In the 2019 Florida Traffic Crash Facts Annual Report, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website reports light to heavy trucks accounted for 33 fatal vehicle accidents in Florida and another 157 crashes leading to the incapacitation of one or more individuals.
When someone is injured in a commercial semi-truck accident or any vehicular accident, the injured party can seek legal compensation. Knowing your options is critical to helping you reach an outcome that benefits you. At Long, Jean & Wechsler, P.A., our team of truck accident attorneys will aggressively fight for you. Speak to one of our team members today.
Florida Commercial Semi-Truck Accident Attorneys
Trucks are defined in more than one way, but what every definition of a truck implies is that a truck is a large, heavy vehicle. Most likely larger and heavier than your vehicle. When a larger, heavier vehicle collides with a smaller vehicle, the damage can be catastrophic. Florida is a state with slightly higher than average overall commute times, with the average one-way commute being 27.4 minutes long. A study by the Florida Department of Transportation found, only 6.6% of households in Florida are zero-vehicle households meaning 93.4% of households have a vehicle and share the road with other drivers, including commercial semi-truck drivers. Meaning there are a lot of vehicles on the road at any given point in the day, every day. It is safe to say that most of the time, truck drivers respect the road and are aware of their surroundings, but since more drivers are entering our streets and highway systems, the room for driver error is getting smaller and smaller each year. Meaning truck drivers need to be more careful now than ever before.
Common reasons why commercial semi-truck accidents happen.
Distracted driving and driver error
All drivers are prone to becoming distracted. Truck drivers are no exception. Truck drivers are commonly distracted on their phones, and they can also become distracted if they are eating while driving.
Driving under the influence
Impaired semi-truck drivers can cause catastrophic accidents. In 2019 the percentage of large truck drivers involved in a fatal crash was 2%, while the percentage for light trucks was 19%.
Many truck drivers have quotas they need to meet, and to do so, they often go well beyond the speed limit. Large, loaded trucks slowing down in an emergency can spell disaster due to the size of the vehicle, increasing the chances of them becoming involved in a crash.
To meet their quota, it’s common for commercial semi-truck drivers to drive for extended periods. Although there are now laws to control how much truck drivers can drive in a day, the driver can still choose to drive more, or in some cases, the company applies pressure on them, making them feel like they have to continue driving.
Trucks, like any vehicle, are prone to equipment failure. Without regular maintenance, the likelihood of equipment failure is higher, increasing the odds of a crash occurring.
Lack of driver training
Due to company budget cuts or tight deadlines, some companies fail to properly train or hire experienced truck drivers, making them drive a truck they may not have the experience for, which can cause an accident to occur.
Improper loading of the cargo
Inexperienced or employees who are rushing may cause a truck’s cargo to be improperly loaded, leading to the cargo shifting and moving around during transport which can lead to cargo falling off the truck and landing on the road.
It is important to note not every truck accident is the fault of the truck driver. Any number of variables can cause a multi-vehicle crash, from other drivers being distracted to road conditions and even weather.
Who is responsible for a commercial semi-truck accident?
Any number of parties could be responsible for providing you or a loved one with compensation if you or they were involved in a truck accident.
These parties include:
- The truck driver
- The company or owner of the truck
- The truck or auto parts manufacturer
- The shipping or cargo loading company
- Any mechanics who may have worked on the truck
- Third-party drivers or others involved
Truck accidents versus car accidents. How are they different?
Being a truck driver is a tough job. It really is. That being the case, companies hiring truck drivers need to select experienced drivers properly, and truck drivers need to know their own limitations and skill set when it comes to operating a truck. Trucks are large, heavy vehicles commonly charged to move thousands of pounds from one location to another. Making the truck a multi-ton moving object with little to no options of making it stop in a timely manner. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh 80,000 pounds, whereas an average car weighs under 3,000 pounds. You can imagine how insignificant a car is in front of a moving semi-truck. Accidents involving a commercial semi-truck often involve increased property damage, a higher chance of a fatality, and an increased likelihood of a serious injury occurring.
Types of compensation for victims involved in a commercial semi-truck accident
Just like each truck accident is different, each case is different as well. Factors that can influence how much compensation a truck accident victim receives include the severity of the injuries sustained, the amount of needed medical treatment, and how long the recovery process is expected to take. The types of compensation a truck accident victim can seek include both economic losses and subjective, non-economic losses. Punitive damages are another form of compensation that can be given to the victim, but this type of compensation is very rare.
Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damages
- Funeral costs
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Are you eligible for a commercial semi-truck accident lawsuit?
Discover what your options are during a free case evaluation with our team of commercial semi-truck accident lawyers. Our team will aggressively fight for you.
Call us at 954-597-6770 or click here to send us a message.