Truck accident claims very different from car accident cases. They are more complex, often involving catastrophic injuries and requiring extensive investigation and a thorough understanding of the applicable state and federal trucking regulations. Experience and in-depth knowledge of how and why truck accidents happen are also important.
Find a Semi Truck Accident Law Firm
A truck accident lawsuit puts you up against large corporations, their insurance companies, and their teams of lawyers. You need the help of an experienced truck accident attorney who is dedicated to getting justice for injured victims and their families.
My Price Lawyers is here to put you in touch with an experienced and affordable Florida truck accident lawyer in the Tampa, Orlando, and St. Petersburg areas. Please call us today at 1-800-475-7005 to get started with your free claim evaluation.
How My Price Lawyers Can Help You
If you or a loved one may have been in a motor vehicle accident involving an 18 wheeler, you may be dealing with catastrophic injuries. You may be trying to care for injured loved ones while trying to recover from your own injuries. You may feel buried in medical bills and the regular bills that keep racking up while you are unable to work.
The thought of hiring a lawyer may seem ridiculous, because you may believe that there is no way you can afford it. But you do not need to go without quality legal representation for financial reasons.
My Price Lawyers connects injury victims like you with affordable and experienced truck accident attorneys. The lawyers in our network have handled complex truck accident lawsuits in Tampa, Brandon, Lakeland, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Sebring and throughout Florida. Our attorneys represent truck accident victims and their families on a contingency fee basis. You do not pay up-front, and you do only pay attorneys’ fees if you win money.
Common Causes of Florida Truck Accidents
Truck accidents require thorough investigation. Even when the cause seems obvious to victims or witnesses, there are hidden factors that may have contributed to the collision. The true underlying causes of a truck accident are often found deep in the records that truck drivers and commercial trucking companies are required to keep. An experienced truck accident lawyer knows which records are required and how to spot the violations that lead to accidents.
Mistakes made by truck drivers are often the result of fatigue, being rushed by employers who impose unrealistic schedules, or the use of inadequately trained or inexperienced truck drivers by companies that would rather take the risk than pay full price for fully qualified drivers. Trucking companies must follow strict hiring regulations. They are required to monitor their drivers, and both drivers and the companies they work for must keep logs to show how much time they spend on the road.
Accidents that appear of be the fault of the truck driver are often the result of mechanical failure or a shifting or unbalanced load, elements that are not visible to the naked eye. Mechanical failure can be caused by a defective truck or truck part or it can be the result of inadequate maintenance. Trucking companies are required to repair and maintain their trucks and keep detailed repair and maintenance records.
Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Unrealistic schedules imposed on truck drivers
- Improper hiring and monitoring of truck drivers
- Inexperienced or inadequately trained truck driver
- Truck driver lacked proper licensing
- Inadequate truck maintenance
- Distractions including texting, social media and other device use
- Truck driver fatigue
- Driving too fast for the conditions, even within the speed limit
- Improperly loaded truck
- Inadequately secured load
- Unbalanced load
- Overweight truck
- Driver did not perform pre-trip inspection
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Failure to signal
- Following too closely
- Unsafe passing
- Negligence on the part of another driver
- Defective truck or equipment
- Defective roadway
Liability in Truck Accident Lawsuits
Once your semi truck accident attorney has uncovered all of the causes and contributing factors leading to your accident, the liable parties can be identified. There may be one or several including:
- Trucking company, employer or lessee
- Freight shipper
- Freight broker
- Third party logistics provider (3PL)
- Third party hired to load truck
- Truck leasing company
- Third party contracted to perform maintenance or repairs
- Manufacturer of defective truck, parts, or equipment
- Seller of defective truck, parts, or equipment
- Truck driver
- Another negligent driver
- Weigh station or personnel
- Government entity responsible for design, construction and/or maintenance of defective roadway
Unrealistic schedules contribute to big rig accidents in a combination of ways. We live in a world where instant gratification is just expected. Free two say shipping is the norm, and in some places same day delivery is becoming quite common. That’s great for businesses and consumers, but few of us think of what it means on the other end. Trucking companies and truck drivers are under constant pressure to compete and keep up with these demands. And this often happens at the expense of safety, too often the very real cost of lives lost.
Unrealistic schedules mean that drivers are pushing themselves and their trucks to the breaking point. To move more freight and moving it faster, companies may cut corners on truck maintenance or overload their trucks. Drivers may be on the road too long, drive too fast, or skip important steps such as properly securing their loads or performing pre-trip inspections.
On top of all that, the trucks themselves are being worked harder, making them more prone to mechanical failure. Higher speeds and heavier loads put more strain on essential parts like tires and brake systems.
Unrealistic schedules can lead to the follow causes of tractor trailer accidents:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Impairment with stimulants
- Speeding or driving too fast for the conditions
- Failure to perform pre-trip inspection
- Improper loading
- Inadequately secured load
- Overloaded truck
- Inadequate maintenance
- Mechanical failure due to truck overuse
Truck Driver Fatigue
Fatigue can cause the best driver to make mistakes. It impairs judgment, slows reaction times, and causes drivers to be more easily distracted. Some drivers do fall asleep at the wheel, but the more common causes of fatigue-related crashes are errors and slow reaction times.
Truck driver fatigue is a complex problem and there are no simple solutions. Hours of Service (HOS) regulations were created to prevent or reduce fatigue, but they have not been successful. Fatigue is still a very real problem, sometimes as a direct result of drivers doing what they must in order to avoid HOS violations. There are many other factors that contribute to driver fatigue, most of which fall outside of what can be addressed by regulations and legislation.
Common causes of truck driver fatigue include:
- Unrealistic schedules imposed by trucking companies
- Physical labor performed when not driving
- Irregular schedules
- Night driving
- Trying to sleep during the day
- Lack of rest stops
- Noisy or dangerous parking areas where drivers cannot truly rest
- Monotonous driving
- Hot weather
- Hazardous traffic conditions
- Hazardous weather conditions
- Weather conditions which cause poor visibility
- Stress, both personal and work-related
- Problems at home
- Health issues
- Sleep disorders
- Poor eating habits
Distracted Truck Drivers
Distracted driving is possibly the biggest danger on our roads today. Truck drivers are not immune to the distractions that take drivers eyes and minds off the road. Many truck drivers are away from their families for days or weeks at a time and working odd hours, making them ever more reliant on texting and social media to stay connected and involved. Truck drivers must also stay in communication with their dispatchers, which can be a substantial distraction. And, device use is not the only distraction that affects drivers, including truck drivers.
Truck drivers who text while driving are more than 23 more times likely to be involved in safety-critical events such as unintentionally leaving their lane, near-crashes and actual crashed, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In 2010, the agency passed a rule prohibiting interstate commercial drivers, including truck and bus drivers, from texting while driving. In addition, trucking companies are prohibited from requiring or allowing their drivers to text while driving. Both truckers and trucking companies can face large fines for violating the texting ban. Truck drivers can also lose their commercial driver’s license (CDL).
The texting ban still allows for the use of some devices, including dispatching units, fleet management devices, GPS and cell phones for phone calls. The prohibition is on entering or reading text on devices including:
- Cell phone
- Personal digital assistant (PDA)
According to the FMCSA, the following distractions significantly increase a truck driver’s likelihood of being involved in a safety-critical event:
- Texting on a cell phone – 23.2 times greater risk
- Other complex tasks, such as cleaning side mirrors
- Looking at or interacting with the dispatch device
- Using a calculator
- Looking at a map
- Dialing a cell phone
- Reading printed materials such as paperwork, newspapers and books
- Using or reaching for other devices
- Moderately complex tasks, such as opening medicine bottles
- Personal grooming
- Reaching for objects in the truck
- Looking in the sleeper birth
If you have been injured in a tractor trailer accident or if you have lost a loved one or are caring for a loved one who was seriously hurt in a crash with a large commercial truck, My Price Lawyers is here to connect you with an experienced and affordable lawyer who has experience handling semi truck accident cases and who will fight for your legal rights.
Please call us today at 1-800-475-7005 or email us right away before evidence is lost or destroyed. Do not delay. Timing is critical in any personal injury lawsuit, but in truck accident cases, it is even more important that your lawyer begins the investigation as soon as possible.