Friday, 21 May 2010 22:15

Truck Accidents

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

Representing victims of truck accidents and tractor-trailer wrecks presents a challenge and complexity not experienced in other types of wrecks. The attorneys of Law Offices of Gary Green have risen to that challenge many times. The resulting catastrophic injuries alone make trucking accidents and tractor-trailer wrecks distinct from all others, but the resulting compensatory offers make these wrecks dangerous to the unwary even after the wreck. Our experienced lawyers know what you can expect to face and can help you find justice—no matter how evasive it may seem.

A trucking accident and tractor-trailer wreck that involves a motor carrier regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has built-in protection for an injured consumer. The problem is that the carriers will not disclose that they have excess insurance policies beyond the primary policy without your filing a suit:

  • They will not tell you that the driver of the DOT-regulated vehicle is their statutory employee, regardless of the fact that the driver might be an owner-operator and might have a contract with the regulated company, which refers to the driver as an owner-operator.
  • They will not tell you they are responsible for the actions of that driver as long as the driver acted within the scope of that statutory employment.
  • They will not tell you they have valued your claim at 5 times or 10 times the set amount when they are really only offering you the base amount for a full release of your right to sue.

Before sorting out all the experts for proving the catastrophic injuries, experts should be consulted regarding liability. It is not an accident when the risks for tractor-trailer wrecks are well established and can be avoided. A reconstruction expert should be called while evidence is still fresh. Reliance on old evidence can disqualify an otherwise good expert and keep the video reconstruction that helps the jury follow your theory of liability out of evidence. Satellite GPS records and electronic control modules must be identified and read before they are destroyed – usually within 90 days as a standard operating procedure for most companies.

Almost every 18-wheeler case should plead negligent supervision, negligent hiring, and negligent retention, as these facts usually are usually borne out through discovery all the way up to trial. The driver’s logs, driver qualification file, and driving record should be reviewed. Then depositions should be taken of the trucking company’s safety director, corporate representative,

relevant dispatcher, and others having knowledge of the wreck.

The condition of the tractor-trailer and its brakes should be considered. Trucks are often poorly maintained and driven by truckers with serious safety deficiencies. An alarming number of these drivers are fatigued, under the influence of drugs, or medically disqualified to drive a truck.

We have handled claims against

  • Watkins & Shepard Trucking, Inc.
  • Cal-Ark International, Inc.
  • USA Motor Express
  • J&P Trucking
  • Autobahn Freightliners LTD
  • National Bus Carriers LTD
  • Weston Transport
  • Woody Bogler Trucking
  • USA Truck, Inc.
  • Landstar Ranger, Inc.
  • Graham Trucking, Inc.
  • Stuart Small Trucking
  • Star Transportation, Inc.
  • A&J Transportation
  • West Florida Transport
  • Clarksville Refrigerated
  • D&H Trucking
  • Werner Enterprises
  • All American Bottling Corporation, LLC
  • Callaway Transfer and Storage
  • PSM, Inc.
  • Gail Stuart Trucking, Inc.
  • Willis Shaw Express, Inc.
  • Paccar, Inc.
  • Central Hauling Company
  • J.L. Trucking
  • Jacobson Transport Company, Inc.
  • Strimbu Transport, Inc.
  • Lance Trucking, LLC
  • Roadway Express
  • Schneider National, Inc.
  • JNJ Express

There is a lot of work to be done, and it takes a lot of money and people to do it. Law Offices of Gary Green has been there before. If you have questions or need additional information, call Law Offices of Gary Green toll free and without obligation, 1-888-442-7947; or send us an e-mail at ggreen@gGreen.com.

Friday, 21 May 2010 22:07

Railroad Crossing Litigation

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

A train kills someone every one hundred minutes in America. There are more than 300,000 public rail grade crossings in the United States:

  • More than 80% do not have lights and gates
  • One third have no active warning device of any kind
  • For many of these crossings, warning time is often minimal to nonexistent and pedestrians and motorists are made unknowingly susceptible to the liability of an approaching train
  • Occupants of a motor vehicle that collides with a train are 40 times more likely to die, than if they had collided with another motor vehicle
  • More than half of all railroad mishaps occur at these unprotected crossings

With all this information it is hard to consider any damage sustained by unsafe railroad crossings as simple accidents. For those lucky enough to survive, the injuries sustained are typically life threatening, requiring extensive surgical intervention, many necessitating amputation. The injuries resulting from a child playing on or around railroad tracks or a motor vehicle’s collision with a train only emphasizes the need for limited access to railway areas and increased warning devices.

Trains cannot stop in time to prevent a collision from occurring. While an automobile traveling 50 miles per hour requires approximately 50 feet to come to a stop, it takes a train over a mile and a half, more than 150 times longer, to stop traveling from the same rate of speed. While grade crossing warning signals have become more high tech and rail traffic has steadily increased, the railroads responsible for maintenance have continuously reduced their workforce, leaving the public at increased risk.

At Law Offices of Gary Green, we have experience and familiarity with railroad crossing litigation. Liability can be established against the railroad by proving vegetation was allowed to grow too high in the right of way, blocking the view of both the engineer and the driver of the vehicle. Often, engineers do not blow the required whistle sequence because the whistle is so deafeningly loud in the cab of the train. However, the train’s black box can be retrieved which will show use of the whistle and speed of the train prior to impact. Communications between the train crew and dispatchers are recorded. These recordings, through contentious discovery, can be key in establishing liability against the railroad.

If you or a loved one has had an injury involving railroad crossings or a train collision, or if you have questions or need additional information, call Law Offices of Gary Green toll free and without obligation at 1-888-442-7947 or send us an e-mail at ggreen@gGreen.com.