Our country runs on large trucks and large commercial transport vehicles keeping goods and people moving. In Florida, these vehicles often require specially licensed drivers who undergo considerable extra training. There are Florida and Federal regulations which apply throughout these occupations and industries. However, even with this extra training and regulation, trucking accidents and commercial vehicle accidents happen every day, frequently causing permanent injury and/or death.
The results of truck accidents can be devastating. When seriously injured, the combined effects of lost wages, medical bills, pain, and suffering can take a dramatic toll, both emotionally and financially. Family can suffer, too. Often times it is the family that has to step in to make up the difference and support an injured person’s recovery. One can only imagine the toll a death caused by a truck accident could take on those left behind.
Accidents, by definition, can strike anytime. Common contributing factors to commercial truck accidents can include:
- Fatigue or exceeding permissible hours driving
- Equipment failure from poor maintenance or repair
- Traffic law violations
- Distracted driving (e.g. cell phones)
- Improper loading
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or
- Other negligent acts
Sometimes, not only is the driver at fault, but third parties like owners, leasing companies, or the people who loaded the truck may be responsible. When someone has been injured or killed in a trucking accident or commercial vehicle accident in Florida, an experienced attorney can help identify all those responsible and what evidence is available to prove the claim.
Trucking accidents and commercial vehicle accidents are not typical in how they should be handled. Inexperienced attorneys tend to treat these cases like typical car accidents. This can lead to a case settling under value, a failure to recover, or a failure to preserve critical evidence, among other things. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident or by a commercial vehicle accident in Florida, contact The Law Office of Sean Clayton, P.A. to receive your initial free consultation.WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BEEN IN A TRUCKING ACCIDENT OR COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCIDENT
First, if you can, make sure you are in a safe place after a trucking accident or commercial vehicle accident. Many people have been injured as a result of secondary accidents because they were inadvertently standing in the road after an initial accident.
Next, seek medical attention if injured in a trucking accident or commercial vehicle accident. Everyone insured in Florida should have automotive insurance that includes some PIP benefits to assist with the cost of getting the medical help you need, regardless of fault. Remember, in order to take advantage of those PIP benefits you only have fourteen (14) days to see an approved medical professional. Regardless of whether you have insurance, though, get appropriate medical assistance. As they say, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.
As with any accident, you want to preserve as much evidence as you can in a trucking accident or commercial vehicle accident. Photographs of the scene, gouge marks, and debris in the road, as well as witness names and statements can be very helpful when the time comes to prove what happened.
In addition, it is important to collect the driver’s logs and maintenance records to ensure compliance with applicable regulations. Some trucks even have a “black box.” Like in an airplane, sometimes there are Electronic Control Modules (ECM) or Event Data Recorders (EDR) which record the movements of the vehicle and the actions of the driver. Sometimes these are collectively referred to as the “black box.” This is where hiring an experienced trucking accident and commercial vehicle accident attorney can come in handy. Attorneys like those at The Law Office of Sean Clayton, P.A., can help you gather all this evidence and identify from which parties you might recover. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.