Types of Truck Accidents We See on I-95
While I-95 provides a direct means of moving up and down Southern Florida, it is also notorious for the number of truck accidents that happen within its lanes. As recently as late December, a semi-truck was responsible for the death of a driver in an automobile, as reported by Flagler Live, with the driver of the car having been decapitated while the truck driver was not injured. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident on I-95, a Boca Raton truck accident lawyer from The Grife Law Firm can help you make the most of your case.
What is a Semi-Truck?
You might have heard the term “semi-truck” or “18-wheeler” in reference to the large trucks you see on the road, but you may not know exactly what is being referred to. A semi-truck is simply the combination of a tractor unit in addition to one or more semi-trailers towed behind to carry freight within. The term 18-wheeler is often used interchangeably as the larger semi-trucks will have that number of wheels. These trucks operate heavier and higher than passenger vehicles, and without safe and responsible operation, they can pose very real risks to other drivers on the road.
Semi-Trucks and 18-Wheelers Cause Serious Injury and Death to Occupants of Passenger Vehicles
Large trucks are heavier, taller, and more difficult to handle than other vehicles and are a true danger to other vehicles on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) tracks serious crashes and deaths on America’s roads and determined that in 2020, some 4,998 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes. During that same year, accidents involving large trucks and buses were also responsible for 107,000 accidents involving injuries and 327,000 accidents involving property damage alone.
When large trucks collide with traditional passenger vehicles like cars, SUVs, minivans, and small pickup trucks collide with 18-wheelers and semi-trucks, the risk of serious injury and death is significantly higher for the occupants of the passenger vehicles. This is due largely to the risk of ride-over accidents, in which the greater height of the truck leads to the crushing of the passenger vehicle beneath it. In the news article mentioned above, this was what caused the decapitation of the driver.
Construction Vehicles Like Dump Trucks and Large Construction Trucks Take Up Space and Cause Accidents
Modern roads are distinct from those of the past largely due to two factors: the increase in the number of delivery trucks and the rise in the number of construction vehicles. Large vehicles like dump trucks and other construction equipment take up sizable portions of the road and are less maneuverable than traditional vehicles. This requires that their drivers engage in safe, attentive, and responsible driving to minimize the risk posed to other drivers on the road.
The CDC reports that in 2020 there were 1,038 fatalities of U.S. workers driving or riding in a motor vehicle on a public road, representing some 22% of all work-related deaths that year. The construction vehicles in which workers were killed also caused fatalities in the passenger vehicles with which they collided. Construction workers and drivers alike may experience catastrophic injuries like brain trauma or paralysis due to the accident, and a Boca Raton truck accident lawyer can provide assistance throughout the claims process.
Lawn Maintenance Vehicles are Liable for the Damages in Accidents They Cause
A recent accident reported by Local 10 in Pembroke Pines between a truck and lawn maintenance vehicle with crew inside resulted in four injuries. According to authorities, a Silverado truck crashed into a landscaping truck, causing a passenger of the landscaping vehicle to flip out of the bed while two others were injured. The driver of the truck was also injured and trapped inside the truck until it was pried open with the Jaws of Life, after which he was airlifted to a local hospital.
This accident demonstrates the potentially significant and life-altering injuries that can happen in accidents with lawn maintenance vehicles. Whether or not proper precautions were taken for safety (and whether the operators of vehicles involved were being safe and responsible) will determine the outcome of a truck accident case or claim.
Leading Causes of Truck Accidents For Which You May Be Entitled to Collect Compensation
When the accident or incident that led to your injuries was caused by someone or something else, you are able to collect compensation for your damages. While your Boca Raton truck accident lawyer will use legal instruments to gather the evidence needed to prove fault, there are some common causes to consider. When a truck driver is engaging in these activities and then causes an accident, they may be liable for the resulting costs and damages.
When a driver is engaging in drowsy driving, they are engaging in an activity that increases the risk of crashes. In 2020 alone, some 633 deaths were caused by drowsy driving on the roads of the US. Employers are required to provide employees with sufficient time off between shifts and sufficient break time during shifts. Your experienced Boca Raton truck accident lawyer can gather evidence from the tracking devices used by the truck driver’s employer to determine if they were given sufficient time to rest between and during shifts to maintain the safe operation of their vehicle.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that in 2020 3,142 people were killed on US roads due to distracted driving. Distracted driving is being engaged in any activity while driving that takes the driver’s attention away from the road. Examples of distracted driving include texting while driving, talking on the phone while driving, eating or drinking, using the center entertainment console, and even talking to fellow passengers.
If a driver takes their eyes away from the road for 5 seconds when traveling at 55 miles per hour, they pass the length of a football field without looking. Trucking companies have software that tracks the eye movements of their drivers, both to ensure that they are staying focused and working and also to ensure that they are not engaging in distracted driving. This tracking information can be collected by your attorney in support of your case, underlining the value of working with an experienced Boca Raton truck accident lawyer who can put the law to work to gather the evidence you need to win.
Equipment Malfunctions and Improper Maintenance
Trucking companies are responsible for keeping their fleets maintained and safe for use on the road. Sometimes accidents are caused by no fault of the trucking company in that their drivers were well-rested and their vehicles well-maintained, but a malfunction still occurred that resulted in the accident that injured you. When an equipment malfunction results in an accident, the equipment manufacturer may be liable for your damages.
Determining the cause of the accident that injured, you can be difficult. Your attorney will use legal instruments, like a request for production, that can be used to gather maintenance records from the trucking company involved in the accident. We will carefully review any and all evidence we are legally able to collect to determine the liability of the other party and how to maximize your potential settlement.
Poor Cargo Loading
A study conducted by the Department of Transportation noted that cargo shift is a leading cause of truck accidents. When the cargo of a semi-truck is not properly loaded, the ability of the driver to effectively respond to changes in road conditions and other issues can be negatively impacted, leading to accidents. Poorly secured cargo may also loosen and go free onto the road, resulting in accidents.
It is the responsibility of the trucking companies and truck drivers to be safe and responsible in their activities, ranging from the loading of the trucks, transit to the final destination, and unloading.
Connect with a Boca Raton Truck Accident Lawyer from The Grife Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Southern Florida, an informed and experienced truck accident attorney can make the difference between receiving complete compensation for your injuries or having to pay for any damages out of your household budget. We hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and negotiate on your behalf with their insurance company to help you recover what you and your family deserve to cover the full costs linked to your truck accident.
To learn how The Grife Law Firm can help with your truck accident injuries, give us a call at 561-998-0770, or visit our site to schedule a consultation. Your initial consultation is risk-free and cost-free.