Victims of Trucking Accidents That Occur In Adverse Weather Can Often Recover For Their Injuries
A person who regularly drives in the Clearwater area would be hard-pressed to go a day without seeing a large commercial vehicle traversing one the area’s many highways, interstates, or other smaller roads. Commercial trucks, which can include semis, tanker trucks, dump trucks, and other specialized vehicles, often perform functions that are essential to modern life. As important as these vehicles are, however, they also pose an inherent risk of injury to other drivers as well as the public at large. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates1 that in excess of 200,000 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks during 2012 alone. While these accidents can occur for any number of reasons, a significant percentage happen during adverse weather. Simply because an accident occurs during poor weather conditions does not excuse a negligent truck driver or trucking company from liability, so anyone who has been hurt in an adverse weather truck accident should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
The Clearwater truck accident lawyers of the Dolman Law Group are dedicated to helping individuals injured in truck accidents caused by negligence recover for their injuries and other losses. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at (727) 451-6900.
Poor weather can negatively affect vehicle performance
While Florida is known around the world for its typically pleasant weather, even earning the nickname “the Sunshine State,” it also has its fair share of storms and other poor weather conditions. In fact, some areas in the northern part of the state and in the Panhandle have been even known to get snow and ice on occasion. In addition, with thousands of miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, the Straits of Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico make Florida particularly vulnerable to adverse weather coming in from these bodies of water, including sudden storms and serious weather events such as tropical storms and hurricanes.
As anyone who has driven during a storm or other poor weather can is aware, these conditions can have a significantly negative impact on vehicle performance. When roads are wet or icy, vehicle traction may suffer, making stopping distances longer and potentially causing cars to skid or spin out of control. In addition, rain, snow, sleet, fog, and other adverse weather conditions can also make have an adverse effect on driver visibility, further increasing the dangers associated with driving in poor weather conditions.
Commercial Drivers are legally required to account for adverse conditions
As an industry, commercial trucking is highly regulated by federal regulations that are promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Nearly every aspect of the operation of these vehicles is regulated, from the issuance of commercial driver’s licenses to the conspicuity attributes of the trailers that semi-trucks tow. In addition, commercial truck drivers are required to use extreme caution when they are driving in adverse weather conditions. Under FMCSA Regulation 392.142, a driver of a commercial vehicle must use “extreme caution” when hazardous conditions adversely affect visibility or traction. The kinds of adverse weather listed in the regulation include the following:
When drivers fail to use extreme caution in these and other conditions and accidents occur as a result, victims may be able to recover for their injuries and other losses by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Among the kinds of losses that may be compensable in a Florida personal injury lawsuit arising from a truck accident include medical expenses, lost income, damage to property, and loss of quality of life, among others. Victims should be aware that truck drivers and their employers are well aware of the fact that they operate in a high-risk industry, and are prepared to aggressively defend themselves in cases were legal liability may be contested. As a result, it is important for anyone who has been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck to retain an equally aggressive Clearwater truck accident attorney in order to ensure that their legal rights are protected.
Contact a Clearwater truck accident attorney today to schedule a free consultation
Individuals who are injured in truck accidents should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident occurs. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call the Dolman Law Group today at (727) 451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756