Day or night, you’ll find plenty of delivery vans out on the highways, from small vans to large trucks with huge cargo. From the big names like UPS and Fed-Ex to smaller, local firms, they constantly operate to ensure that things get to where they need to be.
While many delivery van drivers are highly experienced out on the roads, they are only human, the same as anyone else. You might be surprised to learn that they are responsible for a truly massive number of accidents. Some of this is down to the sheer number of vehicles out on the roads at any given time, but some drivers are just as likely to ignore their duty of care or otherwise endanger others as anyone else.
If you or someone close to you has been involved in an accident in Venice in which a truck driver was at fault, we may be able to help. We will provide a free consultation with a truck accident attorney, who will follow up on the accident and, where required, provide legal representation to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. For a free case evaluation, contact The Law Place at (941) 444-4444. Phone lines are open 24/7.
What Is the Likelihood of Being Involved in a Truck Accident?
While many delivery van drivers are experienced on the roads and know how to handle their vehicles while monitoring other drivers around them, the sheer number of vehicles on the road in Florida at any given time immediately increases the chances of an accident taking place.
During peak times, UPS alone can deliver in excess of 30 million packages and documents across the U.S., and that’s just one company.
It is also important to remember that the drivers of these vans are working hard. While never an excuse for truck accidents, they can lose concentration or take negative actions on the road, just like anyone else. Nevertheless, they are bound by the same rules as every other road user, and they must maintain their duty of care while respecting the laws in place to ensure safe transit.
Therefore, truck accidents are just as likely as any other kind. That does not mean that you should be overly concerned about vans and trucks when you encounter them on the road, but these things do happen. Indeed, if you’re considering legal representation following personal injury or other losses as a result of one of these vans, you are already well aware that there is a chance.
What Causes Delivery Van Accidents in Venice, Florida?
Statistics indicate that accidents across Florida that involve delivery vans are often caused by the same issues as any type of car accident. Vans and trucks are not inherently unsafe compared to smaller vehicles. It is often human error that can cause van accidents, just as any other motor vehicle accident.
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Venice, FL., where the driver is directly at fault include:
- Not paying full attention to the road due to a distraction, such as the use of a mobile phone.
- Failure to observe the stated speed limits.
- Operating a vehicle without the required amount of rest. Tiredness and fatigue can affect their ability to control the truck fully.
- Driving under the influence.
- Not paying due care and attention to their vehicle, particularly when required to check blind spots.
Beyond this, a truck accident can occur for reasons that are potentially outside the driver’s control. With that said, especially in the case of smaller companies, the causes of a truck accident can still be traced back to the driver of the vehicle. Some of these possibilities include:
- Driving without an adequate commercial license as required by law.
- Using a vehicle that has not had its tires checked recently.
- Driving a vehicle that has not been adequately serviced or has fallen into a state of disrepair.
Regulation of Truck Drivers in Venice, FL.
In the majority of cases, a vehicle accident that involves a truck driver and results in personal injury is caused by the driver as opposed to any kind of mechanical issue.
However, the blame does not always lie solely with the individual operating the vehicle. Their company may also be at fault, and this might involve relatively weak regulation of employees and, in some cases, the vehicles they drive. More and more of the trucks that we encounter on the road are owned by the driver, even if they work on behalf of a larger company. Nevertheless, the company involved does have a duty to ensure that vehicles used for their work are in a decent state of repair.
In some parts of Florida, it is believed that one in seven truck accidents is due to fatigue. However, as some drivers are rightly concerned that they may look bad to their employer if they admit to this, the true number could be significantly higher. The Hours of Service (HOS) regulations regulate how long commercial drivers in Florida can operate behind the wheel. For delivery drivers, these are:
- Drivers may operate a commercial vehicle for up to twelve hours following ten consecutive hours not spent driving.
- Drivers may not drive after the 16th hour of coming on duty when they spent ten consecutive hours off duty.
- Drivers cannot drive after doing so for more than 70 hours in a seven-day period or 80 hours in an eight-day period. Only upon spending at least 34 hours, not behind the wheel, is such a period considered to have ended.
As with most road-related laws in Florida, the HOS regulations are designed to keep drivers, as well as other road users around them, safe and to avoid accidents.
However, some drivers choose to ignore this guidance, often due to the pressures of their working environment. Many drivers are paid by the mile. While their employers, particularly in larger trucking companies, write these regulations into their contracts, they often push themselves to complete as many miles as possible during each working day. In some cases, this can be to the detriment of their driving ability and, unsurprisingly, can lead to a car accident, truck accident, or another form of fatigue-induced incident.
Non-Driving Incidents Involving a Truck Driver in Venice
The vast majority of Florida residents who find themselves involved in an accident with a truck driver and seeking representation from accident attorneys will do so in their motor vehicle. However, it is important to consider that a car accident is not the only way in which a driver’s performance may be negatively impacted.
While a truck driver’s priority is always to get their cargo from one place to another, they are tasked with various other jobs. These may include:
- Taking their truck for a service or routine inspection.
- Planning the best route for their upcoming journies.
- Taking on and securing new cargo.
- Waiting while their current cargo is loaded onto or unloaded from their vehicle.
Crucially, in cases where they are paid by the mile or per delivery, the time they spend doing these things is often uncompensated. It is not unfair to assume that they feel that they are working for nothing. For some drivers, this can result in rushing the job or ignoring it completely.
Many trucking companies encourage their drivers to carry out the associated tasks diligently. However, those same companies are often unwilling to provide a financial incentive to do so. In these cases, it is often common to consider both the driver and their employer as being liable in the event of a truck accident.
Investigating a Vehicle Accident Involving a Delivery Driver
As with just about any kind of incident on the roads, an accident involving a delivery vehicle will be investigated thoroughly.
If you have found yourself injured as a result of an accident, there are some things you should do as quickly as possible. First and foremost, it is hugely important to notify your insurance company. They expect to be kept informed of your status and the likelihood of a new case as part of their terms of cover.
Next, if you have suffered a personal injury or any other kind of loss, it is ideal to seek legal advice as soon as you can. Lawyers may need to build a case around any claim you may seek to make based on injuries or other losses. The sooner you contact a law firm and appoint an attorney, the more likely they are to be able to involve themselves in the early stages of investigations. They will also have the opportunity to speak to witnesses while the incident is fresh in their minds.
If The Law Place becomes your law firm of choice, our team of personal injury lawyers will commence their investigation into the accident as quickly as possible. We boast some of the most experienced, professional lawyers in Florida, and our firm will do everything necessary to build and ultimately prove your case.
This will involve some of the same processes that would follow any car accident, such as gaining witness testimonies and investigating the scene of the accident for anything that could be used as evidence.
However, there is one advantage in particular that our clients and lawyers have following motor vehicle accidents involving delivery vans. According to The Florida Senate, all commercial vehicles that take to the roads in Florida are required to be fitted with Event Data Recorders (EDRs), more commonly known as black boxes.
These devices are designed to collect and record information. In the event of a truck accident, attorneys, law enforcement, and insurance companies can gain access to the information contained on the EDR and utilize it for their investigation. If you or your family have suffered or are suffering from loss or personal injury following an accident, this is yet another reason to get in touch with a lawyer or team of attorneys as quickly as possible, as the EDC can potentially be tampered with if not quickly assigned to someone working on your side of the investigation.
Another reason to appoint attorneys from a reputable law firm as quickly as possible following a truck accident is that not all trucking companies are as honest as others. It is not unheard of for a delivery company that may be facing a claim in Florida due to the actions of one of their drivers to try to protect their business by destroying evidence, especially anything incriminating that may make them directly liable in the event of a claim.
The hours following accidents are when attorneys can make the most difference to a client, and calling a law office for a free consultation in the aftermath should be near the top of your priority list.
Claiming Compensation Following a Truck Accident
From the moment a lawyer takes on your case following a free consultation, they will begin work on securing the compensation you deserve after a car accident. However, it is important to consider that not all truck accidents result in compensation.
At the beginning of any attorney-client relationship, most attorneys will make it clear whether you have a case. It is generally always best to seek legal advice from a Florida lawyer no matter what, as compensation is never awarded automatically. Instead, you must actively make a claim.
Your attorney will help to determine that you were not at fault. Part of their role is to use the resources available to them at their legal office to prove that another person was responsible in the event of a crash. The process of assigning liability as part of a claim may ultimately result in both the driver and the employer as at fault.
Compensation is often based on being able to prove a loss to your person or suffering following a crash. It is important to keep records of and have evidence for the following:
- Medical expenses – If you or your family suffered personal injury as a direct result of an accident involving a motor vehicle, your attorneys would work to recover costs incurred while also working to claim an amount for future costs or rehabilitation.
- Loss of earnings – If you have found yourself being unable to work following a car accident, you can claim any losses.
- Property damage – Any car accident will often result in damage to your vehicle.
- Wrongful death – In cases where the victim of an accident involving death, Florida Statute 768.21 states that those suffering, as a result, are entitled to compensation both for funeral expenses and also for any loss to the household.
Assigning Liability Following a Trucking Accident
Your lawyer will be able to explain the process of establishing who is responsible for a truck accident. Ultimately, the decision to assign responsibility lies with the court. In some cases, it may be determined that both the driver and the trucking company were at fault for an accident. In these cases, responsibility is often assigned based on percentages. This rarely has an impact on the client directly but does suggest who is responsible for what compensation following motor vehicle accidents.
As per Florida Statute 627.7407, accidents across the state are considered no-fault. This means that insurance companies will often provide coverage for a truck accident and any resulting personal injury. The same applies to any other kind of accident on the roads, whether that is a motorcycle accident, car accident, or anything else.
However, while the law is clearly fit for purpose in most cases, an attorney may suggest filing for damages to cover pain and suffering. Call now to find out if you have a claim.
Contact The Law Place After a Truck Accident
If you have been involved in a truck accident or car accident and suffered a personal injury, you should speak to an attorney. Our team includes personal injury and accident lawyers with a wealth of experience representing clients across Florida. If you have suffered injuries, medical expenses, or other losses as a result of an accident involving trucks, we are ready to help.
It all starts with a free consultation. Talking through your options won’t cost anything as The Law Place works on a contingency basis, as regulated by the State Bar Association of Florida.
Our lawyers are on standby to fight for your legal rights and to ensure that you are adequately compensated. Contact us today for your free consultation to discuss the strength of your case. Call The Law Place now at (941) 444-4444. Our attorneys are at the end of the phone, ready to give clients the legal service they deserve, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.