Pinellas Park Truck Accident Attorneys
If you’re like most drivers, you’ve probably breathed a sigh of relief after getting away from a large truck on the highway, and with good reason. Those trucks exponentially outweigh your vehicle. In the event of an accident, you’d get the short end of the stick. In fatal large truck accidents, over 80% of deaths happen to car occupants, pedestrians, and cyclists whereas a much lower 16% rate impacts truck occupants. Those who survive often face devastating injuries. What’s worse is that the main factors that lead to these types of accidents are often avoidable.
Factors in Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks require maintenance more often than standard vehicles. Brakes are one of the parts that wear down the fasted. If they’re not inspected regularly and repaired and replaced properly, they can fail regardless of how careful and skilled a trucker is.
Traffic flow interruption
When traffic isn’t flowing as predicted, truck drivers may do some guesswork when maneuvering, and they don’t always make the right choice. For instance, when cars aren’t moving at a steady pace, truckers may misjudge whether it’s safe to merge into another lane or miscalculate how much time they have to come to a stop.
While there are legal limits on how long truckers can drive, the drivers are able to work lengthy shifts, often 16 hours stretches. Desperate to cope with the demands of the job, some drivers turn to illicit stimulants to stay awake. But awake doesn’t always mean alert. Stimulants that make users jittery and impatient can influence truckers to drive aggressively and over confidently. Others turn to drugs with sedative effects to relieve stress. These types of drugs can also cloud their judgment as well as delay their reaction time. They may even make drivers fall asleep behind the wheel.
Like thousands of other drivers, truckers are guilty of going faster than the posted limit. It’s much harder for truckers to regain control of their large vehicles when they’re forced to slow down.
Trucks are susceptible to all of the dangers of the road that standard cars face. When it rains, not only does it impact visibility for truckers, the roads become slick and less manageable. Likewise, potholes, debris, and even detours can unexpectedly throw drivers off. They may change course suddenly or overcorrect while swerving, potentially coming into contact with several cars at once.
Stopping too fast
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) suggests that those operating standard tractor-trailers over 40 MPH give themselves five seconds for every 10 feet of their vehicle. That’s over 25 seconds for a 53 foot truck. Truckers who don’t give themselves ample space are forced to stop too quickly, and they’re likely to collide with the vehicle ahead.
Drivers in the trucking industry are under immense pressure to meet deadlines. They spend long hours on the road to ensure that goods are delivered on time. Sometimes truckers sacrifice the breaks and sleep they need to rejuvenate and stay alert.
Every day 29 people in the United States die in a car accident involving a driver who is under the influence of alcohol. While all drunk drivers pose a threat to themselves and everyone else on the road, driving drunk as a trucker is exceeding dangerous. That’s why operators of commercial motor vehicles like trucks cannot legally drive with a blood alcohol level of .04 or higher, a much lower limit than drivers of standard vehicles must observe. Despite the law, there are plenty of truck drivers who use alcohol and other substances on the job.
Determining Truck Accident Liability
Determining liability isn’t typically cut and dry when it comes to truck accidents. There are many potential culprits, including parts manufacturers, companies that handle maintenance, employers, and the drivers themselves. Truck accident attorneys have experience in gathering evidence and investigating to find out who is at fault. Often, more than one person or entity is responsible. In those cases, your lawyer can help you pursue a claim against multiple parties.
Damages from a Truck Accident
You can pursue compensation for all the ways you’ve suffered due to a truck accident. This includes medical expenses like hospital bills, the cost of doctors’ and therapy appointments, as well as the cost of medications and medical devices. Similarly, you can include lost wages for the time you’ve missed work as well as future lost wages for professional opportunities you’ll miss because of your injuries. Your truck accident attorney will factor in your pain and suffering when determining the value of your claim.
Receiving a Truck Accident Settlement
Companies that insure trucking businesses have a lot at stake. Policy limits are substantial, and insurers go to lengthy measures to protect them. They encourage accident victims to settle for lower offers than they deserve. If they do have to pay a sizable amount, insurance companies often try to stretch payments out over long periods of time with no regard to the victims waiting for relief.
Contact a Pinellas Park Truck Accident Attorney
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, facing trucking and insurance companies on your own can be intimidating. Having a seasoned truck accident attorney on your side will provide you with the expertise and guidance you need to get through this difficult time. The attorneys of Jones Law Group will use their experience and extensive resources to secure maximum compensation on your behalf. For a free consultation, contact us online or by phone at 727-571-1333.