It's a scary world out there. Just trying to get around, whether on the Interstate or a smaller, local road, you'll likely be surrounded by large commercial trucks. The scary part is, the bigger the truck, the bigger the catastrophe if you should be involved in a crash with one.
On the Interstate, huge tractor trailers and other large commercial vehicles are trying to get their deliveries and pick-ups made in the shortest amount of time possible. In commercial trucking, time is money. The more goods you can haul in the least amount of time is the ultimate goal, and adds to the trucking company's bottom line.
In general, truck drivers are professionally trained in proper driving techniques developed to avoid or at least reduce the risk of being in an accident. Most responsible truckers, and the carriers they drive for, do their best to adhere to road safety rules and laws. But as in every industry, there are exceptions, and those are the ones we need to be wary of.
Large commercial trucks can weigh as much as 20 times the weight of a regular passenger car. Because of their massive size and weight, they also take longer to stop than a car does. Many large truck crashes are actually caused by drivers of passenger cars, when the car's driver does not allow adequate space between their car and a truck, or improperly gauges the amount of time a truck will need to come to a stop.
Other large commercial truckers bring the crashes on based on their own driver error, like speeding, distracted driving or becoming drowsy after spending too many hours behind the wheel.
Whatever the cause, crashes involving big rigs can be some of the most catastrophic and devastating types of motor vehicle accidents on the road. As personal injury and trucking accident lawyers practicing in Southwest Florida, we represent many people who have been victimized in a tragic accident with a large commercial vehicle. We've handled cases involving dump trucks, tractor trailers, delivery trucks and other types of commercial trucks.
The injuries sustained by the people in passenger cars in these crashes can be life-altering, requiring years, if not a lifetime, of care and treatment. The medical costs for this type of care can be astronomical, reaching the multi-millions of dollars. If someone is hurt in one of these types of crashes, they should consider retaining a skilled, experienced trucking accident lawyer to best represent their interests, and who will fight aggressively to obtain the most financial compensation possible.
Why Are Trucking Crashes Different?
There are so many variables that indicate the major differences between a passenger car accident and one involving a large commercial vehicle. The entire investigatory process is different when a big rig is involved. Things like the trucking companies' maintenance and service records, the number of years the truck has been in service, the driving record of the driver, whether the company provided updated and adequate driver training – these things and much more make for a completely different approach to obtaining fair financial compensation following a crash.
While it is true that there are fewer truck accidents than there are car crashes, the severity of big rig accidents means there are more fatalities when a large commercial truck hits a passenger car. The National Department of Transportation has concluded in their studies of commercial truck accidents that there is rarely a single reason to point to when trying to determine exactly what caused a big rig crash. DOT data points to a preliminary ‘critical event', which in turn then leads to ‘critical reason' for the crash. Their findings show that a critical event is one that means a crash is extremely likely, and a critical reason is the driver (and truck's) response or reaction to that event.
Let's look at some of the more common reasons for big rig crashes:
- Distractions like cell phone or on-board computer use while driving
- Drowsiness caused by too many hours on the road
- Aggressive driving, like speeding or improper lane changes
- Drug or alcohol use by the driver
- Pressure from the trucking company to reach a destination in a certain amount of time
- Poor or inadequate driver training programs
- Driving in an area where a trucker is not familiar with the roads
- Poor or hazardous road conditions
- Unexpected driver illness or medical emergency, like a stroke or heart attack
- Tire blowout
- Brake failure
- Failed hydraulic lines
- Heavy cargo load shifting within the trucks trailer
Let an Experienced, Skilled Truck Accident Lawyer Help
If you have been victimized by the careless or negligent actions of a big rig truck driver, getting immediate help and legal counseling is critically important. You will be bombarded with questions and interrogations from the trucking company's insurance carrier and attorneys. Yes, they do have attorneys on their side who will do everything possible to deny any liability for the crash, and resist paying you a fair and reasonable financial settlement. This is a key reason why you should have a law firm in your corner to ensure your legal rights are fully and aggressively protected.
At Goldberg Noone, our truck accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that our clients do not pay us a penny up front if you hire us to represent you. We obtain our fees based on a percentage of any financial settlement or monetary jury award, if the case ends up going to trial. (We've written before about how most cases don't make it to a courtroom – you can read more about that here.)
One simple phone call to 239-461-5508 can get you immediate answers to your questions, at no cost to you. We'll tell you whether we feel you have a case or not, and provide valuable legal insights on how to move forward. You may also complete this simple form and one of our truck accident lawyers will contact you immediately.
Serious trucking accidents can leave a person in physical and financial ruins. Don't hesitate to reach out to us and get the help you need.