FAQ About Clearwater Flatbed Truck Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates1 that there were about 95,000 people injured in accidents involving large trucks during 2013. The agency defines a large truck as any vehicle with a gross weight vehicle rating of in excess of 10,000 pounds. This category includes a variety of vehicles, including semis, 18-wheelers, tanker trucks, dump trucks, and flatbed trucks. Flatbed trucks often pose a significant risk of injury to other motorists and are often overlooked when people discuss the dangers posed by large commercial vehicles.
At the Dolman Law Group, our Clearwater truck accident attorneys are dedicated to representing truck accident victims and helping them recover compensation for their losses. Below are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding truck accidents. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, please call our office today at 727-451-6900.
What is a flatbed truck?
Flatbed trucks are a particular type of large truck that are characterized by a flat, level platform behind the cab that has no roof or sides. They can be either articulated, meaning that the sections of the truck are connected by a pivoting joint, or rigid. Their construction allows for goods and other materials to be loaded onto the bed from any area around the truck and without having to navigate an enclosed trailer’s door. Flatbed trucks are often used as tow trucks to move other vehicles and are also used transport large or irregularly shaped loads such as construction equipment or heavy machinery.
Why are flatbed trucks dangerous?
Flatbed trucks pose a particular set of hazards to others due to their unique construction. Because their cargo is not enclosed in a secure trailer as is the case with other kinds of trucks, there is the potential for their cargo to become unsecured and injure other motorists or people nearby by striking them or their vehicles. In addition, a driver’s view can easily be obstructed by large or irregularly shaped cargo, potentially resulting in serious accidents.
What causes flatbed truck accidents to occur?
There are a number of reasons a flatbed truck may occur, not all of which give victims the right to bring a legal action to recover for their injuries and other losses. In order to be able to recover, victims must be able to show that the accident in which they were injured was the result of someone else’s negligence. Some of the more common examples of the kinds of negligence that can often lead to a flatbed truck accident include the following:
– Distracted driving
– Failure to properly secure cargo
– Failure to properly load cargo
– Hours-of-service violations
– Failure to yield
– Following too closely
– Improper braking
– Noncompliance with FMSCR regulations2
– Driver error
There are many other forms of negligence that could cause a flatbed truck accident, and it is important for victims to have their case reviewed by an attorney who is familiar with truck accident lawsuits and the federal and state regulations that affect the trucking industry.
Do I need an attorney if I am injured in a flatbed truck accident?
While it is perfectly possible for a person injured in a flatbed truck accident to represent him or herself, it is highly advisable for anyone injured in any type of preventable accident to retain legal counsel. In many cases, the fact that an accident was the result of truck driver, trucking company, or vehicle manufacturer negligence may not be apparent to a person who is unfamiliar with personal injury law or the technical aspects of truck accident cases. In addition, people who are represented by an attorney often recover significantly more compensation than individuals who choose to represent themselves.
Contact a Clearwater truck accident lawyer today to schedule a free case evaluation
Truck accidents can leave victims with devastating injuries that can affect them for years, if not decades. For this reason, it is imperative that individuals who have been injured in a truck accident do everything possible to ensure that their legal rights are protected and that they receive the compensation to which they are legally entitled. The Clearwater personal injury lawyers of the Dolman Law Group are dedicated to helping people hurt in preventable truck crashes recover for their losses. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, please call our office today at 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756