Traffic accidents that involve semi-trucks can be disastrous. These are large trucks that cause fatalities and severe injuries when truck accidents occur. If you or a loved one has been injured in an Orlando truck accident you may be entitled to a great sum of compensation. Similarly, if you have tragically lost someone dear to you in one of these truck accidents, we can help you file wrongful death claims.
At The Law Place, we have a team of experienced Orlando truck accident lawyers who will do all they can to help you achieve justice. Semi-truck accidents are very traumatic and you should not be left suffering financially. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your rest and recovery.
For your chance to talk to a knowledgeable truck accident lawyer, call us today to organize a free consultation with us. In this consultation, you can ask questions and an Orlando truck accident lawyer will be able to offer you some honest and unbiased legal advice. What are you waiting for? Phone us now.
Common Injuries Suffered by Semi-truck Accident Victims
People who are lucky enough to survive after suffering a collision with a semi-truck in Orlando will likely have received severe injuries. Many injuries suffered in these truck accidents are life-changing. Regardless of the severity of injuries suffered, anyone can file a personal injury claim if they have been injured in a traffic accident.
Some of the most common injuries suffered in semi-truck accidents in Orlando include:
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
- Neck injuries.
- Head injuries.
- Broken bones.
- Internal organ damage.
- Internal bleeding.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
There are many injuries that victims can suffer in truck accidents. Orlando truck accident lawyers will work to help clients recover compensation to cover their medical bills. You should not have to face mounting medical bills because you are an innocent accident victim.
Common Causes of Semi-truck Accidents
Truck accidents involving semi-trucks can occur for several reasons. Although truck drivers are often blamed for causing these accidents, trucking companies are generally equally, if not more, to blame. This is because a trucking company will require their truck drivers to work unreasonable hours and in potentially dangerous conditions to make money.
Below we have outlined some of the most common causes of trucking accidents in Orlando.
Drowsy driving refers to driver fatigue. Tired truck drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel are one of the leading causes of truck accidents. A drowsy truck driver can lose control of their vehicle and collide with other vehicles and/ or pedestrians.
In these truck accident cases, a lawyer will investigate the behavior of the trucking company to determine whether the truck driver was being pressured to drive for an unlawful amount of hours.
Every motor vehicle requires regular servicing to ensure that they are not faulty and do not threaten the safety of drivers and other road users. Semi-trucks require servicing more often than the average passenger vehicle. This is because these large trucks travel hundreds of kilometers every week. The vast amount of traveling that they complete means that they are more likely to encounter mechanical faults.
For example, it is not uncommon for these trucks to suffer flat tires, broken lights, and worn-out brake pads. If any of these features malfunction, a truck driver will place themself in a great deal of danger. When a trucking company deliberately fails to get its vehicles serviced to save money, it can be sued if a catastrophic truck accident occurs. Our reputable truck accident attorneys can investigate and examine truck service records to determine whether this played a factor in your truck accident.
Lack of Training Completed
All commercial truck drivers must complete training sessions before they gain their professional licenses. Not all drivers, however, complete this training. A negligent truck driver who drives without a professional license or has forged their license can cause a trucking accident. Tractor-trailer trucks and semi-trucks are large vehicles that are difficult to control. Even simple maneuvers, such as turning these trucks, can prove to be disastrous for an inexperienced driver.
The criminal offense of speeding occurs when a driver operates their vehicle over the legal speed limit. Speeding is dangerous because trucks have much larger stopping distances than average passenger vehicles. A truck driver driving over the legal limit has less time to pull their vehicle to a complete stop after they perceive a hazard. This is how many truck accidents occur in Orlando.
Although it is easy to blame drivers for these accidents, it is important to understand the motives of the drivers. Many trucking companies force strict deadlines upon their drivers and this pressure can result in drivers feeling the need to speed.
The main purpose of a semi-truck is to haul and transport heavy cargo. These trucks will likely carry thousands of pounds worth of cargo at any one time. When this cargo hasn’t been loaded or secured properly, it can shift during transportation. Cargo that moves around in a truck is dangerous because it can cause a truck to become unbalanced. A truck that isn’t balanced is highly likely to tip over when it turns.
Shifting cargo is dangerous and that is why all drivers must be trained on how to load and secure cargo safely before they receive their professional licenses. They can also have their licenses revoked if they are caught improperly loading their trucks.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Driving while intoxicated in Orlando is a major criminal offense. Offenders found guilty of DUI will more than likely suffer hefty fines and jail time. The state of Florida punishes this offense severely because it is dangerous. An intoxicated driver loses the ability to think rationally and they have longer reaction times.
Truck drivers cannot legally drive if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .02% or above. This is a much stricter regulation than what the average motor vehicle drivers face. Most other drivers can legally drive if their BAC is lower than .08%. Not many people are aware that prescription and over-the-counter medication can tip drivers’ BAC over the legal limit.
Not only is distracted driving a major truck accident cause in Orlando, but it is a leading cause of all types of traffic accidents. More drivers are being distracted in their vehicles today than ever before. Drivers can easily become distracted by their cell phones, food, navigation systems, passengers, and more.
Distracted driving is dangerous because it means that a driver fails to pay full attention to the road and their surroundings. Many truck accident claims in Orlando are caused by the reckless actions of drivers.
The Difference Between a Car Accident and a Semi-Truck Accident
Truck and car accidents differ because of their difference in ownership. Unlike cars, most trucks are commercially owned. This means that a trucking company can be responsible for several trucks. Therefore, recovering compensation in a severe truck accident case is far more difficult than in a car accident case.
Trucking companies typically have higher insurance limits than users of average passenger cars. Filing a compensation claim and/ or lawsuit against a trucking company will involve facing the trucking company’s insurance provider and its strong legal team. Recovering compensation from these companies is difficult and that is why it is important to hire an Orlando truck accident attorney. At The Law Place, we have a team of attorneys who are not afraid to take on these major companies to achieve the justice their clients deserve.
Federal Laws Regarding Commercial Vehicles
In the United States, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) exists to monitor and regulate the trucking industry. They have helped pass several laws to protect the safety of drivers and the public. We have outlined some of these federal laws and regulations below.
Hours in a Working Day
One regulation states that commercial truck drivers can only operate their vehicles for 11 hours during a 14-hour shift. It is then necessary for drivers to take a minimum break of 10 hours to sleep and rest. These regulations were implemented to try and reduce the number of truck accident cases that occur due to driver fatigue.
The number of hours worked by drivers of commercial trucks must be electronically logged. These recordings are documented on a paper trail. Federal investigators frequently take it upon themselves to check these logs to ensure that drivers are not breaking the law.
Truck Driver Training
Everyone who drives a commercial truck in the United States must receive and carry a Commerical Driver’s License (CDL) at all times. To gain one of these licenses, a driver must prove they have received adequate training and have the knowledge required to safely drive these vehicles.
Some truck drivers that operate trucks hauling hazardous materials will be subjected to further testing. Such materials include oil, gas, biomedical waste, clinical waste, and more.
Alcohol and Drug Intoxication
Drivers of commercial semi-trucks are not legally allowed to operate their vehicles if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02% or over. Furthermore, it is illegal for a truck driver to have bottles of alcohol in their vehicle. An exception can be made if alcohol makes up part of their cargo.
Driving under the influence (DUI) in Orlando is a serious criminal offense that can result in drivers losing their professional licenses.
Physical Health and Fitness
Driving a semi-truck is not an easy task. These vehicles require drivers to have a certain level of physical fitness. If a driver does not reach that level of fitness, they can endanger themselves and the people around them. Therefore, all commercial drivers must complete physical tests every two years.
Losing a professional license due to poor physical fitness can be upsetting as it can result in the loss of a livelihood. However, these measures have been implemented in the best interest of public safety.
It has already been established that cargo not secured properly in a truck can be disastrous. Therefore, commercial drivers are required to learn how to safely load and secure cargo. Truck accident cases caused by improperly secured cargo are devasting.
Florida Laws Regarding Commercial Vehicles
Although the trucking industry is regulated by federal laws, it also faces further regulation by the state of Florida. Some of the regulations implemented by the state include:
- Truck drivers must carry valid tags and registration at all times.
- All trucks must display a valid state or Department of Transportation number.
- Fuel decals are required for every vehicle that weighs above 26,000 pounds, drives on interstates, and/ or has three or more axles.
- Trucks must be regularly serviced and in good working order.
- Trucks cannot weigh more than 80,000.
- Trucks cannot be any taller than 13’6″.
What to Do After Suffering a Semi-truck Accident in Orlando
A truck accident involving a semi-truck can be catastrophic. We hope that you never have to experience such a traumatic accident. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself involved in a semi-truck accident in Orlando, we have outlined some advice for you. Listening to our advice could help you protect your health, wealth, and legal rights.
The first thing you should do in a truck accident is to remain calm. Although your adrenaline may be running, it is wise to keep still. This is because if you have suffered traumatic spinal cord injuries, you could make these injuries worse by moving.
To protect yourself, you should turn on your hazard lights, keep your seatbelt fastened, and wait for help to come. Once emergency services arrive at the scene, they will be able to extract you from your vehicle.
Dial Emergency Services
The second thing you should do is call emergency services if no one else has already done so. In major truck accident cases, police will attend the accident scene to help clear the road, offer assistance to victims, and manage the situation.
Furthermore, the emergency response of paramedics can save lives. Many Floridians fear calling emergency medical services because of the heavy medical expenses that come with it. You should not fear these medical expenses. Your health is the most important thing. A truck accident lawyer can help you claim any expenses you encounter at a later date.
Next, you should try and gather as much evidence as you can. Only complete this step if you haven’t been seriously injured.
Some evidence that you can gather from an accident scene includes photos and videos, the contact information of witnesses, details of the truck, a copy of the police report, and more. The more evidence you can collect, the greater your personal injury claim will be.
After suffering a truck accident, it is normal for people to feel frightened and overwhelmed. Sometimes people will automatically apologize and admit fault out of sheer panic. This is not a good idea and another reason why it is important to remain calm after a truck accident.
As soon as an insurance company has proof that you have admitted fault for an accident, it can be difficult for you to achieve the full amount of compensation that you deserve. Everything you say and do following an accident can be held against you.
Seek Professional Medical Advice
Finally, we advise that all truck accident victims get checked over by medical professionals. Although you may think you have escaped suffering severe injuries, you may have suffered serious internal injuries. Not all injuries are visible and internal injuries can be fatal injuries.
Do I Need to Hire an Orlando Truck Accident Lawyer?
It is not a legal requirement to hire a lawyer before making a truck accident claim. In fact, you are completely within your rights to represent your own case and seek compensation alone. However, we don’t advise this.
Although many people who seek compensation alone are usually successful in their endeavors, they are usually cheated out of the full amount of compensation they deserve. This is because insurance companies like to make lowball offers in hope that victims accept. The presence of a lawyer, however, can prevent this from happening. An insurance company will see that the individual is taking their case seriously and they will be less likely to make lowball offers.
Furthermore, although it’s not a legal requirement, the presence of a lawyer can be very beneficial to a victim’s life. A lawyer can be a hugely helpful and supportive figure for someone who has suffered a truck accident. They can guide their client through the legal process, answer their questions, offer honest advice, and be a shoulder to lean on. To find out more about how a truck accident lawyer can help you, call us today.
How Long does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take to Settle?
Unfortunately, personal injury lawsuits involving major trucking companies can take a significant amount of time to settle. This is because these companies have aggressive legal teams in place to protect them. These cases will involve lots of paperwork and negotiations. Sometimes, it may be necessary for a lawsuit to be filed.
At The Law Place, we have a team of experienced injury attorneys who are not afraid of these giant companies. They have a vast amount of knowledge and experience winning cases against these companies and that will be hugely beneficial for your case.
We understand that you may be eager for your case to be settled and that is why we will fight on your behalf for the compensation you deserve from the get-go.
The Amount of Compensation You Could Recover
The financial settlement you could achieve for your injuries will depend on several factors. Some of these factors include:
- How severe your injuries are.
- The extent of property damage sustained.
- Whether your accident has prevented you from working.
- The impact the accident has had on your mental health.
- Who the liable party is for the truck accident.
When to File Semi-truck Accident Claims
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a semi-truck accident, we advise that you file a personal injury claim as soon as possible. This is because the law in Florida limits the time victims have to file claims and lawsuits. According to Florida’s statute of limitations, outlined under Florida statute 95.11, injury victims have four years to file a claim following their accident. Four years is not much time at all. Recovering compensation once these years have passed is nearly impossible.
This statute of limitations is even stricter when it comes to wrongful death claims and lawsuits. If you have tragically lost a loved one in a semi-truck accident, the law states that you only have two years to make claim.
Our Legal Fees
At The Law Place, our personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. This is also known as a no-win-no-fee basis. Simply, if you decide to hire a member of our team, you will not face any upfront costs.
All of our legal fees will be deducted from the final settlement that we can help you achieve. Only a small percentage of your settlement will cover our fees. We operate using this structure to benefit our clients. It means that by seeking our help, injury victims will lose nothing. If your attorney is unsuccessful in helping you receive a compensation settlement, you will not have to pay any legal fees.
Our law firm, like every law firm in Florida, is monitored by the Florida Bar Association. We pride ourselves on abiding by the rules and regulations of the Florida Bar closely. You can feel rest assured knowing that we are a reputable law firm that can be trusted with your semi-truck accident case.
Contact The Law Place Today!
Semi-truck accidents in Orlando are catastrophic and can change lives forever. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in one of these accidents, we would like to offer you our deepest sympathies. We understand that no amount of compensation could ever remove your trauma and suffering. It can, however, help ease you and your loved ones with rest and rehabilitation.
At The Law Place, we care about our clients. We make it our mission to do what is right and to win the compensation that our clients deserved. Over the years, our attorneys have helped countless clients in your position.
To begin your compensation journey, you should contact our team today to schedule a free legal consultation. We can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us now at (941)-444-4444.