Whether you’re an experienced driver or you’ve just obtained a license, you can feel intimidated and overwhelmed when you find yourself side-by-side with a large truck. If you’re injured in an accident with a truck in Florida, seek advice promptly from an Orlando truck accident attorney
It’s not hard to get injured in a truck accident in Florida. The U.S. Department of Transportation tells us that in 2019, more than 8,600 accidents involving large trucks happened on Florida’s streets and highways, resulting in more than 4,000 serious injuries and over 300 fatalities.
Are there ways to reduce your chances of being involved in a truck accident? Yes, and some of those ways are explained below. Keep reading, and you’ll also learn what steps to take if you are injured in a collision with a large commercial truck in the State of Florida.
HOW CAN YOU STAY SAFE ON THE ROAD?
Can accidents with trucks be avoided? The best tip for enhancing your safety on the road is to stay as far from a large truck as possible – it can’t hurt you if it’s not close to you.
Listed below are some other important safety tips for driving when trucks are on the highway:
1. If you must pass a truck, do it swiftly, and pass on its left side, because the right side of a truck has too many blind spots. Give the driver plenty of chances to see you, and make sure you see the truck in your rearview mirror before moving back to your original lane.
2. If you are behind a truck, and you cannot see the side-view mirrors, it means that the truck driver cannot see you.
3. Don’t use your high beams when you’re behind a truck. Use only your standard headlight beams to reduce the risk of dazzling or momentarily blinding the truck driver.
4. When a truck is behind you, let the truck pass you if that’s what the driver wants to do, and slowly reduce your speed to accommodate the truck driver and reduce the chances of an accident.
SOME ADDITIONAL TIPS
Your vehicle’s blind spots are an inconvenience, but they are not as hazardous as a large commercial truck’s blind spots. Don’t assume that truck drivers have a better view because their seats are higher.
Truckers do have a better view of what’s in front of them, but their blind spots are larger, and when other drivers linger in those blind spots, they impair a truck driver’s ability to see them and to take evasive driving action if necessary.
Never tailgate a truck. Tailgating is not only annoying for drivers, but it is also illegal in the State of Florida. Following a truck too closely is extremely dangerous because, if the driver brakes, your vehicle could literally be dragged under the truck’s rear wheels.
Large trucks are also prone to rolling over, and every driver needs to know this. A truck’s high center of gravity raises the risk of a rollover, especially on ramps, curved roadways, and while making turns. Only drive alongside a truck when you’re passing or being passed.
WHY ARE TRUCK ACCIDENTS ALMOST ALWAYS CATASTROPHIC?
A fully-loaded commercial truck may weigh more than forty tons. The average car weighs two tons or less, so it’s no surprise that truck accidents so often result in devastating and disabling permanent injuries.
A commercial truck’s size and weight make stopping a truck far more difficult than stopping an automobile, so if a car and a big truck collide, the truck will cause considerably more damage, and the car will sustain far more damage.
IF A TRUCK ACCIDENT HAPPENS
If, despite your best safety precautions, you are involved in an accident with a truck, seek medical attention immediately. Call the police and make sure that you can obtain a copy of the police accident report.
Obtain the pertinent insurance and contact information regarding the truck driver and his or her employer. Take photos of the crash site, vehicle damages, and your own visible injuries. If there are eyewitnesses, try to obtain their names and contact information.
Photographs and eyewitness statements are powerful evidence in a personal injury case. With this kind of persuasive evidence, your personal injury lawyer can probably negotiate a generous out-of-court settlement and entirely avoid having to take your case to court.
IF YOU ARE INJURED IN A TRUCK ACCIDENT
Automobile drivers and passengers who survive truck-vs.-car accidents frequently suffer catastrophic injuries including serious spinal cord injuries, severe traumatic brain injuries, multiple contusions and fractures, and injuries that require amputation.
If you’re injured in a truck accident due to negligence – in Orlando or anywhere in Florida – you are entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages (including projected future lost wages), and related losses, but you’ll need a good lawyer’s help to obtain that compensation.
WHO MAY HAVE LIABILITY FOR A TRUCK ACCIDENT?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation) regulates trucking in the United States. Interstate commercial truck drivers:
1. cannot drive more than eleven hours a day or seventy hours a week
2. must hold a CDL (commercial driver’s license)
3. must speak and understand English – and all road signs
4. must have no trace of alcohol in the blood while driving
5. must be 21 or older if crossing a state line while driving commercially
Drivers and trucking companies must ensure that cargo is loaded properly and secured. When the cargo in a truck is unbalanced, it heightens the risk of a rollover. If truck owners and drivers ignore the regulations, they are negligent. That negligence puts you and your loved ones at risk.
Contractors, subcontractors, freight companies, leasing companies, truck manufacturers, and parts manufacturers could conceivably share the liability for a truck accident.
HOW CAN A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER HELP YOU?
If you’re injured because one or more of these parties was negligent, the right Orlando personal injury attorney will uncover all potential sources of compensation and fight to win the maximum available amount on your behalf.
After a truck collision, the right accident attorney will determine who has liability and will hold those parties accountable. When hazardous road conditions or defective truck parts contribute to an accident, the legal issues are even more complicated, and a good attorney’s help is essential.
Prevailing with a personal injury claim can help you pay your medical bills and make up for your lost wages if you’re seriously injured. If you’re the victim in a truck accident, you have the right to compensation, you have the right to a good lawyer’s help, and the law will be on your side.