Were you seriously injured in a Florida motor vehicle collision involving a commercial truck? Large commercial trucks can leave a victim with catastrophic injuries due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles.
It’s understandable that you might have a fear of being hit by one of these trucks while on the road. Fortunately, many of the commercial trucks you see on a daily basis are being operated by competent drivers. However, if a collision does occur, it can have life-altering consequences.
Accidents involving commercial trucks can also be a legal nightmare because there are multiple parties that need to be involved. The truck itself is usually owned by someone else, or another company, and the driver was likely working when the collision occurred.
If you or a loved one were injured due to the negligence of a large commercial truck driver, it’s important to speak with a truck accident lawyer in Florida. Do not attempt to pursue a claim on your own. Let a knowledgeable and experienced semi-truck accident lawyer help protect your rights.
At Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon, our team of Florida truck accident lawyers has years of experience pursuing compensation on behalf of victims who were seriously injured in a commercial truck accident. We know how to track down all the possible responsible parties and ensure everyone is brought into the claim. In most cases, there are multiple insurance companies involved and the liability investigation can be lengthy. Don’t jeopardize your chances at recovery by trying to pursue a claim on your own.
Common Causes of Florida Truck Collisions
It should come as no surprise that driver error is usually the number one reason for large truck accidents. There are numerous errors a truck driver can make that can lead to a collision. Some of the more common causes are:
- Distracted driving
- Inexperienced or unqualified driver
- Improper loading or securing cargo
- Overweight load
- Driving while fatigued and over the allotted hours per day
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs (prescription drugs included)
- Other traffic violations
- Known health problems that leave the driver incapacitated
- Aggressive driving
- Truck not inspected or maintained
- Lack of supervision over truck drivers
In order to prove liability in a motor vehicle collision, there is almost always a thorough investigation, except when the cause is immediately apparent. However, with large truck collisions, the liability investigation is quite complex and may involve the use of experts and multiple inspections of the vehicles. This is necessary to ascertain all the negligent parties. A truck driver may be partially at fault for the collision, but an intensive investigation could reveal that the truck company had just replaced the brakes and they failed in the collision. You could have a claim against the truck company and the brake manufacturer as well.
Types of Commercial Truck Accidents in Florida
Just as there are many causes of truck collisions, there are also different types of commercial truck accidents. Some of the most common types of large truck accidents Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon handle include:
- Runaway Truck: When a truck driver loses control and cannot slow the truck down, or the weight causes it to continue moving, it can be deemed a runaway truck. This is a common scenario in accidents on downhill roads when the truck continues to gain speed.
- Jackknife: Jackknife accidents are common with trucks that are attached to the trailer with a coupling device. If the device fails or the trailer is knocked off balance, the trailer may swing out in a perpendicular manner. It resembles a folding jackknife, which is how this type of collision earned its name. When a trailer jackknifes, it can strike vehicles in adjacent lanes and cause a lot of damage.
- Override or Underride: When you have a rear-end collision involving small vehicles, it may only result in minor injuries in some cases. When a commercial 18-wheeler rear ends a vehicle, the truck may drive into the back of the vehicle. In some cases, it can even drive over the back seat, which usually results in a fatality if there was a passenger in the back. An underride is when a small vehicle rear ends a truck because it suddenly stopped or changed lanes, causing the vehicle behind it to come to rest under the back of the truck. This can be fatal for the vehicle driver and any front-seat passenger. Some trucks have guards installed that prevent an underride, but collisions can still occur.
- Rollover: Because commercial trucks with trailers have a high center of gravity, they are prone to rolling over, especially if the driver takes a turn or curve too quickly. Overcorrecting and high winds are two other situations where a rollover might occur. A truck rolling over can strike numerous vehicles and cause a traffic nightmare for other drivers on the same road or highway.
- Cargo Spill: There are cases where a commercial truck did not make contact with a vehicle but still caused a collision. When cargo falls off a flatbed truck or trailer, it may strike approaching vehicles, or cars that arrive shortly after may not be able to avoid the hazard in the road.
Types of Compensation Available in Florida Truck Accidents
If a victim survives a collision with a large truck, they typically have mounting financial losses to deal with because of the severe injuries. Victims need to have an idea what their claim is worth to ensure they pursue a claim for the maximum amount. When you retain a truck accident lawyer in Florida, he or she will sit down with you and go over your claim to understand how much you could potentially receive. Recovery in a commercial truck accident can include compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including an estimate of future treatment costs
- Loss of earnings, including an estimate of future lost wages
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Pain and suffering, known as general damages
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Wrongful death
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in Florida Today
If you or a loved one were injured in a vehicle collision with a large truck, don’t attempt to handle the claim on your own. Contact Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon today to schedule an initial consultation.