Truck Accident Lawyer Tampa

Due to their sheer size and weight, truck accidents and injuries tend to be much more serious than those that just include smaller vehicles. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that 70 percent of the people who die in truck crashes are actually driving or riding in one of the other vehicles involved, rather than the truck. Sometimes, truck drivers do not seem to be aware of the special risks they present to others on the road, but these are the facts:

  • Because these trucks are top heavy, they are more prone to rolling over than most other types of vehicles.
  • Transport trucks are extremely heavy, and tend to outweigh passenger vehicles by 20 to 30 times, which makes the force of impact from a crash catastrophic.
  • The height of transport trucks increases the chances that they will override passenger cars. Cars can slide underneath trucks, and when they do, the undercarriage of the truck can crush the car’s passenger compartment.
  • Depending upon the load the truck is carrying, it can take 20% to 40% longer for the truck to brake than it takes for a car. Trucks just cannot slow down or stop as quickly, so when they hit a passenger vehicle, the force is exponentially increased.
  • If you were injured in a collision with a truck, Future Firm Law will investigate your case to help determine who was at fault, and will help you understand your options, if you choose to move forward with a claim.

Information About Truck Accidents

Though it is true that an accident involving a large transport truck could happen anywhere, when it comes to the Tampa Bay region, some areas are more susceptible than others. It’s well known that in the city of Tampa, there are a few intersections and on-ramps that seem to be the setting of more accidents. For example, Waters Avenue and Himes Avenue North has long been known as one of the city’s most dangerous intersections. And some of the roads here are just as notorious: Brandon Blvd., Gibsonton Dr., Fletcher Ave., Dale Mabry Hwy. and Interstate 4 are known as a few of the most deadly roadways in town. It seems as though almost every other day there’s reporting about another fatal accident involving a truck on the roads heading into and out of Tampa.

On the state level, Florida is third in the country for fatalities related to truck accidents, right behind Texas and California, and of all the accidents in our state, about 10% of those happen with commercial trucks. The term “commercial vehicle” encompasses a variety of different types of vehicles, but the Federal Highway Administration estimates that at least 42% of commercial vehicles are considered to be semi-trucks that travel more than 100,000 miles per year.

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Leading Causes of Truck Accidents

Just like auto accidents, truck accidents can have many different underlying causes. But it’s not surprising that also like many car accidents, the leading cause is driver error and negligence. Most times this negligence happens right before the accident, like when the driver makes a dangerous lane change, but when factors like truck maintenance and driver training are involved, the negligence has actually taken place days or months before the accident ever happens.

The Large Truck Crash Causation Study in 2014 was the first national study to examine the factors that directly contribute to serious commercial truck accidents. The U.S. Department of Transportation agencies used the results of the study to help implement strategies to improve road safety.

The report noted three critical events that were involved in most truck accidents—and when these events or actions happen, an accident was largely unavoidable:

  • Rear-ending another vehicle. (22% of large truck crashes)
  • Loss of control due to reasons such as shifting cargo, speeding or poor road conditions. (29%)
    Running off the road or into another lane. (32%)
  • There were also a number of failures, or critical reasons, that led to the truck accidents, and the largest one by far was driver negligence, at 87% of the time. The truck itself was to blame for 10% of the crashes, and environmental factors were blamed for 3% of the accidents.

Liable Parties in a Truck Accident Case

When you get into a truck accident, you may automatically assume that the truck driver will be the one to pay your compensation. However, even if the truck driver is the one who is at fault, it is possible that others may be liable for the damages that were caused. Future Firm Law will work to fully investigate your accident and identify the appropriate party against whom to take action. If needed, we will help you file multiple lawsuits or claims to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your accident.

Some of the most commonly liable parties in truck accident lawsuits include:

  • Truck manufacturers – A manufacturer can be held liable if a defect in the truck’s manufacturing or design caused the accident. If the issue is found across multiple vehicles of the same make and model, and the manufacturer did not issue a recall, they could be held liable for an accident that follows.
  • Truck drivers – Many truck drivers receive financial incentives for speeding up their delivery schedule. When that requires working/driving longer hours, they are prone to fatigue and that is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in this country. Mind-altering substances like alcohol and methamphetamine have also caused an increase in truck-related accidents in recent years.
  • Truck companies – Sometimes the risk occurs when other individuals in the company are errant in their jobs. Mistakes such as not properly loading a truck, not inspecting or repairing it, not conducting routine drug checks on drivers and pressuring drivers to disregard federal guidelines about driving hours can all lead to tragic consequences.
  • Truck maintenance companies – If a separate maintenance firm was used for servicing the truck, and it is determined that they should have noticed a defect or repaired a defect in the truck but failed to do so, that maintenance company may be held liable for a resulting accident.
  • Municipalities – If poor road conditions led to the accident, whatever the local district is that governs that area could be held responsible for neglecting to maintain proper road conditions for drivers. The same rule applies if there is determined to be missing signage at the scene of the accident.
  • Vehicle parts manufacturers – If the accident was caused by a defect in a specific part of the truck, the manufacturer of the part may be held liable for design or faulty production.