Truck Accident Lawyers Serving Lantana
Lantana is a quaint town nestled between Lake Worth and Boynton Beach, Florida with a growing population of over 10,000 residents that call Lantana home. Many of the residents use major highways such as I-95, the Florida Turnpike, and Federal Highway to commute to and from neighboring cities. A recent article by WPTV named the intersections at Lantana Road and I-95 and I-95 and Hypoluxo Road some of the most dangerous in Palm Beach County.
Commercial trucks can frequently be seen travelling along the roadways of Lantana. The unfortunate aspect of this situation is that where there are a significant number of commercial trucks, there is also a large number of truck accidents that can go with them. As a matter of fact, ten percent of the state’s road accident fatalities can be attributed to truck accidents!
Commercial trucks are considered, by some, to be the backbone of the American business industry. At one point in time, ships and railroads were the main source of transporting good and their abilities were limited. Once commercial trucks came on the scene, everything changed. Now, you have every example of commercial goods travelling at a relatively high rate of speed across the United States. However, with this advantage there are also problems that have arisen.
Of course, truck accidents don’t all stem from the same cause. There is a wide variety of circumstances that may lead up to a truck accident. If you become injured in a Lantana truck accident due to someone else’s negligence, then you should contact a truck accident lawyer serving Lantana for legal guidance on how to proceed.What Causes Truck Accidents in Lantana, Florida
As already stated, there are different reasons why a truck accident can take place. Of course, unexpected situations (foul weather, etc.) may lead to an accident. But the negligence of others may also lead to an accident in which a serious injury or fatality may result. The sad part is that with these situations, an accident could have been avoided if proper care was given to some very obvious aspects of truck transportation. In many cases, just following the laws of the federal and state government could mean the difference between life and death. Here are some common situations in which failure to follow the law has resulted in a catastrophic commercial truck accident:
Truck driver error – This is one of the most common reasons for a truck crash in Lantana. Part of this problem can come about due to the underestimation given by a commercial truck driver. After having driven a truck for a long period of time, a driver may underestimate the power that an 18-wheeler represents. When looked at closely, we can see a commercial truck as a huge and very heavy piece of machinery that has been created to travel at speeds over one mile per minute. This machine is propelled by a highly flammable chemical mixture which makes this machine a virtual travelling rocket/bomb.
On top of all this, the machine is completely controlled by a set of levers, pedals and a (relatively) small wheel designed for steering. In addition, the operator of this machine is a single individual who must remain completely focused during every second of travel. Here, a single mistake may result in the driver losing control and, as a result, crash into another vehicle or object at a high rate of speed. Now, for example, what do you think might happen if the driver of this vehicle has their judgement impaired because they are using illegal substances in order to stay awake? What if this person doesn’t understand that staying “awake” is a far cry from staying “alert”? Other driver errors may include:
- Accepting a driving assignment in which the truck has been loaded with cargo that exceeds the legal weight limit.
- Trying to save time by travelling on a back road that is too narrow and not designed for commercial trucks to drive on.
- Ignoring state and federal driving statutes.
- Ignoring state and federal limits to how long they may drive during a single day.
- Accepting a vehicle that has obviously not received its legally mandated inspections.
- Driving through the state and federal mandated break periods.
- Ignoring the driving regulations in their area.
- Driving too aggressively in order to lower their driving time.
Poor Maintenance - Consider the fact that commercial trucks will usually travel on the roads for many more miles than the average passenger car. While the average car requires regular maintenance and parts repairs/replacements, a commercial truck is especially subject to problems with part’s wearing out. This is especially true of brakes, tires and other critical parts. With poorly maintained trucks, there is always the danger of a worn or broken part causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Overloaded Trucks – There are legal standards when it comes to how much cargo may be carried by each type of commercial truck. Here is a situation in which a trucking company, loading company, truck driver or any combination of the three may be responsible for the illegal overloading of trucks or improperly loaded vehicles. Improper loading may result in loss of driver control or having the truck’s cargo spill out all over the roadway, causing a major hazard.National Truck Accident Statistics
National statistics, for large truck and bus accidents have reported:
- 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).
In Lantana (and the rest of the U.S.) one of the most serious problems concerns commercial trucks that are overloaded. Although there are programs that are put into place (including numerous weigh stations), overweight trucks are still a major issue.
Federal commercial truck weight limits can be found at: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
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 axles 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.”Who is Responsible for My Accident Involving a Commercial Truck?
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 Lantana Truck Accident Claim?
If you decide to file a lawsuit for your truck accident, 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.Damages You Can Claim
The damages that a truck accident victim may be able claim will fall under 2 categories. These are:
- Economic damages – These include; medical expenses, lost income from being out of work and property that may include a damaged motor vehicle.
- Non-economic damages – This includes; pain & suffering, loss of consortium and any other item that doesn’t fall under the heading of a financial loss.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Lost wages and future lost wages
- Lost of earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- 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 truck accident can be the result of reckless behavior, which may occur in Lantana 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.
Seek the advice of a truck accident attorney serving Lantana, who can assist in pursuing the care and compensation that you rightfully deserve. Therefore, if you or a loved one are involved in a Lantana truck accident, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys.Start Your Free Consultation Today
Discuss your case with a Truck Accident Personal Injury Attorney Serving Lantana 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.