Although commercial vehicles play a critical role in transporting millions of dollars worth of cargo across the country everyday, they also pose a serious risk to other motorists on the road. This is largely because commercial trucks tend to be much heavier than other vehicles, have larger fuel tanks, and often transport dangerous cargo, all of which means that collisions between trucks and passenger vehicles tend to have particularly devastating consequences. This in turn, makes it extremely important for injured parties to seek compensation for their losses following a crash, so if you were injured in an accident with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle, you should contact an experienced Brandon truck accident lawyer who can advise you.
Accidents involving large trucks usually involve more severe injuries than passenger vehicle collisions. These commercial trucks weigh around 10,000 lbs. or more, which is more than twice that of a passenger vehicle. 18-wheeler trucks weigh much more, about 80,000 lbs. That is around 16 times the weight of a passenger vehicle. The weight difference alone can leave victims with catastrophic injuries. Fatalities are not uncommon in truck accident claims either.
If you were injured in a Florida truck accident, let the skilled lawyers at Palmer| Lopez help. We understand how different large truck accident claims are when compared to claims involving two passenger vehicles. You need a lawyer who has a record of success with similar cases. Our attorneys have more than 35 years of combined experience fighting for our clients’ rights in various types of personal injury cases, including large truck accidents.
Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents differ from standard auto accidents. Several types of collisions are unique to large trucks. Some types of truck collisions we represent clients for at Palmer | Lopez include:
- Jackknife Truck Accidents: When a truck loses control of its trailer and the trailer swings around, it’s called a jackknife accident.
- T-Bone Accidents: If a truck driver doesn’t stop at a red light or a stop sign, they can end up hitting a vehicle coming from the other direction, resulting in a T-bone collision.
- Head-on Collisions: Truck drivers can cross into oncoming lanes when trying to pass someone or because they are under the influence or fatigued. Drivers coming the other way might not have time to move out of the way, resulting in a head-on collision.
Common Causes of Florida Large Truck Accidents
Some of the leading causes of large truck accidents in Florida include:
- Driver Errors: Undoubtedly, the number one cause of truck accidents in Florida is driver error. Distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving while fatigued, or driving recklessly can be deadly when the negligent party is behind the wheel of a large commercial truck.
- Improper Cargo Load: When a truck is overloaded, or the cargo is not secured, it can result in an accident if the truck driver stops quickly and cannot control the trailer.
- Equipment Failure: Truck drivers are expected to conduct thorough safety checks before getting on the road. In a rush, not everyone completes their required pre-safety maintenance checks. Drivers can be guilty of negligence maintenance, while other times there is a faulty part. If there is a defective part involved, you may have a legal claim against the manufacturer as well.
- Adverse Conditions: Bad weather and rough road conditions can also lead to large truck accidents. Drivers who don’t have experience in severe weather conditions are more likely to get into an accident if they are unfamiliar with how to drive in a snowstorm or heavy rains.
Common Truck Accident Causes
Truck accidents, like collisions involving passenger vehicles, have a number of different causes, but most can be attributed to some form of driver negligence, including:
- Swerving across multiple lanes;
- Making improper lane changes;
- Tailgating or driving aggressively;
- Tire blowouts; and
- Cargo spills.
This type of negligence can have a number of different causes ranging from mere carelessness and driving while fatigued to a failure to use proper loading procedures and violating traffic laws, all of which can result in a variety of different types of truck accidents, including rollover accidents, jackknife accidents, underride collisions, and multi-vehicle pile-ups. Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents tend to result in catastrophic injuries for occupants of the smaller vehicle.
Recognizing that truck accidents pose a serious risk of injury to other motorists, the federal government implemented a number of standards and regulations with which trucking companies must comply. These rules address a number of different issues, including:
- Driving time limitations;
- Procedures for loading and unloading cargo;
- Vehicle weight limits;
- Proper truck maintenance; and
- Safety inspections.
Trucking companies that fail to abide by these rules can be held liable if their negligence resulted in an injury. If, for instance, a driver’s employer forced its drivers to exceed hours of operation limits, which resulted in a driver falling asleep at the wheel and causing a collision, the driver and the company could both be held partially liable for the resulting damages. Vehicle manufacturers whose product designs were faulty or improperly produced could also be held legally responsible for an accident if their actions contributed to a collision. Similarly, warehouse employees who were charged with loading a commercial vehicle, but who failed to do so properly, could bear some responsibility for a plaintiff’s injuries.
Truck accident claims almost always involve multiple parties, which can make it difficult to determine fault, so if you were recently hurt in a collision with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle, you should speak with an attorney who has the experience and resources to help you investigate your claim and begin building your case.
Contact a Brandon Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a large truck accident, you need legal representation who can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact the Brandon truck accident lawyers at Palmer | Lopez today to schedule an initial consultation.