The prominent mining and agricultural industries in Central Florida are key contributors to the local economy, but they depend on large trucks to transport their products, which also increases the risk of trucking accidents. Any traffic accident is a serious matter, but when a crash involves 18-wheelers, semis or other large trucks, accidents can grow exponentially more devastating. If you or a loved one was injured in a trucking accident, call the skilled injury attorneys at Largey Law today. You have rights that a Mount Dora truck accident lawyer could help you protect.
How Common are Truck Accidents?
If you are a Florida motorist, you probably see auto accidents involving tractor-trailers or semis with some frequency. Whether a truck accident occurs at highway speeds or in normal traffic, the impact can exert forces many times stronger than in passenger car accidents, simply because of the mass of the vehicles and weight of their loads. In 2018, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Florida recorded 53 traffic deaths for large-truck occupants, which was second in the nation.
What Usually Causes Them?
A recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report on large truck crashes cited the following significant safety risks as causative factors:
- Truck defects — Tractor-trailers are twice as likely to crash if they have defective equipment, such as faulty braking and steering systems, worn treads and fraying sidewalls on tires or burned-out headlights, taillights or brake lights. Nearly 75 percent of the crashed trucks had defects that inspectors were able to identify.
- Vehicle violations — Many commercial vehicles remained in use despite inspectors’ issuance of out-of-service orders citing mechanical problems.
- Tired truckers —Truck drivers who continued driving for 12 hours or more after an extended sleep period were 86 percent more likely to crash. Drivers past 60 years of age were more likely to crash than their younger counterparts.
- Short-haul exemptions — Because federal regulations do not require short-haul drivers to log their hours, they were more likely to violate hours-of-service regulations, leading to fatigue.
- Absence of safety technologies — Not enough rigs are equipped with crash avoidance technologies available, such as electronic stability control and roll stability control.
Other factors, including the behavior of passenger car motorists around big-rigs, were also found to contribute to accidents. Figuring out the exact cause is one of the most important parts of a case, and a truck accident attorney in Mount Dora could help with this process.
Injuries Seen in Truck Accident Cases
Truck accidents can inflict terrible trauma on the human body. As a result, catastrophic injuries are quite common, including:
- Head & brain injuries
- Crush injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal injuries including permanent paralysis
- Soft tissue injurie such as to ligaments, cartilage and discs
- Burns, scarring, and disfigurement
Our legal team in Mount Dora consults with medical specialists to understand the full extent of your injuries and your prognosis for recovery after a crash with a truck.
Establishing Liability in a Big Rig Accident Case
The most obviously liable parties in a trucking or semi accident are the truck driver and the trucking company. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hold truckers and companies to very high safety standards, which cover such areas as:
- Limitations on the number of hours driven, consecutively and over periods of time
- Mandatory rest breaks
- Speed limitations
- Local limitations
- Pre-ride inspection requirements
- Maintenance and inspection requirements
- Driver experience and licensing requirements
- Driver employment and performance records
Violating safety standards can make drivers and trucking companies legally liable for resulting accidents. Other parties may also share liability. Companies may encourage drivers to break safety regulations and rules of the road to make faster deliveries and increase profits. Loaders may improperly balance a truck. Routine maintenance may be rushed or skipped. You do not have to choose a single party to sue, but you must be sure to include all potentially liable parties as defendants. That is why it is important to contact a lawyer in Mount Dora familiar with the state and federal laws and regulations that apply in truck accident cases.
What Happens Immediately After a Truck Accident?
In the event of an accident with a semi-truck, a representative from the trucking company or its insurance company will soon arrive at the scene. At Largey Law, we dispatch an attorney and/or an expert immediately upon being contacted, in order to investigate and to collect evidence.
Truckers and company personnel may discard, destroy or alter evidence after a collision unless preventive action is taken. Black-box recordings, logbooks, email communications, maintenance records and other data must be preserved to ensure that the negligent parties are held accountable for the injuries suffered by innocent commuters. We make sure that these parties preserve this information or that they face financial and/or legal penalties for failing to do so.
Compensation and the Statute of Limitations in Truck Wreck Claims
Victims of truck accidents may be entitled to payments for medical bills, lost income, rehabilitation costs, costs of personal services and physical pain and mental suffering. When injuries are permanent, damages can include loss of enjoyment of life or quality of life.
Florida law allows you four years from the date of the truck accident to pursue a legal claim. However, legal cases are strongest when they begin right away, when evidence can be preserved, and witness memories are fresh. That’s why it’s critically important to contact a truck accident attorney in Mount Dora immediately.
Call a Mount Dora Truck Accident Attorney for Personalized Guidance
If you or a member of your family has been harmed in a trucking accident, our skilled attorneys can help. Our Mount Dora truck accident lawyers could take charge of your case, negotiate with a commercial vehicle corporation, analyze evidence, and protect your rights as a careful driver. Reach out today to schedule your initial consultation. Se habla Español.