When you are hit by a commercial truck, the injuries and method of collecting damages are usually different – and higher than if you were hit by a car, beginning with the larger size of the vehicle that injured you. A large 18-wheeler when empty outweighs the average automobile by as much as 20-1. If fully loaded, it can be more than 50-1. No matter how large your pickup or SUV is it doesn’t stand a chance against an out-of-control big rig truck.
If you or family members have been seriously injured or killed by a commercial truck, you are likely owed injury and wrongful death damages by the driver or company that owns the truck. And because damages from commercial truck accident claims can be quite high, the defendants’ insurance companies aggressively protect their clients and minimize their financial liability. That’s why it’s important for you to have an experienced lawyer on your who will look out for your best interests. To learn your rights and legal options, call 954-767-6500 to schedule a free consultation with a truck accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale at Montero Law Center.
What are Common Causes of Truck Wrecks?
Many truck wrecks are attributed to driver error though there are certainly other reasons. With trucks, especially those pulling trailers or with limited visibility, other factors can cause wrecks such as:
- Inability to stop in time: The larger – and heavier – an object travels, the longer the distance it needs to stop. Even at 25 miles per hour, if a truck hits an average vehicle, it can destroy the victim’s vehicle and severely injure its passengers.
- Jackknifing – When a truck/trailer must suddenly stop, the load can shift, then the truck and trailer move toward each other in opposite directions. Jackknifing can occur at speeds as low as 5 miles per hour. And if road conditions are hazardous due to rainy weather, any sudden braking action can cause trucks to jackknife.
- Improper turns – The larger the truck, the greater the danger for an improper turn that can cause a serious accident. These huge rigs – which can be 18-wheelers, large box delivery trucks or five-ton flatbeds, need more clearance to make a safe turn. They need more room to turn. Many times, the “original sin” is when a truck – often a “big rig,” is in an area where it is not allowed.
- Driver Fatigue – Drivers get paid to drive. And in the case of long-haul drivers, even though there are specific laws that regulate the amount of time a driver can be behind the wheel during a 24-hour period, the cargo must be delivered on time. So these regulations are consistently violated. Delivery drivers at the end of a 14-hour day can make the same judgment errors. When fatigue-related mistakes cause grisly accidents, everyone loses.
Protect Your Compensation Rights with a Seasoned Truck Accident Lawyer
Damages in Florida truck accident claim usually include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability and property damage. Punitive damages also may be awarded if the judge or jury believes the trucking company (or driver) behaved especially negligent.
The average jury award for victims injured in semi-truck accidents is much more than typical car wrecks. What does this tell you? The driver – and the company that employs him or her – will aggressively deny your injury claim with experienced, expensive lawyers.
Fortunately, the trucking industry is tightly regulated by both federal and state authorities, so finding documented evidence to support your injury or wrongful death claim is vital to your case. Accident attorneys who can investigate the scene of the wreck quickly help build strong claims. If you or a family member were injured or killed in a truck accident, contact Montero Law Center for a free consultation at 954-767-6500, email info@monterolaw or click here to fill out our case evaluation form.