Trucking accidents can be life-altering for the victims and their immediate family. Due to the size and power of the vehicles involved, many trucking accidents result in major damages as well as life-threatening or traumatic injuries that require special, long-term care.
If you have been a victim of an accident involving a negligent truck driver, the Lutz truck accident attorneys at Rivas Law Group are here to help you obtain fair compensation for your damages and suffering.
Commercial truck drivers are required to take special driving courses and go through extensive training before they can obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Truck drivers should know their vehicle well and be prepared for unfavorable road conditions. While in theory that may hold true, accidents with medium and heavy trucks involved happen at an alarming rate. In 2013, the State of Florida alone reported just over 3,800 truck accidents.
Lutz Truck Accidents: Why Do They Happen?
Despite their extensive training, truck drivers can make mistakes. The most common reasons for truck accidents can be categorized as something a truck driver failed to do while operating a commercial vehicle, including the following:
- Non-performance – The trucker was physically unable to operate a vehicle at the time of the accident due to fatigue, seizures or other impairments.
- Recognition – The trucker was distracted by texting or talking on the phone.
- Decision-making skills – The trucker made poor choices related to his driving, such as not adhering to the speed limit or not maintaining caution on the road.
- Performance – The trucker panicked and lost control over the vehicle.
Additional factors contributing to accidents involving large trucks as listed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ranging from most to least common include
- Distraction/Inability to judge surroundings accurately
- Use of non-prescription or prescription drugs
- Violation of traffic rules
- Unexpected road hazards
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Underestimating unfavorable weather conditions
- Traffic congestion and accident scenes
- Brake issues
How Other Drivers Can Avoid Truck Accidents
When sharing the road with large vehicles, the Lutz truck accident attorneys at Rivas Law Group urge you to take the following precautions to prevent truck accidents if at all possible:
- Be careful when changing lanes and do not race a truck while doing so.
- Stay out of the truck driver’s blind spot.
- When passing a vehicle, do not cut directly in front of them.
- Leave plenty of space between you and a commercial vehicle, and minimize the time you drive between two commercial vehicles.
- Use common courtesy and drive defensively when sharing the road with larger vehicles
Answers To Your Truck Accident Questions
The most obvious reason that truck accidents are in their own category is the size of the trucks. What might have been a minor accident between two cars can turn into a tragedy when an 80,000 pound truck is involved.
But there are often many other factors to a truck accident. One might be liability. There may be several other parties, besides the driver, who may hold some responsibility in a crash. The driver’s employer, the truck’s owner, the repair shop used by the owner, and loading and unloading facilities may all share the blame and be liable for a percentage of the damages.
Trucks are also subject to many more rules and regulations than passenger vehicles, and the drivers must undergo training get their CDL. There should also be logs, kept by the driver’s employer, of driver training, number of hours the driver has spent on the road, and vehicle maintenance, all of which may be helpful in an accident case.
Federal law requires trucking companies to maintain strict standards when hiring drivers. But because the turnover rate for drivers is often high, sometimes employers get desperate to get employees on the road, and this can lead to cutting some corners when it comes to checking a driver’s past. This can come back to haunt them if that trucker is then in an accident, but has had DWI arrests or accidents, or other disqulaifying marks on their history.
Hazardous materials not only have the potential to cause serious injury and death to those in a truck accident, but they can also endanger the surrounding environment. This means that truckers must have extra training to transport these materials.
If you are in an accident with a hazmat truck, Florida law allows you to seek compensation for pain, suffering, medical bills, and economic loss not only for the accident itself, but also for injury or illness caused by exposure to the hazardous materials.
Having a Lutz Truck Accident Attorney on Your Side Should Be A Top Priority
Trucking companies and their insurance companies often times send crash response teams to the accident scene to start building their defense immediately as critical evidence can be captured at this time. Shouldn’t you have an advocate doing the same for you?
The Lutz personal injury attorneys at Rivas Law Group have dealt with a variety of truck accident cases and have represented many victims of negligent truck drivers. Don’t wait! Call us at (813) 406-4460 and schedule an appointment with us today!