Motorists accidents occur very frequently throughout the United States. Each year, there are about 40,000 victims of a motorist accident that lose their life because of the collision. Some drivers may be lucky to survive a crash but may end up suffering a permanent disability, along with substantial damage that is done to their property. Vehicle accidents are mostly caused by negligence. These events are deemed to be “accidents” because they are not purposeful occurrences.
Truck accidents have risen over the past 20 years even though passenger cars like SUVs or compact cars remain the top vehicles that undergo an accident. A truck is much heavier and larger than a passenger car. It does not have the capacity to maneuver as smoothly like a passenger car. Due to these reasons, truck accidents have gone up by 20% over the last two decades. When a driver undergoes an accident with a truck, they usually will suffer severe injuries and a great amount of property damage because of the trucks composition.
With many added distractions(mobile use) and negligent acts(driving fatigued), a truck driver who may be working long hours is prone to make a mistake while driving. One little error can change the life of a person forever. In places that have more people like Orlando, truck accidents occur on a large scale.
Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?
With any accident, especially with truck accidents that can cause significant damage, finding out who is responsible for paying for all the damages is important. Sometimes discovering the person who is liable for a truck accident is not as simple as it may sound; “he hit me so he must be held accountable”, that is not always the case. Many different entities can be liable for a truck accident and this is why figuring out who was the cause of the accident can prove difficult.
A truck accident can unfold because of these following parties: the owner of the truck, the one driving the truck, the leasing company or individual, the manufacturer of the truck, and the cargo loader.
The party that is at fault will most likely try to place the blame on another party within that list. Many responsible parties will try to deviate the blame from themselves to a more suitable party and try to come up with evidence to prove that it was the other party and not them. Insurance companies are best at shifting the blame on their policyholders to another policyholder in order to delay paying for all of the damages that were done to the victim. The help of an Orlando Truck Accident lawyer at Percy Martinez Law firm can speed the process up and they deal with these sneaky insurance companies.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
A truck accident can occur because of a number of factors. With so many factors being able to be the cause of a truck accident, receiving compensation can be difficult and lengthy. The list of reasons for a truck accident are long, but the here are the common causes of truck accidents:
Truck Accident Distracted Driving Lawsuits
Distracted driving has started to grow in popularity. Drivers are just not paying attention to the road. They would rather be responding to a text than driving safely. The use of cell phones is a major cause of distracted driving accidents. Truck drivers often work long hours and might find themselves bored and turn to cell phones to entertain themselves a bit. They might check their Facebook page or reply to an instant message while they should be maintaining their eyes on the road. This negligent act can cause the total wreck of another car and the possibility of a person’s life.
Equipment Malfunction Lawsuits
A truck can experience an equipment malfunction like faulty brakes, worn out tires, steering mechanism failure, lack of light and reflectors, among others. When a truck accident is caused by an equipment malfunction, there are a few parties that can be held liable for the accident. Just because a truck malfunctions does not necessarily mean that the blame is automatically applied to the manufacturer of the truck. Sometimes, the person in charge of maintaining the truck such as the driver or company can be held accountable for a truck accident that occurs because of an equipment malfunction.
Fatigued Driving Lawsuits
Truck drivers are known to drive long hours, especially commercial trucks. Many times a truck driver will not have had sufficient amount of rest and decides to get behind the wheel because they need the money. This not only endangers other drivers, but it also endangers the truck driver. Before there were no regulations about how many hours a trucker could drive, but thankfully, there are new laws and regulations in regards to truck drivers allowed driving time and amount of rest they should get before getting back on the road. Even though these regulations are in place, some truck drivers still do not abide by them.
Inexperienced Driver Lawsuits
To be able to drive a truck, a driver is required to be trained differently than how a driver of a vehicle would be. A truck is difficult to maneuver. Just performing right or left turns can be difficult for a truck driver to do. An inexperienced truck driver might not know how to react to avoid an accident or unnecessarily create one because of their lack of experience. A company needs to make sure that their truck drivers receive the adequate training and licensing to drive these trucks.
Drug and Alcohol Use Lawsuits
Many truck drivers use alcohol and drugs while they are driving. Many truckers use over the counter medication to try and stay awake for the long hours that they have to drive. These medications can create side effects and cause a driver to lose partial or their complete senses as they are driving. If another driver is around, they will most likely end up in a crash.
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents
Q: The driver of a truck was the cause of my accident that caused my injuries. What can I be compensated for?
A: Compensation for a truck accident can include loss wages, medical fees, pain and suffering, future loss of wages, psychological expenses, therapy expenses, and any damages that came from a direct result of the injuries sustain in the accident. What a victim will recover depends on the type of injuries they sustained.
Q: What is the difference between a passenger car accident and a truck accident?
A: Accidents that involve a passenger car are typically less severe than an accident involving a truck. A commercial truck that is fully loaded can end up weighing as much as 80 thousand pounds, whereas a passenger car weighs about 4,000 pounds. Any person who calculates the difference between the two can determine that a car that crashes with a truck is most likely to suffer extensive damage and injury.
Q: Are commercial truck drivers restricted in the amount of time they can be driving?
A: Fortunately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations has applied federal regulations that apply to the specific hours that a truck driver can be engaged in driving without taking a break or sleeping. This regulation did not exist in the past, which has greatly reduced the occurrence of truck accidents being due to a fatigued truck driver.
Q: Is a special driver’s license required for commercial truck drivers?
A: A truck driver must acquire a CDL license, a commercial driver’s license. This license is obtained by a knowledge and driving skills test. This license must be sought when a vehicle is able to carry 16 or more passengers and themselves and weigh more than 26 thousand pounds. Driving a large truck is not easy, this is why these requirements are in place.
Q: What is the definition of a “commercial truck”?
A: Commercial trucks are typically large. They transport goods from one location to another and are used by many businesses. Some examples of commercial trucks are dump trucks, 18-wheelers, semi trucks, among others. An accident with any of these trucks can have grave consequences.
Orlando Truck Accident Attorneys Here to Serve Victims
A victim of a truck accident may suffer a whole life with a disability or a family member might even lose their loved one in a truck accident. Trucks pose a greater threat than passenger vehicles because of their size and weight. A person who has been injured in a truck accident can benefit by seeking the help of an Orlando truck accident lawyer at Percy Martinez Law Firm. The attorneys at the firm are familiar with the laws associated with truck drivers and their companies. They are there to assist anyone in need.