Florida Commercial and Concrete Truck Accidents
On March 9th, a deadly highway accident on I-75 in Sarasota, Florida took the lives of three people. The accident occurred on the northbound lanes of the highway exit to Fruitville road at mile marker 210 around 7:20 am. There are three confirmed fatalities with two people rushed to Sarasota Memorial Hospital after suffering severe injuries. Overall, seven people were involved in the severe accident. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the fatalities included Joseph Lydic, 50 of Sarasota, Joseph Pontillo of Sarasota, and Jose Leal, 56 of Cape Coral. The survivors included Angela Blase, 55, of Venice, Elizabeth Gunn, 57, of Sarasota, and Jesse Pillinger, 21, of Charlotte. While severe highway accidents are nothing new, this accident is unique in that it involved a commercial vehicle known as a cement mixer truck.
Florida Accidents Involving Cement Mixer Trucks
Car accidents are already particularly dangerous events that end up causing severe injuries and death in millions of instances every year. With the introduction of even larger and heavier vehicles to this equation, the amount of devastation is multiplied. Semi-truck accidents regularly cause accidents that involve multiple vehicles and come with a risk of causing more severe injuries and death. Other commercial vehicles such as cement mixer trucks cause a similar level of devastation since they are also significantly larger and heavier than most other motor vehicles.
Cement Mixer Trucks and Accidents
Cement trucks share a great deal with semi-trucks when it comes to accident risk and ability to inflict damage. Cement trucks however have the unique feature of their mixing drum that is used to transport the cement or concrete. This drum can add an immense amount of weight to a cement mixer truck. Completely empty a truck of this kind can weigh up to around 27,000 pounds however with a full load of concrete in the drum a cement mixer truck can weigh up to as much as 66,000 pounds. For comparison, the average sedan weighs roughly 2,500 to 3,000 pounds.
In addition to this immense weight, these trucks are often twice as long as many vehicles. But that’s not all. The cement mixing drum that these trucks haul is a unique device that is used not only to mix the cement and concrete but also to keep the cement and concrete from hardening by spinning and agitating the mix sometimes while it is traveling. Concrete on its own is not a particularly dangerous substance but in an accident situation, it can become debris that can lead other vehicles and those inside to sustain damage.
Causes of Cement Mixer Truck Accidents
Many of the causes of cement truck accidents are very similar to those of semi-truck accidents. This is due to their size and weight affecting operation. Like many other motor vehicle accidents, the accident risk is drastically increased by factors such as distracted driving, alcohol inebriation, substance abuse, poor maintenance, and disregard of traffic laws but there are also many unique factors that apply to these large commercial vehicles.
Due to the immense weight of cement mixers, braking is a much more complicated maneuver than it is for smaller vehicles. While many other vehicles can usually hit the brakes and stop fairly immediately, cement trucks and similar commercial vehicles take more time and distance to reach a complete stop. The immense weight at their back creates intense inertia that brakes struggle to stop. In the worst-case scenario, improper braking can lead to a rear-ending of another vehicle, jackknifing, and even a rollover.
Since cement mixer trucks are so large, there are a number of blindspots around them where smaller vehicles can become undetectable. These areas are unusually located at the immediate rear of the vehicle, right in front of the cab, as well as either side’s rear where mirrors cannot reach. An accident can easily occur when a cement truck maneuvers to another lane or stops without seeing a vehicle in one of these blindspots.
Lack of Driver Training
The drivers of these vehicles are expected to have the proper training to help minimize the chance of an accident occurring. These vehicles have the potential to inflict severe damage therefore the responsibility of them in the hands of drivers necessitates proper training that some drivers may lack in. Simple maneuvers such as turning and stopping require more thought because of factors such as weight size, shifting load, etc. that can easily cause the vehicle to lose control.
Damages Caused by Cement Truck Accidents
Those that are involved in accidents with cement trucks can often lose their lives and those that manage to come away with their lives can suffer severe injuries. Some common injuries that those involved in cement truck accidents suffer include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken/fractured bones
- Internal organ damage
- Severe lacerations and contusions
These injuries can usually inflict severe damages on those that suffer them, These damages often can turn a person’s life upside down by creating financial frustration, mental health issues, and intense emotional turmoil. The most common damage is medical expenses which can pile up after extreme injuries that require recurring doctor visits, prescriptions, therapy, etc. Then there are lost wages that people can deal with when they are busy recovering from these injuries. Their ability to work can also suffer because of disabilities these injuries can cause.
Other than the more economically focused damages aforementioned, there are also damages that can affect a person in a more intangible way. For example, most of the injuries inflicted by cement truck accidents are exceptionally painful. This means physically as well as emotionally since injuries can potentially damage relationships, affect a person’s social life, and simply just be so traumatic they require special recurrent counseling.
Cement Truck Accident Injury Claims
These damages and more don’t have to be suffered through in silence. If your cement truck accident was caused in part by the negligence of some party that can be considered liable then you may be able to seek compensation through a truck accident claim or lawsuit. You may be able to take legal action to try and reach a settlement with the party responsible like the driver, truck company, construction company, etc. in order to cover the damages you have suffered. This generally requires a claimant to be able to effectively prove that the accident was caused by said party’s negligence and that their injuries caused the damages claimed. In the event a settlement cannot be reached then someone injured because of a cement truck accident could file a lawsuit that takes the matter to trial. Regardless of whatever legal action a person decides to take, they should always speak to a personal injury attorney that specializes in commercial vehicle accidents about their case.
Seek an Experienced Semi-Truck Accident Attorney
At the Dolman Law Group, we regularly assist individuals who were involved in serious car accidents involving semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles like cement trucks. We offer a free consultation, which gives you the opportunity to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys, and determine if you have a valid claim.
Our free consultation does not involve any obligation to become a client. If we agree to represent you, you will need to sign a retainer agreement before we start work on your case. Every case is different, and recovery depends on the specifics of each individual case, so we cannot guarantee a favorable result. However, we always do our best to ensure that our clients are fully compensated for their injuries.
Many factors could limit full recovery, and these factors are best explained by a truck accident attorney licensed to practice law in Florida. Contact the Dolman Law Group online or at (727) 451-6900, and talk to one of our experienced attorneys today.
Dolman Law Group
800 N Belcher Rd
Clearwater, FL 33765