Articles Posted in Trucking Accidents

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CS-San-Antonio-9-300x300The Supreme Court of Texas recently issued an opinion finding that a trial court abused its discretion in denying a defendant’s discovery request. The case arose after the plaintiff suffered injuries in a Texas car accident with a tractor-trailer driven by the defendant’s employee. After the accident, the parties took photos, exchanged identifying information, and drove away without reporting injuries. A few days after the accident, the plaintiff sought medical treatment and underwent several surgeries on his spine and shoulder. His medical providers charged him over one million dollars for the surgeries and treatment. The plaintiff did not pay for the care. His attorneys notified the healthcare providers that they would protect the healthcare providers’ interest if they settled the underlying personal injury lawsuit. However, they specified the settlement would only include reasonable and necessary medical charges.

During the trial, the defendants served subpoenas on the plaintiff’s healthcare providers. Specifically, they wanted information related to the providers’ billing practices and rates. Three of the providers filed motions to quash the subpoenas, and the trial court granted the motions. The defendant narrowed the requests, but the healthcare providers responded that the narrowed requests contained the same defects.

Under the rules of evidence, evidence is “relevant” if it has “any tendency” to make a fact more or less probable. For pre-trial discovery, evidence that may not be admissible at trial may still be permitted, so long as it’s “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” In the context of personal injury lawsuits, medical records and bills reasonably related to a party’s injuries or damages are typically relevant.

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https://www.texasinjurylawyersblog.com/files/2021/05/Screen-Shot-2021-05-24-at-12.31.46-PM-300x140.pngA family initiated a Texas wrongful death lawsuit against SpaceX following a car accident outside its launch site. According to a recent news report, the tragic accident occurred when the family left a campsite early after officials called for an evacuation because of rising tides. While driving home, the family was involved in a harrowing accident with a large semi-truck that was stopped in front of SpaceX. The accident took the life of the 35-year-old husband and father and resulted in serious injuries to the man’s wife and three young children. An autopsy report states that the man died from “blunt force” trauma due to the motor vehicle collision.

The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that SpaceX was grossly negligent because they failed to provide adequate lighting and warnings around their facility. Further, their claim contends that the spacecraft and rocket manufacturer did not maintain procedures to direct stopped or obstructive delivery vehicles to avoid these types of accidents. Moreover, the family maintains that the company, and not the local government, maintains responsibility for addressing the increased traffic that their company begets. The family argues that the company prioritized quick completion of their facility rather than the safety of those traveling on the dark and narrow roadway. In response, the company purports that the family, not the company, maintains responsibility for the collision. The company’s attorney stated that the man failed to use necessary “care and caution,” as is expected of a reasonably ordinary person when navigating the highway.

This case presents many issues regarding who maintains responsibility for maintaining Texas roads. There are many reasons that Texas roadways fall into disrepair and become dangerous hazards to motorists. While city planning and infrastructure development may address the party responsible for designing a dangerous roadway, it still leaves the question of who is responsible for road maintenance. In these situations, many parties may hold responsibility for repairing and modifying roadways to meet current demands. A federal, state or local government may all hold some responsibility for a road’s upkeep. However, the question only gets more complex when a large business drastically impacts a roadway. In these cases, fault and liability may become more convoluted. It is crucial that those who suffer injuries on a Texas roadway contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

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activity-board-game-connection-desk-613508-300x200Texas has specific procedural requirements that parties must adhere to when they proceed with a lawsuit. If these procedures are not followed and prescribed deadlines are ignored, it could result in your case being dismissed or leave you unable to get the compensation you deserve. Thus, hiring an experienced attorney is crucial when you decide to proceed with a lawsuit—especially someone who understands the ins and outs of Texas laws and procedures.

In a recent Supreme Court of Texas case, a plaintiff challenged a court order allowing the defendant in the dispute to designate an unknown person as a responsible third party. The plaintiff initially sued the defendant for negligently causing a chain-reaction car accident that occurred when a truck driver employed by the defendant rear-ended the truck behind the plaintiff. The defendant initially filed an answer asserting a general denial of responsibility and that the plaintiff was comparatively responsible for causing the accident. Then, 135 days later, the defendant filed a motion to designate an unknown person, referred to as “John Doe” as a responsible third party, arguing that John Doe negligently caused the accident. Although the plaintiff objected to the defendant’s filing, the trial court allowed the defendant to designate John Doe as an unknown responsible party in an amended answer.

More than two years later, the defendant filed its amended original answer, which still did not include allegations of John Doe’s responsibility. The plaintiff objected, stating that the defendant failed to meet the procedural requirements necessary to designate responsibility to John Doe since it was not in the amended complaint the defendant filed. In response, the defendant filed a second amended answer, this time including allegations stating that John Doe caused the accident. The trial court then denied the plaintiff’s summary judgment motion, and the plaintiff filed for relief with the Supreme Court of Texas.

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Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021:  CAMERON, Texas — A freight train and an 18-wheeler truck have collided on FM 2095 in Cameron, causing a large explosion and fire.

According to Milam County Judge Steve Young, the crash happened before 7 a.m. several responders are on the scene, as tanker cars are overturned and inflamed.  Judge Young says the 18-wheeler hit the train, causing 14 train cars to derail; however, the driver of the 18-wheeler survived. According to Milam County Sheriff Chris White, all personnel on the train are safe.

Sheriff White says the train was carrying coal and gasoline and is the reason for the fire. He also said there was hazardous material cars in the back of the train but it was not touched during the collision. Hazmat arrived and took the hazardous material out of range of the fire.

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pexels-mike-192364-300x225For many, a car serves as the primary method of transportation on a daily basis. However, no matter how careful someone is while on the road or how skilled they are at driving, other motorists who do not follow the traffic laws pose a significant threat. When others are careless and cause accidents or even fatalities to occur on the road, those who are responsible can be held accountable for their actions through a Texas personal injury lawsuit.

In a recent news report, a young Sheriff’s Deputy and his fiancé were killed in a tragic car accident. Officials say that a tanker truck may have run a stop sign and crashed into the deputy’s vehicle, which killed his fiancé on impact. He passed away shortly after and his brother, who was also a passenger, was airlifted in critical condition to a local hospital with spinal, facial, and arm injuries.

In Texas, cases like these can often pave the way for potential wrongful death claims. To file a wrongful death claim, one must first ensure that the circumstances surrounding their potential case fall within Texas’s definition of wrongful death. Claims can be filed by specific parties if the death is caused by a wrongful act involving carelessness, unskillfulness, or neglect. Thus, potential plaintiffs could have a claim if their loved ones die because of the negligence of others, such as during a major car accident, or a vehicle collision involving distracted driving.

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car-crash-cartoon-pictures-19An accident is always inconvenient, and costly, as well as dangerous. If you’re in an accident, it’s important to first call 911 immediately for anyone who is injured. Your next step? Call Carabin Shaw for a lawyer who is committed to making your bad situation better. And to prevent it from costing you more money and time.

We offer free phone, Facetime or in-person consultations so you can call us from the road or while at home. And for the convenience of our clients, we provide E-documentation options which save you time. We’re able to deliver your case documents straight to your phone. No travel time, parking issues or the added hassle of calling all the separate services for the help you need. We offer you immediate peace of mind by providing you with total accident assistance with one easy quick call to Carabin Shaw.

For your added convenience, we will arrange for a rental car to be delivered right to your front door. When an accident suddenly leaves you struggling with a need for cash, we are here to help arrange emergency cash loans for unforeseen expenses.
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amarillo-streetview-12_30_19Amarillo, Texas (Jan 2, 2020) – One person was killed in a major crash involving three vehicles on the afternoon of December 24th.  At approximately 1:00PM Tuesday, a Hereford resident was driving an 18-wheeler westbound on East Amarillo Boulevard.  As the truck driver attempted to turn south onto Ridgemere Boulevard, he pulled in front of a Lincoln driven by Amarillo resident Freddy Buckingham, aged 53. Buckingham clipped the rear of the trailer, causing him to spin out into the westbound lane, where he collided with another vehicle.  Mr. Buckingham was rushed to an area hospital, where he later died from his injuries.  Investigation is ongoing, but authorities believe that speeding and lack of seatbelt usage were factors in the fatality.

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Seatbelts Save Lives Your seatbelt is the most effective safety device in your vehicle.  Designed to keep the driver/passenger in place in the event of a crash to prevent them from being forcefully thrown into the dashboard or windshield – or worse yet, through the windshield and into the road.  Air bags can only do so much, and oftentimes only become more dangerous with the lack of proper seat belt usage. 

“In 2018 more than 2,623 people who failed to wear their seat belts were killed or seriously injured,” says TxDOT Traffic Safety Director Terry Pence.  “Simply remembering to to put on your seat belt increases your chances of surviving a crash by 45-60 percent.” 

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Texas personal injury victims not only have to prove that a defendant is liable for their injuries but also the extent of the victim’s damages. In a recent personal injury case on appeal, the court considered the standards for awarding certain damages under Texas law, and whether the $2.8 million award could stand.

In that case, another truck crashed into the plaintiff’s truck. The plaintiff filed a negligence claim against the driver and his employer, a trucking company. The crash caused the plaintiff back injuries, requiring him to undergo back surgery and causing him continuing pain. The case went to trial and the jury found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded him over $2.8 million in damages. The jury awarded damages in the amounts of: $150,000 for past physical pain, $120,000 for past mental anguish, $94,243 for past medical expenses, $200,000 for past physical impairment, $1,000 for past disfigurement, $15,000 for past lost wages, $1 million for future physical pain, $140,000 for future mental anguish, and $1.1 million for future physical impairment.

On appeal before a federal appeals court, the defendants argued there was no support for the future mental anguish award and that the future pain award was excessive. The court first considered which standards applied. Federal law in the jurisdiction allows a verdict at 150% of the highest inflation-adjusted recovery in a published decision involving comparable facts. In contrast, Texas does not use a maximum recovery rule, and instead looks at whether the evidence would allow a reasonable, fair-minded jury to come to reach the verdict that the jury reached. However, in a case that is “so factually insufficient or so against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence as to be manifestly unjust,” strong deference to the jury’s verdict is not necessary.

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One of the most critical decisions a Texas car accident victim must make when pursuing a claim for compensation is which parties should be named as defendants. Naming all potentially liable parties is important for several reasons. First, plaintiffs typically only get “one bite at the apple,” meaning that an injury victim can only bring one case based on their injuries. It is the plaintiff’s responsibility to name all potentially liable parties, and if an essential party is not named a plaintiff will not likely be able to file a subsequent lawsuit against the unnamed party. Thus, a plaintiff should name all potentially liable parties because a failure to do so could result in the named defendants shifting a portion of the fault for the accident onto a non-present party.

Another important reason for naming all potentially liable parties is to increase the likelihood that a successful plaintiff will be able to collect on an award. Serious Texas personal injury cases can result in substantial monetary damages. Often, individuals may not have sufficient assets to fully compensate a successful plaintiff and, in some cases, they may not carry enough insurance coverage. By naming additional parties, a plaintiff has the ability to collect a damages award from several parties, increasing the chance that the plaintiff will be able to collect the entirety of what she is entitled to.

Texas Woman Killed When Delivery Truck Runs Red Light

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Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Texas truck accident case requiring the court to determine if the lower court properly excluded evidence of the plaintiff’s mental health diagnoses. Ultimately, the court concluded that such evidence was relevant and that the probative value of the evidence outweighed any potential prejudice caused by the admission of the evidence. Thus, the court reversed the jury’s verdict.

The Facts of the Case

According to the court’s recitation of the facts, a pedestrian was killed after she was run over by a semi-truck that was in the process of making a turn. Evidently, the truck was negotiating a tight corner that was complicated by the presence of another motorist on the road. As the truck driver made the turn, the side of the truck clipped the pedestrian, knocking her to the ground. The truck’s rear tires then ran over the pedestrian, killing her instantly.

The pedestrian’s family members filed a Texas wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and his employer. As a part of their defense, the defendants intended on introducing evidence that the pedestrian suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and had alcohol, cocaine, and oxycodone in her blood at the time of her death. The plaintiffs objected to the admission of the evidence and the trial court precluded its admission, finding that it was relevant but that any probative value was outweighed by potential prejudice. The defendants appealed.

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