PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY - PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
Because the trucking industry is a significant part of Florida’s economy, trucks are routinely seen on our roadways. When commercial trucks, often known as semis or tractor-trailers, are involved in an accident, the results can be devastating, due to the fact that such accidents usually involve vehicles of two significantly different types and sizes. Most trucking accidents occur at high speeds and on the highway, but even those which occur at low speeds can be disastrous. Passenger vehicles are often destroyed, and victims can suffer severe and permanent injuries. In some cases, victims are killed. When a trucking accident occurs, occupants of passenger cars and small trucks have a much higher fatality rate than occupants of large commercial trucks.
Collisions caused by a trucker’s negligence can lead to the most catastrophic injuries on the road. Negligence generally falls into two categories: driver error and vehicle maintenance failure. The most common cause of driver error is fatigue, which can cause poor judgment, drowsiness, and falling asleep at the wheel. Driver error can also be due to inexperience, improper training, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you have been involved in an accident, it is imperative that you take certain steps.
A driver of a large commercial truck is considered to have an even greater standard of care than other drivers because of the unique danger that such trucks pose and because of the catastrophic injuries that they can cause. For example, federal regulations limit the number of hours that a truck driver may drive without interruption. Accordingly, drivers are required to keep a record of their work and rest periods for the previous week. In addition, truck drivers must inspect their trucks and report any problems. Drivers may not operate a vehicle that is in bad condition. Drivers are subject to drug tests and background checks and must undergo ongoing training, as well as instruction in loading/unloading.
Truck drivers are also subject to certain requirements after an accident occurs. The driver must provide proof of insurance and must cooperate with law enforcement. He or she must also allow the authorities to investigate whether there was compliance with all of the aforementioned trucking-specific regulations. These are complex issues which should be examined by an experienced trucking accident attorney. At Rice, we will demand access to the trucker’s records to determine whether there was proper compliance with trucking regulations. We will gather the necessary evidence, interview the appropriate witnesses and experts, and file claims against the parties responsible for the accident.
Because truck accident lawsuits are often far more complex than other vehicle accidents, it is imperative to immediately consult with an experienced trucking accident attorney who will protect your interests. Trucking litigation involves claims against negligent truck drivers and the companies who hire them. When a trucking accident occurs, there are many parties that may share liability. These entities include the truck driver, the trucking company that owns the vehicle, the truck loading company, road authorities, and the manufacturers of the truck and its parts. Determining who the defendant or defendants will be in a trucking accident action can be a very difficult and complex process and is dependent on the circumstances of each individual case.
Trucking companies and insurance adjusters realize the potential for major lawsuits when a truck accident occurs. Immediately after a trucking accident, they quickly gather evidence and experts so that they can begin preparing their case right away. In addition, federal law permits trucking companies to destroy vital records within a fairly short time. By contacting a trucking accident attorney immediately after an accident, crucial evidence can be preserved for litigation. Trucking accident claims require a review of medical records, along with the records of both the trucking company and the driver. Statements must also be gathered from all witnesses, all drivers, vehicle owners, and the trucking company. An experienced trucking accident attorney can help you through all stages of the claim process.
The personal injury attorneys at Rice have extensive experience in truck accident litigation. If you have been involved in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, future earnings, pain and suffering, permanent disability, and loss of enjoyment of life. Contact us today for your free consultation. We will help you throughout every stage of the complex and difficult legal process while seeking financial compensation for your losses.
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