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How much do Temporary Income Benefits pay?

If you suffer from an illness or an injury that is related to your job, your workers’ compensation payments may include Temporary Income Benefits. These are often simply referred to as TIBs. They help cover your costs while you’re out of work. For instance, perhaps a broken bone kept you out entirely for a month while you healed. You then came back, even though you still had the cast on, when you were well enough to work. Paying for the medical bills is one thing, and it’s important. However, can you make it through a month with no income? Bills like utilities and grocery costs don’t stop just because you’re injured. The TIBs give you money you can use for these things as you recover. That said, many people assume that their full income will be replaced, but Texas law does not stipulate that you must be paid 100 percent while you’re out of work. Generally speaking, they pay you just 70 percent. There are some specific cases for low-wage workers where they can get 75 percent. It’s also worth noting that you only get that percentage for whatever you lost, to make up that difference. Can you still work on a limited basis? For example, perhaps you used to work 40 hours per week. After the injury, you can still work 20 hours per week. That means you’ll get the 70 percent payments for only half of your income. If you’re injured on the job, make sure you know all of the financial options you have and what steps to take to recover what you deserve. Source: Texas Government, “Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs),” accessed Jan. 5, 2018

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

What should passenger car drivers know about truck braking?

If you’ve been driving long enough, then it’s likely that you’ve seen the aftermath of a tractor-trailer and passenger car crash at some point before. These types of incidents often involve a motorist getting rear-ended by a truck. Truck wrecks often result in critical injuries or deaths for passenger car occupants. If you’re wondering why these accidents often produce such serious results, it has a lot to do with truckers not having enough time to brake to avoid a crash. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued several safety tips intended to keep passenger car drivers safe when operating their vehicles alongside trucks in 2019. One recommendation the FMCSA offered is for motorists to take time to learn more about how far trucks must travel to come to a full stop after applying their brakes. Their research shows that it can take busses and large trucks traveling as fast as 65 miles per hour (MPH) a distance as long as two football fields to stop once their operator applies the brakes. Rain, ice or snow makes it take longer for truckers to brake. If they’re carrying a heavy load, then the amount of time it takes for them to brake may be even longer. While many truck accidents can be blamed on trucker error, the FMCSA argues that motorists also engage in negligent behaviors that put themselves at risk of being hurt or killed in a crash. Drivers do this by cutting in too close in front of trucks. Passenger car operators reduce the distance and time that a trucker has to bring their tractor-trailer to a halt when they do this. Motorists who are fortunate enough to survive truck accidents are often left with debilitating injuries that they need a lifetime of medical care to address. Others end up being ejected from or being crushed in their vehicles. If you believe that a trucker’s negligence resulted in your injuries or loved one’s untimely death, a lawyer can advise you of your right to file a personal injury lawsuit in your Texas legal matter.

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A Lott woman is killed after a hydroplane accident on U.S. Hwy 77

A 57-year-old Lott resident died when her General Motors Company (GMC) sports utility vehicle (SUV) hydroplaned on a wet U.S. Highway 77 during morning rush hour on April 24. According to a spokesperson with the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS), the female motorist had been traveling northbound along U.S. Highway 77 just east of Farm-to-Market (FM) Road 2939 before the crash. That stretch of highway sits just 13 miles to the south of Waco. Around 7:48 a.m., the woman suddenly lost control of her vehicle on the wet pavement. Her SUV then crossed into Hwy. 77’s southbound lane where it collided head-on with a Peterbilt 18-wheeler. Police believe that the SUV’s driver was killed instantly in that crash. The semitruck’s driver suffered some injuries but is expected to survive. TxDPS investigators continue to try to make sense as to why the crash occurred. They believe that the slick pavement may have played a significant role in causing the Central Texas crash though. When accidents occur, police often work hard to determine which motorist may have been responsible for causing a crash. They use that information to decide whether to issue a party a citation. Insurance companies use that information to determine who to hold financially responsible for injuries and property damage. Assigning liability in motor vehicle accident cases isn’t always as clear cut as it seems though. When an automobile hydroplanes, the quality of tires or the build of a car may also be investigated. If either is deemed to have been poorly designed or produced, then a truck accidents attorney may advise you of your right to sue them for damages.

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Beware the blind spots surrounding semi trucks

In some ways, you may assume that a semi truck driver has an incredibly good view of the road. He or she is far higher than all other vehicles, so it’s harder to have that view blocked. The side mirrors on a semi are also far larger and more versatile than those on a minivan or a passenger car. Truckers don’t have a better view, though, because the vehicle itself creates blind spots. They’re so high, for instance, that there is a substantial blind spot right in front of the truck. There another one right behind the truck since it lacks a traditional rear-view mirror. With the trailer in the way, side mirrors are all that are typically used. It doesn’t stop there. The driver also has a blind spot on either side of the truck. This is especially true on the right side, farthest from the driver. Yes, the mirrors help, but cars that get tucked up along the side are hidden even from the mirrors. Truck drivers do try to pay attention to traffic around them to see when a car enters a blind spot and when it emerges. Some put stickers or other notifications on the truck to tell drivers to speed up or slow down, rather than sitting and riding right in the blind spot. However, events on the highway happen very quickly. A trucker who suddenly has to merge or swerve could strike a car that he or she never saw. Due to size and mass differences between semis and passenger cars, the danger to other drivers is far greater than the danger to truckers. It’s very important for those who are injured in these crashes to know what rights they have to financial compensation. Source: Drivers Ed, “Blind Spots,” accessed Sep. 15, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

Common truck accidents and how to avoid them

Getting behind the wheel is a dangerous task. With so many vehicles on the roads of Texas, there are bound to be a large volume of accidents. Many of those accidents involve trucks. Large trucks, like tractor-trailers, are involved in some of the most tragic accidents. Today, we will take a look at the most common truck accidents and how you can avoid them. A common cause of truck accidents is driver fatigue. This is a difficult accident to avoid as the driver of a car or SUV, especially since it is caused by the drowsy truck driver. If you suspect a truck driver is drowsy, you need to move your vehicle as far from the truck as possible in a safe manner. Drowsy truck drivers exhibit signs of swerving, swaying, late braking, speeding and even appearing to be falling asleep behind the wheel. Another type of truck accident occurs when the truck swerves into your lane. This can be avoided by leaving plenty of space between your vehicle and the truck. You can do this by reducing your speed to fall behind. You will also want to stay out of the truck’s blind spots. Weather conditions play a major role in truck accidents. Ice, sleet, rain, snow, flooding and wind can lead to accidents involving big rigs. Stay away from these trucks in inclement weather. If at all possible, stay off the roads entirely. Distracted driving is another common cause of truck accidents. If you think a truck driver is distracted do not try to get their attention. Move as far away from the truck as possible and safely alert the authorities. Do not follow the truck or try to pass it. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you should immediately seek medical attention from responding emergency personnel. Do not refuse treatment or a trip to the hospital. Delayed onset of injuries can occur. You should also protect your rights and collect documentation of the crash.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

Fatigued truckers are extremely dangerous

The duties for truckers who are transporting cargo or passengers must be followed precisely or there is a risk that innocent people will be harmed. The Hours of Service regulations that are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration help to ensure the public’s safety. The Hours of Service regulations let truckers know how many hours they are allowed to drive before they have to take a mandatory break. Truckers who drive longer than they are allowed to drive run the risk of being too fatigued to drive semitrucks. Maximum driving hours The number of driving hours that a trucker can drive per shift differs for drivers who are transporting cargo and those who are transporting people. For truckers who are carrying people, there is a 10-hour maximum per shift. There must be at least eight consecutive hours off duty in between each shift. For truckers who are moving cargo, there is an 11-hour driving limit. The period between shifts must consist of at least 10 hours of off-duty time. Shift hours don’t trump driving hours On top of having a limit to the number of hours a trucker can drive, there is a also a limit to how many hours the trucker can work on a shift. Once the shift limit is reached, the trucker can’t drive even if he or she still has hours remaining for the driving time limit. The shift limit for cargo carrying truckers is 14 hours. For people-carrying truckers, the limit is 15 hours. This law does not stop truckers from doing non-driving work after the driving shift. However, this means that the start of the off-duty time is delayed. Lack of rest isn’t the only thing that can lead to fatigue Obviously, lack of rest and lack of sleep can contribute to trucker fatigue, but these aren’t the only causes of this issue. Medical conditions and environmental factors can also contribute. Sleep apnea, diabetes and obesity are three conditions that could have this impact. Driving in hot and stuffy conditions, on familiar roads or at night might all lead to troubles remaining awake. Fatigued truckers may feel that they have to try to push through the fatigue, which can have tragic results. People who are injured in crashes with semitrucks should be aware of the potential issues that led to the fatigue as these could have an impact on who is held accountable for the damages in a civil lawsuit.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

4 tips to avoid a wreck with a semitruck

If you are like other drivers in Waco, you have probably found yourself riding next to a semitruck and hoping it did not decide to change lanes at that precise moment. You may have even seen the aftermath of wrecks involving semitrucks on Interstate 35. When it comes to a crash involving a semi and a passenger vehicle, it is usually the passenger vehicle that comes out a mangled mess. You might be wondering how you can avoid a wreck with a semi the next time you are driving down the highway. Here are some tips to stay safe. No sudden braking If you are driving in front of a large truck, it is vital that you remember that these vehicles do not have the same capabilities as your sedan. These trucks need much more room to come to a safe stop. This means that you should try to avoid slamming on your brakes if there is a truck traveling close behind you. The driver will more than likely be incapable of stopping such a large and heavy vehicle in time to avoid a collision. Don’t pass on the right Avoid passing a semi on the right. The reason for this is that the right side of a truck has a much larger blind spot than the left. If the truck driver decided to change lanes, it is unlikely he or she will be able to see you if you are traveling on the right of the rig. No crowding As mentioned above, semitrucks do not handle the same as smaller and lighter vehicles. They need more time and space to execute a turn. If there is a truck turning in front of you, slow down and give the driver plenty of time and room to get the truck through the turn. Stay visible When possible, travel where the driver of a large truck can see you. If you are riding behind or on the side, be sure you position your car so that it is visible in the truck’s side mirrors. If the driver can see you, it greatly reduces your risk of an accident. While the above tips can help you stay safe when you have to share the road with a semi, it is not always possible to avoid a wreck. If you have suffered an injury due to a collision with a commercial truck, you might be able to take legal action and fight for compensation for your injuries and other damages that resulted from the accident.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

A baby and two adults are injured in a Waco truck crash

A man, a woman and a baby were all seriously injured when they were struck by a cucumber truck just before 1:50 p.m. on Interstate 35 in Waco on June 26. The Waco Fire Department was summoned to the crash scene located I-35 that afternoon soon after receiving reports that an accident had occurred between 18th Street and South Valley Mills Drive. When they arrived on the scene, they found all the northbound lanes completely blocked. There were also cucumbers strewn all about the interstate’s southbound lanes. Police haven’t yet been able to determine the events that led up to the crash. A Waco Fire Department spokesperson did note that they believe that additional vehicles may have been involved. Pictures from the crash scene show the 18-wheeler cucumber truck stopped in the far left lane. The Subaru sports utility vehicle (SUV) can be seen turned sideways across the center and right lane. It had been carrying the injured adult female, male and the infant. Images from the crash scene show extensive damage to the entire driver’s side portion of the Subaru. The police investigation into the crash is ongoing. They haven’t yet announced if they plan to file any charges against the motorist responsible for causing this accident. A fire department spokesperson notes that the two adults and the child were transported to Hillcrest Hospital for treatment. They haven’t yet disclosed what type of injuries they have or what their prognosis may be. It’s always dangerous any time you have to share the road with a truck traveling at a high rate of speed. When trailers are weighed down with cargo, this puts you at an increased risk of getting seriously hurt if you’ve struck by them. A truck accidents attorney can advise you of your right to compensation if you’ve been injured. You may be able to use any money you receive to help you cover your medical costs and lost wages that you’ve accrued as a result of your Waco crash.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

Underride accidents with commercial trucks are devastating

Most people who use public roads understand that massive commercial trucks pose a special risk. After all, these huge vehicles have large blind spots, make wide turns and take longer than typical passenger vehicles to fully stop in an emergency. That can create a scenario where a serious crash is likely, and the people in the passenger vehicle are much more likely to end up hurt. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 97 percent of the people who died in crashes between passenger vehicles and commercial trucks in 2016 were in the smaller vehicle. While you clearly want to avoid any crash with a large truck if possible, one kind of collision poses more extreme risks than many others. Underride crashes are frequently deadly and could be prevented in many cases. What is an underride accident? An underride accident occurs when a smaller passenger vehicle ends up underneath a much larger commercial vehicle. Because semitrucks and their trailers are much higher off the ground, it is possible for smaller vehicles to pass underneath their trailer in a crash. When this happens, the smaller vehicle often ends up either completely crushed or with the top sheared off, many times with horrific and fatal results for the people in the smaller vehicle. In order to prevent rear underride accidents, which happen when a vehicle hits a commercial truck from behind, the federal government mandates the installation of rear underride guards. These thick metal bars should stop passenger vehicles from hitting the rear tires of a commercial truck or sliding under the trailer from behind. Sadly, sometimes these critical safety guards have aged poorly or were substandard to begin with, making them ineffective in a crash. Better guards are available, but many companies won’t pay to upgrade their safety features. Side underride crashes are also dangerous and deadly It is also common for smaller vehicles to end up sliding sideways under the trailer, instead of passing wheels or an axle of the vehicle first. There is, after all, a massive open space between the axles of the typical semitrailer. Many times, going under the truck from the side proves deadly, with the roof of the smaller vehicle cut off as a result. Other times, compact vehicles may survive the initial slide underneath, only to end up crushed by the wheels. There are simple guards available that could prevent side underride collisions in most cases. They look like sheet metal, and you may occasionally see them on trucks rated for commercial driving in Canada as well as the United States. Canada currently requires these guards to protect people from these tragic accidents. No one should lose a loved one or suffer a serious injury due to a lack of proper underride guards or faulty underride guards.

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Taking safety into your own hands around large trucks

When it comes to driving on the roads of Texas, no one can be too safe. Drivers need to take safety into their own hands as much as possible. This is especially true when operating a vehicle near a large truck, such as an 18-wheeler. These trucks can cause some of the most tragic accidents. Blind spots are key to preventing truck accidents. Blind spots are found around the entire truck, but the most common ones are on either side of vehicle. If you are driving in a lane next to the truck, be sure you can see the driver in the truck’s mirrors. If you can’t, it’s likely he or she cannot see your vehicle. Give your vehicle plenty of room when passing the truck. The more room you leave to maneuver, the better. You don’t want to pass a truck too closely because it could clip the back of your vehicle, sending you into a tailspin or off the road. You should never tailgate when driving in Texas. This is even more important when following behind a truck. Tailgating a truck can lead to a tragic accident. Trucks require more time to stop compared to cars, and if they slam on their brakes, your vehicle could wind up in the back of the truck if you were tailgating. Trucks have a turning radius of 55 feet. That’s quite a bit of space. Leave trucks plenty of room to turn at intersections so you do not become the victim of an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Waco truck accident, contact our firm to speak with an attorney. You will want to do everything possible to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.

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