The Dangers of Truck Driver Fatigue


Truck drivers are on the roads for many hours at a time and they often suffer from fatigue. Although the law limits the number of hours a driver can be behind the wheel without taking a break, unfortunately, sometimes drivers and truck company owners ignore the law.

Companies often pay drivers by the load, and that can encourage lengthy hours. Drivers may especially suffer fatigue when they drive across the country or when they drive for extended periods of time without a sufficient break. Fatigue can cause or contribute to big rig accidents many of those include wrongful death truck wrecks.

How Fatigue Plays a Role in Truck Crashes

Tired TruckersMany factors cause or contribute to truck crashes. The causes of accidents are generally broken down into three classifications — human error, mechanical failure, and road or weather conditions. Fatigue is one factor that is considered a human error.

In a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), fatigue was a factor in almost 15% of truck crashes. Fatigue was a factor more often at night or in the early morning hours.

Many Regulations Pertain to the Trucking Industry

Several laws in place address driver fatigue and overwork. Hours of Service (HOS) regulations require drivers to rest some hours between shifts and before they can return to the road following a break. Failing to follow the law is a common problem in the trucking industry.

Who is Responsible for an Accident Caused by Driver Fatigue?

A truck driver must drive safely on the roads. A truck driver or a trucking company might be negligent if they failed to follow the HOS rules. The law requires truck drivers to log their hours. The FMCSA requires drivers to use an electronic logging device (ELD) usually.

The ELD synchronizes with the truck’s engine to record driving time automatically. The trucking company and driver might both allow a trucker to drive too many hours and become fatigued.

Following a truck accident, it is essential to request the driver logs and any other documentation regarding the driver’s service. In addition, other factors may amplify fatigue, such as drug or alcohol use, or illness.

A driver should not get behind the wheel unless he knows it is safe to do so. An experienced Houston truck accident attorney will review the details of your case and gather valuable information to prove negligence in the accident.

Sometimes, a court order is necessary to obtain documents before they can be destroyed or misplaced. The law limits the time to file a claim following an accident.

Contact the Best Big Truck Accident Lawyer You Can Find

It is best to speak to an attorney soon. You may have compensation for your injuries including medical bills, lost wages, money for pain and suffering, and more.

Attorney Greg Baumgartner has 35 years of experience with truck accident cases and has never lost a truck wreck case. We have obtained countless millions of dollars for our clients.

We will help you get the most for your claim. Contact truck accident lawyer- Greg Baumgartner today for a free initial case consultation.

Call (281) 893-0760



Why Are Rear-End Collisions So Dangerous?


Hit in rear by big rigIt can happen in an instant. One minute, you are stopped in traffic, and the next a car plows into you from behind, causing major damage and injuries. Rear-end collisions are the most common accident in the United States, with almost 2 million per year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rear-end collisions account for almost 30% of all auto accidents and about 6% of fatal crashes.

What Causes Rear-End Collisions?

Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle hits into the back of another. These accidents are most common at intersections, although they can happen anywhere. Several factors may contribute to rear-end collisions. The driver may be inattentive or distracted and fail to notice that the traffic ahead is slowed or stopped. The driver may be traveling which makes it difficult or impossible to stop in time.

The vehicle could be following too closely behind another car. These factors can be part of the reasons a rear-end collision occurs. Rear-end collisions can occur at any speed. Often, they happen in traffic where the result is a light tap with no injuries. The faster a vehicle travels when it slams into the back of another car, the more severe the damages and injuries are likely to be from the impact.

Injuries Caused by Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions can cause some of the most severe injuries of all accidents. The most common injury in a rear-end collision is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck snap quickly forward and back, such as what happens when your vehicle takes a sudden hit from behind. The symptoms of whiplash can start immediately, or they may be delayed.

If a driver or passenger is not wearing a seat restraint, a rear-end collision can propel them into or through the windshield. This can cause severe head trauma or brain injuries. The Mayo Clinic describes some of the common symptoms of whiplash which include pain, stiffness, reduced motion, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, tingling in the arms, and tenderness in the upper back or shoulders. The treatment for whiplash includes rest, medication to reduce pain and inflammation, and rehabilitative therapy. Recovery depends on many factors and can take weeks, months, or longer.

Seek Professional Help

If you or a loved one were hurt in a rear-end collision, do not delay in getting medical treatment. Some injuries can worsen over time, particularly head and back injuries. Follow the doctor’s orders and keep records of your medical treatment and bills. Talk to a qualified Houston accident attorney. Your lawyer will immediately assist in obtaining documentation and evidence that will prove the other driver’s negligence. You may have compensation for your injuries and damages from the negligent party.

Call the Big Rig Lawyers

If you were hurt in a traffic accident, contact our big rig accident attorneys. We have experience in representing clients to obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

Call 281-893-0760 for a FREE consultation on an injury claim in Texas.



Hit by an Amazon Delivery Truck and Need a Lawyer?



Lawyer for Accident with an Amazon Van

 Amazon truck accident lawyerOne site increasingly visible is that of the Amazon delivery van. Amazon has taken American merchandising by storm, and part of the reason is their ease of purchase and quick delivery. Amazon utilizes an ever-growing number of delivery drivers to shuttle their packages every day.


Because of the deadlines imposed upon the drivers and the sheer number of deliveries required each day, Amazon drivers are pushed to the limit, which can lead to accidents.


Recent estimates put Amazon’s annual deliveries at over 600 million packages. That estimate can be wildly low, given other data that indicates that Amazon sells and delivers billions of parcels worldwide. The delivery numbers by Amazon itself are growing rapidly to reduce its costs of shipping through other carriers.



Amazon and the Independent Contractor Defense


Amazon-like many large companies seek to use the “independent contractor” defense. Such defense claims that another entity was the employer of the driver responsible for the accident and not Amazon itself. Motivations for structuring driver hiring through contractors is to reduce and control costs and also to avoid liability of severe injuries or wrongful death. There is also a component that saves corporate dollars in eliminating obligations for employee benefits from Amazon. The company is actively seeking new contractors under its Amazon Delivery Service Partners program


Houston has a Lot of Amazon Vans

The exact number of Amazon vans delivering in the greater Houston area is unknown. But there is no doubt that next week there will be even more Prime vans bringing packages to folks in Texas.


A careful evaluation is required of the actual status of any Amazon driver involved in a severe injury accident.


Amazon Insurance Coverage


Amazon drivers must maintain their insurance coverage if they use their vehicles for deliveries. According to Amazon’s website, Amazon supplies, excess insurance coverage called the Amazon Commercial Auto Insurance Policy.


What to do After an Accident with an Amazon Delivery Truck


If you are injured in an accident with an Amazon van, and the van driver was at fault, here are a few suggestions for your first steps.


  • Call the police and require a crash report
  • Document the location of the vehicles if you can buy photographs or video
  • Document the damage to both vehicles by a photograph
  • Obtain any necessary medical treatment and follow your doctor’s orders to the letter
  • If your injuries are severe, contact an experienced injury attorney for a consultation
  • Do not give any recorded statements to the other driver’s insurers until you have spoken with an attorney.


Call for a Free Consultation about an Injury Accident With an Amazon Driver

Call 281-893-0760



Should I Accept a Settlement Offer After a Truck Accident?


Truck accident settlementsWhen hurt in an accident, it is one of the most traumatic experiences in your life. When the accident occurred with a truck, you may have suffered severe or life-threatening injuries and you may have mounting medical bills. There are several things to remember following a truck accident injury.

What to do Following a Truck Accident

Truck accidents can cause severe injuries. It is essential to seek medical treatment immediately after a truck crash. Do not wait to see the doctor because it can become more difficult to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident. The most important thing to do is to focus on your recovery. You can do that much more easily when you get help from a truck accident attorney. Your lawyer will handle the legal issues so you won’t have to worry. Follow the instructions that your doctor provides and keep copies of all your medical records and bills.

After an accident, the insurance company will likely contact you to make a statement about how the incident happened. Remember that the insurance company will record your response, so it is often best to discuss the matter with an attorney before you speak with the insurance representative. Remember that the insurance adjuster may try to place blame on you for causing the crash, or might minimize your injuries. The negligent truck driver or company should pay any damages that result from the accident, such as medical bills, lost wages, and money for pain and suffering, among other damages.

Do Not Accept a Quick Settlement Offer

It is common for an insurance company to offer you a settlement rather quickly after an accident. The insurance adjuster knows that you probably need money to pay your bills and that you are most apt to accept a check. Unfortunately, the initial offer is often too low, and it may not even cover all of your current and future medical expenses, let alone other costs you incurred because of the accident.

Many people do not know that they can turn down an offer from the insurance company. It may be in your best interest to do so. When you accept a settlement offer and cash the check, you typically waive your right to take further legal action. Do not accept the deal without talking to a qualified Houston truck accident attorney. Under no circumstances should you take payment until your injuries are healed.  You might have additional medical and rehabilitative costs. Allow your attorney to negotiate a fair settlement that covers your financial needs. Most personal injury cases get settled out of court. However, sometimes, the case may need to go to court for you to obtain the compensation you deserve.

If you were hurt in a truck accident near Houston, contact our legal team to discuss your case with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

Call (281) 893-0760  24 X 7

What are the Essential Elements of a Truck Accident Investigation?


Semi truck lawyerTruck accidents occur with some frequency and they often result in much more damage than accidents between passenger vehicles. When an 18-wheeler collides with another vehicle, there will likely be some devastating injuries. A large semi-truck can weigh over 80,000 pounds, which makes it a destructive force in a crash. When you suffer an injury due to a truck accident, you need to show that the driver or trucking company was negligent. The negligent party may owe you compensation for your injuries.

Police Report

A police report is the initial documentation of an accident. Texas law requires a crash report following an accident that involves injuries. It is always best to contact the police to come to the scene of the accident. The police will secure the scene, call medical personnel, and review the circumstances of the crash. The police will gather information from the drivers and will include that in the report. The police will take statements from drivers and witnesses regarding how the accident occurred. The police report establishes the exact time and place of the crash.


Witness statements are helpful in determining the cause of a crash. The police will note any witnesses and will include their information on the report when possible. Your Houston truck accident attorney will review the witness statements and may depose the witnesses to obtain further information. Besides witnesses, there could be video surveillance that captured the accident. This will be helpful in discovering how the accident occurred.

Accident Reconstruction

Truck accidents can be violent and the drivers and others involved may not know what caused the crash. An accident reconstruction professional team uses various scientific data and devices to recreate what occurred immediately before, during, and following the crash. The team may review the accident location, vehicle damage, police reports, driver and witness statements, and more to piece together the movements of each vehicle. Accident reconstruction tries to determine the events and actions of each driver that led to the crash.

Truck Driver Reports

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires drivers to log their time electronically. The law limits the time truck drivers can drive without taking breaks and having rest periods. Trucks use electronic logging systems (ELDs) to collect and store driver data. It is essential to obtain this information quickly following an accident. Your attorney may need to legally request the data. The data can prove that the driver may have been fatigued at the time of the incident.

Mechanical Reports

Mechanical failures and problems can cause or contribute to accidents. It is helpful to obtain reports from the trucking company that show maintenance and repairs performed on the vehicle. The truck must also undergo regular inspections to ensure that it is safe to be on the road. It may be necessary to get a court request to obtain records such as these. Your attorney will seek the information needed in your case.

Call an Attorney

Critical information is needed to investigate a truck accident. Call an attorney who specializes in truck accident cases to review your case and pursue the information necessary to prove your claim.

Contact Attorney Greg Baumgartner for a consultation about your accident with a commercial vehicle.

Call 281-893-0760!

How Might a Truck Driver be Negligent in an Accident?


Traffic accidents happen with some frequency. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, TxDOT, a reportable crash occurs about every minute on Texas roadways, with an injury arising about every two minutes and death about every two and a half hours. The Houston area is a universal hub for truck traffic across the state and the country.

18-wheeler lawyer Houston

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

Truck accidents may be caused by human error, mechanical malfunction, weather or road conditions, or a combination of these factors. Truck drivers cause many accidents that occur. Some of the most common human errors include:

●     Speeding: Speeding is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. When a truck travels too fast for conditions, it’s difficult to stop. Rear-end accidents are also common when the big rig is carrying a heavy load.

●     Tailgating: Trucks need to keep a safe distance from the vehicles ahead. If they get too close, they could not stop quickly and might cause a crash. Rear-end collisions are among the most dangerous because they can cause severe and life-threatening injuries.

●     Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is a leading reason for human error crashes. Distractions include using a cell phone, eating, using GPS and other devices, and talking to passengers. By far, texting while driving is the most common distracted driving.

●     Fatigue: Truck drivers must rest for a while between shifts and can only be on the road for a certain length of time without rest. Failing to follow the rules could cause a driver to become fatigued. Fatigue could cause a driver to be less responsive, and the driver might fall asleep.

●     Aggressive Driving: Aggressive driving is becoming more problematic in our society. Drivers under pressure or who are facing other problems might be more susceptible to aggressive driving.

●     Inexperience: Although truck drivers must complete training courses before they can obtain their license, many new truck drivers do not have enough experience behind the wheel. When a problem occurs, an inexperienced truck driver is more likely to make mistakes that can lead to severe accidents.

Commercial Truck Driver Requirements

Commercial truck drivers must obtain a Texas Commercial Driver’s License, CDL, to be eligible to drive an 18-wheeler. CDL drivers must take special training classes to prepare for driving a commercial vehicle. There are many options for a CDL in Texas. There are four classes of CDL licenses, including Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D. Class A allows drivers to operate a vehicle over 26,000 pounds. A Class B permit allows the driver to operate a bus with up to 24 passengers. A Class C permit allows the driver to operate vehicles that do not belong to Class A or B and or that carry hazardous materials.

Also, the driver must have special endorsements for transporting various types of materials. Most endorsements require drivers to pass knowledge and road driving tests. Also, drivers may operate interstate or intrastate, depending on their type of license.

Truck drivers must pass the meet the medical requirements, and the owner must have adequate insurance on the truck. Truck drivers must be at least 21 years of age and have a valid passenger vehicle driver’s license. Many trucking firms have additional requirements for their drivers. Trucking companies ensure that their drivers have the proper license and certification before they get behind the wheel.

If a truck driver causes an accident due to negligence, he might be responsible for the crash. You may be owed compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, money for pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. 

If you were hurt in a truck accident, do not delay. Contact our experienced 18-wheeler attorneys in Houston for a no-cost injury case consultation. Call (281) 893-0760!

Do I Need a Quick Response Team After a Truck Accident?


Serious accidents with trucks occur with some degree of frequency. The Houston area has more than its fair share of big rigs on the roads. When you get into an accident with a truck, it can be a frightening experience. There are several things you need to do following a big-rig accident. Call the police to report the accident. Then seek medical treatment as soon as possible for your injuries. Consult with an attorney for a truck accident after the crash. You may be entitled to money for your injuries and your attorney will immediately begin the process to get you the money you and your family deserve.Need a lawyer for a truck wreck

What is a Quick Response Team?

Immediately following a truck accident, it is essential to begin to gather evidence in your case. The negligent driver should be brought to justice. A quick response team may consist of a team of professionals such as attorneys, investigators, medical experts, and accident reconstruction experts. Most large trucking companies already have a team of experts in place and they will start to work on disproving your case. It is imperative that you collect important documentation and information such as the electronic logging device, the maintenance log, and other details about the truck itself. If you do not request this data quickly, it could be lost, making it extremely difficult to prove your case.

Truck Accidents are Different Than Other Accidents

Truck accidents differ from other vehicle accidents in several ways. Trucks are larger and heavier, so the damage that occurs as a result of an accident is likely to be severe. Trucking companies generally have insurance coverage in higher amounts than other vehicles, so they can cover the expense associated with more extreme injuries and fatalities. Trucking companies often have their own group of attorneys who are ready to review and analyze the situation and they also have a group of investigators and other experts. They will immediately review the accident and may start to find ways to disprove your claim. Trucking companies have access to records that are necessary to prove negligence. It may take a court order to preserve this data in order to be able to access it for your claim.

How to Get a Quick Response Team

When you have been hurt in a truck accident, the last thing you need to worry about is gathering a team of experts to handle your claim. Yet that is exactly what you may need in some instances.

At Baumgartner Law Firm, we have access to the experts that you need to protect your rights and help to get you the compensation you deserve. We will quickly assemble the precise team members we need for your particular case and get them started on the important tasks. Your case may require a selection of professionals based on the facts of your case. We handle all of the legal issues surrounding your claim so you can concentrate on physical and emotional recovery. If you were hurt in a truck accident, do not delay.

Contact our experienced Houston legal team for a free case consultation. Call 281-893-0760

Should I Give a Statement to the Insurance Company After a Truck Accident?


Driving is safer now than ever before, but it is still dangerous. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), an accident occurs about once a minute in the state. Luckily, many accidents are minor. However, sometimes they result in serious injuries. If you were injured in a car accident, you need to protect your rights with help from a Houston semi-truck accident attorney. Your lawyer will review the details of your accident and help you get the money you deserve for your injuries.

What Happens After a Traffic Accident?

After an accident, the other driver’s insurance company will contact you to obtain a statement and to learn about your injuries. It is important to know that the insurance representatives almost always record phone conversations. They will ask you questions about how the accident happened, what you saw, and how you think it occurred. The conversation may seem benign, but your answers to these questions could have a significant impact on your ability to recover compensation for your damages.

The insurance company may try to use your own statement against you later. For instance, if you tell them you were traveling quickly, they could try to say that you were speeding and caused the crash. Keep in mind that the insurance company will always try to keep their expenses down and will not always have your best interests in mind. For that reason, it is best to talk to a knowledgeable Houston accident lawyer before you agree to speak to the insurance company. If you choose to give a statement, you will get some guidance from a lawyer before you discuss the matter with the insurance adjuster.

Modified Comparative Negligence in Texas

Texas uses a modified comparative negligence rule in personal injury claims. A percentage of fault is ascribed to each driver involved in a crash. Drivers may get compensation for their damages as long as their percentage of fault does not exceed 50%. With the rule in place, insurance companies may try to place some blame for the accident on the other driver. The statement you give to the insurance company could be used to prove that you were partly or fully at fault for the accident.

The insurance company should use information from a variety of sources to make a determination of fault in an accident. They review the police report and witness statements as well as the statements of the drivers. Remember that anything you say to the insurance adjuster will be part of the permanent record of the case and it could make it harder to get the money you are owed.

Speak With a Truck Accident Attorney

The best thing to do following an accident is to discuss the matter with an experienced big rig accident attorney. Your lawyer will review the details of the situation and give you support and guidance on how to talk to the insurance company.

If you were hurt in an accident, do not try to go it alone. Get the help you need from our knowledgeable legal team. Call us today for a free initial case consultation.

(281) 893-0760

Who is Responsible for Cargo Falling Off a Semi?



Houston has some of the most commercial trucks on the roads. Our area is a hub for transportation, and many trucks need to travel through our city to get to other parts of the country. Trucks can pose a threat to safety on our roads. One of the concerns is for falling cargo. When a truck loses part of or an entire load, it can result in extremely dangerous conditions for other drivers. In many instances, it is impossible to avoid debris on the road. Cargo on the roads has been the cause of some serious accidents.

What Causes Trucks to Lose its Cargo?

A number of factors may contribute to the loss of cargo for a truck. Large semi-trucks may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when they are fully loaded. Trucks that have open beds are most likely to lose their cargo. However, even closed trucks can become unbalanced if their load shifts unexpectedly. This shift can cause the truck to swerve out of control. Even an experienced driver will have trouble trying to keep this type of trucking accident from occurring.

Cargo that is not secured properly could come loose during transport. When the cargo is not secured, it can come off the truck in an irregular manner. There have been incidences in which large, heavy spools have fallen off trucks directly into lanes of traffic. Unsecured wood could fly off the truck and become a projectile, hitting into other vehicles. These types of hazards are not uncommon on our Houston roads. In these instances, the truck driver or trucking company can be responsible for accidents and damage caused by the loss of cargo.

What are the Laws Regarding Cargo Securement?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules in place that require trucks to use proper methods to secure cargo. The rules apply to all large commercial trucks that operate on our nation’s roads. The rules are in place to ensure that large and heavy loads will not come loose during transport. Drivers or trucking companies must use adequate tie-downs and place them properly so they will not come loose, break, or release while on the road. When the incorrect materials are used for tie-downs it can get cut, or friction can break the cords.

The FMCSA provides minimum standards for tie-downs based on testing. The tie-downs must withstand forces in every direction to protect the cargo and keep it in place. When cargo shifts, whether it is inside a truck or on an open vehicle, it can cause the truck to veer out of control. If cargo falls off the truck on the road, it causes serious harm and possibly fatalities. The FMCSA has specific rules for various types of loads such as pipes and logs.

If you were hurt in an accident due to falling cargo, we may be able to help. On the cases we accept, we investigate the incident and gather important documentation that will prove whether the load was properly secured and who is at fault.

Negligent parties can be held responsible for your damages, including your medical expenses, lost wages, and more.

Call the Truck Accident Attorney for a Consultation

Contact the truck accident attorney with 35 years experience in helping Texas families after an accident with an 18-wheeler.

Call 281-893-0760   24/7

Two Killed in Accident with Three Semi-Trucks on US 281

US 281 Truck Wreck

A major accident between three big rigs left two people dead near Hico. The accident happened on U.S. 281 just north of Hico, according to a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Officials state that the accident happened when one semi-truck was traveling northbound when it crossed the road into oncoming lanes of traffic. The semi-truck struck another big rig that was traveling southbound. The accident was a head-on collision, one of the worst types of accidents possible.

Then, another semi-truck that was also traveling southbound tried to avoid the crash in front and took evasive action. Unfortunately, the driver could not avoid hitting into the two semis that had just collided ahead of the truck. The first collision resulted in fire. Both drivers involved in the head-on crash died at the scene. The third driver did not suffer injuries. Luckily, no other vehicles were involved in this serious crash. Part of U.S. 281 was closed for more than 12 hours while the accident was cleared.

What Caused the Big Rig Accident?

The cause of this accident is still under investigation. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) put out a statement saying “The Texas DPS urges all drivers to avoid distracted, fatigue and impaired driving. These are among the top factors contributing to fatal crashes across our state.” While we do not know the factors involved in this incident, fatigue or distracted driving are likely to be at least partly to blame.

Distracted driving happens when the driver takes his hands off the wheel, his eyes off the road, or his mind off driving. Some activities, such as texting while driving, are extremely dangerous because they cause all three types of distraction. Truck drivers must follow the law regarding how many hours they can drive before they must rest. However, fatigue still continues to be a problem that may factor into some truck accidents.

What to do After an 18-Wheeler Accident

If you were involved in a truck accident, you may be seriously hurt. Seek medical attention and make sure the police respond to the crash. The police will investigate the accident and obtain information from the drivers, passengers, and witnesses. Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer in Texas as soon as possible.

If you hire a lawyer for a truck wreck, they will protect your rights and handle the details of your case while you focus on your recovery. You may be entitled to compensation from the negligent driver or the trucking company. Your lawyer will help to gather information from the accident to prove your claim.

In some cases, experts may be required to prove how the accident happened. The attorney you choose should have a team of professionals to assist with obtaining and evaluating documents and accident reconstruction when necessary.

You may also require medical experts to provide information about your condition and future prognosis. If you were hurt in a serious truck crash, you do not need to go it alone. Get the help you need from a team of respected 18-wheeler accident attorneys.

Call (281) 893-0760 today for a free initial case consultation on an injury from a semi-truck accident.

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