When a truck and a car are involved in a crash, the car will receive the worst of it and the driver may sustain serious injuries or even loss of life. Very often negligence on the part of the driver or the owner of the rig contributed to the crash. An experienced Florida truck accident attorney is paramount to finding the facts and winning the deserved settlement.
When an 80,000 pound tractor trailer and a 4000 pound car are involved in an accident the outcome is never good for the driver of the car. In many cases when an accident occurs involving a big rig on the highway, it involves multiple vehicles and multiple injuries. While high speed crashes are by far the most disastrous, accidents may also occur at low speeds when the large vehicle is attempting to maneuver with limited space. The truck may suddenly pull to the left to make a wide right hand turn, coming in contact with a car passing on the left.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Drivers of tractor trailers have two significant disadvantages that raise the risk of a crash. The first is stopping distance. A fully loaded 18 wheeled rig requires the length of a football field to stop. Fortunately the driver has an elevated vantage point to see further down the road, providing he is not drafting behind another rig. The second disadvantage is that the driver cannot see directly behind and also has limited vision to his right flank. Passing a trailer truck on the right is never a smart idea, for that reason. However accidents may happen when the truck passes a vehicle on the left and changes lanes, not realizing he is not clear of the vehicle that was passed. These factors and others contribute to the following accident scenarios:
- Rollovers – A Florida truck accident that happens with frequency is a rollover. A loaded trailer has a high center of gravity and any sudden swerve can cause the trailer to tip. This is often caused by the driver trying to avoid a car that stopped suddenly after pulling in front of the truck. Rollovers can crush nearby cars and dump cargo on the road that other vehicles may crash into.
- Jack Knife Accidents – This occurs when the trailer slides on a slick road surface putting the cab at an acute angle to the trailer. The truck suddenly becomes uncontrollable and unpredictable. Jack knifing tractor trailers often cause pile ups.
- Tire Loss and Tread Separation – A trailer can lose a tire weighing hundreds of pounds without the driver being aware. The runaway tires have caused serious accidents in the past when they have struck speeding cars on the highway. Tire treads also separate frequently and can become airborne, crashing through the windshield of a car.
- The Sandwich – When a car gets between two big rigs the situation is very dangerous. The truck to the left will move right to regain the lane, not seeing the car and pushing it into the trailer on the right. The trailer may even drive right over the car, crushing the car and overturning the trailer. These accidents occur in Florida where heavy traffic flows on interstate highways through urban areas.
- Collision – A tractor trailer is three times more likely to be struck from behind than any other vehicle. When this happens from a passenger car, the truck receives minimal damage because of heavy duty steel protection in the rear. The car will be not fare nearly as well. Depending on the speed of impact the car could be completely demolished. In the reverse situation, when a 40 ton truck rear ends a two ton car, the outcome is obvious.
Getting the Help You Need to Sort Out the Facts
Any person who has experienced the trauma of being a truck accident victim, or who has had a loved one injured or lost, needs to retain a skilled Florida truck accident attorney as soon as possible. The attorney will have the investigative experience to determine the cause of the accident. Driver fatigue is often the cause as long haul drivers are often pushed to drive longer hour than permitted by law. Their hours are recorded and can be used as evidence. Trucks are often poorly maintained to keep down operating costs as in the case of retreaded tires. Often the driver owns the tractor but another company is leasing the trailer from a third party. If the trailer is overweight, who is responsible? Drivers will also claim they were being passed on the right when in actuality they passed on the left and cut in too quickly. Hiring an experienced truck accident attorney is the only way to get to the facts and hold the responsible party accountable.
Dolman Law has the experienced Florida truck accident attorneys on staff that can get you the compensation you deserve if you or a loved one was the victim of trucking negligence. Call today for a free evaluation of your case. You may be entitled to a substantial cash settlement.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765