As a driver, there is a lot to think about while on the road. Trucks are some of the biggest threats to driver and passenger safety. Tractor-trailers are an integral cog in America’s economy. We depend on them to move cargo within and between states. They are a permanent fixture on Florida’s roads.
As truck companies compete for business, there is bound to be increased pressure on truck drivers to beat deadlines and test the limits of traffic laws. The result is a push to maximize profit while paying scant regard to the safety of other road users.
If you are the victim of a truck accident, it’s imperative that you seek compensation. The drivers of these vehicles are professionals and have an increased responsibility to drive safely. If they don’t, and you get hurt, you have the legal right to take the company and the driver to court. With the help of an Orlando truck accident attorney, you can earn a proper settlement for your suffering.
If you have been injured following a Florida truck accident, the team at Badgley Law Group can help. In several ways, a truck crash is no ordinary accident. Your potential adversary is usually more formidable than the one you would face in a “normal” car crash. The driver is often the employee of a large trucking company that will do all that is legally possible to avoid being held liable for the accident.
Our team has been fighting for truck accident victims for many years. We understand the unique challenges that come with an Orlando truck accident, and we work diligently to get you the compensation that you need and deserve. Our direct experience in this field gives you an advantage and can help you to win your case.
While our firm is tenacious and unrelenting in the courtroom, we are compassionate with our clients. We know that this is a difficult time for you, and you may feel vulnerable. We do everything in our power to make you feel comfortable and give you the resources to heal physically, emotionally, and financially.
Trucks are the heaviest vehicles on the road. Getting involved in a truck accident is, therefore, a scary thought. In its annual report, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) noted that there were 249 fatalities and 7,411 injuries due to accidents involving light, medium or heavy trucks.
Death or permanent disability is a real possibility, especially for the person in the smaller vehicle. Tractor-trailers can weigh up to 30 times as much as a passenger car and require a much longer distance to come to a halt in the event of an emergency. A 2008 federal report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that among nationwide truck accident fatalities, only 16% were occupants of the truck; 74% were drivers or passengers of a smaller vehicle.
Though truck drivers are professionals, they engage in many practices that put others at risk. It’s important to remember that all drivers, regardless of vehicle size, must adhere to the rules of the road. If they fail to do so, they are acting negligently and should be held responsible. Some of the top forms of truck driver negligence include:
Often, truck accidents are due to one of the above situations, which are the fault of the driver or the trucking company. There will, however, be instances where the truck manufacturer is responsible for the accident due to an equipment defect. There are also some situations in which cars drive recklessly around semi-trucks and cause accidents this way.
Trucking companies usually have extensive insurance for their trucks and drivers. This means that if you are in an accident with a truck, you will have to deal with their insurance company. Though many people believe that insurance companies exist to help customers, they usually do their best to avoid paying. This can cause major issues for you as the victim.
Immediately following the accident, the trucking company, together with its insurer, will commence its own investigation of the crash. As an organization that probably deals with dozens of accidents per year, large trucking companies have elaborate policies and procedures for addressing accident claims. This will include examining the vehicles to ascertain the amount of damage, talking to witnesses, and taking photographs of the scene.
The trucking and insurance companies will deploy their best resources to find out whether there is a loophole that would provide sufficient grounds to release them from all liability. You will therefore need a strong partner by your side when filing a claim.
It’s also important to note that corporate insurance is notoriously difficult to navigate. The insurance will focus on the truck, the trucker, and the damage to the company. Your claim can easily get pushed to the bottom of the pile. This is where an attorney can help.
If you are driving a car, you can’t necessarily control what the semi-trucks around you will do. However, you can take steps to drive more cautiously around them. This may help you to avoid accidents and keep yourself safe.
If you are driving near a semi-truck, follow these tips:
These are not sure-fire ways to avoid an accident, but they can certainly help you and your family to stay safe.
If you do get into an accident with a truck, your safety is top priority. If you are hurt in any way, wait for the authorities to arrive so they can examine you. Do not move from where you are unless you are in direct danger.
If you are relatively unharmed, move to the side of the road. Take photos of the damage, injuries, and debris. Exchange information with the truck driver and wait for the police to arrive. In situations that involve large vehicles, you should always call the police to the scene. If there are witnesses, get their contact information as well.
It’s important that you don’t make any statements of guilt to the truck driver or police. The truck company’s insurance will use this statement against you, and you could lose your chance at a fair settlement. Stick to only facts and try not to elaborate on your experience until you’ve spoken to an attorney.
It’s important that you call your attorney soon after an accident. The faster we can begin to build your case, the more evidence we will have to support your claims. If you wait, the trucking company insurance will likely try to blame your injuries on something else.
Badgley Law Group’s team of Orlando truck accident lawyers has vast experience representing the victims of road collisions. Depending on the nature and severity of the accident, you can sue both the driver of the truck and their employer. Even when you believe that you partly caused the accident, do not suffer in silence. You can still seek compensation under Florida’s laws. Talk to an Orlando truck accident lawyer at Badgley Law Group today.
Contact us online or call us for a free consultation at 407-781-0420.