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. Trucking accidents can be life-altering not only for the victims, but their immediate family as well.
If you have been a victim of an accident involving a negligent truck driver, Lutz truck accident attorney, Tania Rivas, at Rivas Law Group is 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 involving medium and heavy trucks happen at an alarming rate. In 2020, the state of Florida alone reported more than 27,000 accidents involving trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
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
- 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
Common Types of Truck Accidents
The type of accident that occurred will also play a role in the severity of the injuries suffered by victims. Here are some of the most common types of truck accidents:
These accidents happen when a truck driver loses control over the vehicle, causing it to tip over on its side or roof. Many rollover accidents are caused by speeding, sudden braking or making a sharp turn.
These accidents occur when a smaller passenger vehicle becomes wedged underneath the trailer of a larger truck. Underride accidents are often fatal due to the severe crush injuries suffered by victims.
These accidents happen when a truck rear-ends another vehicle that is stopped or slowing down. Rear-end collisions are often caused by distracted driving, following too closely or speeding.
These accidents happen when a truck hits the side of another vehicle. Side-impact collisions can be especially dangerous because they often result in severe injuries to victims.
These accidents happen when a truck’s trailer swings out and hits another vehicle. Jack-knife accidents are often caused by speeding, braking too hard or making a sharp turn.
If you have been involved in any type of truck accident in Lutz, Florida, it is important to seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not think you have been injured. Many injuries, such as whiplash and internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent.
How Other Drivers Can Avoid Truck Accidents
When sharing the road with large vehicles, Rivas Law Group urges 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
What Compensation Can You Recover in a Truck Accident Lawsuit?
The amount of compensation you can recover in a personal injury case after a truck accident will depend on the severity of your injuries and damages. You may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses, both past and future
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium or companionship
If you have been involved in an accident with a negligent truck driver, Rivas Law Group is here to help you obtain fair and just compensation for your injuries and damages.
How Can a Lutz Truck Accident Attorney Help?
Attorney Tania Rivas has the experience and knowledge necessary to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. The attorney and her team will guide you through every step of the process including:
Investigating the accident
We will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to determine the cause and who is liable.
We will collect all pertinent evidence related to your case, including medical records, police reports, eyewitness testimony, and more.
Calculating your damages
We will work with experts to calculate the full extent of your damages so that you can recover the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Negotiating with the insurance company
We will negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to help you obtain a fair settlement.
Taking your case to trial
If a settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to take your case to trial and fight for the compensation you deserve.
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.
However, there are often many other factors to a truck accident; one issue being 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 to 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 disqualifying 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!