What To Do After a Truck Accident – A Conversation With Darryl Isaacs
Concrete truck accident lawyer Darryl Isaacs sat down to address questions for those who have been involved in a crash involving big rig trucks or other large commercial vehicles. Join us in this radio episode of “Ask The Hammer,” the podcast exploring the legal matters that matter most. Play the episode directly below.
Concrete Truck Weight Makes Them More Dangerous
Federal weight restrictions limit a fully loaded concrete truck to weigh 24 tons (48,000,000 lbs.) on interstate highways. In order to skirt around this weight limit, concrete trucks may stay off of interstate highways and use back roads and other routes where the speed limit is lower
If a driver is driving an alternate route than the interstate in order to deliver more concrete than the federal weight restriction allows, he or she may be tempted to drive over the speed limit in order to get the concrete delivered while it is still usable. Because of concrete truck size and weight, getting in an accident with a speeding concrete truck can be a nightmare you don’t wake up from.
Concrete Mixer Trucks Cannot Stop Quickly
A fully loaded concrete mixing truck is hard to stop. A concrete truck’s weight makes it harder to handle and it is more prone to tip over. A heavy truck which is harder to handle because of it’s weight speeding on a rural road is an accident waiting to happen.
It isn’t hard to imagine the kind of disaster that could result when a cement mixer is driving 60 miles per hour down a 45 mph back road and, after driving over the top of a hill, a slower moving car pulls out of a side road hidden by trees. The concrete mixer doesn’t have enough time to stop or slow down safely. If the concrete truck slows down fast by slamming on the brakes, it may tip over and the concrete spilled across the road could cause an accident with the next vehicle that comes over the hill.
Recent Accidents Involving Concrete Trucks
May 2016, James City County, Virginia – Concrete truck flips over on I-64 west and burns. The driver was trapped inside and died.
September 2015, Harris County, Texas – Concrete truck tire blowout on Highway 249. The blowout caused the driver to lose control and the truck flipped over the side of the overpass. The truck burst into flames upon impact and the driver died in the truck.
March 2013, Cheatham County, Tennessee – Concrete truck brake failure caused the truck to hit another truck on the side of the road, flip, and land on top of a man standing beside the stopped truck.
Obtain Justice for a Concrete Truck Accident Through Civil Litigation
In the Cheatham County accident Sergio Lopez, a 33-year old father of two, died when the heavy truck landed on him. The family of Sergio Lopez filed a wrongful death lawsuit which led to criminal charges. The trucking company, Nashville Ready Mix, faced criminal charges along with the driver and dispatcher, who were indicted by a grand jury and charged with vehicular and reckless homicide.
Donald Meadows, a co-founder of Nashville Ready Mix though no longer with the company, testified in a sworn deposition that the company knew the air bag on the braking system needed to be replaced but used the truck for 3 weeks without doing the maintenance, resulting in the deadly crash.
The truck was also loaded beyond the safety limit for concrete truck weight. Meadows also testified that he was forced out of the company because they were trying to cover up the cause of the accident and he knew about it. Donald Meadows’ testimony in the civil lawsuit led to the criminal charges against those involved.
Nashville Ready Mix and the concrete truck driver pleaded no contest to the criminal charges and the company was fined $200,000. The charges were dropped against the dispatcher. The wrongful death lawsuit is still pending.
Call Isaacs & Isaacs Truck Accident Lawyers
If you are seriously injured or somebody you love has a deadly encounter with a concrete truck, no one may ever find out what happened or you and your family may never receive fair compensation without filing a lawsuit. The company’s insurance carriers will not volunteer to give you a fair amount for your pain and suffering. They will process your claim slowly to discourage and frustrate you so they can get a better settlement for them and their insured; not a better or even fair settlement for you. In the above scenario, a witness who testified at the trial tried to place the blame on Sergio Lopez, claiming that anybody would have difficulty stopping in time to avoid hitting a man standing beside his truck.
Their insurance company will send investigators out to the accident scene as soon as they hear about the crash, and the investigators are there to reduce the truck driver’s responsibility and make it harder for you to fully recover for your harms and losses from the accident. It is even possible for an insurance investigator to pose as a friendly bystander offering assistance just to try to get information from any survivors. They will try to find evidence that the accident was your fault, not the truck driver’s or the concrete company’s. If the company or driver is clearly at fault in the accident they will try to place at least part of the blame on you in order to keep from paying you anything or to pay you less, depending on the laws in your state.
Your best protection is to contact an experienced truck accident law firm immediately. When you call Isaacs & Isaacs truck accident law firm we will send our own team out. If you are able to contact us from the accident scene it will be very helpful to your case and allow us the opportunity to go to the scene as well. The first thing you should do is call 911 to receive medical assistance, then you should call a lawyer.
Whatever else you do, do not say anything to strangers at the accident scene regarding:
- Whose fault the accident was;
- If there’s anything wrong with your car before the accident;
- How badly you are injured; or
- What you were doing when the accident occurred.
Rest assured, the trucking company has been advised by their own legal team to make sure their truck driver says nothing other than what they have to in order to comply with completing the identification on the police report and seeking medical attention, too.
You can direct questions to your attorney if you have one. If you are not able to call us from the scene of the accident, try to contact us as soon as possible. Insurance investigators and other insurance company employees sometimes go to a victim’s hospital bedside in order to get information or to persuade them to sign a release of liability in exchange for a small settlement. This does not happen often, but you still need to be careful.
Isaacs & Isaacs Truck Accident Wrongful Death Attorneys
If your loved one died in an accident with a concrete truck, and you suspect the company is responsible, you may never know the truth or obtain justice without filing a wrongful death lawsuit. A lawsuit will allow your attorneys to:
- Subpoena witnesses and company employees to testify under oath at a deposition.
- Demand production of company documents and records;
- Demand electronic records of all involved (including cell phone, social media, and email files).
- Force the company to answer questions truthfully in writing or perjure themselves.
- Force company employees to admit knowledge of wrongdoing such as failure to repair a vehicle’s brakes.
When your attorney gathers sufficient evidence for a strong case, you will have the bargaining power to demand a fair and just settlement or take it to trial. Juries have been known to award millions of dollars in punitive damages (to punish) in cases where there is gross negligence and/or a criminal act.
We understand that these kinds of tragedies can happen at any time of the day or night, and Isaacs & Isaacs is on call to assist you day and night. Call us now at 800-800-888 or fill out our website form for a free case evaluation or to talk to an Isaacs & Isaacs truck accident attorney.