Every day we share the road with large tractor trailers, big rigs, semis, refrigerated vans, livestock carriers, cement mixers, and dump trucks. Despite you driving safely and taking precautions, crashes can still happen. Last year in Florida, there were 9,018 crashes involving large trucks and buses, 287 of which were fatal, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Florida Statute 320.01(25) (2021) defines a commercial vehicle as:
What are some of the differences between trucking accidents and car accidents?
While car accidents typically involve the individual drivers and passengers, trucking accidents can also involve other entities like the owners of the trucking company, tractors, trailers, and/or truck manufacturers. There are also regulations for commercial truck drivers that are not in place for non-commercial drivers such as limits on the amount of time the commercial driver can continuously operate a commercial vehicle at any one time. Commercial truck drivers are also required to maintain a log of his or her work status. Commercial vehicles are also required to meet minimum safety standards as provided in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations., in addition to state laws. The components of trucking accidents can vary and the litigation can be complex. An experienced Florida trucking accident attorney is needed to examine the details of your accident and determine who is at fault.
What should I do if I was hit by a truck in Florida?
If you have been involved in a Florida trucking accident, make sure that you are in a safe position on the highway. If you can move your vehicle, pull to the side of the road. Turn your vehicle off, especially if any fluids are leaking. Call 911 to report the accident. Take photos and videos of the accident scene from various angles. Take photos and videos of your vehicle. Importantly, also take photos and videos of the truck that hit you, including the side doors that identify the trucking company as well as the rear of the trailer. You cannot rely on law enforcement to document the accident scene and the vehicles involved on your behalf. Visit a physician if you feel pain or discomfort. Monitor how you feel as time progresses and be sure to visit a physician again, if necessary. Be aware that in Florida, you must see a doctor within 14 days of an accident in order for the visit to be covered by your car insurance. Call your insurance company to report the accident.
Do not put yourself in a dangerous position on the highway. Do not forget to get the other party’s name and insurance information. Do not speak to the other party's insurance without first consulting an attorney. Do not sign any documents from an insurance company without first consulting an attorney. Do not wait to see a doctor.
What are common causes of trucking accidents?
Trucking accidents can be caused by reasons similar to a car accident like distracted driving, fatigue and sleepiness, and speeding. However, additional factors like improper load maintenance, overloaded trailers, and equipment defects are often factors in trucking accidents. Loaded trucks take much longer to stop. With adverse weather, the stop time increases. An investigation possibly utilizing experts may be needed to determine the cause of the accident.
What injuries can occur after a trucking accident?
Bodily injuries from trucking accidents can involve injuries to the head, neck, and back, as well as injury to any other area of the body, especially if any part of the body makes contact with an object from inside the vehicle. Concussions and brain injury do not always present right away, so be sure to note if your vision becomes blurry or your balance is off. Paralysis and death may also result from trucking crashes. An attorney can explain how you may be compensated for being injured in a trucking crash for things such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, and loss of wages and earning capacity, in addition to past and future medical expenses.
Contact the Simpson-Cannon Law Firm, P.A. for a free consultation
Cynthia Simpson-Cannon is a knowledgeable accident attorney and can help you through the devastating experience of a trucking accident. She understands the nuances and complexities involved, and she is passionate in seeking justice for her clients.