Florida Trucking Accidents Causing Amputations

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines a large truck as any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight greater than 10,000 pounds [1].  This weight refers to the minimum amount necessary to be considered a large truck and does not include the weight of any freight.  The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration provides information regarding the maximum weight [2] of a federal commercial vehicle on the Interstate Highway System:

Single Axle:                          20,000 pounds

Tandem Axle:                       34,000 pounds

Gross Vehicle Weight:        80,000 pounds

This contrasts with the average passenger automobile that weighs only 5,000 pounds.

The NHTSA provides that in 2013, there were 3,964 people killed and an estimated 95,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks. In the United States, an estimated 342,000 large trucks were involved in police-reported traffic crashes during 2013.

2013 Truck Accident Injury Statistics:

  • About 72% of the injured victims were occupants of other vehicles
  • 25% of injuries occurred to either the driver or occupant(s) of the truck
  • 2% of those injured were pedestrians, independent of a truck or other vehicle

The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety state that:

¨         Annual truck crash fatalities [3] are equivalent to a major airplane crash every other week of the year.

¨         Tractor-trailers moving at 60 mph are required to stop in 310 feet, the length of a football field, once the brakes are applied.  Actual stopping distances are often much longer due to driver response time before braking and the common problem that truck brakes are often not in top working condition.

¨         In 2014, violations related to tires and/or brakes accounted for 5 of the top 10 most common vehicle out-of-service (OOS) violations.

Based upon the massive weight of large trucks, and the number of accidents involving them nationwide, it is clear why a commercial truck accident can be much more catastrophic than an accident between two automobiles.  Based upon the stark weight disparity and the basic laws of physics, most big rig truck accidents with other vehicles result in serious injuries including amputations or even death.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine [4] defines amputation as the loss of a body part — usually a finger, toe, arm, or leg, that occurs as the result of an accident or injury.  If an accident results in complete amputation, the body part is totally severed.  In a partial amputation, some soft-tissue connection remains. Often times complications occur with an amputation including bleeding, shock, and infection.  The Society for Vascular Surgery [5] provides that a traumatic injury, such as a trucking accident can destroy blood vessels and cause tissue death. As a result, infection if not adequately treated, can spread through an individual’s body and threaten life. Although a medical team may make every effort to save a limb by surgically replacing or repairing damaged blood vessels or using donor tissue, if these procedures do not work, amputation may be the only option in order to save a person’s life.

Call a Florida Trucking Accident Attorney

Based upon the enormous size and weight of large trucks, a collision with a passenger vehicle can have devastating consequences. Many trucking accidents are preventable, which means that it is important for victims to understand their rights in the event of this type of accident.  If you or a loved one were involved in a trucking accident you likely sustained many serious injuries or perhaps even amputation.  At the Dolman Law Group in Florida, our team of experienced truck accident lawyers have successfully helped many truck accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries and related losses. To make sure that you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled, it is important to have an experienced truck accident attorney handling your case. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756



[1] http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812150.pdf
[2] http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/Freight/sw/overview/index.htm
[3] http://saferoads.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/2015-02-06-Large-Truck-Fact-Sheet.pdf
[4] https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000006.htm
[5] https://www.vascularweb.org/vascularhealth/pages/amputation.aspx