What Causes Florida Truck Accidents?
Our Sarasota Semi-truck Crash Lawyers Explain
Truck accidents happen every day throughout the state of Florida, and Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice are no exception. At Farrow & Pulice, we understand that these accidents have a wide variety of different causes and often result in serious truck accident injuries or even a wrongful death. If you were seriously injured or a loved one was killed in a truck accident, we're ready to work aggressively to ensure you get the full compensation you might be entitled to receive.
The government places heavy regulations on the trucking industry for a reason. Truck drivers and trucking companies often will cut corners to meet delivery times, reduce costs, and maximize their profits. A truck wreck might be the outcome of a driver or truck company that is going around regulations and rules set by the government to ensure the safety of the drivers that share the road with trucks.
Factors Contributing to Truck Accidents in Florida
- Distracted Truck Drivers
- Fatigued Truck Drivers
- Speeding Trucks
- Untrained / Inexperienced Truck Drivers
- Truck Drivers Impaired by Drugs or Alcohol
- Overloaded Trucks
- Poorly Maintained Trucks
Farrow & Pulice was founded in 1997 and our attorneys have over 60 years combined experience working relentlessly to protect the rights of accident victims involved in all types of truck accidents. We conduct a thorough investigation of the trucking company as well as the cause of the truck accident. We're not afraid to challenge the insurance companies to make sure our clients get the full financial compensation they deserve.
Distracted Truck Drivers
Many drivers in Florida try to do too many things while driving - and truck drivers are no exception. Distracted driving is among the top causes of car and truck accidents in Southwestern Florida, particularly as smartphones and other forms of mobile technology allow increased multitasking ability for users. While dangerous behaviors such as texting and driving are illegal, thousands of drivers choose to do so every day.
Distracted truck drivers pose a grave threat to other motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and other bystanders. That's because when the driver of a 50-foot, 80,000 pound tractor-trailer is paying more attention to their cell phone or radio than the road ahead, the consequences can be catastrophic. These drivers may speed, run traffic signals or even lose control of their rigs, resulting in a potentially fatal rollover crash, rear-end accident or head-on collision.
What is considered distracted driving?
- Talking on a cell phone
- Texting while driving
- Browsing the internet or social media
- Configuring a GPS or radio
- Eating or drinking
- Reaching for an object
Any tractor-trailer driver who chooses to talk, text or otherwise take their attention away from the road needs to be held fully accountable for their actions when they cause an accident. But you may find that the driver denies any wrongdoing. The trucking company might even hide or destroy critical information related to the accident or driver records. When you're dealing with skyrocketing medical bills or the inability to work, you need to be treated fairly. You deserve nothing less.
At Farrow & Pulice, we know how to obtain the information necessary to prove a trucker was distracted. We can obtain cell phone records and black box information. We have access to accident reconstructionists and top medical experts. We can obtain police reports. We leave nothing unexamined in our pursuit of the compensation you need - and deserve - to get life back on track after an accident.
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Fatigued Truck Drivers
It's not an uncommon site on roads and highways throughout Southwestern Florida: A tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler slowly veers out of its lane and violently swerves back into its lane, narrowly missing hitting other vehicles on the roadway. At Farrow & Pulice, our experienced attorneys understand that fatigued drivers pose a serious and immediate risk to all other drivers sharing the road. Yet fatigued driving accidents remain all-too-common in Florida.
Truck drivers are faced with long hours and the potential to experience fatigue. While federal Hours of Service regulations limit the amount of time truckers can spend on the road, these truck drivers face pressure from big trucking companies to deliver their cargo quickly and may be encouraged to break these rules to make a profit. When drivers push themselves to the point of exhaustion, they are exponentially more likely to cause a serious truck accident.
When a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel, his or her vehicle turns into a deadly weapon. Fatigued truckers can easily lose control of their truck. The truck could jackknife, swerve, or roll over into oncoming traffic, across lanes of traffic, or onto the shoulder of a highway. Catastrophic head-on collisions, multi-vehicle pileups, intersection accidents and high speed rear-end collisions can be the result.
Occupants of smaller vehicles, bicycle riders, and pedestrians are at high risk of suffering serious injury when a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and broken bones are all common in accidents involving semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and delivery vans. Often, in addition to pain and suffering, accident injury victims face a long recovery, mounting medical bills, and lost wages from missing work.
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Time means everything to truck drivers traveling through Southwestern Florida. The faster a truck driver gets somewhere, the more work they can get. But when a truck driver speeds, from I-75 in Sarasota to Route 70 in South Bradenton, that speeding truck becomes a fast-moving weapon capable of causing a catastrophic and potentially deadly crash. At Farrow & Pulice, our experienced attorneys understand that all it takes is one false move for a truck to be involved in a high-speed accident.
Speed limits are posted on Florida roads and highways to keep drivers safe. But that doesn't mean all truck drivers are willing to follow the law. There are many reasons a trucker may ignore the speed limit. He or she might be in a rush due to trucking company pressure. He or she may be impaired by drugs or alcohol or even fall asleep at the wheel. In other instances, a truck's brakes may fail and the trucker may be unable to stop before causing a crash involving multiple vehicles.
Truck companies have a responsibility to make sure their drivers are well-trained and adhere to all state laws and federal safety regulations. Truck companies also carry legal obligations to perform required repairs and maintain their fleet of vehicles on a regular basis, including making sure brakes work and "black box" information is accurately recorded. Farrow & Pulice know how to uncover key evidence to prove fault in your truck crash and hold negligent truckers and truck companies accountable for their reckless behavior. An accident reconstructionist, for example, can examine the scene and measure skid marks and find other clues that the driver was going too fast.
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Untrained / Inexperienced Truck Drivers
Driving a truck requires a higher level of experience, skills and knowledge than operating smaller vehicles. Due to the inherent risk and responsibility associated with operating a large truck or commercial vehicle, truck drivers must obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in order to operate large trucks on roads and highways across the United States. Even after a driver obtains his or her CDL, these truckers must undergo a rigorous hiring process before being employed by trucking companies.
At Farrow & Pulice, we understand that trucking companies may ignore the law or cut corners during the hiring process for a number of different reasons. A trucking company might be facing difficulty keeping up with supply and demand or simply need more drivers to transport cargo. But hiring untrained or inexperienced drivers not only is illegal, but can put all other drivers in the road at immediate risk.
In order to cut corners, a trucking company may:
- Hire untrained drivers
- Hire unlicensed drivers
- Fail to train drivers
- Hire drivers with a history of traffic citations
- Hire drivers with suspended licenses
It can be difficult proving fault when an accident is caused by an untrained, inexperienced or unlicensed driver. That's because trucking companies will often go to great lengths to hide or destroy evidence of wrongdoing. A truck company may hide training records or license information. They might even try to claim they didn't know a driver wasn't licensed or certified. These companies need to be held accountable for their actions. Contact us today. We can launch a comprehensive investigation on your behalf.
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Truck Drivers Impaired by Drugs or Alcohol
Truck drivers are well-aware that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is both illegal and dangerous in Florida. But that doesn't mean drivers always follow the law. Drivers who make the choice to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can easily cause catastrophic personal injury and property damage. Unfortunately, accidents involving truckers who drive while impaired by alcohol and other substances is not uncommon. Further, it's not uncommon for a trucking company to willfully hire a truck driver with a prior record of driving under the influence.
Accidents involving impaired truckers happen when you least expect them. From I-75 in Sarasota to Route 64 in Bradenton, it can be difficult to get out of the way of a reckless truck driver who's under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You may be involved in a rollover accident caused by a trucker's impaired reaction time or a rear-end accident caused by a speeding trucker who fails to brake. Other accidents caused by impaired truck drivers can include:
- Head-on collisions
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
The actions of impaired truck drivers can be unpredictable, reckless, and the injuries resulting from their actions can leave victims dealing with severe injuries that lead to skyrocketing medical bills, cost of future care, lost wages and future lost wages due to missed time at work. A fatal accident can devastate those left behind. We can help you weigh all of your options, including possibly filing a wrongful death lawsuit. If you've been injured by an impaired truck driver, contact an aggressive and determined Sarasota truck accident attorney immediately.
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Laws exist limiting the amount of weight each truck is allowed to carry on the road - and for good reason. Overloaded trucks are significantly less safe than other trucks. When a truck is loaded past its capacity, it becomes more difficult to stop, raising the risk of a rear-end collision. They're also harder to control when taking a corner, which could lead to a rollover accident. When an overloaded truck collides with another vehicle, the additional weight can lead to a much more serious accident involving catastrophic injuries that could be fatal.
When an overloaded truck is involved in a car accident in Southwest Florida, truck drivers and their trucking companies must be held accountable. They made a conscious choice to ignore the laws governing trucking companies. But when these laws are broken, you may find that truck drivers and truck companies try to deny wrongdoing. They might even try to say you caused the accident. When you've done nothing wrong or you were only partially at fault, that's not fair.
Dealing with truck companies can be especially complicated. Often, they're located in different states and have large insurance companies and several lawyers who represent their company. In the event of an accident involving an overloaded tractor trailer truck, these insurance companies and lawyers are simply focused on one thing: to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. We know how to ask the right questions and collect the right evidence to build a successful legal strategy. Don't let truck companies push you around. Let us fight for you.
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Poorly Maintained Trucks
Trucking companies are legally responsible for regularly maintaining their fleet of vehicles, fixing mechanical problems and addressing any known safety issues. In their rush to meet deadlines, ship cargo quickly and drive profits, trucking companies often overlook the required daily safety inspection of their tractor-trailers and willfully ignore known safety issues in order to keep them on the road. When a trucking company fails to maintain its fleet, the potential for a serious truck accident occurring dramatically increases.
No matter the reason why a trucking company chooses to keep a dangerous vehicle on the road, the potential exists for this vehicle to cause catastrophic accident injuries to other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who share the roadway. If you've been injured and you suspect a poorly maintained truck was to blame for your accident, you have legal rights to file a claim against a trucking company you believe was negligent.
What are common forms of truck company negligence?
- Failing to repair faulty brakes
- Failing to address defective steering systems
- Improper inspection of tires leading to a tire blowout
- Hiring untrained drivers
- Failing to conduct background checks on drivers
Although trucking companies are legally required to keep records to show they've taken steps to prevent maintenance problems, many trucking companies neglect to do so. In fact, some companies may deliberately fail to maintain safety and maintenance records as a means of finding a way around government-mandated regulations designed to prevent serious truck accidents. Trucking companies must be held accountable. Find out how Farrow & Pulice can help. Call 866-408-1220.
Experienced Sarasota Truck Accident Attorneys Ready to Protect Your Rights
Hold careless truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for their careless reckless behavior. The experienced legal team at Farrow & Pulice is ready to stand up for you. Call us today at 866-408-1220 or contact our firm online to schedule your free initial consultation. Our truck accident law firm has offices in Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, Englewood, Lakewood Ranch and Port Charlotte that are centrally located to major hospitals for your convenience.