What Are Some Of The Most Common Causes Of These Trucking Or Other Large Commercial Vehicle Accident Cases That You See Across Central Florida?
Two of the most common injuries in trucking or large commercial vehicle accident cases are death or serious spinal injuries that cause some paralysis. Most of the time, there are quadriplegic or paraplegic injuries because of the size of the semi-trucks or large commercial vehicles versus the size of your own vehicle. The vehicle is totally destroyed because of its smaller size which is why many injuries cause death because of the disproportionate size of the vehicle.
The math and physics in this situation should be considered. There is an enormous size disparity from the visibility standpoint and also, a car might weigh 3,000 to 5,000 pounds versus a semi-truck that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The amount of force generated by the truck even at a comparatively slow-speed impact can transmit an enormous amount of energy in the collision resulting in very significant injuries that would not occur had the accident been just two cars colliding.
As to the causation of these accidents, one is the almost unavoidable issue of visibility problems in a high traffic area. A vehicle that is 13-feet tall and 60-feet long will have significant problem navigating a highway going through Central Florida. Another issue is that the trucking industry makes it very easy for negligent operation of these vehicles. In spite of state and federal laws that require truck drivers to limit the number of hours they can drive on a particular day and the required physicals to prove they are physically capable of operating such an enormous vehicle on the roadways, very often that is not the case.
Without having experience in those kinds of issues with trucking cases, a person who sustains an injury from a commercial truck accident might have no knowledge of a significant contributing factor like fatigue, looking at the logbook, or reviewing a DOT physical of the operator to determine if there were additional contributing causes to the accident.
I’ve Been In A Trucking Commercial Accident, What Should I Do?
After a commercial trucking accident, it is important to know that the driver of the truck may not be the owner of the vehicle. In a typical automobile accident involving passenger cars, the person operating the vehicle very often also owns the vehicle. While that may be true in some commercial and trucking accidents, frequently there are multiple owners or responsible parties beyond the person that was behind the wheel. If an individual is handling the accident on their own, it would be very easy to miss crucial details if all they relied upon is the accident report.
After hiring an attorney, the attorneys will investigate to see if the driver was working for someone at the time of the accident. The driver’s employer can be held liable specifically if they failed to use proper precautions. For example, when hiring the driver, did they research the driver’s record?. They may have forced the driver to work in unsafe conditions or they may have known that the driver worked three or four shifts in a row and did not get much sleep. The employer might have mandated that the driver must travel from point A to point B in an unreasonable amount of time and the driver did not have time to take a break, get something to eat, or rest.
A cargo company could be held responsible for the accident. Many truckers work independently. They go to a company to pick up cargo, and the company requires that the cargo be delivered to a particular place by a specific time with no exceptions or the driver will not get paid, or their pay is reduced. That unreasonableness from the cargo company can also be the reason why the driver did not follow appropriate safety standards. Not only is the driver responsible for the accident, but the cargo company is also responsible as well for mandating that unreasonableness.
Another example is overloading the cargo to twice the load because it must reach its destination by a certain time. The truck could be unable to stop for a car that cut in front of them or for a vehicle ahead that put their brakes on, and it took the truck more distance to stop than if they had been carrying a regular load. These are all circumstances that can have a major impact on the case as well as people who can be responsible in a commercial truck accident that a regular person would likely not know about. An attorneys is needed to find this kind of information.
The cause of the accident may also be traced back to the manufacturer of the truck. There may be a mechanical issue in the design of the truck that requires hiring an expert to inspect the truck and make that determination. When someone does not hire an attorney, they miss the crucial benefit of the investigation, the expert testimony, or an accident reconstructionist to reconstruct the scene of the accident including the speed to determine whether the accident could have been avoided had one of the factors not been present.