Truck Accident Lawyer Serving Wellington
Truck accidents can happen at any given time on Wellington roadways. These accidents don’t necessarily have to involve high speeds or inclement weather conditions. Because of the very size of a commercial 18-wheeler, just about any type of accident with a passenger vehicle can have the potential of being catastrophic. As a result, serious injuries and fatalities can occur. A truck accident lawyer, serving Wellington, could tell you that about 1 in 10 vehicle fatalities are the result of an accident in which a commercial truck is involved.What are the causes of Wellington truck accidents?
The reasons why truck accidents occur can fall into a number of different categories. However, the majority of these reasons can point to “negligence” as the primary factor in these accidents. Here are some of the main reasons why truck accidents occur in Wellington:
Driver Error – This is a main cause. Even though a commercial truck represents a huge piece of machinery travelling at relatively high speeds on the road, drivers will still, on occasion, drive recklessly. Driving drowsy is common, in order to meet deadlines and they may even be operating their vehicles under the influence of drugs that are designed to keep them “awake” (but with compromised judgment). Other reasons may include:
- Trucks that are overloaded according to legal parameters
- Oversized trucks that are driven on roads that are too narrow
- Limited visibility due to the truck’s “blind spot”
- Traffic law violations
- Not taking the mandated driving breaks
- Failure to follow the mandated driving hours limitations
- Lack of proper inspections of vehicles and their equipment
- Poor hiring practices when it comes to hiring unfit and inexperienced drivers
- Poor truck driver supervision
- Insufficient driver training
- The selection of a poorly qualified trucking company
Trucks that are poorly maintained – It needs to be understood that trucks are driven far more extensively than the average passenger vehicle. Therefore, wear and tear can easily influence the safety of a commercial truck if proper maintenance isn’t performed.
Equipment Failure – A truck driver may not necessarily be responsible for defective parts on their vehicle, but they can still create a deadly situation. A truck accident attorney can try to determine if either a parts manufacturer or a trucking company is responsible for an accident that involves defective parts. If so, they can be named in a lawsuit, as well.
Cargo That is Loaded Improperly – When a commercial truck is being loaded, it must be done carefully and within the parameters of the law. An improperly loaded truck can result in its cargo becoming dislodged and then strewn over the roadway in front of other vehicles.What are the weight limitations of a truck?
Overweight trucks are a major hazard on Wellington roadways. This can occur despite the fact that national and state limitations have been put into place. These can be seen at: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In order to determine the maximum allowed truck weight, several factors are considered. These include; working load limit, weight rating, braking ability and vehicle axle number.
State and federal agencies attempt to enforce these limitations through the use of weigh stations located on the highways along with different inspection programs that are initiated. Still, there are numerous overloaded truck crashes that are reported on our roadways.
The mandated weight restrictions which apply 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.”
Specific Wellington Statutes
Under Wellington (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 Wellington Department of Transportation.
- In order to operate a semitrailer that is over than 48 feet in its lengths, may only operate in Wellington if a special permit is used s. 316.550.
When setting out to discover who is liable for a Wellington truck accident, a set of complications can suddenly appear. Some of this can relate to the fact that the truck driver might be at fault or the fault may rest with the trucking company or even the loading company. You may even have a situation in which the loading company acted despite knowing they were overloading a truck, but they were doing so under the direct orders of the trucking company. Suppose the driver knew this? As you can see, the determination of liability can get to be rather complicated. This is where an experienced and dedicated truck accident lawyer can be of assistance.
This is the main reason why it’s suggested that someone who has been involved in a truck accident enlist the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney.
Whether or not your truck accident came about through obvious negligence, you might still need assistance when it comes to presenting negligence evidence. In addition, other issues that are associated with your accident may include:
- Various medical expenses
- Subsequent therapy and rehabilitation
- Vehicle or home modifications needed in order to accommodate a resulting disability
- Current and future lost earnings
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Mental anguish and other psychological issues
- Loss of Consortium - losing a spouse, parent or child (in the case of Wrongful Death)
- Past and current pain and suffering
- Repair/replacement of your vehicle
- Other truck accident-related expenses
The national statistics, when it comes to large truck and bus accidents have determined:
- When it comes to fatalities in large truck crashes, 68% of those killed were the ones who were riding in the smaller vehicle, 15% were bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. Compare this with only 16% who were occupants of the trucks.
- A 16% increase in the number of truck accident fatalities have been reported from the years 2009 to 2014.
- Approximately 59% of fatalities involving large trucks happened on major roadways that weren’t part of an interstate or freeway road system. Additionally, 9% occurred on minor roadways.
- When it comes to truck accidents, the most frequent crashes occurred during the hours between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., in which 47%. In addition, during those hours, 47% of truck accident fatalities occurred.
- Also, 16% of truck accidents happened during the weekend (Saturday and Sunday).
These statistics should be no surprise considering that a semi-truck, which is fully-loaded, can weigh about 80,000 lbs. (or more). While the average passenger vehicle generally weighs about 5,000 lbs. Place these two vehicle sizes in a crash and you have a formula that can equate to a catastrophic disaster.What are my rights when it comes to a truck accident?
If you sustain an injury in a Wellington truck accident, you may be able to pursue compensation. Additionally, you may be able to hold the trucking company or the truck driver or both liable for the damages and injuries that you’ve suffered.
When it comes to truck accidents, the main issue has to do with whether or not the at fault party is guilty of negligence. In order to prove that there was negligence, it needs to be shown to the court that the defendant has failed to exercise “reasonable care” in accordance with established state and federal regulations. This involves:
- A failure to exercise reasonable care
- A breach of their duty of care (i.e. lack of proper truck maintenance, overloading the truck. Etc.)
- As a result of this breach, the truck accident occurred
- Damages were sustained as a result of this accident
One other consideration when it comes to a Wellington truck accident is the applicable statute of limitations. Under the law, someone will generally have just 4 years to file a lawsuit (except in very rare cases) for economic and non-economic restitution. In the event of a fatality, close family members or an estate have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Consider speaking with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Since the first consultation is free, you have nothing to lose when it comes to speaking with an attorney, who can help you determine what your options are, in the case of a Wellington truck accident.What damages can I claim for after a Florida Truck Accident?
When it comes to the damages that are suffered in a Wellington truck accident, an experienced Wellington truck accident attorney may be able to obtain compensation for the following:
- Economic damages – Which relate to medical expenses, loss of income, etc.
- Non-economic damages – That relate to pain and suffering, mental anguish and other issues that are not financially-based.
Deaths and injuries from a Wellington overloaded/overweight truck accident can be the result of negligent behavior, which may occur in Wellington 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 an injury that eventually led to a person’s death. The injuries involved may include brain damage and various internal organ injuries. If you or a loved one are involved in a Wellington overloaded/overweight truck accident that occurred at any speed, it is advised that you seek medical care and the advice of a truck accident personal injury attorney.
Discuss your case with an Overloaded/Overweight Truck Accident Personal Injury Attorney Serving Wellington Today! Turn to Frankl & Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Call 561-800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.