The holiday season means shopping, and in Tampa Bay, that means lots of trucks on our local highways. Keeping up with the demand of stores keeps hundreds of truckers on Florida’s roads throughout December and beyond. Unfortunately, that increases the likelihood of trucking accidents. As one of Tampa’s leading truck accident law firms, our team came together to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about commercial vehicle collisions. Here’s what they had to say:
Q: What causes most truck accidents in Florida?
A: While a variety of factors cause accidents, there are several key reasons we see truck accidents happen here in Florida. Those include:
Speeding is the #1 cause of truck-related accidents where the driver is found at fault, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The size and scale of commercial vehicles make them even more dangerous when speed is a factor. With many semis weighing in over 75,000 lbs and lengths up to 74 feet, they easily intimidate other drivers on the road. This much weight makes stopping times and distances much greater than those of standard vehicles. Going even a few miles per hour over the limit could be deadly.
While driving, cell phone usage, eating, using navigation devices, and even changing the station constitute “distracted” driving. This is especially true for drivers of semi trucks, whose size can turn a small mistake into a serious ordeal. The FMCSA prohibits the use of any device while driving, and their article on distracted driving clearly lays out the most recent rules surrounding phone and device use in commercial vehicles.
Improper Loading of Cargo
Commercial vehicles serve one major purpose: to transport cargo. If that cargo is poorly loaded, or improperly secured, serious accidents can occur. In some accidents we’ve seen, cargo fell off the trailer or shifted and caused the truck to lose control. Employees loading a truck must be aware of the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) regulations surrounding cargo in Florida, and what that means for the safety of both the driver and those on the road around the commercial vehicle during its journey.
With long hours, stressful deadlines, traffic, and few breaks, it’s no surprise that many truckers suffer from fatigue and/or substance use. Sadly, this is another major factor in many truck accidents.
Q: What should I do if I’m hit by a commercial vehicle?
A: If you’re involved in an accident with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle, it’s important to know which steps to take first.
- Seek medical attention for yourself and any other victims if needed and if able.
- Call law enforcement and notify them of the accident. Unless injured and being taken by medical professionals, stay on the scene until police arrive.
- Collect information (take photos, take video, exchange contact, and insurance info, etc.)
- Notify your own insurance company ASAP, even if the truck was at fault.
- Get in touch with a local truck accident attorney. Look for experience, proof of results, client reviews, etc.
Q: What makes a truck accident different from a regular car accident?
A: Obvious reasons these accidents are different include the amount of damage, the size of the vehicles involved, and the likelihood of more severe injuries. However, another major difference is the involvement of both an individual driver of the truck and the company they work for. This brings more insurance companies into play and complicates specifying the at fault party for the accident.
Q: What are the most common injuries in commercial truck accidents?
A: Drivers usually suffer more severe injuries in truck accidents, including:
- spinal cord injuries (including total or partial paralysis)
- head injuries (concussions, TBIs)
- broken bones
- internal injuries
- serious lacerations, bruises, and abrasions
The chances of fatalities are also much higher in accidents involving semi-trucks and commercial vehicles.
Q: How do I choose the right truck accident lawyer after my crash?
A: You’ll want to find a lawyer who has experience with commercial vehicle accident cases in your area. Why does this matter? Because lawyers fully understand the local laws, statutes of limitation, and other legal details pertinent to your case.
For victims of truck accidents in Tampa, Brooks Law Group is the only number you need. We have years of experience representing clients involved in truck accidents of all kinds. We provide a long list of references and results, and our client reviews will give you the peace of mind that we truly care about the community we serve.
Worried about affording legal help? You don’t have to be. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay unless we win. Even your first consultation is free, so you are free to discuss your case with us with no strings attached.
Don’t continue to suffer after your accident, letting the ones responsible get away without providing the help you deserve. Our team fights on your behalf for justice and for compensation. You can always Look to Brooks.