Large Truck, 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer accidents involving Personal Injury and what to expect:

Trucking Accident on HighwayFor the past decade, Florida has been one of the top 5 states in the nation for trucking related accidents.

Here, trucking accidents account for well over 7% of all fatal accidents, which is more than double the national average.

Our attorneys have been hired to handle all types of 18 wheeler, large truck, and tractor-trailer accidents over the years. We are fully prepared to fight hard on your behalf.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a large truck, 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer due to the negligence of somebody else, do not try to handle a claim on your own or risk using an inexperienced lawyer.

Not all personal injury attorneys have our commitment to achieving full justice for their clients, nor do they have our trial experience and proven skills.

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Our Experience / How we can Help | Truck accident statistics | Types of truck accidents
Negligence in Truck Accidents | What damages can I expect?

If you were injured in a trucking accident, our lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Our attorneys have a combined legal experience of over 50 years in handling all types of personal injury cases, and a large portion of our work involves trucking accidents.

We put not one, but multiple lawyers on your case in order to give it the extra attention it deserves. Not only that, but we're also fewer than 10% of Florida attorneys who are also authorized to practice in federal courts. Let us put our experiences and resources to work for you today, and you can expect to get the results you deserve.

Our lawyers are very experienced and fully prepared to litigate aggressively on your behalf. There are no up front fees or costs unless we win and our consultations are always free. And we make it very easy to reach us - by phone, email, and even live chat right here on the website. And if you're still unsure, have a look at some of the reviews we receive.

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Let's take a look at some statistics involving large trucks:

no boatingThe U.S. Department of Transportation reports that on average, over 500,000 truck accidents occur every year in the United States, causing over 80,000 injuries, with nearly 4,000 of these crashes resulting in a fatality.

The most recently published data from the Federal Motor Carrier Saftey Administration shows that in 2012, large trucks and buses were involved in over 300,000 accidents which resulted in more than 85,000 injuries and 3,700 deaths on roadways.

Over 750,000 trucking and bus accidents resulted in property damages as well. Estimated costs as a result of these accidents has exceeded $110 Billion dollars.

2013 figures are not yet available for 2014, however, Florida's Integrated Report Exchange System data shows that nearly 20,000 accidents involving a heavy truck or bus occurred in 2012 with nearly 200 fatalities and over 4,500 injuries reported during that time.

In contrast, heavy trucks and buses accounted for over 12,000 accidents in 2010 with over 200 resulting in a fatality and 7,500 resulted in some type of injury.

According to crash history data, Hillsborough County has continually had one of the highest rates of accidents involving large trucks or buses which result in injury or death for the past 10 years.

Over 65% of crashes occur during the day with around 65% of those occurring in rural areas, and about 78% of those happened on weekends.

Primary types of trucking accidents in Florida:

Rear-end and side collisions:

Some of the most common types of accidents involving large trucks and cars occur from rear-end and side collisions. Usually it involves a tractor-trailer rear-ending a vehicle or hitting the side of a vehicle at a T-angle.

The cases we've seen involving rear-endings typically result from trucks not being able to stop in time for traffic, whereas the T-angle crashes typically result from truckers running red lights. Both of these instances are very negligible on the part of the truck operator and these cases can often settle out of court.

Under-ride accidents:

These are one of the most fatal types of accidents involving 18-wheelers and large trucks. These accidents occur when a truck quickly slams on their brakes and the driver of a passenger car or truck collides with the rear of a truck and slides up under the rear of the trailer, often pulled and tucked by the trailer's rear wheels.

Driver negligence, poor road conditions or mechanical failure are all factors that contribute to these types of crashes.

Head-on collisions:

Large truck head-on collision with autoFlorida is full of two lane highways without a median to protect drivers from oncoming traffic. With only a painted centerline marking the divide between lanes, drivers are at increased risk for head-on collisions when traveling on these routes.

Unfortunately, these types of accidents are usually very severe. The weight of a large tractor-trailer impacting a smaller passenger car or truck is extremely damaging and those who manage to survive are often left with permanent injuries as a result.

Driver negligence, such as falling asleep behind the wheel, operating while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and an increased rise of distracted driving has continually been the cause of these types of accidents.

Truck rollovers:

Truck rollovers occur when a truck has too high of a center of gravity. Overloading or mis-loading the freight can be a contributing factor. But even the most properly loaded trailer can still rollover if a trucker takes a turn too fast. We've also seen plenty of cases where a truck has locked up the breaks, resulting in a jackknife that not only causes a rollover, but a rear-end collision as well.

Lost loads:

Drivers are supposed to constantly check the status of their loads in order to ensure they are safe and secure. Improperly or inadequately securing a load the negligence of the driver to properly inspect and continue to inspect the load can have bad consequences for other motorists.

Blind spots:

As a motorist, you should be aware that truck drivers usually have rather large blind spots where they have trouble seeing other vehicles. This can make changing lanes quite difficult. Blind spot accidents are difficult to avoid, especially in situations where you are between a large truck and a wall.

Tire blowouts:

Not only does a tire blowout increase the chances for a driver to lose control of a large truck or 18-wheeler, it also has other potential consequences. Shrapnel from the tire may fly back and impact your windshield and hinder your view or spin you out of control, for example. Drivers running into or trying to avoid tire blowout debris is also a common cause of accidents.

How does negligence come in to play with trucking accidents?

Tractor-trailers have the potential to be a very dangerous hazard. Weighing in around 80,000 pounds, they are difficult to maneuver. Acceleration, stopping and turning abilities are greatly hindered. It's no wonder why drivers are required to pass a CDL exam, and there's many other requirements drivers must adhere to.

Truckers can be negligent for many reasons. Some may have expired licenses, or operating privileges revoked. Having lack of proper registration, insurance or inspection is also negligent behavior. And drivers are also subject to time limits on the road and relating to sleep in between as well as being subject to lower blood-alcohol contents. These extra restrictions are meant to protect us, but with all the different requirements comes a higher potential for mistakes to be made.

Not only that, but truck drivers must adhere to all of the other basic safety rules and regulations on the roadway as motorists do, but they have to also take into account all of the other variables that come into play due to the size or type of load they are carrying. It is a demanding job that requires skill and patience where small mistakes can cause huge accidents, injury, loss and even death.

Different types of negligence that results in trucking accidents:

  • large truck negligenceDriver Fatigue and Hours of Service
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Inspections
  • Being careless or inattentive
  • Failure to check blind spots
  • Operator inexperience
  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol and/or drug use
  • Over the counter drug use
  • Overloading
  • Lack of proper lights
  • Failure to signal
  • Distracted driving
  • Brake violations
  • Unfamiliarity with the roads or route
  • Aggressive driving or road rage

After negligence is proved in my injury claim, what kind of damages can I expect?

Here in Florida, and particularly in the cases our law firm has handled over the years here in Hillsborough County, most truck accidents which result in a personal injury have resulted in our clients receiving several different types of recoverable damages, including the following:

  • Past and future physical pain and/or mental anguish and suffering compensation
  • Past and future disfigurement compensation
  • Past and future physical impairment compensation
  • Recovery for lost wages, or loss of future earning capacity
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Punitive damages (in some cases)

While the above list is a general idea of what you can expect when settlement is reached, each case is very unique and results may vary. Our experience and dedication to your case will ensure we work aggressively on your behalf to get you the very best possible outcome for your situation.

If you or a loved one has a question about a potential personal injury case or if you're in need of a personal injury lawyer in Tampa, we hope that you will contact our office for a free consultation.

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Call or Text us today at 813-489-3222 for a FREE consultation and case evaluation.

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Google+ Content authored by Frank Fernandez