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Nebraska Truck Accident Attorney

Defending Accident Victims in Omaha and Nationwide

Truckers' logs, driver fatigue, failure to pull over in unsafe conditions. Misuse of cell phones and radios. Medical unsuitability. Intoxication and illegal drugs. All these are prominent parts of truck wreck investigations where big rigs hurt people.

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, the Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and industry standards define commonly breached duties by trucking companies, "rent-a-driver" firms, and big rig operators. This is a necessary regulatory action because of the risk of death and dramatic impairments by crash, fire, and horrible wreckage in truck crashes. To make a difference in court, the story needs to be told well, which requires it to be well researched. It's what we do.

If you've been injured in a wreck involving a semi-truck or big rig in Nebraska, call our Omaha trial lawyers today at (888) 387-4134

How Common are Truck Accidents?

Trucks move America's cargo. The American Trucking Association (ATA) says over nine billion tons of freight moved around the U.S. in trucks in 2004. Trucking revenues totaled more than $676 billion in 2017 alone, and that figure will likely continue to increase.

Trucking is good for the economy, but it is bad for drivers in cars, vans, and SUVs who share the road with big rigs. Someone is killed or seriously injured every 16 minutes in U.S. accidents involving 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers or semi-trucks. 98 percent of deaths in truck collisions are passengers in smaller vehicles.

Semi-trailer trucks accounted for 17 fatal accidents and 244 injury accidents in 2013, and other heavy trucks contributed to 7 fatal accidents and 286 injury accidents.

Why Do Large Truck Accidents Occur?

Vehicles with gross vehicle weights over 10,000 pounds are classified as "large trucks" and are governed by specific federal safety laws. The drivers of these big rigs must hold commercial licenses and undergo limited drug and alcohol testing.

Accidents involving semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and large trucks require careful investigation. Issues for consideration include:

  • Driver Service - Driver fatigue and drowsiness give rise to reckless behavior like lane drift and drifting off the road entirely. Tired truckers caused the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to institute new hours of service regulations in 2003. Even after these rules, analysts estimate that driver fatigue is a probable factor causing 20 to 40 percent of truck wrecks.
  • Intoxicated Drivers - A recent study of body fluids from 168 fatally injured drivers showed that one or more drugs were detected in 67 percent of fatally injured drivers. A third of these drivers' blood had detectable blood concentrations of psychoactive drugs or alcohol.

Driver error - Big-rig driver errors cause collisions that often group into these categories:

  • "Underrides" - Passenger vehicles that slide under another vehicle, with the majority of these incidences happening between large trucks and passenger cars.
  • "No-zones" or blind spots - These areas exist in the front, back and sides of a big rig truck. Recognizing these "no-zones", the trucking industry has advised that for safety's sake the driver of a passenger car should not be in front, back or in two lanes beside a large truck. Wide turns into passenger cars are risks due to blind spots.
  • "Squeeze plays" - This can occur when trucks make wide right turns. A passenger vehicle caught between a large truck and the curb finds itself in a "squeeze" and huge danger.
  • "Off-track" events - This can happen when a truck turns at high speed into an adjacent lane.
  • "Following too closely" - Trucks take londer to come to a complete stop, and when drivers don't leave enough stopping distance between the vehicle in front of them, they can cause devastating collisions.
  • Substandard inspection - The FMCSA reports that trucks are included in two million roadside inspections per year. These vital inspections often lead to the discovery of unsafe big rigs. In fact, more than 23 percent of inspected vehicles had serious violations.
  • Longer Combination Vehicles (LCVs) - These types of vehicles are tractor-trailer combinations with two or more trailers that can weigh more than 80,000 pounds. These trucks have a greater risk of jackknifing (the rig jackknifes when the drive axle brakes lock up), roll-over, sway, and loss of control events than other big rigs. Huge vehicle length, height, and weight make these trucks perform and handle differently than others. LCVs are especially dangerous because they sway, move in the wind, and are prone to leave their lane.
  • Hazardous Materials (hazmat) - Hazardous materials move in more than 800,000 shipments every day. Hazardous materials (hazmat) in trucks are usually flammable liquids, such as gasoline and explosive materials like anhydrous ammonia. Each year about 200 hazmat trucks are involved in fatal and 5,000 nonfatal crashes.

Contact our truck accident lawyers in Nebraska to discuss your potential case in a free consultation!

Protecting the Victims of Big Rig Accidents

Trucking companies are insured by carriers with special skills and focus on prompt response to major truck collisions. Insurers often deploy investigators in the middle of the night, fly to crash scenes, and do all they can to preserve good evidence for the trucker and de-emphasize harmful evidence against their trucker customers.

The insurers also study families, injured parties and their vulnerabilities. They try to pick the ideal time of greatest vulnerability to confront an accident victim and force the victim to make critically important decisions when decision-making skills are at low levels. Insured parties and their families need skilled legal help from a truck accident attorney in Omaha as quickly as possible after a collision occurs.

Improving the Likelihood for Justice

These ideas will help motorists to improve the chances potential collision victims will survive collisions and avoid them when sharing the road with large commercial trucks:

  • Be and stay visible. Stay out of the truck's blind spots. Be sure the driver can see you in both of
    the truck's side mirrors.
  • Maintain a safe distance to ensure enough space and time to brake.
  • Drive defensively and alertly. Expect the unexpected.
  • Indicate turns or passing movements with signals, and avoid sudden moves such as swerving to pass.
  • Drive with lights on and be sure windshield wipers work.
  • Keep windows and windshields clean
  • Do not talk on a cell phone without a headset, or contrary to law, while driving.
  • Do not drive when emotionally upset or unstable.
  • Do not express emotions through the vehicle.
  • Respect the differences in size between your vehicle and others.
  • Remember, no amount of rage or rushing is worth the risks of recklessness.
  • Wear your seatbelt and make your passengers do so.
  • Be aware of highway shoulders and objects on or near them at all times.
  • Don't cut in front of trucks.

Don't Cut In Front of Trucks

Trucks leave extra room behind the vehicles they follow because it can take them twice as long to stop. If you move into that space and have to brake suddenly, you cut the truck's available stopping distance in half placing you and your passengers in danger. Anticipate the flow of traffic before pulling in front of trucks. More than 60 percent of fatal truck crashes involve impacts with the front of the truck. Trucks are not equipped with the same type of energy-absorbing bumpers as cars. When a car is hit from behind by a truck the results are too often deadly.

If a collision occurs:

  1. Make all decisions in reasonable priority. Do not panic.
  2. Make quality medical decisions your first priority.
  3. Fulfill legal reporting requirements in a timely fashion. Get professional help to do so.
  4. Give no information to persons with no need to know what is going on with you.
  5. Give no statements except to law enforcement, your attorney, and medical professionals.
  6. Make a prompt, intelligent search for a quality lawyer and engage counsel.
  7. Hold off inquiries from the trucking company's insurer until all these steps are done.

Our law firm not only advocates for accident victims and families of those killed in tractor-trailer crashes, but also for effective remedies and action that will accomplish change.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact an Omaha truck accident lawyer at Domina Law Group today by calling us at (888) 387-4134.

Domina Law Group - Case Stories

Wrongful Death - Tragedy Strikes in the Early Morning On Interstate I-80

Parents juggling multiple jobs and making sacrifices to take care of their children is nothing new and always admirable. This was the case for Domina Law clients who were driving to work in the early morning of a snowy day in 2018.

Our client’s 5-year-old child was appropriately restrained in a car seat in the back seat while the father was driving with the mother in the passenger seat. This was necessary because the family only had one car, and this was their daily routine. The father would begin his day at work, and the mother would return with their son and get him ready for school.

On this day, tragedy struck, and our clients encountered black ice. The vehicle began spinning. Multiple cars that were paying attention were able to safely enter into other lanes and avoid any contact with our clients’ vehicle at all. Unfortunately, an 18-wheeler was driving in the fast lane on eastbound I-80 through Omaha which was behind the other vehicles that took action to avoid a collision collided into the rear of our clients care at a high rate of speed. The force of the 80,000 lbs. semi against the small family sedan was devastating and the young 5-year-old child suffered traumatic injuries and was later pronounced dead. The mother and father also suffered physical injuries as well as obvious devastating emotional and psychological injuries.

Domina Law was able to obtain multiple confidential settlements and is pursuing additional defendants for more recovery. When advising clients on a wrongful death, it is always an empty feeling to tell them they can only request money. While we all know money can never bring back a life or change a catastrophic injury or a life-changing event, it is the only method of compensation in our judicial system allows regardless of how empty and unsatisfying that answer is when it is given to grieving families.

Domina Law has decades of experience handling the most complicated wrongful death and personal injury cases. If you or anyone you know needs our assistance or has a case that is important to them, please contact us right away!

Wrongful Death - Husband and Wife Die after Being Trapped in Burning Car Following a Multiple Vehicle Collision

Wrongful death cases arise from all types of factual scenarios. One of the most common are deaths following motor vehicle and 18-wheeler collisions. These types of accidents are all too common and are often the result of driver distraction or driving in dangerous conditions.

Domina Law Group and its lawyer, Brian Jorde, represented a family who lost their mother and stepfather in a terrible accident when their small SUV was t-boned by a semi traveling over 60 miles an hour southbound. Later the semi and SUV collided into another semi traveling northbound creating a giant fire that engulfed one of the semis and the SUV.

At the time of the accident, a Nebraska Department of Roads crew was changing a stop sign and had failed to put up a temporary stop sign and had a piece of equipment blocking one other stop sign at the intersection.

Domina Law filed suit against the surviving driver of the oncoming truck who struck our clients’ parents’ vehicle as well as the State of Nebraska for allegedly failing to follow procedure and protocol when changing traffic signs at an intersection on a state highway as well as allegedly failing to use the proper warning and traffic control devices to properly notify ongoing traffic of the work taking place. Multiple lawsuits by multiple parties were filed resulting from this tragic accident which also claimed the life of the northbound semi-truck driver.

Domina Law took the lead in handling nearly 20 depositions of parties, witnesses, and experts. After several years, our clients reached a settlement with the State of Nebraska.

Wrongful Death - Families Outing to Watch the 2017 Eclipse Turns Deadly

On August 21, 2017, millions of people around the United States took time out of their days and traveled hundreds of miles or more to a perfect place to view a very solar rare eclipse. One such family traveled to Iowa with their young daughter to watch the eclipse. While traveling to the location where they intended to watch the eclipse, they noticed a semi truck driver operating his 18-wheeler erratically and weaving in and out of traffic. Our clients were able to avoid contact with the 18-wheeler but thought to themselves that it was an accident waiting to happen and the driver was going to kill somebody.

About ten minutes later traffic began to slow as people were exiting the interstate and otherwise getting ready to prepare for the eclipse. Out of the rear-view mirror of our clients’ family sedan, the father saw a semi bearing down on them. Before he could take any action, the semi collided into our clients’ car pushing it more than 300 feet into the median between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate I-80 in Iowa.

Although initially unconscious, when the father came to, he realized his daughter had been ejected from her car seat and dramatically injured. She later died. The mother was significantly physically injured as well and suffering traumatic brain injuries.

Domina Law got involved in the case and orchestrated a global mediation with multiple defendants and multiple parties as the semi-truck driver had initially side-swiped another vehicle with six inhabitants prior to fatally colliding into our clients’ car. After extensive negotiations, a resolution was reached with two defendants in confidential settlements. Domina Law is continuing to pursue action against other defendants for this heartbreaking loss.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of another’s careless driving or careless actions of any kind, or if you or someone you know has been tragically injured, please contact us so we may help you get the relief and compensation you or your loved one deserves!

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