Tips for Avoiding a Trucking Accident

Being involved in a vehicle accident can be a traumatic experience. The experience can be especially scary if a large vehicle is involved in the crash. Because of this, it is important to do what you can to avoid a trucking accident. Whether as the truck driver or as someone in another vehicle, there are several things you can do to avoid a crash.

Tips for Avoiding a Trucking Accident

Both truck drivers and drivers of other vehicles should make sure to get enough sleep. Getting enough sleep will help to keep you alert, which will help you avoid drifting off while driving and will help you to notice if other vehicles start to drift into your lane. If you are on a tight schedule, it might be tempting to go without sleep or to try to continue driving even as you get tired. This is not a good idea. Do not be afraid to pull off the road and take a quick nap. At least get out of your vehicle to walk around and stretch out your legs if you start to feel tired.

It is also important to be aware of your surroundings. If you are a truck driver, watch for vehicles that might drift into your blind spot. If a vehicle you could previously see seems to disappear, be especially careful if you need to change lanes. As a driver of a smaller vehicle, avoid driving in a truck driver’s blind spot. If you need to pass the vehicle, do so quickly, returning to where the driver can see as soon as possible.

Make your intentions known early, no matter what type of vehicle you are driving. As a truck driver, this can be especially important. Letting other drivers know you want to change lanes will increase the chances that drivers will stay out of your blind spot.

You should also work to be a patient driver. This can especially be a problem for drivers who are behind semis. Do not tailgate a truck driver. Do not get frustrated and try to pass a truck if there is not a lane where you can do so safely. Understand that other driver may drive slower than you, and it is better to get to your destination a little later rather than risking not getting there at all.

Of course, these are not the only things you can do to avoid a trucking accident. Smart, cautious driving, in general, will help you to avoid an accident. Unfortunately, even if you are working to be a safe driver, other drivers may not take the same precautions. If you were injured in a trucking accident caused by another driver, contact us.

Do You Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer?

A wrongful death claim happens when someone dies due to the fault of someone else.  The death is the result of a wrongful act, negligence, carelessness, unskillfulness or default.  Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code addresses wrongful death and allows the plaintiff up to two years to bring an action against the defendant.

Do You Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer?

A wrongful death claim is a civil suit for monetary damages and is brought by the decedent’s family.  In Texas, this means the deceased person’s surviving spouse, children, biological parents and adoptive parents. Siblings cannot bring a wrongful death claim.

In Texas, the plaintiff can receive wrongful death damages for the deceased’s lost earning capacity and his physical suffering and mental anguish before dying. Damages may also be awarded for loss of the maintenance, services, care, support and advice that the deceased person would have provided if he had lived. Funeral costs and medical expenses are also often awarded to the deceased person’s estate.

To receive damages, the plaintiff’s wrongful death lawyer must prove that the plaintiff is a statutory beneficiary of the deceased person and that the defendant’s wrongful act caused the decedent’s death. If the plaintiff can meet this burden of proof and win the case, then the court will award damages.

If you believe that someone you loved has died as the result of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, then contact us.  Wrongful death claims are complex and often involve automobile accidents, defective products or medical mishaps.  Our experienced, dedicated attorneys will review your situation and determine if you have a case or not.

Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

When you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it is understandable to feel helpless. There are so many details to take care of with accident reports, doctor’s visits, and police reports. Do not become overwhelmed by trying to do everything on your own. You need a personal injury lawyer who cares about your concerns and will work with you to achieve the best result possible in a court case.

Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer

There are a few things to keep in mind when hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you. You will need an attorney who has been successful in winning personal injury cases in the past, so check the attorney’s record carefully. Any attorney worth his fee will not mind you asking him how successful he has been with court cases in the past.

It is in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after you have been injured in an accident. He will look over accident reports, medical records, and conduct a thorough one-on-one consultation with you to determine if you have a valid case that he can win in court. Many times your lawyer will be able to settle your case out of court. If he is able to settle your case out of court, this will save you time and money. You will not have to spend all that money on a long court proceeding and you can get the money you need to take care of your medical expenses quickly. The sooner you can settle your case, the sooner you can get back to living normally again.

A personal injury lawyer can advise you of your rights in a personal injury case. You may have the right to compensation for physical injuries, additional medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. You owe it to yourself and your family to get the best representation possible.

How Are Trucking Accident Lawyers Different From Car Accident Lawyers?

The aftermath of a serious vehicle accident is often overwhelming. Not only will you have to deal with insurance companies, you may also face other issues like physical injuries and damage to your vehicle. The result is that you will be under a lot of stress. Hiring a lawyer can help to relieve that stress. Your lawyer can help you to sort through the various legal issues surrounding your accident. As you evaluate different attorneys, it is important to consider the fact that car accident attorneys and trucking accident attorneys are quite different.

How Are Trucking Accident Lawyers Different From Car Accident Lawyers?

Differences Between Car Accident and Truck Accident Cases

  • Liability

One of the main differences between car and truck accidents has to do with who is liable. While the driver in a car accident is usually liable, a truck accident lawyer has to consider liability beyond just the driver. In a truck accident, the trucking company is often liable; in fact, the driver’s liability is sometimes much less than their employer’s liability. Trucking companies are expected to train their drivers properly and to obey federal regulations. If they fail to take care of either of these responsibilities, a court may consider them liable for the accident.

  • Forensics

A trucking accident lawyer will typically have to go through more information than a car accident lawyer would. The lawyer will have to assess the truck driver’s employment history as well as their qualifications for the job. They will also have to examine the results of any drug and alcohol testing that the driver has undergone. In addition, they will have to look at the trucking company’s insurance and evaluate the truck’s black box as evidence.

  • The Injuries

One dramatic difference between car accidents and trucking accidents is how severe the injuries are. The main factor in this is the weight disparity between the two vehicles. While most cars weigh around 3,000 pounds, a semi can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. That mismatch in weights means that accidents involving trucks often produce very serious injuries, which is why there is a requirement for trucking companies to carry insurance with high liability limits.

Have you been injured in a trucking accident? It is important that you choose an attorney with experience in your kind of case. Clay Hinds can help. Contact us for a free consultation.

Adoptions Made Easier

There are few life events as meaningful as adopting a child. Not only does accepting a child into your home change your life forever, but it changes the life of the child as well, offering hope where previously there may have been none. Unfortunately, as beautiful as adoption can be, the process often comes with red tape and certain legal issues that parents-to-be may not have foreseen. Fortunately, Clay Hinds, Attorney at Law, will be there to see you through every step of the way.

Adoptions Made Easier

Born and raised in Texas, Clay Hinds has built his reputation as a highly skilled litigator devoted to meeting the needs of his clients. He is a member of the Ellis County Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, and has been a member of the American Association for Justice for 22 years. Clay Hinds has been licensed since 1988 to practice all areas of law, within all counties in Texas.

One specialty of Clay Hinds, Attorney at Law, is the process of adoption. Today, most adoptions are “open” adoptions, which means the birth parents may remain in the child’s life. While this may be a good thing, the adoptive parents are often concerned the birth parents may decide to take the child back. Fortunately, with the support of the adoption agency and an attorney adept in the laws of adoption, this situation is highly unlikely.

Other scenarios may include birth parents attempting to change the frequency of visits, allowing siblings to visit, or even a birth father, who was unaware of the adoption, attempting to gain custody of the child. While such situations can be stressful, as long as you have a knowledgeable attorney on your side, you can put your mind at ease.

If you are considering adoption, contact us with questions you may have regarding the laws, and how we can best serve you. We will be at your side throughout the entire process, allowing you to focus exclusively on the wonder of bringing a child into your life.

The Most Dangerous Times to Drive

Although most folks drive to work, school, or the grocery store with no problems, car accidents are a fact of transportation. If you know the most dangerous times to drive, you can take extra precautions to avoid accidents during those periods. The Texas Department of Transportation compiled this information for the entire state during 2015.

The Most Dangerous Times to Drive

  • Of the 3,138 fatal and non-fatal car crashes for the year, 316 happened in October, followed by 304 in July, and 284 in December. The safest month for driving was February with 215 incidents. The most dangerous day was Saturday, September 26, with 22 people killed in car crashes.
  • Of those killed in accidents, 40.3 percent were reported as not wearing their seat belts. For motorcyclists, about 52 percent of those killed were not wearing helmets.
  • Weekends showed the most dangerous days with Saturdays showing 571 accidents and Saturday with 558. The safest day was Tuesday at 375. There were no days in 2015 that were free of accident fatalities.
  • The most dangerous hours were from 9 – 9:59 PM with 194 crashes, followed by 8 – 8:59 PM with 175. Tied for third with 173 incidents per hour were 6 – 6:59 PM and 2 – 2:59 AM. The safest hours with 78 accidents per hour were from 10 – 10:59 AM and 11 – 11:59 AM.
  • Of the major holiday weekends, the 78 hours of Labor Day, which started at 6 PM Friday and ended on Monday, were the most dangerous with 40 fatal crashes and 49 fatalities. The safest was New Year’s, which started at 6 PM Thursday and ended on Sunday, with 30 fatal crashes and 32 fatalities.

If you or someone you care about is hurt in a car accident, please contact us.

Don’t Let Halloween Hazards Turn into Premises Liability

Here comes Halloween!  As a parent, you take steps to protect your children and keep them safe. You recognize the importance of being proactive during this holiday that comes with the potential for injury.

Don't let Halloween hazzards turn into premises liability

If your household participates in neighborhood festivities by welcoming trick-or-treaters or hosting a party, continue your vigilance and protect yourself.  Premises liability means that , as a homeowner, you have a legal responsibility to keep your property safe and free from any hazard that might cause harm . Perform a safety check-up for your premises. Failure to remedy problems may result in legal action. Remember, you are liable for damages if you knew about the problem, should have realized the potential danger, or actually caused the incident. Protect yourself.

  • Light up the home as much as possible. If your house has  excessively dark areas, consider adding flood lights or solar lamps
  • Keep walkways in good repair. Broken pavement or loose bricks are accidents waiting to happen
  • Keep pets inside
  • Repair any broken steps and fix any loose porch railings
  • Remove potential hazards such as electrical wires, hoses, toys and lawn decorations
  • Use battery-powered votive lights instead of candles
  • Patch and/or fill in any divots in the lawn

Conversely, if you , or a loved one, is injured while trick-or-treating remember:

  • Seek medical attention, get a medical report
  • Take pictures of the area and get the names of any witnesses
  • Notify the property owner of your injury, but do not make any statements or comments about your condition

Whether you have been hurt, or someone was injured on your property, contact us for advice as soon a possible. In most cases, the timing could be critical.

Are You A Fearful Driver Facing Hit and Run Charges?

Hit and runs continue to capture big headlines, especially in the southern half of the United States. According to well-published statistics, more than 50,000 occurred within the last five years. That averages out to in excess of 10,000 accidents annually. And the southern half of our nation is not alone. Hit and run accidents have the potential to happen anywhere. Of course, many people have also begun to question why they’re happening with such frequency. Is it connected to our nation’s motor vehicle laws?

Are You A Fearful Driver Facing Hit and Run Charges?

In the summer of 2015, researchers asked that very same question. Afterward, they published an academic paper detailing their answer. Their work strongly indicated that today’s laws often have an impact on drivers’ behaviors. As such, they may play a role in a hit and run drivers’ legal defense options. Where does the driver’s state of mind fit in? It traces back to the differences between civil and criminal defense cases.

Licensed drivers know that they are required to report. However, many do not understand the reporting process. Plus, they may not even realize what they’ve done. Consequently, they could inadvertently flee the scene or report much later than required. In addition, they could be aware of what happened, panic and act inappropriately. Depending on those cognitive issues, charges filed against hit and run drivers may vary.

For example, some accidents may end with misdemeanor charges being filed against participants and others could result in felonies. Thus, people accused of hit and run crimes should consult with criminal defense attorneys as quickly as possible as it may be possible to avoid more serious charges. Furthermore, criminal defense attorneys may be able to get rid of the hit and run charge altogether. Again, outcomes are contingent on several factors that must be explored at great length. To work with a criminal defense attorney on a hit and run cases in Texas, please contact us.

Victims of Railroad Accidents and Their Legal Rights

Railroad accidents can be devastating, and it is imperative for victims of railroad accidents to be aware of their legal rights so they can get the compensation they deserve. There can often be multiple parties at fault in a railroad accident. Generally speaking, there are two main types of railroad accidents: collisions between trains and vehicles at railway crossings and accidents caused by train malfunctions or derailments.

Victims of Railroad Accidents and Their Legal Rights

Intersection Collisions

Crashes between trains and motor vehicles at railway crossings occur all-too-frequently. In some cases, these crashes are caused by the negligence of the vehicle driver. In other cases, there was not an adequate warning to drivers that a train was approaching. And, sometimes a train was going too fast. There can be a number of reasons these accidents occur. Determining fault requires a thorough investigation of the facts surrounding the accident.

Equipment Malfunctions and Derailments

These types of cases are usually extremely complex. Equipment malfunctions, conductor error, negligent maintenance, and train track damage can all be causes of an accident. Often, several of these factors play a part. It can, therefore, be a difficult task to sort through the facts and determine who is to blame. An experienced railroad accident attorney will be able to investigate these types of cases thoroughly and figure out the best case for accident victims to make.

The Federal Employers’ Liability Act

The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) provides compensation for railroad workers who are injured during the course and scope of their employment. The FELA establishes certain safety standards that railroad companies must adhere to. When railroad companies violate these provisions, they can be liable to injured workers.

Victims of Railroad Accidents Need Experienced Legal Counsel

Railroad accident cases can be complex. There may be both state and federal laws implicated in a railroad accident claim, and an in-depth factual investigation may be necessary. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a railroad accident, an experienced railroad accident attorney can help.

Clay Hinds, Attorney at Law, is an Ellis County firm dedicated to getting clients the compensation they deserve. Clay has experience with railroad accident cases. If you would like to discuss your case, contact us for a free consultation.

A Successful Wrongful Death Suit Begins With An Experienced Attorney

The loss of a loved one is never an easy thing to go through. Thinking back on happier days and wishing that you had more time with them is a constant thought running through your mind. What’s even more excruciating, is knowing that your loss is due to the actions or inactions of another person or entity. Luckily, there is a legal remedy for your pain and suffering, as well as the financial hardship that you have had to endure. With the help of an experienced attorney, you will be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible for the early demise of your family member.

A Successful Wrongful Death Suit Begins With An Experienced Attorney

Under Texas law, surviving spouses, children, and parents may seek compensation if the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of one party causes the death of another. According to well-known legal matters publisher,, grieving survivors can file a lawsuit by themselves or they can get together and file a lawsuit as a group. They may be compensated for the loss of comfort and companionship, emotional and mental anguish, loss of potential future earnings, loss of care, maintenance, and support, as well as lost inheritance.

Aside from monetary compensation, surviving family members can also ask for punitive damages. Punitive or exemplary damages are meant to punish the parties that caused the wrongful death. These damages send a strong message that gross negligence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

The executor of the deceased person’s estate or personal representative may file a wrongful death suit if the family of the deceased doesn’t file a lawsuit within three months of the deceased’s death. From the date of the deceased death, you have two years to file a wrongful death suit, according to Texas’ statute of limitations. There are exceptions to the two-year timeframe that should be discussed with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to find out what your options are.

Clay Hinds is a passionate attorney that fights for the rights of his clients. He is dedicated to helping people who have suffered serious personal injury. He has also handled a wide variety of criminal and civil matters. Land boundary disputes, breach of contract, workers compensation; divorce, and mechanic lien enforcement are just some of the cases that he has tried.

Born and raised in Texas, Clay Hinds attended law school at St. Mary’s University of San Antonio and received his law degree in 1988. He is a member of the Ellis County Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, and a 22-year member of the American Association for Justice.

If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, please accept our heartfelt condolences. At your earliest convenience, contact us to discuss legal strategies for your wrongful death lawsuit. Clay Hinds will see to it that justice is served.