All posts by Dlinkers

Semi Truck Accidents: Beware of Road Gators!

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There’s a different kind of ‘gator’ problem in Texas. This one is terrorizing roads, and is responsible for many dangerous accidents.

Road gators, or bits of tires that look like an alligator’s back, have been known to smash through windshields, knock against bikers, and make drivers lose control of their vehicles. This problem is common in interstate highways, where the speed limit is usually 70 or 75 mph.

But just how dangerous can these bits of tires be? And what do they have to do with semi trucks?


Road Gators: What Are They and Why Are They Dangerous?

As mentioned, road gators are bits of tires that have come off – more specifically, treads that have separated from the tires of large vehicles, such as big rigs.

While there’s a common misconception that these are caused by retreaded tires, experts say that 70 percent of grown road gators (those reaching 8 to 10 feet long) are due to low tire pressure.

In the case of semi trucks, as they are massive and heavy to begin with, low tire pressure expands the problem. This, along with repeatedly hitting curbs, potholes, and other road hazards, makes the tire susceptible to becoming a road gator.

Another factor that contributes to the problem is the weather. Road gators become more rampant in the summer than in rainy months. The heat, combined with uneven roads, high speeds, and heavy load, will soon give birth to these dangerous beasts. If drivers of other vehicles are not careful, they could give rise to baby road gators, too.

Perhaps the biggest issue is that most drivers (whether of semi trucks or cars) are not aware that the treads of their tires are already becoming loose. It often takes awareness and long-term experience to know if you’re about to give birth to a road gator. But if you think your tires might be acting funny, slowly pull over on the side of the road to inspect your wheels.

If you encounter one while on the highway, you might panic and lose control of the vehicle. Quickly swerving or changing lanes to avoid it might put you in a collision course with other vehicles. However, being on its way might damage your car and give you a shock. When it comes to gators, it seems there’s no win-win solution.


How To Be Safe from Road Gators

So how do you stay safe from these road monsters? There’s no surefire way, but by staying alert and observant, you may decrease your chances of getting into an accident because of road gators.

As these commonly come from semi trucks, be sure to follow road safety rules when sharing the road with them:

  • Always prepare yourself to meet a road gator at anytime, especially during the summer. If you spot vehicles slowing down, or if you pass by a semi on the side of the road, assume that there might be a road gator ahead. Slow down and remain alert!


  • Don’t swerve too much to avoid them. Decrease your speed but maintain control of your car. By swerving a few inches, you can already keep away from road gators and stay safe. Speeding is one of the main causes of accidents – so don’t panic!


  • Keep your distance when driving with semi trucks. Steer clear of their blind spots and avoid tailgating at all times. If you hear odd sounds or howls when near big rigs, watch out! A road gator might be born any minute.


As it’s going to be difficult dealing with road accident involving road gators from semi trucks, it’s best to consult a Texas truck accident attorney for legal advice. A professional can help you figure out the best logical steps to take. Talk to a legal expert today.

How Bad Weather Contributes To Truck Accidents

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Plenty of vehicle crashes happen during bad weather. Fatalities are common due to snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Upstate New York for instance, is known for heavy snowfall. In such cases, there two crucial things that drivers of any motor vehicle must observe: extra caution and proper equipment.

Here’s what to keep in mind when on the road during inclement weather.


Truck Accidents in Rain, Fog, and Snow

You can’t stop bad weather from happening – but you can control how you drive. When there’s snow, rain, or fog, drivers, especially those of commercial big rigs, are expected to take extra precaution on the road.

Driving long distances for example, are already exhausting on its own. But add bad weather to the mix and suddenly, it’s a whole different story. It’s also possible that conditions change as you drive from one state to another. It’s even worse in winter, when roads are frozen and truck accidents are common because drivers need to deliver load on time.

The pressure to beat the clock often leads big rigs to speed, change lanes quickly, or avoid stops altogether, just to get the goods to its destination as scheduled. However, exhaustion and unsafe road conditions make for deadly outcomes. If you’re driving with trucks, watch out for jackknifing and dangerous rollovers, just to name a few.

Just because a truck accident was caused by bad weather doesn’t automatically mean that no one can be held liable.

It’s expected of drivers to observe proper techniques during inclement conditions. For example: if there’s a reported blizzard, it’s likely that trucking companies may require their drivers to stay out of the road until further notice. Violating this may be grounds for negligence.

If it’s proven that a commercial truck driver has been negligent (e.g. speeding, driving recklessly, unsafe lane changes) in a collision, then the victim may be entitled to compensation for his/her injuries. Getting help from a trusted and experienced legal expert is highly advised in such scenarios.


Staying Safe on the Road During Bad Weather

Whether it’s rain, snow, or fog, be sure to adjust your driving patterns to accommodate inclement weather conditions. If driving on icy roads for instance, don’t forget to:

  • Use the right snow tires
  • Check your windshield wipers
  • Carry all-season windshield washer fluid
  • Clean windows and roof of vehicle
  • Dress in warm, appropriate clothing
  • Ensure both headlights are working as intended

The proper equipment will not only help you drive better, it can save lives. Once you’re on the road, follow these safety tips:

  • Watch vehicles from the other lane. If you see them slowing down, you might be going too fast.
  • For long-distance driving, be sure to make frequent stops.
  • If you get stuck on the snow, get out and check that the exhaust is not covered up.
  • In case of sliding or skidding, remain in control. The last thing you want is to make sudden decisions, like make a quick turn or hit the brakes hard.

If sharing the road with trucks during bad weather:

  • Avoid tailgating.
  • Maintain a distance of at least two cars apart.
  • Keep away from its blind spots.
  • Watch out for falling load, wide turns, or tire blow outs

Collisions with big rigs can be fatal. Even if you were careful, there are always other factors at play. Drivers may be exhausted, or one or more of the equipment in the truck malfunctioned.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident, get in touch with a New York truck accident lawyer as soon as you can. A thorough investigation will reveal if bad weather has played a role in the incident.

Aim to get good legal advice for your truck accident case today.

Can Dash Cam Videos Help Resolve Semi Truck Accidents?

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According to the Arizona 2015 motor vehicle crash facts, about 5 percent of trucks (with and without semi trailers) were involved in fatal and injury crashes of that year. Road accidents alone are a scary thought: with at least ONE person injured every 10 minutes. But adding massive, semi trucks into the mix and you’ve got yourself a huge problem.

Semi truck accidents are fatal for everyone sharing the road with them. However, as these types of accidents have unique complications compared to auto accidents, victims involved may find themselves in a tight spot. Questions about compensation, evidence, and proving fault, may not so easily be answered.

But what if one – or both – parties had a dash cam video of the incident? Would that help hasten the case? Can dash cam videos help resolve semi truck accidents?


What You Need To Know about Dash Cams and Semi Truck Accidents

Videos and photos are important evidence in every road accident. But just because you had a dash cam during the event, won’t automatically put the odds in your favor. Depending on the circumstances, it may or may not help you.

Take the 2013 truck accident as a good example. Arizona Department of Public Safety officer Tim Huffman was killed after an empty fuel tanker crashed into their cars. The dual dash cam video caught the truck driver on his phone while driving. Together with other evidence during the investigation, he was ultimately charged with second-degree murder and other crimes.

As you have read, a dash cam video can be a double-edged sword: it can incriminate you if you were driving recklessly or distractedly; but at the same time, it can also show if a semi truck driver was at fault during a crash. This insight into semi truck accidents can prove invaluable, especially if you’re not to blame.

Another benefit to owning a dash cam is that it can help show the extent of damages during the incident. Often, insurance agencies can deny your claim, using damages to your car as basis instead of the injuries you sustained. With a dash cam video, you can prove how injured you were after the wreck.

But please be advised: dash cam videos are NOT always a guarantee.


Points To Consider BEFORE Investing on a Dash Cam

In the case of semi truck accidents though, having more evidence than less is always good. Just don’t bet all your cards on a dash cam video.

Here’s why:

  • Dash cam videos, even dual ones, don’t provide the ‘WHY’ of the case (this is most important)
  • Some insurance agencies (or courts) may not acknowledge dash cam videos as strong evidence
  • Dash cam videos can still leave out crucial evidence (e.g. flat tire, malfunctioning equipment, etc.)

If you want to get a dash cam for your own protection (not just for semi truck accidents, but for everyday use), then it can be a good investment. After all, human memories are infallible.

Should you buy one, think about getting a dual cam, which has both a front (facing the road) and rear (facing the driver) camera. Experts advise one with full HD 1080p resolution for both cams. Look for other helpful features as well, such as: GPS, G-Force sensors, and ability to record when the engine is turned off. Pay attention to the size of the camera, too. Anything that is bigger than 5” x 5” may obstruct view of your windshield, breaking the law.

Most commercial trucks on the other hand, are required by their employers to have a dash cam. But as this type of technology is still fairly new, there’s no federal rule governing them yet.

In the event of semi truck accidents – with or without a dash cam video – it’s best to consult a semi truck accident lawyer. A legal expert is your best defense to help you understand the next best steps to take. Don’t delay: contact a professional Arizona truck accident lawyer today for assistance.

Truck Accidents Today: How Dangerous Is Distracted Driving?

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California is among the states with the highest recorded truck accidents in the past 10 years.

Aside from speeding and driving under the influence of drugs (prescription or not), one of its main causes involve distraction. Distracted driving is in fact, broader than most people think. It’s more than simply playing with your phone or talking to passengers.

Learn how to avoid truck accidents today by becoming familiar with distracted driving and its dangers.


Types of Distracted Driving

Texting while driving may be a popular example of distraction – but it’s not the only one. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV, there are three types of distracted driving:

  • Visual – activities that keep your eyes away from the road
  • Manual – tasks that take your hands off of the steering wheel
  • Cognitive – disruptions that take your concentration off while driving

Let’s take a look at each.

Visual distractions include looking for stuff inside the vehicle, checking or adjusting the GPS, and taking in the surrounding views.

Manual distractions on the other hand, consist of smoking, eating and/or drinking, adjusting your passenger’s seatbelt. Even if you’re not engaging in these tasks, if your mind isn’t alert, you’re still driving distracted.

Cognitive distractions include daydreaming, road rage, driving under the influence (illegal substances and/or prescription medication), and talking to passengers.

Some tasks can fall under two or more categories. Texting for instance, is particularly dangerous because it falls under all THREE types. When you text, you look at phone’s screen (visual), type a message (manual), and your mind is now focused on the conversation – NOT on the road (cognitive). Other activities that could fall under different kinds of driving distractions include applying makeup and changing the radio (visual and manual).


Preventing Truck Accidents Today

All drivers are susceptible to distractions, especially if you’re pressured by tight schedules and strict working conditions.

Truck drivers for example, have been known to cause truck accidents due to fatigue. When you’re exhausted, your mind can wander elsewhere. Soon, your eyes start to droop heavily. Before you know it, your hands are slipping off the wheel. These instances, particularly at night, are all too common.

Drug use is another cause for recent truck accidents. Whether the drugs are illegal or prescribed by a physician, driving while under their influence can have serious consequences. Depending on the drug taken, it can:

  • Cause initial alertness, later leading to confusion and disoriented behavior
  • Poor muscle control and/or increased blood pressure
  • Hallucinations, altered mental state, impaired perception of space and time

These are just some its effects. When driving, your best bet is to CONCENTRATE. This goes for both truck drivers and other motorists.

Observe proper road etiquette when sharing the road with big rigs. Avoid tailgating, keep off of their blind spots, and maintain a distance of at least two cars apart. This should help you mitigate any damages should the truck lose control.

But if you or a loved one has suffered from a truck accident today, contact a trusted truck accident lawyer immediately. Make sure he or she specializes in such cases so that your concern can be handled effectively.

Act quickly and don’t delay! Truck accidents today are complex. The earlier your case is handled, the sooner you’ll know of the next logical steps to take.

Top 3 Complications in a Commercial Truck Accident Case

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Cases involving injury from a truck accident will face unique concerns as opposed to other vehicular incidents. That’s because unlike regular vehicles, semi truck drivers are required to follow complicated state and federal rules, as well as regulations from their own companies. The trucks also usually carry higher insurance premiums, making settlements more taxing than they should be.

This is on top of severe injuries that the plaintiff has suffered. While there could be several complications that would arise in commercial truck accident settlement cases, here are the top three:


1. Proving fault in a truck accident case.

Just because you were injured in a semi truck accident doesn’t mean the driver was at fault OR that you will receive a huge settlement amount.

As previously mentioned, there are many factors involved – including a (perhaps) long and arduous factual background investigation. If you feel that you were NOT at fault, there needs to be evidence that shows the defendant had violated the rules or regulations, leading to the incident. Chances of winning a trial might increase once proof is established.

After an accident, involved vehicles and their contents would be impounded for investigation. The important thing is to ACT quickly so that crucial evidence is preserved. It’s also wise to seek expert legal help so that you’ll know the next steps to take.


2. There might be multiple defendants.

During the investigation, it might be presumed that multiple parties (e.g. the trucking company, vehicle and/or parts manufacturers, etc.) are accountable. This would make the case more difficult because it would take a while to establish the proportions of fault. This is important in determining the settlement amount for the plaintiff.

For example: in a commercial truck accident where you suffered multiple fractures, it was found that both the driver and the trucking company were at fault: the driver for forcing himself to drive while exhausted, and the company for pressuring the driver to work longer hours.

If proportions of fault are unclear, the case might go to trial. This is where it becomes lengthy and demanding. There’s also a likelihood that the defendants would only pay for the damages they caused – NOT damages to the plaintiff.


3. Amount of settlement to be claimed.

A truck accident can be a real nightmare not only because of the legal procedures involved, but mostly due to the severity of injuries one can suffer. As trucks are bigger and heavier, incidents often lead to serious injury or even death. Large amounts would be needed for hospitalization, rehabilitation, and reimbursement (e.g. lost wages).

Even though semi trucks carry higher policy limits in terms of coverage, certain policies, language, and restrictions make it tough to quickly arrive at a settlement. If cases are not settled, it could go to trial – making the entire incident difficult for everyone.


If you or someone you know has been severely injured in a commercial truck accident, seek help from a legal representative who specializes in big rig cases immediately. A commercial truck accident lawyer can properly advise you on the next steps to take following the event. Make sure you get the important details, such as truck driver information and the name of the trucking company (if applicable).

Last, communicate during the entire process and keep an open mind. Commercial vehicle accident settlement cases are NOT easy – but with a skilled professional by your side, you can win.

5 of the Deadliest Truck Accidents to Watch Out for

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According to the 2014 Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts (LTBCF) annual report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes rose by 21 percent. About 61 percent of those fatal crashes happened on rural roads, with only 26 percent coming from interstate highways. This indicates that just because a road has less cars or traffic, doesn’t mean you’ll be safe. Truck accidents can occur at anytime, to anyone.

Becoming aware of what can happen on the road, particularly when a truck is involved, could save your life.

In driving, anticipation is key. You don’t know what could go wrong, so you need to watch out for signs and have your senses in full alert. Aside from driver fatigue (which is a common cause of road accidents), other elements that contribute to accidents include popping a tire, strong winds, and ill-maintained equipment.


Here are five of the most common truck accidents today, and how to avoid them.

1. Truck Rollovers

Rollovers are caused by several factors, such as: improper loading, driver losing control of the vehicle, speeding, the weather, or a combination of these. This happens when the center of gravity shifts, and the truck is forced to roll to its side. If you are driving behind a semi or cargo truck, observe it closely for any signs of swaying. Maintain a good distance so you have time to stop, in case of emergency.

2. Jackknife

This is a term that refers to the position of large semi trucks or 18-wheelers when their trailers swing out to form a 90-degree angle. This is highly dangerous as it can also lead to a rollover. This usually happens when roads become slippery, if the truck attempts to turn too quickly, or when a driver tries to swerve to avoid other vehicles. When driving with trucks on the road, always maintain a safe distance of at least two cars apart.

3. Tire Blowout

Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, depending on the load. This puts a lot of pressure on their tires. When tires do blow out, they spread dangerous debris all over the highway. The sudden incident can make the driver lose control of the truck, and make it crash with other vehicles. The tire shreds can also be a hazard as it can cause cars to slam on their brakes or affect their steering.

When driving with a truck, stay alert and stick to the speed limit. In case of tire blowouts, slow down and watch out for debris.

4. Lost Load

Truck accidents caused by lost load can be fatal. Sometimes, cargo is not properly secured or distributed in the trailer. This can make the articles shift and fall off when the truck makes sudden turns. There are also cases when cargo (such as gravel or sand) that became loose could smash windshields of other cars. Keep your eyes on the cargo when driving with a loaded truck on the road. Avoid tailgating at all costs.

5. Wide Turn

This happens when trucks try to make tight turns and end up squeezing cars between them and the sidewalk. Also known as “swinging turn” or “squeeze play” crashes, this type of truck accident is one of the most fatal, because it also leaves vehicles on the other side of the lane vulnerable to side impact collisions.

To avoid wide turn crashes, pay attention when you see trucks going on the left side of the road. This is usually in preparation before they turn right. Once the semi takes its turn, you could get squeezed if you attempt to drive forward. Slow down and look at the turn signal lights instead.


Were You Involved In a Truck Accident?

If you or your loved one has been in a truck accident, don’t hesitate to contact a truck accident attorney immediately. Truck accident cases are often complicated; so you will need someone with enough skills and experience to guide you through the legal procedures.

Ledger Law at will make sure you receive proper assistance for your unique situation. Let our expert investigators get to the bottom of the incident and collect all necessary evidence. Together, we can get the best possible outcome.

5160 Birch Street Suite 200 Newport Beach CA 92660