South Texas 18-wheeler Wreck Lawyer – Semitruck accident lawsuit reveals problem truck drivers work 2 months without days Texas company drivers ensure 10 hours of driving, rest in cab for 10 hours and repeat cycle for months.
LAREDO – San Antonio attorney Shawn Mechler is taking issue with what he disclosed during a lawsuit he filed against a Texas trucking company, which he reported to federal authorities shortly after settling a six-figure case earlier this year.
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Mechler said his client suffered permanent spinal injuries after his tractor-trailer was rear-ended by another semi-truck east of Little Rock on February 17, 2021, during the worst winter storm in the history of the southern United States.
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Dash cam video and photos obtained by Investigates show icy conditions at the time of the three-car crash in Lonoke, Arkansas.
Driver Israel Rodriguez, who first hit a semitruck driven by a customer of Mechler before swerving and wiping out a small truck pulling a trailer, testified in a video at the end of October that his semitruck had snow chains for his tires but he did not. Install it before the accident.
But Mechler said after he filed a lawsuit in Webb County against Rodriguez and Laredo-based shipping companies DX Xpress and Directo Express, it was Rodriguez’s brutal driving schedule that stood out the most.
“We know he may have been driving 18 to 20 hours at the time of the accident,” Mechler said.
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Mechler based his estimate on Rodriguez’s testimony since the trucking company did not keep records of driving hours for the intended trip, court records show.
Rodriguez, who testified remotely from his native Mexico with the help of a translator, said he drove non-stop from a checkpoint outside Laredo to Little Rock before stopping to fill up on gas.
He testified that he encountered ice along the road between Dallas and Little Rock and admitted that he was driving 28 to 30 kilometers per hour at the time of the accident.
Mechler said that not only did Rodriguez violate the rules of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration including hours of service during the 750-mile trip from Laredo to Little Rock, but that appears to be routine, according to the driver’s testimony.
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“The driver in this case will drive 10 hours, then he will move with his teammate for 10 hours. And this will continue for seven days in a row for about two months at a time,” said Mechler, referring to the testimony of Rodriguez. which came three hours into his deposition.
Rodriguez admitted that he would usually work two months in a row before taking a vacation and returning to Mexico and “worked hard every day” when asked by Mechler what kind of day he had.
A table put together by Mechler in anticipation of the case going to trial later this year, which is based on Rodriguez’s testimony, shows that Rodriguez drove more than 80 hours over seven days and about 100 hours over eight days.
FMCSA hours of service regulations prohibit drivers from driving more than 60 hours in a seven-day period and 70 hours in an eight-day period.
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Reymundo Moreno, security coordinator for DX Xpress and Directo Express at the time of the accident, testified about the concept of the company’s driving team hired in a taped deposition at the end of October.
Moreno said the use of team drivers allows semis to stay on the road and “technically, they never stop.”
The company settled the case earlier this year. As part of the settlement, Rodriguez and the company were released from all liability claims and denied any wrongdoing.
Because his client’s injuries were not catastrophic, Mechler said he could not get DX Xpress and Directo Express to commit to improving their safety practices as part of the settlement.
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“I am writing because I fear for the safety of motorcyclists,” Mechler said in his written complaint.
FMCSA officials in May informed Mechler that the agency will not open an investigation into his complaint.
“As a result of the latest investigation of DX XPRESS INC conducted on 06/29/2022, the occurrence of non-compliance referenced in your previous complaint has been identified and appropriately addressed,” FMCSA said.
The larger DX Xpress, which operates more than 300 vehicles, had 94 HOS violations during the same period, federal records show.
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The owners of Directo Express and DX Xpress did not respond to multiple calls seeking comment for this story.
Adam Gallegos, an attorney representing the company in the lawsuit, said it had not been proven that Rodriguez violated hours of service and denied that there was any violation.
Emmy Award-winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the investigation in September 2016. Dillon’s investigative stories aired weeknights on Nightbeat and on Six O’Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Reporter of the Year and Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.
Joshua Saunders is an Emmy Award winning photographer/editor who has been working in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defender unit, covering crime and corruption across the city. Let us help you choose an accident lawyer, at Calfas Law Group, we are not afraid to fight for you.
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The trucking industry is subject to countless regulations and laws – and our knowledgeable team of attorneys knows how to determine who is at fault after this devastating accident.
Call Calfas Law Group, PLLC today at 210-405-8315 or contact us online to schedule a case consultation with one of our 18 wheel accident attorneys.
Many different factors are involved in a truck accident, and proving who is at fault can often be tricky. It is important to understand that large shipping companies have a strong defense on their side, which is why representation is so important. Our 18 wheeler lawyers in San Antonio are willing to fight even the largest companies and trucking companies to ensure you have the best chance for maximum recovery.
On any given day, you may share the road with 18-wheelers (commercial trucks, usually carrying goods). Although they are trained to follow very strict rules and regulations for safety, they often fail, leading to serious accidents. We urge you to contact Calfas Law Group, PLLC, to meet with our 18 wheeler attorneys so they can help you get the justice you want.
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Once you get over the initial shock of being an 18-wheeler accident victim, you immediately realize the financial numbers. Victims are entitled to compensation based on several determining factors, such as:
Our attorneys will ask you detailed questions to get a full scope of your injuries and the financial stress of your accident. We work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.
With so many types of vehicles on the road and varying road conditions and weather conditions, minor accidents are almost inevitable. However, accidents such as rollovers with large trucks can cause life-threatening injuries to the driver or passengers of other vehicles. People in small cars almost always suffer significant damage or serious injuries as a result of accidents. Truck accidents and accidents.
If the insurance company or shipping company tries to offer you a small settlement, talk to an attorney. Our team of 18 wheel accident lawyers in San Antonio are here to make sure you get the most out of your case.
Migrants Found Dead In Abandoned Trailer In San Antonio, Texas
Have you been injured in an 18-wheeler or semi-truck accident? Contact Calfas Law Group, PLLC today at (210) 405-8315 or online to get started. A Texas man is facing federal charges after authorities say he drove a pickup truck at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour during a police chase and crash. On Monday, 8 undocumented immigrants were killed.
The man, Sebastian Tovar, 24, of Austin, was charged Wednesday with “unlawful transportation of an alien causing death,” according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff of the Western District of Texas and Shane Folden, special agent in charge of San Antonio. Homeland Security Investigations Department. If convicted, Tovar faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, federal prosecutors said.
Officials said that the accident happened on Monday. It was on Highway 277, about 30 kilometers north of Del Rio, Texas. It comes less than two weeks after 13 people died in the deadliest border-related accident in a decade when a tractor-trailer collided with an S.U.V. filled with more than twenty people in California.
Authorities said Mr. Tovar was driving a Ramoon Ram pickup truck when Texas Department of Public Safety troopers tried to pull him over. When Mr. Tovar failed to pull over for the trooper, the chase began.
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The Ram truck “fled at speeds in excess of 100 mph for approximately 50 miles,” according to the criminal complaint. The truck eventually entered the lane blocking traffic and collided with a white Ford F-150.
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