STEVE LAIRD AGAIN SELECTED AMONG TOP 100 ATTORNEYS IN TEXAS

Steven C. Laird, founder of Fort Worth’s Law Office of Steven C. Laird, P.C., has earned recognition for a 16th time among the Top 100 attorneys in the state across all practice focuses by Texas Super Lawyers. The veteran trial lawyer was also selected as one of the Top 100 attorneys in the Dallas-Fort Worth and among the top plaintiffs’ personal injury litigators in the state.  

The Super Lawyers honors are just the latest for Mr. Laird, who earlier this year was the recipient of the 2021 Blackstone Award, the Tarrant County Bar Association’s most prestigious honor. The Blackstone Award recognizes an attorney who embodies ethical ideals, courage, and service to the legal profession. He was also inducted into the exclusive invitation-only International Society of Barristers this past summer.  

Mr. Laird is among a select group of attorneys in the nation to earn Board Certification in Truck Accident Law from the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is also Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law and Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. 

One of the nation’s foremost serious injury and wrongful death lawyers, Mr. Laird’s personal injury practice focuses on highway accidents, especially those involving 18-wheelers and other commercial trucks, construction site accidents, product defects, oil and gas field injuries, and other serious personal injuries, as well as complex business disputes.  

Texas Super Lawyers magazine, published by Thomson Reuters, is the preeminent guide to the state’s leading attorneys. Selection is limited to no more than 5% of eligible attorneys and is based on a rigorous process involving lawyer surveys, careful research and extensive review by a blue-ribbon panel of lawyers. The full 2021 listing appears in the October edition of Texas Monthly and in TexasSuper Lawyers magazine, available online at http://www.superlawyers.com

Truck Accident Attorney Steve Laird Recognized Among the Best Lawyers for Personal Injury Litigation

FORT WORTH – Fort Worth truck accident attorney Steve Laird of the Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C. continues to earn recognition for his plaintiffs personal injury litigation work, earning repeat placement on the list of The Best Lawyers in America.  

His selection to 2022 edition marks the 11th consecutive year he has been named in the prestigious legal guide, further solidifying his position as one of the country’s top practitioners in this area of law.  

Best Lawyers in America 2022 Truck Accident Personal Injury Steven C Laird

The Best Lawyers in America list has become widely regarded as a respected reference guide to legal excellence. First published in 1983, it is the U.S. legal industry’s oldest peer-review guide for showcasing the country’s top attorneys. Attorneys are not permitted to pay any fee to participate in or be included on its lists. Additionally, Best Lawyers honorees are selected through a rigorous survey that includes confidential evaluations by other lawyers in the same and related specialties. To learn more about Best Lawyer’s methodology or for a complete list of this year’s honorees, visit http://www.bestlawyers.com/

Mr. Laird holds more than 40 years of experience litigating and successfully securing favorable decisions for clients involved in trucking accidents and other personal injury claims. He is Board Certified in both Personal Injury Trial Law and Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and holds a national board certification in both Truck Accident Law and as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.  

“Helping clients and families gain justice and sense of resolution is what drives me and every member of this firm,” said Mr. Laird. “It is incredibly rewarding to have that work recognized by your peers.”  

About The Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C. 

The Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C. is a firm of experienced Fort Worth truck accident lawyers with over 30 years of experience helping victims and their families. The firm is located at 1119 Pennsylvania Ave., Fort Worth, Texas. To learn more about the firm’s representative matters or to schedule a meeting with one of its attorneys, call (817) 531-3000. 

Fort Worth Attorney Seth McCloskey Receives Board Certification in Personal Injury Trial Law

FORT WORTH – Seth McCloskey, a personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Steven C. Laird P.C., recently earned Board Certification in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He also holds a national certification in truck accident law from the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a designation he shares with firm founder Steven C. Laird. Together, the attorneys are only two of 10 lawyers in the state of Texas to specialize in this area of law.

To earn board certification, an attorney must be licensed for at least five years, devote a required percentage of practice to a specialty area for at least three years, attend continuing education seminars, pass an evaluation by fellow lawyers and judges, and pass a six-hour written examination.

“When a client is looking for representation, they want someone who has a solid understanding about a specific area law. Seth is an attorney who has and continues to demonstrate that expertise to clients,” said Mr. Laird. “His Board Certification in personal injury law now places him among a prestigious group of lawyers who have earned this elite level of recognition. We congratulate him on this great achievement.”

Prior to joining Laird, Mr. McCloskey worked as a felony prosecutor in the Ellis County & District Attorney offices. He later went into private practice where he represented individuals and families in cases involving serious injury or death. His extensive experience in truck accident law also allows him to be a frequent speaker at industry and legal trade events throughout the country.

Mr. McCloskey is a member of The National Trial Lawyers “Top 40 Under 40.” In 2019 and 2020, he was selected to the Texas Rising Stars listing by Thomson Reuters. He earned his law degree from the University of Toledo and is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University.

“This is a personal milestone,” said Mr. McCloskey. “Being board certified will ensure that our clients know they are getting the best legal representation available, whether it be a trucking collision or other serious injury case.”

Board Certification is offered in 21 specific areas of laws. Initial certification is valid for five years. To remain certified attorneys and paralegals must apply for recertification every five years and meet substantial involvement, peer review and continuing legal education requirements for their specialty area.

To learn more about the Texas Board of Legal Specialization or find a certified attorney or paralegal in your area, visit www.tbls.org.

Fort Worth Trucking and Transportation Attorney Steven Laird Selected to Lawdragon’s Top 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers of 2021

FORT WORTH, Texas – Just weeks after receiving the 2021 Blackstone Award – the Tarrant County Bar Association’s most prestigious legal award – nationally recognized Fort Worth trucking and transportation attorney Steve Laird has earned selection to Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers for 2021. 

The annual list recognizes the nation’s leading preeminent lawyers who represent consumers who have been injured or killed through accidents, medical malpractice, faulty products, or toxic exposure. Regarded as one of the most trusted and respected legal guides, Lawdragon honorees are chosen based on peer and client nominations, journalistic research, and an in-depth legal analysis by Lawdragon’s editorial team. An attorney’s significant verdicts and settlements won on behalf of their clients as well as their standing in the national legal community also factor in their selection. To view the complete list of the 2021 Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers here

“Our firm is known not only for our legal skills, but also for the judgment, personal injury experience and knowledge of the court systems. I am fortunate to serve in a position where I can help victims who have been wronged or injured by the negligence of others and it is an honor to be recognized for that work,” said Mr. Laird. 

The Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers is committed to researching attorneys nominated by their peers who strive to fight for justice for those facing life-altering problems. Lawdragon describes the attorneys named as those who “stand up against the worst, seeking justice and providing hope.” 

As a leading Fort Worth lawyer, Mr. Laird holds more than 35 years of legal experience in truck wreck litigation, personal injury, and wrongful death cases. As founder of the Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C., he has consistently helped clients secure significant verdicts and settlements, with many of these cases also resulting in safety improvements made by defendants. 

A sampling of his representative matters includes obtaining $9.1 million for parents and their infant daughter who suffered permanent brain damage during delivery. He also secured $4.3 million for a man who was left partially paralyzed after a water-hauler tanker truck collided with his vehicle, in addition to winning $3.4 million for an engineer who was seriously injured by an electrical shock after a sailboat mast touched a live wire that was hanging over a cove. 

Mr. Laird is Board Certified in both Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He also is certified in Truck Accident Law (one of only 12 in Texas at the time of publication) and as a Civil Trial Law Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. This quadruple certification is rare, with fewer than one percent of all Texas lawyers earning this distinction. 

Driving while professional: Could truckers have helped prevent Thursday’s deadly pileup?

Texas winter snow storms create crashes and pileups throughout the Dallas, Fort Worth metroplex.FORT WORTH, TEXAS February 15, 2021—Driving in the snow and ice can be challenging, even for experienced local drivers. As the tragic 133-car and 18-wheeler pileup in Fort Worth on Thursday morning demonstrated, local motorists may have been unprepared to navigate the icy conditions.

But what about professional truck drivers, who should have known what to expect that day and should have reacted accordingly?

“Unlike other motorists, professional truck drivers are trained to manage hazardous road conditions. They also are equipped with additional resources beyond radio traffic and weather reports,” says Steven C. Laird, a Fort Worth attorney. Laird is one of only 11 Texas lawyers board certified in Truck Accident Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

“Truckers often have electronics that allow them to get detailed weather information from other truck drivers, as well as direct communications from their dispatchers about road conditions.”

“They should use their extensive training and experience in handling and making decisions about driving an 80,000-pound truck into or during such weather-related events,” Laird says.

Preparing for and knowing about dangerous driving conditions can help prevent accidents and injuries if drivers are willing to take the time to better understand what they are up against BEFORE they hit the roads. This is even more true for commercial motor carriers and professional truck drivers, who are specifically required to follow safety regulations for the industry.

Federal Trucking Safety Regulations require 18-wheeler drivers to use ‘extreme caution’ in ‘hazardous conditions,’ including reduced speeds and even parking when conditions are too dangerous to continue,” says Laird. “These safety rules are for the protection of the traveling public, including the truck drivers themselves.”

Being careful is everyone’s obligation, but professional drivers must play by a different set of safety rules. A 4,000-pound car is often no match for an 80,000 truck, especially in hazardous weather conditions, and the additional safety rules take that into account.

“All of us should use caution in icy conditions, but professional truck drivers need to step up and do the right thing. If the rules are broken, lives are often permanently affected,” says Laird.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 17 percent of all vehicle crashes happen during winter conditions. And with more inclement weather forecast for our area in the coming days, drivers should do their best to prepare for the worst.

Laird says that following some simple tips from the American Automobile Association can keep you safe:

  1. Stay home! Do you really need to be out in bad weather?
  2. Slow down! You may not have the road traction you think you do.
  3. Keep your distance! You might need extra time to stop suddenly
  4. Check your brakes! Apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal
  5. Don’t stop on a hill! Inertia works both ways – forward and backward – especially on ice

 

 

Our Hearts are with All Who Were Involved in the Tragic Fort Worth 100-Car Pile-Up Crash

Our hearts go out to all of those involved in the tragic 100-car and truck pile-up in Fort Worth on Thursday morning. Federal Trucking Safety Regulations require 18-wheeler drivers to use extreme caution, including reduced speeds and even parking, when the conditions are dangerous. Graphic video of the mass casualty crash shows what can happen when the rules aren’t followed. Please keep all of the families and first responders in your thoughts and prayers.

commercial truck colliding with a car in Fort Worth

What You Should Know Before You Speak to an Insurance Adjuster About Your Claim

What to do before speaking to an insurance agent after an accident with a semi truck
Posted by The Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C. – Truck Accidents

If you are injured in an accident with a commercial motor vehicle or a car, you will likely hear from the other driver’s insurance adjuster or lawyer soon after the accident. If this happens, it is essential to know that the adjuster or lawyer represents the parties on the other side, and is usually interested in minimizing their fault and your damages in order to prevent you from receiving a fair settlement.

In Texas, it is crucial that you retain an experienced personal injury attorney to represent your interests as soon as possible after you have been in an accident with an 18 wheeler or some other vehicle. Having an experienced law firm on your side helps to protect you against the insurance company’s efforts to minimize and devalue your claims, and their attacks on your reputation and credibility. They commonly do this in conjunction with the defense lawyers they hire.

Common Tactics used by Insurance Adjusters & Defense Lawyers to Help Minimize the Amount of Your Claim:
  • Calling you immediately after the accident: An adjuster or defense lawyer might call you immediately after the accident to record your statement and ask you questions “while the incident is still fresh in your mind.” These types of calls are likely not intended to “speed up the process”; rather, they are designed to gather the information that can later be used against you by:
    • Tricking you to admit that you were partially at fault;
    • Tricking you to minimize the extent of injuries, or getting you to state that you are doing fine after the accident;
    • Tricking you to recount the accident in hopes of developing information that can later be used against you.
  • Offering a minimal settlement before you fully understand the extent of your injuries. Some adjusters and defense lawyers will attempt to get you, the injured person, to settle before you have finished treatment and rehabilitation, and before you have had the chance to contact an experienced lawyer who can provide you with an understanding of what you are entitled to recover for all of your claims.
  • Denying your claim in hopes that you will simply give up. Reasons can include claiming that you were responsible for the accident, blaming another third-party for the accident, or attempting to convince you that your injuries are not consistent with your accounting of the accident and so forth.
  • Probing into your confidential past medical history in hopes of a preexisting condition that the adjuster or defense lawyer can use as an excuse for your current problems.
Bad Faith Tactics & Additional Liabilities

In addition to these common tactics, some insurance companies or defense lawyers employ bad faith tactics that may leave them open to additional liabilities. Our team of experienced Fort Worth truck accident attorneys, personal injury, and wrongful death lawyers, has handled many of these types of cases.

We understand the complexities of Texas commercial trucking laws and car wreck laws. We will always try to ensure that you are protected from bad faith tactics, and we will always be there to help you to recover the just and fair compensation that you deserve.

LET US HELP PROTECT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY BY ENSURING THAT YOU HAVE THE SAME HIGH-QUALITY LEGAL TEAM AS THE BIG COMPANIES ON THE OTHER SIDE. CALL US TODAY AT (817) 531-3000 FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW.

THE FIRST LAWYERS IN THE COUNTRY ARE BOARD CERTIFIED IN TRUCK ACCIDENT LAW BY THE NATIONAL BOARD OF TRIAL ADVOCACY – STEVEN C. LAIRD IS 1 OF ONLY 9 IN TEXAS (at the time this was written)

NBTA Board Certification is the only Accreditation for Truck Accident Law that is recognized by the American Bar Association and the U.S. Supreme Court. This certification helps to safeguard the public interest by providing accident victims and their families with an objective measure to aid them in selecting qualified and experienced legal counsel.

  • Steven C. Laird is 1 of 9 Texas Lawyers to obtain Board Certification in Truck Accident Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • NBTA certification in Truck Accident Law helps safeguard the rights of truck accident victims and their families by providing them with an objective measure by which to choose qualified and experienced legal counsel.
  • This is the only U.S. Supreme Court, and American Bar Association accredited Certification in Truck Accident Law in the U.S.
  • Trucking Accident Trial attorneys, like Steve Laird, illustrate their commitment to bettering the legal profession by obtaining Board Certification – the highest, most stringent, and most reliable honor an attorney can achieve.

Steve Laird of the Law Offices of Steven C. Laird, P.C. is 1 of only 9 lawyers in Texas, 1 of 37 in the nation (at the time of this release) to successfully achieve Board Certification in Truck Accident Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. To achieve board certification, a lawyer is thoroughly vetted through a detailed process in which real-world experience and results handling truck crash cases are verified, and skills and knowledge are tested. Unlike some other accommodations, board certification cannot be purchased for any sum of money, and no attorneys get favored treatment.

Fort Worth Personal Injury Lawyer Steve Laird stated,  ” Regardless of advertising, few law firms have actually tried a trucking accident case to a jury verdict. We have tried many to verdict. These cases are complex and hard to win. The large corporations and their insurance companies, on the other side, have the resources to hire highly skilled and experienced teams to represent them.

Having an experienced and highly qualified lawyer to represent victims and their families is very important in securing meaningful outcomes. Personal Injury Attorneys who achieve Board Certification in Truck Accident Law separate themselves from other attorneys by demonstrating their experience, expertise, and commitment to excellence in handling Truck Accident cases.”    

In the competitive arena of Truck Accident Law, NBTA certification provides a much-needed objective set of standards illustrating an attorney’s experience, qualifications, and expertise. Certification requires successful completion of a rigorous application process providing consumers of legal services with an objective measure by which to choose qualified and experienced legal counsel. The elaborate screening of credentials that all NBTA board certified attorneys must successfully complete includes: demonstration of substantial trial experience in truck accident cases, submission of judicial and peer references to attest to their competency and ethics, attendance of continuing legal education courses, submission of legal writing documents, proof of good standing and passing of an examination. Board Certification is the highest, most stringent, and most reliable honor an attorney can achieve.

There is no dispute about the bona fides and the relevance of NBTA certification…. Disclosure of information such as that on petitioner’s letterhead both serves the public interest and encourages the development and utilization of meritorious certification programs for attorneys.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stevens in Peel v. Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of Illinois, 110 S.Ct. 2281 (1990) 

Study Shows Incredible Benefits of Collision Avoidance Systems

One of our goals at the Law Offices of Steven C. Laird is to do everything we can to help improve highway safety because we have seen firsthand the devastating impact on families who fall victim to crashes involving tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and other heavy trucks. That is why we work so hard every year to let people know about the annual International Roadcheck, which was conducted in June and why we bring public awareness to new safety innovations, like collision avoidance systems.

Our commitment to making the roads safer for everyone also includes staying on top of the latest developments in truck crash safety. We’ve previously discussed the many reasons that semis and other big rigs are involved in so many wrecks, including speeding, improper licensing, inexperience, and other factors. Now, there is evidence that a technological breakthrough may well help eliminate many of the crashes involving these mammoth trucks regardless of the circumstances.

collision avoidance systems prevent truck accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported the results of a field study involving crash avoidance systems (CAS), sometimes referred to as collision avoidance systems,  which typically rely on radar, lasers, or cameras to help detect potential crashes before they happen. CAS technology warns drivers of an imminent collision so they can take evasive action, or alternatively, it performs evasive maneuvers automatically without driver involvement. Many passenger vehicles already include some form of CAS technology, such as automatic braking to stop collisions before they happen. U.S. auto manufacturers have agreed to include automatic braking systems on all new cars by 2022.

The recent NHTSA field study is based on one year of monitoring 150 CAS-equipped trucks and the 168 drivers who operated them. The results are simply stunning.

The monitored trucks drove more than 3 million miles, logging more than 110,000 hours of driving information. The sampled data from 6,000 instances where crash avoidance systems were activated revealed that not a single wreck was recorded. You heard that right: The CAS-equipped trucks had ZERO crashes over a 12-month period.

What’s more is that the crash avoidance systems included in the monitored trucks were all at least three years old, which is incredible when you consider the advancements in CAS that have emerged in the past year alone.

While experts say a single study cannot predict with 100 percent accuracy how things will play out in the real world, it isn’t much of a leap to say that the NHTSA’s results have confirmed what many safety experts have been saying for years. Let’s all hope federal regulators begin requiring these life-saving devices on every semi in the near future.

Distracted Driving Accidents on the Rise

The ability to send text messages on smartphones and other mobile electronic devices has connected the world in a way that few of us could imagine only a few short years ago. However, this game-changing advancement in technology also has brought a new level of danger to our highways for every driver, regardless of whether they are behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler, passenger van, or family sedan.

According to the U.S. government’s website dedicated to distracted driving, more than 3,000 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in vehicle crashes during 2014 that involved distracted drivers. While those numbers will shock many people, the outcome could have been much worse when you consider that more than 660,000 drivers are using electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle at any given time during the day, according to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey.

texting-while-driving

Although texting and driving is illegal in Texas school zones and at least 60 local governments have enacted ordinances aimed at curbing texting and driving, such as Austin, the Lone Star State is one of only six in the U.S. that does not at least ban texting while behind the wheel. For the most part, Texas politicians largely have resisted the push to implement such a law for several years even though a few proposed measures made it past the preliminary stages during the most recent legislative session.

One part of this conversation that you often don’t hear about is how texting and driving has become a key element in auto crash cases of every kind, including those involving buses, semis, and other heavy trucks. Last year, authorities revealed that the driver of a school bus in Tennessee had been receiving and sending texts prior to a crash that killed two students, a teacher’s aide and the driver himself. But for the ability of investigators to search the driver’s cell phone records, we may never have learned what caused this fatal crash.

If you are involved in a car wreck, regardless of whether it involves a tractor-trailer, passenger car or company vehicle, it is crucial to find out whether texting and driving was the cause. Even if the streets are filled with other cars, it often can be difficult to find witnesses, which means the determination of who was at fault will depend largely on whose story is more believable in the eyes of law enforcement. But when you can prove that the other driver was distracted by their mobile phone or another device, the proof is undeniable. When I’m handling a case involving a vehicle crash, one of my first questions is whether the other driver was using their cell phone. With court permission, we often are granted access to cell phone records so we can determine whether distracted driving played a role. In other instances, we have brought in experts on cell phone technology to find out the same information when other records were not available.

Texting and driving is not smart and, for safety’s sake, there should be a blanket law covering every state that would prevent any driver from picking up their phone while behind the wheel. Until then, we will continue to see more wrecks caused by distracted driving and more people being held liable for causing those wrecks based on their own cell phone records.