Semi-Truck Lost Load of Lumber on Eastex Freeway






A semi-truck traveling on the Eastex Freeway in Houston lost its load of lumber in the northbound lanes near Kingwood Drive. It is unclear exactly what caused the load to be spilled onto the highway. However, it caused a major backup that lasted more than six hours. The truck was carrying a load of lumber with thousands of pieces that spilled out onto the roadway. The semi-truck accident occurred at about 4:30 p.m. creating a severe traffic jam in the area.

An aerial shot of the freeway taken from a helicopter above the scene showed many thousands of pieces of wood strewn across all lanes of the road. Several injuries were reported and there was severe damage to at least several cars. Witnesses reported seeing cars being towed from the scene with large pieces of lumber sticking out from the windshield and other damage from the loose lumber.

An eyewitness driving near the truck stated that the truck swerved and then lost control as lumber began spilling from the rig. This particular witness hit a piece of wood at which time his car rolled over and landed back on its wheels. Thankfully, he was unhurt. Others were transported to the hospital with injuries.

Loose Loads are a Serious Concern for Drivers

Truck drivers are required to secure their loads properly before they begin their journeys. When a load is not secured adequately, it can cause serious problems. One of the most common problems can occur when the load shifts unexpectedly. When a driver changes lanes or stops quickly, an unsecured load can cause the driver to lose control of the semi-truck. When this happens, the truck may begin to swerve and the driver may not regain control.

Another problem occurs when a load is not adequately secured and becomes completely loose from the big rig, as it did in this case. The load spills out onto the roadway, hitting other vehicles and creating a serious hazardous condition and often lost load accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA, regulates and oversees commercial truck safety. Truck drivers are required to secure their loads in a specific manner according to the rules and guidelines. Different types of loads require various methods to keep them secure. In this case, it is possible that the rules were not properly followed. The load  may have come loose because it was not secured adequately.

An investigation needs to be done to determine exactly what caused the load to shift and spill onto the road. The truck will have to be inspected to see how the load was secured. In addition, the driver will be questioned to find out how he secured the lumber and whether he inspected the load before he got on the road.

If you are involved in a crash that is caused by a semi-truck, there are several things you should do. First, call the police and obtain contact information from the truck driver. Get medical treatment for your injuries. Keep all your medical records for reimbursement or payment. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.

If you were injured in a crash with a semi-truck, call our legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm today to discuss the details of your case.

Call  (281) 893-0760    24/7



Big Rig Crash Closes I-69 During Cleanup




A crash between two big rigs caused damage to both vehicles and a traffic tie-up that lasted for hours. The 18-wheeler accident in Montgomery County happened in the northbound lanes of I-69 Eastex at FM 1314.

The cause of the crash was not known and is under investigation. Both of the drivers sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to the hospital in stable condition.


The accident also caused a hazmat incident at the scene. The Texas Department of Transportation hazmat crews were on the scene shortly following the accident to clean up the hazardous materials.


One of the big rigs was transporting fuel, which spilled onto the roadway after the crash. The main lanes had to be blocked while the spill was cleaned and while the wreckage was removed. TxDOT Houston tweeted out a photo of the accident with information for drivers about lane closures.


Hazardous Material Spills Cause Concerns for Drivers


Hazardous materials can include diesel fuel and other fluids that generally are used to operate big rig engines. Other times, the truck is carrying a load that is hazardous, as in this case. When gasoline or diesel fuel spill onto the roadway, it is dangerous. Other drivers cannot be allowed to drive in the area until the hazmat team properly cleans the spill.


The hazmat team is part of the Texas Department of Transportation and includes employees who are specially trained to handle the cleanup of dangerous materials. Different techniques may be employed to resolve the spill, depending on the type of substance, the location, and the amount that was lost. The team wears protective gear to stay safe while they remove the spilled material.


Drivers and pedestrians are not allowed near the spill until it is adequately remediated and deemed safe. Cleanup can take some time, especially in cases in which there is much fluid because it can quickly cover a large portion of the roadway. In this case, luckily no other reports of damage or injuries were made.


After a Truck Accident


If you are involved in a crash with a big rig, the first thing to do is call the police to report the accident. Pull out of the lanes of traffic, if you can, so you will remain safe. However, do not exit your vehicle in the middle of a busy highway. Obtain the name and other information from the truck driver as well as the name of the trucking company that operates the vehicle.


Seek medical attention immediately following a severe crash. You may suffer injuries that are not apparent right away but will become painful later. Maintain copies of all your medical records and bills so you can request payment. You and your family may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney to handle the details of your case.


If you were hurt in a big rig crash, we can help. Contact our skilled legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free case consultation. Call 281-893-0760










Semi-Truck Towing Accident in Rush County Leaves Two Dead


A truck tractor that was towing a semi-trailer lost control and crashed, leaving two people dead. The crash happened on Highway 84 near Mount Enterprise in Rush County. The truck was traveling west on US-84 when it allegedly experienced a tire blowout. The driver lost control as a result and ran into oncoming traffic lanes. The truck collided with a Toyota Sequoia traveling eastbound. Two women traveling in the Toyota died at the accident scene.


Tire Blowout Blamed for Crash


The truck driver reported that his truck blew a tire. This caused him to lose control of the truck and it careened into oncoming traffic. The truck driver was reportedly not injured in the incident. The Texas Department of Public Safety troopers responded to the crash and were investigating.

Tire blowouts are responsible for several big rig accidents. When a tire blows unexpectedly, it can cause an immediate shift in the truck and handling becomes difficult or impossible. The driver has just a split-second to react to a tire blowout and try to keep control over the truck.


Truck Tire Safety Requirements


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes several regulations on commercial trucks including guidelines for tire safety. Trucking companies must maintain safe tires. Tires must visually inspected to ensure there is no belt material exposed through the sidewall, no tread separation, no leaks and no cuts that expose tread.

In addition, the tire tread groove must be at least 4/32 of an inch on front tires. Tires with less tread are considered bald and are dangerous. Tires with reduced tread are more apt to burst. The tires, including those in the back, must have a tread measurement of at least 2/32 of an inch.

Re-grooved or retread tires are not allowed for use on the front truck wheels. Truck drivers must visually inspect the truck’s tires before every trip. Besides a visual inspection, drivers and companies need to keep tires at the proper inflation. Improperly inflated tires are more prone to blowouts than tires inflated according to tire manufacturer specifications.


Negligence in Truck Accident Cases


If you are injured due to an accident with a big rig, a negligent driver can be held responsible for the damages. A driver or trucking company may be negligent if they fail to check the tires before a trip or if the tires do not meet the federal regulations according to the FMCSA.

If you are involved in an accident that is not your fault, you may need to seek legal assistance. These crashes can be complicated and difficult to resolve. You will need to prove that the driver or the company was negligent and caused your injuries.


Call the Best Truck Wreck Lawyers


Get the legal help you need from the experienced truck wreck attorneys at Baumgartner Law Firm. Contact us today to schedule a free case consultation.

Call (281) 893-0760






Truck Driver Dead After Accident on State Highway 31


A truck driver lost his life in a crash with his big rig on State Highway 31. The crash occurred along a stretch of remote highway about two and a half miles from Mount Calm. The truck was traveling eastbound when a tire blowout occurred, according to the Department of Public Safety. The blowout caused the driver to lose control of the 18-wheeler. The truck veered out of control and overturned and the truck driver was pronounced dead at the accident scene.

Overturned Trucks a Cause for Concern


When big rigs get into accidents, they can overturn. Trucks are more likely to overturn than passenger cars because of the size and shape of the truck and the load it is carrying. When an 18-wheeler overturns, it can crash into other vehicles, causing serious destruction and injuries. Here, the truck was the only vehicle involved in the accident. The driver died as a result and it is not known at this time whether he was wearing a seatbelt.

When 18-wheelers overturn there is a safety concern, not only to the truck driver and the other drivers on the road, but also because of the potential for a hazardous spill. Large trucks carry many gallons of diesel fuel and when they overturn, the fuel spills out onto the roadway and becomes a hazard.

Diesel fuel is flammable and because there is more it, often, the potential for fire is high. Besides fuel, trucks may also carry a dangerous load. When a truck overturns there is usually a concern that a fire could occur.


Overturned Truck Crashes


Trucks can overturn for many reasons. A tire blowout or sudden lane change can cause the driver to lose control of the big rig. When a truck gets out of control the driver has little he can do to correct the situation, especially if the truck is traveling at a high rate of speed.

An accident is likely to occur quickly. The load may also shift, causing a change to the way the rig handles. Many factors can contribute to truck crashes. An overturned truck indicates that it was traveling quickly at the time of the accident. It may turn over because of hitting into another vehicle or simply due to over-steering when the driver tries to regain control. According to CDL Knowledge, an overturn is the most harmful event in 6.7% of truck accidents in the United States.

When a truck overturns, it may be due to negligence by the driver or the trucking company. The driver must drive safely. Inexperience, load shifts, road conditions, fatigue, and distraction are just a few of the many reasons that a driver may lose control of the truck.

If you or a loved one was hurt in a truck accident you may have compensation for your medical expenses and other damages. Contact the leading Texas truck accident attorneys at Baumgartner Law Firm to learn how we can help you get the money you deserve.




What You Need to Know About Reconstruction of Truck Wrecks

Accident Reconstruction

Most serious injury and wrongful death cases involving an 18-wheeler are investigated at the scene by the Highway Patrol or other police officer and insurance company for the truck driver and trucking company.


Typically, hundreds of photographs are taken; the scene is surveyed digitally to show important pieces of evidence such as skid marks and vehicle parts.


The victim’s family very should secure a real truck accident attorney (one with a long track record of success with truck accidents) and not just an attorney who wants to handle the case or claims to be a truck accident lawyer.


The earlier the family retains a truck accident lawyer the better for the truck accident lawsuit.


Reconstruction is Reenactment


Some truck accidents are witnessed by many people and what happened is not in dispute. Other times, there will be video either on board the big rig or local video from businesses nearby. But the vast majority of serious injury or wrongful death truck wrecks involve a reconstruction of the accident by expert witnesses.


The saying “there are always two sides to the coin” applies to lawsuits involving truck wrecks. Folks usually assume that when the truck driver was ticketed liability is settled. Unfortunately, that is not how it works in Texas. Unless the investigating officers were qualified to reconstruct the accident and actually did so, their opinions are not admissible.


An accident reconstruction expert will use information gathered at the scene with computer aided reenactments and witness accounts and peace the accident scenario together for presentation to the judge with the jury.


Typically, the insurance defense lawyer will have an accident reconstruction whose opinions are always wasn’t the truck drivers’ fault, even though the truck driver was ticketed for his conduct.


Hiring an attorney early after the crash gives the victim a better chance of fighting the insurance companies attempt to shift the blame.



Get a Qualified Lawyer


If an attorney for a big rig collision cannot quote sections of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, by heart- you have the wrong person.


Many trucks now have GPS devises or “trip master” computers onboard that record important information such as speed, braking and hours of operation and the victim’s family needs an attorney knowledgeable about such matters and prepared to act quickly to preserve important evidence and also one with a quick response team ready to get to the scene of the wreck.


Often, issues such as the condition of the tractor-trailer, including brakes, loaded weight and non-compliance with the safety regulations like hours of operation are very important in establishing the proper responsibility for the accident. Investigation of 18-wheeler accidents should be handled by attorneys well versed in regulating trucks and drivers and experienced in reconstruction of 18-wheeler accident cases.


A lawyer investigating an 18-wheeler accident where braking is an issue should know of the air brake systems of both tractor and trailer, proper slack adjuster settings, and be well versed in applying the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations applicable to brakes.


On the ground evidence such a braking, yaw or skid marks and marks showing the point of impact can be very important as the insurance companies for the truck driver always try to shift responsibility to others, and primarily the victim for the accident.


Most folks assume the because a ticket was issued that the matter of liability is settled-that is not the case, seldom do tickets come in to evidence in a wrongful death case with an 18-wheeler. Usually the officer’s opinions on the cause of the crash are not heard by the jury.


Gathering irrefutable facts from the scene soon is the proper course of action for defeating the insurance companies blame shifting defenses.


Most of the time, the trucking company has the advantage time wise. While the victim is in the hospital, the team for the motor carrier is at the scene and working to create defenses to a claim.


Getting the best 18-wheeler accident law firm on your side must be a priority.


Call us for a no obligation consultation- (281) 893-0760.

More Miles of Highway Equals More Accidents in Texas



Texas has more fatal truck wrecks than any other state. The number of severe injuries from a semi crash is also the worst in the nation.

Truck Accident Facts 2017
2017 Facts

Lots of Big Trucks


Texas has thousands of miles of highways and includes such major interstates such as I-10 running across the state east and west, I-45 and I-35 running north and south and significant highways such other vital highways as US 290 from Houston to Austin.


Thousands of 18-wheeler tractor trailers travel each highway every day. According to the 2007 annual report prepared by the Texas Department of Transportation, we have over 360,000 registered commercial trucks operating in the US and over 50,000 registered Motor Carriers.


The growth in the transportation business is expected to grow annually by double digits for the next several years. This all adds up with many trucks to be regulated and finite governmental resources to monitor carriers.


It has been reported that over 400 fatalities occurred in Texas due to commercial vehicle accidents in one year alone. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2006 alone we had 4,321 fatal crashes in the US involving commercial vehicles.


Texas Highway Patrol Investigates Most Trucking Accidents


Most serious injury cases involving commercial vehicles on interstate highways are investigated by The Texas Highway Patrol which has a special accident reconstruction team equipped with the latest mapping and surveying equipment.


In severe cases, like a wrongful death case, the Texas Highway Patrol will “reconstruct” the accident and often the results many come into evidence in a truck accident lawsuit.


Other times, with less severe injuries, the DPS will write a crash report and include the insurance information and basic facts.


The Defense Always Gets a Head Start


The insurance company insuring the trucking company will often be at the scene of an accident involving wrongful death or serious injuries within 24 hours of learning about the crash. Recently, insurance companies are dispatching lawyers to the scene before the vehicles are even moved.


It is critical that the victim or the victim’s family get representation early on, so the attorneys can be investigating the accident before evidence disappears or vehicles repaired.


Do Your Research in Selecting an Attorney for a Trucking Accident


Most personal injury attorney’s want truck wreck cases because the injuries are serious and the insurance policy for the company is a commercial higher limit policy. The prudent family should look for an attorney whose practice centers on truck cases and who also has impressive results with truck cases.



Some helpful links are:

Lake Charles Man Killed in Collision with Big Rig


A man from Lake Charles was killed in an accident involving his pickup truck and an 18-wheeler. The crash happened in the early morning hours of Thursday on westbound I-10 near Beaumont.

According to police, the crash occurred when the driver of a pickup truck rear-ended the back of a big rig. The pickup driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Texas Department of Public Safety issued a news release about the incident and the lanes were shut down during accident investigation and clean-up. The exact cause of the crash is under investigation. The crash happened near the Goodyear plant in Beaumont. It is not clear yet whether drugs, alcohol or fatigue were involved in the crash.

What Causes Fatal Truck Crashes?

There are often a variety of factors that contribute to a fatal truck accident.

We do not know the cause in this case; however, some fatal accidents are attributed to driver impairment, fatigue, and inattention.

Although it is illegal to drive while intoxicated, it still occurs. The use of alcohol was a factor in at least a quarter of all fatal accidents in Texas in 2017, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

Inattention is another problem that can lead to highway accidents and deaths. Inattention can occur for a number of reasons.

Driving while distracted includes the use of cell phones and other electronic devices. Distracted driving is any activity that causes you to take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel or your attention away from driving. In the case of cell phone use, for example for texting, the activity causes distraction in all three areas.

This means that you are extremely distracted when you text while behind the wheel.

What to do After a Crash with a Big Rig

If you were hurt in an accident with a big rig, it is important to follow some basic steps. Call the police to report the crash. Allow the police to investigate the crash and gather information from drivers and witnesses. They may also reconstruct the accident if they need to do so in order to obtain certain details.

Seek medical attention immediately following the crash. It is best to get checked out by a doctor, even if you do not immediately feel hurt. You could suffer severe injuries and not notice them for some time after the crash. Your injuries need to be treated immediately because the failure to treat some injuries quickly can cause them to worsen. This is particularly true of head trauma.

Contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible. Do not speak to the insurance representative until you first talk to your lawyer. All too often, the insurance company will try to rush through a settlement which may prove to be inadequate to cover your injuries and damages. Your lawyer will negotiate a fair settlement based on your injuries and will take the matter to court if a settlement cannot be reached.

Contact our experienced big rig accident lawyers – today for a free case consultation.














Fiery 18-Wheeler Crash Kills Mother and Three Children


Beaumont police and paramedics responded to a serious crash on I-10 early Thursday morning.

According to police, an 18-wheeler hit two vehicles including a passenger car and a pickup truck. Both of those vehicles burst into flames and the pickup truck ended up sideways in front of the big rig.

The passenger vehicle was smashed between the pickup and the truck. The Interstate 10 18-wheeler accident occurred at the Major Drive overpass near Beaumont.

Four people, occupants of the passenger car, died in the crash. A mother and three children from Georgia perished in the wreck.

There were reportedly three other people in the car who escaped with injuries. Several people were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. Police speculate that the accident may have been due to traffic that was backed up because of another fatal crash that happened further ahead on the road just two hours before.

In addition to the fire, the big rig had a hazardous material spill that had to be cleaned up. The lanes were closed for a time during investigation and clean-up.

Fires and Vehicle Crashes

Anytime a vehicle is involved in an accident, there is a risk of fire. That risk is due to the use of gasoline, a highly flammable substance.

During a crash, fuel is likely to leak from the vehicle, sometimes at a great rate of speed. This flammable liquid in conjunction with friction and other things that could cause a spark often cause fuel to combust.

The National Fire Protection Association, NFPA, records statistics annually of vehicle fires in the United States. The number of vehicle fires and associated deaths has gone down greatly since the records were first kept more than 35 years ago. This is likely due to the improved safety features in vehicles today.

Still, in 2015, the date of the most recent report, there were 174,000 reported vehicle fires across the country. There were 445 deaths and  over 1,550  injuries as a result of these fires.

When a fire occurs, it can be difficult to get out of the vehicle in time, especially if the driver or passengers are trapped. First responders have a difficult time extricating people when the vehicle is on fire.

If you or a loved one were involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler, you may need to consult with an experienced attorney. First and foremost, you need to seek medical attention for your injuries. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses as well as other money for pain and suffering and lost wages.

The negligent party should be held accountable for all of the expenses and pain and suffering related to the accident.

In cases in which the victim was burned, recovery can be long and painful. Burn patients typically require surgery and ongoing care. Once the initial healing process is complete, the victim may also need skin grafts or other surgery to improve his or her appearance.

If you were hurt in  a serious crash, contact our trucking accident legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm to discuss the details of your case.













Big Rig Accident in Terrell Leaves Three Dead



A big-rig accident that occurred in Terrell, Texas resulted in three deaths. The accident happened in the eastbound lanes of I-20 near mile marker 501. The crash was between a pickup truck and two 18-wheelers. The lanes were closed for some time while investigators reviewed the scene.


According to reports, the pickup truck and one of the big rigs caught fire after the crash. Aerial scenes of the crash site showed the pickup truck upside down and burned. All three of the dead were riding in the pickup truck. Two other people were transported to the hospital in unknown conditions.


The cause of the crash is under investigation.


What Causes Big Rig Accidents?


Many things may cause big rig accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a scientific study of large truck accidents and their causes. They identified critical events as the action that initiated the collision, making it impossible to avoid. They further identified common causes of crashes.


Critical Events in Big Rig Wrecks


The three categories of essential events for large truck accidents include running out of travel lane, loss of control, and colliding with the rear of another vehicle. Loss of control could be due to speeding, driving at a speed that is unsafe for conditions, cargo shift, poor road conditions, vehicle system failure, or a host of other reasons.


Critical Reasons and Truck Crashes


Critical reasons are categorized into three main groups including driver, vehicle, and environment. Driver critical reasons are further broken down into non-performance, recognition, decision, and performance.


Driver reasons are the most common critical reasons for large truck accidents, according to the report findings. Non-performance is something that the driver failed to do to control the rig. It includes falling asleep at the wheel and becoming impaired such as when a medical emergency occurs.


Recognition means the driver was inattentive to the road. It includes the general category of distracted driving. This occurs when the driver is not paying close enough attention and fails to observe the situation.

The decision means that the driver made a poor choice while driving. An example would be speeding. Performance means the driver did something that caused the rig to crash. For instance, the driver panicked and lost control of the truck.


Associated Factors and Trucking Accidents


Many factors might play a role in causing the crash mentioned above. For instance, the driver might have been unfamiliar with the route, the traffic could have been congested, there could have been problems with the brakes or tires, or the driver might have been taking prescription or non-prescription drugs, among many others.


This accident is under investigation, and the cause and other factors will be determined. After a significant crash, an investigation team will usually review the accident. Also, the professional driver will be tested for alcohol or drug use.


The truck records might be verified to determine how long the driver was on the road. Although sometimes it is only after a truck accident lawsuit is filed that the true hours of the driver are known.


Additional steps will be taken to understand what caused the crash to occur entirely such as a formal accident reconstruction.


If you or a loved one was hit by an 18-Wheeler, you might be entitled to compensation. The negligent driver can be held responsible for the damages which may include medical expenses, money for pain and suffering, and compensation for lost wages, among others.

Contact our experienced truck accident legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm to discuss your case today.

Call (281) 893-0760.




18-Wheeler Loses Pole in Accident, Pierces Car


A woman’s vehicle was pierced by a huge pole that broke the windshield and landed in the passenger seat. Luckily, the woman was driving alone and was not seriously injured. The accident happened in Spring near I-45 and FM 1960. The woman was driving along when suddenly a huge metal pole came crashing unexpectedly through the windshield. Had the pole pierced the driver’s side she would likely have been severely hurt or killed.

The metal pole apparently came off of an 18-wheeler that had been in an accident. The truck lost some of the metal poles that it was carrying. One of them made its way into traffic and was hit by a vehicle, which launched it into the woman’s car. According to witnesses, at least two vehicles hit the pole before it pierced the woman’s car.

Spring truck wreck

Dangers of 18-Wheeler Accidents

When an 18-wheeler gets into a crash one of the most significant dangers is the possibility of losing its load. When this happens it can create a more dangerous condition for other drivers on the road. In this case, metal poles were loosened in the crash and spilled onto the road where drivers quickly hit them.

The accident is under investigation, but it shows the serious need to ensure that big rigs properly secure their loads. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA, has cargo securement rules in place. Commercial trucks are required to ensure that their cargo is secured in such a manner that it is capable of withstanding specific forces during deceleration in the forward position, acceleration in the rearward direction and acceleration in a lateral direction.

The rules provide specific values that are acceptable. These values were determined through research studies. In addition, there are criteria in place that apply to the tie-downs that are utilized in securing a load. Drivers are responsible for ensuring that the load they carry is secured properly and that the tie-downs are working properly and meet the standards set forth in the rules.

18-Wheeler Accidents

18-wheeler accidents can be dangerous and deadly. As is demonstrated in this particular incident, you could suffer serious damages or injuries even if you were not involved in the original incident. In this case, the woman could have been impaled had the pole been positioned slightly differently.

The negligent driver is responsible for the accident and any resulting damages or injuries. However, you must be able to prove that the driver was negligent. Truck accidents can be complicated and often require legal assistance. Your lawyer will help gather reports and facts about the accident to prove negligence on the part of the truck driver.

You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries including medical expenses, money for pain and suffering and lost wages, among other damages. Your attorney will work with the insurance company to settle your case or the case may need to go to court.

If you have been hit by an 18 wheeler and need a lawyer, call us for a free no-obligation consultation.


Call 281-893-0760





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