When Large Trucks Fail to Share the Road
A large semi-truck next to you on the road is often a scary experience. In addition to their size and weight, the trucks have limited mirrors and blind zones. Sharing the road with millions of licensed Florida residents and tourists is stressful enough. When a commercial truck driver fails to share the road and drives in a reckless manner, the results are often tragic for you and your passengers. If you’ve experienced serious injuries due to the careless behavior of a truck driver, contact Oldham and Delcamp today to discuss your case.
Types of Truck Accidents
Rear-end—When traffic is at a stop and a truck driver fails to react in time, the results are often disastrous. A semi-truck carrying a full load and traveling at 65 mph requires approximately 525 feet to stop—the length of almost two football fields. With current laws allowing trucks to weigh up to 80,000 pounds, a passenger car has no chance to withstand a rear-end collision.
Side-impact crash—A side-impact crash occurs when a passenger vehicle crashes into the side and somewhat under, a semi-truck. Often referred to as underride crashes, these types of crashes are usually fatal for those in the car. While federal law requires rear-guards, there are currently no laws regarding side guards. And while semi-truck must have a rear-guard, there are no inspection requirements, meaning many rear-guards are in poor condition.
Rollover—Semi-trucks carry a variety of materials. When the driver takes a turn too fast, the load may shift, causing the truck to rollover. Rollover accidents are especially dangerous for tanker trucks. These types of trucks often carry hazardous, liquid, materials. When the liquid shifts in the tanker, it creates a “slosh and surge” effect, making the load unbalanced.
Rollover accidents can result in a hazardous chemical spill that increases your injuries and delays first responders from reaching you. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 78 percent of rollover accidents are due to commercial truck drivers.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
A truck accident can occur anywhere, at any time. The reckless behavior of a truck driver can result in serious injuries for you and your passengers. Here are just a few examples of dangerous and negligent actions that place other drivers at risk for serious harm:
Sleep-deprived—Despite federal regulations regarding hours-of-service, many truck drivers become drowsy behind the wheel. Required breaks do little for those who must sleep in their cab or who have an undiagnosed sleeping disorder. According to the National Sleep Foundation, drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving due to the inability to react quickly.
Distracted—The increase of navigational tools and smartphone apps both help and hinder commercial truck drivers. Like drivers of passenger vehicles, the temptation to take their eyes off the road, even for a second, is too great. Truck drivers also become distracted eating behind the wheel or simply looking at the scenery.
Drunk—When it comes to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, the standard is lower for those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). in Florida, the legal limit is .08 percent for those with a standard driver’s license. The legal limit for those with a CDL is .04 percent.
Speeding—Truck drivers are typically paid per mile. This means the sooner they complete their assigned route, the sooner they can start another one. Speeding increases the chance of a serious accident like that of a rollover, due to taking exits too fast.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Attorney
Having someone on your side during this difficult time is essential for protecting your best interests. Representatives from insurance companies may contact you soon after the accident with a financial offer to settle the case.
Insurance companies like to settle cases quickly. While their initial settlement offer may appear like a large sum to you, it most likely will not cover your future medical needs. Don’t speak with the insurance companies. At Oldham and Delcamp, we offer free case evaluations. Should we decide to proceed with your case, we won’t stop until we secure fair compensation for you. If we are unable to negotiate a settlement out-of-court, we are unafraid to go to trial.
Time is of the essence so don’t delay. State law limits the time allowed for pursuing a personal injury claim. To get started on your road to justice for injuries caused by a reckless truck driver, call us at 727-610-6459 or contact us online today. Schedule your free case evaluation today. We can help with your rear-end accidents or as your premises lawyer and auto accident attorney
Oldham & Delcamp is a member of the Attorney’s Real Estate Council of Pinellas County, is also currently on the Board of Directors of the Pinellas County Bar Association, and is the former chair of the Real Property section.
When your freedom is on the line, you need an attorney that is aggressive, responsive, and experienced. Oldham & Delcamp is committed to making sure that each of our clients receives the personalized attention of one of our attorneys.