Truck Accident Lawyers Serving Lake Worth
For those who travel the roadways in Lake Worth, Florida, it’s hard to imagine that they don’t notice the large number of commercial trucks that are travelling alongside them. As a matter of fact, this is the case throughout the entire state. Unfortunately, since this state has a large number of 18-wheelers on the road, there is also a larger number of truck-related accidents here, as well.
A recent article by WPTV listed I-95 and 6th Ave and 1-95 and 10th Ave of the most dangerous intersections in Palm Beach County and with that comes increased risk of being injured in a traffic accident, or worse, death. According to the Florida Highway & Safety, have even shown that truck accidents account for about 10% of the fatalities in this state’s highway accidents.
Needless to say, the reasons for these truck accidents will vary quite a bit. Some of these accidents are due to poor weather, faulty road conditions and some are caused by the negligent actions of others. If you or a loved one are injured in a truck accident due to the negligence of another, contact Frankl & Kominsky injury lawyers for legal guidance.Leading Causes for Truck Accidents in Lake Worth
There are a number of different causes that can account for a truck accident. Unexpected reasons (worn truck parts, bad weather, etc.) are certainly to blame for a number of these. However, the negligent actions of other individuals can create a catastrophic situation in which horrendous injuries and fatalities can result. These are the occurrences that need not happen at all and, in most cases, could have been avoided just by following the laws that pertain to truck operation. Here are some of the leading causes of truck accidents in Lake Worth:
Truck driver errors – This is one of the most prevalent reasons for serious truck accidents in Lake Worth. With just a small amount of thought, one can reach an accurate conclusion as to why this is the case. Consider the aspects of the truck, itself. We’re looking at a very large and heavy machine that is designed to travel at a high rate of speed (often at over a mile per minute). That vehicle is fueled by a highly flammable liquid that, in essence, makes the truck a high-speed explosive device. On top of this, the vehicle is controlled by a single human operator through the use a small (steering) wheel and a few other simple controlling devices (gas pedal, brake, etc.). At a high rate of speed, even a simple misjudgment can cause the driver to lose complete control of the vehicle and crash into another vehicle or piece of property. Now consider the fact that the driver of this vehicle may not have had enough rest or sleep and may even be under the influence of drugs, alcohol or driving while distracted. Unfortunately, being “awake” is not the same as being “alert”.
Here are a few other driver-related problems in which poor judgment can cause a truck accident:
- Agreeing to drive a truck that has been loaded past its maximum legal weight
- Driving on narrow roads that are not designed for a large truck to travel safely on.
- Disobeying state truck driving laws
- Ignoring truck driving hours limitations
- Agreeing to drive an improperly inspected truck
- Not taking the time to become qualified for the job
- Ignoring the legal break time requirements
- Finding a company to drive for that will hide their poor driving record
- Not paying attention to rear view mirror “blind spots”
- Lack of truck driving experience
- Driving for too long without taking a break
- Failure to monitor the driving hours of the truck driver
- Not keep the tractor and/or trailer in a safe, working condition
- Hiring an unqualified or unfit truck driver
Poorly Maintained Trucks - A commercial truck will invariably spend a lot more time on the road than the average vehicle. This amounts to extra wear on the brakes, tires and various critical truck parts. If there is a lack of a proper regulated inspection, these parts can fail at any given point in time.
Trying to save money by purchasing cheaper, poor quality parts – A truck accident lawyer can try to determine if the accident was parts-related.
Improperly loaded or overloaded trucks – For a commercial truck to safely drive on the road, it must be loaded according to legal standards and limitations. There can be a situation in which; the trucking company, the loading company, the driver or any combination of the three is responsible for placing an improperly loaded truck on the road. In this situation, the cargo may come loose and spill out over the roadway or the driver may lose control of a truck that is too heavy for its design.Overloaded Trucks
In Lake Worth (and the rest of the country) one of the biggest problems in truck industry consists of trucks that are carrying far too much weight. Even with highway weigh stations and other programs in place to monitor truck weight this is still a huge issue. Federal weight limits for commercial trucks can be found at: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. For example:
Semi Trailers – 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.”Truck Accidents and National Statistics
- 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).
An employer may be held responsible for its employees’ actions, as long as the employees acted in the scope of their employment. This means a trucking company or another large corporation can potentially be held liable for the injuries you sustained in a South Florida commercial truck accident.
Occasionally, truck accidents occur because of negligent actions on the part of a truck maintenance company, truck manufacturer, parts manufacturer, or even a tire company. Our experienced attorneys can try to help determine who is liable for your injuries, and pursue a claim for compensation based on the liable party’s insurance policy.How Long do I Have to File a Lawsuit for My Lake Worth Truck Accident Claim?
If you decide to file a truck accident lawsuit, it’s important to understand that there is a statute of limitations. In a negligence case, you will have just 4 years from the time of the accident in order to file your lawsuit. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the four years, your case will likely be dismissed. There are some exceptions to this, but these are quite rare. In addition, if the accident victim has been killed, then the victim’s estate will only have 2 years from the date of death in order to file. You can find the specific information here: Florida Statute section 95.11(3)(a). If you have any questions, speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer for assistance.
Ask Attorney Ethan Kominsky: Why should I hire a truck accident attorney to represent me?What Damages can I Pursue in My Lake Worth Truck Accident Claim?
If you sustain injuries due to a truck accident, you can try to pursue damages. These damages generally fall into two categories: Economic Damages and Non-Economic Damages:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Lost wages and future lost wages
- Lost of earning capacity
- Loss of Consortium - losing a spouse, parent or child
- Pain and Suffering
- Repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Other accident-related expenses
If you or a loved one are injured in a truck accident, here are some suggestions on what you may choose to do:
The very first thing would be to contact the Police Department and Emergency Medical Services and report what has happened. Then you should exchange information with the other driver (while remaining calm and not placing any blame).
This information should consist of the following: driver’s full name, contact information, driver’s license number, a clear description of what vehicle they were driving, their license plate number and their insurance information. You should take a number of photos of the accident scene and the vehicles involved – but without getting in the way of the investigating officer. Get the contact information of any witnesses as well.
Afterwards, you should go straight to the hospital or to your own doctor. Undergo a complete medical examination. It is possible that your injuries will not show up until a day or so after the initial crash. Keep all medical bills and doctor’s reports in one single file in your home.
Avoid speaking to the other insurance company and do not accept any money or sign any documents without first speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney.
Above all, if you sustain injuries in a truck accident, you should immediately contact an experienced truck accident attorney for advice on how to proceed with your claim. The initial consultation is completely free – so you will have nothing to lose. Let the attorneys at Frankl and Kominsky handle the insurance company, so you have time to recover.How an Injury Lawyer can Help with Your Truck Accident Claim
Deaths and injuries from a Lake Worth truck accident can be the result of reckless behavior, which may occur in Lake Worth 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 and even led to a person’s death. If you or a loved one are involved in a Lake Worth truck accident, it is advised that you seek medical care and the advice of a truck accident personal injury attorney serving Lake Worth.Start Your Free Consultation Today
Seek the advice of a personal injury truck accident attorney serving Lake Worth, who can try to assist in pursuing the care and compensation that you rightfully deserve.
Discuss your case with a Truck Accident Attorney Serving Lake Worth Today! Turn to Frankl & Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance with 75 Million Recovered in Accident & Injury Settlements, 40+ Years Combined Legal Experience, and over 6,000 clients and families represented. Call 561-800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.