A Truck Accident Attorney Longwood, FL Trusts Discusses Common Truck Accident Causes
Accidents with tractor tailors and big rigs can cause serious injuries, property damage and even death. If you have been a victim of a truck accident, you may be entitled to financial damages. In seeking to bring responsible parties to justice, you may also help to ensure that others do not suffer as a result of similar accidents. Our Longwood, Florida truck accident attorneys are here to help you navigate the legal aftermath of your truck accident. You do not need to process this challenging time of life alone.
What is defined as a truck accident?
When we talk about a truck accident, we are referring to a commercial truck, 18-wheeler, and/or big rig. A commercial truck is used to transport goods for business purposes. Some examples of commercial trucks include delivery trucks, large freight trucks, tanker trucks and oil rig vehicles.
Why are commercial trucks more dangerous compared to other vehicles?
The drivers of these trucks have very limited visibility when it comes to seeing other vehicles. Their blind spots are quite large, causing a problem for other smaller cars when they want to merge, pass, or change lanes. Driving around commercial trucks requires diligence — as a rule of thumb, if you cannot see the truck’s rearview side mirrors, they cannot see you. In addition, their sheer size causes many problems on the road. A typical passenger vehicle weighs around 3,000 pounds when a fully-loaded truck can tip the scales at around 70,000 pounds. As a result, accidents involving these vehicles may be particularly destructive.
What usually causes truck accidents?
Simply speaking, physics. Combine the driver’s low visibility to other cars and the mechanics of the truck such as limited acceleration and braking, and it is easier to get in an accident. With that said, the causes of truck accidents may be both complex and numerous. Yes, a driver may have low visibility, but may also have been under pressure from his or her employer to drive faster and farther than is safe. Poorly maintained roads, a defective part within the driver’s truck and any number of other factors may have contributed to your accident. When you contact a Longwood, FL truck accident attorney, you can rest assured that all possible contributing factors will be explored.
Who can I bring charges against, the driver or the truck company?
In some cases you can bring a claim against both. This is one of the reasons why it is important to schedule a consultation with a truck accident attorney in Longwood, FL. Because truck accidents tend to be particularly complex, navigating the aftermath of these incidents alone is not generally advisable. The attorneys at David & Philpot, P.L. understand how to explore liability issues and achieve maximum compensation under the circumstances because of our years of experience handling trucking accident claims.
How does the accident investigation work?
One of the first things your Longwood, FL truck accident attorney will likely do is request the truck driver’s Driver Qualification File (DQF) from their employer. This file is a legal document required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and will detail the driver’s driving history and medical records. In addition to this, your attorney will examine the footage from the truck’s electronic on-board reporter to see if the reports of the accident seem to match up to what actually happened. After this, the attorney will collect witness testimonies, speak to medical professionals about your injuries, look over police reports, and review pictures of the accident. Once all the evidence is compiled and your attorney has formulated a solid legal strategy, the case will progress. You will remain informed every step of the way.
A Truck Accident Attorney Longwood, FL Trusts Discusses Common Truck Accident Causes
Accidents with large semis or delivery trucks are often catastrophic and deadly, primarily because of the size of the truck versus the size of the vehicle in which you are riding. This means that not only do the truck drivers have to practice safe driving, drivers of other vehicles and motorcycles also have to be cognizant of a truck driver’s presence on the road. Because of the size of the truck, minor driving mistakes on the part of the truck drivers like not using their directional when changing lanes can be disastrous when smaller vehicles are in their path and unseen by the truck driver. At David & Philpot, P.L., we have been helping injured victims obtain the financial compensation they deserve. Call our office to meet with a skilled Longwood, FL truck accident attorney and find out how we can help.
What Common Truck Accident Scenarios Should Everyone be Alerted to While Driving in the Presence of Large Trucks?
Automobile or motorcyclists often overestimate a truck’s ability to brake, accelerate, or even see the other driver’s on the road. A truck accident attorney knows that accidents often occur when other drivers assume the truck driver will act a certain way on the road and the truck the truck cannot because of its size. Listed below are common causes of accidents between cars and trucks where the car was driving in an unsafe manner:
- Driving where the truck driver has limited or no visibility of your vehicle
- Trying to go around the truck on the right when the truck is making a right turn and has to maneuver to the left to do so safely
- Entering the road in front of a truck without considering the truck’s capability for slowing down or changing lanes effectively
- Cutting in front of a truck to change lanes
- Turning left in front of a truck because you misjudged the speed at which the approaching truck was traveling
- Passing a truck without leaving enough room for oncoming traffic
- Not getting your stopped vehicle safely out of a travel lane or sufficiently onto the shoulder
What Are Some Incidents Where the Truck Driver Is at Fault?
A truck accident attorney in Longwood, FL understands that many of us feel some sort of anxiety as we approach to pass a big truck on the interstate. Or a bit annoyed when stuck behind a truck in the passing lane attempting to pass another truck and still traveling below the posted speed limit. Generally, we can assume truck drivers have the appropriate training and skill to properly maneuver their trucks. However, we should always exercise additional caution when coming on a truck and passing. Being proactive and observant while around trucks can possibly be the main reason an accident was avoided. As a Florida truck accident attorney can attest, here are some of the primary causes for truck accidents when it was the fault of the driver of the commercial truck:
- Inexperience which comes from inadequate training in the areas of defensive driving, safety, and driving techniques
- Inexperience in inclement weather leading to accidents as a result of not being able to stop safely, negotiate turns or curves, changing lanes, or driving through mountainous or hilly areas with many elevation changes.
- Trucking companies give driver’s unrealistic expectations and deadlines thus encouraging drivers to drive faster and take risks.
- Trucking companies compensating drivers for delivering loads on a schedule that encourages drivers to drive for longer hours and at higher speeds.
Can I file a counterclaim for my injuries from a car accident?
If you were injured by a negligent driver but that driver has filed a claim against you, you can protect your right to compensation with the help of a truck accident attorney Longwood, FL has to offer. Sometimes, in an effort to duck taking moral and financial responsibility for their actions, dishonest individuals will blame their victims for damages (real or fictional) that they caused themselves as a result of their own carelessness or negligence. This can lead to double frustration, stress, and financial worries for the victim who wishes to recover their damages and is faced with not only not getting fair compensation, but potentially having to pay the person who is the at-fault driver. Though this scenario is not extremely common, especially with a truck accident case, it does occur. With a seasoned truck accident attorney in Longwood, FL by your side, you can take a proactive position by counterclaiming (or countersuing) the liable party.
How does a lawsuit typically begin?
If the at-fault driver has filed a lawsuit against you, you may be best served by hiring an experienced truck accident attorney Longwood, FL respects, and without delay. If you wish to file a lawsuit against them, or counter sue them, you will also want to talk with a lawyer. In most cases, this is how a lawsuit evolves:
- The plaintiff’s accident lawyer serves the defendant with a legal complaint. The complaint will include the following:
- Detailed information about how they believe the accident happened. Included with the complaint will be as many facts as they can provide.
- An explanation as to why the defendant should be held accountable for the damages that resulted from the truck accident. The information must be directly related to current laws.
- A listing of the damages sustained by the plaintiff that resulted from the defendant’s actions or inaction, the costs associated with each damage.
- The defendant and their truck accident attorney Longwood, FL families know and prefer can respond to the complaint with arguments or denials to the accusations. The defendant also has the legal right to file a counterclaim against the plaintiff with the goal of getting a judgement of negligence against the other party.
What will happen if my countersuit is successful?
If your countersuit is successful, you may then be eligible to receive compensation from the other party for your damages. If you live in a comparative negligence state and the court determines that you and the other party share liability for the accident, then you may not recover 100% of your damages. If your truck accident attorney in Longwood, FL advises you to simply respond to the claim and your response is sufficient, you may not have to pay compensation to the other party for their alleged damages. If you have already been served with a claim against you by the at-fault party, contact a truck accident attorney Longwood, FL offers who can provide you with the guidance you need to make an informed decision about your next steps.
- Hold a regular driver’s license with a good driving record
- Pass the CDL driving and knowledge tests
- Be in decent physical condition and pass a physical exam every two years
- Pass a medical verification
As a truck accident attorney in Longwood may tell you, to transport hazardous materials, additional training is required to obtain further licensing. Drivers must also do some continuing education to maintain their license and knowledge base of current laws and new regulations. If you were part of an accident that involved a commercial truck, we highly encourage you to contact us quickly about seeking financial compensation.
Maximum Working Hours
Hours-of-Service regulations were created and are enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to give truck drivers a maximum legal driving time limit before having a required amount of resting time. This helps to ensure truckers are alert and reduces the number of fatigued drivers on the road. For example, there is a 14-hour driving window which allows a driving period of no more than 11 hours and being on duty for no more than 14 hours. To drive beyond eight hours however, there is a required 30-minute break. Then, the driver must be off duty for at least 10 hours before driving again. Drivers are required to keep a daily log of their hours and miles driven, either by hand or electronically. There may be new systems available which record driving time automatically. These logs may be checked by government inspectors at any time. Unfortunately, as a FL truck accident attorney has seen in cases before, many truckers falsify their log books as a way to get ahead of schedule by skipping breaks and much needed rest time, increasing the chances of causing a fatal accident.
Drugs and Alcohol
As a truck driver, the laws are stricter than for regular drivers. They may not have alcohol with them unless it is cargo, and they may not have alcohol or drugs in their system for at least eight hours before they begin their next shift. If you believe the trucker who hit you was drunk, your truck accident attorney in Florida at David & Philpot, P.L. must be notified immediately.
Drivers must have knowledge of the most up-to-date laws regarding loading and securing their cargo. This includes the safest strategies for tying goods down and using specific types of securing devices. Trucks must also be marked in the correct way before transporting cargo, such as their USDOT number and hazardous materials markings.
Know Your Rights
While truck drivers are trained to do their job safely, the road can be dangerous and unpredictable. Contact a Longwood truck accident attorney in FL at David & Philpot, P.L. to learn more about truck driving laws and your right to safety on the road, especially if you’ve been in an accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact a truck accident attorney Longwood, FL clients recommend from David & Philpot, P.L. for a free consultation.