Moving Truck Accidents 

Logging Truck Accident On Highway Hiring a professional moving company can sometimes cost thousands of dollars depending on the distance, number of belongings, and company prices.

Renting a box truck to move everything yourself is not only more convenient than using a regular car but is also usually much less expensive.

However, most companies only have valid license and age requirements, so inexperienced people can rent moving trucks without realizing the potential dangers. 

Safety Concerns 

Moving trucks are much larger and heavier, making them harder to maneuver and guide than a regular car. Furthermore, because of the large box-size without windows, there are many more blind spots, so you can’t see behind yourself while driving in addition to lowered visibility. An inexperienced driver may not realize whether anything is wrong as well. For example, there have been cases where the back latch was not securely fastened, and items spilled out. This can cause severe accidents for other drivers on the road and could cause immense traffic jams. 

Driving a moving truck requires: 

  • Using additional caution 
  • Making wider turns 
  • Taking note where your blind spots are 
  • Guidance when backing out, as you will not be able to see behind your rental 
  • Driving slowly and patiently 
  • Carefully maneuvering the large size of the truck when driving through narrow streets 
  • Securing the back latch securely to avoid belongings spilling out 
  • Paying close attention to your surroundings 
  • Adhering to the rules of the road 

Who Is Liable? 

If a company allows someone without a valid license to rent one of their trucks, they could be held liable for injuries following an accident. Likewise, if a company rents to someone who has clearly been drinking or under the influence of drugs, they will not escape liability. Furthermore, they are required to complete a safety check prior to renting to make sure that the latch, lights, and brakes are in proper working condition. Companies are required to upkeep and maintain their trucks. Proving that a company was negligent in the rental process or inspection could allow you to sue them following a wreck. 

On the other hand, the driver of the moving truck can also be liable. Just like driving a regular car, drivers must abide by the laws and drive safely. Inexperience and the fact that the rental company properly rented a truck to the driver, does not mean that the driver won’t be held liable for his own negligence or mishandling of driving a rental truck. Because moving trucks are much harder to drive than a regular car, you must be confident in your ability to drive one and take all the precautions listed above. Otherwise, you should thoroughly consider spending the extra money on professional movers to avoid an accident, injuries, and possible liability. 

Contact Our Attorneys 

If you or a close family member has been involved in a moving truck accident, you should contact our skilled attorneys as soon as possible to see what we can do for you. We will be able to review and evaluate the unique facts of your case and let you know what your options are to pursue a suit. Call us at (716) 907-7777 today for a free consultation.

Everything You Need To Know About Tractor Trailer Accidents 

tractor trailer rolls over and lands in the median A tractor trailer is a vehicle that is a semi with an attached trailer to it.

People who operate them must drive for many hours, meet deadlines, and obey all the applicable laws.

It takes a lot of patience and awareness to be capable of driving such a large vehicle because they are very difficult to properly drive, especially under the circumstances.

Driving a tractor trailer involves being even more aware of blind spots for other cars and being extra careful while turning. Tractor trailer accidents have caused not only fires and severe injuries, but also deaths and highway car pileups. 

Safety Measures 

When you are driving on the road or highway, you have safety precautions that you should take to avoid accidents with tractor trailers. Some tips are to: 

  1. Try your best to avoid tractor trailers: Although sometimes the traffic flow makes it unavoidable, keeping a safe distance from these vehicles is recommended so that you not only have better visibility, but also avoid potential accidents. It is easy for a tractor trailer to accidentally take a sedan or SUV off the road because of how massive they are, so if you must be near one, try your best to give them plenty of room on the road. 
  2. Avoid being in blind spots of tractor trailers: Because of the lengths of the trailers attached to these types of vehicles, they have more blind spots than a regular car. While driving, keep in mind that the driver may not see you and could merge into your lane thinking that he or she had space. 
  3. Give tractor trailers space when they are backing out or turning: The large length of tractor trailers requires them to make wide turns, often needing to maneuver between driving forward and backward to get onto a road. When you see that a vehicle of this length is trying to turn, give them space so that they can take those wide turns without damaging your car. 
  4. Do not cut off or abruptly break in front of a tractor trailer: Tractor trailers are typically extremely heavy. Therefore, it takes a lot more for one to reach a complete stop while braking. Avoid being rear-ended by keeping an eye of your rearview mirror and try to drive carefully when a tractor trailer is directly behind you and double check that you have room to merge into another lane. 

Suing the Company 

If you become involved in a tractor trailer accident, you may be able to receive money for your damages and/or loss. You can sue the company that the driver was working for because under vicarious liability, the company will be held responsible for the driver’s actions while he or she was within the scope of his or her employment. The company has a duty to drivers on the road to hire authorized, responsible, and competent drivers. Whether you decide to sue the driver, company, or both, our team of attorneys can advise you on the best actions you should take under your set of unique facts. 

Contact Us 

If you have been injured in a tractor trailer accident or if your close family member has passed away from an accident involving a tractor trailer, contact our team of experienced attorneys at the O’Brien Law Firm to see what we can do for you. Call us at (716) 907-7777 today. 

Truck Under-Ride Collisions 

Rear Underride CrashTruck underride collisions are among the most deadly types of truck crashes.

Approximately 25 % of all truck involved fatalities are from these underride collisions.

There are two common types of underride collisions, rear underride collisions and side underride collision.  

 

Rear Under-Ride Collisions 

Rear underride collisions occur when a passenger vehicle collides with, and slides under the rear of a semitrailer or truck.  Factors which can contribute to a car rear ending a truck include: 

  • Trucks that are moving slower than the flow of traffic
  • Inoperative taillightsDirty or dimly light taillights
  • Failure to use reflective triangles when parked at the side of the road
  • Failure to alert drivers by using flashers when entering or exiting highways at slow speeds, or when driving up an incline at a slower pace. 

Trucks take longer to get up to speed after entering the freeway than cars do.  Trucks also need more time to slow down when preparing to exit the freeway.  Many trucks must stop at railroad crossings.  Any of these actions, when combined with taillights that don’t properly alert a car driver the truck in front of them is slowing down, can lead to a rear underride collision.   

While congress mandated underride guards on trucks after the 1967 crash that killed Jayne Mansfield, they haven’t been considered particularly effective until recently.  In 2017, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHSHLDI) issued five North American semitrailer manufacturers the new TOUGHGUARD award, recognizing rear underride guards “designed to prevent a range of deadly underride crashes.” 

Side Under-Ride Collisions 

While progress is being made to protect drivers from rear underride collisions, the same cannot be said about side underride collisions.  Unfortunately, drivers have little to no protection from side underride collisions.  Currently, there is no requirement trucks have a side guard to protect car drivers and their passengers from side underride collisions.   

Side underride collisions often happen at night or when the sun is at a low angle.  Typically, the truck driver is attempting a U-turn, is backing across traffic, or attempting to cross or turn onto a street or highway when the side underride collision occurs.  Due to several factors, car drivers have little if any opportunity to see the truck and the danger it presents, and to take preventative action.   

The difficulty lies on the truck’s conspicuity.  Four factors contribute: 

  • Color 
  • Movement 
  • Brightness 
  • Shape 

Any one of these can impact a truck’s conspicuity, but when two or more factors combine, the danger of side underride accidents increases. 

Color 

Objects the same color as the background are more difficult to see than one with colors in sharp contrast with the background.   When the light is dim, such as at dusk, or at night, the tractor trailer may not provide enough contrast with the background to be easily seen.  When trucks carry protruding loads, such as lumber or pipe, this increases both daytime and nighttime underride potential.   

Movement 

Faster moving objects are more readily observable.  Combine a gray tractor trailer with little color contrast to the gray sky and concrete, moving slowly as it backs up across a street, and the odds of an underride collision increase. 

Brightness 

Reflective tape and good side and taillights provide contrast.  However, surfaces with poor reflectivity, and dim or dirty lights, do not stand out against a poorly lit background.   

Shape 

An object’s shape can affect its contrast with the background.   

Less Lighting 

On the side of a tractor trailer truck, lights can be small and spaced up to 26 feet apart.  This often does not give the car driver enough information to understand they are approaching the side of a truck.  Without an external light source, tractor trailers are often not recognized as such until it is too late.   

If You Or A Loved One Has Had An Under-Ride Accident 

Underride accidents can cause serious injury and death to drivers and passengers in cars.  If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an underride accident, the accident was probably not your fault.  Even in the daytime, there are situations where a truck simply cannot be seen until it is too late.   

At O’Brien & Ford, we know how truck accidents can devastate families.  We will come to you to speak with you about your accident and your injuries.  You may be entitled to compensation for missed work, past and future medical bills, funeral costs, and pain and suffering.  We do not charge a fee to meet with clients or take on cases.  At O’Brien & Ford, you only pay us a fee if we win your case.  Contact us today at (716) 907-7777.  Let us help you and your family through this difficult time.    

Big Trucks and Blind Spots

Understanding the “No Zone”

The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) identifies large blind spots as one of several operating limitations of large trucks and buses, along with long stopping distances and making wide turns.  Big truck blind spots include 20 feet in front of the truck, 30 feet behind the truck, as well as blind spots to the right and the left of the vehicle.  As a simple rule of thumb, passing vehicles should presume they are in a truck driver’s blind spot unless they can see the truck driver’s face in the truck’s side mirror.

Safety Tips in Blind Spots

The FMCSA offers several suggestions for driving safely around large trucks and buses.

Be Aware of Your Position

Because truck driver blind spots are large, drivers are encouraged to stay out of “no zones” whenever possible.  Obviously, this isn’t always possible.  Drivers should bear blind spots in mind when passing a big truck, or merging next to a big truck.  Drivers should also watch for trucks turning, backing up, or changing lanes.

Passing Safely

When you pass a big truck, recall first the blind spot up to 30 feet behind the truck.  Make sure you are out of this blind zone.  Signal your turn before moving into the left lane.  Accelerate to pass the truck quickly and safely.  Do not linger in the blind spot on the side of the truck.  Make sure you can see the truck in your rearview mirror before you return to your own lane in front of the truck.

When a truck is passing your car, stay in the right lane and slow down slightly.  This gives the truck driver room to pass safely.  It also allows the driver to pass more quickly, getting you out of the blind spot faster.

Watch for Signals

Buses and trucks need more turning room.  Consequently, they may initiate turns from the middle lane, rather than the far right.  If a truck driver is signaling a turn, believe them, even if they don’t appear to you to be in a turning lane.  Never try to speed by a truck on the right when they are signaling a right – hand turn.  Recall, you are driving directly in a “no zone,” and the truck driver may not see you.  Similarly, when a truck comes onto the highway, merging from the right, bear in mind the driver’s extended blind spot.  If you can slow down, or change lanes further to the left, do so.

Big Truck Statistics

FMCSA offers some sobering facts about accidents with large trucks and buses.

  • 7 out of every 10 people killed in crashes with large trucks are occupants of other vehicles.
  • 30 % of all fatal crashes that occur in work zones involve one or more large trucks.
  • 61 % of all fatal crashes involving large trucks happen on rural roads.

If You Have Been Injured by a Big Truck or Tractor Trailer

If you are injured by a big truck, or if you have lost a loved one in a crash with a big truck, you may be entitled to compensation.  At The O’Brien Firm, we will come to you to discuss your case at no cost to you.  We only charge a fee if we recover for you.  Give us a call at 716-907-7777 today.

 

 

The Dangers of Tractor-Trailer Companies Cutting Corners

Tractor-trailer accidents result in roughly 5,000 deaths each and every year in the United States. The trucks are large, heavy and don’t react as quickly as compact cars. This is why it’s always important to keep them properly maintained.

 

For every number of hours on the road, large trucks need to undergo detailed inspections to ensure that their equipment is sufficiently maintained. If these are skipped, it increases the likelihood of things going catastrophically wrong. Unfortunately, the problem can occur more frequently when the companies running the fleet aren’t responsible enough to maintain compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

 

Due to the size and weight of tractor-trailers, it takes less of an impact on compact cars to cause damage and injury to the people involved. This is why it is of utmost importance to take every step possible in order to avoid any chance of an accident. One of the easiest steps is complying with the federal regulations and keeping up with the maintenance of fleets.

 

In fact, according to the IIHS, tractor-trailers running with defective equipment were two times more likely to be involved in a crash than trucks with no present defects. In addition, it was found that in the tractor-trailer crashes that were investigated, 42% of them involved defective brakes. If you need more evidence, in a 2010 study conducted by the Transportation Research Record, it was concluded that after the post-crash inspection almost 55% of crashes had at least one mechanical violation.

 

When these crashes do occur, they are most commonly front-end collisions, rear-ending, sideswiping and t-boning. All of which can result in serious injury or even death to any person involved. While oftentimes the truck drivers get away unscathed, individuals and families in compact vehicles barely make it away with their lives. Serious injuries apart from death can include traumatic spinal injuries, brain damage, internal organ injuries as well as paralysis and amputation.

 

You’re in Good Hands with The O’Brien Firm

 

At The O’Brien Firm, you can rest easy knowing that we will relentlessly seek justice for those injured in trucking accidents. We continue fighting until our clients receive the compensation that they deserve. This is because at The O’Brien Firm, we consider not only our clients, but also their families and loved ones. Our mission is to ensure that when the lawsuit is over and the dust has settled, everyone is able to make a fresh start.

 

When you choose the O’Brien Firm to manage your case, you can focus on recovering, knowing that we will work day-in and day-out to pursue the justice you deserve. If you or your loved ones were injured as a result of a large truck accident, contact our team at (716) 907-7777. And remember, you only pay if we win your case.

 

 

What to Do After a Tractor Trailer Accident

Tractor trailer accidents are frightening, complicated, and stressful. While no one plans to be in a tractor trailer accident, it is important to be prepared. One of the most important factors is trying to stay calm so you are thinking clearly. This will help you remember details of the accident.

Here are the steps you should take following a tractor trailer accident.

1. Get to Safety

Most tractor trailer accidents occur on busy roadways. If possible, get your car off the highway and away from traffic. This will help prevent any further accidents or damage and allow you to assess the accident scene safely.

2. Call the Police

Report the accident right away. The police have specific information and evidence that they will collect from the scene. Be prepared for them to ask you questions about the accident and gather information from any witnesses.

3. Address Your Medical Needs

Make sure you and everyone in your vehicle is OK. Your health is the most important factor, so get to a hospital for an examination. Even if you think you haven’t suffered any injuries, it is better to be sure and get checked out by a doctor. Be sure to get copies of the medical report from the hospital visit.

4. Record Everything

Take photos of the accident scene. Document all damage to your car and the tractor trailer. Take photos of any marks in the road or surrounding area that can tell the story of what happened in the accident. As soon as you have a moment, write down everything you remember from the accident. Doing this right away ensures you will remember as many details as possible.

5. Inform Your Insurance Company

Make your health and auto insurance companies aware of the accident. Depending on the size of the accident they may send an adjuster to get information for their claim. Don’t sign anything until you have talked to a lawyer. Discuss your coverage and make sure you are getting the most from your policy.

6. Hire a Lawyer

Your accident could have been caused by negligence on the part of the tractor trailer driver or company. Most tractor trailer drivers are trained to take photos, not speak to anyone involved in the accident, and deny any liability. A lawyer will help defend against any claims their business or insurance company might make against you. It is especially important to hire a lawyer if you were injured in the incident. The O’Brien Firm specializes in all types of car and tractor trailer accidents and will do everything possible to ensure you get a fair outcome after an accident. Advice and consultation is free. All you have to do is call. 716-907-7777 or 716- 980-4272

Trucking Accidents and Increased Driver Safety

In 2015, nearly 4,000 mothers, children, fathers, brothers, and sisters lost their lives in large truck crashes. Though some of the victims were the truckers, themselves, the majority – 69% – were from passenger cars.

Despite these discouraging numbers, law enforcement is working to find an answer. Between creating teen safety driving courses that encourage safer driving around large trucks to implementing Operation Safe Driver Week, police, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance are leveraging education to curb the number of these devastating accidents.

To combat these disturbing statistics, Operation Safe Driver Weeks holds activities across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to increase commercial traffic enforcement, including safety belt and driver roadside inspections. It also hopes to improve driver regulatory compliance and commercial driver education while educating youth about sharing the road with larger trucks.

A few of the takeaways – for teen and adult drivers – is to avoid driving distractedly or when intoxicated, and steer clear of blind spots.

How Trucking Accidents Occur

While there’s hope that these educational incentives will change lives and prevent accidents in the future, there are many people who lost their lives in preventable situations. A few reasons accidents may happen involving trucks include:

  • Drowsy/Exhausted Driving. Sometimes, drivers are pushed to the limits by the companies they work for. Other times, they push themselves because of financial incentives. Either way, driving without rest is both dangerous and illegal.
  • Poorly Loaded Freight. When freight isn’t loaded correctly, it means the truck is off-balance and drivers can easily lose control, leading to accidents. Sometimes drivers load their own freight without proper training, leading to this imbalance. Sometimes, the people who load it for the company don’t take into consideration the importance of proper loading.
  • Poor Truck Maintenance. Whether a truck is driver-owned or company-owned, it must be properly maintained and inspected before hitting the highways at top-speed. A simple tire blow-out can lead to devastating consequences for other drivers on the road.

Trust O’Brien Firm with Your Case

At The O’Brien Firm, we seek justice for those who have been injured in trucking accidents. We never give up on our clients; we keep fighting until they get the compensation they deserve. To us, every case is personal. With The O’Brien Firm, you will never feel like a number. If your loved one died as a result of a trucking accident or you were injured, talk with our team. When you consult with one of our Buffalo personal injury lawyers, they will research your situation and develop a personalized and unique approach to your case.

 

At The O’Brien Firm, we consider not only our clients, but also their families and loved ones. Our mission is to ensure that when the lawsuit is over and the dust has settled, everyone is able to make a fresh start.

 

When you choose The O’Brien Firm to handle your case, you can focus on recovering from your large truck accident, knowing we will work hard to pursue the justice you deserve.

Trucking Accidents and Increased Driver Safety

In 2015, nearly 4,000 mothers, children, fathers, brothers, and sisters lost their lives in large truck crashes. Though some of the victims were the truckers, themselves, the majority – 69% – were from passenger cars.

Despite these discouraging numbers, law enforcement is working to find an answer. Between creating teen safety driving courses that encourage safer driving around large trucks to implementing Operation Safe Driver Week, police, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance are leveraging education to curb the number of these devastating accidents.

To combat these disturbing statistics, Operation Safe Driver Weeks holds activities across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to increase commercial traffic enforcement, including safety belt and driver roadside inspections. It also hopes to improve driver regulatory compliance and commercial driver education while educating youth about sharing the road with larger trucks.

A few of the takeaways – for teen and adult drivers – is to avoid driving distractedly or when intoxicated, and steer clear of blind spots.

How Trucking Accidents Occur

While there’s hope that these educational incentives will change lives and prevent accidents in the future, there are many people who lost their lives in preventable situations. A few reasons accidents may happen involving trucks include:

  • Drowsy/Exhausted Driving. Sometimes, drivers are pushed to the limits by the companies they work for. Other times, they push themselves because of financial incentives. Either way, driving without rest is both dangerous and illegal.
  • Poorly Loaded Freight. When freight isn’t loaded correctly, it means the truck is off-balance and drivers can easily lose control, leading to accidents. Sometimes drivers load their own freight without proper training, leading to this imbalance. Sometimes, the people who load it for the company don’t take into consideration the importance of proper loading.
  • Poor Truck Maintenance. Whether a truck is driver-owned or company-owned, it must be properly maintained and inspected before hitting the highways at top-speed. A simple tire blow-out can lead to devastating consequences for other drivers on the road.

Trust O’Brien Firm with Your Case

At The O’Brien Firm, we seek justice for those who have been injured in trucking accidents. We never give up on our clients; we keep fighting until they get the compensation they deserve. To us, every case is personal. With The O’Brien Firm, you will never feel like a number. If your loved one died as a result of a trucking accident or you were injured, talk with our team. When you consult with one of our Buffalo personal injury lawyers, they will research your situation and develop a personalized and unique approach to your case.

 

At The O’Brien Firm, we consider not only our clients, but also their families and loved ones. Our mission is to ensure that when the lawsuit is over and the dust has settled, everyone is able to make a fresh start.

 

When you choose The O’Brien Firm to handle your case, you can focus on recovering from your large truck accident, knowing we will work hard to pursue the justice you deserve.