The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently reported in a study that sleep deprivation plays a role in 30-40% of all truck accidents. The NHTSA reported that sleep deprivation can decrease a trucker’s alertness and ability to react appropriately to changes in traffic. These factors increase the risk of an accident, and thereby, the risk of serious injury to everyone on the road.

These risks were tragically illustrated in the June 2014 wreck that critically injured comedian/actor Tracy Morgan and killed comedian Jimmy Mack, for which a truck driver was charged, allegedly having been awake for a full 24 hours prior to the accident.

The results of the study may seem obvious, but the litigation of truck accidents and proving driver fatigue can be extremely complex. Truck drivers and the companies they work for are required maintain records of their time on the road, and this proof and inferences can be made from the black and white records.

Truck accidents often involve multiple parties, complex federal regulations, and other unique factors, all of which require substantial knowledge and skill in handling such a case. You need a team of attorneys who will perform a complete investigation into the truck accident in order to identify all liable parties, gather all of the available evidence, and prove the injuries caused by the negligence of the trucker and the company he works for.

Then, of course, truck accidents are not solely caused by the driver, but often are caused by defective equipment or equipment which has not been maintained as it should be.

Your counsel should be prepared to investigate all causes of the accident in order to identify all relevant parties. Did the trucking company purchase defective brakes from the manufacturer? The manufacturer or installer of the brakes may also have liability. This is only one example.

Our office is prepared to handle your truck accident case. If you have been injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact our office.

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Someone has failed to follow the rules of the road. They are distracted, or driving in a way which is simply not fit for the circumstances. Then, without warning, with very little time to react, someone is injured as a result of the collision. What should a person do at the scene of the accident?

1. Get Help.

The immediate priority is your health. If you or anyone else is injured, seek medical attention and dial 9-1-1 for ambulance assistance, if needed.

2. Contact the Police.

Even if an ambulance is not needed, it is a good idea to contact the police and have an officer make a report of the accident. Oftentimes, all involved are polite and agreeable at the scene. Unfortunately, sometimes witnesses change their stories at a later date. If police are involved, they assist greatly in documenting events at or near the time of the accident, and will also assist in obtaining medical attention if necessary, issuing citations to a responsible party, assisting with the towing of vehicles, and assist with the exchange of insurance information.

3. Get Photographs, Then Move the Vehicles.

If you are able to do so, have someone take photographs of the accident scene, including the damage to vehicles prior to moving them off of the road. Often, people move vehicles to the side of the road immediately after an accident so as not to impede the flow of traffic.

However, if there is any question as to who is at fault or what occurred, pictures of the accident scene – before the vehicles are moved – may assist in answering these questions. After the position of the vehicles and vehicle damages have been documented with photographs, then the vehicles may be appropriately moved off of the roadway if possible.

4. Exchange Information With the Other Driver(s).

After the vehicles are removed from the road and persons involved are in a safe place, they should exchange information as to their insurance company, including the name of the insurance company, policy number, and the full name, address, and telephone number of each person involved in the accident. Of course, the police will normally obtain this information, but it is helpful to have this information readily available.

5. Get Examined By a Medical Care Provider.

After everything has been taken care of at the scene and everyone is free to leave, it is prudent to get checked out by a healthcare professional. An appointment can be made to be checked out by your primary care provider or an urgent care facility. People understand that not all injuries manifest themselves immediately after an accident. The adrenaline sometimes masks an injury and some soft tissue injuries progress with increased symptoms weeks following the accident.

6. Make Contact with the Insurance Company.

In order to get a claim opened and “the ball rolling” towards compensation for property damage and injuries, a formal claim must be established with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Most of the time, the insurance company will desire to obtain a statement as to what occurred so that an assessment may be made as to their insured’s liability. While it is sometimes necessary to provide a statement to move the claim forward, you should understand that the adverse insurance company does not have your best interests in mind. It is their job to settle the matter as quickly as possible for as little money as possible.

Sometimes in a telephone interview, an insurance adjustor may move to the next question before the prior question was fully answered. They are used to taking many statements by telephone and have been accustomed to doing so. On the other hand, most persons are not familiar with this process and do not realize how important it is to provide a true and accurate description of the events to the insurance company.

An experienced attorney has the ability to assist you in this regard because they, too, are accustomed to taking statements and making sure that the record is clear and accurate. This is why you often hear that it is not a good idea to speak to the insurance company on your own.

It is at this point you should contact our office to schedule a free consultation. We can assist you throughout the process to assure that you obtain the best possible end result.

Importantly, if your case does not settle through the more informal insurance claims process, we are equipped to proceed with formal litigation. When an insurance company knows you are represented by counsel with a proven track record, they are more likely to make an effort to resolve the case early in the process.

Sometimes, however, it becomes apparent that the only way to achieve a reasonable result is through a formal lawsuit. We are happy to handle your claim from start to finish – whatever it takes.

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Who Pays For My Medical Bills After An Accident?

When you have been injured in an accident, the medical expenses for the necessary treatment rack up quickly, resulting in a potentially overwhelming debt. Medical care is expensive. X-rays and other imaging processes, such as a CT scan or MRI are quite costly. Naturally, it will be a legitimate concern as to how these expenses […]

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Worker’s Compensation in the Poultry Industry

A study recently conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that a very high percentage of the nation’s poultry plant workers – 57% – suffer musculoskeletal or ergonomic injuries from the constant and repetitive motions they undertake cutting up chickens and turkeys on the job. The NIOSH study adds that […]

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Proving Fault in Automobile Accidents in Arkansas

In order to have a valid claim for the recovery of damages against a negligent driver (or more accurately, the driver’s insurance company) arising from an accident, it will be necessary for you to prove that the other driver was “at fault.” This means that you must prove that the other driver was actually “negligent” […]

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Pregnancy Discrimination: Five Things You Should Know

What is pregnancy discrimination? Pregnancy discrimination occurs when an employer unlawfully treats an employee differently from other employees based upon the employee’s pregnancy or childbirth, or pregnancy related conditions. How does the law protect pregnant persons? The Pregnancy Discrimination Act states, in part, that “women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions shall be […]

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The Uniform Interstate Discovery and Deposition Act: We Need the Evidence – Let’s Make It Easier

When practicing law on the border of Arkansas and Oklahoma, we often need to serve an Arkansas “subpoena” upon an Oklahoma resident in order to obtain the documents or evidence relevant to a dispute pending in Arkansas. The problem is: it is not that easy. The Arkansas subpoena is simply not effective or enforceable.  Sure, […]

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What to Do When a Loved One Dies in Arkansas

When a person loses a loved one, they not only need time to go through the grieving process, but need some direction on how to deal with their loved one’s estate. It seems that “free advice” is everywhere — from Uncle Fred to cousin Jim — who went to law school.  They all mean well, […]

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Dispute Resolution: Make Your Choice in Your Next Contract

Do you sometimes “skip” the boring “boilerplate” language in contracts before you sign them?  Don’t.  More and more often, counsel are advising their clients to include dispute resolution provisions in their contracts, including forum selection clauses, which govern the location of disputes. Unfortunately, sometimes the client follows the lead of their counsel without sufficient discussion […]

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Some Thoughts On Confidential Settlements

In an ideal world, we would not agree to confidential settlements, because such agreements have a tendency to undermine public safety and justice. Why? Essentially, confidential settlements allow companies responsible for the harms and losses to sweep the harm under the rug, and possibly continue their harmful conduct. However, as an advocate for an individual […]

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