According to IBISWorld, Florida has experienced a strong growth in the trucking industry from 2014-2019 because of a strong economy that is supported by consumer spending and manufacturing needs. The downside to growth within the trucking industry is that it puts more large trucks on the road, which increases the risk for other road users. The average car weighs in around 5,000 lbs while, according to TruckersReport, an 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 lbs before needing overweight permits. This means that any crash involving a truck is likely to cause severe injuries or death to the other parties involved. If you or a loved one is victim to a trucking crash in Florida, it is time to speak with a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer, who is comfortable going up against the trucking companies and their insurers to advocate for you.
The Causes of Truck Crashes
Truckers are like other drivers in that they fail to drive safely and make poor choices on the road. There is often a deadline for them to get products delivered to their destination, which encourages truckers to speed or continue driving while they are fatigued. They also can drive distracted or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The trucks themselves make driving more difficult too. If the truck is poorly loaded with cargo it can become top-heavy and the higher center of gravity can make it more difficult to maneuver through turns or in windy conditions. 18-wheelers and other trucks can take time to get used to driving, as they respond much differently to the road than personal vehicles. Yet, trucking companies often rush new drivers through training. These explanations for why trucks get into crashes are not excuses. If a truck driver causes a crash, they need to be held responsible for the injuries and damages sustained by the victims.
Is the Trucking Company Responsible Too?
In some claims, the trucking company can be held liable for the crash caused instead of the individual driver. For this to be a possibility, the truck driver must be an employee and not an independent contractor. They must also be using the truck for a work delivery and not personal use. It will also be necessary to investigate whether the driver was following federal laws with regards to how many hours they were driving prior to the crash. An attorney familiar with the trucking industry can research all of these details with regards to your crash so that the appropriate insurance claims are filed.
When Should I Contact a Lawyer After a Truck Collision?
It is in your best interest to contact a lawyer as soon as you are able to after a truck collision. From the beginning we can help answer your questions about the process and begin research on the trucking company involved. The Stuart attorneys at Sholtes Law, PLLC are prepared to fight aggressively on your behalf against the large trucking company and its insurers. Call us at 855-534-2509 to set up your free consultation.