Orlando Truck Accident Attorneys Helping Victims of Commercial Truck Accidents for over 20 Years
Below you will find a great deal of information regarding Florida Trucking Accidents. Our goal is to answer as many of your questions as possible. Use the quick reference links box near the top to jump directly to a specific topic or if you don’t find an answer to your question, feel free to contact us anytime.
What is the definition of a trucking accident?
Trucks, big rigs, tractor-trailers, and semi tractor-trailers are defined as vehicles used for transporting products for commercial purposes. This class of vehicle can include 18-wheelers and delivery trucks. Such trucks can be as long as 75 feet and weigh 80,000 pounds.
Drivers of these trucks are held to a higher legal standard than the average motor vehicle operator. Commercial vehicle drivers must be professionally trained and follow strict federal, state, and local laws while driving large tractor-trailer vehicles. Our Orlando truck accident attorneys have extensive experience in truck accident litigation and have devoted a great deal of study to laws pertaining to truck drivers. We aggressively litigate these cases and hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions.
Common Causes of Florida Truck Accidents
Like most auto accidents, collisions involving commercial vehicles are usually caused by a number of combined factors. Trucking company negligence, truck driver distractions, and big rig defects all play a role in the frequency of collisions. Jackknife truck accidents are common in Florida and can lead to devastating consequences.
Carelessness on the part of passenger vehicle drivers should also be acknowledged, as people driving smaller cars tend to drive more aggressively around vehicles that are moving slowly. Everyone shares responsibility in keeping our highways safe.
The following factors have been identified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as primary causes for trucking accidents:
- Poor decision making – Truck and passenger vehicle drivers must pay attention and respond appropriately to road conditions such as rain, snow, ice, etc. They must also be sure not to follow too closely, pass other vehicles when it is unsafe to do so, or drive too aggressively.
- Truck driver distractions – Fatigue, illness, cell phone use, or drug and alcohol use are all significant impairments to safe driving. Truck drivers have the responsibility to avoid such distractions or, in the case of illness, adequately recover before returning to work.
- Trucking company negligence – Often employers pressure truck drivers to continue driving past the point of exhaustion and accept heavier workloads than they can safely handle. Driving while excessively fatigued is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Big rig defects – Common defects can include malfunctioning tires, brakes, and mirrors, as well as other structural flaws in the vehicle. Often these defects go undetected until an accident occurs.
Truck drivers, trucking companies, and big rig manufacturers are well aware of the risks and prevention factors involved in their trade. Still, many of those in the trucking industry ignore safety precautions for the sake of saving time and reaping larger profits.
How Can Orlando Florida Truck Accident Attorneys Help Me?
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, an attorney can help determine liability, collect evidence, and build a case that strengthens your claim against those responsible for your loss. It is common for a truck driver or employer to deny fault in a crash. David and Philpot, P.L. has extensive experience working with complex trucking accident cases and will take the necessary steps to ensure all of the facts are uncovered.
Some of the tasks we perform include;
- Review police and accident reports
- Interview any relavant witnesses
- Review and analyze medical records
- Consult necessary accident scene reconstruction experts
- Review any video footage if available
- Investigate driving logs, maintenance logs, and other records
- Investigate drivers record (past violations, criminal convictions, etc)
- Determine if there were any potential manufacturing defects involved
What you need to know about wrongful death claims
A wrongful death is an unnecessary death that is (usually) the result of the negligence of another person or a company. Causes of a wrongful death can include drunken or reckless driving, unsafe or defective products, a criminal act, medical negligence, or some other catastrophic event. A wrongful death claim is usually brought by the family and/or beneficiaries of the person who died. Passenger vehicle and 18-wheeler accident fatalities often bring about wrongful death claims. While damages can never compensate for the loss of a loved one, a central Florida wrongful death lawyer can assist those involved in an 18-wheeler or passenger vehicle accident. Truck Accident Attorneys from our firm can review your case and help you and your family obtain the financial support you need to get your lives back on track. Families of persons killed as the result of truck driver or trucking company negligence may be eligible for damages caused by loss of wages, medical expenses, and loss of companionship.
There are specific laws governing trucking company negligence, vehicle codes that apply only to truckers and trucking companies, and special training and licensing requirements for commercial drivers. Because of this, wrongful death and personal injury claims against truck drivers and truck companies are usually easier to win. This means that families of passengers who have been injured or killed are more likely to obtain compensation for their loss.
Trucking companies are aware of this fact, however, and hire accident investigators to report to the scene as soon as they learn there has been a crash. Their experience and skill in truck accident investigation gives trucking companies an unfair advantage. While the families of accident victims are trying to make hospital arrangements and recover emotionally, trucking companies and their lawyers are carefully planning their defense. It is important that victims in central Florida have a capable wrongful death lawyer on their side. Although 18-wheeler and passenger vehicle accident fatalities are always traumatic, they shouldn’t be compounded by an unfair claims settlement.
What kind of compensation can I receive?
You will have several options when considering your claims after a big rig or tractor-trailer accident. You may be eligible to claim negligence on the part of the other driver, or the owner of the vehicle if he or she is someone other than the driver. You may also be able to claim that the trucking company was negligent in its hiring, training, entrustment, or supervision of the driver. If you are injured or a loved one is injured or killed, you may be eligible to make the following recoveries:
- Economic damages – this includes compensation for past and future medical expenses, prior and anticipated wage loss, impairment of earning ability, and other financial setbacks.
- Non-economic damages – this includes non-quantifiable damage such as inconvenience, decreased quality of life, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
- Physical impairment and disfigurement – this includes compensation for scars or physical disability resulting from injuries sustained during an accident.
For additional information on frequently asked questions about Florida truck accidents, how you can protect your rights, and what types of compensation you can receive, read our article on Florida Trucking Accident FAQ’s. If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a trucking accident in Florida you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. There are time limits in place to file a claim and protect your rights. To learn how one of our Orlando truck accident attorneys may be able to help you, please fill out our free case review form today.