Do You Need A Truck Accident Lawyer?
Every three minutes, a person is injured or killed in a truck accident. Truck accidents kill innocent drivers and passengers at a disproportionately high rate; and tragically, Florida has one of the highest rates of truck accidents in the nation. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately one out of every 13 commercial trucking collisions happens in Florida.
The average passenger vehicle weighs around 3,000 pounds. A commercial truck can weigh twenty-five times that amount. With these figures in mind, it is not hard to understand why truck accidents tend to have devastating consequences. Even seemingly-minor accidents can result in severe traumatic injuries. And in high-speed collisions, drivers and passengers who survive will often face a lifetime of pain, physical limitations, and emotional trauma.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. Florida law entitles truck accident victims to seek full compensation for their losses. This includes all forms of financial and non-financial harm, and it covers immediate costs as well as long-term medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages.
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Your Local Attorneys for Truck Accidents in Volusia and Flagler Counties
Our team of truck accident attorneys has over 180 years of combined experience representing individuals and families in Volusia and Flagler Counties. We pride ourselves on being “Your Local Attorneys,” and we are committed to fighting for the people who live and work in our local communities. With a team of nine experienced and dedicated personal injury lawyers, you can rest assured knowing that we are doing everything possible to win the compensation you deserve.
Truck Accident Cases We Handle
We represent clients in cases involving all types of serious and fatal truck accidents. Whether your accident occurred on Interstate 95, Route 1, Route 100, or any of the other roads in Central Florida and the Space Coast region, our experienced legal team will fight to win the compensation you deserve.
Facing a commercial truck head-on can be a terrifying experience. In busy intersections and next to highway barriers and low shoulders, a fast-approaching truck can leave you with no place to go. Even at low speeds, these accidents can cause devastating injuries. According to NHTSA, more than a quarter of all fatal truck accidents involve head-on collisions.
Intersection (T-Bone) Accidents
Impacts between the front of a truck and the side of a passenger vehicle account for more than a quarter of fatal truck accidents as well. Many of these accidents occur at intersections, and they are commonly referred to as “T-bone” accidents. In T-bone accidents, both front and rear-seat passengers can suffer serious injuries, and most cars’ safety features are not enough to prevent life-changing or life-threatening injuries.
Jackknife accidents occur when truck drivers lose control and their trailers begin to travel at speeds faster than the cabs of their trucks. This can result from a variety of different factors, from braking too harshly to swerving in an attempt to avoid an obstacle in the road.
Merging and Lane Change Accidents
While tractor trailers and 18-wheelers have big blind spots, this is not an excuse for truck drivers to merge into approaching vehicles. Truck drivers must be aware of their surroundings at all times – and when they change lanes and merge into other vehicles, they (and their employers) deserve to be held accountable.
Multi-Vehicle Truck Accidents (Pileups)
In a multi-vehicle truck accident, determining who is to blame can be a challenge. With our decades of experience in truck accident investigations and litigation, we have the background required to establish liability and help you secure the financial compensation you deserve.
Override and Underride Collisions
Overrides and underrides are among the most dangerous types of commercial truck accidents. When a truck’s wheels ride onto a passenger vehicle, or when a passenger vehicle gets stuck under the side or rear of a truck, the fatality rate is extremely high.
Despite the obvious risks of following too closely or failing to see that traffic has stopped up ahead, truck drivers routinely tailgate and give in to distractions behind the wheel. These and other careless mistakes are often to blame in rear-end collisions, and victims of these mistakes deserve to receive just compensation for their losses.
From jackknifing to approaching an on-ramp or off-ramp while going to fast, there are numerous scenarios that can lead to truck rollovers. These accidents are frequently the result of driver errors, cargo loading errors, and truck malfunctions or defects.
Wide-turn accidents at intersections are among the most common types of non-fatal truck accidents. While these accidents typically occur at low speeds, with the extreme forces involved, it is not unusual for passenger vehicle occupants to suffer severe traumatic injuries.
Q: What are some of the most common factors involved in commercial truck accidents?
Truck accidents can result from factors that are common to all vehicle collisions as well as issues that are unique to the nature of large commercial trucks. Some of the most common factors include:
- Cargo loading errors
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy and fatigued driving
- Driver inexperience
- Driving while impaired (alcohol or drug use)
- Failure to check blind spots
- Failure to pressurize liquid cargo
- Reckless and careless driving
- Truck maintenance issues and defects (such as faulty brakes or indequate lighting)
In many cases, multiple factors will be involved (e.g., a truck driver may fail to control his or her truck after a brake failure). When we investigate your truck accident case, we will seek to identify all of the factors involved so that we can hold each of the at-fault parties responsible for the costs of your injuries or loss.
Q: Is it important whether the truck that hit me failed an inspection due to a safety violation?
While it is not necessary to show that the truck that hit you had recently failed an inspection, if there is evidence of a safety violation, this can certainly aid in your claim for financial compensation. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS), the most-common safety violations include the following:
- Log violations (i.e., improperly reporting drivers’ hours behind the wheel)
- Hours-of-service violations
- Brake problems
- Light, marker, and signal violations
- Air pressure and other tire-related violations
- Steering axle violations
- Suspension violations
In the study, brake problems were by far the largest issue, with 32.7% of accidents involving trucks that had failed brake inspections. Overall, the FMCSA’s data indicate that 66.1% of large trucks involved in crashes have received citations for safety violations.
Q: What are “hours-of-service” violations?
Under federal regulations, there are limits on the number of hours that truck drivers can spend behind the wheel. The sole purpose of these regulations is to help ensure the safety of drivers and passengers. Unfortunately, truck drivers routinely exceed the hours-of-service limitations (often at the instruction or under the influence of their employers), and this creates extreme risks for everyone on the road. You can view a summary of the hours-of-service regulations on the FMCSA’s website.
Q: Are trucking companies responsible for truck drivers’ mistakes?
While truck drivers can operate under a few different models of employment, in many cases, trucking companies will be liable for truck drivers’ mistakes under the law of “vicarious liability.” Under Florida’s vicarious liability law, employers are fully liable for accidents caused by their employees within the scope of employment.
Keep in mind, pursuing a claim against a truck driver or trucking company may not be your only option. The truck manufacturer, a repair shop, another driver, the highway authority, and various other entities could all be liable as well.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation at Rue & Ziffra Law Offices
For more information about seeking financial compensation after a truck accident in Florida, please contact to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. To schedule an appointment at your convenience, call (386) 788-7700 or inquire online today.