Here’s what you should know if you or a loved one has been involved in a commercial vehicle accident in Florida
Commercial vehicles – buses, semi-trucks, farm machinery, etc. – are often the cause of some of the most devastating accident injuries due to their extreme weight and size. This weight is concentrated in one or two areas of the commercial vehicle, making them extremely treacherous when they collide with smaller vehicles. Commercial vehicle accidents can result in permanent, life-altering injuries including traumatic brain injury, spinal trauma, or even death.
Truck accidents are on the rise nationwide totaling nearly 180,000 just last year (Up from 167,000 the year prior). In the state of Florida, there were over 9,000 accidents involving large trucks. And, unfortunately, Florida has one of the highest state averages for deadly truck accidents in the nation, coming in at number three. These accidents are likely to remain a common occurrence in Florida as the population and number of visitors grow each year.
Many of these injuries and deaths could have been prevented if commercial drivers had operated their vehicles as safely as possible, or had their employers provided the proper training, testing, and oversight. When the negligence of drivers of commercial vehicle carriers can be proven, accident victims and their loved ones may have the right to sue for damages.
Todd Smith Law is here for you to gain a better understanding of commercial vehicle accidents so that you can be educated and informed of your legal options.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents in Orlando
What are the common causes of trucking accidents in Florida? The Florida Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted a study examining the many reasons for serious crashes involving large vehicles with a gross weight exceeding 10,000 pounds. While experts are rarely able to determine one specific factor as the cause of a crash, there are several commonalities discovered in accident reconstructions with three major types of critical events that occurred in accidents involving large trucks:
- Running out of the travel lane, either into another lane or off the road.
- Loss of vehicle control due to traveling too fast for conditions, cargo shift, vehicle systems failure, poor road conditions, or other reasons.
- Colliding with the rear end of another vehicle in the truck’s lane. [More on this information below].
A critical event is defined as the action or event that put the vehicle(s) on a course that made the collision unavoidable. The critical event is assigned to the vehicle that took the action that made the crash inevitable.
Additionally, the study found that the critical reasons trucking accidents occurred were due to driver error or non-performance (87%), vehicle issues or malfunction (10%), and environmental factors (3%). Critical reasons are the immediate reason for the critical event (i.e., the failure leading to the critical event) to have occurred. Reasons may be associated with driver error, vehicle failure, or environmental conditions (roadway or weather).
When it comes to critical reasons, there are hundreds of factors that can result in an accident. The top 10 causes of trucking accidents include:
- Brake problems
- Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
- Prescription drug use
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliarity with roadway
- Roadway problems
- Required to stop before the crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Inadequate surveillance
- Fatigue or driving while drowsy
What if I’m injured in a commercial vehicle accident?
Getting care for your injuries is the most important thing you can do for yourself after an accident. Prioritizing your health will also protect your case. Injuries in commercial vehicle crashes may range from mild bumps and bruises, or broken bones, to traumatic brain trauma and spinal injuries. If you’ve been seriously injured in a truck accident, you may be owed greater compensation, as those injuries often have a larger effect on your finances and overall quality of life.
It’s hard for accident victims to calculate the true cost of future medical care or assign a value to pain and suffering. You should discuss your specific circumstances with an attorney. While some damages, like medical bills, are obvious, there may be some expenses, losses, and harms that are more challenging to assign a value to. There are many factors that affect the value of your case, so, the advice of an experienced lawyer may be necessary to pursue your claim.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney?
At C. Todd Smith Law, our team will help you understand whether you have a viable case and what damages and compensation you may be entitled to under the law. A consultation is always free and will give you some insight into your potential case.
Rest assured, at C. Todd Smtih law, we provide attentive, compassionate, and personalized legal assistance, combined with dedicated and trustworthy representation to bring you peace of mind. We take on the insurance companies so that you don’t have to. With over 27 years of experience, we fight for the fair result you deserve. Because you matter.
When your life is disrupted because of an injury, we want to help you get back to living your best life.
Because you matter.
𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝗷𝘂𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁, 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗖. 𝗧𝗼𝗱𝗱 𝗦𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗟𝗮𝘄 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗹𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻.
𝗟𝗲𝘁 𝘂𝘀 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝗶𝗿 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘂𝗹𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗲. 𝟰𝟬𝟳-𝟴𝟰𝟭-𝟴𝟮𝟵𝟰