Trucks drive the consumer goods industries. It's pretty hard to go about your day without having some part of it served by a truck. Whether you go to the store to pick up food for dinner or send out a package to a loved one, as consumers, chances are, a truck was involved.
Because there is such a great demand for goods and services, this means there are thousands of trucks on the road on any given day. For larger cities like Miramar, it's hard to go down any major roadway without passing several trucks. And while trucks bring convenience to our lives as consumers, they bring danger to us as drivers. Weighing up to 80,000 pounds, a collision with a large truck can quickly become deadly.
You have rights if you or someone you love has been in a truck accident. To speak with an experienced Miramar truck accident lawyer, contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA and request a free initial consultation.
A few facts regarding large truck accidents in Miramar
Have you ever driven past a large truck and had a sudden sense of anxiety? A feeling of “what happens if this truck simply drifts into my lane?” Driving next to a large truck can be scary due to its sheer size alone. But it can be terrifying when you hear the reality of just how dangerous these trucks are and how often accidents happen.
According to a recent report from the National Safety Council, approximately 9 percent of all fatal crashes during one year involved a large truck. This may not seem like a lot, but you also have to consider that large trucks only make up 4 percent of all registered vehicles on the road. Additionally, while the number of accidents has decreased in recent years, it is still significantly higher than ten years ago.
Recent data shows a high number of truck crashes in Florida. Recent data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles revealed over 27,000 collisions involving trucks over 10,000 pounds. These accidents resulted in over 1,000 possible or non-incapacitating injuries, 111 incapacitating injuries, and 29 fatalities.
Perhaps the scariest fact, but not surprising, is that most truck-involved fatalities result in the death of the driver or passenger of the smaller vehicle, not the large truck. As drivers of smaller vehicles, we are extremely vulnerable to large trucks, and even small bumps or collisions can cause serious injuries. If you are ever in an accident involving a large truck, we recommend speaking to an experienced Miramar truck accident attorney.
Large trucks can cause serious injuries.
Truck accidents are not like other types of accidents. Any collision with a large truck should be considered a serious accident. The rate of injuries is high after truck accidents, and these injuries often require medical treatment. Common injuries include:
Traumatic brain injuries
The brain plays an important role in everything we do. Our thoughts, emotions, and movement come from the brain. This is what makes brain injuries so scary. The brain is a complex organ, and it's hard to predict how an individual will respond to trauma.
Traumatic brain injuries happen when there is a penetrating wound or a hit to the head. This can happen when the head hits the steering wheel, seat, or door or another object strikes or penetrates the skull.
Symptoms of a brain injury include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory issues
- Mood changes
You should never ignore the symptoms of a brain injury. If you suspect a brain injury, you must consult a medical professional immediately. For many brain injuries, treatment is available. For others, an early response can prevent further complications.
Spinal cord injuries
The spinal cord plays an important role in our body. It transports messages to and from the brain to other body parts. An injury to the spinal cord can get the way of these messages and cause issues, such as paralysis.
Spinal cord injuries can happen when there is a significant trauma. Like brain injuries, they are typically the result of a hard hit or a penetrating wound. Spinal cord injuries do not always lead to paralysis. Early treatment can sometimes stop swelling and reduce the chance of permanent injury.
Symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:
- Extreme pain or pressure
- Numbness or tingling
- Inability to move
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
If you experience any of these symptoms or other symptoms of a spinal cord injury, seek emergency medical treatment.
Burns happen when the skin comes in contact with a hot surface or chemical. Truck accidents can happen when there is a chemical leak or explosion. The type of treatment a burn requires depends on the severity of the burn. There are three degrees of burns.
One of the biggest concerns with burns is the risk of secondary issues, including:
- Mobility issues
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Truck accidents can be extremely scary. It is not uncommon for victims to relive the events of the accident and have trouble moving on. Symptoms of PTSD should never be ignored. Left untreated, they can be debilitating and life-threatening. If you or someone you love has PTSD, reach out for help.
Signs of PTSD include:
- Difficulty sleeping
Types of truck accidents
Larger trucks carry different risks than smaller vehicles. The way they sit, the load they carry, and how they maneuver all pose dangers to drivers on the road. At Dolman Law Group, we have worked with victims of different types of truck accidents and understand how and why these accidents. This helps us be successful when negotiating a Miramar personal injury case. Common types of truck accidents include:
Wide right turns
If you have ever driven behind a large truck, you have probably seen the sign warning of wide turns. But what does this mean? There are two reasons why trucks make wide right turns. First, visibility is limited on the right side of the vehicle. The truck's size makes it impossible for the driver to see smaller vehicles in the lanes directly to the truck's right. Further, if the truck does not make a wide turn, it risks running over a curb or other object and tipping the vehicle.
Accidents happen when the driver improperly completes the turn or when a vehicle enters the truck's “pinch spot.” When a vehicle turns beside a truck while making a right turn, the smaller vehicle can become caught between the truck's cab and trailer. This is why it is important for truck drivers to allow plenty of time when turning and make sure they clear their blind spots.
Blind spot accidents
Due to the enormous size, it is impossible for drivers to see around all sides of their trucks. A truck's blind spots extend 30 feet behind the trailer, 20 feet in front of the cab, one lane down the left side, and two lanes down the right side. Truckers can reduce the chance of an accident by using their mirrors and using them often. They should also give plenty of warning when attempting to change lanes so drivers can ensure they are out of the way.
Large trucks sit up higher than smaller vehicles. Often, the trailer floor is above a smaller car's hood. This is dangerous in the event of a collision. When a truck and a smaller vehicle collide, the smaller car or truck can become pinned under the truck. These types of accidents almost always result in a fatality.
Federal law requires trucks to install underride protection at the vehicle's rear to prevent these accidents. However, as of now, no law requires this type of protection on the front or sides of large trucks.
Rear-end accidents are one of the most common types of accidents. These accidents happen when the front of one vehicle collides with the rear of another vehicle.
Rear-end truck accidents happen for a number of reasons:
- Large trucks take longer to stop: The mechanics of a large truck mean they cannot stop as quickly as a smaller vehicle. This means that if they are speeding or a vehicle suddenly enters their path, they may not be able to stop in time.
- Blind spots: The blind spot in front of a truck extends farther than most people realize. If a truck driver doesn't see a vehicle enter the space in front of their truck, they may not even attempt to stop. Truck drivers can prevent these accidents by constantly scanning the area in front of their vehicles.
- Mechanical issues: The average person would be terrified if they realized how common mechanical issues are with large trucks. Sometimes drivers don't stop because they can't stop. According to data from the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 55 percent of trucks examined in the Study had at least one mechanical issue at the time of the accident.
When a large truck and a small car collide head-on, the results are almost surely deadly. What makes these accidents even more tragic is they are almost always preventable.
Common causes of head-on collisions include:
- Driver distractions
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Improper passing
The leading causes of Miramar truck accidents
Just like any other accident, the majority of truck accidents are the result of negligence. When a driver's negligence leads to the death or injury of someone else, they need to be held responsible.
The most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving: Truck drivers drive long hours. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon for them to turn to distractions. When drivers take their eyes off the road to focus on something else, they put others at risk. Top culprits concerning distracted driving include phones, GPS devices, food, and radios.
- Speeding: We hate to think about large trucks speeding, but it always happens. This is dangerous on so many levels. When a large truck speeds, it takes longer to stop. If a driver enters the road before them, they won't have enough time to stop. Further, the weight of a large truck already carries enough force to cause significant damage. When you add high speeds behind it, it is a recipe for catastrophe.
- Driver fatigue: Federal laws limit how long a truck driver can be on the road. But these laws often don't get followed. Study after Study shows a drowsy driver is just as dangerous as a drunk driver. Driver fatigue can cause slower reactions, poor decision-making, decreased visibility, and even falling asleep at the wheel.
- Mechanical issues: Once again, mechanical issues are a scary and all too common problem with large trucks. Federal law requires daily and annual inspections. However, sometimes these inspections get skipped, or items get missed. Inspections are easy to check to ensure the vehicle is in optimal condition. When a driver fails to do these checks, it's nothing short of negligent.
Miramar Truck Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Nobody expects a truck accident. So it is understandable if you have questions. Below, we've outlined a few of the most common questions we receive from current and potential truck accident clients. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
What types of vehicles are considered commercial trucks?
When you get in a truck accident, working with an attorney with experience handling truck accident cases is important. So it can be helpful to understand what we consider a commercial truck. Typically, these vehicles weigh at least 10,000 pounds.
Common examples include:
- Box trucks: In Miramar, we see box trucks all around. These vehicles have four wheels and a separate trailer and cab. The trailer is smaller than a trailer than the trailer of a semi-truck. Businesses may use these trucks to move supplies or for individuals as moving trucks.
- Garbage trucks: It may seem like a garbage truck needs no explanation, but there are actually several different types of garbage trucks. While they all have the same basic function, they can differ in how they work and where they load products. There are four main types of garbage trucks, front-load, rear-load, side-load, and roll-off. Accidents can happen when the truck makes a sudden stop, doesn't stop soon enough, or attempts to back out of an area.
- Dump trucks: Dump trucks haul supplies and debris from one location to another. In addition to the danger they pose, simply being a truck can also cause injury with loose debris. This is why it is important for drivers to secure or cover items in their truck bed properly.
- Semi-trucks: Semi-trucks consist of a cab and a trailer on 18 wheels. These trucks typically carry freight from warehouses to other locations. Florida law limits semi-trucks to a maximum of 48 feet long.
- Flatbed trucks: Flatbed trucks are semi-trucks without a trailer. These trucks haul large items such as construction equipment, manufactured homes, and vehicles.
- Tanker trucks: Tanker trucks carry liquid products. These vehicles consist of a cab and a cylindrical trailer. Tanker trucks may transport items such as gas, milk, water, or chemicals. Because these trucks often carry flammable products and carry them differently than solid freight, drivers must have a special endorsement.
What should I do following a Miramar truck accident?
Your health and safety are always the number one priority. If you feel like you need immediate medical attention, call 911. If you can stay at the scene of the accident, you can do a few things to help your case and preserve your rights.
- Get the other driver's insurance information: The only way you can make a claim against the other party is if you have the information to do so. You need to get the driver's personal, employment, and insurance information.
More specifically, items you need include:
- The driver's name and phone number
- The name of their employer and contact number
- The insurance company's name, policyholder, policy number, and contact number.
- Collect evidence: After an accident, you should always count on the insurance company trying to pin the blame on you. This is why it is so important to have evidence that proves that you were not at fault. The best thing you can do at the scene of the accident is take pictures. Take pictures of the truck, your vehicle, property damage, and anything else you think might be relevant. The goal is to recreate the scene and support your version of events. If anyone stopped to offer help, be sure to get their contact information in case your attorney wants to talk to them as a witness.
- Go to the doctor: It doesn't matter if you feel fine. A truck accident is a big deal. The best thing you can do for yourself is to go to the doctor immediately following your accident. Be clear about all your symptoms. Do not attempt to tough it out or leave out details. At the same time, you should never exaggerate your symptoms or make things up. Your medical records will become a part of your truck accident case.
- Call an experienced truck accident attorney: The insurance company hopes you won't hire an attorney after an accident. Right now, you need to take steps to protect your rights. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our clients are our number one priority. We don't put up with games from the insurance company, and we fight for what is right. If you or someone you love is suffering, you deserve help. Contact Dolman Law Group to speak to one of our legal professionals.
Who pays after a large truck accident in Miramar?
Things can get a little complicated when dealing with a large truck accident. While the truck driver will usually hold some responsibility, other parties may carry equal, if not more, financial liability.
Examples of parties who may have to pay after a truck accident include:
- The truck driver: This is pretty straightforward. If the truck driver in any way contributed to the accident, their policy would need to pay for damages.
- The driver's employer: The driver's employer may be responsible for damages if they encouraged or forced the driver to act in an illegal manner or if they did not ensure the driver had the required qualifications or the truck was in road-ready condition.
- The truck or parts manufacturer: When accidents happen because of a part failure, it is important to look at why the part failed. The liability lies with the driver or employer if the part failed because of improper maintenance or inspection. If the failure was due to a manufacturing defect, the part's manufacturer may hold some or all the blame.
The insurance company offered me a settlement. Should I accept it?
We cannot advise you whether you should accept an offer without reviewing the details of your case. That said, if the insurance company voluntarily offers you a settlement, especially if you do not have a lawyer, chances are it is not enough.
A large settlement offer before negotiations indicates that the insurance company wants to get rid of the case. Why? Because they know your case is worth a lot.
You should never try to negotiate a truck accident settlement without the guidance of an experienced truck accident attorney. After an accident, you want to ensure you have the resources you need to get medical treatment and cover expenses. Don't count on the insurance company to ensure you are taken care of.
What type of damages are available after a truck accident?
Truck accidents are some of the most complex and expensive types of cases we see. These accidents often result in serious injury or death. For this reason, it is important that the insurance company considers every expense. We will fight hard to ensure you get what you need when you work with us.
Common expenses include:
- Medical costs: Examples include doctor visits, medications, specialist visits, medical devices, surgeries, inpatient stays, and emergency transportation.
- Therapy costs: Including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and psychological counseling.
- Missing wages: This will include any lost salary from the date you first miss work until you return to work.
- Residential modifications: If you need to add ramps, handrails, or lifts to your home because of a serious injury, your case may include these costs.
- Pain and suffering: Most truck accidents include pain and suffering. Examples include physical pain, depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
My injuries are severe, and I can't return to work. What kind of help can I get?
If you cannot return to work in any capacity, your attorney can request future lost wages. The insurance company will look at what you made before the accident and calculate how much you likely would have made before retirement. Your final settlement will include a lump sum amount for this loss.
What if my medical condition has not improved before the insurance company offers me a settlement?
Generally, we like to wait until you are medically stable before we recommend accepting a settlement. This means your doctor has determined your condition won't get any better or worse. The reason we like to wait is that it allows us to get a better understanding of what your costs are.
If your doctor expects you will need extensive medical treatment, we can fight to include future medical costs. Like lost wages, these will be in the form of a lump sum payment.
How long do I have to recover damages after a truck accident?
The Florida statute of limitations for personal injury matters, including truck accidents, is four years. This time limit begins on the day of the accident. In most cases, if you miss this date, you will lose your right to recover damages.
There are some expectations to this, including:
- Inability to locate the defendant
- The victim was a minor
It takes a long time to build a solid truck accident case. For this reason, it is best to talk to an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you have the strongest case.
Do I need a lawyer after a truck accident in Miramar?
The short answer is yes. While the law does not require you to have a lawyer, it is in your best interest. Truck accidents can involve a lot of money, and it's important that you get what you deserve. The simple truth is that the insurance company will offer you less if they think they can get away with it. If you do not have a lawyer, they will lowball you.
When choosing a lawyer, it's important to find someone who has both experiences with truck accidents and litigation. Truck accidents involve many facets, different laws, and multiple avenues to recover damages. If you need to go to court, you need a lawyer who knows what they are doing and is not afraid to defend your rights aggressively.
Things you can expect your attorney to take care of include:
- Talk to your care providers
- Provide recommendations and set up payment plans
- Consult with, interview, and hire expert witnesses
- Talk to witnesses at the scene
- Review and organize evidence
- Participate in settlement negotiations
- Coordinate mediation
- Represent you in court if necessary
How much does a Miramar truck crash lawyer cost?
Cost is a common concern after an accident. When you work with Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, you don't pay unless you win. We offer a free initial consultation and work on a contingency basis. This means the amount of your attorney fees will be a pre-agreed percentage of your final settlement or judgment award. You should never feel like you can't talk to your attorney about potential costs and fees. If you have a question, reach out to your attorney.
Contact a Miramar Truck Crash Attorney Today
After a major accident, you may have difficulty processing what comes next. This is completely normal and understandable. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we aim to make the next steps easier and ensure you have what you need to move on with your life. Our team of legal professionals is experienced, compassionate, and ready to fight.
If you are struggling after a truck accident, help is available. With offices on both Florida coasts, we aim to be accessible to you. To learn more about your rights and options following a truck accident, contact Dolman Law Group at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH) or fill out our online contact form for a free initial case evaluation.
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