Dedicated Law Office Fights for Victims of Trucking Accidents in Clermont, Tavares and Inverness, FL
Tractor-trailer and semi-truck accidents often lead to serious injuries with expensive recoveries
The prominent mining and agricultural industries in Central Florida are key contributors to the local economy, but they depend on large trucks to transport their products, which also increases the risk of trucking accidents. Any traffic accident is a serious matter, but when a crash involves 18-wheelers, semis or other large trucks, accidents can grow exponentially more devastating. If you or a loved one was injured in a trucking accident in the vicinity of Clermont, Inverness or Tavares, call the skilled lawyers at Largey Law today. You have rights, but if you do not act soon, time may not be on your side.
How common are Florida trucking accidents?
If you are a Florida motorist, you probably see auto accidents involving tractor-trailers or semis with some frequency. But these 2017 statistics by the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Division reveal just how common such accidents are:
- Throughout Florida, there were 42,497 commercial truck crashes.
- In Citrus County, there were 118 such crashes.
- In Lake County, there were 561 crashes.
Not every truck accident occurs at highway speeds. Nevertheless, the impact can exert forces many times stronger than those in passenger car accidents simply because of the massive vehicles and the loads that they carry.
Top five causes of tractor-trailer accidents
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently issued a report on large truck crashes, citing the following factors as significant safety risks:
- Truck defects — Tractor-trailers with defective equipment are twice as likely to crash as trucks without defects. Defects in the braking and steering systems as well as fraying sidewalls on tires and burned out headlights, taillights or brake lights are hazardous. Nearly 75 percent of the crashed trucks studied had defects that crash-scene inspectors were able to identify.
- Vehicle violations — When a commercial motor vehicle inspector issues an out-of-service order for a mechanical problem, the vehicle is supposed to remain out of service until the problem is fixed. Sadly, this is rarely the case.
- Tired truckers — The study showed that truck drivers who continued driving for 12 hours or more after an extended sleep period were 86 percent more likely to crash. Drivers past 60 years of age were more likely to crash than their younger counterparts.
- Short-haul exemptions — Because federal regulations do not require short-haul drivers to log their service hours, they can often get away with hours-of-service violations, leading to fatigue that is likely to cause an accident.
- Absence of safety technologies — There are crash avoidance technologies available, such as electronic stability control and roll stability control, but not enough rigs are equipped.
Other factors, including the behavior of passenger car motorists around big-rigs, often contribute to an accident. You may not be able to influence any of the factors above, but you can learn the rules for sharing the road with tractor-trailers to enhance your safety.
Who can be held liable for my injuries in a truck accident?
The most obvious liable parties in a trucking or semi accident are the driver of the truck and the trucking company employing the driver. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hold truckers and their employers to very high safety standards, and violating any of those standards can make drivers and trucking companies legally liable in resulting accidents. These standards include:
- Limitations on the number of hours driven, consecutively and over periods of time
- Mandatory rest breaks
- Speed limitations
- Local limitations
- Pre-ride inspection requirements
- Maintenance and inspection requirements
- Driving experience and licensing requirements of the driver
- Maintaining employment and driving records of the driver
Sometimes when semi-truck accidents occur, the truck driver is not the only party to blame. Employers can force drivers to break safety regulations and rules of the road to make faster deliveries and increase profits. When faced with similar pressures, loaders can improperly balance a truck, or routine maintenance can be rushed or skipped. In many cases, you do not have to choose a single negligent party to sue. Liability can and should be shared among defendants in a truck accident lawsuit. That is why it is important to immediately contact an attorney familiar with the statutes and federal regulations imposed on trucking companies and their drivers.
What happens immediately after a truck accident?
In the event of an accident with a semi-truck, a representative from the trucking company or its insurance company will arrive at the scene within minutes. It is critical that an injured party have a representative at the scene to collect evidence and witness statements and investigate all circumstances of the collision. At Largey Law, an attorney, and/or an expert will be dispatched to the scene immediately upon being contacted and will let the at-fault party and their insurance company know that we are serious about protecting injured parties’ rights and will seek justice on their behalf.
It is also important to know that negligent truckers and trucking companies may discard, destroy or alter evidence after a collision unless action is taken to prevent it from happening. Evidence such as black-box data, logbooks, email communications and maintenance records must be preserved to ensure that the negligent trucker and his employer is held accountable for the injuries suffered by innocent commuters. We make sure that these trucking companies preserve this information or face financial and/or legal penalties for failing to do so.
The experienced truck accident attorney at Largey Law can analyze your case and ensure that evidence is preserved in order to seek justice on behalf of people injured or killed as a result of a semi-truck accident. Our firm will hold all negligent parties accountable for injuries suffered as a result of semi-truck accidents.
Contact a reputable trucking accident lawyer to make sure your rights are defended
Trucking accidents lead to serious injuries. If you or a member of your family has been harmed in a Central Florida trucking accident, reach out to the attorneys at Largey Law today. Contact us at 352.508.1485 or online to arrange a free consultation at our office locations in Tavares, Inverness or Clermont. We will schedule your meeting around your needs. Se habla español.