Seminole Truck Accident Attorney
The Tampa Bay area is becoming an increasingly important cargo hub for Florida, the U.S., and global trade. The Tampa/Orlando I-4 Corridor is Florida’s largest and fastest-growing market, and it is serviced in large part through cargo going in and out of Port Tampa Bay, Florida’s largest cargo tonnage port with direct container services to Mexico, Central America and Asia. In fact, the largest concentration of distribution centers in the state can be found along the I-4 Corridor, requiring multiple round-trip deliveries every day from Port Tampa Bay.
All of this activity is great for central Florida’s economy, but it’s not necessarily so great for the quality of life of the people in Tampa Bay. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds under current regulations, and that’s not counting exceptions for double-trailers or oversized loads. The average passenger car, in contrast, weighs about 3,000 pounds. Regardless of how safely or “crashworthy” they are built, most cars are simply no match for the force and impact delivered by a speeding semi. Truck accidents far too often end in catastrophic injury or death for the occupants in the vehicles that get hit.
Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff is a Pinellas County personal injury law firm that takes on truckers, trucking companies, and their insurers in the most serious cases of personal injury or wrongful death. If you or a loved one has been injured or worse in a collision with a tractor-trailer, flatbed trailer, tanker truck, or other 18-wheelers on the highway, or a delivery truck, panel truck, or box truck plying the streets of Seminole, our dedicated injury lawyers can help ensure you get the medical care and compensation you need and deserve for a crash caused by another party’s negligence. Contact our experienced Seminole truck accident attorney today.
Most Dangerous Types of Truck Accidents
Any truck crash can be devastating to the people in the car that gets hit, whether head-on, sideswiped or T-boned, or even rear-ended. Highway drivers are also at risk of other types of crashes specific to collisions with big rigs, including:
Override Accidents – An 18-wheeler rear-ends a vehicle but does not stop on impact. The heavier, taller truck continues on, basically running over and crushing the smaller vehicle. Overrides are often fatal to the accident victims.
Underride Accidents – A passenger vehicle collides with the rear or side of a tractor-trailer. Since the trailer is taller and heavier, the passenger vehicle goes under the trailer, shearing off the car’s roof or crushing it. Federal regulations require trucks to have guards to prevent underrides, but these guards are often missing or insufficient to do the job they are meant for.
Jackknife Truck Accidents – If the truck driver applies the brakes incorrectly under adverse road conditions or because the trucker was distracted, the trailer can skid or slew to the side or push the tractor into a spin. These accidents can take out multiple vehicles across several lanes of traffic.
Rollover Truck Accidents – If a truck is overloaded or unbalanced, or if the driver takes a turn too sharply or changes lanes at high speed, the trucker can lose control of the vehicle. The result is sometimes that the truck overturns and tips onto its side or roof. This is another type of accident that can hit multiple cars and cause catastrophic damage on the highway.
Multi-car Accidents – Because of their size, any truck accident is liable to be responsible for a multi-car pileup and many collisions secondary to the initial wreck. Whether other drivers who crash are responsible or whether the truck driver is responsible for those crashes is a complex question that requires thorough investigation from multiple authorities, including a skilled and experienced truck accident injury lawyer.
Common Causes of Seminole Truck Accidents
Driving a truck is very different from driving a car; it requires specialized training and a special commercial driver’s license. Shockingly, a large number of trucks that get pulled over for roadside inspections are found to be driven by unlicensed drivers who might not have the necessary training or experience to handle a semi. Even licensed truckers can make the same mistakes other drivers do, including texting while driving, watching videos on their phones, or engaging in other distracting behaviors. Despite their awesome responsibility behind the wheel of a large, complex machine, truckers might be more inclined to engage in distracted driving to relieve the boredom of the road. For similar reasons, truck drivers might also drink and drive or drive under the influence of methamphetamine, which can have the opposite of its intended effect and decrease a driver’s attention, judgment and reflexes.
Other common causes of truck crashes specific to large commercial trucks include:
Fatigue – Truck drivers can lawfully put in 14 hours a day over seven or eight days straight before having to take just 32 hours off to rest. They can drive for 11 hours a day, including eight hours without a break, and they can legally drive longer due to road conditions. To make matters worse, many drivers violate the law and drive even longer than allowed. All of this driving puts truckers at risk of drowsy driving truck accidents or falling asleep at the wheel.
Negligent Truck Maintenance – About one in five commercial trucks inspected for safety are found to have violations so severe they must be immediately pulled from service. Leading violations include bad or missing brake components and defective or worn-out tires.
Loading Errors – Trucks and trailers must be carefully and expertly loaded, and their loads must be checked regularly throughout the trip. Trucks that are overloaded, unbalanced, or unsecured can create havoc on the road, causing accidents through tire blowouts, brake failures, jackknifes and rollovers.
Contact Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff Today
You can be sure that the truck’s insurer gets notified immediately by the truck driver or trucking company after an accident. They’ll move very swiftly to cheaply settle your claim before you have a chance to talk to a lawyer, or they’ll start right away posturing themselves to defend their client against liability claims. You owe it to yourself to act swiftly too and call a skilled and knowledgeable truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. At Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff, we work every day helping accident victims in Pinellas County get the compensation they need after suffering a serious injury because of the negligence of another. Contact our experienced Seminole truck accident attorney today.