A tractor trailer can be over 60 feet long and weigh 80,000 pounds. Due to the massive size and weight of these big rigs, victims of trucking accidents are far more likely to suffer catastrophic personal injuries or die. A loaded tractor-trailer can weigh about 25 times the weight of an ordinary passenger vehicle. It can take at least 20 percent more road to come to a complete stop on dry pavement than a passenger car. That number can increase to 50 percent on wet pavement.
TheNational Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that in 2014, an estimated 111,000 people were injured in large truck accidents, and another 3,903 were killed. Of those fatalities, 74 percent were occupants of other vehicles, and 17 percent were truck occupants. Florida had 179 large truck crashes with fatalities that year.
Most large truck crashes in Orlando involve one or more of the following common causes:
Distracted driving like texting or using a navigational device
Drowsy driving from failing to get proper required rest
Following another vehicle too closely
When a tractor-trailer travels on slick or icy roads, the odds of losing control of the vehicle and jackknifing increase greatly. High winds can push a large truck off of the road and make safe maneuvering hazardous maneuvering. Thick fog makes it difficult for a trucker to see what’s ahead or around him, and other drivers are going to have the same problem too. Regulations are in place that require truck drivers to pull off of the road when conditions are hazardous, but many of them will continue to travel.
How equipment failure can cause a tractor-trailer crash
Brake and tire failure are two of the most common equipment issues that contribute to tractor-trailer crashes. Some drivers are known to unhook the front brakes of a truck to save money on brake maintenance and tire replacement. Daily inspections by drivers are required. Drivers need to look for broken or missing brake parts. Mismatched or worn tires can result in a blowout and loss of control of the tractor-trailer.
Improperly or incorrectly secured cargo often results in instability and sometimes even overturning and spilling the cargo on the roadway. That creates a second danger for other motorists. FMCSA regulations require inspection of all cargo, securement devices and systems. Some causes of cargo shifts are stop and go traffic, taking curves at high speeds or driving over poor road surfaces. Once cargo has shifted, the center of gravity of the trailer is dangerously changed.
Some truck drivers are either inexperienced or haven’t received the training necessary to operate their tractor-trailers in a safe and careful manner. These drivers are at a much higher risk of causing a terrible accident. The FMCSA requires truck drivers to be trained in the four following areas:
If you’re lucky enough to live through a truck accident, you’re likely to suffer serious injuries. Those injuries can include:
Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries
Neck and back disc herniations
Internal organ damage
Cuts with scarring
When a serious truck accident occurs, a team of insurance investigators is immediately dispatched to the scene to gather any evidence that might help the insurance company that they work for. They’re likely to want to take a statement from you.Refuse to give that statement. You’ll be giving up rights by giving a statement, and you probably won’t get those rights back when the statement is used against you in the future.There’s no Florida law that requires you to cooperate with an insurance investigator from the insurer of the party who nearly killed you.
Compensation when filing in Orlando, Florida
Our objective is to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries that’s possible. Sometimes we have to work through several insurance companies to do so.
Damages payable to you can include but not be limited to:
Past and future medical bills
Past and future lost earnings
Pain and suffering
Loss of a normal life
Any permanent disfigurement
Any permanent disability
We’re the Doan Law Firm, and we’re skilled, experienced, aggressive and compassionate Florida truck accident lawyers. If you or somebody close to you was seriously injured in a truck accident, or if a family member was killed, call us for a free consultation and case evaluation at 407-289-0000. We’re at 111 N. Orange Avenue, Suite 800, Orlando, FL 32801.