The massive length and weight of tractor-trailers threatens the safety of others on Florida roadways. Large commercial trucks are less responsive in emergencies that require sudden braking or evasive driving maneuvers. The trucking industry is subject to extensive regulations designed to promote safety in semi-truck maintenance; commercial carrier hiring, training, and supervision of drivers; and vehicle driving practices. Because there is a lot of conflicting information circulating on the web about trucking accident litigation, this blog post clears up some common myths about trucking cases.
Myth #1: Trucking accident claims will be tied up in litigation for years.
Although some trucking accident claims take years to settle, many tractor-trailer injury victims receive compensation through a settlement in much less time. Further, the vast majority of trucking accidents are settled without the need for a trial. Even when a trucking case is intensely litigated, accident victims do not typically spend significant amounts of time in the courtroom. An experienced Florida trucking accident lawyer can appear for the injury victim at most courtroom hearings.
Myth #2: Self-representation in a trucking accident lawsuit is a viable option.
The challenge of confronting trucking companies, insurance defense attorneys, accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, and extensive litigation resources is difficult for a layperson in any personal injury lawsuit arising out of a motor vehicle accident. However, trucking litigation involves particularly problematic issues, such as understanding the complex matrix of trucking regulations, gathering and preserving evidence, and analyzing the dynamics of a large truck crash to identify the cause. The complexity and cost associated with trucking litigation makes retaining an experienced trucking lawyer extremely important to protect the injury victim’s rights and pursue appropriate remedies.
Myth #3: Fatigue is not a significant cause of tractor-trailer collisions because federal regulations mitigate the risk of truck driver drowsiness.
Hours of service (HOS) rules do mandate rest periods and cap the number of hours drivers spend behind the wheel or otherwise engaged in job-relate duties. However, these regulations are routinely ignored. Commercial drivers frequently keep one logbook for law enforcement officers and a separate log for their employer. These records are habitually falsified because truckers increase their pay by exceeding HOS limits. Commercial carriers often look the other way because profits increase if big-rigs remain on the roads for more hours.
Myth #4: Black boxes installed on large commercial trucks makes proving fault easier in trucking cases.
The information stored in an electronic data recorder (also called a “black box”) can provide valuable information about causes that contribute to a trucking accident, but aggressive intervention may be necessary to prevent loss of the data. Many types of evidence also should be sought to corroborate or supplement black box data, such as motel receipts, gas bills, tire purchase records, body damage to the large truck, and other types of proof. The issue of determining fault or allocating fault among multiple responsible parties in trucking accidents is virtually never a straightforward matter. Further, the commercial carrier and trucker’s insurers will more tenaciously dispute the severity of a trucking victim’s injuries when abundant evidence exists establishing negligence by the trucking company and its driver.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Seeking Maximum Recovery from Negligent Commercial Carriers and Semi-Truck Drivers
If you or someone you love has been injured by a commercial driver or trucking company that puts profits above safety, our Miami Semi-Truck Crash Injury Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano tenaciously pursue the fullest compensation for our clients. For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across Florida. We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.