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Deadly Tractor Trailer Crash in Florida

A crash between a semi truck and a van in Hamilton County resulted in the death of one man and serious injuries to four others, according to an article by the Gainesville Sun.

Semi Truck Accident Turns Deadly

The Chevrolet van was rear ended by the tractor trailer this past Sunday early in the morning. The driver of the van, Jesus Rivera, and it’s occupants were not wearing their seat belts and were all ejected from the vehicle as it spun out of control and overturned. Unfortunately, one of the passengers, Leonides Vasquez, died in the crash and was taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Jacksonville. The others, including the driver of the semi truck, Dean A. Leuzinger, were taken to the hospital.

Odds Not Good In Crashes Between Regular Vehicles and Big Trucks

For obvious reasons, every time there is a crash between a regular family car – even a van or an SUV – and a tractor trailer, the odds of survival for those traveling in the family car are slim at best.

According to the last statistics available from the Federal Motor Carrier Administration regarding crashes between large trucks (trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds) and regular passenger cars, 88,445 passenger car occupants died between 1975 and 2008. See Table 10 of the report.

The investigation into the causes of the accident in Hamilton County continue, yet given that the semi truck rear ended the van, the driver of the tractor trailer may be held liable. By the same token, the failure of the occupants of the van to wear their seat belts, may be found to have seen a contributing factor to the resulting injuries and death.

Florida and Comparative Negligence

Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that when apportioning liability in a negligence case, the blame (and consequently, the liability or duty to pay for the consequences) is distributed between the parties depending of their actions. For example, the occupants of the van in this case will likely be assigned a percentage of liability for their failure to wear seat belts. Such percentage will then be deducted from any sums they may be found entitled to at the end of the trial. Lesson: failing to wear a seat belt may not only hurt your body, it can also hurt your pocket…

If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling these cases. The Miami Dade County Truck Accidents Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano has throughout the years represented many clients involved in traffic fatalities, traumatic brain injuries and serious personal injuries. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.

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