Articles Posted in Truck accidents

Statistics issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that an estimated 116,000 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks in 2015. This means that, on average, nearly 318 people were hurt in truck accident every day in the United States.

Large commercial vehicles like semis, 18-wheelers, tanker trucks, and others pose risks to motorists not posed by smaller vehicles. For example, large trucks are much more prone to rollover accidents than smaller vehicles, due to their higher center of gravity. When trucks are involved in rollover accidents, they are impossible to control, often resulting in extremely serious injuries to those around them.

According to a report published by nbcmiami.com, a tractor-trailer ended up on its side after a rollover accident on a ramp from I-595 to the Florida Turnpike in Davie just north of Miami. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the crash, but the incident highlights the fact that these accidents can occur anywhere and without warning.

Large commercial trucks like semis, tankers, and others are common sight on Florida highways and interstates. As any driver with even moderate experience can confirm, the people who drive these vehicles sometimes drive in excess of the posted speed limit and may even engage in driving that makes others nervous or even downright afraid. This should come as no surprise, as long hours on the road and tight schedules often incentivize truck drivers to get to their destinations as quickly as possible.

These feelings are reasonable, as a speeding semi-truck traveling at 70 or 80 miles per hour could easily crush a smaller passenger vehicle, and truck accidents injure tens of thousands of people each year in the United States. In an effort to make our roadways safer, last year the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed equipping all newly manufactured trucks, buses, and multipurpose passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle rating of more than 26,000 pounds with speed limiters that would set their maximum speed at 06, 65 or 68 miles per hour.

Will the Rule Take Effect?

Doug
Traffic accidents involving commercial motor vehicles can cause substantial injuries. Unfortunately, these accidents occur all too often. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that in 2014 there were 3,424 injuries in large truck crashes that resulted in at least one fatality while 82,000 of the accidents resulted in at least one nonfatal injury.

Commercial motor vehicles are subject to a variety of regulations both state and federal. Some of these include the number of hours a driver can operate and other physical conditions and limitations that passenger vehicles are not required to follow including acceleration, braking, and visibility-related issues which are all more likely to result in substantial injuries than accidents only involving passenger cars. There are several important factors to consider when analyzing why commercial motor vehicle accidents are more likely to cause injury than automobile accidents involving passenger cars. Our Miami injury and accident attorneys have years of experience representing clients injured in auto, truck, and commercial vehicle accident cases. Some other factors our lawyers will analyze in a truck or commercial vehicle accident case include:

  • Size and Weight: Commercial motor vehicles weigh between 16,000 to 20,000 pounds. For example, any commercial motor vehicle that weighs beneath 80,000 pounds in gross is permitted to operate without a special permit. Commercial motor vehicle collisions involve objects of much greater size and force coming to a stop, which greatly increases the likelihood of injuries occurring.

barIf you are a bartender, or if you own a bar, there is an important law that you should be aware of: Florida’s dram shop law. This law was recently argued in a Florida court following a fatal car accident. Terry Dinkins of Water Park, the owner of Acme Comic Superstore, caused said accident. The night of the accident he visited a bar for an event hosted by Acme. He then drove away from the bar with a blood-alcohol level of 0.20, and began driving in the wrong direction down State Road 436. Mr Dinkins then collided head-on with a gray Nissan. Sylvia Barajas and Brandi Cole, passengers of the Nissan, were killed on impact. Three civil lawsuits followed, one being against the bar. This lawsuit alleges that the bar was negligent under Florida’s dram shop law. This post will define Florida’s dram shop law and hopefully provide some clarity.         

How the Dram Shop Law Works in Florida

Upfront, various states have dram shop laws that allow injured people to seek compensation from a third party, such as a bar or a host at a social gathering, if that third party provided alcohol to someone who then caused an alcohol related accident. Florida’s dram shop law differs from other states’ dram shop laws. In Florida, per Florida Statute Section 768.125, if an individual willfully and unlawfully provides alcohol to a minor under 21 years of age or knowingly provides alcohol to a person habitually addicted to alcohol, that person, or bar, may be held liable for any injuries caused by the minor or the person who is habitually addicted.

file000769955952The weather is drastically warming as we approach the summer. At the same time, more and more people are spending time enjoying outdoor activities. With this, it is important to take caution as accidents, sometimes fatal accidents, can occur when least expected. Recently, in Winter Park, Florida, a van slammed into a man who was walking down a sidewalk near the intersection of 436 and Aloma Avenue. The van knocked the man to the ground and kept rolling until it slammed into a sign and then a fire hydrant. The van then flipped over onto its roof. One witness reports that the victim saved his girlfriend from being hit by pushing her out of the way.  The victim suffered from a broken leg and a head injury.

If you or someone you love has suffered injury at the fault of another person, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. To increase your chances of compensation, it is imperative that you hire an attorney for your case. The Miami personal injury at Gerson and Schwartz PA lawyers are here to help. Our lawyers have provided high quality legal representation to injured people in Florida for over 40 years. We are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and helping them get back on their feet. For a FREE consultation, call (305) 371-6000 or contact us online.

Florida’s Relevant Law

Doug
You are driving along I-395 in Miami when, out of nowhere, a huge 18-wheeler side swipes your vehicle causing you to veer off the road and crash into a tree. Your vehicle is totaled and you suffer serious, debilitating injuries including multiple broken bones, a lacerated spleen, and a spinal cord injury. In these types of situations, you need an experienced Miami truck accident lawyer.

Trucking Companies Employ Teams of Adjusters and Defense Lawyers

Some people think that if an accident occurs involving a tractor trailer, they can handle filing a claim themselves with the company and do not need to retain a truck accident injury attorney. This is a big mistake. Many trucking companies have teams and departments focused on reducing the company’s liability exposure and mitigating the value of any claims made against the company. In fact, if a major truck accident occurs, do not be surprised if the truck company sends out investigators and claims adjusters to examine the scene shortly after the incident occurs. This is because they want to examine the available evidence before your lawyer gets a chance to.  

Last month, this blog discussed the newly-passed Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours-of-service (“HOS”) safety requirements for commercial truck drivers, limiting the number of hours a truck driver is permitted to operate his or her vehicle during any given period of time. Since then, our Miami truck accident lawyers have been keeping an eye out for new developments related to this issue.

Semi Truck

Last year, the FMCSA, launched the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Program (“Program”) which scores the safety of trucking carriers and is designed to increase accountability for carriers that continually violate safety regulations. Carriers that receive poor safety scores under the Program often suffer negative consequences such as loss of business from customers that don’t want to work with a carrier that has a poor safety record, greater insurance rates, and additional scrutiny from law enforcement and inspectors.

Although the Program appears, on its face, to be a step in the right direction towards increasing trucking safety standards, recent reports by not one, but two, government agencies have concluded that the Program may suffer from some problems affecting its accuracy. Both the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) and the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) have issued results of their audits of the Program, concluding that it suffers from several problems stemming from poor data quality.

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