Truck Accident Lawyer Serving Belle Glade
Considering the number of trucks that travel the roadways in Belle Glade, it’s no surprise that there are a large number of truck accidents. These accidents can be due to poor weather conditions, mechanical failure due to extensive driving miles, etc. When these accidents occur, they often cause severe or catastrophic injuries and property damage. In essence, commercial truck accidents account for about 10% of roadway accident fatalities. This is just one of the reasons why truck accident lawyers, serving Belle Glade, have dealt with so many cases involving commercial truck accidents.What can cause a Truck Accident in Belle Glade?
As stated earlier, a truck accident can be due to inclement weather or mechanical failure. However, there are also many other reasons for these occurrences. One of the most common reasons for these accidents can be linked to one specific reason, however, and that reason is “negligence”. When it comes to negligence, some of the most obvious Belle Glade truck accident episodes pertain to:
A Truck Driver’s Error – This is one of the most common. It needs to be understood that a commercial truck is a very sizable combustion-driven machine that can travel at a high rate of speed. This huge machine is completely controlled by a single individual who must stay alert at all times and be prepared for any unexpected events on the road. If you should happen to throw mind-altering substances (amphetamines, alcohol, etc.) into the mix, then you have a recipe for disaster. In truth, drugs that are designed to keep a driver from falling asleep are quite common in the trucking industry. Unfortunately, being “awake” doesn’t necessarily equate to being “alert” and possessing good judgment. Other Belle Glade truck accident causes can include:
- Commercial vehicles that have been loaded past their legal limits
- Large trucks that are being driven on narrow roadways
- “Blind spots” that prevent a driver from seeing an obstacle
- Truck driving statutes that are violated
- Refusing to take government-mandated break times
- Refusing to adhere to government-mandated driving hours
- Vehicles that haven’t had regular inspections
- Trucking companies that hire unfit drivers
- Lack of driver supervision
- Lack of sufficient driver training
- Selecting trucking companies with poor driving records
Lack of proper truck maintenance – Trucks are driven for far more miles than the average personal vehicle. This amounts to a tremendous amount of wear and tear on parts, such as tires, etc. If the proper maintenance isn’t performed on a regularly scheduled basis, then a parts failure is to be expected at some point.
Failure related to equipment – While a driver may not be responsible for any parts that are found to be defective, those parts can still be the cause of Belle Glade truck accidents. Experienced truck accident attorneys may be able to try to accurately determine whether a trucking company or a truck parts manufacturer was responsible for the defective part(s) that led to a truck accident. If this is the case, then the manufacturer can be included in a victim’s claim.
An improperly loaded truck – When loading commercial trucks, great care must be taken in order to ensure that the truck can travel safely on the roads. When a truck hasn’t been loaded correctly, an accident can occur due to cargo breaking free and being scattered over the roadway, causing accidents for other vehicles.Are there specific weight limits for trucks?
A serious hazard on a Belle Glade roadway is a truck that is overweight. Even though federal and state laws mandate truck weight limitations, you can still find trucks that have been loaded past the legal limits. Weight limitations can be seen at: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The way that truck weight limitations have been calculated include items such as; vehicle weight ratings, vehicle working load limits, braking ability, etc.
When driving on the highway, you can see a number of federal and state “weigh stations” that are designed to inspect commercial trucks. However, even with numerous inspection programs in place, there are still a large number of overweight trucks traveling across the state. Weight restrictions that pertain to commercial trucks are:
Semitrailers – The maximum weight that a semi is allowed to carry is:
- 20,000 lb (9,100 kg) on a single axle
- 34,000 lb (15,000 kg) on a tandem
- 80,000 lb (36,000 kg) total for any vehicle or combination
- The maximum weight, per axel, is 20,000 pounds with the axels spaced no less than 40 inches apart and no more than 96 inches apart.
Its maximum width is 8.5 ft (2.6 m) and no maximum height.
U.S. Semitruck – The maximum weight (with full trailer) is 80,000 pounds that is distributed over 18 wheels. (23 U.S.C. 127).
Trucks must also be equipped with a rear-end underride protection device according to 49 C.F.R. s. 393.86
It is equipped with a substantial rear-end underride protection device meeting the requirements of 49 C.F.R. s. 393.86, “Rear End Protection.”Belle Glade Truck Statutes
Under Belle Glade (and the rest of Florida), the statute s. 316.550 stipulates:
- In a truck tractor-semitrailer combination, the semitrailer cannot exceed 48 feet in its overall outside dimension. This is measured from the unit’s front to its rear. This will usually exclude energy conservation and safety devices that have been approved to be utilized on open roads, by the Palm Beach Department of Transportation. 
- In order to operate a semitrailer that is over than 48 feet in its lengths, may only operate in Belle Glade if a special permit is used s. 316.550.
When one attempts to figure out exactly who is to be named liable for a Belle Glade truck accident, you can run into a set of complex issues. For instance, the truck driver could be responsible or perhaps it’s the trucking company. The loading company might even be liable if they overloaded the truck according to order from the trucking company. If the truck driver was aware of this and still drove the truck, then that driver would share some of the responsibility. So, as you can see, determining actual truck accident liability can develop into a complicated affair. This is why it can be a good idea to turn to an experienced truck accident lawyer for assistance.
An experienced truck accident attorney can try to help by:
Helping to determine whether your accident was the fault of the truck driver, trucking company, loading company or parts manufacturer. Additional issues that may be considered relate to:
- Medical treatment for injuries
- Medical expenses (past and present)
- Physical Therapy and rehabilitation
- A vehicle or house modification that is needed to accommodate a disability
- Current lost job earnings and future lost wages
- Psychological issues related to the trauma of the accident
- Losing one’s spouse, parent or child relationship (loss of consortium)
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle damage or replacement
- Other accident-related costs
An experienced truck accident attorney can try to help you to obtain compensation for your damages.National Statistics: Truck Accidents
- With fatalities for large truck crashes, 68% of those killed were riding in the smaller vehicle, also 15% were bicyclists, motorcyclists and even pedestrians. This is compared with only 16% of truck occupants who were killed.
- From the years 2009 to 2014, an increase in the number of truck accident fatalities amounted to 16% of reported accidents.
- About 59% of the deaths involving commercial trucks have occurred on major roadways that were not part of any interstate or freeway system. Also, 9% have occurred on smaller roadways.
- Truck accidents occur most frequently during the hours between 6 a.m. - 3 p.m., when 47% have been documented. Also, during those times, 47% of fatalities have also been reported.
- About 16% of commercial truck accidents happen on the weekend (Saturday and Sunday).
This should really come as no surprise when you consider that a commercial truck, that is fully loaded, weighs about 80,000 lbs. (or even more). Passenger cars tend to weigh about 5,000 lbs., and are no match for the size and weight of a commercial vehicle. Should these two vehicle types get into an accident, those who were riding in the passenger car are far more likely to suffer serious injuries (or fatalities) than those who happened to be in the commercial truck.Florida Statute of Limitations for Truck Accidents Caused by Negligence
Another important point that you should take into consideration is the fact that there are statutes of limitation that govern truck accidents. In Florida, the statute of limitations for negligence is 4 years from the time of your accident. In the case of a wrongful death, a lawsuit must be filed within 2 years from the time of the accident. There are some exceptions to this, but these are exceptionally rare. This is why it’s important to speak with a truck accident lawyer as soon as you can, after a truck accident. This can make it easier for the attorney to try to secure the necessary evidence for your claim..
In addition, the first consultation is free so you have nothing to lose by speaking with an attorney. An attorney may assist you in determining what your options are, in the case of a Belle Glade truck accident.What damages can I claim in a Belle Glade truck accident?
The damages that a truck accident victim may claim fall into two categories. These are:
- Economic damages – These relate to medical costs, income loss, etc.
- Non-economic damages – These relate to items such as; pain and suffering loss of companionship and consortium and other issues that are not considered financial losses.
Deaths and injuries from a Belle Glade overloaded/overweight truck accident can be the result of reckless behavior, which may occur in Belle Glade at any given time. In addition, it’s important to understand that while high speeds are often a factor, there are also many times when this isn’t the situation. There have been a number of cases in which a very low speed truck crash has resulted in severe injuries. If you or a loved one are involved in a Belle Glade overloaded/overweight truck accident, it is advised that you seek medical care and the advice of a truck accident personal injury attorney.
Seek the advice of a personal injury truck accident attorney, who can try to assist in receiving the best care and compensation that you rightfully deserve. Therefore, when you or a loved one are involved in a Belle Glade overweight/overloaded truck accident, contact a personal injury attorney, serving Belle Glade.
Discuss your case with an Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accident Personal Injury Attorney Serving Belle Glade Today! Turn to Frankl Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Call 561-800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.