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The Miami truck accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano recognize that drunk and drugged driving continues to be a significant problem in the trucking industry. Truckers spend long hours on the road, often at night. This sometimes leads truckers to ingest stimulant type drugs or drink alcohol while behind the wheel.  Federal regulations have long required trucking companies to drug and alcohol test employees, but information concerning a truck driver’s refusal to take a test or failure of a drug test has never been compiled in one national database.  In turn, there have been several serious accidents involving drivers that had failed drug tests, but employers were unaware of their status due to the localized nature of drug test records.

The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently announced a final rule calling for the establishment of a national drug and alcohol testing database for commercial truck drivers. The database will contain records for all commercial driver’s license holders who violate the D.O.T.’s drug and alcohol testing regulations. The rule will take effect January 4, 2017, and go into action for employers on January 6.  Continue reading →

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Accidents involving commercial trucks are among the most serious and deadly accidents on the roads. The average tractor-trailer today weighs in at about 80,000 pounds.  When a vehicle of this size collides with a much smaller passenger vehicle weighing between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds, the results can be catastrophic.  Truck accident victims may incur considerable losses due to their injuries stemming from the crash.  Potential truck accident injuries include medical expenses, lost wages, permanent disability, pain and suffering, and more.  For families that lose their loved ones in a truck accident, financial and emotional losses can be immeasurable.  At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, our Miami truck accident attorneys understand the tremendous losses truck accident victims may suffer. Receiving full compensation for these losses is of critical importance.

High Profile Truck Accidents

A review of recent truck accident verdicts and settlements indicates that the number of large awards has gone up drastically in recent years. The Department of Transportation reports that fewer people were killed in truck accidents in the past decade, but this figure has increased in the past year.  As the number of truck accidents seems to be rising, so does the value of settlements and verdicts, in part due to several high profile truck accident cases.

The case of Tracy Morgan, et al. v Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. captured the nation’s attention. In the case, comedian Tracy Morgan and several others filed suit against Wal-Mart after they were seriously injured by a Wal-Mart truck driver.  Evidence revealed that the horrific crash, which also killed one individual, stemmed from the truck driver’s fatigue.  The Wal-Mart driver had not slept in more than 24 hours prior to the accident.  Wal-Mart and Morgan reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount, while the family members of the man killed settled for $10 million.

Since 2011, there have been several truck accident cases in which the settlement or verdict resulted in $20 million or more. For instance, in a 2011 case, a Texas jury awarded $281 million to the family of a man killed when the truck’s drive shaft came off and came through the truck’s windshield.  The award was later reduced to $105 million and the case subsequently settled for an undisclosed figure. Continue reading →

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Truck driver distraction is one of the leading causes of truck accidents nationally. Truck drivers spend long hours on the road and may be tempted to reach for their cell phones while driving.  Drivers who text, talk on the phone, surf the web, or engage in like activities not only violate federal law, but they place themselves and others at considerable risk.  At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, our truck accident attorneys have over 130 years of combined experience representing truck accident victims injured due to driver distraction. We know that distracted driving crashes are often among the most serious.  We fight for the full financial recovery of 18 wheeler accident victims who have suffered at the hands of distracted truck drivers.

The Tragic Death of Tim Huffman

Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Tim Huffman was killed in 2013 when the driver of an empty fuel tanker drove his truck at 65 miles per hour into several police cars and two fire trucks that were responding to an accident. Investigations revealed that Huffman was using his phone at the time of the accident to go on Facebook.  The truck driver was so distracted he did not even slow down to avoid hitting the large vehicles in front of him.  In the criminal case of State of Arizona v. Espinoza, the distracted truck driver was convicted of negligent homicide and sentenced to six years in prison.

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Tanker trucks are trucks designed to carry gas, liquid, or dry bulk cargo.  Often, these trucks are flammable.  Serious accidents or malfunctions can cause some tanker trucks to combust, which can seriously injure or even kill truck drivers and the drivers or passengers in vehicles traveling near the tanker.  At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, our Miami tanker truck accident attorneys have assisted many clients injured in truck accident related fires.  We have seen first-hand the tremendous damages that a combustible tanker truck can inflict.  Our firm will diligently work to protect your legal rights by pursuing your case against the negligent trucker or trucking company that caused your injuries.

Recent Tanker Accidents

A tanker fire recently shut down the Sunshine Skyway bridge that crosses Tampa Bay. Police report that the tanker was crossing the bridge in the morning hours when its right front tire blew out.  The truck, carrying 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel, crashed into the outside barrier wall of the bridge and caught fire.  Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident, but the bridge sustained damage that required its closure for some time after the accident.

Several months after this Florida crash, a winter ice storm contributed to a horrific multiple-vehicle accident and tanker truck crash. Icy roads lead to an unprecedented 55 car crash in which two people were killed.  Then, a tanker truck traveling on the I-95 corridor near Baltimore flipped over the median of the interstate and burst into flames. Continue reading →

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Multiple vehicle accidents commonly occur when one accident triggers subsequent crashes. Commercial trucks are often involved in multi-vehicle accidents and can lead to greater injuries due to their immense size.  Our Miami truck accident attorneys understand that chain reaction truck crashes present some unique legal issues. Truck accident victims injured in a multiple vehicle crash must present evidence establishing the link between their injuries and the initial act of negligence.  At times, this can be difficult to prove due to the events that may have transpired between the first and second crash.

At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, our South Florida 18-wheeler accident lawyers have assisted a number of clients injured in chain reaction truck crashes.  We will carefully review the facts surrounding your chain reaction accident to uncover the responsible driver.  Our experienced litigation attorneys will then assist you in following the best course of action to recover damages for your truck accident related losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Ready v. RWI Transportation, Inc.

The Mississippi case of Ready v. RWI Transportation, Inc. illustrates some of the complexities surrounding chain reaction truck crashes. In this case, the defendant, who operated a semi-truck, acted negligently and caused a crash with a pickup truck.  Roughly an hour later, and three-quarters of a mile from the first crash, a second accident happened that injured the plaintiff.  The plaintiff claimed that the negligent truck driver is also liable for this accident and the subsequent injuries it inflicted. Continue reading →

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With the extensive experience we have had as truck crash attorneys, know that longer trucks mean greater danger on Interstate highways. Others in Florida share our opinion. In September of 2015, the Sun Sentinel editorial board passionately and convincingly wrote about the hazards motorists face if forced to share the road with trucks approximately 91 feet in length.  The editorial board hit the issue right on the nose.

Congress proposed allowing interstate commercial carriers the option of connecting two-33 foot long trailers (sometimes referred to as “twin-33s”) hitched together by a dolly to a tractor. Federal law permits two-28 foot long trailers (“twin-28s”). Anecdotally, the editorial board argued that passing two-28 foot long trailers hitched together is difficult. The board noted that these trailers are difficult to overtake or pass because the wind blows them around. The board speculates that adding 10 feet to the passing distance will make passing harder. The board did note that approximately 4,000 people were killed and about 100,000 people injured in large truck accidents annually. Twin-28s already have an 11% higher fatality rate than the standard length 53-foot tractor trailers.

Other evidence supports this claim. An independent study recently published from the University of Tennessee estimates that truck crash fatalities will increase by 200 people per year if twin-33s were permitted on the roads. Additionally, the pavement and bridges over which these huge trucks must pass create additional strain on the infrastructure. The independent study determined that bridge and repair costs would reach $5 to $10 Billion annually. Continue reading →

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As experienced South Florida accident and injury attorneys, we look to federal safety regulations during our accident investigations. The federal and state safety regulations help us prove the negligence or recklessness of truck drivers who caused injury to our clients. Federal and state regulators play a vital role in protecting the public from harm resulting from unsafe trucks and negligent driving behavior.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a federal agency charged with enforcing safety regulations relating to commercial vehicles such as big rigs, cargo tankers, and large passenger buses used in interstate commerce.  The FMCSA has the authority to investigate commercial vehicle crashes as well as investigate truckers’ compliance with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. The FMCSA may revoke licenses for failure to comply with safety regulations. The FMCSA regularly revokes DOT licenses for failure to abide by safety regulations and endangering the public. The FMCSA issued two such rulings within the last two years.

In August of 2016, the FMCSA revoked the DOT license of a Florida company after an investigation into a deadly crash. The agency ordered the company to cease all commercial activity involving its trucks whether in or out of the state of Florida. The FMCSA found that the company posed an imminent threat to public safety.  The crash happened on July 2, 2016, when the commercial vehicle failed to stop at an intermittent red light and slammed into another commercial vehicle that had the right-of-way. Five people died in the crash, and twenty-four others suffered injuries. Continue reading →

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As one of the top Miami truck accident injury law firms, we need to understand accident reconstruction. Sometimes we hire our own experts to reconstruct the crash for us and then testify at trial Most times, however, law enforcement reconstructs the accident as a vital component of their investigation.  We can use the law enforcement investigation as part of our case against the truck driver and truck company. We work very hard to digest the science behind the conclusions in the report and convey the concepts in a way that works best for the case.

Accident reconstructionists agree that every accident is made up of similar events. Each event provides valuable data which needs to be closely analyzed. Every step in the analysis leads to a conclusion. Faulty data and incorrect presumptions can give rise to an erroneous conclusion. Care must be taken by the crash reconstruction to accurately record the data and use the appropriate equations to make findings and draw conclusions.  Continue reading →

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As Miami-based personal injury attorneys, we see crashes frequently that involve dump trucks. Dump trucks are especially dangerous because of their potential to cause significant harm. The trucks are heavy, fast, and do not stop on a dime.  Motorists must beware of the risk of truck crashes. A distracted driver or a driver operating a dump truck that is not well maintained has the potential to cause massive loss of life and cause serious personal injuries.

The state of Florida has experienced several terrible dump truck accidents in 2016. For example, on October 17, 2016, in Collier County, a dump truck crashed killed a 45-year-old woman. The woman was turning left with a green, left turn arrow. A large dump truck operated by a man ran the red light. The dump truck slammed into the woman’s car broadside, sometimes known as a “T-bone” collision. The woman’s car immediately burst into flames. The woman perished at the scene.  The dump truck driver was unharmed. This accident illustrates the dangers dump trucks pose on the street, especially when the driver negligently operates the dump truck. According to the news report on this crash, criminal charges are pending against the driver.  Continue reading →

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Our truck accident attorneys report on a recent truck crash took the lives of twelve passengers and a driver of the tour bus in the morning hours of October 23, 2016. The bus was returning to Los Angeles and crashed while returning from a casino near San Diego. The bus carried 43 passengers and a driver. All on the bus were either seriously injured or killed when the bus slammed into an 18-wheeler without braking. The operator of the 18-wheeler was also injured in the crash. This senseless tragedy highlights the danger trucks and tour buses pose to ordinary motorists and pedestrians alike if the large vehicle operators fail to adhere to the requisite safety standards.

In this particular case, the tour bus driver and the company that owned the tour bus appear to be at fault for this horrific crash.  The National Transportation Safety Board and that California Highway Patrol continues to investigate why the cause of the crash. Those agencies did, however, release preliminary information about the accident. According to a report published in the L.A. Times, federal officials stated that two of the eight tires on the bus malfunctioned. They believe, at least initially, that the tire failure caused the crash.  Officials said that the two tires fitted on the axle which controls the steering of the bus were unsafe. The treads were wore down so low that they were below the minimum standard of 4/32 of an inch. The steering tires were virtually bald. Continue reading →

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