. Chances are, the other side already has an attorney working for them. Imagine trying to navigate the complicated legal process while simultaneously healing from your injuries and dealing with the financial impact of taking time off work. The opposition’s attorney will undoubtedly take advantage of this imbalance of power and knowledge.
  2. A truck accident lawyer in San Antonio has a network of resources at their fingertips to bolster your case, including subject-matter expert witnesses, private investigators, and ways to track down people who witnessed the accident.
  3. Foregoing a lawyer can cost you more than to retain one. Yes, a truck accident lawyer in San Antonio will receive a portion of your award when you win your claim. But how much will it cost if you enter a court alone — only to lose? It isn’t as simple as showing up for a court date and stating your case. There are myriad deadlines to meet, documents to file, and records to organize and keep track of. Given your injuries, is this realistic for you?
  4. Initial consultations are free of charge. This makes it much easier to “interview” more than one truck accident lawyer in San Antonio to find the right fit for you and your particular case.

 

When you’re seriously injured, a truck accident lawyer in San Antonio can be a lifesaver. Contact us today.

 

Your Guide to Receiving a Truck Accident Settlement

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, settlement may be the last thing on your mind—at first. You have injuries to take care of, a car to replace, and a job to worry about keeping while you’re laid up. As soon as you’re able, however, it’s a good idea to consider your options for receiving financial compensation, either by going to court or agreeing to settle out of court.

 

What exactly is a settlement?

 

A settlement is an alternative to pursuing a formal trial in civil court, but can be no less legally binding, depending on which type you choose:

  • Arbitration (or “binding” arbitration) carries the weight of a court trial, but is usually less expensive, quicker, and confidential. The downside? There is no option to appeal if you aren’t happy with the result.

 

  • Mediation is a form of negotiation in which an impartial third party helps keep both parties on track, ensures everyone understands what’s taking place, and guides the parties toward a resolution without actually making the decision for them.

 

Why pursue a truck accident settlement rather than a trial?

 

The process of reaching a settlement is seen as less confrontational than a court trial. In a more relaxed atmosphere, both parties in a truck accident settlement can focus on reaching a mutual agreement rather than proving who’s right and who’s wrong. When managed by a neutral person with previous truck accident settlement experience, both parties can feel they are being heard in a fair and open manner.

 

On the other hand . . .

 

  • The victim in a truck accident settlement must usually agree that once an agreement is reached, he or she relinquishes the right to further litigation.

 

  • The amount of money the plaintiff receives may be less than the amount received in a formal court trial.

 

What are your compensation options?

 

Once a settlement is reached, there are two ways plaintiffs receive compensation:

  • Structured—paid out gradually over a period of time in scheduled payments.

 

  • Lump-sum—the plaintiff receives the entire, agreed-upon amount at once.

Many factors must be considered before you choose the method of compensation, not the least of which is how much of a bite taxes will take before the funds get to where they’re needed—your bank account.

We have the expertise to help you decide which is the better course after a truck accident: settlement, or court. Contact us today.

Essential Information to Tell Your Truck Accident Lawyer

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A truck accident lawyer needs information—and lots of it—to adequately present your injury case to the judge. That usually means more than just showing up with any casts, stitches, bumps, or bruises and trying to have your injuries tell the story.

 

 

 

 

In addition to discovering and preserving evidence such as the trucker’s driving record and work history, cell phone time and date stamps, truck maintenance history, and load or overload weight, a truck accident lawyer needs nothing but the truth from victims.

 

Have nothing to hide? Great. Are there a few blemishes on your own driving record? Come clean now so your lawyer won’t be handicapped by any surprises. Also tell your lawyer the following information:

  • Your health history. The trucking company’s attorneys will try to claim that your pain and suffering are a result of a pre-existing health condition, not because your half-ton car was totaled by a ten-ton truck. That broken shoulder? Oh, you had a baseball injury in high school, so tough luck. Memory loss? Remember that time you got a concussion when you flew off your ATV? No? Well, here it is in your medical records. Massive blood loss? Hmm, looks like you’re taking a medication that could cause lots of bleeding from a paper cut. Make sure your health records are in order and your truck accident lawyer has copies.
  • Past insurance claims. Have you filed insurance claims in the past, especially after previous accidents? Lawyers for the other side will be looking into your claim history—for health, auto, and homeowner’s insurance policies. Your own lawyer needs to know it before they do.
  • Your legal history. Your truck accident lawyer needs to know more than your driving record—from parking tickets to moving violations. If you’ve tangled with the legal system for any reason, no matter how far back, tell your attorney. This is true even if records involving specific incidents have been sealed or expunged. Your lawyer will, in many cases, be able to move quickly to ensure your prior record has no bearing on the current case.

 

When you need representation, we’ve got your back. Call us if you need a truck accident lawyer.

The 5 Most Destructive Types of Truck Wrecks

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Texas consistently ranks at or near the top for the number of fatal truck wrecks, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of course, the Lone Star state’s sheer size accounts for a large part of this ranking—all the more reason to stay alert when traveling along our thousands of miles of asphalt ribbon.

 

 

 

 

Whether you drive a truck or share the highway with them, awareness of all the ways a truck can run afoul of the laws of physics can go a long way to keeping you safe.

 

Consider the five most destructive types of truck wrecks you never wish to encounter:

 

1.Rear-end collisions. The bigger and heavier the vehicle, the longer it takes to stop. Truck wrecks like this happen when truck drivers are distracted by cell phones, too tired to pay attention, or driving a truck with poorly maintained brakes. Even when truck drivers are doing everything right, drivers of smaller vehicles can contribute to rear-end collisions by cutting into that large, inviting space the trucker needs to safely stop.

 

2.Rollovers. A truck can easily roll over in a number of situations:

  • Entering a curve at a too-high speed
  • Drifting out of a lane and correcting too sharply
  • Swerving to avoid another vehicle
  • Loss of control due to a tire blow-out

 

3.Underride. Cars that follow a truck too closely can become lodged under the trailer if the trucker is forced to slam on the brakes.

 

4.Blind spots and wide turns. A simple rule of thumb is, if you as a car driver can’t see a truck’s mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you. It goes both ways—truckers should always assume there’s a car or motorcycle lurking in blind spots when changing lanes or making a wide, right-angle turn.

 

5.Unsecured load. Loads that aren’t properly secured, particularly on a flatbed truck, can be a deadly hazard to both truckers and other drivers when tons of weight shift to one side or spill all over the highway.

 

Involved in one of the many truck wrecks that occur in Texas each year? Let us shoulder the load while you recover. Contact us today.

Tips to Find the Right Car Accident Lawyer in San Antonio

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Want to know the truth about finding the right car accident lawyer San Antonio residents? You’re in the driver’s seat.

Yes, presumably your lawyer has the expertise to shepherd your case through the legal system while you concentrate on recovering from your injuries. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit on the sidelines and hope for the best.

Here are a few things you should expect from your car accident lawyer San Antonio residents. And if you aren’t getting most of them, it might be time to seek a different attorney:

  • They speak your language. We aren’t just talking English, Spanish, or other second-language skill (though that’s a plus, if multi-language fluency is a skill you need). Your lawyer should be able to translate legalese so you can easily understand what’s taking place.
  • They don’t leave you hanging. From day one, your car accident lawyer in San Antonio should extend the common courtesy of responding to your phone calls and emails in a timely fashion. Yes, your attorney has a life outside of work, but if they promise to respond within one business day, they should stick to it.
  • They live up to your expectations. Just because a lawyer passed the bar exam doesn’t mean they’re automatically good at what they do. A good car accident lawyer in San Antonio is not only ethical, they are sticklers for getting things right the first time. No one wants a lawyer who misses filing deadlines, shows up to proceedings late or unprepared, or worse, fails to recognize a conflict of interest.
  • They’re upfront about their fee structure. When your lawyer answers an email or a quick question via phone call, do they charge for their time? How much? Will you be billed monthly, or did your lawyer take your case on contingency (they’re paid only if they win the case for you)? How are costs calculated? Get everything in writing.
  • They tell you what to expect. No good car accident lawyer in San Antonio will allow you to enter a court hearing unprepared for what could and will happen.

 

Expect the best from your lawyer? Good, because we expect the best of ourselves. Contact us if you need a car accident lawyer, San Antonio based. We look forward to meeting you.

Searching for a Truck Accident Lawyer? San Antonio Has the Best

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Not every truck accident lawyer in San Antonio is the same. If you’ve been involved in a collision with a careless truck driver, it’s crucial that you know the difference between a good and bad lawyer, or you could end up on the short end of a settlement.

 

 

 

 

The Bad: Anatomy of a Trucking Company’s Lawyer

 

• They’re quick. As soon as a trucking company learns one of their drivers has been involved in an accident, they hit speed dial to their insurance company. It’s amazing how fast an insurance company’s rapid-response team can get to an accident scene—often before first responders have finished stabilizing the victims. Claims investigators waste no time scouring the accident scene for evidence, and you can be sure they’re not on your side. They’re looking for “evidence” to prove the truck driver was not at fault. In a worst-case scenario, evidence crucial to the victim’s claim might go missing.

 

• They’re smooth. Before you’ve even been transferred to a hospital room from the ER, lawyers for the trucking company could be pushing a document under your nose for you to sign. In soothing tones, they’ll try to convince you it’s in your best interest to sign, that the case is open and shut, so don’t bother retaining a lawyer of your own. Don’t fall for it.

 

• They’re sneaky. They know the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations inside and out, and they know how to appear to follow the letter of the law while skirting its intent. Most trucks carry “black boxes” just like airplanes, and if you don’t hire a fast-acting truck accident lawyer in San Antonio, evidence contained on it might be “accidentally” purged.

 

The Good: Anatomy of Your Trucking Accident Lawyer

 

• Your lawyer will immediately file a lawsuit to preserve evidence favorable to your case. No evidence will be destroyed on your lawyer’s watch.

 

• Specializes in the trucking industry and thoroughly knows its practices and the local, state, and federal laws that apply. Keeps updated on the latest regulations and industry news.

 

• From many years of experience, is aware of the multiple ways a truck driver can push and outright violate regulations designed to prevent accidents. Uses this knowledge and experience to advantage when preparing your case and gathering evidence.

 

• Has your best interests at the forefront, not the trucking company and its insurance company. Will fight on your behalf until you receive the compensation you’re due.

 

Don’t be sweet-talked or bullied into accepting a less-than-adequate settlement. Our experienced truck accident lawyer in San Antonio is ready to help.

4 Reasons a San Antonio Car Accident Attorney Is Worth Your Time

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We know what many people think when they hear “car accident attorney.” Trust us. We know. Misconceptions that include the word “ambulance” and some form of the verb “chase.” But stereotypes aside, if you’re ever in a serious wreck, a San Antonio car accident attorney could literally be a lifesaver.

 

 

 

 

Here are four main reasons it’s worth your time to research a good San Antonio car accident attorney:

 

1. Your injuries are serious. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, your adrenaline is pumping. That’s why you may not realize until later that what you thought were a few bumps and bruises are actually the outward signs of more serious injuries. These injuries could impact your job, your personal relationships, even your life. So when the first responders arrive at the scene, don’t waive the option to be transported to an emergency room. Start covering all your bases from day one—even moment one.

 

2. Recovery will take longer than you anticipated. What you thought was a simple broken bone turns into a complicated mess of pins, plates, surgeries, months of physical therapy, and an eye-crossing morass of bills and insurance claims. Trying to handle it all yourself while recovering from a serious injury is a nightmare. An effective San Antonio car accident attorney can relieve you of a significant amount of that burden so you can concentrate on healing.

 

3. The insurance company uses delay tactics. The insurance company for the at-fault driver will do everything it can to avoid making a payout. It will claim you don’t have enough proof that their client caused the accident. Meanwhile, your bills are mounting.

 

4. You receive unfair settlement offers. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may attempt to rush you into accepting a lump-sum settlement that won’t make a dent in your medical bills, claiming that if you push for a fair settlement, the answer could be “no” and you’ll get nothing. Don’t fall for it. Sign nothing until you have a San Antonio car accident attorney on your side.

 

Don’t settle for less than you deserve! Give your San Antonio car accident attorney, Pat Maloney, a call today. Don’t wait!

Demand Justice with an Experienced San Antonio Truck Accident Lawyer

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The words “minor” and “truck accident” seldom appear in the same sentence. Trucks are big and heavy; most cars don’t hold up well to what a truck would consider a love tap. Trucks are notorious for having major blind spots, but before you let a truck driver shrug it off with a “Sorry, I didn’t see you,” get on the phone with an experienced San Antonio truck accident lawyer.

 

 

 

 

How can a San Antonio truck accident lawyer help you?

 

Gathering Evidence

 

Chances are, the driver of the truck you tangled with is backed by a trucking company, and trucking companies won’t hesitate to use their lawyers to twist everything around to make it look like the accident was your fault. With an experienced San Antonio truck accident lawyer on your side, you can concentrate on healing from your injuries while your attorney:

 

Studies reports and documentation generated by police and other first responders.

Tracks down witnesses and gathers their statements.

Determines if any nearby security cameras captured any video or photographic evidence.

Contacts specialists, such as computer graphics experts, to re-create the accident using available evidence.

Represents you in settlement negotiations with the trucking company’s legal team.

Collects information about the truck driver’s training, prior driving record, and possible criminal record.

 

Knowing the Law

 

An experienced San Antonio truck accident lawyer knows which trucking companies tend to travel more on local, regional, state, or interstate roads, and which laws apply. He or she also knows what kinds of logs truck drivers are required to keep, including driving hours vs. rest hours, routine drug testing, vehicle load, and maintenance records. In addition, if the truck was subject to a recall, the ultimate fault may rest with the manufacturer.

 

If you need a San Antonio truck accident lawyer, contact us today. One of our outstanding team members is ready to back you up.

How a San Antonio Truck Accident Attorney Strengthens Your Case

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After a run-in with a semi-trailer truck, the biggest mistake you can make is setting foot in the courtroom without a qualified San Antonio truck accident attorney at your side. You have enough to deal with recovering from injuries, keeping your job, replacing your vehicle, and maybe even grieving the loss of a loved one.

 

 

A San Antonio truck accident attorney can shoulder much of the burden of filing and winning a personal injury claim so you can concentrate on healing, not juggling a mountain of paperwork, deadlines, and details.

 

How do you go about choosing the best lawyer for your needs? It’s not unlike choosing the best doctor for medical treatment.

 

Choose a Specialist

If you need knee surgery, you wouldn’t visit a dentist, would you? The same holds true for a San Antonio truck accident attorney. Pick one who deals with truck accident claims day in and day out. Select someone with dozens, if not hundreds, of winning cases under his or her belt.

 

Choose an Expert

The best practitioners of any profession work hard to stay on top of the latest developments in their fields. The very best write about their own discoveries and publish articles, and attend conferences to obtain and share knowledge. When choosing a San Antonio truck accident attorney to handle your case, don’t forget to look on their website for a list of published articles.

 

Choose a Professional

A qualified attorney will be a member of professional associations that concentrate on their area of expertise and will be board certified in their specialty. When you’re researching the above-mentioned articles, also look for membership in organizations such as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

 

Choose a Friend

A good San Antonio truck accident attorney has the experience to know not to overload himself or herself with too many cases at once. In this manner, he or she will have the time to focus on your case and your needs, on your timetable.

 

Researching a San Antonio truck accident attorney? Lawyers at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney have the experience, training, expertise and time to handle your case. Call us for a free consultation.