A large truck accident can be devastating to those involved. There may be resulting fatalities as well as serious, even catastrophic injuries. Those who are severely injured in a truck accident may end up unable to work, and unable to pay medical expenses as well as normal monthly expenses. Those who are left badly injured with nowhere to turn should know there is help available. The law firm of Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, P.A., has been helping those injured in large commercial truck accidents for many years and can help you as well.
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If your truck accident injuries are catastrophic, you need a solid advocate in your corner even more. Whether your truck accident claim requires a highly skilled negotiator or an experienced, hard-hitting litigator, we have you covered. We offer uncompromising legal representation to each and every client in a personal, hands-on manner—we take care of our clients when they are unable to take care of themselves, bringing our nearly 80 years of collective experience to the table.
Truck Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012 there were 3,921 fatalities and 104,000 injuries from crashes involving large commercial trucks. Due to the size and weight of a large commercial truck, the occupants in the smaller passenger vehicle are much more likely to die in a truck collision than the driver or passengers in the large truck. In fact, among the fatalities from truck accidents, about 72 percent are likely to be the occupants of passenger vehicles. Seventy-eight percent of fatal crashes involving large commercial trucks occurred on weekdays, and of the crashes which occurred on weekdays, 72 percent occurred during daytime hours.
Frequent Causes of Truck Accidents
Of course, every truck accident has its own set of unique circumstances, however there are a number of common causes of commercial truck collisions, including:
- Distracted driving is not only a major cause of all auto collisions, it is a common cause of truck accidents as well. Truck drivers could be talking on a cell phone, trying to find a radio station, looking at a GPS or a paper map, talking to a passenger or eating, meaning his or her entire focus is not on the road and the other drivers.
- Fatigued driving is common among truck drivers, as their livelihood depends on their getting freight to its destination as quickly as possible. Because of this, many truck drivers skimp on sleep in order to deliver loads in a timely manner. This leaves many truck drivers driving while overly fatigued.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can occur among truck drivers; some may take “uppers” or “speed” in order to stay away and deliver loads on time.
- Speeding can occur among truck drivers for the same reason as fatigued driving—in an effort to ensure loads are delivered on time.
- Tailgating and other reckless driving acts can also lead to truck accidents, as can other aggressive driving behaviors and violations of traffic laws.
- Improperly secured cargo can potentially cause a serious accident when the cargo shifts or slides, perhaps even sliding off the truck and crashing into surrounding vehicles.
- Health issues can sometimes cause truck accidents, particularly if the driver has a history of cardiovascular issues.
- Lack of appropriate maintenance of the large truck, or lack of regular inspection.
- Hiring untrained or unqualified drivers.
- Truck drivers who are inadequately managed or supervised.
Making a determination of what caused a truck accident and who behaved in a negligent manner can be complex following a truck accident. The crash must be fully investigated, evidence gathered, and documentation undertaken. If the truck driver behaved in a careless manner or was fatigued, distracted or impaired, if the trucking company hired an untrained or inexperienced truck driver, if the loading company was negligent in loading the cargo, if the maintenance company failed to provide regular maintenance or if the truck accident was the result of a defect in the truck or truck part, then one or more of these people or entities could be responsible for the crash.
Most Common Types of Truck Accidents
Trucks can collide with other vehicles in a number of ways. The damage and injuries, not to mention the severity, of the truck collision are often dependent on the type of crash which occurred.
- Rollovers occur because large trucks have a high center of gravity, making it much easier for them to turn over when a truck driver takes a turn or curve too fast. High winds, over-correcting errors and other sudden driving maneuvers can also result in a truck rollover.
- A truck jackknife can occur when the trailer is thrown off balance or the coupling which attaches the truck the trailer fails. The trailer swings out, perpendicular to the truck cab, like a folding jackknife. The jackknifing trailer can cause damage and injuries when it collides with cars in adjacent lanes.
- A runaway truck happens when the driver is unable to slow the truck down, usually when the truck is driving downhill. Unable to stop the truck, the driver hits vehicles in front of him.
- Underride accidents occur when a smaller passenger vehicle crashes into the back of a truck, becoming wedged underneath the truck, and often killing those in the front seat of the passenger vehicle. Trucks are now required to have underride collision bars, however not all of these bars are built strongly enough to prevent an underride accident.
- When unsecured or improperly secured cargo falls from a large trailer, the cargo may collide with a number of other vehicles, causing serious accidents.
Injuries Resulting from Truck Accidents
The injuries from a truck accident are usually quite severe, even catastrophic. Injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputations, severe burns and severe disfigurement are common, completely altering lives and futures. When injuries of this magnitude occur, those injured may be unable to return to work for a time, or even forever. Those injured in a truck accident may struggle to pay their medical expenses and even to pay their regular monthly expenses.
Having such serious injuries could result in emotional trauma as well, particularly for those with facial disfigurement, severe burns, quadriplegia or paraplegia or traumatic brain injury. Rehabilitative therapies and subsequent surgical procedures and other medical procedures may be expected to last years, or for the remainder of the injured person’s life. If you or a loved one suffered serious injury in a truck accident, there is help out there for you, and the first step involves a call to Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti.
How a Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti Truck Accident Attorney Can Help
It is never too early to hire an experienced truck accident lawyer from Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti to investigate the site of your truck accident and to ensure evidence of liability is preserved. Many large, commercial trucking companies will have an investigator and a legal representative on site following the accident before you are even checked into a hospital room. At Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, we have a thorough understanding of federal and Florida state trucking laws as well as a strong commitment to achieving positive results for those injured in a truck accident. Our experienced Miami truck accident injury attorneys will determine who was at fault in your truck accident, then hold the liable party accountable.
If you or a loved one could benefit from speaking to a knowledgeable Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti truck accident attorney, contact our firm today. We will provide a thorough assessment of your truck accident, answering any questions you may have, then we will aggressively pursue compensation which will pay for your medical expenses, any lost wages or lost future wages you experience and compensation for pain and suffering.
Having been in business since 1973, we fully understand what you are going through right now, and believe we can alleviate much of your stress, anxiety and fear. We understand that while you want to focus on healing from your injuries, you have been forced to think about how you will pay your monthly bills as well as the mounting medical expenses related to the truck accident. Don’t face these issues alone—call the law firm with a stellar reputation and the experience and knowledge to ensure the best outcome to your truck accident claim.
If you or a loved has been involved in an accident with a semi truck you need to contact a North Miami Beach truck accident attorney right away. Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, P.A. is one of the leading personal injury law firms in the United States for over 20 years and will fight to protect your rights.