Truck Accident Statistics – Why Drivers Should be Aware
According to federal statistics from such organizations as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one person is injured or killed every sixteen (16) minutes in the United States as a direct result of a motor vehicle accident involving a large truck. More than 140,000 individuals are injured in big rig collisions on an annual basis.
Statistics also show that while speeding is one of the leading causes of truck accidents, it is not uncommon for drivers of large trucks to have prior criminal convictions for speeding. When truck drivers violate Florida traffic laws and safety rules of the road, serious motor vehicle accidents and devastating consequences can result.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a truck, tractor-trailer, or big rig, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under Florida law. Our experienced New Port Richey truck accident lawyers have the legal knowledge and experience to fully investigate your claim, negotiate with the insurance company, and/or litigate your case and take it to trial.
Common Causes of New Port Richey Truck Accidents
It is important for Florida residents to be aware of the most common causes of trucking accidents, in order to potentially ward off collisions. Tractor-trailer trucks and big rigs are very large, fast, and heavy vehicles. When their drivers violate Florida traffic laws and rules of the road, serious motor vehicle accidents can ensue.
Although truck drivers may be held liable for these accidents, the trucking companies for whom they work may also share in some – or all – of the blame. Florida drivers should take note that truck drivers and trucking companies profit immensely when drivers deliver cargo to their destinations ahead of schedule. Truck drivers are able to do this by driving fast and in some cases, driving carelessly and recklessly. Truck drivers may also resort to drugs in order to help them stay awake on the road for long periods of time. Some of the most common causes of New Port Richey truck accidents about which Florida drivers should be aware include the following:
- Poorly maintained brakes
- Inexperienced or novice drivers
- Reckless, careless, or distracted driving
- Use of electronic devices or texting while driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Disobeying traffic control devices (including running red lights, stop signs, or yield signs)
- Poorly maintained safety systems, such as brake lights, headlights, turn signals, and reflectors
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles
- Cutting curves too sharply
- Fatigued driving
- Driving too fast for the road conditions, such as rain
- Consequences of Careless, Negligent, and Distracted Driving
- When truck drivers engage in careless and negligent driving, serious motor vehicle accidents can result, including the following:
- Chain reaction collisions where a large truck rear-ends a vehicle, which in turn rear-ends another vehicle, and so on
- Tractors and/or trailers overturning in the roadway, causing a pileup or series of collisions
- Chemical or hazardous waste spills on the roadway
- Trailer cargo dislodging from the trailer and onto the roadway or into another vehicle
Theories of Liability in New Port Richey Truck Accident Cases
In addition to the truck drivers themselves, trucking companies may also be held liable for injuries and damages resulting from a trucking accident. In order to prove negligence, a motor vehicle driver must demonstrate that a trucker or company failed to drive as a reasonably prudent trucker or company would have under the same or similar circumstances. In addition to proving that the truck driver breached the applicable duty of care, such as by speeding or neglecting a rule of the road, the motor vehicle driver must also prove that this breach proximately resulted in his or her injuries and damages.
An injured motor vehicle driver may also have a cause of action against the trucking company based upon Florida agency law. If the truck driver was acting with the express and/or implied permission of the trucking company as part of an employment relationship, for example, then the trucking company may be held liable for the motor vehicle driver’s injuries and damages, in addition to (or in the alternative to) the truck driver.
A trucking company could also be deemed liable under one of the following legal theories of recovery:
- Negligent entrustment of the truck to the truck driver
- Negligent supervision of the truck driver
- Negligent hiring or retention of the truck driver
An injured driver may be able to recover some or all of the following types of damages against the truck driver, the trucking company, or both:
- Payment of all related medical bills, including medical bills for hospital stays, medical treatment, physical therapy, and future surgeries or other medical procedures
- Compensation for lost wages
- Past, present and future pain and suffering
- Past, present, and future mental anguish and emotional distress
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship or spousal support
- Causally related psychological or psychiatric harm and treatment
- Wrongful death (where appropriate)
Contact an Experienced New Port Richey Truck Accident Lawyer Today to Discuss Your Case
Truck accidents can result in serious injuries. Our experienced New Port Richey, Florida truck accident attorneys will be able to discuss all of the facts and circumstances of your case with you and can assist you with obtaining the monetary compensation you need and deserve under the law.
In a personal injury lawsuit involving a trucking accident, the insurance company – and not the individual defendant or corporation – holds the purse strings and calls the shots when it comes to settling an accident case. On the whole, insurance companies are not interested in fully or fairly compensating motor vehicle accident plaintiffs for the injuries and damages they sustained.
Our experienced New Port Richey truck accident lawyers can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If a favorable settlement is not reached with the insurance company, our experienced attorneys are not afraid to litigate your case through the Florida court system or take it to trial.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a truck accident law firm, please call us or contact us online.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756