The number of tractor-trailers traveling on Florida roadways has increased dramatically over the past few years. The direct route for commercial truck drivers who travel from south Florida to the northeast runs directly through Volusia and Flagler counties, which is why more and more truck accidents are occurring on our already congested roadways.
Tractor trailers are dangerous because most accidents involving a vehicle of this size and weight have tragic results. Passenger vehicles, motorcycles, pick-up trucks and SUV’s simply don’t hold up well when involved in a collision with a vehicle that can weigh up to 85,000 pounds.
Truck accidents are caused by a variety of different things, including:
Distracted driving, including text messaging, has increased over the past few years. Both federal and state legislatures have banned cell phone use while behind the wheel of a commercial truck, but these laws can be difficult to enforce 100% of the time.
Commercial truck drivers must have a commercial driving license to operate a truck or trailer that weighs 26,000 lbs. or more. Each driver must also be certified for the type of truck he or she is operating. But because of how much tractor-trailers weigh, controlling, slowing down and preparing to stop can result in dangerous conditions on the highway, regardless of how skilled a driver actually is. If a driver has to make an abrupt correction, or try to slow down and stop too quickly, a vehicle of this size and weight can jackknife and overturn, which can result in devastating crashes.
Fatigue is another common cause of truck crashes. Tractor trailer drivers sometimes become fatigued because they drive for such long hours to make scheduled deliveries. Truck drivers are also known to take stimulants to delay their fatigue, which is a recipe for disaster.
Many truck accidents are a result of trucking company negligence. Prior to hiring a new driver, a trucking company must review each individuals driving history, employment history and criminal history. Once hired, they are tasked with making sure each driver undergoes all mandatory medical examinations, as well as monitoring the results.
Owners of commercial trucking companies also have extensive regulations that must be followed, including regular maintenance of the vehicle and amount of time a driver is to be spending behind the wheel in a 24 hour period. Unfortunately, many try and cut corners to save money, which leads to catastrophic accidents.
Read more about “the stages of the truck accident claim process”.
After a truck accident, a crash report will be prepared by the responding and investigating officer. Most of the time, the Florida Department of Transportation will conduct an investigation. Depending on the outcome of the investigator’s report, the Florida State Attorney’s Office may investigate for criminal violations made by the truck driver.
Everyone has seen movies about airplane crashes where investigators are searching for the infamous “black box.” This “black box” is not just in the movies, and it’s not just in airplanes. Most tractor trailers also have a “black box” that records electronic data such as GPS location. The preservation of this black box is paramount to proving the truck accident case.
Truck accidents are very complex. The truck and trailer may have separate owners, which means there could be multiple insurance companies involved.
Determining what factors caused the accident, and who is liable for the accident and damages, takes an experienced Florida truck accident lawyer in Daytona Beach.
You have legal rights to pursue a case against at-fault tractor-trailer drivers, and possibly even the commercial trucking company itself, if it can be proven that they were responsible for the crash that caused your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses and other damages.
Having the right truck accident lawyer in Daytona Beach can make all the difference when it comes to collecting the compensation you rightfully deserve. If you have sustained injuries in a crash involving a commercial truck, call Zimmet & Zimmet today at 386-255-6400. We are experienced personal injury attorneys who have successfully handled many complex truck accident cases over the past four decades. We know what needs to be documented during the investigation, as well as how to navigate through the complex legal process, so that the final outcome is as favorable as possible.