Trucking Or Commercial Vehicle Accidents
What Are Some Of The Most Common Causes Of Trucking Or Commercial Vehicle Crashes In Hillsborough County, Florida?
In Hillsborough County and all over the country, trucking crashes occur because trucking companies do not follow national regulations and/or state requirements. Consequently, trucking companies do not train their drivers correctly in how to drive large trucking vehicles, which causes crashes that wouldn’t otherwise occur.
What Are Some Of The Major Differences That You See Between Trucking Or Commercial Vehicle Crashes Versus Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles Only?
One major difference between trucks or commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles is that trucks are longer and heavier. Trucks don’t stop as easily as cars or other smaller vehicles. Trucks that are over 10,000 pounds have certain regulations while trucks that are over 20,000 pounds have other regulations. For example, a truck driver is always supposed to anticipate 10 to 15 seconds of looking ahead. As such, a truck driver should always expect that a passenger vehicle has the right of way, and therefore, the driver should anticipate what they are going to do to avoid that. Truck drivers should always have a look forward. They have a duty to look-forward, whereas the passenger vehicle driver does not have this requirement. There are other technical requirements that drivers are also supposed to follow.
What Are Some Of The Serious Injuries That You See As A Result Of These Trucking Or Large Commercial Vehicle Crashes?
When there is a commercial truck crash or collision with a pedestrian, motorcyclist, a person on a bicycle, or passenger vehicle, the impact and damages can be incredibly severe. Severe injuries can include brain damage, multiple injuries, and/or near-death injuries. Most injuries are severe when it involves a truck, large rig, or tractor-trailer collision because these vehicles are huge and hard to control.
What Evidence Is Important For Investigators To Preserve And Collect At The Scene In A Trucking Commercial Vehicle Crash?
There are a number of things that an investigator could do to collect and preserve evidence at the scene of a trucking crash. For instance, investigators should get out there right away and take photographs. Any cameras on the side of the road should be looked at by an investigator. Pedestrians and store owners should be interviewed promptly. Any black box evidence should be retained, and spoliation letters should be sent out. There’s a laundry list of things that should be done by people who are involved in representing victims of trucking collisions.
What Are Some Of The Defenses That You Find These Insurance Companies For The Trucking Companies Will Try To Use To Avoid Paying Out On Personal Injury Claims After These Serious Trucking Crashes?
Insurance companies are in the business of making money and not paying. They’re in the business of blaming all crashes on the victim. They’re in the business of holding money and not settling. One of the things they do is try to engage the victim or an inexperienced lawyer. Insurance companies will try to speak with the victim first to persuade them against hiring a lawyer, who in turn will hire an investigator to find out very critical things pertinent to trucking collisions. So, delay is the first tactic. The second tactic is to blame the crash on the victim. Their third tactic is to try to hide negative information from the driver’s history. Many drivers are not vetted correctly. Their history is not vetted by the trucking company, and the trucking company doesn’t like to give the lawyer this information. There are many things that insurance companies do to delay. The longer a delay, the harder it is to get witnesses, street videos, and other evidence. And, the harder it also is to inspect the truck or the other vehicle by reconstructive engineers.
Another defense that insurance companies usually use is aimed against the victim’s injuries. They will often say, “Oh, the injury you had would have happened anyway.” For example, if there are disc problems and nerve impingements, they try to show that you may have made a complaint of pain in the back, neck, or have had headaches before. They’ll inappropriately hire experts to say that this is not anything new and that it would have happened before, even though it might be ridiculous.
Therefore, speed, investigating, and going to a physician or hospital quickly, even if there are no obvious injuries, are crucial to proving your case. Many times, the crash is so severe and unexpected that you have what’s called contrecoup injuries in which the brain sloshes or moves around in the skull and it gets bruised. The result are brain injuries, and you have to take the correct test, like a DTI brain scan, to determine whether there is traumatic brain injury and/or other injuries.
An experienced lawyer who handles trucking cases will get right on your collision case, help with your injuries, and hire an investigator right away.
Who Could Be Potentially Liable In These Big-rig Trucking Crash Cases In Florida? Does It Make Sense To Go After An Individual Driver?
In trucking crashes, the truck driver should be liable. It is important to remember that the driver is an agent or employee of the trucking company they work for. The trucking company could be a subsidiary of a larger company. As such, all of these entities, along with their insurance companies, are potential defendants. If a defect in the truck or rig was the cause of the crash, the manufacturer could also be liable. If the truck is inspected by another company and it was not inspected correctly, they could be potentially liable. Or, if there was a defect known in the truck or rig, and it wasn’t fixed properly, the entity or company responsible for fixing this could be a potential liability defendant.
I Was In An Auto Crash Involving A Semi-Truck That Occurred In Hillsborough County, Florida. If The Driver And The Trucking Company Are From Outside Of Florida, Does This Complicate My Personal Injury Case?
If you were involved in an auto crash in Florida that involved a semi-truck from another state, you have the right to sue the liable party in state court in the county where the crash occurred. For instance, if the crash occurs in Hillsborough County, you have the right to sue them in state court in Hillsborough County. If the trucking company is incorporated in another state, it’s possible that the trucking company or the owner of the trucking company can move the case to federal court. But, if you claim the driver as a defendant, it will stay in state court. There are many facts that could complicate a case, but usually, you can keep the case in state court. Keeping the case in state court to litigate your case is usually because the discovery needed is easier to accomplish in State Court. What you’re allowed to obtain for your case is typically broader than in Federal Court, depending on the state. Also, the rapidity of a court’s ruling is quicker in state court, at least in most counties in Florida, compared to federal court.
What Kind Of Settlement Amount Might I Expect From A Big Trucking Company? Do These Companies Often Have Insurance Policies Beyond The Mandatory Policies?
Usually, trucking companies have millions and millions of dollars in coverage. The injuries value the case. Therefore, a settlement amount is determined by the extent of the injuries and damages caused by the collision, but one must always know the amount of insurance coverage before there is any attempt for settlement at trial.
Tell Me About The Pure Complexity Of These Trucking Crash Cases, And Why I Need An Attorney Who Has Experience Specifically With These Types Of Cases?
A professional lawyer, who either knows all the complexities of trucking cases or knows that there are complexities that they do not know, will immediately call in a true expert in complex personal injury matters and always complex trucking cases for assistance. If someone goes to a lawyer that is not experienced in handling complex personal injury trucking cases, they may not be aware of the various regulations that the trucking company has to follow, such as regulations that involve the weight of the trucks. Therefore, if they handle it as they would an automobile crash, they will be giving the insurance company and the trucking company many outs that they ordinarily wouldn’t have. The responsibilities of a truck driver are much more stringent compared to an individual driver who’s driving a passenger car, SUV, or pickup truck. For instance, a truck driver must always anticipate when someone might be in one’s path, and that it is their duty, as a truck driver to avoid a crash. It’s the responsibility of the truck driver to be trained to anticipate other vehicles merging into the truck’s path, anticipate what might happen in a rollover situation, or anticipate what could occur when you’re going around a curve. Truck drivers have many more responsibilities than a passenger vehicle or small vehicle under 10,000 pounds. Therefore, it’s very critical to go to some lawyer who is an expert in these trucking cases who knows that there are many rules in these types of trucking cases that do not apply to passenger vehicles and smaller vehicles, not a truck.
For more information on Trucking Or Commercial Vehicle Accidents, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (813) 251-1000 today.