Florida has the fourth largest number of trucking accidents in the country. Cargo vans, delivery vehicles, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailer rigs and other large trucks pose their own special risks on the road. Unfortunately, the government has limited the penalties to trucking companies that break the law and cause accidents.
At Avera & Smith, we have significant experience in cases involving negligence by truckers or trucking companies. Our Gainesville truck accident lawyers have a proven track record of success in these types of cases. Drawing upon the expertise of our Board-Certified Specialist in Civil Trial Law*, we will do everything possible get you the compensation you deserve.
Professional truck drivers are expected to remain attentive and alert at all times. Any error they make compromises the safety of any drivers nearby. Some common errors truck drivers are:
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving on too little sleep
- Ignoring stop signs, railroad crossings and traffic lights
Trucking Company Liability
Trucking companies are responsible for safe operation, including routine maintenance and driver training. When a trucking company violates the rules, it may be found liable for any damages caused by its negligence. If you or someone close to you has been injured or died because of a trucking company’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Laws Regarding Hours of Service
- Truck drivers are not permitted to drive more than 11 consecutive hours within a 14-hour period following 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
- Truck drivers are not permitted to drive more than 14 hours total in any 24-hour period.
- Truck drivers cannot be on duty for more than 60 hours in any consecutive 7-day period or more than 70 hours in any consecutive 8-day period.
Faulty Equipment Truck Accidents
Truck accidents due to faulty equipment can normally be traced back to human error such as:
- Manufacturer defect
- Maintenance omission
- Inspection oversight
- Truck driver failure to inspect, report or repair
When Avera & Smith, represents people injured in trucking accidents, we often learn that faulty equipment issues come down to one underlying cause above all: Truck drivers are rushed. They are under pressure. They have loads to deliver and places to go. They may know that brakes need repair or that light signals aren’t all working as they should — and intend to do something about it “very soon,” and then an accident happens.
Deferred maintenance can lead to tragic loss when a missing light causes a car-truck collision, for example. Faulty equipment often falls under the category of “driver error.” it may also trace back to negligent servicing by another entity completely outside the driver’s knowledge or control.
Truck Rollover Accident Injury Lawyers
Rollover accidents happen under a variety of circumstances, including:
- Car or truck forced out of lane by another vehicle
- Highway entrance or exit ramp curved too tightly
- Narrowing, suddenly curving, or disappearing lanes in construction zones combined with traffic congestion, poor visibility, insufficient or confusing signage, and/or speed
- Driver error
- Driver distracted
- Driver’s foot accidentally stepping on the acceleration pedal
- Medical emergency or other anomaly leading to sudden jerking of the steering wheel
- Slippery roads combined with speed, curves, vehicle factor(s) and/or driver performance factor(s)
- Poor vehicle design conducive to rollovers
Overloaded Truck Accident Lawyers
Accidents due to overloaded trucks are one of the most common types of truck accidents. Other frequently-cited causes of truck accidents include driver error, roadway defects, faulty equipment, traffic congestion and inclement weather conditions. Florida truck accident attorneys at Avera & Smith, look into all possible causes when representing people who have been injured or lost family members in trucking accidents.
Confirming that a truck was overloaded may involve investigation into details such as:
- Whether the truck was weighed as required
- Whether cargo was properly secured within the storage section of the truck
- Whether the particular truck driver or trucking company had a history of overweight violations
Besides weight as a factor in overloading accidents, bulk and lack of sufficient tie-downs can be an issue in the case of flatbed trucks and open cargo areas of pickup-style trucks.
If you were seriously injured or if a loved one died because of an accident related to a truck’s overweighted load or cargo coming loose from a flatbed or pickup truck in North Central Florida, talk to a lawyer at Avera & Smith. Our personal injury law firm has years of experience and an admirable track record of favorable outcomes for truck accident victims.
We have helped clients recover ample compensation for injuries and losses, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Accidental death of spouse, parent or child